In 1996, the California Community College Board of Governors (BOG) issued a policy statement identifying information competency as a priority. Recognizing information competency as an academic and professional matter, in May 1999 the Chancellor delegated the issue of information competency as a graduation requirement to the Academic Senate for its recommendations.
The 1998 basic skills survey of the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges' Basic Skills Ad Hoc Committee found among the colleges much variation in practices but many similar problems developing strong basic skills instruction. Some common challenges facing basic skills instructors include classes that are too large, lack of adequate funding, ineffective assessment tools, inadequate research, lack of qualified reading instructors, problems coordinating programs, and insufficient faculty development opportunities.
This proposal is intended to provide the California Community College system with a means by which to better serve student needs and enhance the ability of the CHANCELLOR'S Office to record and report the many different certificates that are now awarded by local community colleges. The proposal seeks to provide for certificates that have a high degree of credibility with employers so that they will be helpful to students seeking employment.
This paper recommends good practices for writing each of the sections of the course outline of record. Sections covered are Catalog Description, Class Schedule Description, Need/Justification, Objectives/Student Outcomes, Prerequisite Skills, Course Content, Assignments, Methods of Instruction and Evaluation, and Texts and Instructional Materials. The focus of the recommendations is to provide course outlines which are thorough and comprehensive of the Title 5 standards as well as providing complete descriptions of actual classroom practices which are sufficient for articulation.
The paper, developed by the Academic Senate Educational Policies Committee, reviews the current regulation and statute, role of local academic senates, effects on students, the need to balance the college curriculum, educational and budget planning issues, collective bargaining concerns, and considerations when developing a local model.
A well-designed college curriculum is not only comprehensive and effective but also flexible. As new topics emerge and demands of the field evolve, the curriculum must be responsive without losing its commitment to quality. This paper makes recommendations to create specific categories and approval processes for:
special topics courses, experimental courses, an expedited process for courses with imminent need for approval, and independent study courses.
A solid curriculum is the backbone of any college. In the California Community College system, curriculum oversight is provided by the Board of Governors and the Chancellor and is recognized as a matter on which the Chancellor relies primarily on the advice and recommendations of the Academic Senate.
Prerequisites are an essential tool in the construction of curriculum for courses in which student success is highly dependent on previously acquired knowledge or skills. However, effective use of prerequisites requires a balance of several countervailing factors. (Used in this general sense the term prerequisites applies also to corequisites and other limitations on enrollment.) Appropriate prerequisites also require a balance between externally imposed mandates and local control.
The curriculum committee plays a central role in the California Community Colleges. This role has expanded tremendously with the expanding role of faculty in community college governance and with the expanding demand for a curriculum which is flexible and responsive to the needs of our increasingly diverse student body. These demands have necessitated, now more than ever, that faculty understand the role of the curriculum committee, remain committed to high curriculum standards, and implement the college curriculum in an organized, efficient manner.
As a result of its desire to see the quality and educational effectiveness of community colleges maintained, the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (Academic Senate) has had a long-standing commitment to faculty-based program review mechanisms. As public support for funding colleges and universities diminishes and fiscal resources become increasing constrained, planning and effective use of the sparse educational dollars is paramount.