The Joint Legislative Audit Committee recently approved a motion by state Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, to review community college districts’ long-term strategic plans to upgrade instructional technology and training. The audit will include a large college district, a medium-sized one, and a small one as a cross-section of the state’s 72 districts.
Suleman Ishaque, chair of CFT’s Educational Technology Committee — who works for the Los Angeles Community College District — expects the auditor to find that districts have few, if any, plans for ongoing training, even for employees in charge of campus information technology networks. “Management’s expectation is that, if we’re IT guys, we should know about new technologies as soon as they come along. Instead, they should be sending us to workshops with the developers, like the private sector IT guys.”
Ishaque, also second vice president of the AFT College Staff Guild, Local 1521A, believes administrators at all academic levels have failed to make plans, but the Ed Tech Committee, which includes representatives from early childhood through university, decided to call attention first to community colleges.
Other systemic shortcomings, he added, are adequate staffing to maintain new and additional equipment, and training teachers and other campus users how to get the most of the technology.“The audit isn’t punitive,” Ishaque explained. “The goal is to identify shortcomings and sponsor legislation to address them.”