Academic senate discusses class availability during quarantine

By Melvin Bui

The executive meeting was held to discuss motions and to put together an agenda with a list of considerations and reminders for an upcoming meeting.

East Los Angeles College’s Academic Senate executives discussed future course execution and items that have occured during online transition due to COVID-19 on April 8.

The reminders were created to show instructors what type of logic was irrational for teaching.

The senate spoke about not offering a class if they aren’t able to meet student learning outcomes, or whether offering the classes is the right thing to do during the COVID-19 pandemic.

If courses are not offered, it can have a negative effect on a students program because of the inability to complete classes.
Completion of course objectives is key, so determining whether the class can be offered is questionable.

The Accrediting Commision for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) stated that if a college does not meet the Federal Title 4 Regulations, it will be required to reimburse financial aid money to the government.
The regulation is violated when a course isn’t being taught as a true online class. Federal Title 4 Regulations pertain to financial aid funds.

“The ACCJC is trying to be supportive during these times. It is attempting to build its processes within the state addendum process, so that it respects local processes in hopes that it will be reciprocated toward accreditation standards,” vice president of liberal arts and sciences Ruben Arenas said.

Not all classes of the same discipline can be taught with the same approach because they have different requirements.

“There’s going to be different considerations, in different situations in each of those. So putting them in categories, I can see how that would be expedient, but I don’t think it would account for the diversity of classes that are being offered in each of those categories,” ELAC Professor Julienne Bernard said.

Other Los Angeles community colleges have made the decision to have either synchronous or asynchronous teaching.

ELAC hasn’t made a decision on switching teaching approaches. This is to ensure students get the education that they signed up for and not something entirely different.

With classes going online Zoom is being heavily used, but there has been some issues that have come up.

Bullying has been prevalent in other Zoom meetings because of the private chat. The senate discussed removing the feature as a possible solution.

However, there was a unanimous decision to leave it in place so instructors can socialize and share files.

For the senate to vote, there must be a roll call for it to be in accordance with the Brown Act.

The roll call must be recorded, so the senate executives were trying to figure out an efficient way of voting for the upcoming meeting.

The voting for the past few meetings were not in accordance with the Brown Act because they were done by voice and raise of hands.

They also decided to reserve the chat for official business or raised hands, so that it can be monitored. In order to ask a question one must raise their hand, instead of chiming in while others are speaking.

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