PRESS RELEASE: FACCC Statement on Accreditation Task Force Report

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Faculty Association of California Community Colleges issued the following statement in response to the Chancellor’s Office releasing the findings of the Task Force on Accreditation:

“A thorough review of the accreditation process, and the accrediting agency, for California Community Colleges is long overdue. FACCC applauds the Task Force on Accreditation in their efforts to ensure continued quality and equity at all 113 of our colleges. This report highlights a number of concerning issues presented by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges and we look forward to working closely with the Chancellor’s Office to implement some of the recommended solutions in the coming months.”

PRESS RELEASE: FACCC Statement on Budget

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – FACCC released the following statement on the Governor’s signing of the 2015-16 Budget Act:

“FACCC is grateful to both the Legislature and the Governor for their substantial support of community colleges in the Budget Act. The $267 million apportionment increase above growth and COLA will help our institutions recover from the devastating effects of the recession and increase opportunities for students. Moreover, the $62.3 million allocation for full-time faculty hiring recognizes the role of full-time faculty in student success. FACCC is also pleased to see the restoration of the Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS) budget, and will work for similar restorations moving forward for part-time faculty support, CalWORKs, professional development, and the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges.”

PRESS RELEASE: FACCC Statement on Governor’s Proposed Budget Revise

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Faculty Association of California Community Colleges has issued the following statement on Governor Brown’s proposed budget today:

“FACCC is extremely pleased that the Governor has acknowledged the direct connection between full-time faculty and student success, as recognized by the $75 million proposal for increased full-time hiring. Those funds, combined with the additional $141.7 million for increased operating expenses, will have a direct impact for students across California.” said FACCC Executive Director Jonathan Lightman, “Still, more needs to be done at the state level to ensure that our talented corps of 40,000 part-time faculty professionals are supported through office hours, pay equity, and health benefits. The state must also ensure that vital student success and equity programs, like Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS) and Cooperative Agencies Resources for Education (CARE), are fully funded. FACCC looks forward to working with the Governor and Legislature on these issues as the budget process concludes.”

MEDIA ADVISORY: FACCC Available for Comment on May Revise

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Leaders of the Faculty Association of California Community Colleges, a principal voice on community college issues, will be available for comment following the release of Governor Brown’s revised budget on Thursday, May 14.

California’s 112 Community Colleges, which serve 2.1 million students, are expected to receive a considerable increase in funding following years of budget cuts.

Staff can be reached by phone at (916) 447-8555 or via email at info@faccc.org. Please contact Austin Webster to arrange an in-person interview.

PRESS RELEASE: FACCC Sponsored Bill Increasing Full-Time Faculty, Part-Time Funding Passes Committee

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Tuesday, the Assembly Higher Education Committee voted 11-2 to pass legislation, sponsored by the Faculty Association of California Community Colleges, in support of community college faculty and students.

Assembly Bill 626 by Assemblymember Evan Low increases the ratio of full- to part-time faculty and provides more resources for part-time faculty instruction in credit hour courses. In addition, AB 626 encourages the Community College Chancellor’s Office to collaborate with the State Academic Senate to establish full-time staffing goals for non-credit course offerings at local colleges.

“AB 626 refocuses the Legislature’s attention on the need to increase the percentage of community college courses taught by full-time faculty and support for par-time faculty in those areas which contribute to student success.” said FACCC Executive Director Jonathan Lightman. “Just as we ask our students to give a full-time effort, we must provide them with full-time faculty to help them succeed.”

The Education Code was amended in 1988 to reflect the Legislature’s recognition of the longstanding policy that “at least 75 percent of the hours of credit instruction in the California Community Colleges, as a system, should be taught by full-time instructors.” In 2013 and 2014, only 56.14 percent of credit courses were taught by full-time faculty. AB 626 modernizes these sections of the code and provides a new trigger for when community college districts are required to advance their ratio of full- to part-time instructors.

“While today we enjoy stabilized budgets and a strong fiscal outlook, the lack of full-time faculty on campus is an issue that has yet to be resolved. Whether it’s through mentorship or holding office hours after class, full-time instructors serve an important role in student growth, success and achievement. I am proud to work with FACCC on a bill that will move us forward to sustainability in faculty staffing.” remarked Assemblymember Evan Low, who is himself a former faculty member.

AB 626 will be heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee in May.

PRESS RELEASE: FACCC Statement on the Closure of Corinthian College

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Faculty Association of California Community Colleges issued the following statement on the closing of Corinthian Colleges:

Californians are in shock over what happened to the now-former students of the Corinthian colleges and related affiliates. Through no fault of their own, these students were abruptly kicked to the curb, victims of alleged predatory business practices of a profit-motivated institution.

We applaud the work of the California Community Colleges in their assistance of these students and call upon state and federal regulatory agencies to increase their oversight of proprietary schools. This situation demonstrates that the lack of accountability in the for-profit college industry endangers the public, and steps must be taken to ensure it never happens again.”

PRESS RELEASE: FACCC Sponsored AB 404 (Chiu) Introduced to Facilitate Improved State-Federal Communication on Postsecondary Accreditation

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Faculty Association of California Community Colleges (FACCC) is pleased to announce the introduction of its sponsored measure, Assembly Bill 404, by Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco).

AB 404 will require the California Community College system to solicit feedback from community college stakeholders on the performance of the regional agency that accredits California Community Colleges. The information will be transmitted to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI), the entity responsible for advising the U.S. Secretary of Education on postsecondary accreditation. Under the proposal, college officials could provide their input to the Chancellor’s office anonymously, without fear of retaliation.

AB 404 compliments a recommendation in last year’s California State Auditor’s report on accreditation (2013-123),To ensure that community colleges and the public are fully informed regarding the accreditation process, the Chancellor’s office should assist community colleges in communicating their concerns to the commission regarding its transparency and in developing proposals for improving the commission’s transparency policies and practices.”

FACCC President Dean Murakami noted that “Accreditation is a vital tool to measure, assess, and enhance academic programs and the institutional health of our colleges. If done correctly, accreditation should be a collaborative process resulting in institutional improvement. AB 404 will provide our colleges, faculty, students and classified staff a voice that allows for direct and open comment on the performance of an accrediting agency without fear of retribution.” Murakami continued, “To ensure the public is fully informed on the accreditation process, the Chancellor’s office should assist community colleges in communicating their concerns to the federal government. This will translate in improved transparency of accreditation policies and practices.”

FACCC Executive Director Jonathan Lightman remarked “California’s community colleges comprise the largest system of higher education in the country. AB 404 is a common sense measure that will allow our system to have a direct line of communication with the federal government on the integrity of our accrediting process.”

PRESS RELEASE: Faculty Association Responds to Governor’s 2015-16 Budget Proposal

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Responding to today’s release of Governor Brown’s 2015-16 budget proposal, leaders of the Faculty Association of California Community Colleges (FACCC) expressed appreciation for the increased attention to college funding, as well as hope that over the coming months legislative leaders will help improve the proposal to address longstanding needs in the community colleges.

Executive Director Jonathan Lightman lauded the Governor for the increased spending of state dollars in the community colleges and praised his efforts for not raising student fees.

“Following years of painful budget cuts, Governor Brown is prioritizing community college funding as one of the state’s most vital investments.”

Lightman also complimented the Governor on recognizing the need to increase the ratio of full- to part-time faculty and ensure access to professional development. He noted that these are both very important to the faculty and will help improve the quality of teaching and learning at the colleges.

Lightman added that this is the first step in a long process, anticipating significant conversations on how the proposal can be improved.

“FACCC looks forward to working with the Governor, Legislature and other community college system partners on assuring that the faculty voice is heard in the budget process and faculty priorities are addressed.”

PRESS RELEASE: Faculty Association Responds to State of the State

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Faculty Association of California Community Colleges (FACCC) President Dean Murakami issued the following statement regarding Gov. Jerry Brown’s comments on higher education during the 2015 State of the State address:

“FACCC applauds Gov. Jerry Brown for taking a stand against putting the financial burden of higher education on students. Yes, ‘California is blessed with a rich and diverse system,’ but it can only remain this way when students have an affordable, accessible, quality public higher education through the California Community Colleges, the California State University, and the University of California.”

FACCC looks forward to working with the Governor and the new Legislature in the coming years to strengthen public higher education.

Murakami is a professor of psychology at American River College, where he has been teaching for 24 years.

PRESS RELEASE: Faculty Association Responds to State of the Union

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Faculty Association of California Community Colleges (FACCC) Executive Director Jonathan Lightman issued the following statement regarding President Barack Obama’s proposal for free community college during the 2015 State of the Union address:

“FACCC applauds the President for his progressive proposal for community colleges to help students ‘graduate ready for the new economy, without a load of debt.’ This long overdue proposal is at the heart of our advocacy, fighting for an affordable, accessible, quality public higher education through the California Community Colleges.”

FACCC looks forward to reviewing the details of the President’s plan for community colleges, and will continue working to strengthen public higher education in California.