Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Lessons from the Edge-Reaching the Summit image

Chris Chairsell

Vice President Academic and Student Affairs

Template Design: Jim Johnstone, Curriculum Support Services


Happy Winter Term!! Spring Break is just around the corner…it will give us the needed opportunity recharge our batteries!! Speaking of Spring – I’m seeing signs of it popping out all over Portland and it is so colorful!

The accreditation visit is scheduled on April 24th. It is a one-day visit to review the progress concerning the following recommendations:

  1. That the College identify and publish the learning outcomes for each of its degree and certificate programs.
  2. Noting considerable efforts in assessment at the course level, the College should demonstrate, through regular and systematic learning outcomes, that students are completing their programs have achieved the expected learning outcomes. Further, the College should demonstrate how results lead to the improvement of teaching and learning.
  3. Programs using related instruction have clearly identified content that is pertinent to the general program of study and is taught by faculty who are appropriately qualified.
  4. Acknowledging evidence of the assessment of student services programs, these evaluations should be consistently used as a basis for program changes.
  5. Develop a plan to identify and make current all past due Fulltime, Part Time, and Academic Professional evaluations and develop a plan to stay on track with future evaluations according to three-year cycle.

Graduation is right around the corner. It will be held on June 8th at 7:00 pm, at the Portland Memorial Coliseum. This year we hope to increase our faculty and staff participation to surpass a total of 250! This is big milestone for our students. I hope you can join us to honor this important transition. If you wish to attend, please contact Jackie Miles (jaclynmiles@pcc.edu). If you do not have your own cap and gown, she will be happy to order one for you. I will be sending out a separate e-mail informing you of timelines for graduation.

We are continuing to emphasize course and degree outcomes by providing some training with Dr. Ruth Stiehl during Faculty In-service on April 12th. There will be two sessions, one AM and one PM, to help interested faculty/SACs sharpen their course or degree outcomes. The accreditation visit in April will be reviewing our progress in the area of outcomes. This training will help in our progression toward our goal of being able to assess both our course level and degree level outcomes. I

If you are interested, contact Nellie Long (nlong@pcc.edu) to reserve a space, for more information on the training, contact Rick Aman (raman@pcc.edu).

I would like to welcome Linda Blanchette as the new Staff and Organization Development Facilitator. She has been serving as the Coordinator of Business Training and Education Development with the Customized and Workforce Training Department. She comes with extensive experience in program development. The search was an internal one and it affirmed that PCC has wonderfully talented employees. I wish to thank all who served in this internal search process. I also wish to thank Susanne Christopher for three years of service to the Staff and Organizational Program. The program is stronger than ever and we wish her well as she returns to the classroom and continues to serve as an EAC Leader and Chair of the EAC Degree/Certificate Standing Committee and Chair of the Curriculum Development (IIP) Committee.

Karen Jolly has decided to hang up her cap and gown and transition into retirement. Karen has been with PCC for about 20 years – 4 years as a Department Chair of CAS; 6 years as Chair of the EAC Curriculum Committee; and 4 years as EAC Chair where she carefully shepherds the formulation of recommendations for policy/procedures to Dr. Pulliams.

As software applications change (and they do about every 2-3 years), Karen has been instrumental in adjusting and developing our curriculum so that students receive the most current education and training that meets business and industry standards. She has left a wonderful legacy through an unyielding dedication to education at Portland Community College. While I have only known Karen for a little over a year, I have come to respect her perspective because all that she does and all that she says is motivated by placing students and their potential for success first. Thank you, Karen. We will miss you.

Berniece Owen will be retiring in April. We are very appreciative of her high energy and phenomenal contributions to PCC Libraries, students, faculty, staff, and community. Berniece is going to be a hard act to follow.

We are in the process of searching for a new Library Director. Candidates will be on campus the week of March 12th. If you would like to visit the public forums, contact Debbi Lomax, extension 4498, (dlomax@pcc.edu) for times and locations of these forums.

Thanks to PCC Faculty who participated in the January 26th General Education Forum and in subsequent discussions regarding the state-wide initiative to develop an outcomes framework for General Education curriculum related to the Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer Degree.

Your feedback is being sent to the Joint Boards Articulation Commission which will compile the statewide input for consideration by the original faculty groups who drafted the outcome and criteria statements. After that, the work will be reviewed by JBAC, community college instructional administrators, and university provosts; then sent back out to campuses before the presentation to the Joint Boards.

We have a new and improved way to promote credit classes that are either new, have low enrollment, or have broad general appeal to PCC students. A new channel has been added to MyPCC – “Need A Class.” This channel is listed below the “Registration Services Channel” on the College Business Tab. Students will see this channel when they are registering for classes.

You may request to post a class to this channel by visiting the “Communicate Channel” on the Employee Tab and clicking on “Publicize at PCC.” Then you will click on the “Publicize My Class Form” and you will be allowed to request that your course be posted. Please read the section on this webpage carefully, as it will give you guidance as to how long something will be posted and how frequently it gets updated.

Best of all, you will be communicating directly to students!! If you have any questions regarding this new channel, please contact Rebecca Mathern at rmathern@pcc.edu.

The Student Planning Guide (SPG), aka, annual Schedule, is going on hiatus. Several issues were taken into account in making this decision. Schedules had to roll early for the SPG to be effective; a term schedule, say for Winter 2007, had to roll shortly after the start of Winter 2006. Rolling early required Faculty Department Chairs and Division Deans to make decisions about a schedule a year in advance without having pertinent data, i.e., how enrollments in Fall 06 might impact Winter 07. Course changes (descriptions, credits, pre-requisites) approved after a schedule rolled had to be manually correct4d section by section; 50 sections of a course would require 50 manual corrections. Instructional Administrative Assistants, already under extreme pressure with scheduling tasks, had to make changes in the schedule twice- early when the scheduled rolled and later when it was finalized….and it was never fully correct. So, the SPG will go away for awhile. It won’t return until it can be useful, correct, and not a hassle for those who must produce it.

During the month of May, PCC will be conducting the Student Campus Climate Survey.
Administered every other year, about 2,400 surveys will be distributed to students in randomly selected classes sometime between the 5th and 7th weeks of Spring Term (Faculty will be notified in early April if their class has been selected to participate).

The instrument PCC uses for the survey is the Noel-Levitz Student Satisfaction Inventory. It collects data about the characteristics of the student population as well as student satisfaction with and the perceived importance of a number of institutional expectations. Once the data has been summarized and compared with other benchmark community colleges and pervious surveys, the information ratings are shared with the college community and utilized to improve student services and instructional programs.

Surveys were first administered at Sylvania Campus in May 2001 and repeated in May 2003. In May 2005, surveys were distributed college-wide for the first time.

Congress has reauthorized Perkins Legislation. We hope to have more information about the reauthorization in the next few weeks. One thing that we know for sure at this time – “PTE” – Professional/Technical Education has been replaced with “CTE” – Career and Technical Education. I think this is one of those things that you say, “If you live long enough……….”

Here is a repeat of the e-mail sent out by Kendra Cawley, Chair of the EAC Curriculum Committee – it bears repeating:

PCC is preparing to implement the Pre-requisite Policy

in Fall 2008 for Lower Division Collegiate courses that are on either the Gen Ed list (pp 16-19 of the 06-07 Catalog) or on the AAOT Distribution list (pp 22-25 of the 06-07 Catalog).

  • C or higher grade in WR 115, or reading and writing placement scores for WR 121
  • C or higher grad in RD 115, or college-level reading skills demonstrated by an ASSET reading score of at least 45 (or COMPASS score of 88), and
  • C or higher grade in MTH 20 or placement into MTH 60

SACs accepting these pre-requisites on the Gen Ed and AAOT courses do not need to do anything, except change the syllabus in Fall 08. A uniform pre-requisite statement will be put into the course description, so it will show up in the Schedule, the Catalog, and the CCOG. Existing pre-requisites that are at higher levels or in other subject areas will not be affected.

SACs may petition to opt-out of some or all of these pre-requisites for some or all of their affected courses, showing sufficient cause why such a waiver should be granted. For information, instructions, time line and to access the opt out form, go to:

This is the Forms Page that you can also navigate from the Curriculum Office (on the right hand navigation bar – under Resources, select Forms).

The time line for evaluating and processing opt-out requests is short; electronic submissions for opt-out requests are due no later than March 16, 2007.

SACs may also elect to “opt-in” to these pre-requisites for courses that are not currently on the list, and for this initial implementation, this procedure will be significantly streamlined. Please see the instructions at the same site listed above. The deadline for opting in is May 1, 2007.

The Catalog Committee has been very busy working on improving the catalog for Faculty and Student consumption. This is a three-year process and presently, we are in year two. There will be a whole new format to the catalog, hoping to make it a little more user-friendly. It is my hope to have something to share with SACs on SAC In-Service Day in April.

Have a great Winter Term and have a great Faculty In-Service on April 12th.

Chris Chairsell