Two-Year College Task Force 2010

Submitted by Trinidad Gonzales, chair

The Two-Year College task force met via teleconference on November 1, 2010. Members that met were Trinidad Gonzales, chair; Cheryll Ann Cody; Judith Jeffrey Howard; Kevin Reilly; and Natalie Kimbrough; and Noralee Frankel, AHA staff.

Frank Malaret stepped down as the task force chair and Trinidad Gonzales assumed those duties. Cheryll Ann Cody who also serves on the Teaching Division became a member.  

In 2010, a survey of AHA two-year faculty was conducted. The results were discussed by task force members during their meeting. Early assessments by members revolved around the need for the AHA to address issues related to teaching, in particular courses taught at two-year institutions.

It was agreed during the meeting that currently no systemic methods or effort exists concerning the collection of data on the professional lives of two-year history faculty. While data does exist about faculty at two-year institutions, none does so that focuses on historians. Judith Jeffrey Howard, formerly at the National Endowment of the Humanities drafted a memo concerning Community College Data to the task force, which the rest of the members will examine.

Annual Meetings
The task force sponsored two sessions at the 2011 annual meeting in Boston. The sessions were “Getting a Job at a Community College,” held Friday, January 7, 2011, from 9:30–11:30; and “Teaching the Survey,” Friday, January 7, 2011, from 2:30–4:30. A reception for two-year faculty was held on January 7 from 5:30–7 p.m. Members of the task force held an open forum during the reception as they did at the 2010 San Diego meeting. 

Two sessions are planned for the Chicago 2012 meeting. They are “Teaching the Survey with Technology,” and “Course Outcomes and Assessments.”    

Early Thoughts on Recommendations for Final Report
Recommendations included, pamphlets addressing issues related to teaching from subject centered publications to the mechanics of organizing a course and dealing with teaching to a diverse audience. Other suggestions include increased representation of two-year faculty on programs and committees, regional meetings, day rates for the annual meeting, encouraging collaboration between two-year and four-year faculty members, increased awareness concerning articulation agreements between two-year and four-year institutions, developing a data collection system on the lives of two-year faculty, and addressing lack of collegial respect by research and four-year faculty toward two-year faculty.   

The task force is considering publishing an article in Perspectives on History to help inform the larger membership about the professional life of two-year members. The tentative title of the article is “The Day in the Life of a Two-Year Faculty Member.”