New Options for Professional Development – The Professional Development College

Executive Director
Chair of the Faculty Development Committee and the Professional Development College

Most faculty who have heard of the Academic Senate’s Professional Development College (PDC) probably believe that the PDC is all about faculty participating in a year of leadership training. However, the broader plan for the PDC moving forward is to create a centralized professional development resource for faculty. The goal of the PDC is to provide faculty with venue for professional development that they can access from home on topics such as local academic senate effective practices, curriculum development, the “10+1,” and pedagogical training.

Two years ago, the PDC began with a pilot dedicated to developing new local senate leaders.  This pilot paired participants with mentors who assisted them in developing skills necessary to become informed leaders.  Participants worked individually with their mentors to establish goals for the year, create a plan for each ASCCC event they attended, and get individualized assistance if they had specific questions about local issues. The first year of the Leadership Academy was a huge success, and an even larger class of mentees enrolled for the 2015-16 Leadership Academy.

The next component of the PDC is curriculum.  In July 2015, members of the Curriculum and Career Technical Education (CTE) Leadership Committees developed modules for Curriculum 101, which is a very basic introduction to the curriculum processes in California community colleges. This component was designed to help people with minimal experience understand the basics of course outlines, course approval, program creation, regional consortia, and Chancellor’s Office approval. The presentation is comprised of five modules that include a series of slides with intended learning outcomes for each module, notes, and voice over. The modules are undergoing final touches and will be available in November 2015.  Once the materials are posted, interested individuals will be able to access the presentations wherever and whenever they desire.  The ASCCC has kept the price for PDC materials low to allow more access to the information. 

The Curriculum 101 is a great first step but only represents the beginning of what the ASCCC hopes to offer through the PDC. In the coming months, the PDC plans to develop additional modules covering the basics of academic senates, minimum qualifications and equivalency, inmate education, diverse faculty hiring, faculty orientation to teaching at a California community college, and effective communication. These new components will help to build a strong foundation for the PDC by providing faculty with access to faculty development all of the time, not just when they are able to attend the next event. As new areas of interest are identified, additional components will be added to the PDC website.  The ASCCC is excited to launch this new resource for faculty development.