Windward Community College Faculty Senate Constitution, Article V: http://windward.hawaii.edu/committees/Faculty_Senate/Faculty_Constitution.pdf
Credit Curriculum and Academic Affairs Committee Policy:
ACCJC Letter on Credit Hours, March 2011 :
ACCJC Accreditation Standards Annotated for Continuous Quality Improvement and SLOs:
Background and Purpose
The Mission of Windward Community College depends on creating and maintaining a coherent and effective system of credit courses and programs. The college is committed to academic excellence, and on-going evaluation.
The Curriculum Policies and Procedures document is intended to create, approve, modify, deactivate, and assess curriculum for credit courses and programs.
The primary committee on campus that deals with curriculum matters is the Curriculum Committee. Other groups on campus, such as the Office of Academic Affairs and the Institutional Effectiveness Committee, are also part of the curriculum process.
The Chancellor has ultimate authority over curriculum and the policies and procedures associated with curriculum.
The Office of Academic Affairs shall oversee the curriculum process, ensuring that it conforms to university and college policies and goals, and that the requested changes will enhance the college’s curriculum.
The Curriculum Committee is a standing committee of the Faculty Senate, charged with deliberating over curriculum matters.
The Vice-Chancellor of Academic Affairs, or designee who shall be called the Curriculum Coordinator, shall be primarily responsible for infrastructure support regarding curriculum matters, which includes ensuring that college and UH system-level databases are up-to-date,
that forms are properly archived, and that curriculum-related information is publicized in a timely and effective manner.
Activate: to make an inactive course part of the curriculum that can be scheduled as a class or to create a new course.
Archived: a course that is no longer active, or previous versions of the course are considered archived.
Asynchronous: a course that does not have a set meeting time, such as an online class that is self-paced.
Co-requisite: two or more courses that must be taken together in the same semester.
Concurrent: two or more courses taken at the same time.
Curriculum Coordinator: the person, designated by the Vice-Chancellor of Academic Affairs, who is assigned to function as the primary institutional support for the curriculum process.
Deactivate: to make an active course unavailable to offer as a class.
Pre-requisite: a course or other qualification that must be met before a student can sign up for the class.
Synchronous: a class that meets at a specific time.
Recommended Preparation: courses or skills that are suggested for the student prior to beginning the course.
A. Courses and Programs
The college curriculum is composed of the credit courses and programs required to meet the educational needs of the students and the Mission of the college. The curriculum must be of appropriate content, level, and rigor for students at a community college.
B. Core Elements of a Course Description and Style Requirements
The policy establishes the following general rules for what must and can be included in a course description and also the proper way to express credit course information.
I. Catalog Description
The catalog description shall provide a concise and complete description of the course content.
Extraneous information should not be included in the description. Examples of what shall not be part of a catalog description include descriptions of when the class is going to be offered, such as specific semesters or if the course rotates with other courses from year to year.
II. Credit and Contact Hours
The learning activities organized for a course will be such that a typical student will be expected to perform roughly 3 hours of time per week for every credit awarded for the course. When expressing contact hours and credit hours, the following three categories will be acceptable:
“Lecture”, where 1 hour contact time = 1 credit hour
“Lecture/Lab” or “Studio”, where 2 hours of contact time = 1 credit hour
“Laboratory”, where 3 hours contact time = 1 credit hour
A contact hour will have 50 minutes of activity.
III. Pre- and Co-requisites
When expressing the relationship between a course and other courses, the following shall be the accepted formats.
Use “in” instead of “into”, as in “placement in” rather than “placement into”
Use “co-requisite” instead of “corequisite”
Use “or equivalent preparation” instead of “or equivalent”
Use “or” rather than “/” when combining courses – hence, “ASTR 110 or GG 101” rather than
“ASTR 110/GG 101”
When requiring credit in a course, follow the model “Grade of __ or better in ENG 21″ –
Use “better” for grades, “higher” for courses
When requiring credit OR placement, follow the model “Placement in or credit for ENG 22 or higher” or “Placement in or credit for ENG 100.”
When requiring credit AND placement, use “Credit for ENG 22 or higher and placement in or credit for MATH 24 or higher.
When requiring placement through exam, use “satisfactory placement test score.”
When requiring concurrent registration, use “registration in”.
When requiring completion OR concurrent registration, use “Credit for or registration in ….”
When requiring a co-requisite, use, for example, “Co-requisite: CHEM 161L”.
IV. Connection to Degrees and Certificates
Courses numbered 100 and above can count as an elective for the college’s Associate Degrees.
The proposal can also indicate that the course counts towards a specialized designation for the Associate Degrees, or any number of the college’s certificates.
The proposal can also indicate that the course, if repeated, may be applied more than once towards the Associate Degree, whether as meeting a core, diversification, or an elective requirement. This shall be expressed as how the credits can be applied, such as “May be repeated up to _ credits.” For Topics courses, this shall be expressed as how the credits can be applied, such as “May be repeated up to _ credits with different topics.”
V. Student Learning Outcomes
A course-level Student Learning Outcome (SLO) describes a measurable skill that is core to the course goals.
Each course-level SLO ought to be measurable and aligned to the course description as well as to larger-scale college outcomes.
Each course-level SLO ought to be aligned, as appropriate, to General Education Outcomes, Program Outcomes, and Certificate Outcomes.
VI. Other Elements
The Office of Academic Affairs and the Curriculum Committee have the authority to enforce additional formatting and style to ensure clarity and consistency with all credit courses.
VII. Exceptions to Content and Style Requirements
i. If the course has already been created in a way that does not conform to credit hour/course hour rule, the current amounts can remain;
ii. If the course is articulated in the UH system and the articulated course does not conform to the rule; or
iii. If the Vice-Chancellor of Academic Affairs, at the request of the Faculty Senate, allows an exception.
C. Procedures for Creating and Modifying Courses
The procedures governing curriculum can be divided into procedures for courses and procedures for programs. When courses and a program are being created at the same time, it is acceptable to submit the entire package at the same time. Otherwise, the courses ought to be created before the program is proposed.
I. Types of Course Changes
There are five general types of actions that can be taken with regards to a course:
i. a new course can be created
ii. the content of an active course can be modified
iii. a course alpha or number can be changed. The previous version of the course will remain in the course database as part of the course archive.
iv. an active course can be made inactive
v. an inactive course can be made active
The curriculum process shall not consider changes in the mode of instruction, such as online, face-to-face, hybrid, synchronous, and asynchronous.
II. Maintenance of the Curriculum Process
It is the responsibility of the Vice-Chancellor of Academic Affairs, or the person designated as the Curriculum Coordinator, to ensure that the course approval system is functioning properly.
The approval process must fit within any active UH system-level course information.
The Chancellor, on the advice of the Curriculum Committee and the Vice-Chancellor of Academic Affairs, shall instruct the Curriculum Coordinator to establish a standard online form for course creation and modification. The questions included in the form shall be associated to the questions found at the UH system-level curriculum system.
III. Course Creation, Modification, Activation, and Deactivation Steps
The approval process must balance the need for academic freedom and the need for institutional input and assessment.
The course approval process shall have four main steps:
Step 1: Creating the Proposal
The proposer enters the proposal into the college’s local online course database. All appropriate questions on the form must be answered. A syllabus and other documents can also be sent to the Curriculum Coordinator to be posted.
For new courses, the Student Affairs representative shall be the contact person for determining the available course numbers. New courses are expected to conform to the UH system-level course numbering policies.
The proposer consults with relevant stakeholders, including the sponsoring department, the Division Dean, and the Curriculum Committee chair, to ensure that basic problems with the proposal are resolved before the proposal is presented to the campus. Consultations are documented on the proposal form under “Stakeholders.” The proposer is also strongly encouraged to attend the Curriculum Committee meeting where their proposal will be discussed.
Step 2: Campus Feedback
When ready, the proposer submits the proposal for feedback. A page will be created on the college’s Discussion Board that directs people to the proposal and requests feedback from those on the college’s general mailing list. Anyone with a valid UH ID and who is part of the Windward Community College directory database can post comments. The discussion shall last for at least one week (5 working days) and can be extended on the request of either the proposer or the chair of the Curriculum Committee.
The proposer is encouraged but is not required to respond to the feedback or to make changes to the proposal. Moving the proposal to the next stage in no way implies acceptance of the proposal.
Step 3: Formal Approval Process
If the proposer wishes to continue, the proposal is submitted to the formal approval process.
The steps to secure formal authorization are as follows:
Approval Level 1. The Department
The department shall consider, among other things, the appropriateness of the course for the discipline and the department. Any suggestions for modifications to the proposal made by the department should be made by the proposer before the document is submitted to the Curriculum Committee. The proposer shall record on the proposal form the date(s) on which the department was consulted.
Approval Level 2. The Curriculum Committee
The Curriculum Committee shall consider, among other things, the academic quality of the course and its appropriateness for the college. The committee will also ensure that the SLOs are appropriate and measurable. Suggestions and modifications to the proposal can be made with the approval of the proposer and curriculum committee as needed during the discussion process.
Approval Level 3. The Faculty Senate.
The Faculty Senate shall consider, among other things, whether faculty deliberations at the departmental and Curriculum Committee level have been fair.
If the proposal receives faculty senate approval, it is transferred from the local database to the UH system-level curriculum database. Department, Curriculum Committee, and Faculty Senate approvals are entered into the system database by the Department Chair, the Curriculum Coordinator, and the Faculty Senate Presiding Chair.
Approval Level 4. The Dean of Academic Affairs
The Dean from the appropriate division shall ensure that the course change is consistent with other aspects of the College’s and the University’s curriculum, including articulation and transfer. Minor changes to the proposal can be made to the proposal in consultation with the Dean of Academic Affairs, the Curriculum Committee Chair, and original proposer. The Dean’s decision shall be entered into the system database.
Approval Level 5. The Vice-Chancellor of Academic Affairs
The Vice-Chancellor shall consider, among other things, that there is sufficient demand for the course, and that the college has sufficient resources to support the course. Minor changes to the proposal can be made to the proposal in consultation with the Vice-Chancellor of Academic affairs, the Curriculum Committee Chair, and original proposer. The Vice-Chancellor’s decision shall be entered into the system database.
Approval Level 6. The Chancellor
The Chancellor shall consider, among other things, whether the proposal is consistent with the College’s Mission and Strategic Plan. Minor changes to the proposal can be made to the proposal in consultation with the Chancellor, the Curriculum Committee Chair, and original proposer. The Chancellor’s decision shall be entered into the system database and the approval process is then complete.
Step 4. Implementing Approved Proposals
If the course is approved, the information is entered into Banner, the local database is updated as appropriate, and the course becomes part of the college’s curriculum.
If the proposal is not approved during the formal process, the proposer can submit a new proposal. The unsuccessful proposal shall remain in the course database and labelled as “archived.”
D. Assessment of Courses
The Office of Academic Affairs is ultimately responsible to ensure that credit courses are assessed on a regular basis.
Special attention will be paid to changes in how course descriptions are written, how the course connects to college programs, and how the course relates to other courses at the college and in the UH system.
This assessment will also focus on:
Currency: How current is the course’s content? Does it reflect current knowledge or skills?
Academic Rigor: Does the course reflect the learning outcomes of the institution? Does it reflect the standards of the discipline, either nationally or locally?
Program needs: Does the course meet the needs of an academic program? Is it an essential course for completion of a degree or certificate? Does the course meet the needs of the students?
Suggested changes to courses shall be referred to the appropriate faculty members, who can decide whether to create a course modification request. As with the original course proposal, all changes to the course are the responsibility of the proposer
II. Course-level Student Learning Outcomes
Special attention shall be paid to Course and program-level Student Learning Outcomes.
The SLOs for course shall be assessed once every five years on a rotation system where roughly 20% of the active courses shall be assessed every year.
Department Chairs are responsible for ensuring that the courses are assessed in a timely and appropriate manner.
E. Program Creation and Modification Process
A program is either a degree or a certificate. All degrees and some certificates are approved by the Board of Regents, which means that the approval process requires the actions of external bodies such as the Board of Regents and the Council of Chief Academic Officers.
I. Authorization to Plan
If the program requires external approval, an Authorization to Plan document must be submitted. The acceptance of an Authorization to Plan involves three steps:
i. The proposal is discussed by the campus through the college’s Discussion Board system
ii. The Curriculum Committee considers a motion to recommend the Authorization to Plan.
iii. If recommended by the Curriculum Committee, the Vice-Chancellor of Academic Affairs forwards the proposal to the Council of Chief Academic Officers at the UH system.
The Authorization to Plan document should not be evaluated as a final program proposal. Unless the proposed program is fundamentally flawed, the response to the authorization to plan document ought to be focused more on offering feedback. Passage of the Authorization to Plan in no way implies that the program itself will be accepted.
II. Elements of a Program Proposal
The process shall parallel the course creation and modification process with the exception that, if necessary, after the approval process is completed at the college, the proposal will be forwarded to the UH system for approval.
A program description will include the following
i. A narrative of the program
ii. Program Learning Outcomes for the program
iii. Courses that are connected to the program
iv. Description of demand and social value of the program
v. Description of resources needed, including budget, personnel, which will have an impact on the college
F. Program Assessment
Degrees and Certificates shall be assessed every five years, with particular attention being paid to:
i. Program learning outcomes, especially in terms of course and college outcomes
ii. the appropriateness of course requirements
iii. the description of courses that are closely tied to the program
iv. use of space, monies, and other campus resources
v. additional needs to increase or maintain their presence on campus
G. Documentation of the Curriculum Process
The official version of all curriculum information shall be found in the course-related database. The Office of Academic Affairs shall ensure the integrity, completeness, and timeliness of the information.
The college website shall be the primary repository of curriculum documents, which will include both current and archival documents. The type of documents and data maintained includes:
i. PDFs of curriculum proposals, including previous course change forms
ii. Memos and other documents relating to changes in curriculum
iii. Data in course-related databases
iv. Web pages to display data, including lists for active courses, archived courses, current and past course proposals, and discussions of proposals
v. Links to resources
The minutes of the Curriculum Committee shall include a list of curriculum actions.
The Curriculum Committee shall present a list of curriculum actions to the Faculty Senate at the end of each academic year.
H. Assessment of the Curriculum Process
The Curriculum Committee will reassess the policies and procedures associated with the Curriculum process at the beginning of the spring semester each year and propose any changes through the college’s standard policy process.
The Curriculum Committee shall be responsible for ensuring that faculty are trained in the course proposal and modification process through workshops, online tutorials, or other resources.
The Chancellor, on the advice of the Vice-Chancellor of Academic Affairs and the Curriculum Committee, is responsible for updating this policy.
Effective date: February 14, 2012.
Revised date: November 22, 2016