President Knight speaks with Academic Senate about developmental education resolution

President Brent Knight visited the Academic Senate during its Feb. 16 meeting to discuss the Board of Trustee’s developmental education resolution and answer questions.

He said the resolution, which the Board passed during its January meeting, originated largely with the Board and with him, as well as a “growing groundswell of support for improved student success from many at LCC.” The college plans to implement some changes this fall, and then more by fall 2019.

This fall, President Knight suggested the college establish boot camps to help bring students up to speed quickly. He recommended the boot camps be held at minimal charge to the students, and instead run at a net loss for the college. He asked employees to study boot camps at other colleges across the country, and the college to retain consultants as needed and pay for in-service for faculty teaching these intensive sections.

At the same time, President Knight asked the college to “begin a determined effort to study and design curricula” with embedded support. He stated he wants to start with college-level math, college-level writing, as well as a handful of other gateway college courses chosen by employees. While this will take more time to implement than the boot camps, he said he wants this enriched curricula ready by fall 2019.

President Knight said his overarching redesign goal is to be able to say to the public, “If you take one of these classes at LCC, you will have as good a chance of being successful when compared with any college or university in the nation. We stand by these classes and assure you that you are getting the best.”

One person asked if the Board’s intent was to eliminate developmental education, and President Knight said no. He said the intent is to embed support into classes so students can be more successful.

After the discussion with President Knight, senators and guests continued their small group discussions about how to implement changes to developmental education. Topics included college-level gateway courses and the intake process, default placement into college-level math and English, boot camps and embedded academic support, data, and continued remediation. All employees are welcome to contribute to this conversation by submitting their thoughts on the Senate’s website.

During the meeting, senators also rejected a charter for the Curriculum Committee. Senate leadership is continuing to discuss details of a charter for this important standing committee.

Center for Data Science Executive Director Matt Fall also provided the Senate with an update on the college’s Institutional Review Board, or IRB, which will begin meeting as an official body soon. An IRB is designed to prevent unethical treatment of humans in research studies. More training on what sort of work needs to go before the IRB and what type of project is exempt will be coming in the spring. The IRB webpage is still being built as the group begins its work, but you can learn more or submit a proposal at lcc.edu/cds/irb.

The Senate will next meet Friday, March 2, in the West Campus Auditorium. Everyone is welcome to attend.