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1 Digest Attachment 3 GIF89add -½ëÝÏîðèöñðÿûôÿ Title: Title 5 Regulations: Minimum English and Mathematics Requirements for the Awarding of the Associate Degree C O N S U L T A T I O N Date: January 9, 2005 Contact: Ian Walton, President, Academic Senate, (916) Issue This item recommends changes to the title 5, California Code of Regulations, minimum requirements in English and mathematics for the awarding of a California community college associate degree. The two primary reasons are to ensure that the mathematics and English skills of associate degree holders are above the comparable skills of high school graduates, and to respond to calls of employers, both in California and nationwide, to improve the mathematics and English skills of workers as we compete in the global economy. These changes will enhance the value of the associate degree to students, employers and in the eyes of the California public. This proposed change in graduation requirements is an academic and professional matter and is being recommended by the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (Academic Senate) 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 states further that in such matters the advice and judgment of the Academic Senate will be primarily relied upon. This recommendation is not made lightly. It follows over four years of information, hearings and debate by the Academic Senate and local academic senates and affirmative votes at the Academic Senate s Spring 2005 Plenary Session. It is important to realize that mandatory statewide minimum requirements already exist. This proposal recommends that they be adjusted to a level more appropriate for the current economic and educational environment in California. Background to Current Minimum Requirements in Code and Regulation Current associate degree requirements in mathematics and English are guided at the statewide level by a variety of Education Code and title 5 sections. Additional specific details are set by local Boards of Trustees. Education Code section requires the Board of Governors to set minimum requirements for graduation. Section (b) (1) (A): The board of governors shall establish minimum standards as required by law, including but not limited to, Minimum standards to govern student academic standards relating to graduation requirements.

2 Education Code section then requires local Boards of Trustees to adopt graduation requirements that include the Board of Governors statewide minimum standards. Section (b) (3): The governing board of each community college district shall Establish academic standards, probation and dismissal policies, and graduation requirements not inconsistent with the minimum standards adopted by the board of governors. Title 5 Regulations implement these two Education Code sections in several different and complementary places. Title 5, section 55805(a), presents the philosophy that underlies the associate degree: (a) The governing board of a community college district shall adopt policy which states its specific philosophy on General Education. In developing this policy governing boards shall consider the following policy of the Board of Governors: The awarding of an Associate Degree is intended to represent more than an accumulation of units. It is to symbolize a successful attempt on the part of the college to lead students through patterns of learning experiences designed to develop certain capabilities and insights. Among these are the ability to think and to communicate clearly and effectively both orally and in writing; to use mathematics; to understand the modes of inquiry of the major disciplines; to be aware of other cultures and times; to achieve insights gained through experience in thinking about ethical problems; and to develop the capacity for self-understanding. In addition to these accomplishments, the student shall possess sufficient depth in some field of knowledge to contribute to lifetime interest. Central to an Associate Degree, General Education is designed to introduce students to the variety of means through which people comprehend the modern world. It reflects the conviction of colleges that those who receive their degrees must possess in common certain basic principles, concepts and methodologies both unique to and shared by the various disciplines. College educated persons must be able to use this knowledge when evaluating and appreciating the physical environment, the culture, and the society in which they live. Most importantly, General Education should lead to better self-understanding.... For many years, faculty have discussed how best to fulfill the goals laid out in this philosophy. In particular, and of most relevance here, faculty have questioned, discussed, and debated the level of English and mathematics needed to foster the ability to think and to communicate clearly and effectively both orally and in writing; [and] to use mathematics. The current requirements are more explicitly stated in three additional ways in title 5. First, the level of a mathematics or English course that is applicable as course credit towards an associate degree is specified in title 5, section : 2

3 The criteria established by the governing board of a community college district to implement its philosophy on the associate degree shall permit only courses that conform to the standards specified in section 55002(a) and that fall into the following categories to be offered for associate degree credit: (a) All lower division courses accepted toward the baccalaureate degree by the California State University or University of California or designed to be offered for transfer.(b) Courses that apply to the major in non-baccalaureate occupational fields.(c) English courses not more than one level below the first transfer level composition course, typically known as English 1A. Each student may count only one such course as credit toward the associate degree. (d) All mathematics courses above and including Elementary Algebra. (e) Credit 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 the courses specified in subsections (c) and (d) above. Second, title 5, section 55806, specifies that before receiving an associate degree, students must demonstrate: competence in reading, in written expression, and in mathematics And third, Title , in language addressing general education, requires that students must take a minimum of three semester or four quarter units in each of the following areas: (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. 1. English Composition. Courses fulfilling the written composition requirement shall be designed to include both expository and argumentative writing. 2. 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.... Early discussion considered proposing changes in this third area. This idea was rejected because colleges currently implement their English and math requirements using the second competency language above. At the local level, college academic senates implement the above title 5 Regulations by recommending for adoption by the local Board of Trustees, specific course requirements to meet 3

4 the mathematics and English competency requirements. Each college has the option to require local competencies at or above the mandated statewide minimum. This has resulted in inconsistent competency requirements throughout the state. The Academic Senate Debate Since graduation requirements are an academic and professional matter, faculty recommendations in this area are made through the Academic Senate and local college academic senates. Faculty increasingly felt that the current requirements were inadequate and argued for raising them. In Fall 2001, prompted by the adoption of Resolution 9.05, the Academic Senate embarked on a formal examination of the mathematics and English requirements needed for the associate degree. (See Appendix A for complete text of related resolutions.) It was clear from the beginning that faculty opinions about the appropriate associate degree requirements for mathematics and English were strong. Within a short time, the specifics of any changes to title 5 focused on single-level increases to the 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. Intermediate algebra, however, is not accepted for transfer credit at either CSU or UC. The Academic Senate offered public forums for discussion and debate on the topic at plenary session breakouts and faculty institutes from Fall 2002 to Fall In addition, the Senate held two colloquia, one in Glendale and one in Oakland, in Spring 2004, as part of an effort to collect information that would be incorporated into a white paper on the issue. Informational breakouts were also held at CIO and CCCAOE 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 impacts on students already at risk. Other opponents of change argued that colleges already had the option of raising associate degree requirements locally, providing an opportunity to address local needs, but supporters of change pointed to confusion caused by inconsistent degree requirements. In Fall 2004, the Academic Senate distributed its white paper on the topic, Issues and Options for Associate Degree Levels In Mathematics and English (available on the Academic Senate website at The paper provided general background information and stimulated widespread local academic senate discussions of the issue. Some systemwide data from the System Office was included, but conclusive data was not available from colleges that had already raised their local requirements. 4

5 The decision to recommend an increase in the minimum mathematics and English requirements was made at the Spring 2005 Plenary Session, where the faculty passed resolutions 9.01 and (See Appendix A.) Prior to this, at the Fall 2004 Plenary Session, faculty had recommended that alternative courses be developed that would meet the raised requirements 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. (See Appendix A.) Academic Senate Proposal The Academic Senate s proposal therefore consists of the following parts: 1) The statewide minimum requirement in mathematics and English to receive an associate degree from any California community college should be raised by one course level from the existing statewide minimum. The two primary reasons are to ensure that the mathematics and English skills of associate degree holders are above the comparable skills of high school graduates and to respond to calls of employers, both in California and nationwide, to improve the mathematics and English skills of workers as we compete in the global economy. 2) Mathematics and English courses at the current minimum levels should continue to be degree applicable as elective credit towards the associate degree. This permits students to count the lower level courses as unit credit towards their degrees, while eventually achieving the higher requirement. Fall 2005 Plenary Session Resolution 9.03 emphasized that this was indeed the intent of the faculty. 3) Colleges should develop alternative courses at the new required level. In mathematics an appropriate alternative course might be a liberal arts mathematics course at the intermediate algebra level or a course oriented to a specific vocational area that incorporates suitable selections of algebra, geometry, trigonometry and statistics. In English an appropriate alternative course might be a technical writing composition course targeted at specific vocational areas. Students intending to transfer would continue to take the traditional courses, but other students might find the alternatives better suited to their fields of study for the associate degree. 4) Colleges should examine such student support services as counseling and tutoring to ensure that students have adequate assistance in meeting the new requirements. While supporting the raised requirements, faculty made it clear that the requirements must not become a barrier to student success. Student support services such as counseling, learning resources, tutoring and faculty office hours might need to be reconfigured to ensure that appropriate help is available to students as they achieve the higher standards. College implementation should include discussion of these services in addition to discussion of alternative courses. 5

6 5) The System Office should consider hold-harmless provisions in accountability measures that involve comparisons of the number of associate degrees granted by a college. CEOs and CIOs have commented that careless use of accountability measures involving the number of degrees awarded by a college might present a distorted picture of institutional success. Title 5 Language to Implement Proposal After the Spring 2005 approval of the two Academic Senate resolutions regarding requirements in mathematics and English, an unintended consequence of implementing the exact wording of the resolutions was discovered. Such wording would indeed change the requirements in mathematics and English for the awarding of the associate degree; however, the wording would also change the degree-applicability of elementary algebra and English classes one level below English 1A. Discussions with faculty after the passage of the resolutions showed there was no desire to change the degree-applicability status of courses, regardless of how the faculty voted regarding the change in requirements for the associate degree. Faculty indicated that maintaining degree-applicability for elementary algebra and English classes one level below English 1A allowed students to use these courses for other requirements towards the associate degree. At the Fall 2005 Plenary Session of the Academic Senate, this position of the faculty was confirmed by the passage of Resolution Therefore, there are two possible courses of action for implementation. Option 1 Recommended Change the language in title 5, section 55806, regarding competence in written expression and mathematics. This would change the level of statewide requirements in English and mathematics for the awarding of an associate degree. It would leave course applicability unchanged for elementary algebra and English classes one level below English 1A. This competency language is the way English and mathematics requirements are currently implemented in college catalogs. Detailed Language Section of Subchapter 10 of Chapter 6 of Division 6 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations is amended to read: Minimum Requirements for the Associate Degree (Applicable July 1, 1983). 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. 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 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 6

7 to subchapter 6 of this chapter (commencing with 55500) and achieving a score determined to be comparable to satisfactory completion of the specified English course. 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 55500) and achieving a score determined to be comparable to satisfactory completion of the specified mathematics course. The competency course requirements may 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. The 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 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 Option 2 Not Recommended Change the language in title 5, section , regarding courses applicable to the associate degree. This would change both degree requirements and course applicability. This is not the intent of the faculty recommendation. Detailed Language Section of Subchapter 10 of Chapter 6 of Division 6 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations is amended to read: Types of Courses Appropriate to the Associate Degree. The criteria established by the governing board of a community college district to implement its philosophy on the associate degree shall permit only courses that conform to the standards specified in section 55002(a) and that fall into the following categories to be offered for associate degree credit: (a) All lower division courses accepted toward the baccalaureate degree by the California State University or University of California or designed to be offered for transfer. (b) Courses that apply to the major in non-baccalaureate occupational fields. (c) English courses not more than one level below the first transfer level composition course, typically known as English 1A. 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. Each student may count only one such course as credit toward the associate degree. 7

8 (d) All mathematics courses above and including Elementary Algebra 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. (e) Credit 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 the courses specified in subsections (c) and (d) above. Recommendation The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges recommends that the Consultation Council: 1) forward Option 1 as the Academic Senate recommendation to the Chancellor for consideration by Board of Governors to amend title 5 to raise the associate degree minimum requirements in mathematics and English; 2) urge local colleges to create alternative mathematics and English courses at the appropriate level; 3) urge local colleges to ensure that appropriate student support services are available; 4) urge the Chancellor to adjust accountability measurements to take account of the increased requirements for associate degrees. 8

9 APPENDIX A Academic Senate Resolutions F01 Resolution 9.05 Title 5 Associate Degree Requirements Whereas, Title allows fulfillment of mathematics and English Associate Degree requirements with high school level mathematics and English courses; Whereas, English and mathematics faculty wish to examine and discuss possible changes to the relevant Title 5 language; Whereas, The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges is the body responsible for recommending such changes; and Whereas, Every other discipline requirement for the associate degree is a collegiate level transfer course; Resolved, That the Academic Senate plan a breakout session for the Spring 2002 Plenary Session to discuss changing the Title 5 language to include only collegiate level transferable mathematics and English courses to fulfill associate degree requirements for mathematics and English. F04 Resolution 9.03 Appropriate Support for Changes in Title 5 Requirements Whereas, The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges is considering resolutions to raise the associate degree minimum requirements in English and mathematics; and Whereas, The Executive Committee framing document Issues and Options for Associate Degree Levels in Mathematics and English includes considerable discussion of alternative course content; Resolved, That, in the event of a recommendation to raise associate degree minimum requirements in English and/or mathematics, the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges encourage local senates to work with their faculty and their curriculum committees to develop alternative courses at the appropriate level, as needed; and Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges encourage local senates to work with their administrations to provide adequate counseling, learning resources and support services to ensure that the new requirements do not become barriers to student success. 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 , 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 9

10 Board of Governors that the associate degree minimum requirement for mathematics in Title , 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. F05 Resolution 9.03 Clarifications on Math and English Recommendations Whereas, Technical difficulties with implementation of the Spring 2005 resolutions on mathematics and English requirements for associate degrees require clarifications to confirm the original intent; Whereas, The original section to be changed included provisions to include alternative courses fulfilling the same requirements; Whereas, Previous Academic Senate resolutions may have left some doubt about the Senate s position on the AA/AS applicability of certain courses; and Whereas, Cutting current courses from AA/AS credit would have an unduly negative impact on students; Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges ensure that the same breadth of alternatives to specific courses originally agreed upon be included in any changes to Title 5 requirements for the AA/AS degree; and Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges make clear its continued support for the AA/AS applicability of mathematics courses at or above the level of elementary algebra and English courses no more than one level below the level commonly known as English 1A. 10

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