Archive

Monthly Archives: November 2012

Veterans First Program will be hosting a free concert on Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. at the Main Stage Theater.
The Commanders Jazz Ensemble is part of the U.S. Air Force Band of the Golden West from Travis Air Force Base.
The ensemble will feature “The Honeybee Trio” and will perform music of legends such as Duke Ellington, Woody Herman, Count Basie and Charlie Parker.

Advertisements

Students who need help with English assignments can receive feedback via email tutoring.
Questions may be submitted to LPCEnglishTutor@gmail.com
You must submit your name and W number in the email subject line, along with course name and section number. Submissions should ask the tutor specific questions of what type of help is needed.
Any questions sent Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday will be replied to in 48 hours. Emails sent Thursday through Sunday can expect a reply by Tuesday night.
Face-to-face tutoring is available in room 2401 Monday through Thursday from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Tuesday and Wednesday  from 4 to 6 p.m.

Cressy Tylavsky
Staff Writer
While the state has championed 1440 degrees as a quicker, more efficient means of helping students achieve transfer — it is has created a whirlwind of paperwork for faculty.
The result of state law SB-1440, the law requires community colleges in California to create specialized degrees that guarantee students entry to the California State University system once they are completed.
While the deal sounds good for students, schools like Las Positas College are struggling to be in compliance with the new law.
“It is a significant amount of work to get this done,” Academic Senate President Sarah Thompson said. “We are all scrambling.”
Thompson expressed her disapproval of the new law affecting everyone in community college in California. She is in charge of the faculty and how the curriculum complies with the 1440.

“It’s a significant amount of work that the faculty will have to put in,” Thompson said.
Faculty must now change the curriculum for their classes. In some cases, educators are working overtime to create new curriculum to meet demand for the degrees, which is a painstaking process that begins on the local level and is ultimately approved by the state.
Even though the degrees are state mandated, it is still entirely up to each individual school to create the degrees and their reason for existing, which must meet strict state guidelines.
“Even though this is a state mandated degree,” Thompson said, “we still have to create a written rationale as to why we are creating this degree.”
Thompson also bemoaned the process schools have been required to go through when submitting degrees, often sending them back to schools for minor complaints. The state claims it is too short on cash to expedite the process.
“(The state is) setting a goal without the infrastructure to implement it,” Thompson said.
There are a few majors that will not have to change such as Geography and Mass Communications. For those that do, this is causing them to add curriculum and erase “non compliant” classes.
Thompson is quick to credit the work of her support staff in creating the new degrees.
“Without them I would have been bewildered by the process,” Thompson said.
The fundamental challenge with the new degrees is simple — instructors must focus on who attends LPC now and still spend the present working out how the future will look.
“We need to figure out how to best serve our current students,” Thompson said, “while still planning for this future of community colleges that is being shaped by these laws. It’s really quite a mess at the moment.”
Opinions Editor Travis Danner contributed to this article.

Aretha Welch
Editor-in-Chief
Las Positas College’s teachers may soon have to adhere to a stricter set of regulations when it comes to communicating with their students online.
Scott Vigilon, LPC co-chair of Distance Education Committee, presented a new policy for archiving teacher/student exchanges for online classes. He made the presentation at an Oct. 24 academic senate meeting.
In essence the policy, which is yet to be approved by both the Curriculum Committee and the Distance Education Committee states that teachers must initiate “regular effective contact” with students and archive this communication.
Should LPC teachers fail to do so, the school runs the risk of having many of their accredited distance education courses reclassified as “correspondence” courses. This will mean a major decline in the amount of federal financial aid awarded to the school and its students.
For teachers it will mean sending or creating more blogs, announcements, discussion groups and emails within the blackboard system.
Vigilon said the blackboard system is setup to archive each online course and all exchanges which take place throughout the course. This will make the process of archiving almost effortless for most teachers.  Teachers who have set up an outside email to liaise with their online students will have to come up with a system to archive their work, or risk having their course reclassified and money taken away from the school.
The policy is now being reviewed by the Faculty Association’s lawyer, to look at how it will affect teacher job evaluations.

Joshua Basrai
A&E editor
Chalk up Dr. Stuart McElderry as the latest professor at LPC to get published. With his new historical thriller, “The Barcelona File,” LPC history professor Dr. McElderry is now officially published. Released on Oct. 3, the book extends for 294 pages, but it reflects four years of hard work and dedication from Dr. McElderry. After a long nail-biting and gritty process, the book is now available on Amazon, iPads, or in the LPC bookstore. “I’ve always wanted to write at least one history-based novel, especially about a history professor,” McElderry said. ”What I don’t like about a lot of those spy or international thrillers is that the protagonist is either a know-it-all, or a James Bond-like character. My protagonist is just a normal history professor.”
The book is a fictional historical thriller that follows Lee Tomlinson, a history professor who uncovers information that the government has been withholding. Already struggling through a devastating divorce and an alcohol-related meltdown, this discovery could prove to be the revival for the struggling Berkeley historian’s career.
Tomlinson uncovers information that suggests Adolf Hitler and his wife Eva Braun escaped Berlin in 1945 with help from the United States and Great Britain. Uncovering this information proves to be extremely risky for the very normal history professor.
The book covers many controversial topics, but McElderry insists that it separates itself from certain cliché historical thrillers.
The true of Hitler and Braun’s demise has been a subject of debate among historians. Contrary to the popular belief that Hitler and Eva Braun committed suicide — many conspiracy theorists believe that Hitler was actually exiled in Argentina.
“I was intrigued by telling a good story, but I also wanted to make it historically interesting,” McElderry said. “Not just in terms of content, but how historians debate the facts.”
McElderry has always wanted to write a book, finding the dedication and time was the hardest part.
“I think the hardest part is the discipline it takes to sit down and write. We all have wonderful ideas and stories to tell,” McElderry said.  “What separates those who actually get it done and those who don’t are the ones who actually sit there and write. Even when you don’t want to write, you have to force yourself. It takes practice.”
Despite several speed bumps, and long tedious hours of writing, McElderry is just getting started.
“I mainly did the research on my own. I would get up at 4 o’clock every morning and write until 6. I still keep that schedule because I’m working on a sequel.”
No target date for the sequel has been set, but for now the tentative title is “The Portland Manuscript.”
Getting the book published the traditional method proved to be a cumbersome process. To get the book published, McElderry used CreateSpace, an innovative self-publishing method for authors or musicians to get their material published digitally or electronically. For the cover, McElderry kept it in-house by having it designed in the LPC design shop. LPC instructor Eric Berendt facilitated design of the cover along with help from students in his class.
Students can catch Dr. McElderry discussing his new book, “The Barcelona File,” on Thursday Nov. 29 from 5 to 6 p.m. in the Black Box Theater. A book signing from 6 to 7 p.m. will follow the lecture.  Refreshments will also be provided.