Winter intersession will again become a major issue on campus as the PCC Calendar Committee has, with large majority, approved a 2013-14 calendar that includes a winter intersession that is now making its way up to the Board of Trustees for final approval.
18 of the 20 members voted to send the proposed calendar to the Academic Senate, where the Senate voted unanimously to approve it. It now currently waits for the College Councilâ€™s approval before being presented to the board. The College Council meeting scheduled for April 24 was cancelled. The action to approve/deny the proposed calender with winter was on the agenda for that cancelled meeting.
Philip Ricards, a member of the Calendar Committee, felt the old system was the way to go, and he disagrees with the boardâ€™s decision to eliminate winter.
â€œWe wanted to change the calendar back to the way it was before, to its proven and effective system that weâ€™ve had since 2004.â€ Ricards said in an interview, â€œThe effects of having a winter intersession have been well documented, and the board should have seen the difficulties that come with removing it.â€
Another committee member, Matthew Henes, explained that the possibility of not having a winter intersession did arise during the committeeâ€™s meetings.
â€œWhen we made the decision [to include winter] it was relatively easy to make.â€ Henes said in an interview. â€œOn the agenda for the last few meetings weâ€™ve had, a calendar with winter and a calendar without it. In meetings where [committee co-chair] Robert Bell was present, we would discuss a calendar without winter, when he wasnâ€™t present, we were working on a calendar that includes it.â€
One of the student members of the committee, Anna Torres representing the Associated Student, believes that the calendar will make it through the legislative process.
â€œThis calendar does have a chance to be approved because itâ€™s going through the shared governance process. Itâ€™s the voice of many constituent groups on campus, and itâ€™s really come from the bottom up,â€ said Torres â€œThe board will hopefully see that this is what the college as a whole wants, not just the students.â€
Along with presenting the proposed calendar, the Calendar Committee released a document stating pedagogical reasons for reinstating winter. Reasons included that PCCâ€™s top competing colleges in transfers to UC and CSU schools all offer winter intersessions, and that without a winter intersession, students will have a harder time transferring to those schools.
However this is not entirely true. According to records from the California Community Colleges Chancellorâ€™s website, the top four schools in transfers to the UC system in California for the 2011-12 year are Santa Monica College, De Anza College, Diablo Valley College, and PCC. While Santa Monica and De Anza, the top two schools in transfers, have winter intersessions on their 2013-14 calendars, PCC and Diablo Valley College currently do not offer winter.
The proposed 2013-14 calendar is currently making its way through the legislative process. Its next stop is to be debated by the College Council. Should it be approved, it will be presented to the Board of Trustees at its meeting on May 1.