EAC - Ad Hoc 4-Credit Conversion Committee

4-Credit Conversion Committee Minutes
April 29, 2004
by Porter Raper

Present Frank, Frost, Linda, Stedman, Scott, Susan, Jan, Jill, Karen, Porter 

Timeline for EAC 

Karen reported the following timeline for the EAC.  The goal is to make a recommendation at the end of this academic year; the recommendation would be for administration to continue further study or not. 

A report is to be submitted at the May 19 EAC meeting.  Comments, questions, and suggestions from the EAC will be solicited.  This input will then be considered by the 4-Credit Conversion Committee and the report may be altered.  The final report will be presented at the June 9 EAC meeting for a recommendation from the EAC.  The EAC Leadership Team, along with Porter, will then take the recommendation to the District President.  Karen encouraged members of the 4-Credit Conversion to attend these EAC meetings.  May 19 will be at Rock Creek in the Pioneer Room from 3-5 pm. 

Review of SAC Input and Campus Forums

Porter highlighted several themes have come out of these discussions.  They include 

  • Overall interest in the conversion, but certainly concerns.
  • Students will have fewer classes to take, which is good.  But will it dilute the diversity of classes available?
  • There is the potential for a lot of good resulting if we make the shift.  Faculty load may be better, teaching and learning improved, improved student success, ease in transferability.  Overall, the college community sees this as a beneficial move if done the right way.
  • It is critical that faculty be involved every step of the way.  Communication back to faculty is necessary. 

Additional comments from the 4-credit committee:

  • This may be an opportunity to enrich the curriculum.  It would allow us to think in a new way.
  • The process for Curriculum and Degrees/Certificate approval must be streamlined.
  • Suggested a timeline that is flexible.
  • Need more discussion with student government and Phi Theta Kappa.
  • What happens to a student who takes a 3-credit class as the first in a sequence and now the rest are 4-credit classes.  Only 1 additional course is offered, leaving the student with 7 credits.  How will 7 credits transfer? 

Consensus was reached among the committee that we recommend continuing the study of this move. 

The concern about enrollments was again expressed.  It is clear that the increase in tuition did affect enrollments of the casual (part time) student.  This indicates it could probably affect the same group with an increase in credits. 

Timeline 

The timeline was discussed.  There was consensus that we use a fast track approach to begin offering 4-credit courses Fall 05.  The goal is to have management agreement to the proposal and questions answered by the time Fall term begins, providing faculty time to work on curriculum during the entire 04-05 academic year. 

Report Preparation

The following suggestions should be included in the report (if the decision is to convert):

  • Ask the Curriculum and Degrees/Certificates committees to be ready for approval in early fall.  This includes general education requirements and the AA and ASOT degrees.  In addition, a plan to streamline the approval process is needed.
  • Need to know the financial impact soon.  Suggest management begin this study now.
  • Must have a commitment from administration that this conversion will be made.  Dont ask faculty to begin preparation only to have it later rescinded.
  • Retain use of 4-Credit Conversion committee as an oversight group during the conversion process (next academic year?).
  • Suggest Porter remain the chair of the committee.
  • Suggest chairs (4-Credit Conversion and EAC) be at the table for conversations in the college.
  • Plan for a Fall 05 conversion.  This means answers to the questions must be made by Fall 04.

Questions from EAC

Porter shared a list of questions that the EAC said must be answered and asked for input on some of them.  Information is available for most of them, but Porter asked for feedback from the committee on the following:

  • Will the majority of our students benefit from this conversion?  What criteria will we use to determine this?
    • Breadth and depth for courses would benefit learning.  Less fragmentation for students; more cohesiveness may increase quality.
    • Fewer sections will be available but less competition for the seats since students will take fewer courses.
    • Potentially PSU students would choose PCC when transferring is easier.
    • Find numbers of students who transfer and where they transfer to.
    • Find the numbers of PTE students.
  • Will the SACs have the option of converting sequences from 3 courses to 2?
    • Yes
  • What are some of the scheduling scenarios that would lend options to a 4-hour block of seat time?
    • Reminder that there will be more facilities available (new buildings).
    • Fewer sections of most courses will be offered.
    • Suggested that part of a schedule from a college using 4-credit courses (Lane, Clackamas, Central, OSU, UofO, PSU) be included in the report.
Committee Chair 2005-2006: Porter Raper, updated on October 14, 2004

Historical Information