This procedure provides the steps the Curriculum Approval Committee will take when attempting to resolve continuing differences among faculty over curriculum; to resolve issues of duplication, and to resolve issues over course numbering.
In general, most curriculum issues should be resolved by faculty meeting collegially with other faculty. However, some circumstances make impossible the resolution of continuing differences over curriculum. In these circumstances, the assistance of the Curriculum Approval Committee (CAC) may be needed. The CAC will use the following process to allow for fair review of courses.
- Any faculty member, instructional manager or administrator may request the review process be initiated by the CAC by sending a written memo or email to the coordinator of curriculum development.
- The CAC will review the request and identify action to be taken. The CAC will consider what other courses of action have been pursued by the faculty before initiating a formal review.
- The vice president Academic and Student Affairs in consultation with division chairs will recruit a fact-finding panel of three faculty not teaching any of the courses in question to review the courses. Panel members should have familiarity with the concepts of the courses and should not be biased toward one department over another. The vice president will establish deadlines for the process to occur in a timely manner.
- Faculty whose courses have been identified for review will provide all relevant course information to Curriculum and Scheduling. Relevant information for courses being reviewed includes (but is not limited to) course descriptions, intended student outcomes and assessment measures, artifacts of student work if available, and course exams, including information about the testing conditions (timed? open book? group test? take-home?). Curriculum and Scheduling will provide the panel with copies of the relevant course information supplied by faculty. The panel will review courses using information provided by faculty.
As a general policy, duplication in course offerings should be avoided because duplication in offerings may not be the most effective use of our resources. Additionally, duplication often creates confusion in course selection for students, which may hamper their success. Duplication is not inherently negative, but if there is curricular duplication, it should occur as a result of a deliberate process and be based on a sound rationale.
- The panel will interview the faculty involved, and may interview others with knowledge of the history and development of the courses.
- The panel will report to the Curriculum Approval Committee its findings on duplication of course offerings.
- If the panel has determined that duplication occurs, the panel will consult the faculty of the duplicative courses concerning ways to resolve the duplication. The panel will prepare one or more written plans to resolve the duplication, with a timeline for implementation, and submit a report to the CAC.
- The Curriculum Approval Committee will discuss the panel's report and make recommendations to the vice president Academic and Student Affairs on the preferred plan to resolve duplication issues.
- The vice president will issue a written decision, including a timeline for implementation.
College Level / Appropriate Course Numbering
There are two compelling reasons to monitor course level and course numbering for rigor: first, the curriculum of the college needs to meet standards on collegiate level courses of our accrediting agency, the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities; and second, the State Board of Education requires the college to comply with administrative rules to ensure appropriate course numbers have been assigned. Courses with transfer prefixes and numbers at the 100-level and above must conform to state standards for "Lower Division Collegiate" courses. Transfer courses must offer content "present or acceptable in the first two years of instruction in (Oregon public) four-year higher education institutions," or be "designed to assure satisfactory articulation and transferability to four-year institutions." (Oregon Administrative Rules 589-006-0200)
- For courses being reviewed for college level / appropriate course numbering, faculty will provide the panel with relevant information showing a course is "parallel" to courses at Oregon University System institutions. Such relevant information will include evidence of any of the following state criteria, reprinted here from the Office of Community College Services Community College Handbook:
- Courses have been adopted as part of the Oregon University System/ community college common course numbering effort.
- Duplicate courses are or have been offered by an Oregon University System institution within the previous four-year period.
- Content is similar in level and depth of investigation to that covered in other disciplines at the lower-division level (e.g., Beginning Korean is similar to Beginning French).
- The course is generally recognized as a lower-division course on a regional or national basis.
- The panel will evaluate the evidence presented by faculty and report findings to the Curriculum Approval Committee, including one or more written plans to resolve questions of college level / inappropriate numberings.
- The Curriculum Approval Committee will discuss the panel's report and make recommendations to the vice president Academic and Student Affairs on the preferred plan to resolve question of college level / inappropriate numbering.
- The vice president Academic and Student Affairs will issue a written decision including a timeline for implementation.