Many Irons in the Fire

Chair, Curriculum Committee

The Academic Senate Curriculum Committee and Academic Senate appointments to Chancellor's Office advisory committees have been working on a number of things these last six months, of which this article will highlight but a few.

Title 5, Part II

Revisions to Title 5 Regulation in the area of curriculum continues. Known at Part II, this second batch of changes were recently aired for public comment. There are several areas to note.

On the credit side, language regarding withdrawals and course repetition has been cleaned up. There are some minor increases in flexibility for course repetition and allowances for a prior grade to be disregarded in calculating the GPA.

There are some fixes to the cooperative workforce experience education repetition rules to better allow students to complete the full 16 units permitted in cases where colleges have only one of the two kinds of courses allowed.

And there are several places where the use of "independent study" in the apportionment sections has been clarified. Technically this term applies to a type of course, not an attendance accounting method, so the new term "alternative funding formula" now will cover attendance accounting.

One regulation revision relates to allowing for a student to petition, after the fact, to have a noncredit course converted into a credit course, with credit granted. After much discussion and analysis of the issue, SACC's recommendation was to repeal this longstanding regulation and instead recommend colleges use the already allowed credit-by-examination rules. These can be implemented in virtually the same manner but completely accommodate all concerns about the conversion process.

The current timeline for Part II is a March Board of Governors first read, and a May Board of Governors approval.

The plans for updating the Program and Course Approval Handbook continue.

Last updated in 2003, this handbook is in the process of following Title 5 changes through the adoption process. There has been some progress with advisory discussions about the general structure and lay out. Along with the many modifications to Title 5, Division 6, Chapter 6, the document will address noncredit elements previously not covered within this handbook.

The current estimate for a final product is Fall 2008.

Two other guidelines, the Distance Education Guidelines, and the guidelines for the Title 5 curriculum revisions approved last year are still in progress, but the Title 5 Part II changes have slowed down work on these as well.

Paper developments

The Curriculum Committee has been working hard to update the 1995 paper The Components of a Model Course Outline of Record over the last six months. The paper at this point is slightly larger than the typical Senate paper, but the focus has been to create more of a reference document that provides useful discussion and references for each course outline element. It has also been completely restructured to include guidance for noncredit courses.

For information about any or all of these projects, please contact Wheeler North, Curriculum Committee Chair at wnorth [at]