For this question, you will use the case study attached of Chapter 6 Community College Leadership and Administration text. After reading the case study, which involves a collision of college policy and student language barriers, assume the role of the new model demonstration program coordinator in administrative studies. Your placement-test policy has been challenged and you must resolve the issue. In a post of 400 words, explain how you would approach the situation.
Chapter 6 Case Study
The chapter began with a review of the current status of faculty demographics, a preview of faculty preparation, and development programs, and concluded with the current status of faculty diversity and benefits of faculty diversification. The specific challenges and opportunities were discussed. The case study that follows chapter content contains many of the contextual elements of this chapter. In analyzing the case study, pay particular attention to how myths, perceptions, and misnomers about faculty, in general, can hinder the practice of leadership in the community college. Also consider how factual information on the status of faculty can lead to a credible resolution.
President & Superintendent Francisco Rodriguez Mira Costa Community College Oceanside, California
When Language and College Policies Collide
Lincoln Valley Community College (LVCC) offers a friendly, welcoming atmosphere where excellence is the standard, diversity is celebrated, and students come first. LVCC offers a vibrant intellectual environment with a multicultural student body of 20,000. The college serves a student ← 142 | 143 → population composed of 35 percent Hispanic/Latino, 20 percent Asian American, 15 percent African American, 2 percent Native American, 22 percent White, and 6 percent international students. The gender makeup of the campus is 60 percent female and 40 percent male. Despite its size, at LVCC commitment to providing a quality education remains a top priority. As such, students enjoy personalized attention from their professors with a faculty–student ratio of 18:1. LVCC is launching its first associate’s degree program in administration studies. The program is an interdisciplinary degree, a joint venture between the business and government departments. Students enrolled in the program can have a concentration in business/industry or in public affairs. Many entry-level employees have taken advantage of this program in order to meet new university employment requirements and to attain salary increases. The students seeking admission into the administration studies program are highly diverse in terms of race/ethnicity and gender, reflective of the campus student demographic makeup. The program is the first generalized administration program offered in the district. Its charge is to build the next cadre of visionary leaders. As a result, it has received a great deal of press, even being featured by local television stations. If successful, other district colleges will be offered an opportunity to launch similar programs in the coming years. This program is also unique in that it is the only academic program on campus that has its own placement test. Students who desire to enter the program must take one year of general education courses and pass the test to “officially” be granted formal admittance to the program. The content of the test was informed by core curricular areas (e.g., introduction to business, introduction to government) previously taken by students, and thus serves as a culminating exam to ensure students gained the knowledge necessary to be successful in the program. Statement of the Problem You are a tenure-track assistant professor at the college and have been given the opportunity to coordinate the program. This is your first administrative role and you hope that it can serve as a platform to transition into higher levels of academic affairs administration. As a new coordinator, ← 143 | 144 → you are striving to implement the placement test, which is scheduled to be administered in one week. The elements of the test include: (a) a timed written examination (students will be given 6 hours to complete an exam designed to be completed in a 3-hour period); (b) students choose in advance whether they will write an examination essay specific to their concentration of choice (e.g., business/industry or public affairs); (c) on-site lunch break allowed (students may bring their own lunch, however lunch will be provided); discussions of examination are prohibited during the break; (d) evaluation rubric shared with students prior to the examination; (e) eight faculty (three assistants, 2 associates, and three full-time faculty) will serve on the placement examination’s grading committee; each exam will be read by two faculty members; in the event that these two disagree on the outcome to be assigned, a committee consisting of you and the chairs of the business and government departments will render a final decision; and (f) possible outcomes are: (1) Pass or (2) Fail. If students fail, they must wait one full year to retake the examination. Michelle King is an older, returning student with a vast amount of practical experience in the field of administration. She is also an English Language Learner (ELL). Currently, she works at the college full time and is well respected by her peers. She has even received the staff member of the year award for her exemplary service to the college. However, due to new requirements for her post, which necessitate (at a minimum) an associate’s degree, she is concerned that she will receive a pink slip or be terminated if she does not meet this new requirement. Though she is not required to receive her degree in administration studies, her immediate supervisor has strongly recommended it. During her first year as a student, Michelle excelled in both her introductory to government and business courses. She is viewed by the faculty as a good student with a track record of getting straight A’s in her classes. Upon the completion of her first year of coursework, she has complained extensively about the fairness of the procedures relevant to the placement exam. This sentiment has intensified two weeks prior to the scheduled exam. She feels the timed element of the exam is unfair to ELL students and has been increasingly adamant about requesting that extra time be granted to ELL students. To further complicate matters, a considerable ← 144 | 145 → number of part-time faculty members support this demand; however, most tenured/tenure-track faculty do not. The college has a reputation for meeting the needs of its ELL students, and for many of the students seeking enrollment in the program, this was one of the primary reasons (focus on equity) they sought enrollment in the administration studies program. However, upon you seeking clarity and guidance from the chairs of the government and business departments, and even the provost, it was apparent that existing policies on equity are ambiguous, at best. Accommodations are mandated for disability students and no reference is made to accommodations for ELL students. As the program coordinator, how would you resolve this problem?