Discipline Faculty Discussing Curriculum.Priceless

September
2008
Michelle Pilati, Faculty Coordinator, SCP and C-ID

While we can easily calculate the cost associated with bringing faculty together to discuss curriculum and articulation, the value of providing a venue for such activities is immeasurable. With the abandonment of IMPAC (Intersegmental Major Preparation Articulated Curriculum), such a venue for intersegmental discipline-based conversations was lost. IMPAC lost its funding in part due to the difficulty of demonstrating the value of discipline-based intersegmental curriculum discussion. But we have two new opportunities that permit such activities-programs which are designed with tangible outcomes that can demonstrate what faculty can accomplish when given an opportunity. These two projects have been in the works for some time but are now really moving forward, and they need YOU to make them a success. You may have heard of one or both, but I want to present them to you in a different light, addressing what you can do-and why you should do it.

The projects at hand are Statewide Career Pathways: Creating School to College Articulation (SCP; http://www.statewidepathways.org/) and Course Identification Number System (C-ID; http://www.c-id.net/). Both involve the gathering of discipline faculty for the purpose of developing course descriptors to facilitate articulation. Both projects involve the posting of draft descriptors for faculty review and comment. The projects differ in that SCP brings secondary teachers and community college faculty together specifically for the purpose of developing descriptors for courses that a student might bring to a community college from a high school or regional occupational centers and programs (ROCP). The focus of C-ID is on courses that a community college student might bring to a CSU or UC, or might want to seek credit for at another community college. Thus, C-ID seeks to facilitate both vertical and horizontal student movement. In some ways it is comparable to the dearly departed California Articulation Number (CAN) System.

SCP has created an infrastructure for articulation in California by bringing together high school, ROCP, and community college faculty to develop articulation templates for the most frequently-offered career technical education (CTE) courses as a means of facilitating articulation. As noted earlier, the draft templates (AKA "course descriptors") are available online for review and aim to provide a common starting point for establishing formal articulation agreements. The ultimate goal is an increase in articulated courses with the existing articulation agreements available online. We are now in a phase with SCP where we hope to start seeing the fruits of our labors, and we need to see articulation agreements developed and submitted to the project's online database. If you teach in a CTE area, be sure to visit the site and contact the appropriate parties on your campus to work on establishing formal articulation agreements with your local schools or ROCPs-or to have your existing agreements uploaded to the site. Your Tech Prep coordinator can help you with this. If you are not sure who to contact and need some help, please contact us. These projects can only achieve their goals with your assistance.

As described on the C-ID site, "C-ID is a supranumber, a faculty-driven system to assign that number to significant transfer courses, and a response to needs of transfer partners and their transfer initiatives. Each C-ID number identifies a lower-division, transferable course commonly articulated between the California Community Colleges and the Universities of California and the California State Universities, as well as with many of California's independent colleges and universities." C-ID is still in its infancy, but we are now on our first review cycle. We need you to visit the C-ID site and review the descriptors for courses in your discipline and to volunteer to participate if your discipline is slated for a meeting this year. Descriptors are now available for courses in biology, chemistry, child development, English, and psychology. We are now looking for faculty to work on developing draft descriptors for English (creative writing), geology, psychology, sociology, and theatre/drama.

These two projects are faculty-driven and they need YOUR support. I encourage you to visit the websites for both projects (please see above) and to encourage your faculty to do so. If you have any questions, please call our office or feel free to email me at mpilati [at] riohondo.edu. We're building it and we need you to help to make these projects the success and benefit they have the potential to be.

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