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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Guided Pathways, misconceived notions

Pierce Academic Senate members voted to approve this year’s plan for the Guided Pathways program by March 30 or they will lose $1.8 million for funds, according to Vice President of Academic Affairs Sheri Berger.

During the Academic Senate meeting on Monday, members were concerned that they didn’t have enough time to discuss and make a decision about whether or not to vote on the Guided Pathways plan.

Professional Development Representative Maria Perser said the College Professional Development Department needs more staff.

“I was advocating for more staff because there is only one person in there right now,” Perser said. “We can not put together a comprehensive professional development program without fully staffing that office.”

Despite Perser’s concerns, the Academic Senate voted against using money from the budget to pay for the extra staff required by Guided Pathways. The senate suggests to get funds elsewhere.

Vice President of Curriculum Margarita Pillado said the senate did not have enough time to fully comprehend the plan.

“We have to make a decision at last second,” Pillado said. “If we make the wrong choice, we are constantly going to have to fight for reassigned times.”

Although the plan for Guided Pathways is already made, some senate members are relieved that the plans can be changed every year.

A decision was made to propose some changes to the wording. Senate members suggested to include student learning outcomes in the Guided Pathways program.

Another issue that the senate was concerned with was whether the college had a plan to evacuate the college if needed.

In a recent semesters, including just this month, the campus was evacuated due to wildfires and possible threats.

Treasurer Angela Belden wants there to be a uniform plan as soon as possible.

“With the possibility of a natural disaster or possible school threat, we need to have a plan to evacuate the school quickly,” Belden said. “Last time, it seemed liked some people didn’t even know the school was being evacuated.”

District Safety Manager William Ramirez, campus sheriff and administration met to discuss safety procedures. Administration is working to decrease the time of emergency evacuation while beating traffic, Berger said.

Berger also informed the senate that email and text templates were made and are ready to send in mass as precautions.

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