Board committee meetings tonight

The Board of Trustees committee meetings take place tonight down at Sheridan. This is where the real action happens. What’s on the agenda?

6pm – Student Success Committee – there will be a presentation about “majors” – note the last slide which glosses over student concerns.

7:30pm – Building, Grounds, Site Selection Committee – take a look at the hastily thrown together ppt from ITS – could we get a little more information on each slide and fewer blurry graphics?

8:30pm – Policy and Long Range Planning Committee – a whole lot of policy revisions

9:30pm – Audit, Budget, Finance Committee – tuition and fee changes for some specialized courses, online tutoring services and money money money

Watch online here.

Competency-based education: Lumina Foundation, CAEL, Alamo Colleges

Our old friend the Lumina Foundation is pushing right along with it’s goal for “graduating” more students via competency-based education. Check out their Degree Qualifications Profile. It lists the competencies required for an associate, bachelor’s and master’s level degree in any field. Pair this with “direct assessments” provided by organizations like CAEL and you can do a complete end-run around the slow, clunky, traditional “seat time” model of our local colleges.

But wait, there’s more!

With the Department of Education loosening the rules on how federal student aid money can be spent…well, follow the money. Students can now use those federal student aid dollars to pay for CAEL assessments instead of taking college courses. Just to make sure you understand: FEDERAL STUDENT AID MONEY WILL BYPASS OUR LOCAL COLLEGES AND GO STRAIGHT INTO THE POCKETS OF CAEL.

Oh, and did we mention that Chancellor Bruce Leslie is the treasurer for CAEL? Did we also mention that the District has a sole-source contract with CAEL for their employee training and student assessment services? We did.

See this recent NPR story for more on competency-based education. This is the hot topic in higher ed, y’all. Study up.

Where’s our college nurse?

District sent out this notice to all employees and students:

Alamo Colleges is aware of the increased concern regarding the Ebola virus.  We are working very closely with the San Antonio Metropolitan Heath District and the Texas Department of State Health Services to ensure we are receiving the last information about this virus.

The safety and health of our students and employees remains our top priority.  We have created a webpage at to provide information and resources about Ebola.  We are committed to keeping you informed as we learn more so check the website for updates.

We will continue to partner with all public health experts at the local, state, and federal levels in monitoring this situation.  Thank you for your trust in the Alamo Colleges.

If the safety and health of our students was District’s top priority, why do we no longer have a college health center staffed with a nurse?

Bruce Leslie’s letter to SACS re: degrees

The Ranger reports on the letter Chancellor Bruce Leslie sent to  our accrediting agency. Guess what? Generic degrees are not necessary. This really does come down to what Bruce Leslie, Jo-Carol Fabianke, and the rest of the Vice Chancellors and College Presidents think “is best for students.”

The last sentence of the article?

The Ranger is waiting on a list of courses from Fabianke’s office that transfer to five local universities.

Good luck with that followup, Ranger. And thank you for the excellent reporting.