Basic Skills Advisory Committee Meeting


September 29, 2006



Agenda Items



1)       Spending Plan



2)       “An Integrated Approach to Ensuring Student Access & Success at Columbia College” Appendix Tie In

o       Link to Report:


3)       Staffing Plan

o        Faculty Position

o        AAC Staffing


4)       Basic Skills Curriculum


5)       Future meeting dates, (all dates 230pm-430pm in MCR)


6)   Other??


Basic Skills Advisory Committee Meeting

September 29, 2006




Staff Members:

Present:  Carolyn Buck, Anne Cavagnaro, Mario Cordova, Dave Chesnut, Dennis Gervin, Lanai Hallmeyer, Patricia Harrelson, John Leamy, Gary Mendenhall, Shelley Muniz, Tom O’Neil, Twyla Olsen, Karin Rodts and Adrienne Webster.


1)      Spending Plan

From our last meeting, we had three focal areas we needed to concentrate on for this meeting.  The first was a spending plan / plan of action.

We have one-time funding in the amount of $36,000.

We have a report (which we just found out was due a week ago) in which we need to report what our spending plans will be.  (Note: We are not sure if these funds will roll forward to next year.)


The spending categories as listed on the report are:

o       Research

o       Curriculum Development

o       Professional Development

o       Articulation

o       Student Academic Assessment

o       Other Student Needs

o       Student Counseling

o       Basic Skills / ESL Tutoring

o       Instructional Materials

o       Other Activities for the Enhancement of Basic Skills


In Dennis’ conversations with CIO’s at other colleges, they are looking at spending plans in Professional Development and enhancing hours for Tutors/SI’s.


2)  Appendix 

The committee was also given copies of the Appendix section of the report “An Integrated Approach to Ensuring Student Access & Success at Columbia College” to assist with recommendations for the spending plan.


Committee discussed possible focus, uses of the funds and matches as listed below.


Possible Focus:


            1)  Workplace Literacy

            2)  Prepare for college / lifeskills

            3)  Build community of learners


One Time Funding $36,000                                                                                                   Match            


Instructional Materials                                                                        $ 2,000

Staff Development                   

Speakers, Series (Mike Rose?), Team Travel, Travel to

UC Merced (Jennifer McBride)                                            $25,000

            Hourly Staff

                        Write Curriculum (2 fac / 1 class / 1 semester)                   $ 6,000            VTEA Match $6,000

                                    (20% reassigned)

                        Lead Person / Coordinator (20%)                                        $ 3,000

TOTAL                       $36,000


Other ideas discussed:


Curriculum Research – Work Cert


Equipment – Laptops


Add Value


            On Campus Jobs


     3)  Staffing Plan


On-going Top Needs

AAC, IA,  40hr/11 mo,  approx $30,000

FT Faculty Lab Instructor, 30 hr per week (this could be the Lead Person described above.)

Maintain Tutor budget (currently $12,000)

Summer funding???


4)      Curriculum

Committee discussed the ownership and charge of the Basic Skills curriculum.  It has purposely not been department based in the past.  May be premature now, but in the future we may want to discuss how responsibility is given on the courses not currently being taught.  The Deans will discuss with Dennis and form a plan for Spring.


Submitted by Lanai Hallmeyer






The work of the Task Force promoted lively discussion and elicited many useful ideas. In effect, we began thinking like the proposed advisory committee.  This section of the report captures some of that thinking.



Organizational Structure

Conduct the business of the advisory committee like the Tools Team or the campus Technology Committee

·         Create a plan that is connected to the EMP and uses existing plans or portions of plans as the source for some of the activities;

·         Prioritize activities;

·         Identifies lead persons for each activity

·         Identify barriers to actualization and devise strategies to remove them.



Review current Basic Skills offerings


Offer basic skills courses at off-campus sites i.e. high schools, the Family Learning Center; 


Develop “life skills” courses that address issues that are typically barriers to education;


Provide year-round GED preparation classes and other basic skills classes at Calaveras Center and Oakdale Center;


Infuse curriculum for all courses with objectives and activities that promote


Explore the possibility of exit-level competencies for graduation and certificates.


Disarm an underlying belief that basic skills are a Math and English department issue and therefore, it is the job of “those” instructors to ensure skill development.


Create norming sessions and staff development activities to assist all faculty in dealing with the students who demonstrate a lack of skills in writing. 


List prerequisites and advisories in the Class Schedule. 



Hire a full-time Learning Disabilities Specialist to provide not only the necessary LD assessment but also much needed intervention for disabled student, disability awareness training and liaison with college staff and community agencies.


Hire well trained basic skills instructors, who can also teach at the college level, for instance in English or Math.


Secure the Instructional Assistant for the Academic Achievement Center as a permanent 30 hour a week position, to support the effective practices of Tutoring and Supplemental Instruction.


Staff Development

Create regular, ongoing staff development opportunities that support a college-wide, consistent approach to student success and access.


Create/offer staff development activities that encourage faculty


Invite outside experts to offer training and guidance, e.g. Jennifer McBride, SPEC grant director from Merced College Basic Skills  


Suggested topics for Staff Development activities include but are not limited to



Clearly identify the need for a center for learning support in the Master Facilities Plan.


When designing the permanent Calaveras site, take steps to develop a center that can be used as a classroom and lab for skills development, including ESL.



The need for a college Researcher is paramount to accomplishing the recommendations in this report.  The following activities would be more like to occur if we had a college researcher:


Develop a college wide Student Learning Outcome that specifically addresses competency in reading, writing, mathematics, and computer literacy.



Develop partnerships with other county/community agencies, i.e. Job Connections of the Mother Lode, Department of Social Services; ATCCA, WATCH, Valley Mountain Regional Center to


During outreach to local feeder schools, explain and promote college-wise skills and sufficient information about pre-requisites and advisories