Opening Day 2009

September 11, 2009 

Dear Colleagues,

As we look forward to the beginning of fall quarter, I want to alert you to college Opening Day activities. I know you have already received information about District Opening Day from Interim Chancellor Mike Brandy, and I look forward to seeing you at Foothill's Smithwick Theatre on Thursday, Sept. 17, beginning at 7:30 a.m. with continental breakfast. As you may recall from Mike's letter, division meetings will be held at each college Thursday afternoon, so please plan to return to campus for those meetings.

We will kick off our own College Opening Day activities on Friday, Sept. 18, with breakfast at 8 a.m. outside the Campus Center. The program will begin at 9 a.m. in the dining area, when we will welcome new employees, congratulate those who have devoted years of service to our students, and hear an important update on De Anza's budget.

Beyond these updates and welcomes, we will review our progress in addressing the development of Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) and Service Area Outcomes (SAOs), and then continue to work on these topics through the afternoon. A hallmark of De Anza has always been the dedication to teaching and learning, and the vital services we provide for our students. A day devoted to SLO/SAO creation and assessment provides a valuable venue -- the time, space and collegiality -- for better gauging student learning. Many of you have been working for some time to write these outcomes, and Friday afternoon will provide divisions and departments the opportunity to complete this process. A working draft of all SLOs should be submitted by the end of the afternoon. The development of assessment methods is the critical next step, which many divisions will be working on Friday as well.

SLO work will take place in instructional divisions beginning at 1 p.m. on Friday afternoon. At the same time, in Campus Center A&B, Student Services and College Services will be working to create SAOs.

Many thanks to the Academic Senate and the other leaders of the SLO/SAO project. In addition to providing the opportunity to better assess student learning, the successful implementation of SLOs and SAOs is a critical component for accreditation in 2011, the preparation for which is accelerating. We will soon be inviting your participation on accreditation teams.

I look forward to seeing you next Thursday and Friday for Opening Days. I will be writing again soon regarding the district and campus budgets, and how we will address the multiple challenges we face. But for the moment, let's enjoy the last days of summer.

Brian Murphy

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