Education Joint Boards Working Group
Room 236/4, Smith Memorial Center
Portland State University
July 19, 2000
Call to Order
Mr. Lussier called the meeting to order at 2 p.m.
On roll call, the following Working Group members answered present: Wayne Feller (alternate), Donnie Griffin, Jill Kirk, Jim Lussier, Susan Massey, Geri Richmond (via telephone), Tim Young
ODE/OUS Staff Present: Jim Arnold, Clark Brody, Shirley Clark, Betsy Costi, Joe Cox, Terri Johanson, Diane Vines, Lynda Rose, Joanne Urbigkeit, Holly Zanville
Others: Tom Cook, Dave Myton, Mary Kay Tetreault, Suwako Watanabe, Bob Willner
Approval of Minutes
Ms. Massey moved and Ms. Kirk seconded the motion to approve the November 19, 1999, Joint Boards Working Group minutes as submitted. The minutes were unanimously approved.
Responses to Partnership Criteria
Commissioner Preus-Braly distributed a letter addressed to Senator Tom Hartung that summarized campus responses to the partnership criteria outlined by the Joint Boards in late 1999. The letter also described performance to-date and goals and targets by participating partners. Ms. Preus-Braly noted that OIT and Klamath Community College were initially behind in their rising junior scholarships, resulting in a non-release of $52,000 by the Emergency Board, but the situation has been resolved.
Plan for 2001 Legislative Session
Indicating that the plan is to request further funding for the existing partnerships, Ms. Preus-Braly said that the Governor endorses these partnerships, but would not support additional or new funding in the next biennium.
Mr. Lussier inquired about the overall interest level by campuses for the partnerships. Ms. Preus-Braly said she recently visited all three partnerships and found there was a high interest level in the program. She pointed out the growth in the partnerships is exponential, particularly in southern Oregon. Chancellor Cox added that there were initially concerns at SOU that enrollment might dip due to the annexation of Jackson County with Rogue Community College, but the situation has turned around very quickly, indicating that stronger transfer numbers are now being realized.
Ms. Massey recalled the expectation by the Joint Boards that dependence on state money would ultimately diminish. The Chancellor said that some programs, given their size and fixed costs, would require some degree of continued state funding. Chancellor Cox added that part of the original charge of the partnerships was to focus on areas of the state where services are most needed, which tend to be less populous and more economically troubled. Ms. Preus-Braly said she believed that the one partnership that will continue to need funding beyond the Governor's three-biennium commitment will be between Eastern Oregon University and the two participating community colleges, Blue Mountain and Treasure Valley, which comprises the Eastern Oregon Collaborative Colleges Center (EOCCC). The Chancellor agreed with Ms. Preus-Braly's assessment.
In terms of next steps, Chancellor Cox suggested reviewing the status of all partnerships midway through the next biennium. Given the dividends of the experimental program, Mr. Griffin felt that the partnership successes should be publicly promoted, particularly to legislators. The Chancellor suggested that the information could be included in the OUS Legislative Notebooks and public affairs pieces.
K-16 Distance Education Update
Mr. Tom Cook, director of the Oregon Public Education Network, distributed a document that identified the first 100 sites will have 2-way capability by September 1 for distance/electronic education purposes. He highlighted collaborative activities with community colleges and higher education institutions, including appropriate courses that might be available and of interest or need to high schools around the state, and co-use of equipment and the telecommunications network. The Chancellor, upon learning that conversations had not taken place with the burgeoning partnership between Western Oregon University and three community colleges on the north coast, strongly encouraged that those talks be initiated.
Because of the funds available for K-12 through SB 622, Mr. Cook indicated that some community colleges are opting to share equipment and/or facilities. Larger community colleges will have their own separate connection. Chancellor Cox inquired as to how many sites are connectable at one time. Mr. Cook explained that, currently, up to 40 sites are able to connect, but the average for one session is four or five sites.
Mr. Feller asked why ESDs were included. Mr. Cook responded that they would be used for staff development, training, and meetings.
Ms. Terri Johanson, director of distributed learning and technology for the Office of Community Colleges and Workforce Development, reminded Working Group members about a conversation that took place at the March 17, 2000, Joint Boards meeting, where a discussion ensued about a K-20 technology continuum. She reported that staff from all three sectors did meet and will continue to meet with the purpose of providing updates on current activities. At the initial meeting, attendees identified ways in which the sectors have connections and now are trying to figure out ways to communicate to one another more effectively.
Continuing, Ms. Johanson indicated that the community colleges are working to organize a task force that would build on K-12's active effort to get its video network installed. The statewide task force would be comprised of officials from school districts, ESDs, and community colleges and would be charged with developing strategies, templates, and policies and procedures to make it easier for all entities to work together. "We see an extraordinary opportunity to provide content to K-12 students and continuing education for inservice training for teachers," she said.
Ms. Johanson announced that five community colleges recently applied for a "Preparing Teachers for Tomorrow's Technology" grant in collaboration with Eastern Oregon and Oregon State Universities. If awarded, preservice teachers will be able to experience appropriate uses of technology. Targeted will be instructional assistants and those working toward their A.A. degree in that field.
Concluding her report, Ms. Johanson said that community colleges are planning to employ an online advisor that will connect students easily with the advising departments at community colleges. Once it's up and running, Ms. Johanson said she hoped it could link with the other sectors.
Oregon University System
Associate Vice Chancellor Zanville updated the Working Group on the Oregon Network for Education (ONE) project. A number of courses and programs are operational, with 22 institutions participating in the site. The greatest challenge, explained Dr. Zanville, is to encourage campuses to submit their Year Two course information, which is largely a technical issue.
Several new projects are underway, reported Dr. Zanville, including:
Policy questions surrounding the common course theme are being discussed by more than 80 faculty, indicated Dr. Zanville, and new strategies have been developed to better address the issues for course sharing. These include a gap analysis of courses that are currently available to determine where class shortages exist in specific disciplines. Demonstration projects for target audiences are also planned.
Ms. Massey asked about hardware connections between the sectors. Ms. Johanson responded that web-based instruction is not an issue, but the video environment remains a challenge. Mr. Cook explained that there is now a state standard platform for videoconferencing, and as long as the equipment purchased meets state standard, there will be compatibility.
Noting that equipment can become obsolete nearly as quickly as it is installed, Mr. Lussier asked about plans for future upgrades. Mr. Cook said K-12 is figuring a three-year lifespan for equipment currently being installed. As the implementation is staggered, the procurement process allows for purchase of equipment that includes upgrades along the way. He added that costs are generally declining, so the hope is to gain more features at less cost.
Following up on Dr. Zanville's comment about a K-12 "campus" linked to ONE, Mr. Griffin asked about the status of that project. Mr. Cook indicated that meetings are underway within K-12 to determine a format for inclusion of 44 web-based courses already available statewide onto the ONE website. Issues surfacing from these transitions to the web-based environment involve access by children who are home-schooled, as well as boundary issues relating to allocation of funds as students take classes originating from other districts.
Concluding the discussion, Mr. Lussier complimented the innovative project, pointing out that it completely changes how education conducts its business in all sectors.
Central Oregon Update
Chancellor Cox announced that the Board of Higher Education recently approved using a branch campus approach to address higher education needs in Central Oregon. Vice Chancellor Clark detailed the current draft of a Request For Proposal (RFP) document that interested OUS campuses will be required to submit for consideration as the host campus. She added that many OUS institutions are interested in this role, which demands an innovative approach to the branch campus concept. Completed RFPs will likely be due in December, with a final decision made by the Board in early 2001.
Dr. Clark pointed out that the project could not move forward without state funding, thereby making the advocacy effort in the upcoming 2001 Legislative Session a high priority to ensure acquisition of funds. The amount calculated by staff to initiate the branch campus would be $7.2 million in the 2001-2003 biennium, she said. Other revenue sources, including scholarships, are being considered, Vice Chancellor Clark indicated.
Speaking as a member of the Central Oregon Regional Advisory Board, Mr. Lussier observed that the recent work leading up to the OUS proposal was by in large a community effort. "I think this is the kind of a project that transcends boundaries and is a novel and innovative way to bridge the gaps that exist," he said.
Mr. Griffin asked about governance issues relative to the community college and the branch campus, as well as the relationship of faculty between the two. Dr. Clark responded that the branch campus faculty would be faculty of the host campus, but there are many different faculty groups, including adjunct. Other logistical issues, she concluded, were yet to be decided, adding that the host campus is expected to address many of those kinds of issues, such as student services and community involvement, in their RFPs.
Foreign Language Summit Report
Dr. Zanville reported that an April 2000 conference was attended by about 90 people. Of statewide concern by school districts are the requirements to set the levels of their foreign language standards levels in the upcoming academic year. At the college/university level, there is concern over the preparation of new foreign language teachers. She indicated that people from all sectors are concerned about professional development and the need for good articulation.
Ms. Besty Costi, ODE second language education specialist, indicated that ODE is paying more attention to the issue of diversity in language. Specifically, she mentioned that the Department is working with the Northwest Indian Language Institute, as well as the American Sign Language Institute. Ms. Costi reported that one of her current tasks is to attain reliable assessments of several languages indigenous to several tribes, so that Indian languages can be included in K-12 study.
She explained that, in foreign language instruction, the challenges are twofold: 1) the proficiency level of teachers, and 2) the ability to assess oral proficiency by instructors, both of which require different teaching methodologies. Ms. Costi reported that grant monies recently secured will assist in getting more teachers into immersion programs, considered to be the fastest way to raise proficiency levels.
Mr. Bob Willner, executive secretary of the Oregon Language Teaching Association, endorsed all that was said by Dr. Zanville and Ms. Costi. He reiterated that preparing teachers preservice and inservice was a vital component to an effective foreign language instructional workforce. In addition, Mr. Willner considered training college faculty in oral proficiency assessment as a fundamental issue requiring further attention. Until those are considered a priority by universities, needs in the K-12 sector will not be met.
Agreeing with Mr. Willner's comments, Ms. Massey said she'd like to see the Joint Boards committed to that emphasis.
Oregon Quality Assurance in Teaching (O-QAT) Program Update
Dr. Zanville described statewide work dealing with supply and demand concerns and key teacher shortages. One area where Oregon is very much underproducing is special education teachers. Other shortage areas include math, counselors, speech pathologists, and principals. However, she indicated the numbers were inching up in most disciplines.
Mr. Dave Myton, director of the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission, pointed out that the long-term goal of the agency is to gather information via the web from institutions and school districts to better learn what the workforce is really doing and the relationship of supply to demand.
Responding to a question from Mr. Feller about the current reserve pool in Oregon, Mr. Myton said that the number of license holders who are not employed in Oregon public schools is approximately 30,000. That number does not delineate those who work in private schools, substitute teachers, those not working, as well those who live out of state but have a license to teach in Oregon.
Joint Boards Articulation Commission (JBAC) Report
OUS Director of Community College Articulation Dr. Jim Arnold reviewed the general operating guidelines of the JBAC, the most prominent being transfer and articulation issues between community colleges and higher education institutions.
Indicating that the JBAC annual report will be presented at the Joint Boards at its November 17, 2000, meeting, Dr. Arnold highlighted three major focus areas. These include:
Mr. Griffin asked if the data can be analyzed at this point. Responding that the data are now more reliable, Dr. Arnold said that one factor contributing to that reliability is the increased sophistication for which the community colleges are able to gather information. OUS has had a central repository for data for several years now. Therefore, some analysis will be presented to the Joint Boards at the November meeting.
Viewing the data as essential for the future, Mr. Lussier asked if there were plans for some measures in the data about how many access barriers have been overcome. Dr. Arnold explained that the annual report will mostly be focused on the data match efforts, but it will touch on some specific outcomes.
Future Agenda Items
Mr. Lussier asked about suggestions for future agenda items. He pointed out two of his own, including further discussion on distance education and partnerships, and less reporting and more discussion opportunities among the Working Group, noting that greater deliberation of issues would be preferred.
Mr. Griffin said that he'd like to review the Joint Boards charter, in an effort to talk more strategically about the future. OUS Board Secretary Vines reminded those present of a Joint Boards work plan created in 1999 that will likely require some review and updating.
The meeting adjourned at 4:08 p.m.