Faculty Senate discusses donation boxes

Jose Martinez

Wasting no time, right after opening the meeting with a pledge to the flag and introducing a couple of new members, the Faculty Senate got its hands on many issues.

Such issues inluded what future meetings need to be held, the new catastrophic disaster that recently happened in the Philippines and how the ASCC Senate is contributing.

The senators are helping out by carrying donation boxes around with them, and having a donation area were anybody can go donate things such as canned food, blankets, bottle water, etc.

But, the main issue discussed was the draft of the Student Success Plan. Building a successful life for Cerritos College students and making a better working environment for teachers and faculty staff, is what this plan is all about.

Introducing the Student Success Plan was Dr. Bryan Reece, the Interim Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences. Faculty Senate started the Agenda for Student Success in Fall 2006.

As time went by, the agenda grew to encompass several initiatives and a campus-wide scope. In Spring 2009, trustees called for a success plan. Soon after, the Student Success Taskforce was formed.

So far, the taskforce has been attended by more than 30 people with representation from faculty, staff and administration. There are many groups that have either contributed or are currently reviewing the plan such as:

  • SLO Committee
  • iFALCON Leadership Team
  • Developmental Education Committee and more.

“It’s not that the campus is dead, it is actually the contray to that,” Reece said.

He also explained how his new plan approach combines the two definitions of defining Student Success Models, which are either learning or achieving. 

Learning Models consist of focuses on concepts, content, knowledge, skill and values.

Achievement Models measure student’s success in terms of when they complete or progress through the programs of the college. 

“With our working definition, we could design a methodology for measuring student success,” Reece said.

Reece also stated that the truth was that a better learning environment needs to be created in order for students to succeed, this new learning environment should include:

  • Student Engagement,
  • Teaching Practices,
  • Student Services,
  • Academic Infrastructure and
  • Instructional Programs.

“One of our main goals is to establish an environment where improvement of our learning environment is continual and over,” he said.

Although his intentions are good, and he says things in such a wonderful way, the truth is that we do need to change.

We do not only need to introduce a 101 class for new students, but we need to make it a requirement, stated some of the staff members at the meeting. 

“Orientation should be mandatory, for I can testify that orientation helped me a lot,” said Joseph Silva, senator. 

Some of the teachers explained that 85 percent of new students are first-generation college students and they are so used to the high school culture, that for some of the teachers it’s hard to maintain their classes in session without any interruption. 

“You are trying to be kind and build us up, but we do have a student problem,” said Crystal Lo Vetere, earth science teacher.

Other professors also stated the fact that they knew that student success needs to come out of the student’s will, but that about 60% of student success is also thanks to the professors and faculty. 

“Change doesn’t occur if people don’t feel the need for change,” said Dr. Charlene Fobi, nursing teacher. 

Fobi suggested that if neither students nor teachers felt the need for change, then it was up to the Faculty Senate to make them feel that need.