This letter provides another one...
April 14, 2014
Coast Community College District
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Dear Board of Trustees, Coast Administration, Faculty, Students, and the immediate community
served by the CCCD:
We, the chairs and co-chairs, of the English as a Second Language (ESL) departments of the three CCCD colleges, Coastline, Orange Coast College (OCC), and Golden West College (GWC), would like to reply to and address the concerns related to our departments in relation to the proposal to be discussed by the Board of Trustees on Wednesday, April 16, 2014. The proposal, “Community Services Considerations and Recommendations,” outlines a plan to outsource all ESL courses more than two levels below English 100 to local K-12 Adult Education programs. As we understand the Ed code policies, this proposal would be not only devastating to the second language students of the Coast District but would also be illegal:
SB 1456 (2012) Section 8/78213 a.3: Assessment instruments shall not be used to exclude students from admission to community colleges.
While we understand that it would be ideal to have students who place two levels below Freshman Composition (English 100) in order to guarantee higher numbers of students succeeding in Freshman Comp and/or other college-level classes, the reality is that the majority of second-language students need more levels of ESL:
Although international students may have a TOEFL score of 500, many still place below the desired two levels below English 100. Additionally, students who come from intensive language schools with whom we have agreements also place below the two levels.
Lastly, we have international students who have graduated from American (mostly private) high schools who face the same situation. International students would not want to spend years in intensive language schools, and their parents would not want to have to bear this expense. If this proposal were put into effect, our District would lose a substantial amount of revenue generated by international student fees.
Coastline receives from $79,000 to $100,000 per year (depending on enrollment) in Title II funds
to supplement their ESL courses. This funding is only available for beginning-level non-credit ESL courses. The college would not want to lose this funding. District-wide FTES apportionment for ESL courses more than two levels below transfer also needs to be taken into consideration. Coastline, for example, earned 652 FTES for 2012-13. At $4,500 per FTES, this represents $2,934,000 in apportionment. The courses at Coastline’s highest level, two levels below transfer, would account for a very small portion of this income.Resident students (members of the community) rely on financial aid—which cannot be used for community education courses-- for their ESL courses. Financial aid used for ESL courses (up to 30 units) does not count toward Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). The District would not only be providing a disservice to these students but would also be missing out on a sorely needed source of revenue.
The California Academic Senate’s 2010 recommendation states that “Course reductions in
transfer, basic skills, or career technical education courses or programs should occur only after
collegial consultation with the local academic senate as defined in Title 5.” All the ESL courses in the CCCD fall under the Basic Skills category.
According to the Student Success Initiative, students who need remediation through basic skills
should have access to those courses, starting with their first year of college. The 110 unit cap on
transfer/degree units does not count basic skill or ESL units. Clearly, much thought has been put into the above mentioned proposal. Nevertheless, it is imperative to check legalities regarding the Ed Code, as well as issues related to the ACCJC and other Accreditation issues. Faculty members who served on the committee charged with making recommendations for this project specified that it should not destroy any part of any existing academic program within the district. This recommendation was not honored. Above all, we need to provide a pedagogically sound program for ESL students in the district. The Huntington Beach Adult Education program, for example, receives a large portion of its funding from WIA Title II grants. Funding is based on pre-post test gains on the CASAS test, which assesses proficiency in “Life Skills” ESL (for shopping, banking, driving, and other functions needed for survival in the community). The ESL programs at OCC, GWC, and CCC focus on academic reading, writing, speaking, and note-taking skills needed for success in college.
The AB 86 task force is responsible for determining (over time, in a thoughtful way) the optimal
relationship between K-12 Adult Education ESL programs in our community and our college ESL
programs and the functions each should have in order to offer the best possible education for our
students. We respectfully request that you allow this process to go forward as planned.
We welcome the opportunity to discuss these matters with all of you.
Academic Senate Members
(I haven't included names here)
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