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Related Instruction

What is Related Instruction?

Any certificate programs of 45 credits or more must include a recognizable body of instruction in program-related areas which consist of: 1) Communication, 2) Computation and 3) Human Relations (NWCCU, Standard 2.C.9).

The related instruction components of applied degree and certificate programs must have learning outcomes, which are strongly and explicitly aligned with the related instruction focus area, are aligned with the content and activities which support the learning and, which are assessable.   Related instruction components may be embedded within program curricula or taught in blocks of specialized instruction, but each focus area must have clearly identified content and must be taught or monitored by teaching faculty who are appropriately qualified in those focus areas of related instruction.

Documenting for Related Instruction

Related Instruction has three parts:

  1. Related instruction template – which identifies courses that provide related instruction within a certificate (45 credits or more). This includes courses which are stand-alone and those which instruction is embedded within. The related instruction template is a component of the certificate and can be found in Courseleaf/Degree and Certificate Management. For a template example, visit the Inventory of Approved RI Templates.
  2. Related instruction in courses – which identifies, for each course that includes embedded related instruction, what outcomes and content or activities are involved relating to the focus area.
  3. Instructor qualifications – which establishes qualifications that explicitly apply to the related instruction in the courses.  See the Instructor Qualifications site for the guidelines.
Types of Courses for Related Instruction
  1. Stand-alone course:
    • A college level course (CTE or LDC) at the 100 level or above in any discipline what provides relevant instruction that clearly addresses one of the three focus areas. The title, description, outcomes and content must reference the RI area.  Student learning hours can be reflected in one focus area only. To determine the area of best fit, review the individual CCOG.
    • Some Gen Ed courses may be used for related instruction as long as the title or description, as well as outcomes, and content or activities references the RI focus area.
    • Courses in the discipline (e.g. Landscape Math) in which the description, outcomes and content explicitly and strongly support the related instruction focus area(s). Student learning hours may be split across multiple focus areas as appropriately indicated in the CCOG.
  2. Embedded instruction:
    • Occurs simultaneously with content instruction and is often industry specific.
    • Related instruction focus area (computation, communication, human relations) must be identified in the course’s outcomes.  At least one outcome must strongly and explicitly align with the specified focus area.
    • Course content/activities must clearly and explicitly align with the specified outcome(s), and must strongly support student learning and acquisition of the specified focus area.
    • 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.  A three-credit course cannot exceed 90 hours of student learning.
    • Cooperative Education
      • A portion of any related instruction can be identified and occur in cooperative education courses.
      • 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.
    • Embedded related instruction and any revisions must be reviewed and recommended first by the Curriculum Committee review process and then by Degree and Certificate Committee review process.
    • SACs must ensure that instructors are qualified to deliver related instruction within in the course.  Instructor qualifications specific to the course and the focus area must be reviewed and approved and posted on the Instructor Qualifications website.
    • SACs can identify embedded hours of student learning in their courses only.
    • Content, outcomes, and student learning hours (direct instruction and practice/homework) relating to the focus area must be reflected in each course’s CCOG.
  3. Combination of stand-alone courses and embedded related instruction.
Determining student learning hours at the course level

Hours used in related instruction are not the same as contact hours. In this context, hours of student learning include both direct instruction and outside classroom study approximating 30 hours per credit that normalizes the value of student learning activities in various course modalities (lecture, lab, lecture-lab, etc.). One contact hour of lecture is equivalent to three hours of student learning, because for every hour per week of in class lecture, an additional 2 hours of out-of-class study is assumed (additional time spent learning) – over the course of a 10-week term that would be equivalent to 30 hrs total. The conventions used at PCC are as follows:

Determining student learning hours at the course level
Credit Hours Hours of Student Learning
1 cr lecture meets 1 hr /wk, plus 2 hrs/wk of study, for 10 weeks 30 hours
1 cr lec-lab meets 2 hr/wk, plus 1 hr/wk of study, for 10 weeks 30 hours
1 cr lab meets 3 hrs/wk, with minimal outside study, for 10 weeks 30 hours
Related Instruction in the CCOG

The activities of related instruction embedded within the courses must be explicitly described in the CCOG and explicitly identified in the outcomes and content sections. The CCOG gives clear and specific guidance to the faculty teaching the course.

  • The number of hours can be estimated directly based on time spent on specific activities or content areas or interpreted based on the percentage of the course devoted to that area.
  • Content may address student learning in more than one area at the same time,
  • Related instruction focus area must be clearly identifiable in the course outcomes
  • The activities and subsequent learning students experience during the course must be specifically listed in the appropriate focus area of related instruction within the CCOG. (ex, Determining torque measurements and using them in the tightening operations of the steering and suspension components and wheel lug nuts or Students demonstrate their own 30-second promotional speech to the class).
What types of activities contribute to embedded Related Instruction within career technical courses?
  • Direct instruction (+ study time) in program-related computations or mathematics
  • Development of skill in discipline-related computations
  • Computing percentages and ratios or measuring
  • Direct instruction (+ study time) on basic or discipline-related writing and/or speech
  • Instruction on proper record keeping and/or preparation of reports
  • Instruction on organizing and or delivering discipline specific presentations
  • Application of writing skills to professional setting
  • Documentation of activities
  • Preparing written reports
  • Application of instruction in communication to professional setting
  • Preparation and presentation of experimental techniques and results
  • Communication appropriate to specific contacts within the profession
Human Relations
  • Direct instruction (+ study time) on relevant topics related to the discipline:  group dynamics, ethics, social interactions, and diversity
  • Development of skill in working with colleagues, supervisors and employees in the workplace
  • Development of skill in relating to customers, clients, vendors etc in the workplace
Related Instruction at the Program/Certificate Level

All courses (stand-alone and embedded instruction) must be identified and the hours included on the Related Instruction Template which is attached to the certificate in Courseleaf/Degree and Certificate Management. The certificate and template will be reviewed by the Degrees and Certificates Committee. If the committee has concerns about the course content with respect to related instruction, it may refer the course to the Curriculum Committee for evaluation.

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.
Related Instruction and Instructor Qualifications

SACs must ensure that instructors assigned to teach Career Technical courses that have embedded Related Instruction are appropriately qualified to do so. The qualifications for teaching the identified outcomes, content and skills pertaining to the Related Instruction are proposed following the regular process for revising Instructor Qualifications, and when approved, will be included on the program page of the Instructor Qualifications site. Courses that are “stand alone” for Related Instruction (see above) do not require specifically identified qualifications beyond those that apply to teaching that course. In order to establish or revise instructor qualifications, SACs should refer to Instructor Qualifications.