A Challengingly Good Year: An update from the System Advisory Committee on Curriculum

Vice President, Past Co-Chair of SACC
Co-Chair of SACC

As most of us can attest, decisions made in the Chancellor’s Office directly affect the day-to-day workings of our colleges. Never is this fact more obvious to faculty than when they are creating or revising curriculum. As colleges work to address the educational goals of their students and meet the curricular requirements of the Chancellor’s Office, issues may surface that could adversely affect curriculum and curriculum procedures at local colleges. When warranted, these curricular issues come to the System Advisory Committee on Curriculum (SACC) for consideration. SACC, a collaborative committee with membership including representatives from faculty, administration, and the Chancellor’s Office, is charged with investigating, deliberating, and providing recommendations to the Chancellor’s Office to address or resolve curricular issues and improve Chancellor’s Office policies and procedures. 

SACC considered a number of issues during the past year. Unfortunately, our ability to address certain issues, such as concerns with information in the Program and Course Approval Handbook, was impeded by the vacancies of key positions in Academic Affairs. In spite of these difficult conditions, we did make progress in resolving several issues, as evidenced by the committee’s recommendations captured in our meeting summaries and information disseminated at the Curriculum Institute as well as the Chancellor’s Office memorandums published in May.

However, we were unable to resolve all issues, and a few matters that SACC worked on this last year will continue into the next:

  • Program and Course Approval Handbook (PCAH): SACC will collaborate with the Chancellor’s Office to revise the PCAH in an effort to address the concerns that came to light during the past year as local curriculum chairs, articulation officers, and curriculum specialists attempted to implement directives from the PCAH.  As this work continues, the SACC faculty representatives will rely on their colleagues in the field to identify concerns and provide specific examples and rationale for any proposed changes.
  • Program Goals: SACC is considering a recommendation to the Chancellor’s Office to revise the program goals in the Curriculum Inventory for traditional (non-Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT)) associate degrees. Currently, four possible program goals exist for associate degrees: transfer, career technical education (CTE), CTE and transfer, and other. Moreover, the PCAH limits the use of a local general education pattern for traditional (non-ADT) transfer degrees and only permits the use of CSU or IGETC pattern. These two conditions have created significant restrictions on the development and revision of traditional associate degrees that include a local general education pattern, thereby constraining colleges in serving students transferring to private or out-of-state colleges and universities.

These two issues will consume a substantial amount of time and effort; however, there are a few other matters that remain on the SACC agenda for the coming year: 

  • Implementing progress indicators for noncredit courses, including elevating the priority of Title 5 changes to add Satisfactory Progress (SP) (Resolution 14.02 S14)
  • Coding of English as a Second Language (ESL) courses for the Data Mart basic skills progress tracker tool (Resolution 9.04 S14)
  • Developing guidelines for the enrollment of community service and credit students in classes
  • Changes to Education Code regarding auditing language (Resolution 6.02 F11)
  • Developing guidelines for collaborative programs (formerly conjoint programs) to create partnerships between and among colleges for programs and degree offerings including ADTs.

Although the work of SACC continues, the faculty membership will be changing. This past year, our representatives created an effective, collegial, and collaborative environment at SACC and should be commended for their efforts. Many thanks to Marie Boyd (Chaffey College), Cori Burns (Cosumnes River College), Erik Shearer (Napa Valley College), and John Stanskas (San Bernardino Valley College) for their service. SACC welcomes the new faculty representatives who began their tenure in August: Dolores Davison (Foothill College), Dave Degroot (Allan Hancock College), Craig Rutan (Santiago Canyon College), and Jolena Grande (Cypress College). Marie Boyd will also remain as a faculty representative for the coming year, serving for a second year on the committee. Finally, ASCCC Curriculum Committee Chair Michelle Grimes-Hillman (Mt. San Antonio College) will take over as the faculty co-chair of SACC.

As always, updates on SACC’s work will be provided at ASCCC curriculum regional meetings, plenary sessions, and listserv postings as well as through the SACC meeting summaries located at http://extranet.cccco.edu/Divisions/AcademicAffairs/CurriculumandInstru…