The faculty are primarily responsible for the content, quality, and effectiveness of the curriculum. The College District shall designate or appoint an academically qualified lead instructor or program director to provide coordination for each academic unit, which shall include curriculum development or review. Each lead instructor and program director reports to one of six Associate Deans of Instruction, who each lead one division of Academic Affairs (Health Careers, Technology & Workforce, Social & Behavioral Sciences and Business, Language Arts & Education, Science & Mathematics, and Fine Arts). The Associate Deans of Instruction report to the Vice President of Academic Affairs (VPAA), who also serves as the College District’s SACSCOC Accreditation Liaison. The VPAA reports directly to the College President.
All curriculum changes must be reviewed and approved through the process described below prior to implementation.
1. When an employee of the College District identifies a potential curriculum change, he/she should communicate the idea to the lead instructor or program director assigned to the relevant academic discipline or program.
2. The lead instructor or program director will consult with the supervising Associate Dean of Instruction about the idea. If the idea involves a vocational program, the lead instructor or program director will also solicit and document the Program Advisory Committee’s feedback on the idea.
3. If the lead instructor or program director and the Associate Dean of Instruction agree the idea merits further consideration, the Associate Dean sends a proposal to the VPAA/Accreditation Liaison outlining the idea; he/she should attach completed Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board forms and Program Advisory Committee feedback documentation if applicable.
If the proposal involves the launch of a new academic program, the documentation should include (a) a three-year analysis of anticipated student demand for the program; (b) presentation of data indicating the existence of current or anticipated labor market demand; (c) a list of senior institutions offering bachelor’s degrees with which the new program will articulate; (d) a detailed projection of startup costs – including instructors, nonteaching personnel, technology, physical resources, equipment, expanded student services, and library resources; (e) a detailed five-year financial pro forma detailing anticipated operating expenses and revenues.
4. The VPAA/Accreditation Liaison reviews the proposal documentation. If the VPAA determines the proposal would result in a substantive change if it were implemented, the VPAA shall review the Local EF – Substantive Change policy with the Associate Dean of Instruction and lead instructor or program director, and ensure the substantive change procedure described in Local EF is executed.
5. The VPAA forwards the proposal documentation to the Education Programs Standing Committee for review and consideration. The chair of the Education Programs Committee will assign the proposal to the Curriculum Review Subcommittee.
6. The subcommittee will schedule a hearing of the proposal. The hearing may be broadcasted electronically using College District resources (e.g., Blackboard Collaborate, interactive television, etc.) to facilitate broad participation in the hearing. The hearing shall be publicized to the entire College District through the Office of Communication. The chair of the subcommittee shall ensure minutes of the hearing are documented. The initiating employee, lead instructor or program director, the Associate Dean of Instruction, Registrar, Dean of Student Affairs, any member of the faculty, and any interested student may present arguments for or against the proposal to the subcommittee. The subcommittee chair may set reasonable limits on the time allotted for comments/arguments from each individual.
7. Once all comments/arguments have been heard, the subcommittee shall enter closed session to consider the proposal. The subcommittee may approve a proposal as presented, approve with conditions stipulated, return for revision, or reject the proposal. When considering the proposal, the subcommittee will review:
• Compatibility with the purpose, philosophy, mission, and financial resources of the College District;
• Compliance with state and federal requirements, including the Guidelines for Instructional Programs in Workforce Education (GIPWE) and the Lower Division Academic Course Guide Manual (ACGM);
• Compliance with Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges standards, policies, and regulations;
• Compliance with specific program accreditation criteria, under the advisement of the program director;
• Appropriateness to the needs and goals of College District students;
• Appropriateness to the vocational area for AAS degree and certificates as recommended by the Program Advisory Committee (See Regulation BCE – Advisory Committees);
• Transferability, if applicable; and
• Relevance to existing credit or noncredit courses.
8. The subcommittee chair shall forward its recommendation to the chair of the Education Programs Committee in writing with the minutes of the hearing.
9. The chair of the Education Programs Committee shall introduce the proposal, subcommittee recommendation, and subcommittee hearing minutes at the next Education Programs Committee meeting for the Standing Committee’s consideration and approval. The Standing Committee may approve a proposal as presented, approve with conditions stipulated, return for revision, or reject the proposal.
10. When a proposal is approved by the Education Program Standing Committee, the chair will forward the Standing Committee’s recommendation to the College President, VPAA, and all Associate Deans of Instruction.
11. If the proposal involves a new program or program termination, the VPAA and College President will consider the proposal documentation and Standing Committee and subcommittee recommendations and records to consider the proposal. The VPAA and President may approve a proposal as presented, return for revision, or reject the proposal.
12. If the College President and VPAA approve a proposal to launch a new program or terminate a program, the President shall place the proposal on the agenda of the next regular Board of Trustees meeting for Board action.
The VPAA/Accreditation Liaison shall ensure the College District complies with all relevant SACSCOC processes and standards, program accreditation processes and standards if applicable, and Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board processes and regulations prior to and throughout the implementation of the approved curriculum change.