The Current Level of Accountability in the ASCCC

Area D Representative and ASCCC Standards and Practices Chair

The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges’ mission statement, as published on the organization’s website, states that As the official voice of California community college faculty in academic and professional matters, the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (ASCCC) is committed to equity, student learning, and student success. The ASCCC acts to

  • Empower faculty to engage in local and statewide dialogue and take action for continued improvement of teaching, learning, and faculty participation in governance;
  • Lead and advocate proactively for the development of policies, processes, and practices;
  • Include diverse faculty, perspectives, and experiences that represent our student populations;
  • Develop faculty as local and statewide leaders through personal and professional development;
  • Engage faculty and system partners through collegial consultation.

The ASCCC is an integral part of the social and economic development of the California Community College system. The organization is committed to exceeding the expectations of students, community, faculty, and staff by providing and expanding opportunities for professional learning, personal enrichment, and community development. Strategic processes are community-minded approaches that embrace open communication, cooperation, transparency, and participatory governance. Professional learning progress and assessment are maintained through strategic planning efforts of the fourteen executive board members and the executive director.

The ASCCC’s coordinated efforts and decision making take place within executive board meetings. Unlike common local academic senate structures of representation by discipline or division, the executive board members represent all faculty throughout the community college system. Directions from the delegates to the ASCCC’s bi-annual plenary sessions are forwarded to the ASCCC leadership through resolutions. This process, along with community-developed team norms, helps to minimize disagreements or friction about actions regarding academic and professional matters so that implementation is not delayed. As a result of this process, the organization’s performance is positively impacted.


In spring 2013, the delegates to the ASCCC plenary session directed the Executive Committee, through Resolution 1.02 S13, to develop a process of periodic institutional review for assessing operations, policies, processes, and programs in order to ensure the public good and accountability. [1] The purpose of the periodic review is to provide internal and external stakeholders with assurance as to the ASCCC’s quality and commitment to the standards it sets for itself, to assist in improving the effectiveness of its services and operations in order to meet its stated goals, and to improve its policies and procedures. This resolution was followed by Resolution 01.01 in Fall 2021, which adopted an updated periodic review process for the ASCCC. [2]

The ASCCC Executive Committee initiates the periodic review every six academic years. The periodic review cycle begins on the first day of the incoming Executive Committee, with the most recent cycle having begun on June 5, 2021, and it is conducted by the Periodic Review Committee. The Periodic Review Committee is composed of six members: one each from areas A, B, C, and D plus an additional representative from the north and one from the south, all of whom are randomly selected from a list of attendees at ASCCC events over the previous 24 months.

During the 2020-2021 process, the Periodic Review Committee commended the ASCCC on the development of a strategically designed, comprehensive internal evaluation process. However, based on findings to date, growth areas still remain in terms of process, communication, and strategic planning. The committee recommended that the ASCCC consider establishing a transparent process and timeline for regular review and revision of the mission, vision, and values statements. Furthermore, the committee recommended that the mission, vision, and values statements be featured more prominently on the website, in other locations, and in publications such as The Rostrum and that the ASCCC should seek input or opportunities for dialogue from local academic senates specific to the mission, vision, and values statements through surveys and other regularly scheduled evaluations. Lastly, the committee recommended that the connection between the ASCCC Strategic Plan and the mission, vision, and values statements be clarified. [3]

The development of the mission statement and strategic plan implementation are supported by the ASCCC office personnel led by the executive director’s goals to improve the utilization of technological resources and enhancement of the infrastructure necessary to advance technology innovations that will support academic and professional matters systemwide.

The executive director provides highlights of activities in an Executive Committee monthly report, usually arranged in four categories: board governance, financial performance and viability, organization mission and strategy, and organization operations. Additionally, the executive director produces a two-year ASCCC report. The 2019 -2021 report assessed the following: [4]

  • Professional Development.
  • Publications.
  • Leadership, Empowerment, and Voice.
  • 2019-2020 Areas of Focus:
    • Faculty Role in Governance.
    • Guided Pathways Implementation.
    • Faculty Diversification.
  • COVID Response.
  • Call to Action Response.
  • 2020-2021 Areas of Focus:
    • Culturally Responsive Student Services and Support.
    • Equity Driven Systems.
    • Guided Pathways Implementation and Integration to Transfer and Careers.

Morrison (2003) states, “American higher education is undergoing substantial change in terms of the way colleges and universities are organized and function. This change is being driven by the combined forces of demographics, globalization, economic restructuring, and information technology” (p.6). In the year 2022, one can add to this list the external forces of COVID-19 and the disruption in teaching, learning, student services, and governance in the community college system since 2020. Therefore, social, technical, economic, environmental and political (STEEP) factors have continually been assessed. “This STEEP analysis is a logical and effective way to begin exploration” (Chermack, 2011).

These external factors are affecting all of higher education, thus impacting the ASCCC’s implementation and evaluation findings. Additionally, the Executive Committee’s strategic planning implementation process is driven by the combined forces of demographics, legislative requirements, California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office imperatives, cultural imperatives, mindset imperatives, and information technology.

As part of the ASCCC’s higher education transformational change, the Executive Committee seeks to implement intentional real world evaluation (RWE) strategies aimed to align subcommittee work to the overall strategic plan. RWE includes both qualitative and quantitative methodologies used to examine ASCCC’s resources and educational and professional development strategies. The RWE of process, policies, procedures, organization culture, and trends is vital in understanding the implementation of a strategic plan and analysis of findings.

RWE minimizes resistance and helps gain support in the evaluation process due to inclusion of and input from stakeholders in the solicitation of needed data (Bamberger, Rugh, & Mabry, 2012). For example, an intentional strategy to guide the ASCCC’s transformational organizational change has included input from discipline faculty, internal staff, and student services faculty members who have proven valuable in achieving more useful, relevant, and credible evaluation findings. One of the major contextual factors in relation to the transformational organizational change strategy has been an organizational culture shift. The ASCCC has undergone major changes to embed new systems, processes, norms, and commitment to continuous dialogue and improvement. These changes have included a new logo, team norm development, website redesign, a new data and research position hire, and the formulation of a Data and Research Task Force.

The ASCCC’s ongoing real world evaluation of processes, policies, procedures, organization culture, and trends is vital to understanding the implementation of a robust communication plan and the analysis of findings response strategies. The ASCCC’s evaluation of data does not only include the impact of external factors on the interpretation of findings but levels of support allocated for continual and innovative strategic plan implementation strategies and the ASCCC’s commitment to continual improvement as an organization and in its service to local academic senates and faculty statewide.


Bamberger, M., Rugh, R., & Mabry, L. (2012). Real world evaluation: Working under budget, time, data, and political constraints (2nd Ed.) Sage Publications.
Chermack, T. (2011). Scenario Planning in organizations. Berrett-Koehler.
Morrison, J. L. (2003), U.S. higher education in transition. On the Horizon, 11(1), 6.

1. The full text of Resolution 1.02 S13 can be found at….

2. The full text of Resolution 1.01 F21 can be found at….

3. The 2020-2021 Periodic Review results can be found on the ASCCC website at….

4. The full 2019-2021 report can be found at….