Class Caps Based on Pedagogical Factors

Resolution Number
Assigned to
Curriculum Committee
General Concerns
Status Report

Paper was adopted at the Spring 2012 plenary session and posted on the website.

Whereas, Class caps are maximum student enrollment limits specified for each class, and class cap determinations have sometimes been made inconsistently on the basis of classroom size and other arbitrary factors;

Whereas, The enrollment management plans on many campuses have been responding to FTES enrollment funding caps by arbitrarily increasing class caps in order to increase perceived efficiency;

Whereas, Non-pedagogically based class caps have a serious impact on effective instructional delivery and student success, and raising class caps in many classes such as Career Technical Education and science laboratory classes not only impacts effective instruction but can also negatively impact safety conditions for students; and

Whereas, A number of professional organizations such as the American Chemical Society, Red Cross, Basic Skills Initiative, and the National Council of Teachers of English have conducted studies justifying the establishment of class caps based on pedagogical concerns;

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges recommend that discipline faculty at local colleges determine class caps for each of their courses based on pedagogical and health and safety factors, such as but not limited to the methods of instruction, course modality, objectives and outcomes of the course, the assessment methods as established on the Course Outline of Record (COR), and fire codes; and

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges develop a position paper with guidelines for local academic senates to work jointly with collective bargaining agents to assist discipline faculty in the determination of class caps based primarily on pedagogical and health and safety factors.

MSC Disposition: Local Senates