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					                                        Board of Governors
                                  California Community Colleges
                                      September 11-12, 2006


  TITLE 5 REGULATIONS:                                                               7.1
  MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS FOR
  THE ASSOCIATE DEGREE
  ACTION SCHEDULED
  Presentation:   Carole Bogue-Feinour, Vice Chancellor
                  Academic Affairs




Issue
This item recommends changes to the title 5, California Code of Regulations, minimum
graduation competency requirements in English and mathematics for the award of a California
community college associate degree.


Background
Graduation requirements are an academic and professional matter where faculty
recommendations are made through the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges in
line with Board of Governors Standing Order 332 that states that “the Board of Governors
recognizes the Academic Senate as the representative of community college faculty on academic
and professional matters” and furthermore, “the advice and judgment of the Academic Senate
will be primarily relied upon.”

In recent years, faculty have increasingly expressed that the current minimum graduation
competency requirements in English and mathematics are inadequate and have argued for raising
them. In Fall 2001, prompted by the adoption of Resolution 9.05, the Academic Senate
embarked upon a formal examination and debate of the mathematics and English requirements
needed for the associate degree.

From the beginning, faculty opinions about the appropriate associate degree requirements for
mathematics and English were strong and varied. The specifics of any changes to title 5 ranged
in focus from single-level increases to the minimum requirements: raising the English
requirement from a course one level below Freshman Composition to a course at the level of
Freshman Composition; and raising the mathematics requirement from Elementary Algebra to a
course at the level of Intermediate Algebra. Freshman Composition is accepted for transfer
credit at all California State Universities (CSU) and University of California (UC) campuses.
However, Intermediate Algebra is not accepted for transfer credit at either CSU or UC.
2       Item 7.1



The Academic Senate discussion of the change included public forums in Glendale and Oakland,
and breakouts at plenary sessions and faculty institutes from Fall 2002 to Fall 2004. In Spring
2005, a background white paper discussed many of the issues.1 Informational breakouts were
also held at Chief Instructional Officers (CIO) and California Community College Association
for Occupational Education conferences.

Arguments for both sides of the discussion were collected. Arguments in support of raising the
mathematics and English requirements cited practices in other states, policy statements passed by
professional mathematics and English organizations, California’s workforce requirements, and
the need to strengthen public perception of the associate degree. Arguments opposing a change
in the existing mathematics and English requirements cited the potential impact on students
already at risk and emphasized the need for appropriate alternatives.

The Academic Senate’s ultimate decision to recommend an increase in the minimum graduation
competency requirements in mathematics and English was made at the Spring 2005 Plenary
Session, where the delegates of all local academic senates passed Resolutions 9.01 and 9.02
(Appendix B). They also recommended that alternative courses be developed that would meet
the raised requirements in different ways and that serious consideration be given to the adequate
provision of support services to ensure that the new requirements did not become a barrier to
students.

Since Spring 2005, the Academic Senate shared its recommendations in numerous articles and
has encouraged additional groups to join the discussion. The discussion groups include Trustees
(California Community College Trustees (CCCT) Board meeting and Community College
League of California conference), Chief Executive Officers (CEO), Chief Instructional Officers
(CIO), Chief Student Services Officers (CSSO) and students. The recommendations were also
presented and discussed at the January and May 2006 Consultation Council meetings. This has
resulted in consensus at Consultation Council, a resolution of support from the CCCT Board and
the joint CIO/CSSO/Academic Senate Basic Skills proposal included with this agenda item.

Furthermore, through recent strategic planning discussions, the system has already placed high
priority on improving basic skills programs with the goal to ensure successful student completion
of remedial/developmental courses needed prior to enrollment in courses meeting minimum
requirements for the associate degree.         Through on-going strategic planning efforts,
implementation of any programmatic improvements will be examined and supported.




1
  Issues and Options for Associate Degree Levels in Mathematics and English, Academic Senate, 2005, available at
http//www.academicsenate.cc.ca.us/Events/sessions/spring05/materials/AppendixB.doc.)


Title 5 Regulations: Minimum Requirements for the Associate Degree
                                                                                       Item 7.1        3


Analysis
The Recommendation to Change Regulation

This item proposes changes in title 5 regulations, section 55806:

This section requires a demonstration of competence in written expression and mathematics in
order to receive an associate degree from a California community college. Currently colleges
determine this minimum competence by using section 55805 and the related language in
section 55805.5 that specifies which courses in English and math are eligible for degree
applicable credit. The proposed changes to section 55806 insert the following new language to
directly specify the minimum requirements to achieve competence in written expression and
mathematics.

   1. Competence in written expression shall be demonstrated by obtaining a satisfactory grade
      in an English course at the level of English 1A or another English course at the same
      level and with the same rigor.

   2. Competence in mathematics shall be demonstrated by obtaining a satisfactory grade in a
      mathematics course at the level of Intermediate Algebra or another mathematics course at
      the same level and with the same rigor and with Elementary Algebra as a prerequisite.

   3. Existing testing options apply to each of these competencies. Students may demonstrate
      competency by completing an assessment conducted pursuant to subchapter 6 of this
      chapter (commencing with section 55500) and achieving a score comparable to
      satisfactory completion of the specified course.

   4. Existing regulation language regarding alternative courses (section 55805.5 (e)) applies
      to these new competencies. These competency requirements may be met through
      satisfactory completion of English and mathematics courses taught in or on behalf of
      other departments and that require entrance skills equivalent to those for English 1A and
      intermediate algebra respectively.

The effect of the changes will be to raise statewide minimum graduation competency
requirements by one course level from existing statewide minimum standards.

The new language does not change the current regulations regarding courses applicable for
degree credit (section 55805.5).

The new language does not change the current ability of colleges to set local requirements that
exceed the state minimum.




                                       Title 5 Regulations: Minimum Requirements for the Associate Degree
4       Item 7.1


The Reasons

The Academic Senate recommendation to increase the minimum mathematics and English
requirement is based on economic and academic data and arguments. Economic considerations
are at the personal, state, national and global levels.

At the personal level economic studies show two scenarios:

    1. People with “high school level” skills face real wage decline (both historically and
       projected for the future), and the size of the available workforce exceeds the job demand.

    2. People with “college level skills” enjoy real wage increases and an excess of available
       jobs over worker supply2.

The preferred choice is obvious. While the meaning of “college level” varies in different studies,
the current minimum math and English skills required for California community college
associate degrees do not meet this standard.

On an increasingly global stage, leaders from President Bush on down repeatedly call for
improved mathematics and English skills (and occasionally communication and science as well).
Local employers repeatedly make the same request. Failure to act will leave California and the
nation with a surfeit of lower-skilled workers in low-wage jobs. The results will be a decline of
tax revenue and federal, state and local services that are so important to a vibrant and
competitive economy.

The academic perspective involves the relationship of the California Community Colleges to
other parts of public education in California – K-12, CSU and UC. In the past decade the
California public has expressed considerable concern about both the standards and the
achievement levels of the K-12 system. Extensive new framework documents were completed
with the explicit intent of raising standards in mathematics and English. The high school
mathematics framework states:

        Students must complete at least two courses in mathematics in grades nine
        through twelve (one or a combination of these courses must meet or exceed
        the rigor of the content standards for Algebra I)3.

The high school language arts framework states:

        Strong emphasis on research-based discourse (writing and delivering research-
        based compositions and oral presentations and reading research discourse
        critically)4.


2
  Congressman Gunderson presentation to FACCC conference, 2005. Available at
http://www.faccc.org/research/workshop/conf/2005/GundersonPresentation.pdf
3
  Mathematics Framework for California Public Schools, 2006. Available at
http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/ma/cf/documents/math-front-intro.pdf


Title 5 Regulations: Minimum Requirements for the Associate Degree
                                                                                            Item 7.1        5



This means that the math and English skills identified in the high school frameworks are the
same level as the minimum currently required by our colleges for receipt of an associate degree
– a degree that certifies that a person has the general education skills achieved after leaving high
school and after completion of two years of higher education. This is a significant mismatch
that doesn’t fulfill the public’s expectations for those who earn an associate degree.

Fiscal Impact

Fiscal impact will be minimal in that steps are being taken already to address curriculum
preparation, a task typically undertaken by full-time faculty at the colleges. Also some
discussion has been conducted regarding the changes that will need to be made in college
catalogs, following the established catalog preparation cycle.

The Title 5 Language

The proposed changes to title 5, section 55806, are shown in Appendix A.



Recommended Action
The Board of Governors approve the recommended changes to title 5, section 55806, minimum
graduation requirements in English and mathematics for the award of a California Community
College Associate degree.




4
 Reading Language Arts Framework for California Public Schools, 1999. Available at
http://www.cde.ca.gov/re/pn/fd/documents/lang-arts.pdf


                                            Title 5 Regulations: Minimum Requirements for the Associate Degree
                                     APPENDIX A

                  Proposed Revisions to Title 5 Regulations
         Related to Minimum requirements for the Associate Degree
1.   Section 55806 of subchapter 10 of chapter 6 of division 6 of title 5 of the California Code
     of Regulations is amended to read:

     §55806. Minimum Requirements for the Associate Degree.

           The governing board of a community college district shall confer the degree of
     associate in arts or associate in science upon a student who has demonstrated competence
     in reading, in written expression, and in mathematics, and who has satisfactorily
     completed at least 60 semester units or 90 quarter units of college work. "College work"
     is defined as college credit courses acceptable toward the associate degree which have
     been properly approved pursuant to section 55002(a), or those courses that were not
     completed at a California community college district that would reasonably be expected
     to meet the standards of section 55002(a) if they were offered by a California community
     college district.
           Effective for all students admitted to a community college for the Fall 2008 term or
     any term thereafter, competence in written expression shall be demonstrated by obtaining
     a satisfactory grade in an English course at the level of the course typically known as
     English 1A (either English 1A or another English course at the same level and with the
     same rigor, approved locally) or by completing an assessment conducted pursuant to
     subchapter 6 of this chapter (commencing with section 55500) and achieving a score
     determined to be comparable to satisfactory completion of the specified English course.
     Satisfactory completion of an English course at the level of English 1A shall satisfy both
     this competency requirement and the coursework requirement set forth in subdivision
     (b)(1)(D)(i) of this section.
           Effective for all students admitted to a community college for the Fall 2008 term or
     any term thereafter, competence in mathematics shall be demonstrated by obtaining a
     satisfactory grade in a mathematics course at the level of the course typically known as
     intermediate algebra (either intermediate algebra or another mathematics course at the
     same level, with the same rigor and with elementary algebra as a prerequisite, approved
     locally) or by completing an assessment conducted pursuant to subchapter 6 of this
     chapter (commencing with section 55500) and achieving a score determined to be
     comparable to satisfactory completion of the specified mathematics course. Satisfactory
     completion of a mathematics course at the level of intermediate algebra shall satisfy both
     this competency requirement and the coursework requirement set forth in subdivision
     (b)(1)(D)(ii) of this section.
           The competency requirements for written expression and mathematics may also be
     met by obtaining a satisfactory grade in courses in English and mathematics taught in or
     on behalf of other departments and which, as determined by the local governing board,
     require entrance skills at a level equivalent to those necessary for English 1A and
     intermediate algebra respectively. Requirements for demonstrating competency in
     reading shall be locally determined.
2       Appendix A–Item 7.1


              This The required 60 semester or 90 quarter units of course work requirement must
        be fulfilled in a curriculum accepted toward the degree by a college within the district (as
        shown in its catalog). It must include at least 18 semester or 27 quarter units in general
        education and at least 18 semester or 27 quarter units in a major as prescribed in this
        section. Of the total required units, at least 12 semester or 18 quarter units must be
        completed in residence at the college granting the degree. Exceptions to residence
        requirements for the associate degree may be made by the governing board when it
        determines that an injustice or undue hardship would be placed on the student.
              (a) Major Requirements. At least 18 semester or 27 quarter units of study taken in a
        single discipline or related disciplines, as listed in the community colleges "Taxonomy of
        Programs," shall be required.
              (b) General Education Requirements.
              (1) Students receiving an associate degree shall complete a minimum of 18
        semester or 27 quarter units of general education, including a minimum of three semester
        or four quarter units in each of the areas (A), (B) and (C) and the same minimum in each
        part of (D). The remainder of the unit requirement is also to be selected from among
        these four divisions of learning or as determined by local option:
              (A) Natural Sciences. Courses in the natural sciences are those which examine the
        physical universe, its life forms, and its natural phenomena. To satisfy the general
        education requirement in natural sciences, a course shall be designed to help the student
        develop an appreciation and understanding of the scientific method, and encourage an
        understanding of the relationships between science and other human activities. This
        category would include introductory or integrative courses in astronomy, biology,
        chemistry, general physical science, geology, meteorology, oceanography, physical
        geography, physical anthropology, physics and other scientific disciplines.
              (B) Social and Behavioral Sciences. Courses in the social and behavioral sciences
        are those which focus on people as members of society. To satisfy the general education
        requirement in social and behavioral sciences, a course shall be designed to develop an
        awareness of the method of inquiry used by the social and behavioral sciences. It shall be
        designed to stimulate critical thinking about the ways people act and have acted in
        response to their societies and should promote appreciation of how societies and social
        subgroups operate. This category would include introductory or integrative survey
        courses in cultural anthropology, cultural geography, economics, history, political
        science, psychology, sociology and related disciplines.
              (C) Humanities. Courses in the humanities are those which study the cultural
        activities and artistic expressions of human beings. To satisfy the general education
        requirement in the humanities, a course shall be designed to help the student develop an
        awareness of the ways in which people throughout the ages and in different cultures have
        responded to themselves and the world around them in artistic and cultural creation and
        help the student develop aesthetic understanding and an ability to make value judgments.
        Such courses could include introductory or integrative courses in the arts, foreign
        languages, literature, philosophy, and religion.
              (D) Language and Rationality. Courses in language and rationality are those which
        develop for the student the principles and applications of language toward logical
        thought, clear and precise expression and critical evaluation of communication in
        whatever symbol system the student uses.



Title 5 Regulations: Minimum Requirements for the Associate Degree
                                                                 Appendix A–Item 7.1            3


      1. (i) English Composition. Courses fulfilling the written composition requirement
shall be designed to include both expository and argumentative writing.
      2. (ii) Communication and Analytical Thinking. Courses fulfilling the
communication and analytical thinking requirement include oral communication,
mathematics, logic, statistics, computer languages and programming, and related
disciplines.
      (2) While a course might satisfy more than one general education requirement, it
may not be counted more than once for these purposes. A course may be used to satisfy
both a general education requirement and a major requirement. Whether it may be
counted again for a different degree requirement is a matter for each college to determine.
Students may use the same course to meet a general education requirement for the
associate degree and to partially satisfy a general education requirement at the California
State University, if such course is accepted by that system to satisfy a general education
requirement.
      (3) Ethnic Studies will be offered in at least one of the required areas.
      (c) Except for revised competency requirements which apply to students admitted
for the Fall 2008 term or any term thereafter, all other The provisions of this section shall
be applicable to all students who enter a community college on or after July 1, 1983,
provided that a unless the governing board of a community college district may specify
specified an earlier implementation date pursuant to subdivision (b) of former section
55810.

Note: Authority cited: Sections 66700 and 70901, Education Code.                     Reference:
Sections 70901 and 70902, Education Code.




                                Title 5 Regulations: Minimum Requirements for the Associate Degree
                                      APPENDIX B
                              Academic Senate Resolutions

 Notice that in subsequent communication with Legal Affairs and Consultation Council, it was
  determined that section 55805.5 was not the appropriate place to make the desired change.
                    The current recommendation is to change section 55806.


S05 Resolution 9.01 Change the Current Title 5 Requirement for English

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges recommend to the
Board of Governors that the associate degree minimum requirement for English in title 5
§55805.5, be changed to read “an English course at the level of the course typically known as
1A, either English 1A or another English course at the same level and with the same rigor,
approved locally.”


S05 Resolution 9.02 Change the Current Title 5 Requirement for Mathematics

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges recommend to the
Board of Governors that the associate degree minimum requirement for mathematics in title 5
§55805.5, be changed to read “a mathematics course at the level of the course typically known as
intermediate algebra, either intermediate algebra or another mathematics course at the same
level, with the same rigor and with elementary algebra as a prerequisite, approved locally.”

				
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