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Minutes 9-11-2003

Degrees and Certificates Committee

November 5, 2003
Sylvania Campus, 3:30-5:00 pm
CT 209 Conference Room

Present: Susanne Christopher, Lucinda Eshleman, Pat Lewis, Bob Ewing, Dave Stout, Tony Zable, Amy Alday-Murray

Guests: Frank Goulard, Greg Rapp, Steve Phillips, Karen Jolly, Brian Davis, Diana Ellis, JoAnn Thomas, Nancy Wilder, Craig Bell, Mike Fritz

1. October Minutes passed as amended.

2. Math requirement for AS degree

Frank Goulard was here to answer any questions about the specific wording of the new math requirement. It is as follows:

-All candidates must complete a minimum of four (4) quarter hours with a letter grade of “C” or higher. The following courses may be used for this requirement: MTH 111A, 111B, or 111C

-Any mathematics course, minimum 4 credits, with Intermediate Algebra as a prerequisite. (Note: Six (6) credits of MTH 211, 212, 213 are needed to fulfill this requirement.”

This requirement now brings us into alignment with the other community colleges in the state that offer an AS degree. We agreed that this language is acceptable.

3. Gen Ed requirements for certificates

Amy Alday-Murray shared a document with us from a recent statewide meeting she attended, in order to elaborate on Gen Ed requirements for certificates.

Certificates of 45 credits or more in length require:

-equivalent of 9 credits/90 hours at an appropriate level for the occupation in the areas of communication, computation, and human relations.

-Related instruction should be at a level that is beyond what would be expected at the high school level, i.e. Geometry and Algebra will “cut it,” but fractions and long division will not, and math taught in Accounting is not considered to be Mathematics.

-Requirement options: Statement in the college catalog describing what is taught and in which courses if embedded, or required course work in related areas.

-Qualified instructors: Depends on the level of instruction, related instruction may be team taught.

-Accreditation: The visiting team will “quiz” professional/technical instructors regarding methodology if instruction in the related areas is embedded, i.e. are they teaching mathematics in a comprehensive way?

Amy reported that Chemeketa is going to required courses for math and communication and will use a PSY course for human relations. Linn Benton will require course work in Writing and Math and human relations will be embedded.

We at PCC must decide if we are going to embed related instruction or require separate courses. If we embed related instruction, what are the criteria for “qualified instructors” as established by the SAC’s?

Susanne will be meeting with Guy Sievert to come up with a set of guidelines for certificate programs to follow who want to embed the gen ed requirements. These will be presented to Degrees and Certificates at a later meeting.

4. Associate of Applied Science in Interior Design program changes (from 73 to 74 credits)

JoAnn Thomas told us about the National Kitchen and Bath Association certification and how the proposed change would help graduates qualify for this certification.

The proposed change was approved unanimously.

5. ASOT in Business – potential new degree

Degree Purpose:
Seamless transfer to OUS schools for a 4-year degree with easier entry into undergraduate Business programs (if students take the right set of electives to meet 4-year schools’ entry requirements into the Business major)
Guaranteed junior status; all general education requirements met


  1. Philosophical Issues

    State’s right to dictate a degree PCC offers; whose degree is it, ours or the state’s?

    PCC Business faculty at the meeting made it clear that they have been working towards this for many years with other business programs in the state, including the OUS schools.

  2. Does it meet PCC’s education ideals?

    Core outcomes
    General education

  3. Confusion to the student over intent of the degree

    Professional technical vs transfer
    Acceptance into PSU School of Business

  4. Is this the first of what will become a landslide of “mini-majors” in the AA programs?
  5. Is it right to encourage specialization

Potential benefits to students:

Guaranteed junior status; all general education requirements met (as opposed to the AS degree without the Business specialization)

Allows students to continue 4-year degree process as a junior after a leave of absence from the formal education process (as opposed to the AS degree)

There would be less confusion among students, especially those who “self advise” and miss the courses they need to make a seamless transition to PSU’s business major.

The Business faculty see this degree as having a value in the marketplace, regardless of whether or not students go on to complete the bachelor’s degree.

Business faculty feel strongly that by having students identify a “mini-major” like ASOT in Business they will be able to track students better, see how successful they are, and even follow them as they proceed into careers and into further education.

Other area colleges (Chemeketa, Clackamas, Mt. Hood and others) are already offering this degree, and this would put us at a competitive disadvantage.

PSU’s Business faculty are encouraging our faculty to adopt this degree.

This degree will also make it easier for our students to transfer from one community college to another.

This program may also serve people who are already in the work force and are prepared to return to the community college to increase their qualification.

Craig Bell reported on the Joint Board’s conversation that went into the development of this degree. They heard reports from many different faculty about how depending on the major one pursues, an additional 12 – 18 hours are often required on top of the AAOT degree, on order to achieve junior standing in the major at the 4-year school.

Several members of Degrees and Certificates encouraged Business faculty to get evidence from area employers to validate their claim that this degree has immediate value in the marketplace.

After a lively discussion with the committee, Susanne reminded us that our goal here is to decide on a recommendation to the EAC. The issue will be discussed there as well, and the EAC’s decision will then be passed on to the President.

Tony moved that we recommend acceptance of the ASOT in Business with the understanding that the pros and cons we have discussed will be forwarded to the EAC for their further discussion and consideration.

The motion passed.

6. The meeting was adjourned at 5:30 pm.

Submitted by Dave Stout, 11/5/03