Related Instruction Overview

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PCC’s accreditation agency, the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities requires that certificate programs of 45 credits or more MUST include a recognizable body of instruction in program-related areas of:

  1. Communication
  2. Computation
  3. Human relations.

The body of instruction is referred to as "Related Instruction".

From NWCCU Standards:

Applied undergraduate degree and certificate programs of … forty-five (45) quarter credits in length contain a recognizable core of related instruction or general education with identified outcomes in the areas of communication, computation, and human relations that align with and support program goals or intended outcomes. (Standard 2.C.9)

The related instruction components of applied degree and certificate programs (if offered) have identifiable and assessable learning outcomes that align with and support program goals or intended outcomes. Related instruction components may be embedded within program curricula or taught in blocks of specialized instruction, but each approach must have clearly identified content and be taught or monitored by teaching faculty who are appropriately qualified in those areas.  (Standard 2.C.11)

At PCC, documenting for Related Instruction has three parts:

  • Related Instruction Template – which courses are identified as providing the related Instruction. This includes courses which are stand-alone and/or embedded for each certificate (45 credits or more).
  • Identification of Related Instruction in Courses (for embedded Related Instruction) – which shows, for each course that includes embedded related instruction, what outcomes and content or activities are involved.
  • Instructor Qualifications:  each SAC establishes qualifications that apply to the related instruction in their courses, this is posted on the Instructor Qualifications website.

Related instruction requirement may be fulfilled by stand-alone courses; embedded instruction using a course within the SAC area, and/or a combination of stand-alone courses and embedded related instruction.

Stand-alone course(s):

SACs may use existing credit courses (must be 100 level or above) that address one or more of the program-related areas. 1) communication, 2) computation, and/or human relations. Options include:

  • A college level course (CTE or LDC) in any discipline that provides relevant instruction that clearly addresses one of the three areas. The title and/or the description must reference the RI area and student learning hours can be reflected in one area only. To determine the area of best fit, review the description, outcomes, and/or the course content of CCOG.
  • Some Gen ED courses may be used for stand-alone related instruction as long as the title and/or the description references the RI area. Student learning hours can be reflected in one program-related area only. To determine the area of best fit, review the description, outcomes, and/or the course content of CCOG.
  • Courses in the discipline (e.g, Landscape Math), in which the description, outcomes and/or content clearly support the related instruction area(s). The student learning hours in this case may be split across multiple areas as indicated in the CCOG.

All stand-alone courses used for Related Instruction must be identified and the hours included on the Certificate Related Instruction Template. In the event that the Degrees and Certificates Committee has concerns about the course content with respect to related instruction, it may refer the course to the Curriculum Committee for evaluation.

Embedded instruction:

  • Embedded instruction occurs simultaneously with content instruction
  • Embedded instruction content and hours must be reflected in each course CCOG.
  • Embedded instruction should be used when a fraction of a course is applied to the related instruction requirement. The student learning hours in a course may be split across multiple areas as indicated in the Related Instruction section of the CCOG.
  • Related instruction should be identified in the course outcomes.
  • SACs can identify embedded hours of student learning in their courses only.
  • Related Instruction embedded in courses is recommended by the SAC, the SAC Administrative Liaison, the Curriculum Committee and the Dean(s) of Instruction for approval by the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs.  Recommendation by the Curriculum Committee is required before the Degrees and Certificates Committee recommends the Related Instruction Template.

Related Instruction in cooperative education courses:

  • A portion of any related instruction can be identified and occur in cooperative education courses.
  • Exception to the rule – The cooperative education course cannot be used exclusively (100%) for a single RI focus area.  The reason for this exclusion is based on instructor qualifications for related instruction and oversight of the related instruction content. 

Faculty qualifications for related instruction identified courses

  • The SAC for the CTE program develops specific requirements that pertain to the related instruction embedded in their courses, and recommends these for administrative approval. These requirements are published as part of the Instructor Qualifications
  • Faculty qualifications to teach the RI content are submitted for review on the Related Instruction for CTE Courses form.  
  • The Instructor Approval Form will note that an instructor is qualified to deliver embedded related instruction, either for all courses or for specific courses, and supporting documentation of the relevant qualifications will be attached to the approval form.

Establishing or revising related instruction is a two-step process.

  • The courses that have embedded related instruction must be recommended first by the Curriculum Committee. 
  • Then the related instruction template must be recommended by the Degree and Certificate Committee.

***Program prerequisites cannot be used for to meet related instruction requirements.

Process of identifying and submitting Related Instruction for approval:

  1. Review the Related Instruction guidelines posted on the web. Related Instruction Guidelines
  2. Complete the Related Instruction for CTE Courses form for each course that includes embedded Related Instruction.  This form will ask you to identify the outcomes, hours and type of instruction (activities, study/practice etc), and Instructor Qualifications for Related Instruction
  3. Submit to the Curriculum office for review.
  4. Use the “Template for Related Instruction” document. This is a fillable spreadsheet which will allow you to enter the courses and hours of Related Instruction in each area. The calculations are automated. There is a template for a one-year and a template for a two-year certificate, please complete the correct one.
  5. Submit the Related Instruction Template to the Curriculum office, for review and recommendation by the Degrees and Certificates Committee.
  6. Note:  the template cannot be recommended by Degrees and Certificates until the Related Instruction in CTE courses has been recommended by the Curriculum Committee. The forms may be submitted at the same time. After the committees and VPs have reviewed and recommended the certificate's related instruction,  the CCOG and Instructor Qualifications websites will be updated with information, and the Template posted on the Related Instruction website.

Credit and/or Hour Requirements for Related Instruction:

Note:  in the following, “hours” are not the same as “contact hours”. For this requirement, “hours” refers to the combination of direct instruction and out of class student work, approximating 30 hours per credit. This is done to normalize the value of student learning activities in various course modalities (lecture, lab, lecture-lab etc).

Certificates of 45 to 60 credits:
  • Eight credits or 240 embedded hours of related instruction with representation in three program-related instructional areas:
    1. Communication
    2. Computation
    3. Human relations
  • Two credits or 48 embedded instruction hours are required in each area.
  • Two credits or 96 embedded instruction hours are at the SAC’s discretion.
Certificates of 61 to 108 Credits:
  • Sixteen credits or 480 embedded hours of related instruction with representation in the three program-related instructional areas:
    1. Communication
    2. Computation
    3. Human relations.
  • Four credits or 96 embedded instruction hours are required in each.
  • Four credits or 192 embedded instruction hours are at the SAC’s discretion.

Instructor Qualifications

SACs need to ensure that instructors of each Career Technical course providing embedded related instruction are qualified to deliver the appropriate related instruction.

For programs that embed Related Instruction in their courses, the Instructor Qualifications for that program must include a section that describes the requirements for Related Instruction and that provides clear direction for the administrator in charge of hiring faculty for the program.

Faculty qualifications to teach the Related Instruction content must be submitted for approval. There are two routes for approval, both of which are designed to ensure that approval of the Instructor Qualifications is made with reference to the amount and content of Related Instruction in the program courses.

  • If Related Instruction is being established in a course for the first time, or is being revised, the Instructor Qualifications for the Related Instruction are included on the Curriculum form: Related Instruction in CTE Courses
  • If the SAC is proposing new or revised Instructor Qualifications in a subject area that uses embedded Related Instruction, the section on Related Instruction must be included in the "Proposed" section of the Instructor Qualifications Form. In addition, the form must be accompanied throughout the approval process by a complete listing (hours and content/activities, from the CCOGs) of all embedded Related Instruction in program courses.

In both of these approval methods, the request is recommended by the SAC, the SAC Administrative Liaison, and the Dean(s) of Instruction for approval by the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs. Once approved, these qualifications are added to the Instructor Qualifications web page for that SAC.

The Instructor Approval Form for part time instructors will note that an instructor is qualified to deliver embedded related instruction, either for all courses or for specific courses, and supporting documentation of the relevant qualifications will be attached to the approval form.