Mar.-Apr. 2019 Advocate: Dual enrollment concerns being investigated


Concerns raised by dual enrollment faculty being investigated by AFT and Senates

In response to concerns raised by faculty teaching in or impacted by our district’s dual enrollment programs (see article in December 2018 Advocate), the AFT’s recently-formed Dual Enrollment Task Force, Cañada Academic Senate and the District Academic Senate have begun gathering information and investigating the issues voiced. (Dual enrollment programs, which are governed by AB 288, allow high school students to take college courses and earn both college and high school credit simultaneously.) The short list of concerns includes poor communications between our partnering colleges and high schools, missed opportunities for paid professional development due to overlapping academic calendars, inadequate working conditions, cumbersome enrollment processes, lack of student readiness, and more. That’s really only the beginning, with all signs pointing to hastily decided contracts that sought little or no faculty input.

AFT surveys dual enrollment faculty

On March 6, AFT emailed a detailed survey to faculty currently teaching dual enrollment classes, the majority of whom teach at high schools around the Peninsula. (If you received a survey, it’s not too late to respond! You’ll need about 15 minutes). While only a third of responses are in, initial results show widespread confusion by faculty about which rules to enforce — the high school’s or the college’s — and a serious lack of information being provided to dual enrollment faculty about special contracts or MOU’s that govern their off-site work.  The Advocate expects to report on the full survey results in the next issue.

Academic Senate study session

At a March 11th District Academic Senate study session, Aaron McVean, Vice Chancellor of Educational Services and Planning, presented at a discussion on the District’s various dual enrollment programs. The discussion was guided by Jeramy Wallace. The leadership raised a wide variety of questions and proposed a handbook be compiled. McVean emphasized that many of the programs were new and aspects needed to be worked out.

Training needed

They noted, among other things, the need for special training for dual enrollment faculty. Where training funding should originate is one issue of dispute. From comments made at the study session and elsewhere, administrators lean toward the argument that faculty (the majority of off-site teachers are adjuncts) should rely on professional development funds, since faculty who enlist in dual enrollment teaching arrangements do so optionally or by choice. Senate and AFT leadership will continue to stress that the District must take responsibility for training and associated costs, noting that, in reality, selected adjuncts whose courses may have been cut may not have alternative options other than teaching dual enrollment courses off-site.

The Academic Senates and AFT are continuing important discussions on the topic with a hopeful outcome a resolution and MOU aimed at improving working conditions for our dual enrollment faculty.

For more background on dual enrollment, see the January 9th Board Report by Aaron McVean on AB288