EAC - Ad Hoc 4-Credit Conversion Committee

4-Credit Conversion Committee Minutes
April 12, 2004
by Porter Raper

Present: Frank Goulard, Frost Johnson, Linda Warwick, Guy Sievert, Susan Wilson, Jan Abushakrah, Scott Huff, Karen Jolly, Porter Raper


Porter shared a draft of the FAQs that will be sent to SAC chairs for information and discussion at the SAC inservice on Friday, April 16.  Suggestions included the following:

  • Need to include a time-line recommendation.  Be sure that it is clearly stated that financial impacts will be discussed by the administration over the summer.
    • Recommendation made by EAC Spring 04
    • Financial review during the summer and plans for administrative support of this work Summer 04
    • Preparation for conversion during 04-05 school year
    • Implementation beginning F 05
  • Add the following question:  How will 4-credit courses affect PCCs degrees, sequences, and general education requirements?
    • Answer:  This is part of the study taking place only after the decision will be made to convert.  A degree will remain at 90 credits.    The main goal is to ease transfer to OUS schools, especially PSU.
  • Include information that the Curriculum and Degrees & Certificates committees will work with EAC to streamline the approval process.
  • If the college decides NOT to covert, can SACs still change to 4 credits? Yes, through the Curriculum Committee  

Sociology Study

Jan shared the current Sociology annual course offerings and a sample of what it may be with 4-credit courses.  Currently there are 135 courses offered each year; in the revised plan, there would be 108 courses offered.  The conclusions reached were:

  • There is a need to ensure the needs of the smaller centers are met.
  •  It appears there may be a need for district-wide planning within a discipline regarding course offerings.
  • Contact hours remained virtually the same using either the 3- or 4-credit model.
  •  It appears there may be a smaller pool of part time instructors needed, allowing department chairs more time with individual faculty (which would help with department/discipline cohesiveness).  


  • Frost indicated the need to be prepared to administer waivers to students who study under both 3-credit and 4-credit courses.
  • Porter would like to review the retention data from schools which have already made this conversion, or perhaps general retention studies connected to increased contact hours or reduced workload.
  • The nursing department is concerned about the total number of credits for its students.  Currently they are at the top of the state-determined limits.  (Nursing has a separate accrediting body who reviews this information.)  Requirements must be reviewed department by department, especially for programs with outside accrediting agencies. 

PSU Discussion

Susan spoke with PSU advising and admissions personnel about current transfer problems and difficulties when their conversion to 4-credit courses was made.

  • While there is some confusion among the students, it doesn't seem to be a huge problem.
  •  BA requires a 4-credit Fine and Performing Arts course.  Transfer students now transfer in only 3-credits.  Apparently PSU is waiving that 4th credit or requiring a 1-credit PSU course.
  • There are problems for students who are co-admitted.  The school of record must be PSU for upper-level courses.  When students take 2 courses from PSU and 1 from PCC, they have only 11 hours and do not qualify for full-time financial aid.
  • In implementing the change, each department made its own recommendations about transfer credits to their program. 

Time Frame

  • Porter will send the corrected FAQs and the sociology scenario to the SACs on Wednesday, providing time for SAC chairs to copy for SAC discussion.
  • Forums:
    • April 22 Rock Creek: 2:30 in the TLC
    • April 26 Sylvania: 2 in the TLC
    • April 27 Cascade: 2:30 in TH11
  • Next meeting:  Thursday, April 29, 3:30 pm at Sylvania (CC Building, Conference Room A)


Committee Chair 2005-2006: Porter Raper, updated on October 14, 2004


Historical Information