A look into COC’s continuous curriculum updates

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Last week, College of the Canyon’s Board of Trustees approved three new courses, one new program, 12 courses modifications and one program modification.

The wide-sweeping changes brought into question how often the college updates its curriculum—which it turns out is quite often.

Last year alone, 173 courses at COC were modified in some way, according to Eric Harnish, COC’s vice president of public information, advocacy and external relations.

Harnish said COC is constantly updating its courses during the year to meet students’ educational needs, in addition to its review of all courses and programs every five years.

“We review curriculum or courses every five years to insure the contact and delivery methods meet the needs of the community at large,” he said.  “We’re always looking at things that will help students achieve their goals and transfer.”

According to the college’s updated 2016 Five Year Revision List, 79 courses are currently in the process of being reviewed, modified, discussed and approved.

These courses must go through a seven-stage approval process before they are implemented into COC’s curriculum.

“Curriculum is initiated by faculty and then it’s reviewed at the department level, at the school level, and then it goes through the Curriculum Committee,” Harnish said.  “Academic Senate approval is required as is approval by the Board of Trustees.”

The final approval process for these courses are at the state-level, Harnish said.  Of the 79 courses under Curriculum Committee review, 16 have already made it through the entire approval process.

The three courses—Art of Africa, Oceania, and the Indigenous Americas; Introduction to Chicana/o Studies; and Introduction to LGBTQ+ Studies—and new degree program—Associate in Art for Transfer (AA-T) degree in Social Justice—approved at the board’s Oct. 26 meeting will be available to students in the fall 2017 semester.

“The social justice transfer degree is a new option for students that are in that degree pathway,” Harnish said of the degree that guarantees a transfer pathway for UC or CSU systems.

Additional academic departments that of study that have curriculum updates in the works include: the School of Applied Technologies, School of Business, School of Humanities, Learning Resources, School of Mathematics, Sciences and Health Professions, School of Social and Behavioral Sciences and School of Visual and Performing Arts.

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On Twitter as @_ChristinaCox_

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