As another academic year comes to an end, I wanted to give you an update regarding curriculum, especially if you plan to work on curriculum over the summer. I know this is a long email at a time of year when we are all a bit frazzled or have already checked out to enjoy the summer and time off. Please print or save a copy and look it over after the dust of finals and grades has settled so that you are informed of important changes happening with curriculum and the curriculum process.
Curriculum office staff and timely response to emails/phone calls
When the curriculum clerical staff position was vacated last summer, we did not anticipate that the position would remain unstaffed for the entire academic year. This has put undue pressure on the rest of the curriculum office staff and curriculum faculty co-chair as we work to fulfill the responsibilities of that 40-hour position as well as complete our own responsibilities, especially with the additional pressures that have arisen due to the new repeatability mandates and the TMC (SB 1440) degrees. We cannot respond to inquiries in as timely a manner as we would like, and we apologize. Please understand we are doing our best to maintain the quality of curriculum and any publications that are connected to it, such as the catalog and the class schedule.
TMC (SB 1440) degrees
While we are making progress on our TMC/SB 1440/ADT (AA-T/AS-T) degrees, we still have a ways to go. If Janet McCurdy (Articulation Officer) contacts you, it means a TMC (Transfer Model Curriculum) degree has been developed or is in process in your discipline. Because curriculum is a faculty-driven process, it is the discipline faculty’s responsibility to create the degrees; however, we are mandated by state law to create them, so please work with Janet and/or me to do so. On the plus side, since these degrees are required by law, the state has actually streamlined the paperwork required. For most departments, the most difficult part will be ensuring curriculum required or elective in the degree is all in compliance.
Out of date Course Outlines of Record/New Sunset Policy
We appreciate the efforts so many made this past year to revise or deactivate out-of- date course outlines of record, in part as a response to the Sunset Policy that was first enacted last fall. We continue to have far too many courses that are out-of-compliance because course outlines of record have not been revised and approved within the last 6 years (2 years for CTE). Many faculty, however, waited until late in the year to work on revising courses on the Sunset Policy, which meant that some classes could not be offered this coming fall. When the Sunset Policy list for 2013-14 comes out in early fall (we are hoping to send it out this month in anticipation of it being published on the curriculum agenda), please pay attention to which of your classes are on that list so that the courses are not deactivated and removed from the catalog.
The Sunset Policy reads as follows:
Title 5 §55003 requires course outlines be revised every six years (every two years for CTE classes). Courses that are out of compliance jeopardize transfer, articulation, and licensing requirements. Therefore, courses that have not been revised in eight or more years will be subject to the following sunset policy:
· Each September, a list of courses that are eight years old or more (out-of- compliance) will be published as an information item on the Curriculum Committee agenda, putting department faculty on notice.
· These out-of-compliance courses may be offered the subsequent Spring
Semester to allow students to complete any relevant awards.
· During the subsequent academic year, these out-of-compliance courses will become inactive and cannot be offered.
· A list of inactive courses will be published as an information item on the November agenda of the year in which they are inactive. They will be automatically deactivated and removed from the catalog and any related awards. Any awards in which a deactivated class is a requirement will also be
To avoid deactivation, any inactive course must be successfully revised by the catalog deadline of the year (usually November) in which it is inactive.
An example of a possible timeline follows:
Fall 2013 COURSE XXX notified it is out-of compliance
Spring 2014 COURSE XXX may be offered
Fall 2014-Spring 2015 COURSE XXX inactive and cannot be offered
Fall 2014 (November) COURSE XXX automatically deactivated
Fall 2015 COURSE XXX removed from catalog and awards
Working on curriculum this summer?
A revised version of the Best Practices handbook will be posted to the curriculum website in the next few weeks (we will not be printing copies for everyone in order to save money). Please take advantage of the materials since they are developed to help you move curriculum through the process more efficiently and with less frustration.
As we did last year (and will be standard practice for curriculum), we have turned off the submit button for CurricUNET over the summer. Any classes that did not get through
the approval process for this year or did not get approved for the September 2013 agenda will be taken out of the approval process. Any work you did on the courses during the year will not be lost, but any feedback from technical reviewers will be. If you have a course in this group, you were sent a separate email with directions on how to “save” those comments.
You can work on curriculum over the summer; however, you will not be able to submit courses for approval until August 1 . Email notifications will be suspended over the summer but will start up again once the submit button is activated.
Remember, new courses cannot be created until the courses have been submitted on a Program Review – Curriculum Planning and Facilitating Form and approved by the Executive Curriculum Committee (which does not meet during the summer). Contact your department chair for more information.
CurricUNET and Curriculum training
CurricUNET training will continue to be available via CCCConfer over the summer. At this time, we are not sure whether we will have curriculum, CurricUNET, or TMC/SB 1440 training in August (possibly at the Academy, or possibly the day before Convocation). If you are interested in any (or all) of these types of trainings, please send an email to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) letting me know what your preferences would be so that we can determine what will work best for those who are interested.
A number of classes have been approved for the September cycle; course authors will be notified in a separate email. Watch for the submit button to be activated on August 1, and get the courses moving as quickly as possible. It may still be possible for you to get some courses on the September agenda. Keep in mind, however, that many faculty do not return to work until classes start, so if you hope to try to get some of these courses through the entire approval process by the deadline of August 28, you should notify your department chair(s) (if that isn't you) to watch for them.
The curriculum calendar of deadlines is now available on the curriculum website (and will be included in the revised Best Practices handbook). Based on feedback from a faculty member, we have revised the look of the calendar so that – we hope – it will be easier to follow deadlines and meeting schedule dates. We have again provided suggested deadlines for submitting/launching classes, but they are not guarantees that courses will make it to an agenda, and, in fact, it is possible to get a course submitted later and get it approved. However, because of the number of approvals that are required, and because it is necessary that you give all approvers time to look at the courses in addition to completing the other duties of their jobs (none of us can devote 100% of our time to completing curriculum reviews), the process takes time. Yours is just one of many classes (in May, for example, we had over 100 courses in the CurricUNET approval process!), so please be patient. The more time you spend in getting the courses ready for review (which means utilizing the information in the Best Practices handbook), the more likely your courses are to move through the approval process quickly.
Although we have moved to CurricUNET, the curriculum approval process remains basically the same as it was in the past. While the many things you are being asked to do while revising curriculum may seem unnecessary to you, please remember that we are asking you to address Title 5 regulations as well as practices the state deems important for producing quality curriculum, all of which also assists with articulation. Across the state, our outlines of record are used as models – this is something we are proud of and a standard that we want to uphold. The first time you put a course through the revision process, it will take quite a bit of work: it is, in some ways, the first time through the system for the course. Thereafter, however, revisions should be more straightforward, and you should see the benefit of the CurricUNET system.
One important change that some faculty do not understand: the deadlines we have set on the curriculum calendar are the deadlines for getting the courses all the way through the approval process (whereas, in the past, they were deadlines for submitting courses).
The date for getting courses onto the agenda for the 2014-2015 catalog is October 23, 2013. Please note that this is the deadline to have the courses complete the approval process, not simply be launched. Because of the length of time it is taking many courses to get approved, we recommend you get your course submitted/launched by September 13 to meet that October deadline. This does not guarantee your course will make it to the agenda, and it is possible that courses that are submitted/launched after that date may make it to the agenda, but we are trying to give you an honest estimate of the time that it takes to get a class approved.
According to curriculum operating procedure, during the November cycle the committee deals only with courses that affect the catalog. This includes courses that are new or course revisions that have changes to the title, units, repeatability, or prerequisite/corequisites/recommended preparation, or new or course revisions that require changes to degrees, certificates, or employment
concentrations. Any course put through the cycle in September or October that does not make it through the process in those months will be put off to January if the course does not affect catalog. Courses submitted for the November cycle that do not affect the catalog will be held until January as well. (If you are not sure whether your revisions will affect the catalog, feel free to contact me.) Therefore, if you are making changes to any of the items specified above, you should make that clear on the A1 portion of the agenda forms in CurricUNET since that will be the screening mechanism for determining which classes make it to the agenda along with the Tech Review done by the curriculum office. If the revisions you are making will not affect the catalog, we suggest you get your courses in early in the fall or wait until spring.
I know the process is complicated. One of the best things your department can do is to set a schedule for revising courses so that (1) you do not have to do them all (or too many) at once since the more courses you are working on at one time, the more frustrating the system seems; and (2) you stay current with the smaller changes to the process so that you are not having to learn so many changes all at once.
We have a great group of faculty on the curriculum committee -- but could always use more! It is a tremendous workload but fulfilling. We appreciate all the hard work you do to put your courses through the system. Please let us know if there are other things we can do to help you navigate the system more easily.