Based on my many faxes, emails, and phone messages, I am convinced that faculty view the curriculum process as very important yet often overly bureaucratic and cumbersome. Many faculty have expressed similar concerns to me directly during several of my recent visits to campuses around the state. Among the questions I've heard at the local, district, and state levels are: How do we avoid unnecessary rewrites of course proposals? How often should course outlines be updated? How do we deal with prerequisites and levels of scrutiny validation? How do we prepare on-line course proposals? What are the best ways to redesign curriculum for welfare-to-work and CalWORKs programs?
Community college faculty have many resources available to them that can help through these technical and often difficult issues. The Curriculum Standards Handbook and the draft policy on good practices in writing curriculum can help faculty prepare new courses. Bill Scroggins, Academic Senate President and past Chair of the Curriculum Committee, is knowledgeable about these matters and has provided technical assistance to many local curriculum committees. Most of the specific concerns I've heard will also be discussed in breakout sessions at the Spring Academic Senate plenary session.
With respect to intersegmental matters, community colleges submit courses each December for fulfillment of the CSU General Education Breadth Requirements and IGETC Requirements. Lois Yamakoshi, the FACCC Liaison to the Academic Senate, and I sit on the intersegmental review panel, which also includes CSU faculty, an articulation officer, a UC liaison, and a CSU Chancellor's Office liaison. This panel reads course outlines, evaluates their strengths, and determines if they fulfill specific categories of general education. The occasional tensions on the panel are perhaps evidence of the seriousness with which all segments view course transfer, articulation, and general education requirements.
Finally, the Curriculum Committee is working with the Library and Counseling Faculty Committee on their information competency draft. More about this important work in future issues of the Rostrum.
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