A bill sponsored by Assemblyman Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita) will help community college students get access to more college counselors and other key academic support staff.
Wilk announced that Assembly Bill AB-806 has passed the Higher Education committee with bipartisan support with a vote of 7-2. The bill amends a previous law that mandates how academic staff is hired at public community colleges.
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Currently, community colleges have to spend at least 50% of their expenditures on the “salaries of classroom instructors.” Under Wilk’s bill, the definition would be expanded to allow the hiring of counselors and library staff as well.
Assembly Bill 806 would include Community College counselors and library staff on the instructor side of the 50% rule. In doing so, the bill allows districts greater allocation to hire more college counselors.
“During my time as a Community College Board Trustee, the number one concern I heard from community college students was the inability to meet with counselors,” said the Santa Clarita assemblyman. “If we can cut down the amount of time students spend in their local community college system, it will save the students money, it will save the taxpayers money and it will allow students to complete their educational goals in the most efficient way possible,” said Wilk.
College of the Canyons
Wilk notes that the College of the Canyons in Valencia is a great example. That school now has over 1,500 students for every one counselor. The proposed law would allow the college to add more counselors, who help students navigate their course selections and give guidance on future education and career choices.
According to the COC website, “Counseling faculty meet with students individually in private counseling appointments for educational counseling, career counseling, and personal counseling; they help students develop educational plans, they facilitate group counseling workshops, and they teach Counseling courses. Counseling faculty are trained professionals available to help (students) with personal concerns.”
Next, AB 806 moves on to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
Assemblyman Scott Wilk represents the 38th Assembly District, which encompasses Simi Valley, the northern section of the San Fernando Valley and most of the Santa Clarita Valley. He previously served on the Santa Clarita Community College Board of Trustees.
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Source: Santa Clarita News