Last week the Central Valley hosted its Basic Skills Initiative Reporting Session via CCC Confer, and it had the biggest turn out yet, representing colleges up and down the valley and some from just outside our region. It was wonderful to connect with so many other colleges going through the same work and hearing how other colleges are approaching and accomplishing the work of integrating Basic Skills with their Equity Plans and their SSSP.
First, for those looking to get an update who were unable to make the conference call and webinar, I want to share with you some information. First, we were unable to record the conference and archive it through CCC Confer as we had planned. I am sorry! Donna and I did a practice run with our equipment on CCC Confer two days earlier, and everything seemed to be fine. However, once we started the actual session there was very loud and very annoying feedback coming through the system, blasting everyone through their phones, not to mention an irritating echo from anyone who was talking. In order to still make it through the event, we decided to proceed with the reporting without recording. Again, our deepest apologies! To help, though certainly not as good as listening to the conversation and questions, I have included the PowerPoint slides below. If you need anything, please do not hesitate to contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Donna Cooper (email@example.com). We are happy to help how we can.
Second, the big takeaways. It was great to hear how some colleges are combining their Equity Committees and their Basic Skills Committees to help ensure that their efforts are aligned. While there was some discussion about how that makes the committees a bit large and unwieldy, there was also general agreement about the benefit of having that level of coordination and focus. Other colleges shared similar approaches of varying degrees, so it might be interesting to think about how your college can merge/link with these other important committees, especially as more and more of the Basic Skills reporting is asking that colleges connect those efforts.
Another major focus for the call was how the report had many new features this year, including an online submission form along with an Excel Expenditure Report (including its own certification page), an Excel worksheet for the Basic Skills Cohort tracker, and a separate .pdf Certification page for the entire report. Many on the call lamented the difficulty of using the Word version of the BSI report (that they were using to fill out and submit to important constituencies on campus, like Academic Senate, before submitting online), such as being unable to open or save the file. We have an email out to LeBaron for clarification and/or a new Word version of the form. As soon as we have more information regarding this, we will share that information with the entire network. The expenditure form and certification form, just in case you might still need some help with this, can be found on the Chancellor’s Office website here. Here’s where they are located on the page (down toward the bottom left):
As well, Eric Hansen from the Chancellor’s Office released some videos to help you work with the Basic Skills Cohort Tracker and with the Excel worksheet where he wants those numbers. You can view the video for the Cohort Tracker here. You can view the video for how to use the Excel Worksheet here. Again, if you have any questions about this, feel free to email Donna or me, or any of the other 3CSN coordinators. We are here to help you, and we want to make this as easy for you as possible.
Third, thank you to all those who filled out the feedback form at the end of the session. Most found the event helpful and informative and would share the information with others. Thank you, too, for the suggestions for improvement. This is only the second time that we have run the reporting sessions via CCC Confer in order to help reach colleges that are much farther away, and there are certainly bugs to be worked out. Donna and I will keep working with CCC Confer to work out the technical bugs, both so that we can start more smoothly and so that we can have archived sessions for later viewing. As well, we will look into having separate sessions for those with different needs; however, we know how valuable it is as a new learner to have a connection with an experienced peer. Thus, we will try to keep events as integrated as possible so that new faculty will have immediate resources with experience faculty members. As well, if you would like a specific event–someone asked for Habits of Mind on their campus–please let me and Donna know as soon as possible. If we can’t work it in for this semester, we can definitely work on it for the spring. We’d love to bring resources to your campus!
Lastly, we are creating a Central Valley Regional Network Facebook group so that we can all stay in contact and ask important questions. If you would like to be added, send me a quick email, and I will add you to the group. Anyone in the group can also add/invite new members, so if you know someone in the group, ask them to send you an invitation.
Thank you all so much for your hard work! Have a wonderful fall semester!
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