PCC has not been in compliance with state law that requires the school to ensure equal employment opportunities among district staff, forcing administrators to create an Equal Employment Opportunity Plan (EEOP) for the district to follow, officials said.
Title 5 addresses community colleges and the support and services they provide through the Disabled Student Programs and Services (DSPS), and the EEOP will further address possible areas of underrepresentation in the workplace, according to Terri Hampton, executive director of human resources (HR) at PCC.
The EEOP is composed of 16 components ranging from policy statements to definitions and a 17th component solely for assisting students with employment at California Community Colleges. Each step allows a workplace to identify barriers that could possibly hinder the participation of women and minorities at every level of the workforce. The purpose is to ensure the opportunity for full and equal participation regardless of race, color or national origin.
“We actually have not had an EEOP for quite some time,” said PCC President Mark Rocha. “And we’re required to do so and to submit that plan to the State Chancellor’s Office.”
For the past 6 months, Hampton and the HR department have been drafting a model plan that must be approved by the PCC Board of Trustees and submitted to the State Chancellor’s Office to be in compliance.
The EEOP will address “what the district’s goal is in terms of a diversified workforce and how we go about addressing areas of underrepresentation,” Hampton said.
According to the State Chancellor’s Office, underutilization is defined as “those monitored groups – gender, race, ethnicity, disabled; any of those groups where there is less than 15% in terms of ethnicity or gender.”
“We identify those and begin to address steps to remedy our underrepresentation,” Hampton said.
Hampton recognized the limitations in terms of how the district can assess underutilization. For example, information is not presented on a department basis but rather analyzed from information held within the State Chancellors Office.
The EEOP will help to define the areas of underrepresentation and clearly state the goals needed to fix that without lowering the employment standards. The HR department recognized that effective Equal Employment Opportunity Plans, set goals, monitor the process and report recommendations.
“Our focus is access,” Hampton said. “We need to find remedies for underrepresentation and we have a lot of work to do in order to rectify our areas of underrepresentation”.
Hampton noted that studies have shown that students tend to learn better in diverse environments, and that the EEOP will try to replicate that within employment.
President Rocha discussed the fact that out of the 11,000 community colleges in the United States, PCC is in the top 100 of producing graduates in every category. Though the school is out of compliance with Title 5, it is still ranked 35th in the nation for graduating minority students and 3rd in nation for graduating Asian students. The majority of faculty at PCC is white, however.
Hampton discussed the need to address underrepresentation as an organization, and component 13 of the plan would deal with the methods to address those areas specifically.
“The district would request the Equal Employment Opportunity Advisory in conjunction with the executive director of HR to review the recruitment procedure and make recommendations/modifications that would assist in under representation,” Hampton said. “We would also then increase the advertising/recruitment budget (in order to) increase a diverse applicant pool.”
Preferred qualifications, then, may be eliminated if it hinders the ability to attract a diverse audience by preventing unnecessary barriers, which could cause a problem attracting a diverse pool of applicants for a position.
Next, the EEOP must be approved by the PCC Board of Trustees and then by the State Chancellor’s Office. When the proposed plan is approved it will be put into effect July 1, 2014, and will hopefully create a more diverse work environment around the campus.
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