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Pima County Community College District Standard Practice Guide

SPG Title:  Curriculum Alignment, Unification and Placement
SPG Number:  SPG-3105/AA
Effective Date:  5/5/98
Approval Date :  5/5/98
Review Date(s):  4/7/09
Revision Date(s):  4/7/09
Schedule for Review & Update:  Annually
Unit Responsible for Review & Update:  Provost/Executive Vice Chancellor, Academic and Student Services
Sponsoring Unit/Department:  Provost/Executive Vice Chancellor, Academic and Student Services
Regulation Title & No.:  Curriculum Alignment, Unification and Placement, RG-3105/A
Board Policy Title & No.:  Curriculum, BP-3105
Legal Reference: 
Cross Reference:
  Catalog, BP-3104


I. Purpose

The purpose of this standard practice guide is to implement the regulation on alignment, unification, and placement of credit and non-credit certificate and degree programs that qualify for state funding.

II. Alignment Procedure

  1. Alignment refers to arranging related or similar certificate and degree programs (disciplines & prefixes) into broadly inclusive program strands which are divisible into program areas and then into program majors.
  2. Alignment decisions will be based on the curriculum content of new and existing programs as related to widely recognized and referenced industry sectors, educational markets, and/or emergent community needs and support.
  3. Each campus will offer programs within strands representing the full spectrum of the institution's instructional purposes. The essential strands are:
    1. Business and Commerce
    2. Engineering and Technologies
    3. Government and Public Service
    4. Health/Wellness and Fitness
    5. Liberal Arts and Sciences (includes developmental/ESL and special interest)
  4. Programs and prefixes are then aligned according to a best fit into program clusters. Final determinations of best fit will be made by the Chancellor's Cabinet.
  5. All resource allocations and reallocations will be evaluated for cost effectiveness and benefit to students and community partners.

III. Unification Procedure

  1. Unification refers to the merging of two or more related or similar certificate/degree programs.
  2. Unification decisions will be based on periodic review and analysis of curriculum content, program enrollments (headcount), program completers (headcount), program and non-program prefix (FTSE/FTFE Ratio), and labor market and transfer indicators.
    1. Baseline data with subsequent evaluation of outcomes from unification criteria will occur across the curriculum throughout the College District.
    2. Standardized and uniform data generation, analysis, and reporting at the prefix and program level will occur across the College District.
  3. To obtain reliable enrollment data for purposes of periodic review, a two-step Declaration of Program process will occur across the College District, including:
    1. An initial application/admission process for designating student general area of interest (not a formal declaration of intent).
    2. A formalized program application/admission process for all program offerings for official admission to the program (verified intent).
    3. Accountability for student goal attainment (completion rates) based upon a student cohort formally designated by a verified program intent code.
  4. Two separate curriculum approval processes for credit and non-credit curriculum will be developed to accommodate emerging needs and demands across the College District.
    1. An approval process will be utilized with credit and non-credit workforce development curricula that generate credit or clock-hour FTSE.
      1. Workforce response courses and programs are developed in accordance with State Board regulations for Skill Centers and/or in partnership with business/industry/government adapting their existing curricula or specified, operating standards.
    2. An approval process will be utilized with traditional, standard curricula that generate credit enrollments (FTSE).
      1. Traditional, standard curricula includes university/ parallel, general education, developmental education/ESL, occupational education and special interest courses and/or programs.
  5. Courses, prefixes, and programs may be retained, inactivated, merged, converted, or deleted. Implementation of these processes will not negatively impact student access.
    1. Courses associated with programs recommended for inactivation may be retained, given student enrollments.
    2. Courses not offered in five years or taught in three years will be subject to review and inactivation.
    3. In the case of program inactivation or deletion, certificate commitments to (verified) enrolled students will be honored for two years; degree commitments to students will be honored for four years.
    4. All students enrolled in inactivated or deleted programs will be notified.
    5. Upon program inactivation, student intent to complete a degree or certificate will be verified and/or students will be advised into active program codes.
    6. In case of program inactivation or deletion, courses needed for award completion (by verified intent students) will be made available by traditional or alternative delivery methods to honor certificate/degree commitments to enrolled students.
  6. Program Enrollments
    1. For purposes of this standard practice guide (SPG), program enrollments refers to the verified program intent headcount. The intent of three-year averaging is to allow sufficient time to identify and remedy problems.
    2. Programs with a three-year average between 0-9 enrollments are subject to: 1) inactivation, or 2) merging with compatible programs which are capable of accommodating the requisite core and support courses.
    3. Programs with a three-year average between 10-20 enrollments are subject to: 1) integrating vital course content of programs deemed suitable for merging, 2) merging with comparable or compatible programs which are capable of accommodating the requisite core and support courses, or 3) inactivation.
    4. Programs with a three-year average between 21-50 enrollments, or programs with more than 50 enrollments are subject to: 1) integrating vital course content of programs deemed suitable for merging, or 2) other actions consistent with College policy to ensure coherency, relevancy of the curriculum, employability and the transfer of program graduates.
  7. Program Completions
    1. For purposes of this standard practice guide (SPG), program completers (headcount) refers to students in the verified program intent who are reported as graduates of the program. The intent of three-year averaging is to allow sufficient time to identify and remedy problems.
    2. The College will identify means of assessing student goal attainment other than completion of certificates and degrees. These measures will be incorporated and periodically reviewed.
    3. Programs with a three-year average of between 0-3 graduates are subject to: 1) inactivation, or 2) identification and merging of vital course content into program(s) deemed more viable.
    4. Programs with a three-year average of between 4-9 graduates are subject to: 1) merging with similar programs of comparable or greater viability measures with the objective of increasing to 20 or more completions annually on average, or 2) inactivation if no suitable merger is identified.
    5. Programs with a three-year average of between 10-20 graduates, or programs with more than 20 graduates are subject to: 1) merging with less viable programs where indicated to stabilize and strengthen program input/output data, or 2) other actions consistent with College policy to ensure integrity, coherency and relevancy of the curriculum, and the employability and/or transfer of program graduates.
  8. Multiple awards at the same level within a major area will be subsumed as options within a single award display or split into separate majors.
    1. Key courses from programs inactivated by unification criteria may be integrated as options into the course listings of retained programs.
    2. Options within program majors will be displayed in the College catalog as one award with the core and support courses in common. Program areas will offer and display no more than one award of each type.
  9. Curriculum Content
    1. Curricula will be subject to curricular standards assessment through application of State Board requirements, Curriculum Services technical review and application of College curriculum standards, program review analysis, and comparisons of curriculum standards with other community college curricula in comparable program areas and regional and specialized accreditation standards to ensure curricular integrity, coherency and relevancy of the curriculum.
  10. Labor Market Indicators
    1. For purposes of this regulation, the Occupational Outlook Handbook, the Arizona Occupational Employment Forecasts, and the Pima County Labor Market Consortium will serve as the data bases for determining employment growth indicators.
    2. Programs with a demonstrated three to five-year decline in employment growth opportunities for students in the program related occupational field locally, regionally, statewide and/or nationally are subject to: 1) merging of less viable programs where indicated to stabilize and strengthen program input/output data, 2) program deletion, or 3) other actions consistent with College policy to enhance employability of program graduates.
    3. Programs with a three-year declining trend in the number of student graduates working in an occupational related field within three years of graduation are subject to: 1) merging of less viable programs where indicated to stabilize and strengthen program input/output data, or 2) other actions consistent with College policy to ensure employability.
  11. Transfer Indicators
    1. Consistent with the unification criteria, all transfer programs will be converted to the new state approved Arizona General Education Core (AGEC) degree configurations, Associate of Arts, Associate of Fine Arts, Associate of Science and Associate of Business.
    2. Transfer programs with less than 70% of core courses and support courses which apply towards a defined university degree at an accredited institution are subject to: 1) inactivation, or 2) identification and merging of vital course content into program(s) deemed more viable, or 3) other actions consistent with College policy to ensure curriculum articulation, integrity, coherency, relevancy and the transfer of program graduates.
    3. Transfer programs with a three-year declining trend in the number of student graduates transferring to a four-year accredited institution, preferably in the same or related degree area, are subject to: 1) inactivation, or 2) identification and merging of vital course content into program(s) deemed more viable, or 3) other actions consistent with College policy to ensure curriculum articulation, integrity, coherency, relevancy, and transfer of program graduates.
  12. All resource allocations and reallocations will be evaluated for cost effectiveness and benefit to students and community partners.

IV. Placement Procedures

  1. Placement refers to assignment of new or existing courses and programs to campuses.
  2. Placement decisions are based upon these objectives:
    1. All campuses will offer both degrees and certificates.
    2. All campuses will offer developmental/English as a Second Language (ESL) education, General Education, Occupational Education, and transfer programs.
    3. All campuses will offer programming in strands with unique emphases.
    4. All campuses will offer selected introductory level courses for every program area.
    5. All campuses will offer non-credit (FTSE) entry level basic certificates where and when appropriate.
    6. All campuses will offer day/evening/weekend, accelerated, and interactive instructional formats.
    7. All campuses will offer non-credit (FTSE) Adult Basic Education classes.
    8. All campuses have the opportunity to augment on-site degree and certificate programming at off-site locations through partnerships with business/industry/government for cooperative education, internships, clinicals, and hands-on skills labs or state-of-the-art specialized facilities.
    9. All campuses achieving their maximum room utilization standard have the opportunity to offer selected classes at off-site locations within their service area.
    10. All campuses have the opportunity to collaborate with the Community Campus regarding delivery of electronic, contract, and aftermarket training and instruction.
  3. Each campus will offer programs in each strand, with a unique programming niche/emphasis. Placement decisions are based on these criteria:
    1. Meets curriculum and/or programming objectives through distribution of strand components.
    2. Responds to student demographics and/or labor market information.
    3. Facilitates shared curriculum and/or faculty with other programs existing at proposed site.
    4. Creates facility and equipment sharing opportunity with new or existing programs.
    5. Enhances student/faculty/college partnerships.
    6. Capitalizes on geographical proximity to industry.
    7. Promotes proportional distribution of existing and new program student enrollments.
    8. Consistent with College's strategy for allocation and reallocation of College resources.
  4. All resource allocations and reallocations will be evaluated for cost effectiveness and benefit to students and community partners.

V. Roles and Responsibilities

  1. Occupational Education
    1. In conjunction with the Office of the Provost, Campus Chief Academic Officers (CCAOs) will use a matrix management model to implement this SPG. Campuses with one of a kind program areas are by definition Lead Campuses. Lead Campus designation will also be applied for a specific campus' oversight for programs that reside at more than one campus. Designated Lead Campuses will have additional administrative leadership responsibility to provide programmatic coordination for programs offered at more than one campus. Programmatic responsibility in a matrix management model does not supersede an individual campus's pattern or table of organization, including its department chair structure.
    2. A lead campus will:
      1. Work with the Campus Chief Academic Officers (CCAOs) in consultation with department chairs and departmental faculty in the development and administration of the curriculum and offerings.
      2. Ensure that the current Collegewide Discipline Area Meeting (CDAM) process remains viable and evaluate the implementation of the CDAM charge.
      3. Ensure that the Occupational Education Advisory Committee structure is viable and evaluate the implementation of the committee charge.
      4. Provide ongoing analysis of curriculum and master schedule.
      5. Evaluate efficacy of curriculum relative to articulation and curriculum standards, student needs, program completion rates, economic market, and employability and transfer rates.
      6. Ensure adherence to an approved College process for adjunct faculty certification and hiring.
      7. Participate in the selection of program area full-time faculty at other campuses.
      8. Provide program area information to advisors.
    3. The Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Services and Vice Provost is authorized to resolve conflicts between CCAOs, and/or to facilitate implementation of changes that benefit students and advance the educational purposes of Occupational Education curricula.
  2. Transfer, General and Developmental Education, & ESL
    1. The Office of the Provost will provide administrative oversight for transfer programs and university parallel, developmental/ESL, and special interest courses.
    2. The Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Services and Vice Provost will:
      1. Work with the CCAOs in consultation with department chairs and departmental faculty in the development and administration of the curriculum and offerings.
      2. Ensure that the current CDAM process remains viable and evaluate the implementation of the CDAM charge.
      3. Ensure that the local and state Articulation Task Force process remains viable and evaluate the implementation of the task force charge.
      4. Provide ongoing analysis of curriculum and master schedule.
      5. Evaluate efficacy of curriculum and offerings implementation.
      6. Ensure adherence to an approved College process for full-time and adjunct faculty certification and hiring.
    3. The Office of the Provost is authorized to resolve conflicts between CCAOs and/or to facilitate implementation of changes that benefit students and the College.

VI. Evaluation of Procedure

  1. An annual report on the implementation of the curriculum alignment, unification and placement procedures will be presented by the Office of the Provost to the Chancellor's Cabinet.
  2. Every three years, the Office of the Provost will conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the implementation of the procedures to determine their overall effectiveness and appropriate recommendations for modifications will be made to the Chancellor's Cabinet.

Hyperlinks to Associated Documents

BP-3104