A statement from the Child Development Faculty

This following statement was presented to the City Colleges of Chicago Board of Trustees on 9/3/15 by Jennifer Asimow on behalf of the Child Development Faculty:

The Child Development faculty team disagrees with the City Colleges of Chicago District decision to consolidate the Child Development programs to Truman College by closing the programs offered at Daley, Harold Washington, Kennedy-King, Malcolm X, and Olive-Harvey colleges.

The faculty team disagrees with this decision for the following reasons:

1. This will create undue burden on Child Development students, the majority of whom live on the south and west sides of the city. It is difficult, and in many cases impossible, for students to travel so far north when most of them are working parents.

2. This will create a burden on the profession, particularly for agencies located on the south and west sides that have routinely sent their employees to City College programs within or near their communities.

3. This removes Child Development faculty from the various communities where they have spent years building collaborative partnerships with agencies for practicum placements and ongoing observation hours. This profession is relationship based and proximity matters.

4. The decision to close so many programs did not involve input from faculty, who serve not only as content experts, but also as direct contacts to the profession. When Child Development faculty have requested the data that show how this decision benefits Child Development students or the colleges, that request has been repeatedly denied. The degree to which faculty input has been ignored in major decisions regarding large programs in the CCC system is unacceptable.

Part of our mission states, “Through the power of education, we inspire and transform the lives of our students and those connected to them, enhance the communities we serve, and catalyze positive socio-economic change.” To this end, child Development faculty have spent decades building nationally recognized programs in six separate City Colleges. They have spent years building relationships with partners in the field within those City College communities. Most importantly, they have spent years serving students from every area of the city. The decision to remove access to high quality Child Development programs from the south and west side communities takes City Colleges away from the mission by removing access to nationally accredited, thriving programs for many students of color who live and work in the poorest communities of our city. These are the very communities that need programs like Child Development. As a faculty team with expertise in the field of Early Childhood Education, we are in agreement that this decision does not serve our city well. We can do better.

For the past twelve years, the Child Development faculty has worked closely together as a discipline team along with their Advisory Councils including prominent representatives from the Early Childhood field. We have re-written and revised our entire curriculum (twice) as a District level team. We have all gone through outside accreditation and each program has earned national recognition. We have a documented track record for not being afraid of change, and for being willing to work very hard to create high quality programs for our students who will serve young children and their families. In short, CD faculty are an excellent group to work with and can potentially serve as a shining example of District level cooperation and participation in shared governance.

The purpose of this statement is to communicate to the CCC community that the Child Development faculty disagrees with the consolidation decision. Shared governance is built on trust, and trust involves reviewing the communication process objectively in order to build a stronger relationship. Moving forward, the faculty will work toward building a high quality Child Development degree program at Truman College. At the same time, we certainly hope that the Chancellor will reconsider the full consolidation decision and meet with us to discuss possible alternatives such as offering satellite programs or other opportunities for south and west communities to have direct, face-to-face access to education in Child Development through the City Colleges of Chicago. This can serve as a model for programs across the District.

We can work together to make this happen.

Respectfully submitted,

The Child Development faculty team, City Colleges of Chicago

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