There is no equivalent to an associate degree
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There is No Equivalent to an Associate Degree. Lionel Nash Wheeler North. The Genesis. Title 5 §53410 allows for foreign degrees that are equivalent Title 5 §53430 allows one to “ possess qualifications that are at least equivalent to the minimum qualifications”. The Resolve.

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There is No Equivalent to an Associate Degree

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There is no equivalent to an associate degree

There is No Equivalentto anAssociate Degree

Lionel Nash

Wheeler North


The genesis

The Genesis

  • Title 5 §53410 allows for foreign degrees that are equivalent

  • Title 5 §53430 allows one to “possess qualifications that are at least equivalent to the minimum qualifications”


The resolve

The Resolve

  • Spring 2009 – Resolution 10.11R

    • Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges recommend to the Board of Governors that there is no equivalent to the associate degree for disciplines in which a master’s degree is not generally expected or available and that an associate degree is the minimum educational qualification required for all faculty members in these disciplines.


The result

The Result

  • The resolve was referred to the ASCCC Executive committee to conduct more research on the pros and cons of such a position and to bring back information in Fall 2009. (for reconsideration)


The timeline

The Timeline

  • Fall 2009 session was too soon

  • Conduct breakouts at numerous stakeholder events

  • Prepare articles informing the field

  • Collect information and evidence

  • Reconsider resolution in April at Spring Session.


The impact

The Impact

  • Title 5 §53410 currently allows for AA/AS degrees in the now two non-Master’s degree areas.

  • This change would only impact those two areas.

  • If adopted it would have no affect on equivalencies for Bachelor’s or Master’s degrees.


The philosophy

The Philosophy

  • Should all faculty posses the degree that their students are seeking?

  • Is it right for some K12 and Noncredit requirements to have higher qualifications?

    • (In vocational/ROP areas)


The questions

The Questions

  • What’s Broken?

    • Is there evidence of faculty inappropriately being hired?

    • Are there undue costs associated with hiring equivalent faculty?

    • Are many faculty hired with no college degree?

    • Are such faculty less able to serve students in the many areas supported by faculty?


The con

The Con

  • Will classes truly be canceled because we cannot find faculty with six years experience and an associate degree?

  • Will this affect new program startups?

  • Will this affect noncredit or other qualifications where an AA/AS equivalent is allowed?


The unanswered

The Unanswered

  • What other questions do we need to be asking?

  • What other constituent groups will be interested in this?

  • Are there more effective ways to promote improvement that will have less disruptive impact?


The addendum

The Addendum

  • Recent changes to Title 5 §53410 provided for a new category of minimum qualifications.

  • This allows for Bachelor’s and associate degree qualifications that are specific to the discipline area.

  • The new list will include original lists plus a new combined list. (is being finalized right now)


The disciplines list the old

The Disciplines List – The Old

  • Is two separate lists

    • Disciplines requiring a Master’s Degree

    • Disciplines in which a Master’s Degree is not generally expected or available in that specific discipline (requires any degree)

  • Included qualifications for “Others” as detailed directly in Title 5

  • Did not provide for a state-wide minimum qualification of a Bachelor’s degree


The disciplines list the new

The Disciplines List – The New

  • Discipline qualifications are now organized into three main groups

    • Disciplines requiring a Master’s Degree

    • Disciplines where a Master’s degree is not normally expected but a Bachelor’s or Associate degree is expected

    • Disciplines in which a Master’s, Bachelor’s or Associate Degree is not generally expected or available in that specific discipline (requires any degree)

    • Disciplines for non-credit instruction

    • Other – to include Administrators, Learning Center Coordinators, Health Services Professionals, Apprenticeship Instructors, DSP&S Counselors, Work Experience Coordinators, Faculty Interns, EOPS


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