Welcome to the Current Issues Page.
Below, you will find a series of issues that the Academic Senate has chosen to deliberate,
as well as relevant links for these issues. If you have additional information about
these or other topics of Senate concern, please email either of the Senate Co-Vice
Presidents, Lance Heard or Kelly Rivera.
On August 13, 2021, the Board of Trustees approved their Resolution 21-05 related to the current pandemic, mandating that all students taking in-person classes in Winter 2022 be vaccinated (with exemptions for religious and medical objections). Faculty continue to have concerns about their classroom environment under current protocols, which permit students to opt for weekly testing. In a recently approved resolution (with coincidentally identical numbering), the Academic Senate strongly urges the board to uphold their previous resolution, and to maintain both the public trust and a safe learning environment for students by following CDC and LA County public health guidelines and best practices.
The Racial Justice Task Force produced an extensive list of recommendations, including specific improvements to:
- faculty recuitment, hiring and evaluation
- teaching modalities
- mental health services
- campus events
- professional development
- student resources
- and more!
After extensive review of the available options for proctoring online exams, the Proctoring Work Group recommended shifting from Proctorio to Honorlock.
To offer our students increased flexibility during the COVID-19 pandemic, we changed the processes for Excused Withdrawal (EW) and Pass/No Pass (P/NP) grading options. These new processes were first applied for Spring 2020, but they have been continued through Spring 2021. Students with questions are encouraged to consult a counselor.
In light of the existing Mt. SAC Climate Action Plan, the Academic Senate considers it crucial to push for the college to divest from fossil fuel-related investment funds and assets. This recent resolution also encourages the board of trustees to conduct regular investment audits and report the results publicly in order to confirm the campus progress towards fossil fuel-free investment. For more details, see the resolution.
- Some courses in different disciplines will naturally overlap (for instance, biology and chemistry might both discuss molecular ion interactions), but courses should not overlap too much. Senate recently approved an updated process for appropriate consultation regarding course overlap.
- Because of AB705, it is important to recognize all equivalent courses when defining prerequisites and corequisites. If you use ENGL 68 or ENGL 1A as a requisite, see the updated guidelines on AMLA equivalents. Please incorporate these when revising Course Outlines of Record.
- Senate voted to continue COVID-era P/NP and EW policies for Summer 2021 and Fall 2021.
Faculty at Mt. SAC have the right to determine the mode of teaching their courses, whether lecture, case study, small group work, flipped classroom, etc. In the current online teaching environment, the Senate felt it was important to reaffirm this right as it relates to specific online teaching choices about structuring the classroom environment (for example, whether a class should be taught synchronously or asynchronously). Read the resolution for full details.
This week, the Senate gathered to discuss the incidences of racial violence against Asians and Asian Americans including recent and increasing rates of hate crimes in the country. This Resolution was passed in support and affirmation of Asian and Asian American students, staff, faculty, administrators, and communities to be treated with respect and dignity. The Senate maintains an advocate stance on providing a safe campus community and encourages ongoing reflection on the consequences of such actions.
To read more on Resolution 21-01, please visit this link.
As we approach the end of our first full semester online, faculty may find recent DLC recommendations for online proctoring, as well as camera use during synchronous assessments helpful. You can read these here:
The Senate Racial Justice Task Force has been actively seeking to address institutional racism on the Mt. SAC campus. Read their latest report here:
Fall 2020 Virtual Classrooms
This Fall 2020 semester, Mt. SAC is participating in providing a virtual education. The Senate has prepared a guideline for instructors teaching synchronously. Please see the attachment for more information on Guidelines for Synchronous Online Instruction.
Many departments choose to have an independent studies course and/or a special projects course (often given the course number 99), but these have frequently had different names and requirements in different departments. To improve clarity surrounding these courses, the Academic Senate approved new guidelines in Spring 2020.
Here are the recently approved guidelines for departments to use as they review their course offerings.
This week, the Senate Executive Board gathered to discuss propositions from the Community College Chancellor's Office regarding guidelines for EOPS Programs. Acting on behalf of the Full Senate, the Senate Executive Board passed Resolution 19-03 Opposing the Community College Chancellor's Office's Proposed Changes to the Implementing Guidelines for EOPS Programs. The Resolution was passed in support of several Mt. SAC students and administrators joining students and administrators of other institutions next week in Sacramento to advocate for more representative EOPS Program guidelines from the Community College Chancellor's Office, and more transparency in the decision making process.
To read more on Resolution 19-03, please visit this link.
With gaining concerns about the ways in which the Mt. San Antonio College commits to having a smaller environmental footprint and contributes to a more environmentally friendly campus, the Academic Senate approved Resolution 19-02 In Support for Actions to Ensure Implementation of the Climate Action Plan. The Senate recognizes the urgent need to implement standards already set in the Climate Action Plan, and urges that these standards come into effect.
Resolution 18-11: In Support of Our Transgender Students
Provided to the Mt. SAC Board of Trustees just yesterday, December 12, 2018, Resolution 18-11 In Support of Our Transgender Students highlights the Academic Senate's recommendation to support the safety and inclusivity
that the Mt. SAC Pride Center gives to LGBTQ+ students each day, despite recently
proposed changes from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to change the
already-accepted definition of gender in federal programs.
To read this resolution, please visit the following link.
Dual Enrollment Resurfaces
The Academic Senate shares the following articles in trying to assess DUAL ENROLLMENT practices by Mt. SAC.
- Contesting the Space Between High School and College in the Era of Dual-Enrollment, College Composition and Communication (Tinberg & Nadeau, June 2011)
- (Re)Envisioning the Divide: The Impact of College Courses on High School Students (Taczak & Thelin, September 2009)
- Early-College Programs Rethink High Expectations (Butrymowics, August 2010)
- Pasadena City College Program Suspended Over Who's Teaching It (Guzman-Lopez, February 2018)
- Findings From the Early College High School Initiative: A Look at Best Practices and Lessons Learned Regarding a Dual Enrollment Program (National High School Center, March 2007)
- For additional details on the history of Dual Enrollment at Mt. SAC, please visit "Previously on Dual Enrollment," here.