Curriculum Committee not sure it has to approve change.
By Kyle R. Cotton
All students at Alamo Colleges who score at least at the ninth-grade reading level will be required to take EDUC 1300, Learning Frameworks, and they may decide at graduation whether to count it as an elective in a 60-hour degree, according to a summary of the presidents, vice chancellor and chancellor meeting Oct. 10.
PVC also approved requiring EDUC 1300 in all pre-major pathways.
The agreement by PVC was to correct “inconsistencies across the colleges,” according to the summary emailed by Chancellor Bruce Leslie Oct. 17.
For the last 14 years, the Alamo Colleges have required a student development course for first-time-in-college students or transfer students with 15 or fewer credit hours, Jo-Carol Fabianke, vice chancellor of academic success, said Tuesday.
For most of those years, most of those students took a one-credit hour pre-college level course, SDEV 0170, College Success.
Three student development courses, EDUC 1300, SDEV 0170 and SDEV 0370, Foundations for College Learning, have been approved by the college Curriculum Committee, but implementing EDUC 1300 for all students is an “ongoing discussion” and the minutes from the PVC meeting were incorrect, Vernell Walker, dean of professional and technical education and the chair of the committee, said.
However, Fabianke said she has told faculty EDUC 1300 must be part of every pathway of the Alamo Institutes. The proposed pathways are advising guides and not binding so they do not require approval of the curriculum committee.
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges recently commissioned a special site visit team to look at questions regarding the autonomy of this college, St. Philip’s College and Northwest Vista College.
One of the concerns from SACSCOC was Standard 3.4.10, which states the primary responsibility for curriculum is with the faculty.
According to this college’s procedures, it is the responsibility of the curriculum committee to evaluate proposed course and programs changes recommended by individual department committees and coordinate with other Alamo Colleges Curriculum Committees to maintain alignment.
Currently EDUC 1300 is offered as an alternative to SDEV 0170 for new students and transfers with 15 hours or fewer.
Tiffany Cox Hernandez, a member of this college’s curriculum committee, said the student development course falls into a limbo in terms of responsibility between the district and the college.
“In all my years on the Curriculum Committee, we’ve traditionally only approved changes to the degree plan,” she said.
“It’s tricky ground for us because student development is required as part of district policy, but it’s not part of any degree plan.”
Fabianke said students who take EDUC 1300 do better than those who take SDEV 0170, SDEV 0370 or no student development course.
“Every university requires a student development course for their new students, and research shows that it leads to increased success, not just here but nationally,” Fabianke said.