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Academic Service Learning
California's Call to Service

Response from the Academic Senate
of the California Community Colleges

State and Legislative Issues
Community Service
12/99

Hoke Simpson, Grossmont College, Executive Committee

Whereas the Governor has indicated that a service ethic should be taught and reinforced, and that California's college and university students enjoy remarkable benefits from the taxpayer-supported system of higher education and has therefore asked California's public colleges and universities to establish a community service requirement for undergraduate students at the University of California, the California State University, and the California Community Colleges, and

Whereas the Governor has requested that the faculty work through the Intersegmental Committee for Academic Senates (ICAS) to create a proposal implementing a community service graduation requirement at all three segments of higher education, and ICAS has referred the matter of the Academic Senates of each system for their deliberation, and

Whereas community colleges since their inception have been founded as community-based institutions serving all students able to profit from instruction, and many community colleges currently offer a wide array of programs, classes and opportunities that promote community involvement, and the linkage of student educational development to practical service (such as volunteer work, service learning, internships, field work and apprenticeships), and

Whereas the Governor's request acknowledges the role of faculty in establishing curriculum, and underscores the importance of moral leadership from his office, but would nonetheless set a precedent for the establishment of graduation requirements by the Governor's Office, and

Whereas a mandatory requirement would pose a hardship for many community college students who struggle to balance school, family obligations and the need to work and would become a possible disincentive for student goal attainment in the areas of transfer and workforce preparation already supported by the Governor in the Partnership for Excellence program,

Therefore be it resolved that the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges affirm the importance of the principles of service to the community and the cultivation of altruism in service to society in general, and

Be it further resolved that the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges work to support and extend sounds programs and offerings which promote a service ethic among students, and

Be it finally resolved that the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges support voluntary efforts rather than a community college graduation requirement for community service.

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Last Updated: April 29, 2008