The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

JCC gives voice to TCC faculty

By Joshua Knopp/ special assignments editor
The Joint Consultation Committee acts as the bridge between faculty and administration, but students are often affected by the issues they debate.

The JCC is comprised of the presidents and presidents-elect of each campus’ faculty association. TR Campus reading instructor Robin Birt serves as chair of the JCC.

“I represent the faculty,” Birt said. “I voice their opinions and concerns and suggestions to the chancellor and vice chancellors.”
The JCC is involved in a variety of issues in academic requirements and policy. The mandatory attendance requirement implemented last spring, for instance, was spearheaded by NE learning coordinator and then-JCC chair Anne Drake.

“That’s the big thing that happened during my tenure,” Drake said. “Students weren’t coming to class, and faculty were frustrated. If a student just stops showing up, the faculty had no recourse other than to give them an F.”

Birt said the mandatory attendance requirement gave teachers a needed tool to help students who stopped showing up keep their transcripts repairable.

“What it boils down to is … when you’re in college, we’re supposed to prepare you for a job,” she said.

Teachers aren’t able to do that without some sort of consequence for absences, Birt said.

Among other things, the JCC is currently involved in two issues of districtwide policy: common course textbooks and an increase in maximum class size mandated this semester.

For common course textbooks, which is a district push to standardize all textbooks across a particular subject, Birt said the JCC is working on gathering data to find where each campus stands on the issue.

“On each campus, the majority of us use the same textbook anyway,” she said. “It’s common within your discipline on each campus.”

Birt said the faculty doesn’t believe making that sort of switch will save students money, which is its stated purpose. She also said various instructors are writing their own textbooks to be less expensive or making less expensive choices when they have the opportunity.

“That’s why we need the survey — to figure out what faculty is already doing,” she said.

The JCC is also researching the effects of the capacity increase of five students per class.

“The faculty are concerned,” Birt said. “That’s more time in the office to make sure we’re answering emails. It’s been said … a certain amount will drop out, but I don’t like to play that kind of game.”

Reading instructor Christi Duque, who serves as the TR president-elect, further explained, depending on the amount of classes being taught, some instructors could teach a whole additional class without an increase in pay.

Birt said the faculty is collecting data on the increase to support their concerns.

Both Birt and Duque, when talking about students interacting with and bringing their concerns to the JCC, met the idea with enthusiasm. Birt said coordination with the student government associations would be ideal.

Duque said student involvement in TCC’s running should extend beyond campus SGAs and faculty associations.

“Go to board meetings!” she said. “Find out what’s going on! Get involved!

JCC Members

NE Campus
Stephanie Scroggins
Robert Edmonds

South Campus
David Clinkscale
Kristina Miranda

SE Campus
Jo Tucker
Stephen Brown

NW Campus
Angela Chilton
TBD

TR Campus
Robin Birt
Christi Duque

 

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