By Juan Calvillo
East Los Angeles College’sacademic senate met Nov. 26 to discuss the hiring of additional faculty and class scheduling.
An item addressed was a new program set to standardize class scheduling school-wide.
Earlier this year, Dean Michelle Cheang from the South Gate campussaid that she was working on aproject to help create a more focused class schedule campus-wide.
She said that the project would be implemented in the spring, and atthe academic senate it was clarifiedto have a Fall semester proposed start.
In the creation of this new scheduling system, there were a couple of important factors that were kept in mind. The main reason for this update is to “minimize the overlap between patterns (times of classes) so that students can stay on the path of completion,” according to thesenate’s agenda packet.
“There’s not always consistencyfor all departments because classes come in all shapes and sizes,” Jeff Hernandez, president of the academic senate, said.
He said that there are many types of classes that range from two or three units offered multiple timesa week.
By addressing the class schedule and creating a more standardized one, one of the goals was to shorten the length of time students need tostay taking classes.
Currently there is a possibility that there is a gap in between chosenclasses in a student’s schedule.
“For some students this holds them up,” Hernandez said.
Sometimes is so bad that students end up not taking a required courseuntil the next semester it is offered.
“So the goal is to avoid thoseconflicts so that students can take the class they need, for the kind of degree or certificate program theyare trying to complete,” Hernandez said. This is opposed to adding extra semesters and wasting timetaking additional units they don’t really need.
This project came in front of the academic senate this Nov. 26 for a vote.
The senate voted to table the rollout of a trial for the proposednew schedule until proper tweakingcould be made.
In addition to this, an addendum was made to include studentfeedback for the change to thecurrent scheduling system.
The Associated Student Union would also be asked for feedbackon the changes that were being proposed.
Another item on the agenda for this meeting was the approval of a move by the Nursing Department to hire additional faculty positions.
The Nursing Department at ELAC has been running a bit thin on the faculty side for some time.
All the faculty including Lurelean Gaines, chair for the NursingDepartment, have to teach or workalongside students.
“When the state of California visited and they found that so manyof us are teaching, like myself and my two assistants, it’s an overload,”Gaines said.
Gaines purpose should be acting as the administrator of the department.
It was found not to be the case. Gaines said that her list of adjunctfaculty has been lacking and that usually these adjunct members were not vested in the futures of either the program or students.
She said that she needed consistentand invested individuals to make upthe difference.
Gaines said that the hiring committee told her that there was an issue with how the forms forthe additional hires was filled out,holding the process up, but once the committee understood that this was a mandate from the state, things changed.
“This is a mandate from thestate, because we are talking aboutapproval. See, they (the college) use the term accreditation. But the college is accredited. Nursing is approved by the state,” Gaines said.
Nursing Department asks for additional hiring
She said that currently, she is working alongside the administration to hire one additional faculty member for the spring semester, as well as bring someone in to work at the learning lab.
“With the change in presidents, people lose history. I didn’t lose it,” Gaines said.
The learning lab position had been cleared years ago but as time went on the administrations seemed to forget this detail.
She said that even a former chancellor told her, “No one told me, so it doesn’t exist.”
Four years ago, Gaines asked for four positions, and two were approved.
These two positions came in as limited and were then hired on, with one leaving just recently in July.
Gaines said that the hiring process sped up after consultants for the Board of Registered Nurses came to ELAC and spoke to students and faculty on campus.
The board listened to the studentsand told the administration to fill atleast one position immediately.
“So now with this president, it’sgoing to be filled. There’s a list I amwaiting for now, I asked for it last week, but I guess people were off on vacation. So I am still waiting for a response, which means I have to email, call, this is a B shift person that takes care of it. But I have a committee ready to role for Wednesday,” Gaines said.
She said that this is imperative because she has a report that she has to send to the nursing board on Dec. 20.
She said after getting this additional person, there are stilltwo spots left to fill, and that theacademic senate had recommended the move.
Gaines said that the positionsare looking to be filled by the fallsemester. She said that there was one thing that she wanted to stress about hiring these new faculty.
“We don’t need retirees on the job. We need people who are actively engaged and willing to be a part of making a difference in a community that has major need,” Gaines said.