Academic Policy Handbook ARCHIVE

S701

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Subject Area Committees

 

Definition

Subject Area Committees (SACs) are composed of all faculty who teach in a PCC subject area or program, and address the instructional and curriculum concerns of their respective disciplines. These committees represent and articulate those subject area and program issues which are defined by the PCC Mission Statement and College-wide Core Outcomes, and the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges.

 

Purpose

SACs assist in coordinating curricula of all course offerings within individual disciplines or in a group of related disciplines on a college-wide basis.

The college-wide SAC is the proper forum for discussion of curriculum issues that have college-wide impact. SACs make recommendations regarding internal academic/curricular issues as well as such issues as high school/college articulation and community college/baccalaureate college articulation and review grant applications when requested, review student petitions to waive graduation requirements (only when requested by appropriate administrative personnel), and participate in course and program analysis.

SACs are not designed to negotiate or adjudicate issues that are of a contractual nature. Issues such as faculty compensation, faculty assessment, campus assignments, sabbatical leaves, and hours and days of assignment, for example, are contractual/administration issues which are resolved through mechanisms established by the collective bargaining agreement.

However, SACs may make recommendations regarding issues which would, in the SAC’s view, have an impact on instructional programs at PCC.

 

Membership and Organization

Each SAC will have as members all faculty (including one-year temporary positions and part-time instructors) teaching in a given academic area or program. Each SAC will make a recommendation regarding voting rights for part-time instructors in the SAC to the Dean of Academic Services. SAC membership may be limited to one campus only when SAC membership is exclusively at that campus. Part-time instructors are encouraged but not required to attend SAC meetings.

Each SAC will make a recommendation regarding voting rights for part-time instructors in the SAC to the Dean of Academic Services. Note: A formal recommendation would now need to be made to the Dean of Academic Services.

The chairperson of the SAC will be a faculty member elected by the voting members of the entire committee. The term of office will be one to three years, and two members may share the position. Multi-campus SAC chairs should be rotated among the campuses. Only the elected representative of a SAC should bear the title of SAC Chair; representatives of segments of a SAC should be designated by a title other than SAC Chair.

An Administrative Support Person will be assigned to each single-campus SAC by the Executive Deans; in the case of multi-campus SACs, the Dean of Academic Services will appoint the administrative support person in consultation with the Executive Deans.

 

Meetings, Operation, and Recommendation Reporting

At a minimum, each SAC will meet once during fall term, winter term, and spring term. In the case of multi-campus SACs, all members must be notified at least seven days prior to the meeting date. Minutes are the responsibility of the Administrative Support person.

The SAC Chair or Administrative Support person will submit SAC recommendations to the Dean of Academic Services or to EAC, as appropriate. The Administrative Support person will distribute copies of recommendations to all of those who receive copies of the minutes. (See Administrative Support responsibilities below.) The Dean of Academic Services will be responsible for responding to SAC recommendations. If the recommendation is not approved, the SAC shall be given the opportunity to supply additional information to the Dean of Academic Services or the EAC and to appeal that recommendation. Recommendations are sent in memo format (separate from the minutes). Minority reports may also be submitted.

SAC chairs and SAC members may attend the EAC and participate as a guest for any issue on the EAC agenda regardless of which department submitted the item. In addition, SAC chairs or others may request that items be put on the agenda for discussion.

 

SAC Responsibilities

Course Challenges - If a SAC decides to allow a course challenge, it will develop and review the challenge by subject area as appropriate and make recommendations on additions, modifications, or deletions. Recommendations are to be submitted to the Dean of Academic Services for approval.

Course Content & Outcomes Guides - Course Content & Outcomes Guide (CCOGs) are to be developed by appropriate faculty. SACs must review and approve CCOGs. All CCOGs must be reviewed and updated every three years. CCOGs are submitted to the Curriculum Office and posted on the Internet.

Equipment Purchases - A SAC will review and make recommendations to the appropriate Division Dean and the Dean of Instruction and/or Dean of Student Development for purchases of equipment that impact its curricula. Those purchases with a significant impact on more than one campus, will be transmitted to the Dean of Academic Services and then shared with the Executive Deans.

Faculty Qualifications – The SACs shall recommend criteria for selection of all faculty in accordance with college-wide practices. SAC instructor qualifications recommendations are submitted to the Dean of Academic Services for approval in consultation with the Deans of Instruction. Once instructor qualifications have been approved, SACs and administrators will follow them when hiring faculty.

General Education/Curriculum - Upon development of a new course that is deemed to be general in nature, a SAC may recommend that course to the General Education/Curriculum Committee for inclusion in the GEN ED list. SACs will follow the procedures for approval as established by the General Education/Curriculum Committee. Recommendations will be sent directly to EAC.

Library Holdings - SACs will review library holdings in appropriate subject areas and make recommendations for additional purchases or deletions. Recommendations will be submitted to the Director of the Learning Resource Center.

New Courses/Programs and Course/Program Revisions – SACs are responsible for reviewing outcomes and assessment strategies for all courses taught in their subject areas. SACs will make recommendations for all new courses, new programs, major course revisions, minor course and program revisions, and distance modality proposals for courses or programs. New course and program proposals submitted to the Curriculum Committee will indicate modalities intended to be used. Where no SAC exists for a course/program, the Dean of Academic Services, in consultation with the appropriate Executive Dean in the case of a single-campus SAC, will appoint a SAC to make academic recommendations.

For any existing course proposed to be taught entirely by distance modality, or by a combination of modalities that may, in the SAC’s view, affect SAC-approved outcomes or assessment for a course, SAC recommendations are submitted to the Dean of Academic Services. SAC recommendations will be based on learning outcomes and assessment activities approved by the College for distance education, and the college-wide core outcomes.

Course Descriptions, Course Prerequisites, corequisites and Recommended Courses - SACs are to approve all course descriptions, course prerequisites, corequisites and recommended courses.

Course and Program Assessment - SACs will have the responsibility to participate fully in program and learning outcome assessment activities, and review outcomes and student assessments for all courses and Programs. That review will be based on learning outcomes and assessment activities approved by the SAC and academic quality criteria for distance education approved by the College.

Program and Course Evaluation - Requirements for courses and programs will be reviewed during Fall Term. If there are recommended changes, they should be made in time to meet catalog deadlines. The catalog and brochures must be reviewed and updated as appropriate.

Entry-Level and Exit-Level Requirements - The SACs will make recommendations for program requirements and will periodically review and modify these requirements. Recommendations are submitted to the Deans of Instruction and then to the Dean of Academic Services for approval.

Textbook Selection and Instructional Materials - Each SAC will develop a procedure for approving textbooks, software and any other instructional materials that may affect SAC-approved outcomes or assessment for a course.

Other Responsibilities – As noted above, SACs may make recommendations regarding any issue which would have a college-wide impact on instructional programs. Such issues might include class size, program allocation to a campus or a center, etc. Recommendations will be made to the Dean of Academic Services.

 

SAC Faculty Chair
  1. Work with Administrative Support person to set official meeting dates and agendas.
  2. Conduct meetings.
  3. Attend to the charges outlined in the "Responsibilities"- " portion of the policy statement.
  4. Work with Administrative Support person to write minutes and forward all curricular recommendations to the Dean of Academic Services or as designated in the responsibilities section of this policy.
  5. Work with Administrative Support person to maintain an up-to-date historical file for easy reference for use by incoming chairs and support people.

 

Administrative Support Person
  1. Provide for the taking of official minutes of SAC meetings and send copies of the minutes within 14 days following a SAC meeting to all appropriate faculty members, the appropriate Department Chairs, Division Deans, Deans of Instruction, the Executive Dean, and the Dean of Academic Services.
  2. Provide for the keeping of an up-to-date mailing list of all SAC faculty members, Department Chairs, Division Deans, and Deans of Instruction who are responsible for course/program offerings and for sending the list to the Curriculum Office.
  3. Provide for the keeping of an up-to-date file of all department CCOGs; notify the SAC membership when the three-year update cycle is necessary; and lend support for that updating process.
  4. Provide each SAC member with an up-to-date list of approved textbooks and student purchased materials.
  5. Provide support for the implementation of SAC recommendations and decisions in a timely manner.
  6. Prepare an annual report of SAC activities and submit to the Dean of Academic Services.

 

Dean of Academic Services
  1. Review and approve/disapprove recommendations as specified in previous sections of this policy.
  2. Keep record of approved policy for faculty hiring.
  3. Maintain the College's official file of all approved Course Content & Outcomes Guides.
  4. Upon request, send copies of existing Course Content & Outcomes Guides to all departments responsible for offering the courses.
  5. Maintain the official SAC approved listing of all textbooks and other required student-purchased instructional materials.
  6. Update the College Catalog as new and revised courses or programs are approved.
  7. Keep the Course Master up-to-date as required by the Course and Program Approval process.
  8. Review annual reports and provide feedback to administrative support persons.
  9. Coordinate training for SAC chairs and administrative support persons.

 

Executive Deans
  1. Review and make recommendations for all new and major course revisions and programs.
  2. Consult with the Dean of Academic Services on SAC issues.

There may be instances when there is a need for a SAC to deviate from a specific provision of SAC policy. When such a deviation is desired, it should be put in writing and forwarded to an Executive Dean in the case of a single-campus SAC or the Dean of Academic Services in the case of a multi-campus SAC. In every case, the need for a deviation from policy should be ultimately sent to the Dean of Academic Services for action and for approval.

Effective Date: May, 2001