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Academic Senate discusses changes to policy on overlapping enrollments and changing astronomy faculty qualifications

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The Academic Senate met on Tuesday, Nov. 6 to review proposed changes to the current policy of how EC handles overlapping student enrollments as well as changing the qualifications to be hired in the Astronomy department.

The changes proposed are for Board Policy 4226 (BP 4226) and Administrative Procedure 4226 (AP 4226) , both of which are simply rules that cover the circumstances in which a student may be allowed to enroll in classes that have overlapping time schedules or multiple different classes that are same course.

Vice President of Educational Policies Darcie McClelland said that the need for a change in BP and AP 4226 became noticeable during the spring semester, noting that both the EC faculty and the Board of Trustees were confused over the language in the section.

The rules were sent back to McClelland and the Educational Policies committee to be changed over the summer semester.

McClelland said “So what I want to stress here is that the content of this policy and procedure have not changed from what we approved in the spring. The only thing that has changed is that I’ve parceled out with different headings so that hopefully this time it is very clear what part of it deals with multiple enrollments and what part of it deals with overlapping enrollments and what the definitions of those are.”

Many Academic Senate members were concerned about AP 4226 specifically, citing the part of the procedure which states that a student can enroll in classes that have an overlapping schedule if they can find a way to make up time missed in either class. They were concerned that it implies that the instructor would be required to comply to a student’s method of making up missed time.

President of the Academic Senate Kristie Daniel-DiGregorio said that “Our (EC) escape clause is ‘An appropriate district official approves the schedule'”, citing the text of AP 4226 which lists the requirements the student must meet.

DiGregorio said the Academic Senate would vote on these changes in their next meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 20.

The Academic Senate also discussed lowering the minimum qualifications needed to apply for a position in the astronomy faculty.

Currently the astronomy department follows the state qualifications for astronomy. The department wants to instead change their minimum requirements to the Chancellor’s minimum qualifications for astronomy and physics to “widen the net,” said DiGregorio.

Professor of astronomy Shimonee Kadakia told the Academic Senate, “What happened was we wanted to hire some part-timers over the summer and we sent out the job opening and we actually received about 5 people who applied. But none of them met the minimum qualifications.”

DiGregorio said the changes to qualifications would apply to both part-time and full-time faculty that apply in the future, not current faculty members.

Kadakia stressed the need for these changes, “Some of them taught astronomy for years at other community colleges, but we still couldn’t even get them in the door here. As a result, we had to cancel our summer courses.”

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Academic Senate discusses changes to policy on overlapping enrollments and changing astronomy faculty qualifications