Meeting Summary Notes
February 13, 1997
Public Service Building
Judith Ramaley, Portland State University
Janine Allen, Portland State University
Jim Arnold, OSSHE Academic Affairs
Jim Buch, University of Oregon
Jon Carnahan, Linn-Benton Community College
Patsy Chester, Linn-Benton Community College
Martha Anne Dow, Oregon Institute of Technology
Dave Phillips, Clatsop Community College
Penny Wills, Portland Community College-Cascade
Elaine Yandle-Roth, Office of Community College Services
Ryan Deckert, Oregon House of Representatives, Education Committee
Bob Jenson, Oregon House of Representatives, Education Committee
The meeting was called to order by Judith Ramaley at 10:10 a.m.
1. Conversation with House Education Committee Members
Ramaley welcomed Representatives Jenson and Deckert to this meeting of the JBAC. After referring to the testimony offered to the House Education Committee on January 27 with regard to transfer issues, Ramaley invited the representatives to comment on their own perspectives. Rep. Jenson, a former faculty member at Blue Mountain Community College, expressed a fair amount of comfort with what is currently happening with regard to student transfer. In the early 1970s he believed that there were many problems for students transferring between community colleges and OSSHE institutions, and that significant progress has been made over the years. He believes the AA/OT is working well, but does not meet all students' needs; other legislators, however, do not necessarily share this view. Many problems are inherent in the transfer process, but the major problem is primarily one of communication with both students and parents. More care must be taken to inform legislators of realities of student transfer and to avoid "odious bills" which may attempt to "fix the problem." Rep. Jenson stated that he will be there to inform his peers of our progress in this area. Other legislators may get a negative comment or two from constituents about transfer issues and take that to mean there is a large problem in this area.
Rep. Deckert has not had the calls about transfer issues that others have had, but in approaching this issue, he asks: what is the obligation of the state here? Is our responsibility to be a clearinghouse of information on transfer courses that is readily accessible to all?
A JBAC member responded to the question by stating that there has been discussion of creating a massive, electronic course-transfer matrix which would include all community college and OSSHE courses. There a problems here, though, since regardless of the source of information, if a course is a transfer course, how does the course transfer? Does is transfer for baccalaureate credit? for general education credit? for credit in the student's major? Whenever we provide information like this to the public, caveats have to also be listed. Further, with regard to the clearinghouse concept, as more institutions put their articulation tables online, increasingly more information will be available.
Rep. Jenson indicated that he understood the complexities inherent in the transfer process, the differences between general education and majors courses, and, additionally, the ability of community colleges to "turn students on to education" so that their life plans change. In such cases, students may start thinking about earning a baccalaureate degree when initially their only intention was to pursue a much shorter training program on a community college campus. And some of the problem is that community college students are apt to be inexperienced and unprepared when it comes to navigating the institutional bureaucracies that they encounter in a transfer process. The only way we deal with this is to keep educating students and parents about these issues.
Other comments included:
· The bureaucracy created by HB 2387 would slow the transfer process down; we could spend more time solving 2387 problems than solving student problems. We would rather solve student problems, and the fact is OSSHE institutions and community colleges are working more closely together now than ever before.
· Many joint OSSHE-CC conversations have taken place about working together; we really are focusing on the student and what they can obtain from their educational experience.
· Students who attend community colleges with the goal of transferring to another campus experience the fewest problems; others who decide to transfer after taking other paths experience more problems. We have come a long way, though, in terms of easing their transition.
· Community college and OSSHE representatives are talking to each other regularly, articulation tables are available, electronic contact with advisors is taking place, and we are now generating data which illuminate some of the student "problems"--and increasingly, our data exchange efforts are able to demonstrate our successes (e.g., number of students transferring with the AA/OT).
· Recent developments include: the change of course numbering systems at some community colleges which has created periodic confusion about transferability of courses; course transfer tables available online to assist students and advisors in making good decisions; an update of the "Articulation Hotline" list; and community colleges working harder than ever to get information to students.
Ramaley expressed the hope that other legislators will attend JBAC meetings and ask questions regarding what is being done about transfer issues.
2. Meeting Summary Notes of January 9, 1997
The summary notes were approved unanimously.
3. Report of the OSSHE Solution Team
Martha Anne Dow reported on recent activity of the OSSHE Solution Team on Access/Transfer/Community Colleges. The last meeting was on January 15, a "flip chart session" where members divided into teams to discuss the issues of (1) credit acceptance, (2) comprehensive/collaborative student services, (3) developing access student strategies, and (4) communications. Issues discussed by the Solution Team correspond closely to the high priority items of the JBAC, such as hotlines, credit acceptance policies, credit for prior learning, ONE, etc. Some teams estimated dollar resources required and who might be assigned responsibility for implementation of recommendations.
In this discussion, the suggestion was made to develop a web site to describe and report on the work of the JBAC and the OSSHE Solution Team. Elements to be contained on the site would be such items as group membership lists, the JBAC workplan, meeting minutes, the Articulation Hotline list, links to transfer tables, etc. Members willing to work on this included Allen, Dow, Buch, Arnold, and Yandle-Roth; Dow volunteered the time of an OIT student to assist. Perhaps there is the possibility of demonstrating this at the next JBAC meeting and have legislators attend. This item should be inserted into the JBAC workplan.
The Solution Team's "Co-admissions Task Force" is being set up. This group will make suggestions about an infrastructure to support co-admissions efforts between community colleges and OSSHE institutions. The observation was made that this was a powerful response to the communications issues previously referred to. LBCC and OSU have seriously considered co-admissions possibilities.
As previously reported to the JBAC, a research group, through an analysis of transcripts, has identified 74 distinct enrollment patterns of students in the Portland area. Questions arising from these data include: are these patterns making sense educationally? why are there so many patterns? is this good for the student?
Discussion turned to issues related to PASS and PREP, given that any co-admissions processes would have to take proficiency-based systems into account. The opinion was expressed that the likely scenario for a co-admissions process is that PASS would become the entrance requirement.
The matter of providing incentives to enhance faculty communication between sectors was identified as a high priority. Of course, the question of financial support to bring faculty together is a large issue. When projects are important enough, though, resources can be found (as was the case for Academic Productivity projects in OSSHE).
An early March meeting of the Solution Team will be called; it is not yet known when a final report from the group will go to the Board. The suggestion was made that the Solution Team recommend securing funds so that faculty groups may be brought together (for discussions that can address issues related to course content, numbering and titles, and transferability).
4. Report of the Transfer Committee AA/OT Task Force
Yandle-Roth reported that this Task Force has yet to hold its first meeting (but will take place tomorrow preceding the Student Transfer Committee meeting). She has reviewed files going back to the initiation of the enabling legislation for the AA/OT, and the work of the Task Force will be to clarify the AA/OT's original purposes and explore related issues so that a letter may be written to all community college and OSSHE institutions by Ramaley on the behalf of the JBAC.
Other points made in the discussion included:
· Education and its application are converging. Intellectual complexity and task complexity need to both be recognized. HB 2387 gets in the way of proficiencies by focusing only on course-by-course considerations.
· Could we consider a faculty seminar that would address some of these ideas? A significant challenge to consider in these discussions is that faculty structure the requirements for a degree. Many are not willing to accept a "new model."
· Can we invite Bob Olson to JBAC to talk about proficiency systems?
· We need to get past the incredible power of the student credit hour (SCH) as an organizing framework--beyond SCHs as poker chips that one ultimately cashes in for a degree. It would be beneficial for all of us to start thinking of new and better models. We need to get core faculty involved in these discussions along with administrators. The SCH needs to be eliminated as the standard by which resources are distributed across campus. (Although accrediting bodies still work on the SCH framework.)
5. JBAC Workplan
Ramaley asked for suggestions for the workplan. Allen noted that some of the Solution Team ideas will fit into item "G".
Ramaley described the work of a Kellog commission on lifelong learning. This body is comprised of nine presidents who lead institutions with significant commitments to adult learners. The commission is in search of fresh perspectives on accommodations made for adult learners, and suggested that there may be excellent Oregon examples, such as our regional strategies of cooperation and collaboration between OSSHE institutions and community colleges. Members are urged to forward examples to Ramaley, including names of contact persons, within the next week.
7. Future Meetings
Ramaley made the suggestion that the JBAC schedule be structured to fit Carnahan's calendar after the March meeting. Arnold will check with Carnahan regarding possible meeting dates that do not conflict with the meetings of the community college presidents. Two-hour meetings are preferable. Salem would likely be a good location for the March meeting.
The meeting was adjourned at 12:00 noon.
Prepared by Jim Arnold
Office of Academic Affairs/OSSHE
February 28, 1997
Revised: March 5, 1997