Curriculum and Programs
Curriculum and Programs Working Group
2002-3 Goals and Accomplishments
Preparing for Accreditation
* Why start now?
The accreditation process will begin soon (self-study should occur next year). Our group's short-term goal was to gather information about the new accreditation standards and how they will impact our curriculum and course outlines. The new accreditation standards are based on the idea that each program should demonstrate that its students are achieving the "learning outcomes" that the curriculum describes.
* What have we learned?
An accreditation expert at Cabrillo College, explained that approaches to the new accreditation standards vary widely. At Foothill College the administration and faculty have adopted a portfolio approach. Other colleges have submitted course outlines, accompanied by sample syllabi and department grading standards. While much remains unclear about exactly what documentation will be required in order to demonstrate that our students are achieving these goals, it is certain that statistics on student success rates will no longer suffice, and that we will have to change many course outlines in order to clarify “learning outcomes.”
* How have we applied this information?
At the Developmental Task Force meeting on 4/24, we presented Foothill College's accreditation forms and instructions in order to alert department members who are revising curriculum of these new requirements. As a group we worked on revising the EWRT 100B course outline in order to more accurately reflect our goals for that course and its place in the EWRT sequence. This work was continued at the English Department Curriculum meeting two weeks later.
Self-study and Alternative Instructional Formats
In addition to the immediate accreditation goals, our group is developing longer-range plans on two topics: alternative formats for developmental courses, and self-study for consistency of course standards. Over the next year, we plan to submit for department input alternative instructional formats to address the needs of students who are having difficulty in developmental courses. These may include
* Freshman Experience
* Two-quarter versions of EWRT 100A, 100B, 1A or 2
* "Probationary" pass for students who are ready to move on to the next course but missed the mark in their grade.
Our ideas for studying consistency of course standards include
* Blinded reading syllabi, assignments and sample student essays from the same level course with different instructors