Access, Achievement, Affordability, Community, and Equity in California's Community Colleges

A Petition to Ensure Access, Achievement, Affordability, Community, and Equity in California’s Community Colleges WHEREAS, California community colleges value and foster superior levels of educational participation and academic success for all students, specifically reaching out to and including all populations, and strive to provide an affordable and unparalleled learning experience in a supportive and caring environment that leads students to successfully complete their goals; and WHEREAS, the California community colleges are perceived positively by all Californians in opinion polls and student satisfaction surveys because Californians rely on their community colleges to be there for them whether they have become recently unemployed, need to improve their basic skills, retrain to enter a new career, advance in their current career, reenter the job market after raising a family, prepare for transfer to a university, have immigrated to the United States and need to learn English, have become newly disabled and need to learn how to adapt, are aging and need to learn techniques to prevent dementia and increase independence, are new parents needing to learn how best to care and nurture their family, are a second chance student hoping to learn how to participate positively in our society, or any California adult who needs and wants to become better educated; and WHEREAS, the California community colleges have developed a curriculum, teaching methodologies, and student service strategies that are specifically designed for the breadth and depth of needs and diversity of cultures, languages, ethnicities, educational backgrounds, economic backgrounds, ages, genders, creeds, nationalities, and goals of our students (as compared to the narrowly focused lower division studies pursued at universities for the sole purpose of earning a BA/BS degree) that include -open-entry/open-exit to accommodate working adults, -building expertise in disciplines that prepare students to directly enter the world of work or transfer to elite universities and conservatories, -a fee waiver policy based on need, -multiple assessments to enable a comprehensive and accurate assessment of educational need and placement, -enrollment policies the understand that most community college students are the working poor and provide students an opportunity to pursue part-time study, -understanding that community college students are pursuing a broad array of goals that are not limited to degrees and certificates, -a rejection of high stakes testing to measure success based on a standardized curriculum, -a commitment to facilitate the achievement of all students regardless of financial status and educational attainment; and WHEREAS, the California community colleges role in California public education is to reflect the values of the local community, to prepare students to enter the world of work both in the local and global job market, to prepare students to meet a national and international university standard, to provide the first opportunity for many students to attend school outside the bounds of their neighborhood and experience students from other backgrounds, and to develop an excitement for learning because of the rich curriculum developed to be specifically relevant to the community college student delivered in a supportive environment to increase their chance of success; and THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the petitioners support California community colleges continuing to outreach out to all people, especially to those communities that encounter barriers to education; develop sustainable campuses and sites to better serve students and neighborhoods; diversify and improve programs and services for the benefit of the entire community; build partnerships with public, private, and community-based agencies to better respond to educational, economic, environmental, and societal needs; foster the participation of our students and employees in community life; welcome students from around the world; and remain committed to lifelong educational opportunities for all as expertise and innovation is exchanged with colleagues around the state, the nation and the world; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the petitioners embrace the broad-based mission of the California community colleges and the fundamental role they play in the health and well-being of the State, its people, communities, and economy and thwart any attempt to narrow its role and mission or change its governance; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the petitioners are committed to keeping the dream of California’s 1960 Master Plan for Higher Education alive by keeping California’s community colleges open access institutions and to ensure that community college students have a real opportunity to transfer to UC and CSU by pursuing policies that continue to build on the fundamental principles of said Master Plan by focusing on increasing the number of transfer slots at UC and CSU for California community college students and the percentage of students who graduate with a BA/BS degree that come from a California community college; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the petitioners are committed to keeping the California community colleges public institutions accessible with low fees for all California residents regardless of educational goal, background or performance; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the petitioners support increasing revenues so that the California community colleges can fulfill the dreams and aspirations of all Californians; and BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the petitioners reject the proposals of the Student Success Task Force which ration access, limit achievement, destroy equity, and kick the community out of the community colleges.

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