MT. SAN JACINTO COLLEGE – ACCREDITATION STANDARD IIA DRAFT (version 1 – 2.24.17)
Standard II: Student learning programs and support services
The institution offers instructional programs, library and learning support services, and student support services aligned with its mission. The institution’s programs are conducted at levels of quality and rigor appropriate for higher education. The institution assesses its educational quality through methods accepted in higher education, makes the results of its assessments available to the public, and uses the results to improve educational quality and institutional effectiveness. The institution defines and incorporates into all of its degree programs a substantial component of general education designed to ensure breadth of knowledge and to promote intellectual inquiry. The provisions of this standard are broadly applicable to all instructional programs and student and learning support services offered in the name of the institution.
- instructional programs
- All instructional programs, regardless of location or means of delivery, including distance education and correspondence education, are offered in fields of study consistent with the institution’s mission, are appropriate to higher education, and culminate in student attainment of identified student learning outcomes, and achievement of degrees, certificates, employment, or transfer to other higher education programs. (ER 9 and ER 11)
EVIDENCE OF MEETING THE STANDARD
Consistent with our mission, instructional programs at Mt. San Jacinto College are developed and maintained to be “accessible,” “equitable,” and “innovative” across the wide range of workforce certificates, non-credit, basic skills, general education, and transfer courses through a collaborative, faculty driven program review and curriculum process. Course learning outcomes ensure that students gain not only a degree, certificate, or transfer to a four year institution but also employment and a knowledge base that will “empower” them to be a “life-long” learner and “affect positive change in and enhance the world in which we live.”
The curriculum committee charge ensures that the committee regularly evaluates the appropriateness and relevance of programs and courses to our mission, as well as the effectiveness of the programs in their design to achieve educational goals. Courses must be revised at least once every six years (CTE courses every two years). The committee ensures this takes place by releasing a list of out-of-compliance courses to all faculty multiple times each year, which operates as a warning before courses are placed on the Sunset List. The curriculum committee Sunset Policy outlines how courses are removed from the course catalog after they go out of compliance.The extensive curriculum process is designed to review courses and programs for content, transferability or employment and that they align with the district’s mission. In order to place a course or program on the curriculum agenda, a Request for Placement Form is required. This form specifically addresses if the course or program is part of the General Education (GE) pattern, to explain the rationale for the course or program, and how it relates to the Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs).
The Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness and the Office of Institutional Research conducts statistical analysis and regular assessment of student progress toward certificates, degrees, transfer rates, and employment. This data is shared widely with faculty through the program review process in which faculty analyze discipline specific data in order to revise Program Learning Outcomes, write new curriculum or revise existing curriculum, and make other programmatic changes. Faculty analyze success, retention, and fill rate data by site and mode of delivery as well as by ethnicity, age, gender, veteran or foster status, etc. and use their conclusions to make program improvements.
Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) are assessed by faculty in order to implement teaching and learning strategies where necessary as well as to plan course revisions to respond to student performance. CLO’s are clearly communicated to students on the syllabus for each course. Mt. San Jacinto College programs culminate in attainment of Student Learning Outcomes at the course, program, and institutional levels. CLOs map to PLOs, PLOs map to ILOs (or Core Competencies), and ILOs are directly related to the college mission statement. Core competencies – maintained, measured, and revised through both curriculum and program review processes – ensure that students completing a general educational program at Mt. San Jacinto College possess the “skills and knowledge needed to participate in today’s complex world.”
Mt. San Jacinto College ensures that courses are chosen appropriately for distance education through the curriculum committee process. Each course that is taught fully online or in a hybrid format has a special distance education addendum that accompanies the course outline of record. In these, faculty account for how each method of teaching and evaluation will be adapted to the online format. The college’s Distance Education coordinator sits on the curriculum committee and provides input for every course that comes through technical review as a new course or for revision. The role of the DE coordinator is to review the Distance Education addendum to ensure that methods of instruction, evaluation and examples of assignments are comparable to the face-to-face setting and are viable in the online format. The DE coordinator also reviews the course’s Regular Effective Contact policy to ensure it meets district and state standards.
Mt. San Jacinto College’s Articulation Coordinator works in concert with the curriculum committee and any faculty member who is proposing a new or revised course to ensure that courses are appropriate within higher education and transferable to other higher education programs. The Articulation Coordinator maintains a network with other Articulation Officers at colleges across our region, attending the regional meeting on a regular basis to maintain currency. Every transfer-level course that comes through the curriculum process for revision or creation is reviewed by the articulation coordinator. The coordinator and faculty use the web application Assist.org to ensure transfer every time a course is proposed or revised.
ANALYSIS AND EVALUATION
Mt. San Jacinto College meets the standard. The college uses several methods to ensure that instructional program, regardless of location or means of delivery address and meet the mission of the college. The curriculum process has established policies to ensure quality courses and programs are created that align with the college’s mission. A team of faculty, classified staff, administrators, and students work together to assess and modify and produce courses and program that will benefit students. The Program Review process has established policies and procedures that are regularly reviewed and assessed to ensure the relevancy courses and programs have with community needs. They also verify that courses and programs align with the PLOs and the overall mission of the college.
Mt. San Jacinto College also verifies that program pathways are clearly communicated to students. The college catalog clearly identifies each program’s course requirements on each program page. Additionally, the optional courses for each General Education (GE) pattern are clearly identified in the catalog. Students can utilize the catalog or make an appointment to discuss their pathway with a counselor for guidance.
- Faculty, including full time, part time, and adjunct faculty, ensure that the content and methods of instruction meet generally accepted academic and professional standards and expectations. Faculty and others responsible act to continuously improve instructional courses, programs and directly related services through systematic evaluation to assure currency, improve teaching and learning strategies, and promote student success.
EVIDENCE OF MEETING THE STANDARD
The faculty driven curriculum, program review, and CLO assessment processes create a culture of continuous improvement at Mt. San Jacinto College. Both full-time and part-time faculty engage in these systematic evaluations to ensure that courses, programs, and directly related services meet generally accepted academic and professional standards and expectations.
Content and methods of instruction are reviewed by a broad group of faculty and administrators in the curriculum committee and CurricUNET every time a course is created or revised. In the technical review process of the full Course Outline of Record (COR) of every new and revised course, faculty ensure that the methods of instruction are integrated with the content of the course, so that every course outline of record suggests methods of instruction to address particular areas of content.Each COR meets required Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations.
Faculty also address the relationship between teaching methodologies and student performance through our assessment process of Course Learning Outcomes (CLO’s) in eLumen, using the Course Improvement Plan (CIP). The CIP includes the question: “What needed adjustment in pedagogy, curriculum, student support, faculty support, procedural change or any other area did the results indicate?”
Continuous improvement at the program and services level is facilitated through a consistent program review process. All college programs and services complete program review once every three years, evaluating the relevancy, appropriateness, achievement of learning outcomes, currency, and planning for the future. The Program Review process addresses the:
- relevancy of data from the previous review, program strengths, and challenges;
- appropriateness of the program’s mission, program goals, curriculum review, program activities;
- achievement of student learning, success rates, statistics on student diversity, and areas of retention;
- outcomes based on: enrollment statistics, FTES, fill rates, and grade distributions;
- prevalence of strengths and challenges, and the three year cycle for Program Review plus yearly updates;
- future planning, including plans for improvement, curriculum review, budget, equipment, staff, and resource reviews.
Every year that is not a full program review year, an annual program assessment is completed. The yearly program review includes a specific focus on success and retention rates of the courses within each program as well as disaggregated performance data based on site location and modality. Faculty written program reviews are the primary source for institution wide strategic planning. The Resource Allocation Proposal (RAP) that accompanies each program review ensures that faculty link their program goals and needs to the overall strategic plan for the college. Several successful programs have been institutionalized as a result of the Program Review/RAP process, most notably the Supplemental Instruction program and the Student Athlete Scholars program.
Faculty discuss the relationship between teaching methodologies and student performance in several face to face settings as well. Pedagogy is a topic of discussion and exercise at department meetings and all-faculty meetings which occur twice per school year, as well as other events such as the @MSJC Academy. For example, in November, 2015, all teaching faculty gathered for a workshop led by the Escala Educational Services, LLC focusing on “The Power of Noncognitives in Early College Success.” Faculty professional development for online courses is robust and systematic, with required training and mentoring for faculty teaching fully online for the first time as recommended by the Educational Technology Committee in the Distance Education Faculty Handbook.
As a result of vigorous dialogue, program review and assessment of CLO’s, and staying current on the subject of acceleration of foundational skills’ courses, a major curricular redesign occurred in the English department. The first stage was the design and approval of an accelerated English course (ENGL 092) as a pre-requisite for ENGL 101. The next phase was the deactivation of the English courses two and three levels below transfer. Finally, the department changed the cut scores so that any student entering the college could begin one level below transfer in English. Currently, a new co-requisite for transfer level English will allow even more students to begin at the transfer level. In mathematics, a new pre-statistics course has been piloted.
ANALYSIS AND EVALUATION
Mt. San Jacinto College meets the standard. Through various systematic activities, all faculty are involved in maintaining the quality and continuously improving instructional courses, programs, and directly related services. Faculty use eLumen and CurricUNET to assess CLO’s and have access to COR’s, which include methods of instruction and evaluation that are integrated with the course objectives. In addition, supplementary forms in CurricUNET map the course to Institutional Learning Outcomes (ILO’s), describe in detail the adaptation of methods of instruction and evaluation to the online modality, and describe the relevancy and need for the course. The Program Review process ensures that courses promote student success and lead to an attainable and relevant educational goal as well as provide the mechanism by which successful programs become a permanent feature of the college and retain their efficacy.
- The institution identifies and regularly assesses learning outcomes for courses, programs, certificates and degrees using established institutional procedures. The institution has officially approved and current course outlines that include student learning outcomes. In every class section students receive a course syllabus that includes learning outcomes from the institution’s officially approved course outline.
EVIDENCE OF MEETING THE STANDARD
Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) are identified by department faculty and regularly assessed by each faculty who teach the course through the systematic processes by which courses are written, revised, and assessed. Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs) are assessed by faculty and administration via the program review process. Current course outlines of record (CORs) are housed in CurricUNET, which links to eLumen for the updated and revised CLOs of each course, which may change at a faster rate than the COR as the assessment process requires. Each student in a course receives a syllabus that includes the most current CLOs for the course.
CLOS are written by teaching faculty and approved in conjunction with the Course Outlines of Record as defined in the MSJC Curriculum policies. The Assessment Coordinator is a part of the curriculum technical review process to ensure the viability of CLOs with the COR for each designed course. The methods of instruction and evaluation, assignments, and course content are reviewed to ensure alignment with the CLOs.
Faculty in departments and programs collaborate to design a regular 3-year CLO assessment schedule and submit a tentative 3-year CLO assessment plan to ensure that all course offerings are assessed at least twice within the three-year cycle. The only classes that may not be scheduled for assessment at least twice within the three-year cycle are specialty courses. Faculty completing assessments in eLumen submit individual scores for each student and offer analysis for scores in the Course Improvement Plans (CIPs) completed for each assessed course. CIPs are completed the semester following assessment to allow departments time to meet and discuss the contents of the assessment, to trouble shoot effective teaching strategies, or revision of the test questions or CLOS.
Faculty utilize the results of CLO assessments and CIPs in program reviews and RAPs to justify new full-time faculty hires, the development of requisites and recommended preparations, additional professional development, expansion of support services (SI, tutoring, FYE, library resources), or technology in the classrooms to enhance student learning.
All faculty are required to submit copies of their syllabi to the relevant Office of Instruction for warehousing and examination of syllabi are part of every faculty’s evaluation process. The Academic Senate’s Syllabus Checklist notes that CLOs are required elements of course syllabi and should also be posted within the course management system utilized for every class.
ANALYSIS AND EVALUATION
Mt. San Jacinto College meets the standard. CLOs and PLOs are in place and are regularly assessed by faculty and administration through the curriculum revision, CLO assessment, and program review processes. CORs are approved through a robust curriculum review process that includes the Assessment Coordinator, who verifies that each course contains appropriate CLOs. While the CORs do not include CLOs, they are attached to each course in CurricUNET, along with other essential forms (DE, ILO, pre-req justifications). Due to the fluid nature of CLOs because of systematic and robust assessment, current CLOs are found in eLumen. Syllabi for each course are required to list the current CLOs. The institution ensures that students receive a course syllabus in every class section.
- If the institution offers pre-collegiate level curriculum, it distinguishes that curriculum from college level curriculum and directly supports students in learning the knowledge and skills necessary to advance to and succeed in college level curriculum.
EVIDENCE OF MEETING THE STANDARD