California Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott today thanked Gov. Jerry Brown for signing two bills designed to simplify the educational process for students and create more efficient placement testing within the 112-community college system. The new legislation will save colleges tens-of-thousands of dollars as more modern and efficient services are used, and students will benefit from a streamlined assessment system and will have the ability to request and view their transcripts online.
Chancellor Scott noted that dozens of different standardized assessment tests are currently being used throughout the California community college system to place students into courses. Many campuses only recognize the test they use and require students who take placement exams at a different community college to be reassessed. This creates an additional hurdle for prospective students and results in costly and duplicative testing by campuses.
“These two pieces of legislation go a long way in saving colleges’ time and money and allowing us to efficiently and seamlessly serve our students,” Scott said. “The centralized assessment system and the new eTranscript infrastructure will help our 2.6 million students achieve their educational goals faster by eliminating redundant practices and using technology to allow our students to access their records online and to share the information quickly with other institutions.”
California Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott today announced that the California Mental Health Services Authority has awarded a $6.9 million grant to the college system to be used over a three-year period for faculty and staff training on student mental health issues, suicide prevention and peer-to-peer services.
“Our most recent data shows that stress, anxiety and depression are among the top factors that affect student academic performance,” said Chancellor Scott, who advocates for the state’s 2.6 million students across a 112-college system. “This grant comes at a critical time as students are under even more stress because of economic troubles. Almost 50 percent of students reported feeling very sad, very lonely and hopeless and more than a third reported that they were so depressed it was difficult to function.”
Another 8 percent of student respondents reported that they had considered suicide and almost 3 percent had attempted suicide. The California Community Colleges Student Mental Health Program will provide funding to 12 colleges for training, technical services and peer-to-peer assistance. The program also will result in online training resources that are expected to be available to all community college faculty and staff to help them respond appropriately to students who may exhibit signs of mental distress. A focus on student veterans will be an important program element, and community colleges will collaborate with the California State University and University of California on these projects.