Academic Senate


Student Learning

Let's Talk About
Teaching and Learning

Board Policy

The Ed

Flex Day


March 3 2011


Elections in Spring 2011


From the Academic Senate Bylaws:

Section 2. Election of Senators

a.    Academic senators are to be elected for a term of three years so that one third of the academic senate is elected each academic year.  The executive board of the senate, with the senate's consent, shall communicate the necessary staggered schedule, which will be conveyed to the individual areas or divisions listed in Art. III, I. b. by February 1st of each year.

b.    Area representatives: Following the staggered schedule, each of the areas or divisions listed in Art.  III. I.b. shall entertain nominations and elect its senator from its own faculty members, in whatever manner it chooses. Senate representatives shall be selected by March 1st of each year.

The staggered schedule is here:


The following areas should have elections to elect an Academic Senate representative. There are no term limits for Academic Senate representatives.

Division or Area

Senate Representative

Term Began

(Fall Semester)

Term ends

(Spring Semester)

Physical Sciences

Fred Hochstaedter



Student Services

Debbie Anthony



Supportive Services

Alexis Copeland



College Readiness/TRIO

Chris Calima




Susan Walter




We agreed on this at the Dec 2, 2010 meeting, and I have completed this task:

The Academic Senate President, as an agent of the executive board of the Academic Senate, communicate to appropriate division chairs, deans, directors or coordinators of these divisions/areas the necessary staggered schedule and the need for this selection to take place.


Section 3. Election to Senate Offices


After Senate membership has been determined (by March 1st each year) senators shall elect officers for the coming year at the second meeting in March.  Outgoing and incoming senators shall vote (only for these elections) as members of the senate, and a quorum shall consist of a majority of the total number of such senators. 


At the second meeting in March, the senate shall elect from its new roster of members, the president, vice-president, secretary, the ASCCC representative, and COC chair.  Names shall be placed in nomination with the consent of the nominee. A ballot shall be prepared by the Secretary of the Senate, and a vote taken. Newly elected senators who are not already serving on the senate shall have no further voting privileges until they take office at the first meeting in the fall semester;  until that time sitting senators only shall vote on all other actions before the senate.



College Council Seat

There has been one volunteer: an adjunct instructor.

The College Council bylaws do not stipulate anything about adjunct vs full-time or tenured vs non-tenured. The bylaws say that the MPC Academic Senate selects the representatives.



Hi Fred-

Today I would like to ask the senate to:

1.  Prioritize and approve our list of potential keynote speakers for Fall 2011.  Once this list has been prioritized, we will invite the “top” choice speaker first and then move down the list as necessary.

Kevin Raskoff, we could ask him to speak on a “green”  theme....though maybe we want to save this for a Spring Flex?
Steve Albert, with the current budget crisis this could be timely.
Dave Clemens, a focus on critical thinking, break-out sessions along this theme would be a great supplement.
Coach Rasmussen, with a focus on learning communities to follow.

2.  I would also like to encourage everyone to advertize in their divisions/areas for new flex content committee members (faculty + staff).

3.  Finally, I would like to remind everyone that our Fall Flex Schedule is filling up rapidly (due to the single day offerings).  If anyone would like to present a breakout session it is critical that we get a proposed title/blurb as soon as possible so that we can try to include as many of these suggestions as possible.  Please be sure to request these suggestions at your next division meeting.  Thanks you!

4.  Sign a small pile of thank you notes....these can just be passed around the room.


Accreditation Report -- "SLOs"

Team Recommendations

1. In order to meet the Commission’s 2012 deadline and building upon the progress made in identifying student learning outcomes for nearly all courses, program, certificates and degrees, the team recommends that the college complete the process of assessment to guide improvement of student learning (IIA.1 and IIA.2).

2. In order to meet the Commission’s 2012 deadline, the team recommends the college completes the process of identifying course level student learning outcomes and ensures student information is clear, that SLOs are described, and that students receive syllabi reflective of the identified student learning outcomes (IIA.2 and IIA.6).

3. In order to meet the Commission’s 2012 deadline, the team recommends the college take appropriate steps to ensure that faculty and others directly responsible for student progress toward achieving stated learning outcomes have, as a component of their evaluation, effectiveness in producing those learning outcomes, and that this standard is achieved by the 2012 deadline established by the ACCJC (IIIA.1c).

4. To increase effectiveness of distance education offerings, the team recommends the college follow through with a plan to design an evaluation process and evaluation tool to provide students an opportunity to evaluate the learning experience specific to online courses (IIA.2 and IIB.3a). Further, the team recommends that the Distance Education Task Force develop clear protocols and strategic goals for distance education learners that meet the institutional outcomes of the college and ACCJC policy on distance education (IIA.1, IIA.2 and IIA.6).

The team notes and encourages the college to continue to develop and implement a more effective and clearer strategy for integrating student learning outcomes with planning, research and resource allocation efforts. The process should contain an evaluation and improvement component for all educational, academic support, fiscal, technological and human resources.

The emphasis on student learning is apparent and the college has begun to identify student learning outcomes for courses, career and technical programs and general education requirements. While it is attempting to fulfill its mission of student learning, the college has further work to do in assessing learning outcomes and using assessment results for improving instruction in all college divisions and departments. (p. 16)

The 2009 changes to the instructional program review template to include reflection documents have the potential to provide future evidence about student learning and learning outcomes, as does the emerging work in Student Services to articulate and assess student learning outcome accomplishments. Campus interviews confirm that the college does not report student learning outcome assessment to a wide audience on campus or to the public. (p. 19)

The college recently adopted a software program to facilitate the curriculum process. Within that system course level objectives and student learning outcomes are documented independently. Through interviews with faculty in multiple venues, the team found evidence that it is unclear to the faculty at large what the difference is, if any, between course level objectives and course level student learning outcomes. At this point, it is still voluntary whether course level SLOs are included in the students’ course syllabi. Also, the assessment method that faculty choose to use and the results of that assessment are not shared with the institution; rather, they are kept at the faculty member or department level. The program review and action plans may reflect the aggregate results of assessment; however, discrete results need to be shared at the course and program level for quality improvement purposes (IIA.1c, IIA.2a, IIA.2b, and IIA.6). (p. 25)


Here are some possible responses:


“Quality” of Program Reflections?

The Academic Senate offers no definitions of quality, other than the focus of the dialog should clearly reflect student learning issues. If the administration encounters “concerns” with what is recorded on the program reflection forms, then they should confer with the Academic Senate or other faculty-led group on what to do.


“Enforcement” of SLO-related issues?

This should be entirely the Administration’s responsibility.

The Academic Senate encourages the Administration to ensure that all programs participate in a Program Reflections dialog by deeming the Program Review Annual Reports incomplete without them.


Institutional SLOs?

Equate General Education Outcomes (GEOs) with Institutional Outcomes.

The problem is that students enroll in community college for so many different reasons. Some want to complete a program of study whereas others just want to take classes that interest them. There is no efficient way to establish a set of evaluable institutional SLOs for students who do not engage in our programs and take only random or unrelated courses. Therefore, one possible way to address this requirement is to equate our general education outcomes with the institutional outcomes.


The SLOs in the Evaluations Question

Recommend to our faculty union that when it comes time to negotiate or discuss faculty evaluation, that there be a clause or question about participating in program review. Since SLOs “live” in program review, and since program review means evaluating the effectiveness of our programs and then using the results for improvement, then participating in program review means that we are participating in this SLO process. In this way, we incorporate SLOs into our evaluations without specifically using the “SLO” word and implying any student success metrics.


From Kathleen Clark:

Hi Fred:


Thanks for the visit.  As a recap, I suggested utilizing the Faculty Self Report component of the Faculty Evaluation process to “include SLOs in faculty evaluations.”  The evaluatee guidelines would need to clarify what would be expected to be addressed, i.e., reflections, assessment, etc.  You suggested that guidelines for the evaluators relative to SLO commentary would need to be designed.  I thought that was a brilliant idea!


We also chatted about the confusion between “Program Review” referring to (1) individual faculty member’s reflections on and progress toward SLOs and (2) the contribution to the “big” annual “Program Review.”  Maybe this is my own personal confusion.  If so, I will get over it!


Thank you for trudging up to visit with me. 





Kathleen Is Right -- we need to better define "program review"

I think this term, or another term like it, should be formulated to recognize all the things we do to improve student learning.

All of us do a lot to improve our teaching and service delivery. We constantly review our programs and think of ways to improve.

I do this ALL THE TIME. I think most of do this ALL THE TIME.

These efforts should be recognized.



Improve assignments

Revise tests and quizzes

This of new projects

Revise powerpoints

Collaborate with peers and representatives from learning centers

Integrate new software

Integrate new teaching tools

Make sure adjuncts are teaching to the main objectives/outcomes of the course

Make sure students have the right skills for sequences of courses


We need to recognize all of these things. Should we call it "program review" or something else?


Goals and Objectives 2011-2013 (and ways that the MPC Academic Senate can help attain them)


Ways that the Academic Senate can help MPC attain Goal #1:


Goal 1: Promote academic excellence and student success.


Objective 1.1: Investigate ways to articulate “student success” that represents the diverse range of our students’ goals, and retains strong academic integrity and high academic standards. (Continue conversations in the Academic Senate about “student success”. Move this conversation to “productive dialog” that produces some sort of document that articulates how we want to define “student success”.)


Objective 1.2: Improve student experiences by supporting the quality of instruction and service delivery through

a.       creating a framework for faculty and staff to learn, share ideas, engage in dialog and collaborate. (This is the Program Reflections process)

b.      promoting efforts to evaluate and improve the level of functionality, integration, and articulation of and between our many programs analyze the effectiveness of programs and make improvements based on the results. (This is the elevating the eminence of program review effort)


Objective 1.3: Develop and prioritize the implementation of an online learning strategic plan that includes institutional support, protocols, and assessment of instruction. (This is the MPC on-line effort led by the Institutional Committee on Distance Education)


Objective 1.4 (a restatement of old Goal #6): Develop and implement ways to

a. recruit and select the most qualified and most promising faculty and staff.  (These are the efforts to improve both our full time and adjunct hiring processes)


b. train and mentor new faculty and staff so that they most effectively serve students and promote learning. (This could involve reviews of our faculty handbook, mentoring materials and processes, and a “model” syllabus.)


 Plus / Minus Grades

1996 ASCCC paper, reflecting the ASCCC endorsement of +/- grading and research on the topic. 

Title 5 Language

e-mail from Susan Walter:




I searched through Title 5 (always a challenge) to find the regulations that govern grading policies at the California community college.  What I found was very interesting.  Until the major revisions in 2007-2008, community colleges were not authorized to use plus or minus grading.  There were several sections throughout the years that specified grading policies (51306/55758), and some community college websites still reference section 55758 in the publication of their A through F grading.  The statewide Academic Senate had at least one resolution to change this policy (I read one that was back in the 1980s), but it wasn’t until the latest revisions to Chapter 6 that Title 5 actually adopted a new policy with regard to grading.  The new regulation allows the local governing boards to choose a plus/minus system – or not.


I’ve attached section 55023.  As it is written, it addresses some of the concerns I had expressed at our Senate meeting.  A grade of C- cannot be used, which solves the problem of IGETC certification and repeats.  In addition,  an A+ grade cannot have a grade point value of more than 4.0, which is consistent with UC grading policies.


Happy reading.


Susan Altilio Walter


Career Services Coordinator