Sacramento brings changes to Pierce College campus

Interim President for Pierce College Larry Buckley had a message for the Academic Senate regarding recent legislation and recent updates to implementing the new state measures.

“You might be old enough to remember the toy called ‘Weebles.’ ‘Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down,’” Buckley said. “Our foundation is fallen down.  It weebled and wobbled for a while and [now] we have to have some serious discussion about the future of our foundation.”

Buckley began with AB 2160, a legislation that requires community colleges and similar institutions to classify positions that have normally been held by unclassified workers.

“The board rejected the commission’s recommendations about staffing at the board meeting last Wednesday,”  Buckley said. “If we do not come up with a permanent staffing plan, there’s a possibility of our child development center and pools having to close as of July 1.”

Buckley also spoke on AB 302. The proposed bill would allow homeless students to sleep in their cars overnight.  According to Buckley, a preparatory plan is in development for the measure set to take effect by July of 2020. He also presented his plan for generating alternative revenue streams by utilizing facilities and equipment as rentals to increase school and program funding.

After Buckley finished, ASO Senator Brandon Le took over the mic for a few moments, discussing the plans for upcoming events.  According to Le, there will be a multicultural day hosted by the ASO on April 18, open to all students and faculty.

The senate then turned its attention to their listings for academic goals and discussed how to increase enrollment and transfer rates.  This conversation moved into a discussion of CTE and residency requirements among students.

Second Vice President of the Academic Senate and Modern Languages Department Chair Margarita Pillado said CTE and residency requirements are the amount of units a student’s program must be completed at a particular college to achieve residency, which means they can receive certificates or degrees from that institution.

“The board rule for the residency requirements is that a student must complete 20 percent of the total units for the major,” Pillado said, “and 20 percent for a certificate, to receive it from Pierce College.  It is a curriculum board rule, and we are aligned with the board.”

Students attempting to gain a certificate of skill or achievement, or an associate’s degree need to complete 20 percent of their units at the college they receive the award from.  That means that students attempting to utilize multiple campuses, even in the same district, will have to be more careful about how many units they split among different institutions.

As the meeting drew to a close Pierce College Outcomes Coordinator Jennifer Moses chose to step down from her position, for reasons related to workload and compensation.

“I told the administration I am unwilling to work for free,” Moses said.  “Because the current duties are commensurate with a 0.5 reassigned time, which is like half time, but the administration is only willing to pay 0.4 reassigned time, which would entail me working an extra hundred hours per semester for free…”

The veterinary technology department was also given a few minutes to voice their need for two more cats for their exams, which will include neutering, but will not harm the animals.

For more information on measures AB 302 and 2160, see website: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov and use the advanced search with the session year 2017-2018 to get accurate results.