Calendar leaves nurses worried

Matt Garvey

The Health Science and Human Services (HSHS) division raised concerns over the proposed calendars for the 2012-2013 because the later start date submitted by Irvine Valley College will disrupt clinical hours required for the nursing program.

At the last Academic Senate meeting HSHS staff showed up to voice opposition to the IVC calendar. The main concern was how contracts would be impacted by a change in start dates especially the later start of spring.

“The problem with the late start is that it will interfere with our established clinical lab rotations,” said Professor of Nursing Linda Call. “Especially Pediatrics and Advanced Nursing.

The Saddleback College nursing program competes with eight other programs for clinical hours in Orange County. In this competition for access to clinical sites a significant factor is seniority. HSHS believes that the later start date will mean a loss in seniority because the contracts will need to be reworked.

“If we are forced to begin our program at a later date, we will loose our seniority placement,” said Call. “And our pediatric and advanced nursing clinical labs will not be able to continue. If our nursing program cannot accommodate pediatrics and advanced nursing, we will lose our accreditation and our program will shut down,” said Call.

Aside from the problems cited by HSHS, the proposed calendar from Saddleback College lacked key features like staff development days before the start of the school year and needed to be redone. The calendar committee met this week to craft a new proposal to be voted upon at the next meeting.

“The calendar committee has representation from faculty throughout the college. HSHS concerns have been taken into consideration, ” said Academic Senate President Elect and calendar committee member Dan Walsh.

The IVC proposal and the Saddleback College proposal will now be sent to the Academic Senate for a vote. The IVC calendar starts a week later in fall and spring and does not have a finals week. Saddleback College has submitted a calendar more in line with past calendars. approved would not preclude a department or division from continuing to offer any course nor cause them to change their curriculum,” said Walsh.

IVC submitted the calendar with later start dates in order to compete for enrollment with other community colleges in north Orange County. The calendar committee at IVC believes that they are losing students to colleges that start later.

A possible solution would be for the Board of Trustees to change policy and allow Saddleback College and IVC to operate on different calendars. The Academic Senate is set to research the impact this might have on students and faculty.

“Do we want two calendars though? I don’t think so,” said Walsh. “There over 2000 students who attend both colleges who would be on different schedules. Not to mention the overlap in faculty and staff that would create a scheduling nightmare for the district.”

The matter will be brought up again at the Academic Senate meeting Oct. 27. “The colleges and district will ultimately do what is right for our students,” said Walsh.