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Student Learning Outcomes
The Course Outline of Record submitted for all courses to the Curriculum Committee ensures that students acquire specific knowledge and skills. In Section V, "Course Objectives: Student Learning Outcomes," faculty list objectives that the student will satisfy by completing the course.
For example, the course objectives for History V07B, United States History Since 1865, read as follows:
Students will be able to demonstrate the following measurable skills and abilities:
- Appraise the characteristics of change commonly associated with the Industrial Revolution
- Compare and contrast the main characteristics and the accomplishment of Populism, Progressivism and the New Deal
- Discuss and assess the Native American during Westward Expansion
- Trace the development of the American Labor Movement
- Explain and assess the states, and expression of women against the background of American change from Reconstruction to the Present
The course outline requires that these skills become part of the course approved. Further, faculty developing the course must explain what skills students will learn and how. In Section V of the form, "Course Objectives: Student Learning Outcomes," the proposal must list a number of measurable skills and abilities that will be demonstrated by the student. In section VII.A, "Representative In-class Assignments," students must demonstrate critical thinking skills. These skills include
- Comparing and contrasting
- Deducing/Inducing Conclusions
- Solving problems
- Applying principles
- Comprehending concepts
- Identifying knowledge
In Section VII.B, "Representative Out-of-Class Assignments," and Section IX, "Evaluation Methods," students are required to demonstrate reading and writing skills, as well as problem solving abilities and/or skills demonstrations.
c. A recognition of what it means to be an ethical human being and effective citizen: qualities include an appreciation of ethical principles; civility and interpersonal skills; respect for cultural diversity; historical and aesthetic sensitivity; and the willingness to assume civic, political and social responsibility locally, nationally and globally.
The Ventura College community has undertaken many activities to ensure that students understand what it means to be an ethical human being and effective citizen. These following examples illustrate the themes of institutional commitment, organization, student learning outcomes, dialogue and institutional integrity.
The college offers Interdisciplinary Studies V08, Ethics and Modern Society, a course team-taught by instructors from different disciplines. Some of the themes include philosophy and ethics, ethics in law and business, ethics in politics, ethics in medicine, and ethics in biology (IIA-74).
The Re-entry and Women's Center provides in-service to students every other Wednesday. Topics include making ethical decisions, student conduct codes, relationship boundaries, student grievances, and characteristics of effective feedback.
All journalism classes instruct students in media ethics.
Sociology classes focusing on social work emphasize the National Association of Social Work (NASW) code of ethics, which highlights social workers' obligation to work for social justice for all people-locally, nationally and internationally.
The Department of Intercollegiate Athletics is in the process of developing a Mission and Value Statement that will include ethical behavior expectations of coaches, college representatives, faculty, and students.
Developmental psychology classes explore the different milestones of each developmental stage in order to gain an understanding of expected behavior from different age groups; the course also explores cultural and environmental factors that affect human behavior. Psychology V01, V05, and V30 also explore theories of moral development.
The child development profession has a code of ethics that is part of the child development curriculum at Ventura College.
Ventura College has also undertaken several activities that promote respect for cultural diversity. The Education Code requires some of these, while instructors conduct other activities in their classes.
Ventura College requires that all students completing the General Liberal Arts and Sciences Degree complete one course in Ethnic/Women's Studies. This course will help "students develop an awareness of the historical roots and an appreciation of the cultural contributions of diverse ethnic populations and women." This requirement is in section F of the college's general liberal arts and sciences AA degree pattern. Students select from a list of 67 courses approved by the Curriculum Committee. Because a multicultural/ethnic studies requirement is part of CSU General Education-Breadth requirements, students who are completing the CSU General Education pattern can satisfy this requirement at Ventura College. These courses will "help students understand the nature and richness of human culture and social structure through a comparative approach and have a pronounced historical perspective and recognize contributions made by women and members of minority groups."
Ventura College supports many student activities that promote respect for cultural diversity. The Black Student Union sponsors Black History Week. MEChA sponsors Cesar Chavez Week. The Women's Re-entry center sponsors the Women's History Month.
The Co-curricular Fund supports cultural events on campus that promote the appreciation and understanding of other cultures. These activities have included Polynesian dancers, "Understanding the Chumash Indian," and Cuban American music. The Co-curricular Committee appropriates funds to support speakers, artists, musicians and theater performances.
In the College and Life Skill course , students study the importance of multiculturalism. In foreign language classes-such as Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, and German-students learn about other cultures.
All literature courses-British, American, World, Ethnic and Women's-sensitize students to the cultural, social, and historical forces that influence the literature.
ESL classes promote cultural diversity by a series of classroom activities, including sharing past experiences, discussing American culture, making comparisons, and appreciating values of other cultures.
Finally, Ventura College has undertaken several activities that promote civic, political and social responsibility.
The Student Health Center provides HIV awareness materials, brochures and speakers, brochures on gay and lesbian issues, hepatitis screening and prevention, smoking cessation counseling/treatment, and crisis counseling and intervention.
Faculty encourage nursing and paramedic students to do volunteer work. Paramedic students take part in the countywide disaster-training program. Nursing students volunteer to give injections in flu shot clinics.
Child Development students receive training in their responsibilities as legally mandated reporters of child abuse and neglect. Students are also encouraged to join and attend meetings of Local Child Development Planning Council, join professional organizations, and become advocates of parents and children.
The Sociology Department oversees work and volunteer internships (Sociology V95 and V96). These internships allow students to participate in local non-profit and educational facilities. Some sociology instructors require, or offer as an option, community service work. Thus, students learn the value of volunteering while developing valuable networks throughout the community.
Some political science instructors use service learning methods that involve students in local and civic projects; these include assisting Habitat for Humanity, environmental groups, and a variety of social services.
A variety of campus clubs also support civic responsibility: Students Taking on Politics (STOP) and Alpha Gamma Sigma (the honor society) require their membership to perform community service, such as working in shelters, or promoting health issues; MECHA and the Black Student Union (BSU) are involved in issues of ethnic minorities.
Psychology, sociology and history classes support speakers, films, and activities that promote a variety of perspectives and encourage social responsibility. These include trips to the Museum of Tolerance, films on HIV, and speakers on homosexuality.
Some political science classes require their students to write to their congressman/woman on an issue that concerns them. Other political science classes give students credit for voting or for helping students register to vote. Some have candidates from local elections visit their classrooms.
The International Studies Speakers program encourages students to assume civic, political, economic, and global responsibilities. Students are required to read and discuss "Responsibility of the Individual in the Global community."
Students in the English as a Second Language (ESL) program learn about citizenship as well as local, state, and national government.
The dialogues, discussions, meetings, and evidence indicate that that Ventura College has met the requirements for this standard. The evidence suggests a number of strengths as well as areas for improvement:
The college needs to ensure that the general education philosophy is accessible to all students and staff. The general education philosophy will be published for the first time in the college catalog in 2004-2005. It was also published in the Faculty Handbook in 1986. Ongoing improvements in technology make it possible to broadcast this information through a variety of media to ensure that students are aware of the general education philosophy and criteria.
A major strength of the college is the rigorous process used to approve courses; the importance of the Course Outline of Record in ensuring certain student outcomes; and the dynamic role the faculty play in approving courses through the Curriculum Committee.
The self study has exposed the diminishing role of the Philosophy and General Education Subcommittee in the course approval process. Since 2000, the committee has met only once a year, but clearly needs to meet more often.
Ventura College's articulation process with four-year universities represents a third strength. The articulation officer assures that courses are carefully articulated with the four-year universities.
A fourth strength is the utilization of the new Course Outline of Record, which requires an extensive description of all courses. Faculty first used the new form during the 2000-01 academic year; it has been updated annually. The form, which requires extensive breadth and depth, prompts faculty to justify and classify each course-including recommended preparation, prerequisites, co-requisites, and entry skills. It clarifies the academic record symbol (letter grade, credit or noncredit) and degree status; using the language of Bloom's Taxonomy to demonstrate measurable skills and abilities, it expands upon the course objectives and student learning outcomes. It also integrates critical thinking skills throughout, and requires specification of in-class and out-of-class assignments, instructional methodology and student evaluations. The outline includes SCANS information (required for all vocational/occupational courses) as well as a new section for non-print media, software, and Web sites (IIA-9).
The development of a Curriculum Handbook to augment the Chancellor's Office Program and Course Approval Handbook represents a fifth strength. This document, developed before the State Chancellor's Office updated the 1993 Course Approval Handbook, has been revised annually to comply with regulatory and statutory changes. Most of the material in the Handbook is written to assist faculty in writing course outlines, and is not duplicated in the state's handbook.
However, as the college continues to hire more part-time faculty, it becomes increasingly difficult to ensure that each course complies with the objectives in the course outline as approved by the Curriculum Committee. An outcome from the self study dialogues included a proposal that instructors submit their syllabi to the department chair for publication on the college Web site. This will provide enhanced service to prospective students as well as a mechanism to assure that all classes are in compliance with official course outlines.
The college has supported curriculum, campus programs and activities that assist students in becoming productive individuals, life-long learners, ethical human beings, and effective citizens.
To ensure that the general education philosophy and criteria are disseminated and accessible to students and staff, they must be included in the Curriculum Handbook, Faculty Handbook, Part-Time Faculty Handbook, Ventura College Web site, and the VCCCD Web site.
For greater involvement and input from the Philosophy and General Education Subcommittee in reviewing courses and working with the Curriculum Committee, the subcommittee needs to meet monthly.
To ensure that all courses comply with the objectives of the course outline approved by the Curriculum Committee, the following is suggested:
- The division deans be responsible for ensuring that the department/division collect and maintain copies of course syllabi for all credit courses
- A discussion of general education criteria be part of the new faculty orientation and ongoing faculty evaluation
- The Program Review Process be more widely used to evaluate programs and curriculum, and to assess the academic and community curriculum needs
- New faculty orientations include discussion on general education and the course approval process
- Departments and divisions conduct workshops on how to write a syllabus.
- Faculty continue to transfer the remaining 250 transfer courses and 300 non-transfer courses to the new Course Outline Form. This would also include the scheduled review of existing Course Outlines of Record at least every five years.
4. All degree programs include focused study in at least one area of inquiry or in an established interdisciplinary core.
Ventura College offers degree programs in a wide variety of disciplines. All Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degrees include general education requirements (2003-2004 Ventura College Catalog, p. 37) and specific requirements in a focused area of study. To receive an AA or AS degree, students complete at least 60 semester units of degree applicable college work. Approximately 1/2 to 2/3 of the total 60 units comprise general education requirements; the remaining 1/2 to 1/3 of the units are in an area of focused study.
Associate of Arts degrees are offered in Bilingual/Cross Cultural Studies, Biological Sciences, Ceramics, Fine Art, Human Services, International Studies, Journalism, Music, Photography, Recreation, and Theatre Arts (2003-2004 Ventura College Catalog, pp. 42-47).
Associate of Science degrees are offered in Accounting, Agricultural Plant Science, Architecture, Automotive Technology, Biological Sciences, Business, Business Management, Child Development, Clerical, Commercial Art, Computer Information Systems, Computer Science, Construction Technology, Criminal Justice, Drafting Technology, Emergency Medical Services, Engineering, Environmental Horticulture, Fashion Design and Merchandising, Health Information Technology, Home Economics, Machine Technology, Medical Assistant, Multimedia, Natural Resources, Nursing, Physical Science, Secretarial, Supervision, Water Science, and Welding Technology (2003-2004 Ventura College Catalog, pp.48-61).
The college also offers students the option to earn a General Liberal Arts and Sciences degree exclusive of any specific focused study (2003-2004 Ventura College Catalog, p. 42). For this degree, students complete the general education requirements and at least 12-18 additional units (to total at least 36 units) selected from a specific interdisciplinary list of course options (2003-2004 Ventura College Catalog, p. 37).
The college meets this standard by ensuring that all degree programs include at least one area of focused study or interdisciplinary core. This portion of the standard illustrates the theme of organization, demonstrating efforts to provide programs to support student learning.
None at this time.
5. Students completing vocational and occupational certificates and degrees demonstrate technical and professional competencies that meet employment and other applicable standards and are prepared for external licensure and certification.
Ventura College's quality vocational and occupational programs meet both technological and industrial employment competencies as well as external employment standards, preparing students for certification and licensure.
The college offers a wide range of vocational programs. The scope and breadth of the programs illustrates the theme of institutional commitment to its mission of promoting success and encouraging students to develop their full potential "for successful living and membership in a global environment."
The instructors and managers responsible for these programs gather information on industry needs and trends. Every vocational education department employs instructors who are experts in their fields. Many faculty have primary or secondary jobs in their respective areas of instruction. For example, several Nursing Department instructors work as nurses at local hospitals; the Welding Department employs instructors who are welders by trade-or, in one case, a state of California welding inspector. An automotive instructor is a master diagnostic technician at a local automotive dealership; another chairs a state-mandated consumer dispute resolution board, hearing "Lemon Law" cases. The Construction Department instructors include a Ventura County building inspector, a Ventura County code enforcement officer, and tradesmen in the local building industry.
All instructors in the Sheriff's Basic Academy and the Police and Sheriff's Reserve Academy are employed as enforcement officers or deputies.
The Drafting Program employs a local architect as an instructor, and the co-director of the Paramedic Program owns and operates a Ventura County paramedic and ambulance service. Local professionals also teach in the Horticulture, Criminal Justice, Cisco, and Oracle departments. The biotechnology program uses technically trained experts to instruct students in industry labs.
This blend of craftsmen/instructors helps keep Ventura College's vocational and occupational programs abreast of changing federal, state and local requirements; it also helps the college modify and update curriculum to ensure that vocational and occupational programs remain current and focused. These instructors bring with them not only their on-the-job experience, but also the information from the various trade and professional organizations. This valuable information is shared with faculty and students through day-to-day contacts, and in more formal settings such as departmental meetings.
Many of the vocational programs are structured and directed by national, state and other regulatory agencies, as well as by various advisory boards and industry commissions. These groups set forth the education and curriculum standards by which the programs are taught and students evaluated. They generally determine the required proficiencies needed to obtain technical and professional competencies as well as external licensure and industry placement. Thus, the vocational programs demonstrate the theme of evaluation, planning and improvement, as they continually interact with the industry, participate in ongoing evaluation of students and systems and then modify programs where necessary.
Due in large part to the high passing rates student achieve on external certification examinations, many of the vocational and occupational programs-such as nursing, Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) and paramedic, welding, construction, AutoCAD, T-Ten automotive, scuba, and the Peace Officers Standards and Training POST-approved Sheriff's Basic Academy and Police and Sheriff's Reserve Academy-are highly regarded within their various vocational and occupational communities.
For instance, 88 percent of the nursing students pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN); 98 percent of the paramedic students pass the National Registry Exam (IIA-75); 85 percent of the construction students pass the State Contractor's License exam; 90 percent of the advanced welding students pass the certified welder's exam ; 80 percent of the Sheriff's Basic Academy and Police and Sheriff's Reserve Academy cadets graduate from our POST approved academies; and over 95 percent of our Sheriff's Academy graduates obtain law enforcement positions upon graduation. In addition, the T-Ten automotive program, which has been cited by Toyota as one of the top five such programs in the nation, is regularly featured in local and national magazines and publications.
Some of the vocational training programs, such as automotive (Clean Car Air program), construction, welding, scuba, and our Basic and Reserve academies, not only prepare students for future job positions, but also provide on-campus testing and certification through national and state programs such as the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Organization (IAPMO), the National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI), the American Welding Society (AWS), and the Commission on Police Officers Standards and Training (POST).
Ventura College acquires information about students' ability to meet industry requirements through the jobs they obtain as well as on-site and off-site assessment results. The college also receives industry feedback about students and, more importantly, student feedback. The faculty and managers of the college's vocational programs are directly involved with industry advisory groups that help shape new curricula and identify changing trends. As laws, regulations or requirements change, the college modifies course content, providing students with current and relevant instruction. All programs are subject to periodic comprehensive review for employment demand and curriculum content.
Ventura College's Institute for Community and Professional Development (ICPD) also interacts directly with employers and local industry to assess employment trends and community demands, developing contract education programs to meet their needs. The ICPD conducts surveys with employers to ascertain their present and future employment needs and training requirements. The ICPD reports back to Ventura College faculty and staff regarding employer perceptions and industrial trends.
The college also receives feedback about students' abilities to meet external agencies' expectations and certification through the Field Training Officer Program in law enforcement, the Preceptor Program in nursing and paramedics, and others. In these processes, students are observed and graded by outside agency professionals while engaged in actual on-the-job training; these evaluations are shared with the appropriate college department director and/or instructor, noting proficiencies and any deficiencies. Any deficiency must be corrected before the student can continue in higher training. Many student successes (after hiring) are posted on departmental Web sites. The "biotechnology graduates" link on the college site is one example of these postings, which serve for recognition and recruitment.
Ventura College is confident that its vocational and occupational certificates and degrees demonstrate technical and professional competencies that meet employment and other applicable standards. This is based on several factors:
Students must pass rigorous program curricula in their chosen field of study. Expert instructors, many of whom work in the field or maintain ongoing liaisons with occupational professionals, designed these courses.
The college ensures currency of vocational programs through ongoing communication with national, state and local vocational education agencies, advisory committees, and employers.
The college receives feedback from testing proctors and from external agencies responsible for maintaining established levels of competencies and standards. Students regularly receive on-the-job performance evaluations from Field Training Officers and medical preceptors, who have validated student competencies (IIA-76).
The college conducts business and industry surveys to ascertain present and future technological and employment needs. A business/industry survey of 225 greenhouse and biotechnology companies was performed in June 2003.
Finally, Ventura College makes an effort to maintain contact with alumni who share their real life experiences and successes with students and staff.
Although the college makes an effort to obtain outcome data from its vocational graduates, it is often gathered through informal, anecdotal means. The exception is the Nursing Department, which rigorously gathers placement data on its graduates. The self study suggested that the college must find alternate ways to determine placements from other programs; this includes working with the State Chancellor's Office and the State Employment Development Department to effect a computer match to determine the number of graduates who obtain employment upon completion of their vocational programs.
The self study dialogue also noted that vocational students often attend occupational training programs to obtain a very specific set of skills, often achieved in a single course or portion of a single course. The college must also be able to measure its positive impact on students whose early departure may indicate successful completion of a professional goal rather than the negative outcome typically associated with early leaving.
Finally, the college needs to make better use of technology to gather data and to market its programs. Once again, the Nursing Department is taking the lead in this area by using email groups to communicate with students and an alumni association email group.
6. The institution assures that students and prospective students receive clear and accurate information about educational courses and programs and transfer policies. The institution describes its degrees and certificates in terms of their purpose, content, course requirements, and expected student learning outcomes. In every class section students receive a course syllabus that specifies learning objectives consistent with those in the institution's officially approved course outline.
Ventura College assures that information about its programs is clear and accurate through an annual review of the catalog and a review of the schedule of classes each term. Publications are available in hard copy, online, and in alternate formats for individuals with disabilities.
The Ventura College articulation officer regularly contacts department chairs about new changes in articulation. Each department updates course outlines on a regular basis and submits revised outlines to the Curriculum Committee for review. All degrees and certificates are clearly described in the course catalog, which is available in hard copy and online. The care with which the college makes this information available illustrates the theme of institutional integrity.
Student learning outcomes are included in course descriptions. The course objectives conform to Bloom's Taxonomy of measurable student learning outcomes, and the course outlines indicate measures of student outcomes such as essays, research and tests. As the Curriculum Committee reviews new and revised course outlines, it looks for the delineation of higher order thinking skills, thus attending to the theme of student learning outcomes.
Ventura College provides faculty with printed instructions in the Curriculum Handbook, and online guidelines for creating a course syllabus, including developing a syllabus in electronic format. However, verifying that students receive a syllabus-including approved objectives and student learning outcomes-differs by department. Some departments use the same syllabus for all sections of the same course; others allow instructors to submit a new syllabus each semester. During faculty evaluations, some department chairs ask instructors to present a syllabus as part of the evaluation.
The college verifies that individual sections of courses adhere to the course learning objectives through faculty evaluations. In addition, some programs have external evaluating bodies, such as Nursing, that monitor consistency in instruction. Other programs conduct internal evaluations by the division dean, the department chair, and a peer evaluator.
Divisions also support adherence to the course learning objectives through staff development and department/division meetings. For example, during fall 2003, the Liberal Arts and Learning Resources Division discussed topics such as "Classroom Based Assessment," " Teaching Critical Thinking Through Literature Classes," and "Assisting Students with Learning Disabilities" (IIA-77). This collegial activity encourages consistency and understanding among instructors teaching different sections of the same course. In addition, department meetings with full and part-time faculty include discussions of course outlines, course content, and student learning outcomes.
The Language Arts Department has established a faculty library in The Learning Center; this allows faculty to examine texts used for courses at various levels of instruction.
The self study indicates that the college is complying with this section of the standard. Information regarding courses, programs and transfer opportunities is accurate, current and thorough. Students may access this information through the printed catalog, the online catalog, the three schedules of classes that are published throughout the year, and the Articulation System Stimulating Interinstitutional Student Transfer (ASSIST) Web site, which contains additional transfer information for public universities throughout California.
The self study also suggests a great deal of variation among departments regarding the design and use of class syllabi. Although faculty have access to an online guide for designing a syllabus, some faculty create a syllabus and others do not. Some syllabi contain objectives, or student learning outcomes, and others do not. There needs to be greater follow-up from department chairs, providing assistance to faculty who are unfamiliar with the importance of a class syllabus that includes the student learning outcomes.
In spring 2004, the college will hire 20 new, full-time tenure track faculty and three categorically funded faculty, of which one will be a tenure track position (IIA-78). Both the Academic Senate and the Staff Development Committee are planning orientation activities to welcome new faculty and assist them in preparing for classes. The orientation will include information about the Curriculum Handbook and the online guide for creating a syllabus, and will stress the importance of students knowing the course objectives.
The self study dialogue team further suggests that course syllabi be published, whenever possible, on the college Web site so that prospective students can make more informed decisions about course selections.
a. The institution makes available to its students clearly stated transfer-of-credit policies in order to facilitate the mobility of students without penalty. In accepting transfer credits to fulfill degree requirements, the institution certifies that the expected learning outcomes for transferred courses are comparable to the learning outcomes of its own courses. Where patterns of student enrollment between institutions are identified, the institution develops articulation agreements as appropriate to its mission.
In order to facilitate the mobility of students without penalty, Ventura College makes transfer-of-credit policies available to students through the catalog and the schedule of classes. Both documents specify the transferability of courses to the California State University and to the University of California. They also specify the California Articulation Number (CAN) system for qualified courses. According to the articulation officer, "CAN identifies courses commonly offered by institutions of higher education. In the absence of uniform course numbers within and between the segments of higher education in California, the act of qualifying courses for CAN identification numbers indicates that said courses are acceptable 'in lieu of' comparable courses at participating California colleges and universities" (IIA-79).
In addition, "For the seventh consecutive year, Ventura College has qualified more courses than any of the other California Community Colleges or California State University, many with considerably larger inventories of courses."
In accepting transfer credits to fulfill degree requirements, Ventura College certifies that the expected learning outcomes for transferred courses are comparable to the student learning outcomes of its own courses. The college uses both the CAN and ASSIST resources to grant transfer credit to incoming students. The Ventura College Transfer Center Coordinator and the Ventura College Articulation Officer keep the counseling staff abreast of changes in the UC and CSU requirements.
In order to facilitate articulation, Ventura College conducts periodic program review to identify patterns of student enrollment and transfer between institutions. Articulation is based upon curriculum developed by college faculty and reviewed by university faculty. The college maintains articulation agreements with all public universities within the state. These include agreements to identify courses for transfer credit, to specify preparation for majors and to establish course equivalency or comparability.
Ventura College is proud of its careful attention to the development of official course outlines. These thorough and informative outlines contribute to increased articulation with four-year colleges and universities.
b. When programs are eliminated or programs are significantly changed, the institution makes appropriate arrangements so that enrolled students may complete their education in a timely manner with a minimum of disruption.
When programs are eliminated or requirements are significantly changed, department chairs work with counselors to accommodate students in completing educational requirements. Some programs, such as Nursing, conduct dual streams for students completing an old program and beginning a new one. Other departments, such as Language Arts, developed a matrix of courses to ensure that students matriculate from one course to another and complete their programs.
The college also utilizes a "Petition for Variance," which is used to accommodate students who may be affected by program revisions or terminations. Counselors review the petitions, working with students to help them reach their goals. This procedure illustrates the ongoing themes of student learning outcomes and organization. Further, Ventura College proposed a district-wide policy of "catalog rights" for students to protect themselves from revision of requirements or elimination of programs. The Board of Trustees adopted this policy, which applies to all three colleges (IIA-80).
c. The institution represents itself clearly, accurately, and consistently to prospective and current students, the public, and its personnel through its catalogs, statements, and publications, including those presented in electronic formats. It regularly reviews institutional policies, procedures, and publications to assure integrity in all representations about its mission, programs, and services.
"Ventura College produces an annual Catalog, three Schedules of Classes per year, and numerous individual publications from various departments and divisions, programs and services. In addition, the president of the college prepares a monthly President's Report for the Board of Trustees meetings, which is then disseminated to all county and some state and federal elected officials, all faculty (full and part-time), staff and students. All publications are to be reviewed by the Public Relations Office prior to production to ensure accuracy and consistency of the college's message" (IIA-81). The College publishes its mission, vision and goals in the catalog annually; the college philosophy is located in two sites on the college Web site, which also contains academic program information as well as a number of pages on student services.
In addition, the college Web site has been redesigned, resulting in more than 600 pages of fully accessible information at www.venturacollege.edu. The site is currently undergoing a thorough review, verifying the currency of all information under the auspices of the Public Information Office.
In fall 1999, the three district colleges implemented the Banner Management Information System, resulting in enhanced access to program information for students and statistical data for staff. Banner features enabled the college to maintain and update curricular data much more effectively and efficiently. The system also provides more data for student use-e.g., transfer information-and significantly enhances the college's ability to perform quality control, noticeably reducing errors printed in pre-Banner Schedules of Classes.
After 75 years, the college changed the size of its catalog from 5" x 9" to 8" x 11". The new format was implemented in 2003-2004 and enabled the college to add information, such as a curriculum matrix, a glossary, and the classified staff listing. It also permitted the college to expand some information, such as a listing of campus phone numbers. Perhaps most important, the larger size facilitated the ease of reading the catalog on the college Web site.
The self study illustrates a concerted effort by Ventura College to ensure that current and prospective students receive clear and accurate information about instructional programs, including transfer policies, procedures, and expected student learning outcomes. In appreciation of the community's enhanced use of technology to access information, the college is allocating resources to ensure the currency of information on its Web site. This college's action clearly illustrates the theme of institutional integrity.
7. In order to assure the academic integrity of the teaching-learning process, the institution uses and makes public governing board-adopted policies on academic freedom and responsibility, student academic honesty, and specific institutional beliefs or worldviews. These policies make clear the institution's commitment to the free pursuit and dissemination of knowledge.
a. Faculty distinguish between personal conviction and professionally accepted views in a discipline. They present data and information fairly and objectively.
The Ventura County Community College District Board of Trustee's Policy on Academic Freedom provides the guidance from which the campus policies regarding "personal conviction and proven conclusions" and "presenting relevant data fairly and objectively" are derived (IIA-82).
The college emphasizes this conviction in its statement of mission, vision and values, reprinted annually in the college catalog. For instance, part of the values statement notes, "We believe that Ventura College is a community of caring people who foster positive human values in their classrooms and in their work. We value a community that communicates honestly, ethically, openly and with integrity."
The academic freedom policy currently adopted by the Ventura County Community College District (VCCCD) Board of Trustees is under policy C.12, Educational Activities and Operational Policies. It is available on page five of that section, and on the VCCCD Web site at http://www.vcccd.net/bot/gbpm_c.pdf. This portion of the Educational Activities policy concerns academic freedom, teaching controversial subjects, guest speakers, etc.
The Ventura College Academic Senate recently created a Web site that includes that same policy. The site, www.venturacollege.edu/academicsenate, is linked to the College's Web site.
In addition, the Ventura College Faculty Handbook contains the Academic Freedom policy (page six), along with several other relevant policies. The Handbook, provided to full-time faculty, was updated in 1989 and 1996, and is due to be updated and redistributed in 2003. The Ventura College Part-Time Faculty Handbook is updated annually, and also contains the Academic Freedom policy on page four.
Ventura College meets this portion of the standard by clearly addressing academic freedom and student honesty in several college publications, both in print and online. However, the college does more than put the policy in print: The self study illustrates numerous ways the college community has put the policy in action. The college's implementation of this standard robustly illustrates the thematic strands running through the self study: institutional commitment; evaluation, planning and improvement; student learning outcomes; organization, dialogue and institutional integrity.
In addition, other regulatory documents provided to both full-time and part-time instructors reference "personal conviction versus objective data." This distinction is also included in "The Agreement Between VCCCD and VC Federation of College Teachers-AFT Local 1828, 2001-2004" (IIA-83).
The following evaluation forms address academic freedom, responsibility, and integrity:
- Faculty Self-Appraisal Report, Appendix D, Form A1, which allows the faculty member to include comments from student evaluations.
- Faculty Work Site Visit Report, Appendix D, Form A2, which allows the observing manager to evaluate the currency of the information provided by the faculty member.
- Non-Classroom Teaching Faculty Site Visit Report, Appendix D, Form B2, which asks the evaluator to consider: C-"...clarity and organization of presentation of information or direction to student" and E- "Service Content: current, adequate, outdated" "...consistent with programs and objectives."
- VCCCD Student Reaction to Teaching Effectiveness (available both in English and Spanish). Questions #1, 2, 6, 15, 19, and 20 address the issue generally, but there is no specific question regarding the issues of "objectivity versus personal views."
The college's new distance learning plan, which is still in its proposal format, addresses this issue on page ten under the heading "Visional Direction, Curriculum" (S 2.40). The plan clearly states that distance education classes will be held to the same standards and evaluated by the same measures as more traditional classroom instruction.
Although a number of publications address the issue of objectivity in teaching, they are generally directed to faculty and administrators, not students. The class evaluation does not provide students with the opportunity assess this aspect of the program. However, as the faculty evaluation is a negotiated item with American Federation of Teachers (AFT), it needs to be included in upcoming negotiations.
b. The institution establishes and publishes clear expectations concerning student academic honesty and the consequences for dishonestly.
The Ventura County Board of Trustees, the Ventura County Community College District, and Ventura College have developed and established college policies relating to codes of conduct, academic college policies, and college honesty issues. Through various forms of printed and electronic media, the college provides its faculty, students and student/athletes with clear and concise expectations regarding these matters. The academic honesty policy of the board of trustees is located at http://www.vcccd.net/bot/gbpm_f.pdf , under Student Rights and Responsibilities, Classroom 6B(2); and Student Code of Conduct, A(3), dishonesty, cheating, abetting cheating (IIA-84).
Statements regarding plagiarism, academic honesty and sanctions are contained in the Ventura College Catalog as found in the Student Conduct Code. Academic honesty has been addressed in the Student Conduct Code since the 1997-98 college catalog and plagiarism was first noted in the 1982-84 catalog (IIA-85).
As a member of the Association of California Community College Administrators (ACCCA) and the Western State Conference (WSC), Ventura College is bound by the codes of ethics and the decorum policies embraced by these organizations. In addition to those publications cited above, these guidelines are found in the WSC Code of Ethics and the CCC Decorum Policy (IIA-86). Also, the Ventura College Faculty Handbook, page 8 (Cheating/plagiarism), page 18 (Code of Conduct), and the Ventura College Part-Time Faculty Handbook (for example, the "Writing a Syllabus" appendix) all contain documentation of the unacceptability of such conduct. Many of the instructors' syllabi outline personal and college expectations with respect to attendance, classroom participation, and academic honesty, among other matters (IIA-87).
The Ventura College Student Handbook for 2001-2002 sets forth students' rights and responsibilities, including standards for dishonesty and cheating (IIA-88).
Students and student/athletes can also receive information on Ventura College 's integrity programs through the Student Right to Know Reporting Project available in printed format and on the Ventura County Community College District Web site (IIA-89).
Finally, an ad hoc committee of faculty, management and classified staff has met to develop a method of communicating with students regarding academic integrity. As a result, a Web site was developed that explains plagiarism and how to avoid it; it also includes links to various academic sites where students can learn how to cite references. An additional tool that would allow faculty to check on suspected plagiarism is being considered. The committee recommended that a Flex Day activity be offered to share this information with faculty.
The description of this portion of the standard illustrates the theme of institutional integrity.
Based on the evidence, the Ventura College faculty, student and student-athlete populations have all the guidance, publications, and tools necessary for a clear understanding of Ventura College academic integrity policies as well as any sanctions associated with the violation of these policies.
Ongoing staff development workshops on academic honesty should become part of staff development activities for Flex Week.
A statement regarding student academic honesty should be posted on webSTAR for students to view prior to online registration.
c. Institutions that require conformity to specific codes of conduct of staff, faculty, administrators, or students, or that seek to instill specific beliefs or worldviews, give clear prior notice of such policies, including statements in the catalog and-or appropriate faculty or student handbooks.
As a public institution, Ventura College strives to instill democracy, shared governance, and equal opportunity for a diverse population in its programs, services and policies, and is strongly committed to diversity in staff (see Standard 2.6). Faculty, administrative and support staff, and students must demonstrate honesty and ethics (See Standard 2.2; Standard 2.3). These standards are reflected in the college values and practices identified by the Council for Institutional Development (CID) (IIA-90). As noted in Standards 2.1, 2.2, and 2.3, these values and goals are reflected in the Ventura College Catalog, Student Handbooks and the Ventura College Strategic Decision Process, as created in CID. They are reflected in the hiring processes of the college and district, as evidenced in the attention paid to diversity representation in both the hiring pool and the evaluation process (IIA-91).
8. Institutions offering curricula in foreign locations to students other than U.S. nationals operate in conformity with standards and applicable Commission policies.
This portion of the Standard is not applicable to Ventura College.
List of Documents:
|IIA-1||Sample - Articulation Agreement|
|IIA-2||College Transfer Rates - Memo January, 2004|
|IIA-3||Sample Schedule of Classes (Spring 2004) - TV, Online, Off Campus, Biotech and Paramedic Programs highlighted|
|IIA-4||Sample Course Outline: Short-term training program - CNA|
|IIA-5||Samples - Student Outcome Data: Analysis of CCVC Student Enrollments Fall 2000/2001; Performance Data, MCHS students compared to local high school students, Summer & Fall 2000; Academic Performance of EAC Students, Fall 2001; Student/Course Enrollments at Santa Clara Valley Sites; Summary of VCCCD Student Demographics, Fall 2003|
|IIA-6||Published News Articles from PIO|
|IIA-7||Copies of Awards, Ventura College Press|
|IIA-8||Toyota T-Ten PowerPoint Presentation|
|IIA-10||Ojai Foundation Group Process Training|
|IIA-11||Faculty Grant Application - Ventura College Foundation|
|IIA-12||Title V Symposium Agenda|
|IIA-13||Flex Day Workshop - Teachers Exchange 2000-01|
|IIA-14||Teaching and Learning Symposium Agendas|
|IIA-15||Sample Haas Automation Proposal and Contract|
|IIA-16||Survey Results - Health Care Round Table, April 2004|
|IIA-17||COE Workplace Skills and Training Needs Assessment, January 2004|
|IIA-18||Central Coast Biotechnology Center Brochure|
|IIA-20||Math & English Matrices - Spring 2004 Schedule of Classes|
|IIA-21||Gateway Courses - Student Outcome Data|
|IIA-22||Learning Strategies - Nursing Program Prep Classes|
|IIA-23||Sociology Focus Groups - Survey Questions|
|IIA-24||Faculty Forum on Retention Strategies|
|IIA-25||Assessment Instruments on Student Barriers|
|IIA-26||EOPS Mentoring Program|
|IIA-27||Assessment/Placement Instruments - English Department|
|IIA-28||Sample syllabus - Clinical Nursing|
|IIA-29||One Book-One Campus Report|
|IIA-30||Course Outline/Syllabus Bio 31|
|IIA-31||Biotech grant funding document, 1995 to current|
|IIA-32||Soil Moisture Program/Partnership documentation|
|IIA-33||EC, ESL Brochure|
|IIA-34||Sample Sheriff's Academy Course Outline (CJ V80 7 81)|
|IIA-35||Dr. Tinto, Flex Day Agenda, Fall 2003|
|IIA-36||Sample Minutes - Academic Senate and Curriculum Committee, 2003-04|
|IIA-37||Sample syllabus - Nursing, Paramedic|
|IIA-38||Sample Ag Supervisory Training brochure, College Catalog info on Human Services Certificate program|
|IIA-39||ICPD Catalog of Workplace Training and Learning Opportunities|
|IIA-40||External Scan Report of Findings 1998; 2000 Invitation|
|IIA-41||Biotechnology training ad|
|IIA-42||Sample department assessment tools - theater and nursing|
|IIA-43||2000 Student Satisfaction Survey, 2003 Survey Comparison|
|IIA-44||Sample course outline - Reading|
|IIA-45||Sample Customer Service Academy Job Placement Data, Caregiver Outcome Data|
|IIA-46||Community Ed Kaleidoscope - past issues|
|IIA-47||Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Student Handbook|
|IIA-48||Sample Biotech Student Success|
|IIA-49||Sample Student Evaluation, Copy of Peer Review Process|
|IIA-50||Sample Advisory Committee agendas & minutes - Paramedic, Nursing, Title V, CalWORKS, Criminal Justice|
|IIA-52||Enlace Brochure, sample Agendas, Minutes, Reports|
|IIA-54||Sample ESL Course Outline|
|IIA-55||Tutorial Center - Sample Student Data|
|IIA-56||Student Support Services Brochure|
|IIA-57||East Campus LRC Brochure|
|IIA-58||Sample CalWORKS Annual Report|
|IIA-59||Sample Emeritus Class Schedule|
|IIA-60||Letter to Dr. Calderon - Leadership Award, Multicultural Activities|
|IIA-61||Sample Program Review Documents|
|IIA-62||Student Perception Survey|
|IIA-63||Sample CID Meeting Minutes|
|IIA-65||Staff Development Committee Activities Plan|
|IIA-66||Mission, Values and Goals Statements|
|IIA-67||List of Degree Programs - Schedule of Classes, Spring 2004|
|IIA-68||Faculty Handbook - General Ed|
|IIA-69||VCCCD Policy on General Ed|
|IIA-70||Ventura College Course Outline of Record Form|
|IIA-71||Curriculum Committee Charge|
|IIA-72||Philosophy & General Ed Committee Charge|
|IIA-73||Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curricular Agreement (IGETC)|
|IIA-74||Sample Course Outline IDS V08|
|IIA-75||NCLEC-RN - National Registry Exam - Student Success Data 1995-96 to 2002-03|
|IIA-76||Field Training Officer (FTO) & Medical Training Perceptors Assessment Tools|
|IIA-77||Department Presentations: Classroom Based Assessment, Teaching Critical Thinking, Assisting Students with Learning Disabilities|
|IIA-78||New Faculty Hire List (2004)|
|IIA-79||CAN Memorandum from Jeff Ferguson, Articulation Officer|
|IIA-80||VCCCD Board Policy on "Catalog Rights"|
|IIA-81||2003 Progress Report, page 75|
|IIA-82||VCCCD Board Policy on Academic Freedom|
|IIA-83||AFT Contract 2001-04|
|IIA-84||VCCCD Board Policy, College Catalog and Department Sample on Academic Honesty|
|IIA-85||College Catalog, Student Code of Conduct - Plagiarism, Academic Honesty, Sanctions|
|IIA-86||WSC Code of Ethics and Decorum Policy|
|IIA-87||Sample Syllabus Outlining Academic Dishonesty Policy|
|IIA-88||Ventura College Student Handbook (2001-02)|
|IIA-89||Copy VCCCD Website - Student Right to Know Reporting Project|
|IIA-90||CID Values and Practices|
|IIA-91||Sample - Faculty Job Announcement|