- Slides: 19
Is budget driving curriculum? Faculty roles in program discontinuance and suspension Carolyn Holcroft, Foothill College Craig Rutan, Santiago Canyon College 2012 ASCCC Curriculum Institute
Overview v Defining what a program is, and why it matters v Faculty role in programs v Program Discontinuance v Temporary Suspensions/Hiatus
What is a program? v Title 5 § 55000(g) defines an educational program as “an organized sequence of courses leading to a defined objective, a degree, a certificate, a diploma, a license, or transfer to another institution of higher education. ” v An educational program could include: v Associate Degrees (AA/AS/AA-T/AS-T) v Certificates of Achievement/Competency/Completion v Low Unit Certificates v A sequence of courses that lead to a defined outcome such as transfer, GE pattern completion, entry into college-level courses, etc.
Changes to Programs v Title 5 § 51022: “Within six months of the formation of a community college district, the governing board shall adopt and carry out its policies for the establishment, modification, or discontinuance of courses or programs. ” v Title 5 § 55130: “program approval is effective until the program or implementation of the program is discontinued or modified in any substantial way. ”
Role of Faculty v The 10+1 academic and professional matters under faculty purview include: v Course Curriculum (including creation, modification, and/or deletion) v Degree and Certificate requirements v Educational Program Development v Budget: NOT primarily faculty role. Close collaboration with administration is imperative.
Program Discontinuance v Complete elimination of a program v Procedure usually directed by district board administrative procedure v Only considered after program review v Issues with problematic trends and possible solutions should be addressed during cyclical review process. v If problems persist (typically after two or more cycles) discontinuance may be considered
Planning Ahead v Easier to plan when we have resources! However, also need to be able to plan for times of scarce resources v Many of our processes/procedures are more geared towards increasing rather than decreasing offerings v Recommend periodically reviewing processes to ensure they’re equipped to handle decreasing resources and offerings v Agreeing on criteria BEFORE crisis hits makes process less difficult if it becomes reality
Budget Issues v Not the primary reason to permanently discontinue an instructional program, only one of several very important considerations v what if your college simply can’t afford to offer a particular program anymore? v As resources are lost, a program might look like it is not successful anymore – important that procedures include careful analysis of the effects of resource allocation on program performance v If a program would be successful with proper funding, does it make sense to permanently discontinue it?
Problematic trends identified during cyclical program review process? v Role of program in terms of overall college mission v Decreased workforce demands v Changes in transfer institution requirements/expectations v Resource availability: human, physical and fiscal
Potential Considerations? Criteria Does it meet the college mission(s)? Basic skills/transfer/workforce/underserved students Accreditation mandate for program/service? Legislative mandate for program/service? (or SSTF recs? ) High cost/low mission? Is there any duplication elsewhere on campus? Number of students served? College community, public perception of program/service? Impact on other programs/services? Can service/offerings be reduced (temporary/permanently)? How many faculty/staff impacted? Y/N Follow Up/Concerns Contributors
Who is involved? v Faculty are part of educational program development under 10+1, so faculty must be involved in making adjustments to offerings v Requires collaboration between faculty, administration, and support staff v Particularly important: Academic Senate, Counseling, Curriculum Committee, Bargaining Unit, Articulation Officer, affected full time faculty v Occupational advisory committee v Local governing board v Participatory governance procedures is essential and transparency in
Adherence to Procedure is Imperative v Once discontinuance discussions are initiated, there may be pressures to speed up/shorten the process. DO NOT allow this to happen v may not just remove degree/certificate, but also all courses in that area v Once program is gone it might not come back (ever) v These processes tend to be slow and with good reason! Discontinuance affects many people. v Need to continue to serve students until formal recommendation for the program future is made v Must consider students currently enrolled in program! v Accreditation standards clearly require this (II. A. 6. b)
An Alternative? Temporary Program Suspension v Faculty/Department chairs typically work with deans to plan course offerings to meet current budget targets AND student needs v Sometimes portions of programs, or entire programs, might be considered for a temporary suspension or hiatus v “Inactive” program status must be formally requested of Chancellor’s Office (CCC-511)
Consequences to students! v Suspensions/hiatus can clearly affect student ability to complete planned program of study v Accreditation standards clearly require that students must be accommodated
Develop a Suspension Process v Consider developing formal process for suspension: v Set clear standards for reexamination of suspension status v If a program is “inactive” for three years, the Chancellor’s Office considers it to be discontinued v What will timing of reviews be on your campus? v Don’t allow suspension to circumvent program discontinuance process v Faculty are part of educational program development under 10+1, so faculty must be involved in making adjustments to offerings and catalog changes
Who really decides? v When discussions begin, is there truly discussion or does it seem like the decision has already been made? v Do you have a formal process to review suspensions or do administrators make the decisions under the right of assignment?
Program Elimination Due to Budget v While hiatus/suspension is a temporary solution, college budgets may be cut to the point where some programs are too expensive to be offered. v These are discussions that no one wants to have but a college cannot simply cut equally across all disciplines for ever. v Does your college have procedures in place to analyze the cost of a program versus the benefit to the students? v Just as with discontinuance due to program viability, everyone needs to be at the table and no one group should be given blame.
Summary v Your colleges already have a formal process for program discontinuance, make sure that you use it only when it is really necessary. v Budget realities should not be a means to circumvent established discontinuance processes v Be judicious using hiatus status, consider developing formal process for initial decision and subsequent review v It may be necessary to eliminate costly programs to protect the integrity of your college’s offerings. Don’t wait too long to look at these decisions.