After watching the Assembly Chamber unanimously pass ACR 31 (with 67 co-authors signing on to the resolution) recognizing April 2019 as California Community College Month, I was reminded of just how far community colleges in California have advanced from their origins as extensions of K-12 school districts in the first decade of the 20th century.
Few students and parents, if any, give much thought to institutional accreditation when choosing a college or university. The term “accreditation” may even make your eyes glaze over, but the reality is that it’s an incredibly important concept. Allan Hancock College is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), a federally-recognized, regional accreditation agency. Regional accreditors — there are seven recognized by the Department of Education — are considered by many to be the gold standard when it comes to ensuring educational quality.
California’s next Governor is in the enviable position to strengthen local economies in rural, urban, and suburban areas statewide, enhance employment opportunities for low and middle-income individuals and their families, and support growing industries in need of skilled and educated employees. And the Governor can do this early in his term and enjoy the political benefits of ribbon-cutting ceremonies at the state’s most popular higher education institutions: California’s community colleges.
Last month in a speech to workers at a training facility in Ohio, President Trump professed ignorance about what community colleges do: “I don’t know what that means, a community college.” The president continued, “Call it vocational and technical. People know what that means. They don’t know what a community college means.”
As the contested holiday of Labor Day is recognized on this first Monday in September, California’s Community Colleges are at an interesting point in their century-old history especially as it pertains to our mission and students’ professional lives. (I use the term professional life rather than workforce both to avoid the connotations of workforce as managed employees in replaceable positions, and to focus on the distinction between private life and the hours for which individuals receive compensation for their labor).
What enduring qualities and conditions are critical to the efficacy of future college presidents?
What new qualities and conditions will be required for effectiveness in the future?
In light of these qualities and conditions, what needs to be done to strengthen the college presidency?
What constitutes an efficacious academic program of study? What should an undergraduate student of political science, engineering, art history, or nursing read, do, and experience to earn a certificate or degree?
At the 2017 Association of Community College Trustee's (ACCT) National Legislative Summit (NLS) held February 13-16 in Washington DC, California brought a Community College delegation befitting the largest public postsecondary system in the US.