ASCCC and the Fall Plenary Session

By Dan Crump, American River College and CCL Liaison to the ASCCC

ASCCC Fall Plenary Session, November 3-5, 2022

The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (ASCCC) held its Fall Plenary Session in November at the Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel.  Session was in a hybrid mode, but with a twist.  Session is usually a combination of general sessions with topics that have a broader interest to faculty as well as breakouts which focus on more narrowed topics but might be in more detail.  In this Session, the number of general sessions was increased to nine, all hybrid (i.e., available to attendees both online and in-person) and a block of in-person-only breakout sessions each day.  Increasing access while keeping costs down remains a priority in the program structure design.  Session information, including the program, presentation materials, and the approved resolutions are available on the ASCCC website.

As noted by ASCCC President Virginia “Ginni” May (Sacramento City College) in her message to attendees, “much work lies ahead, including establishing a common course numbering system, clarifying general education and transfer pathways, growing baccalaureate programs, creating low-cost and zero-cost course materials, protecting academic freedom, and other important matters. Over the next three days we will hold discussion and debate regarding these issues and more. By working together, listening to lived experiences, and using the collective voice of the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges, faculty can ensure an outstanding education for the students they serve.”

In addition, the Session delegates adopt resolutions that guide the work of the ASCCC.  The resolutions cover a wide range of topics relating to “academic and professional matters” (the ASCCC 10+1).  All the resolutions adopted by the delegates at the Fall Plenary Session are of interest to faculty, but two were of special interest for librarians:

•2.01 (Advocating for the Retention of a Library and Learning Resources and Support Services Substandard to the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges 2024 Revised Accreditation Standards), and

•7.06 (Action Plan for Increasing Library Staffing in Accordance with Title 5)

In brief, Resolution 2.01 calls for the ASCCC to support inclusion of a specific substandard regarding library and learning support services in the proposed new standards of the Accrediting Commission of Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC).  There has been some progress on this, but it is felt more can be discussed and included in the standards.  There had been concern raised in various librarian venues (both online and in-person) about the lack of such a specific standard/substandard in the initial proposed draft of the revision of the ACCJC standards.  One of the responses to this concern was the preparation of an ASCCC resolution to address this issue.  Several library faculty (Susie Kopecky, Kellye Cohn, and Trevor Passage, all from Allan Hancock College) brought this to the attention of the ASCCC and it was referred to the ASCCC Accreditation Committee for discussion.  Committee chair Robert L. Stewart, Jr. (LA Southwest College) convened a small group of librarians including the three aforementioned librarians, Parisa Samaie (LA Southwest College), and Ngheim Thai (Merritt College) to work on the resolution that was adopted at Session.  Special thanks to all involved.  I would also like to note that Ngheim is a member of the ASCCC Accreditation Committee this year. This is one more example of librarian involvement in the work of the ASCCC.  I encourage all faculty librarians to consider service on one of the many committees/task forces/work groups of the ASCCC (and the other groups for which the ASCCC appoints members).

Resolution 7.06 calls for the ASCCC to work with the Chancellor's Office to advocate for an action plan dealing with the library staffing minimum standards in Title 5 (section 58724).  IMHO, I would hope that the ASCCC and CO would call upon the Council of Chief Librarians (CCL) to be strongly involved in any such dialogue and discussions.

CCL will connect with ASCCC President May and Executive Director Mica on how best CCL can work with the ASCCC on these resolutions

In addition, the resolutions on Open Educational Resources and Zero Textbook Costs are of interest to librarians as many of them are vital resources (and leaders) in OER and ZTC initiatives at their colleges.  

As many of the credit library courses offered at the colleges do satisfy the Lifelong Learning component of the current CSU GE Breadth Requirements, librarians will also be interested in the resolutions regarding changes to the GE and transfer requirements to the CSU and UC systems.  

Lastly, librarians welcome 13.02 (Updating Codes of Conduct to Support Safe and Welcoming Classrooms and Learning Spaces in a Politically Charged Climate) as the library is our classroom and learning space.