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Welcome to the 2013-2014 MPC Academic Senate Web Page.


The Academic Senate meets the first and third Thursdays of each month at 2:30-4:15 in LTC 216.


Instructor Reflection Links


Instructor Reflections on-line form instructions


Instructor Reflections on-line form


Program Reflections in Word format. Please download this form and use it. Spring 2014.


Fall 2014 Flex Day Schedule


Please respond to the Fall 2014 Flex Day survey:



Thursday August 21, 2014


Spring 2014 Flex Day Schedule

Wednesday January 29, 2014

Thursday January 30, 2014



Fall 2013 Flex Day Schedule

Thursday August 22, 2013


Please fill out the evaluation survey:



February 1, 2013


Please take the Flex Day survey


Spring 2013 Flex Day Schedules -- January 30 & 31 2013 (updated 1-25-13)


Wednesday Schedule
Thursday Schedule


The Spring 2013 Program Reflections forms are provided in Word  format. Please fill it out during flex week and send it electronically to your DOM, who will then forward them to Leslie Procive or Sandy Nee, as appropriate.



If you want to see what you or other areas did over the last few semesters, see the following compilations


2011-2012 Program Reflections compilation

2010-2011 Program Reflections compilation


January 23, 2013

Responses from the Fun Stuff Challenge!




January 21, 2013

Fun Stuff Challenge!


Can you describe what you do using the ten hundred most common words in the English Language? This is the current rage in the science blogs I read (and perhaps in the blogs you follow as well?). It sounded fun so I gave it a try. Here’s my effort:


I get people to learn about the round thing we live on. The round thing looks like a ball and flies around the sun. They learn about both the rocks and the water on our round thing. The rocks and water make it possible for life to happen on our big round thing. The problem is that the rocks are slowly moving and breaking up into smaller pieces. People don't like it when the rocks they live on move around and break up into smaller pieces. What will happen to us in the coming years? The only way to tell is to figure out what has happened in the past years. This is hard to do with rocks. But they tell their story if we ask them in the right way. The rocks tell us that some of them are very very old, older than we can even dream about. They have also moved around a lot and have been broken up into little pieces and then put back together in many different ways. People who learn love these stories, and are able to better decide what to do in the coming years!


You can try it too, using the neat and easy Up-Goer Five Text Editor:

(Created by Theo Sanderson and inspired by xkcd comics. click here if you want to know where “up-goer five” comes from)


Here’s your challenge: Give it a try. Save the results and send them to me via return e-mail. I’ll post them up somewhere for all to see. So, deans, division chairs, adjuncts, department heads, directors, coordinators, teachers, artists, musicians, counselors, staff, DOMs, money makers, assistants, coaches, Celine, Carsbia, Steve, Larry, Nicole, Barb, Kali, Rosaleen, Laura, Michael, Jon, Michael, John, Kim, Lavester, Helmut, Linda, and, oh, Walt. Please tell us what you do in the simplest of language leaving all the jargon behind. We’d all like to know. While you’re doing this, you might want to think about our students for whom English is not their first language. Send ‘em to me and I’ll post them up.


Tell ya what: if I get five of these back, I’ll try to figure out how to explain what I do for the Academic Senate.


Geoblog where I first learned about this:

Another (community college) geoscience teacher:

And another community college geoscience teacher:


February 14, 2012


Happy Valentines Day


Many of the powerpoints from the Spring 2012 Flex Day Presentations are now posted on our Flex Day Info web site, along with a spreadsheet summarizing the survey responses. You can see presentations from past flex days as well, just in case you're yearning to relive the joys of Fall 2010 for example.







January 17, 2012


Hello everybody, and welcome back from the Holiday Break


The Spring 2012 Flex Days will be January 25 and 26. Here's the Schedule. There may be small changes to blurbs or room numbers, but the timing and breakouts are all set.

Wednesday January 25 Flex Day Schedule

Thursday January 26 Flex Day Schedule


Thanks, I look forward to seeing all of you.





Halloween, 2011


Friends and Colleagues,


It’s been a long time since I’ve written to all of you. But now, as our brilliant October warmth slips into colder and darker times, there are many forces impacting our CCCs. Some of them seem almost supernatural. It’s important to see through their disguises and recognize them for what they really are.


Student Success Task Force (SSTF) Draft Recommendations released Sept 30, 2011

A few weeks ago, the Chancellor’s Office released the draft recommendations from its Student Success Task Force. This task force was convened in response to California Senate Bill 1143 (Liu, 2010), passed in 2010. This legislation required the Board of Governors to examine strategies for improving student success including, as spelled out in the bill:

·         improving student assessment

·         delivering remedial instruction

·         increasing access to academic counseling

·         identifying alternative funding models to incentivize increased completion rates


In response to SB 1143, the Board of Governors instructed the Chancellor’s Office to convene a task force to investigate these issues and make recommendations back to the Board of Governors. The resulting task force included CCC faculty, CCC administrators, members of the Board of Governors, business leaders, and educational advocates/researchers. The task force was chaired by Peter MacDougall, a member of the Board of Governors. Stop. Let’s make that clear. The Student Success Task Force was chaired by a member of the Board of Governors, the same body to which the task force will make its recommendations. Welcome to the masquerade.


The intent of the document is improving student success—something we hold deep in our hearts—and there are some good ideas. At our next Academic Senate meeting on Nov 3, we’ll talk about those positive aspects of the report and look for areas where the Academic Senate could make recommendations for improvement.


But like many of the costumes we’ll see at our doors tonight, there are dark and troubling aspects of this report. The report’s 73 pages are a quick read when you realize some of the swift and profound changes they would make to the CCC system and to the wide variety of students who attend the CCCs.


The very first sentence of the document reads, “There’s a story that each member of this Task Force wants to be true – true at every community college and for every student”. It describes a student who seeks the shortest, cheapest, and most direct path to a degree or certificate. I recognized that student from my classroom, but I also wanted to see all the other students in my classroom: the veterans, the construction worker with a bum leg returning to feed passion for science, the workers wanting to learn new software to remain viable in their jobs, the 20-somethings who would rather be anywhere else than in school, the young people who want and need time to explore options, the military spouses who know they’ll be somewhere else next semester, and the people who just want the skills to earn real money and who couldn’t give a hoot about degrees or certificates.


The very first sentence of the report emblemizes its shortcomings and fallacies. The report wants a story to be true for every student at every community college. The report’s myopic endorsement of degree or certificate completion as the sole metric of student success for this imagined student belies a central tenet of the creation of the California Community Colleges in the first place: to face the incredible challenge of responding to the vast diversity of its citizenry’s educational needs. The report conceives CCC students with the bland sameness of the Stepford Wives, except that it’s not Halloween and it’s not a disguise.


Doug and I gave a joint presentation to the MPC Board of Trustees on these issues. Their response was concern at the highest level. They’re holding a special board meeting at 9 am Wednesday morning Nov 2 to consider and presumably pass a resolution that says,


THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Monterey Peninsula Community College District Governing Board strongly urges the California Community Colleges Board of Governors to withhold its adoption of and defer any implementation of recommendations from the California Community Colleges Task Force on Student Success Report until detailed analyses can be conducted to determine the consequences of each recommendation; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Monterey Peninsula Community College District Governing Board recommends that these analyses be conducted with sufficient time and involvement of California community college professionals and representatives of the communities they serve to ensure a comprehensive, inclusive result that is in the best interests of the California community colleges and California residents.


Full MPC Board of Trustees Resolution for consideration on Nov 2


Please attend the board meeting and tell them what you think.


Doug’s presentation to the MPC Board

Fred's presentation to the MPC Board


Many groups, including two of our faculty union groups, have developed swift and detailed responses to the SSTF recommendations.

·         The Community College Association (CCA) response

·         The California Community College Independents (CCCI) response


Given the swift and detailed response to these recommendations from a variety of groups, and because they were developed in response to legislation, it appears that they have legs and that we should pay attention and respond. The task force is inviting comments on their website; I understand that in these types of politics the number of responses is a most important metric. So I encourage all of you to engage and respond.

Chancellor’s Office site to respond to the SSTF Recommendations


Detailed Concerns


Completions-based Funding

The most worrisome aspect of the recommendations is the movement towards completions-based funding. These models, also called “alternative funding”, “outcome-based funding”, “incentivized funding”, or similar names, invoke apportionment for students who complete a course, certificate, or degree. Well, I’ll tell you right now if it’s completions the system wants, and our paychecks depend on it, then completions is what the system will get—at the expense of rigor, grades, or any true measure of learning.


Chapter 7.3 recommends the implementation of a “student success score card” that would record student attainment of “momentum points” defined as completions of certain courses or sequences of courses. The board would be required to publicly discuss this scorecard and then post it in a public space. Chapter 8.2 recommends the development of a new fund, called the “Student Support Initiative” that colleges could receive only if they implement the score card idea, and would be the first monies appropriated to the system as funding is restored, i.e., before getting back all of the money we’ve lost over the last few years.


Recommendation 8.3 reads “Establish an alternative funding model to encourage innovation and flexibility in the delivery of basic skills instruction.” The second paragraph of its explanation begins, “Rather than having ‘seat time’ as the dominant driver in basic skills finding, the development and implementation of an alternative funding model would reimburse colleges for successfully moving students from below college level to college level.” Sounds like completions-based funding to me.


Recommendation 8.4 reads “Do not implement outcomes-based funding at this time”. Really? At this time? Please re-read the previous paragraph. This chapter continues with “the Task Force was deeply divided on the topic of outcome-based funding. A vocal minority supported implementing some version of outcome-based funding, while the majority of Task Force members did not support such a proposal at this time…” “The Task Force suggested that the chancellor’s Office continue to monitor implementation of outcomes-based funding in other states and model how various formulas might work in California.” It looks to me like we can see the black smoke of this train approaching the station.


Student Education Plans and Funding Implications

Recommendation 2.2 “requires all incoming community college students to: (1) participate in (a) diagnostic assessment and (b) orientation, and (2) develop an education plan.” Whereas these are good ideas for many of our students, the “require all” portion demonstrates the lack of understanding about the range of educational needs of community college students. In addition, the “require” portion would produce a substantial reallocation of college resources. Imagine it. Every student has a student education plan and the college has to keep track of all of them. Why must the college keep track of them? Read on trick-or-treater.


Recommendation 4.1 includes

·         Amend statute and Title 5 regulations to reflect that apportionments may only be claimed if scheduled courses are part of student education plans”

·         “Amend statute Education Code 78300 and Title 5 as needed to explicitly allow colleges to enroll community service students in otherwise state-supported credit classes”

·         Under this recommendation, students having the course in their education plan would pay the credit enrollment fee, while students not having the course in their education plan would pay a fee covering the full cost of instruction


What does all this mean if you’re a student? It means that if a class doesn’t lead you directly to a certificate or degree as documented in your education plan, you’ll pay full community services prices for it. It would severely impact your ability to explore options and interests as you search for a major, and limit your ability to take a full spectrum of classes that would keep your mind balanced and your body healthy while enrolled in college. Want to repeat a class because you know you’ll find continued benefit from it? Fuggettaboutit.


What does this mean for the college? It means keeping track of a multitude of education plans and finding a way to change them every time a student finds their new passion and wants to change direction. How often did you change your major in college?


How will the system pay for the administration of this system? Recommendation 2.3 reads “Community colleges will develop and use centralized and integrated technology, which can be accessed through campus or district web portals, to better guide students in their educational process.” So the Task Force recognized that these types of plans would require more counseling and more advisement of students. So instead of advocate for more money to pay academic counselors (something we’re already short of), it suggests that a computer program will do it. Page 19 reads, “In the same manner that companies like Netflix and the Apollo Group have created tightly integrated online pathways for their customers, the CCC system needs to look towards the creation of centralized student support modules that offer high interactivity with local campus and district IT and administrative systems.”  So the Task force is looking to the University of Phoenix for ideas and thinks that computer programs like we experience on Netflix or Amazon can facilitate the complexity of human lives and replace the jobs that our counselors currently do.


I just put the Stepford Wives on my Netflix queue. Maybe if I like it, they’ll tell me what to do next.


Happy Halloween everybody.




Acknowledgment to Karen Saginor, Academic Senate President of City College of SF, from whom I got the idea of the Stepford imagery.





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