The Intersegmental Committee of the Academic Senates, California Community Colleges, California State University, and University of California
The Intersegmental Committee of the Academic Senates (ICAS) was established by faculty in 1980 as a voluntary organization consisting of representatives of the Academic Senates of the three segments of public higher education in California. Each of the senates appoints five or six senate leaders as representatives to ICAS. The meetings of ICAS are financed by the segments and deal with a variety of issues of mutual concern such as student preparation for postsecondary education, the California Master Plan for Higher Education, access, transfer, articulation, general education, and educational quality and standards. The recommendations of ICAS are made to the Academic Senates of each of the three segments. ICAS advises not only the senates of public higher education but also education officials and policy makers in California. It does not directly implement higher education policy.
Since 1980, leading issues handled by ICAS have included the development of a series of Statements on Competencies Expected of Entering College Students, the development and implementation of the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC), and content standards in English and mathematics for high school graduates. In each of these areas there have been some impressive successes for students and faculties of the segments. Discussions are on-going for any needed revisions or changes on these issues.
Development or revision of a Competency Statement begins with requests from faculty that a Competency Statement or revision is needed. If ICAS agrees, it establishes a working group of faculty from all segments and K-12 teachers to draft a Statement. The working group consults widely with faculty at all levels in the discipline, including K-12, and with other interested groups, including representatives of the California Department of Education. The K-12 Framework in the discipline area is an important document in preparing the Statement. When the working group has completed its draft, ICAS reviews it and may suggest modifications. The draft is then distributed to the three Academic Senates for discussion, and there may be several rounds of this process. Following endorsement of a Statement, ICAS submits it to the segmental Academic Senates for adoption and, if adopted by all of them, it becomes the intersegmental Statement for the area. It is then distributed widely to teachers the public schools. Statements have been adopted in mathematics, natural science, English, and six other languages (French, German, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Japanese). The latest Mathematics Statement revision was adopted in 1997. Draft Statements for humanities, for visual and performing arts, and for social sciences have not been adopted.
The development of IGETC is an impressive example of cooperation among the segments. There is a clear need for a general education program that can be offered by community colleges and that any CSU or UC campus will accept as fulfilling all lower-division general education requirements when students transfer. The final shape of IGETC reflects compromises made by all the segments. The program was endorsed by the three
Academic Senates and has been implemented. ICAS intends to evaluate the IGETC process during 1997-99, by which time there should be a reasonable number of community college transfer students who have been certified under IGETC provisions.
The relationship between ICAS and the Intersegmental Coordinating Committee (ICC) is important. ICC was created by the California Education Round Table in 1987 as “the primary body for facilitating, monitoring and evaluating intersegmental cooperation and collaboration.” The segments represented in the ICC include all levels and types of education in the state including private and public higher education and K-12. The chairs of the Academic Senates of the three public higher education systems are members of ICC. ICAS may initiate discussions of academic policies or programs of intersegmental consequence which, after approval of the Academic Senates, are sent to ICC. Conversely ICAS expects to be consulted by ICC or the Round Table when those bodies initiate discussions of academic policies or programs of intersegmental consequence for public higher education.
With the stresses that now face all levels and types of education in California, the continued existence of collaborative bodies like ICAS and ICC is essential to ensure coordinated planning and evaluation for the best possible education for California’s students.
Revised 9-97 JH