Standard II. A. STUDENT Learning Programs
All Gavilan College instructional programs are offered in fields of study consistent with the institution’s mission of “...cultivating learning and personal growth… in transfer pathways, career and technical education (and) developmental education” (II.A-1, II.A-2, II.A-3, II.A-4, II.A-5, II.A-6, II.A-7).
Courses are developed through the Curriculum Committee through a process that requires justification for new courses (II.A-8), including models of similar classes, relevance to existing degrees and certificates, and in Career Education (CE), relevance to the job market. Courses offered as Distance Education (DE) are first developed as face-to-face classes; the delivery method is added later (II.A-9). Courses offered online, off-site, or as part of a particular program, such as the South Bay Regional Public Safety Training Academies or Noncredit Instruction, are subject to the same processes and must adhere to the Course Outline of Record (II.A-10) no matter the location or course format. Articulation of courses with the California State University (CSU), University of California (UC), or other system is predicated upon Gavilan College courses covering the required content; articulation approval is only granted when the course satisfies the requirements of the receiving system (II.A-11).
Student course work is measured by learning outcomes, which are displayed on each syllabus at the beginning of the semester (II.A-12), assessed at appropriate times during the semester through quizzes, tests, papers, projects, presentations, and other mechanisms, and assessed on a regular cycle in each program (II.A-13).
Students earn degrees or certificates by completing the program requirements outlined in the Gavilan College Catalog (II.A-14). Regular evaluations of full and part time faculty (II.A-15) provide a check for consistency of instruction and adherence to course requirements. One of the ways outcomes are assessed is through the Chancellor’s Scorecard. In 2016-2017, for example, it showed that 68.8% of college-prepared degree, certificate and/or transfer-seeking students completed a degree, certificate or achieved a transfer-related outcomes, and 48.2% of students completing more than eight units in courses classified as career technical education (or apprenticeship) in a single discipline completed a degree, certificate, apprenticeship or achieved a transfer-related outcomes in 2016-2017 (II.A-16).
Distance Education may be chosen as a delivery mode for courses that have gone through the Curriculum Committee approval process (II.A-17). In addition to meeting the content standards of the Curriculum Committee, Distance Education courses must be approved through a second process with appropriate justifications, contact format, communication methods, and methods of instruction delineated (II.A-18). A Regular Effective Contact policy is outlined in the Distance Education Faculty Handbook (II.A-19). All instructors who wish to teach online must complete Boot Camp: Gav Teaching Online Basics, and are encouraged to take Teaching with Canvas as part of the Gavilan Online Teacher Training program, or GOTT (II.A-20). In addition, ongoing face to face and archived training is supplied by the Teaching and Learning Center (II.A-21). The modules, discussions, and email features in Canvas facilitate substantive interaction (II.A-22).
Gavilan's Distance Education Best Practices document, Appendix C, outlines the Regular Effective Contact Policy and Guidelines (II.A-23). It is the responsibility of the instructor in a Distance Education course to initiate regular contact with enrolled students and to provide frequent opportunities for students to ask questions and receive answers from the instructor. The Appendix lists various methods for maintaining contact, such as threaded discussion forums, email and individual messages, weekly announcements, timely feedback on assignments, and other, more technologically advanced methods, such as a live chat, video conference or podcasts.
The Canvas analytics tools provide statistics for these types of interactions, in the form of overall semester totals, and for individual classes. For example, the 436 courses in Spring 2018 each saw an average of 1,330 page views on the discussion forums, indicating significant use overall. Similar measurements of announcements, conferences, and other interactions are also shown (II.A-24). For individual classes, the statistics pages show the number of discussion boards and posts by active students. These statistics are available for instructor evaluation, peer mentoring and spot checks by the Distance Education staff (II.A-25).
Gavilan follows the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 that requires students to sign into courses using college-provided identification. All tests and quizzes must be completed using the Gavilan iLearn system, and in the case of publisher content, keys and log-ins pass through Gavilan (II.A-19).
Course content is consistent, aligned with the College mission, in alignment with similar courses at other colleges and universities, culminates in student attainment of identified student learning outcomes, and results in the attainment and achievement of degrees, certificates, employment, or transfer to higher education programs. Additional work is needed for the underprepared student, and Gavilan is in process in developing the full build out of its acceleration program. At the same time, Noncredit is creating a schedule for regular, prescribed interventions, such as career information, to increase the numbers of students reaching completion outcomes. Finally, Guided Pathways will address student achievement through a program of consistent class offerings, integrated student support, and career guidance.
Faculty, including full time, part time, and adjunct faculty, ensure that the content and methods of instruction meet generally accepted academic and professional standards and expectations. Faculty and others responsible act to continuously improve instructional courses, programs and directly related services through systematic evaluation to assure currency, improve teaching and learning strategies, and promote student success.
Gavilan College’s faculty, both part-time, and fulltime, ensure that all courses meet acceptable academic and professional standards and expectations in both content and methods of instruction. Programs, course offerings, degrees and certificates are introduced and evaluated through a defined system to assure relevance to the college mission and adherence to accepted quality standards.
All proposals for new courses and programs, or modifications to existing courses and programs are launched via the curriQunet platform and reviewed by Department Chairs, area deans, the Technical Review, the Curriculum Committee, the Vice President of Academic Affairs and the College President (II.A-26) before being sent for final approval to the Board of Trustees. All of these entities work closely and in conjunction with one another to help ensure the process is thorough and sound. The Curriculum Committee provides oversight of the curriculum to sustain quality instruction and standards, providing jurisdiction over all phases in the development, modification, and updating of curriculum (II.A-27).
In addition, the faculty ensure course quality and that all courses include the necessary elements: unit values, contact hours, requisites, catalog description, learning outcomes, and content (II.A-28). The Course Submission and Approval guide provides standards for the development and review of Course Outlines of Record (II.A-29).
Faculty remain current with curriculum processes and course content by engaging in professional learning activities, such as Curriculum Committee trainings (II.A-30), the ASCCC Curriculum Institute, and subject area conferences.
After implementation, courses and programs are regularly reviewed and evaluated. The curriculum review cycle is every four to six years and the list of courses that are due for updating every semester is posted on the Curriculum Committee website (II.A-31). Deans and Department Chairs report and remind faculty within their respective departments that courses are due for an update (II.A-32).
As part of the institutional program review cycle delineated in Board Policy 3225 (II.A-33), the Institutional Effectiveness Committee / Program Integrated Planning and Review conducts a review process wherein program faculty evaluate all courses for currency and work with the department chair to update relevancies of the curriculum as needed.
The use and assessment of Learning Outcomes also ensure that content and methods of instruction meet generally accepted standards. Outcomes are three-tiered: Institutional Learning Outcomes (ILOs), Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs), and Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs). In Spring 2018, the College’s seven ILOs were reworked in 2018 into four all-encompassing areas (II.A-34):
● Think Critically and Creatively
● Communicate Effectively
● Practice Social Responsibility
● Cultivate Well-Being
All SLOs, PLOs, and ILOs ultimately align with the General Education Learning Outcomes (GLOs); GLO alignments are specified on the course Outline of Record (II.A-35). All faculty are responsible for aligning and assessing courses based on these outcomes; assessments occur on a five year cycle and are posted on the outcomes reporting site (II.A-13).
Faculty ensure that the content and methods of instruction meet generally accepted academic and professional standards and expectations through a rigorous process of course creation and assessment; continuous improvement is built into the process through a regular cycle of curriculum, outcome, and program evaluation and revision.
The institution identifies and regularly assesses learning outcomes for courses, programs, certificates and degrees using established institutional procedures. The institution has officially approved and current course outlines that include student learning outcomes. In every class section students receive a course syllabus that includes learning outcomes from the institution's officially approved course outline.
All program and courses have defined learning outcomes, which are included on each syllabus, All staff are instructed on the SLO posting and assessment processes, and SLOs are assessed on a five year cycle with results posted on the outcomes reporting site. As the system that Gavilan College currently uses provide challenges for tracking exactly what percentage of courses have been assessed in the last five years, the College is in the process of switching to using curriQunet’s SLO assessment software to make the recording and tracking easier for the faculty.
The College regularly identifies learning outcomes as part of its curriculum process. Gavilan College faculty develop measurable Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) for courses and Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs) for programs. Both Student Learning Outcomes and Program Learning Outcomes are reviewed as part of the course approval process by department chairs, deans and the Technical Review arm of the Curriculum Committee before they go to the Committee as a whole for discussion. At any point in the process, course creators may be asked to revise, remove, or add an SLO or PLO to meets the standards. Final approval comes through the Board of Trustees.
Student Learning Outcomes are transferred from the Course Outline of Record to each syllabus. New faculty are given instruction in this process by area deans; the Course Syllabus Verification handout includes SLOs as a check off item (II.A-36). Syllabi are reviewed each semester by deans, and evaluations include an item for SLOs (II.A-37). PLOs for each program are recorded in the College Catalog (II.A-38).
Student Learning Outcomes are regularly evaluated during the five year curriculum review cycle. SLOs are also assessed on a five year cycle. Each semester area deans send the list of SLOs to be assessed to each department (II.A-39).
Support for learning outcome assessment is provided on the Student Learning Outcomes Support Site (II.A-13). Help for recording SLO assessment results is available at the Help/FAQ page (II.A-40). In addition, training on the institution’s procedures is provided on staff development days (II.A-41) and at division meetings (II.A-42). To ensure that courses and programs are successfully assessed, the College provides a 20% reassigned time Student Learning Outcome Faculty Liaison position to help coordinate ILO/PLO/SLO efforts across the campus (II.A-43). All faculty are provided/offered the opportunity to earn stipends to complete all PLO and SLO (II.A-44). Stipends vary depending on the type of learning outcome work that is done.
Analysis and Evaluation for Standard II.A.3
Institutional Learning Outcomes (II.A-25) were updated in FY 2017-2018 to align with course level Student Learning Outcomes and Program Level Outcomes. The College is in the process of using curriQunet to map course and program level outcomes to the Institutional Learning Outcomes.
If the institution offers pre-collegiate level curriculum, it distinguishes that curriculum from college level curriculum and directly supports students in learning the knowledge and skills necessary to advance to and succeed in college level curriculum.
Gavilan College defines the parameters for remedial coursework in AP 4222, and following it offers pre-collegiate curriculum in Math, English and English for Second Language (ESL), distinguishing pre-collegiate courses from the college-level courses through systematic course sequencing, prerequisites, and placement procedures (II.A-45). Pre-collegiate instruction in Noncredit in ESL is distinguished by unique course numbering and course sequencing that moves from lower to higher levels, where credit courses mirror the Noncredit courses Curriculum Sequencing and Prerequisites.
Pre-collegiate and transfer-level curriculum and course sequences are developed and reviewed by faculty in the given discipline. Courses developed within the departments are submitted to the Curriculum Committee for review before being submitted to the Board for approval (II.A-46). Courses are reviewed based on how they complement the program and the College’s overall Mission, goals, and regulations.
All prerequisites and advisories are developed by initiating departments and reviewed by the college Curriculum Committee through a content review process in which the exit skills of the prerequisite course are aligned with the skills needed to achieve the learning outcomes of the subsequent course. In addition, each department first determines if a course needs a prerequisite based on requirements of baccalaureate institutions or on the subsequent Gavilan course. For example, for collegiate level math courses, the prerequisites and corequisites are aligned with the equivalent prerequisites and corequisites at UCs and CSUs (II.A-47, II.A-48). Gavilan College courses are numbered according to a system that distinguishes pre-collegiate from transfer-level. Courses from 1-99 are transfer and degree appropriate; courses numbered 100-198 are degree appropriate and potentially transferable; 200-298 are associate degree appropriate and non-transferable; courses numbered 400–499 have been reserved for developmental courses, non-degree applicable, but this level is sunsetting at the College following AB 705. Courses within the 500s are used for special populations, 600s for adult education, and 700s for Noncredit (II.A-49).
Faculty in math and English have responded to recent research on student progression from basic skills through transfer-level by revising placement methods, increasing the number of accelerated courses, and providing immersive boot camps for students to review and retest prior to enrolling. For example, based on success with pre-collegiate accelerated courses, English faculty recently initiated a review of accelerated transfer-level courses and revised the freshman composition course (II.A-50). Responding to the recent passage of AB 705, Gavilan English, ESL, math, and Student Services faculty meet regularly to review the current placement process to ensure compliance and, based on state and local placement data, provide direct access to transfer-level courses for students deemed prepared (II.A-51). Math faculty have also revised pre-collegiate math courses to increase the number of accelerated offerings.
Gavilan College faculty have developed comprehensive systems of support for pre-collegiate and other first-year students taking math, English, and English as a Second Language (ESL). Through curriculum reform, the college has created accelerated courses in order to help students succeed in transfer-level coursework. English students receive in-class support through the Writing Center Fellows Program, which provides in- and out-of-class support from peer assistants trained in reading, writing, and research skills (II.A-52, II.A-53). Other supports include the Learning Commons (II.A-54), Math Lab, Boot Camps, Supplemental Instruction (SI) (II.A-55), Animo, and the Basic Skills Counselor (II.A-56) and a retention specialist. Through online platforms, Gavilan College offers additional support with tutoring and building student success skills, such as with NetTutor.
Gavilan College meets the standard by providing pre-collegiate curriculum in math, English, and ESL to facilitate students’ progress into and through transfer level. The faculty in Math, English, and ESL regularly assess courses, sequences, and supports to ensure student success. New placement methods, accelerated options and boot camps, supplemented by academic and support, have created efficient pathways for students to move through basic skills and into transfer level.
The institution's degrees and programs follow practices common to American higher education, including appropriate length, breadth, depth, rigor, course sequencing, time to completion, and synthesis of learning. The institution ensures that minimum degree requirements are 60 semester credits or equivalent at the associate level, and 120 credits or equivalent at the baccalaureate level. (ER 12)
Gavilan College follows established degree and program practices of higher education in the United States. Board Policy 4100 - Graduation Requirements for Degrees and Certificates outlines general education requirements and learning standards. BP 4100 (II.A-57) follows the policy of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges to ensure that degrees and certificates offered at Gavilan College “reflects the conviction of colleges that those who receive their degrees must possess in common certain basic principles, concepts, and methodologies both unique to and shared by various disciplines”.
In compliance with California Code of Regulations (CCR) Title § 55060, et seq., Gavilan College requires a minimum of 60 semester credits to graduate with an A.A., A.S., A.S.-T, or A.A.-T degree, as well as requiring a breadth of study compatible with the California State University (CSU) general education (GE) or University of California (UC) Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) pattern per Administrative Procedure 4100, Graduation Requirements for Degrees and Certificates (II.A-58). Requirements established by the Board of Trustees and published in the College catalog include minimum times of completion and appropriate course sequencing (II.A-14).
Central to the role of curriculum development are faculty and the Curriculum Committee, a sub-committee of the Academic Senate (II.A-59). A primary charge for this committee is establishing courses and degree programs, following Program and Course Approval Handbook standards. The specific requirements for the Curriculum Committee are found in BP and AP 4020 (II.A-60, II.A-61), Program, Curriculum and Course Development, which include review and approval of all new and modified courses, degrees and certificates as well as that it undertake regular review of said curriculum. The committee has wide participation of the College’s academic community and departments following the requirements set forth in AP 4020.
The Committee provides resources for curriculum developers and committee members for consideration in the development and evaluation of curriculum including:
● Degree and Certificate Development Checklist (II.A-62)
● Prerequisite/Corequisite/Advisory Form (II.A-63)
● Rubric for Evaluating Course Outcomes Statements (II.A-64)
● Prerequisite/Corequisite Plan (II.A-65)
● Distance Education Course Accessibility Agreement Form (II.A-66)
● Program and Course Approval Handbook
Curriculum proposals and updates are initiated in department(s) by faculty members and must be approved by department chairs and area deans before reaching Technical Review. Technical Review committee (II.A-67), a subcommittee of the Curriculum committee, conducts an extensive review of the curriculum to ensure compliance with local and state education code regulations and requirements. Perceived shortcomings are returned to originators for modification or clarification and then presented to the Curriculum committee membership for consideration as part of the approval process. Following Technical Review, specific Curriculum Committee members are assigned agendized curriculum proposals and updates for a second level of scrutiny. Finally, the Committee as a whole evaluates the curriculum and determines whether it goes forward to the President and the Board of Trustees for approval.
In an effort to both streamline the curriculum development process and improve the curriculum approval process, in academic year 2016-17 Gavilan College acquired curriQunet, a curriculum development and inventory software. During the first year of use substantial improvements have been identified such as an improved streamlined development and approval process (II.A-68), better accountability of changes being made to curriculum being updated (II.A-69), and the ability to map SLOs with PLOs and ILOs (II.A-70, II.A-71). With the addition of curriQunet as a software platform, Gavilan College is better equipped to assure the requirements for this Standard.
State requirements mandate that the governing boards of colleges offering vocational and occupational training programs must review those programs biannually to ensure that they meet a documented labor market demand, do not unnecessarily duplicate local training programs, and that they are effective in completion rates and ultimate employment. Gavilan College’s bi-annual review of Career Education (CE) programs in December 2016 found that the programs meet these standards (II.A-72).
The College meets the Standard and ER 12. Board Policy and Administrative Procedure 4020 explicitly require the Curriculum Committee and other stakeholders to ensure that the College’s degrees and programs follow practices common to American higher education. These standards and requirements are clearly stated in the College catalog. The College has a rigorous and effective curriculum development and evaluation process that includes substantial resources for both curriculum developers and evaluators. The acquisition of curriQunet as a software platform demonstrates the College’s commitment to continuous improvement in the development and sustaining of exceptional courses, degrees and certificates.
The institution schedules courses in a manner that allows students to complete certificate and degree programs within a period of time consistent with established expectations in higher education. (ER 9)
The Educational Master Plan update in 2017 helped the College identify areas for improvement for the College’s instructional programs, and to that end, a number of data resources were brought into play so that the schedule could better serve student program needs. Data such as historic academic department schedules (II.A-73), Argos reports (II.A-74), and GavDATA (II.A-75) have provided statistics on which scheduling decisions can be made. GavDATA tools include success rates, persistence, and degrees and certificates conferred, transfers to university systems by gender, ethnicity and specific campus, success rates and grade distribution by course sequence levels, enrollment trends by term and year, section fill rates, and classroom utilization.
The newly established Enrollment Management Plan has set scheduling guidelines and a review process to ensure that critical courses are offered at the right time. In addition, Guided Pathways informs course sequencing in programs where program mapping is available. Gavilan, the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) and California State University (CSU) General Education Breadth patterns (II.A-76, II.A-48, II.A-77), CE and Child Development, Allied Health, Cosmetology and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Program Pathways (II.A-78, II.A-79, II.A-80, II.A-81) and students’ declared goals as identified in their educational plans via DegreeWorks (II.A-82) also inform the process.
Data research personnel have been increased with the institutional goal of supporting and encouraging data-based decision making. In 2017 a new administrative position, Dean of Institutional Research and Effectiveness (II.A-83) was created and one additional FTE research analyst was hired (II.A-84). The Academic Scheduling Coordinator (II.A-85) position was also created in Spring 2017 in an effort to centralize and optimize institutional scheduling efforts. Both positions allow for a broad view of schedule effectiveness.
To inform schedule development, periodic trainings in data access and analysis (II.A-86), attendance accounting (II.A-87), and curriculum (II.A-88) are provided. In addition, Gavilan held a Scheduling Summit in August 2017 to identify scheduling issues and develop responses to scheduling obstacles (II.A-89, II.A-90).
In the scheduling process, particular attention is paid to the rotation of General Education (GE) courses and the sequencing of offerings for transfer, degrees, and certificates in both day and evening to help ensure students can progress in a timely manner. Gavilan College offers its schedule through various delivery modes--online, hybrid, and face-to-face, as well as at four off site locations to maximize student access to the courses required to complete the GE patterns, major preparation, degrees, and certificates. The College searches for innovative solutions to its limitations in space and facilities when it can; recently, a partnership was created with San Benito High School allowing Gavilan to offer lab science and other classes in the evenings, thus helping to ease the Biology bottleneck on the main campus and serve increased numbers of Hollister students in their home community.
As part of the College’s ongoing efforts for iterative improvement, the Enrollment Management Plan (II.A-91) calls for a semester analysis of the schedule prior to development of future schedules to ensure both efficiency and effectiveness. Findings of such analysis will be shared with pertinent schedule development members for consideration and modifications in future schedule development.
The College meets the Standard and ER 9. The iterative processes the College ensures that from semester to semester students have an optimized opportunity to complete their educational goals within a period of time consistent with established expectations in higher education. Gavilan College ensures this by using data effectively in developing its schedules, analyzing student educational goals, and distributing course offerings across campuses and formats. Every semester, the outcomes of the schedule are analyzed and such findings inform future schedule development. The College has provided substantial investment and administrative support for data gathering, analysis and reporting, which has resulted in a continuously improved scheduling process and outcomes.
The institution effectively uses delivery modes, teaching methodologies and learning support services that reflect the diverse and changing needs of its students, in support of equity in success for all students.
Gavilan created its most recent Equity Plan in 2015 to address inequities and success for Asian, Foster Youth, Low Income, Latino, Students with Disabilities, Males, Veterans, and African-American students. With the Equity needs in mind, the College offers a variety of delivery modes, uses a variety of teaching methodologies, and provides a range of learning support services to close achievement gaps for disproportionately impacted students.
General Education classes are deliberately scheduled so that courses from each area are available in a variety of time and location options, including days, evening and weekend classes in Hollister, Morgan Hill, San Martin, Coyote Valley and Gilroy (II.A-92, II.A-93). Every face-to-face class has an online shell that instructors can use to supply resource links, post course documents, facilitate discussions, and provide current information on student progress. Hybrid courses allow for greater flexibility in scheduling, and fast-track courses allow students to complete a class in a compressed time frame, leaving them free for other classes once they have completed the course. These delivery modes provide flexibility so students can balance other responsibilities such as working, participating in athletics, raising small children, volunteering, or caring for family members and can participate in the educational process no matter their distance from the physical campuses.
Online instruction addresses the needs of students who are geographically bound or who need flexibility in their schedules. Instructor podcasts, recorded lectures and videos add valuable dimensions to the online format, and the Canvas platform helps ensure that interaction from student to student and student to instructor is regular and effective. These same features enhance the hybrid experience and allow students to attend the lecture portion of their classes at a time and place convenient for them.
A percentage of Gavilan courses are also offered with a Service Learning component, allowing students to learn through volunteer activity in agencies related to their course of study. Courses are offered in four, six, eight, and sixteen week terms, and accelerated instruction includes such options as two course completion in English or Math in one semester. ESL courses in Credit and Noncredit begin at morning hours when students are available, include a high number of night offerings, and are served at various locations in the community convenient for students. The Spanish Immersion program takes students abroad so that they can learn language in a cultural context.
Gavilan College offers a variety of teaching modalities including visual, auditory, tactile, and kinesthetic learning. Teaching methodologies are diverse and include active, collaborative, inquiry based, learner centered, project based, contextualized, authentic, self-directed, group based, and problem solving models.
A variety of venues offer faculty the opportunity to discuss and learn how to employ these methodologies. The Basic Skills Initiative (II.A-56) has led to deeper reflection on students’ learning styles and needs through a college wide assessment, workshops, and the ongoing work of the Basic Skills Student Outcomes Transformation (BSSOT) Grant (II.A-94). Other resources on campus that offer an opportunity for faculty to explore different teaching methods include the Professional Learning Committee (II.A-95), the Learning Council (II.A-96), the Teaching and Learning Center (II.A-97), Distance Education Best Practices (II.A-98) and Faculty Handbook documents (II.A-99), the English Department Acceleration Handbook (II.A-100) and website (II.A-101), and the Guided Pathways website (II.A-102).
The college also offers faculty the opportunity to discuss and collaborate at campus flex days. Through best practices shared at flex days, faculty members are able to learn from peers best practices in teaching (II.A-103).
Student support services are effectively integrated into Gavilan College’s learning process. The Library, the Learning Commons, the Writing Center and the Tutoring Center work collaboratively, and Academic Support Services group (II.A-104), which encompasses all the tutoring, supplemental instruction, and peer mentoring services, meets regularly to discuss the needs of academic support for students and to plan events and trainings in common.
Programs such as Basic Skills provide support and information to students who assess into pre-transfer levels of English and Math, and a counselor who is available to guide students with further educational plans. Puente students are similarly supported with a program counselor as well as mentors, and activities such as college visits. The Mathematics, Engineering, and Science Achievement (MESA) program supports educationally disadvantaged and historically underrepresented students in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines with the goal of developing a new generation of STEM leaders in California. The STEM grant similarly supports STEM students with supplemental Instruction, Academic Excellence Workshops (AEW), in-class tutoring, and the STEM Center (II.A-105). MESA and STEM work together to provide a STEM counselor and career and transfer information. Math Boot Camps help students prepare for the rigorous academic requirements of STEM courses. The Tutoring Center serves a larger number of students, helping them with learning skills and understanding of course content, and grants provide Supplemental Instruction in pre-transfer and transfer courses.
The Accessible Education Center (AEC) (II.A-106) at Gavilan College provides programs, services and support to benefit students with disabilities. Some accommodations may include: assistive computer technology and training, alternate media production, captioning, note-taking, American Sign Language, real-time captioning and test proctoring. The AEC provides several educational assistance courses and two instructional labs, the High Tech Center and the Learning Skills Lab. The High Tech Center (HTC), classified as a smart classroom, provides students with verified disabilities access to computers and computer training through state-of-the-art assistive technologies. The Learning Skills Lab works with the Math Department to ensure that AEC students get the instructional support they need to succeed in their math courses. When students enroll in the Learning Skills Lab or one of the AEC math support courses, their mainstreamed course requirement can be fulfilled.
Gavilan College offers classes in a variety of delivery modes and across campus locations and times. Faculty support student learning through innovative and equitable pedagogies and practices, and a variety of effective support programs are available to meet distinct student needs.
The institution validates the effectiveness of department-wide course and/or program examinations, where used, including direct assessment of prior learning. The institution ensures that processes are in place to reduce test bias and enhance reliability.
Although the era of placement exams is ending in California community colleges, Gavilan College had been using the Accuplacer test that was State approved and validated. In moving to multiple measures assessment, the College has is relying evidence from research conducted by the Multiple Measures Assessment Project, MMAP, and outlined in the AB 705 Implementation Memo to set English and math standards for a self-guided branching tool and for transcripts analysis for placement (II.A-107). These standards are known as “default placement rules” and will be adjusted as Gavilan collects data from student placements and is able to adjust the standards to fit local conditions.
Gavilan College prepares students for licensure examinations in a number of career education fields discussed in more detail in Standard II.A.14. Cosmetology, Aviation Maintenance and Nursing are some of the programs that engage in licensure preparation for students. Additionally, the Nursing program does require the Test of Essential academic Skills (TEAS) testing prior to admission into the Registered Nursing (RN) program as part of the published admissions criteria, criteria consistent with RN programs across the state. Validation and bias work is conducted by the testing agencies.
Programs in the Natural Sciences use common exam questions as part of the learning outcomes assessment. Questions are selected by faculty for their objectivity, lack of cultural bias, and effectiveness in addressing key concepts. The English Department uses a final portfolio project in English 440 and English 250. To minimize test bias, there is a norming session for 1.5 hours before faculty score the portfolios each semester (II.A-108).
For assessment and placement of students into English as a Second Language (ESL) courses at Gavilan College, the Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System (CASAS) test is primarily used to place students into the lowest two levels of ESL - Lifeskills 1 and 2, which are only offered in the Non Credit Program (II.A-109). In addition, the Cambines English Language Skills Assessment (CELSA) and an oral interview approved by the Chancellor’s Office are used to assess and place students in all levels of ESL, from levels 1 to 7, in the noncredit and credit programs (II.A-110). There is a norming session every two years to maintain the rater reliability of the oral interview (II.A-111).
At the Advanced II level of English as a Second Language, there is a board graded final composition before students can leave ESL for English 250. Reliance on an objective rubric ensures that test bias is reduced (II.A-112).
The College relies on tests or standards that have been approved by the State Chancellor’s Office. Departments that use a program examination process have implemented norming procedures to minimize test bias and validate the examinations’ effectiveness in measuring student and program learning outcomes. For assessment and placement of ESL students, Chancellor approved exams are used and norming sessions are held to increase rater reliability. Exams administered by licensing agencies are nationally normed and validated by the organizations conducting the exams.
The institution awards course credit, degrees and certificates based on student attainment of learning outcomes. Units of credit awarded are consistent with institutional policies that reflect generally accepted norms or equivalencies in higher education. If the institution offers courses based on clock hours, it follows Federal standards for clock-to-credit-hour conversions. (ER 10)
Gavilan College awards course credit, degrees and certificates based on the student’s attainment of learning outcomes consistent with all applicable state and federal laws and that are clearly delineated in the course outline of record. The evidence for the awarding of credit, degrees and certificates based on student attainment of learning outcomes can be found (is) on the Student Learning Outcomes (SLO) reporting website (II.A-113). When faculty describe how they assessed the SLO, it is typically from a project and/or test questions that are part of the course grade (II.A-114). Points are awarded and therefore grades in courses are based on work that assesses SLO attainment; students must meet SLOs to earn points and grades in the courses. Course Outlines (II.A-115) are created with the SLOs for each course and are approved through the Curriculum Committee. SLOs are included on each syllabus, and faculty evaluations include syllabus review (II.A-116).
Units of credit awarded are consistent with Gavilan Board Policies and Administrative Procedures (II.A-117) and follow the Course Outline of Record reference guide of the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (ASCCC) and the Program and Course Approval Handbook (PCAH, 6th ed.) from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office using Carnegie unit calculations that are in compliance with Title 5 section 55022.5 (II.A-118).
All course units are calculated in at least half unit increments. This calculation is the same for all courses, regardless of the mode of delivery. Standards for credit hour calculations are contained in Title 5 §§55002.5, 55002(a)(2)(B), and 55002(b)(2)(B). As per the Chancellor’s Office Guidelines as specified in the PCAH, each unit of credit equals a minimum of 54 hours of student work, which is equivalent to three hours of student work per week over an 18 week period. The expectation is that each lecture hour be accompanied by at least two hours of student study outside of class. Thus, a lecture unit includes 18 hours of class time combined with 36 hours of student study outside of class for 54 total hours per unit. Lab hours typically consist of 54 hours of class time per unit with no or little student study outside of class. The College offers two programs that offer courses based on clock hours based on licensure requirements: aviation and cosmetology. These programs comply with the Federal standards for clock-to-credit hour conversions specified in federal regulation 34CFR §668.8(l).
The Gavilan College Course Outline Checklist (II.A-119) ensures compliance in the development of curriculum, and the Course Outlines (II.A-115) show the outcomes. Courses that are part of an Associate Degree for Transfer (AD-T) are also aligned with the Course Identification Number (C-ID) for that course. A Gavilan College counselor serves as the articulation officer to four year colleges and universities.
Gavilan College awards course credit, degrees and certificates based on the attainment of student learning demonstrate through ongoing assessment practices and the established grading standards delineated by the department in the curriculum process. Units of credit are awarded in a manner consistent with Title 5, state and federal guidelines as well as the provisions described by the Chancellor’s Office in the PCAH. Gavilan College’s curriculum process ensures that all courses that award credit follow established norms and guidelines consistent in higher education.
The institution makes available to its students clearly stated transfer-of-credit policies in order to facilitate the mobility of students without penalty. In accepting transfer credits to fulfill degree requirements, the institution certifies that the expected learning outcomes for transferred courses are comparable to the learning outcomes of its own courses. Retention specialists connect students to counselors to ensure they have the information they need. Where patterns of student enrollment between institutions are identified, the institution develops articulation agreements as appropriate to its mission. (ER 10)
Gavilan College provides students the opportunity to access clear, easy-to-access information on transfer and articulation policies. Students can access the information on the website, in the college catalog, and in the class schedule, or by visiting the Counseling Department, the Career & Transfer Center, and the Admissions & Records office. The College’s curriculum and credit awarding policies comply with the Education Code and are approved by the Chancellor’s Office.
Gavilan’s catalog offers students a comprehensive list of all transfer options available at the college (II.A-120). Students can find information on Transfer Admission Agreements (TAAs), Transfer Agreements with private institutions, California State University (CSU) transfer requirements and Associate Degrees for transfer (ADT), and University of California (UC) transfer requirements and admission policies. The catalog provides a detailed listing of the CSU General Education Breadth requirements and the UC Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC)
The catalog provides an overview of transfer services available on campus through the College’s Career & Transfer Center, as well as on ASSIST (Articulation System Stimulating Interinstitutional Student Transfer) which is the official repository of articulation for all of California’s colleges and universities (II.A-121).
The class schedule, published online each semester, clearly identifies with a CSU or IGETC designation, all courses which fulfill transfer requirements (II.A-122).
The Counseling Department provides students with complete transfer information, in-person and electronically. Students meet with counseling staff to discuss transfer procedures and requirements, and articulation on the main campus and in the Hollister and Morgan Hill satellite locations. Program counselors are located in offices across the Gilroy campus and within department areas. Students are also able to access counselors through phone and email (II.A-123).
The counseling webpage provides detailed information on transfer to UCs, CSUs, and private universities (II.A-124). The site provides information for students interested in transferring to a UC, including how they can secure a Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG) and links to each UC campus’ admission criteria. Students who are interested in the CSUs can find a link to the academic roadmaps for lower-division preparation before transfer, connect to Cal State Apply (the online portal for CSU Admissions Applications), review the Cal State Application Guide for Transfers and Transfer Credit, and learn more about ADTs. The site also provides FAQ page which briefly summarizes what ASSIST, transfer general education patterns, and major preparation for transfer are (II.A-125).
Gavilan’s Career & Transfer Center is another resource for students interested in transfer. On the center’s website (II.A-126) students can find direct links to the CSU and UC application portals, ASSIST, and transfer planners (II.A-127). The center is equipped with computers so that students can explore university and college campuses and transfer requirements. The career and transfer specialist also provides in-person assistance to students visiting the center. The center regularly hosts university admission representatives who meet with students in person and provide updated transfer information regarding their campuses. The dates of the representative visits are listed on the Career & Transfer Center website (II.A-128), the Career & Transfer Center website’s calendar of events (II.A-129) and are advertised with flyers and newsletters across campus (II.A-130). Students can attend the college’s annual Transfer Day, where they meet with several admission representatives at once, to collect transfer information. In collaboration with other departments, the Career & Transfer Center plans regular visits to four-year schools so that students can learn about campus-specific transfer policies in-person (II.A-131).
Gavilan receives students from several secondary and post-secondary institutions, and awards credit as mandated by the Chancellor’s Office, the Educational Code, and Title 5 Regulations. Students are able to gather information on the credit awarding procedure and documentation required by reviewing the catalog, meeting with a counselor, or visiting the Admissions & Records department. When any student would like to have another college’s credit count towards a degree or certificate, the student must submit an official college transcript from a regionally accredited institution. A college counselor and discipline faculty confer as needed using C-ID, ASSIST and supplied course outlines of record to determine appropriate transfer of credit.
Transfer students are invited, by Retention Services, to meet with a counselor upon enrolling. All incoming students must submit official transcripts to the college’s Admissions & Records department. Incoming students who have taken the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) are awarded credit based on their passing score and number of units completed (II.A-132). Students with exceptional ability who have studied a course on their own, or students with experience in the area covered by a course, can receive credit by examination upon approval by the course instructor, the department chairperson, and area dean (II.A-133). Nursing students can also receive credit by examination if they have met all program entry prerequisites and acknowledged, in writing, that they understand the college’s credit by examination policies (II.A-133). International Baccalaureate (IB) students who received a score of 5 or higher on their exams receive credit for IGETC certification (II.A-133).
Transcripts from higher education institutions are evaluated by staff and counselors (II.A-134), who review articulation agreements and general education eligibility on ASSIST, examine college catalogs and course descriptions, and research course equivalencies on the online Transfer Evaluation System (TES) which collects data from higher education institutions across the country. Foreign transcripts must first be certified, translated, and evaluated by an approved transcript evaluation agency (II.A-135).
Gavilan has a mutual agreement with seven other community colleges to accept their general education courses and graduation proficiencies as completed. Students must submit official transcripts and certifications to receive certification of Gavilan College general education. Students are still required to complete all major courses and prerequisites needed for a degree (II.A-136). Baccalaureate degree graduates receive credit for their general education courses as long as the degree has been awarded by a regionally accredited university in the United States and the student graduated with an overall GPA of 2.0 or better (II.A-134).
The College currently grants credit for nontraditional academic credit (e.g., military service, credit by examination, USAFI, CLEP, AP, etc.) upon proper application and, with the exception of Advanced Placement, the successful completion of 12 credit units at Gavilan College with a cumulative grade point average of no less than 2.0 (II.A-137). Additionally, students who have a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0 or higher in at least 12 units of college work completed at Gavilan College may petition for credit by examination during any term in which they are enrolled if they have never taken the class for credit if they have experiential background who can meet the objectives of the course (II.A-137).
Gavilan College has established multiple articulation agreements with local high schools and Secondary Regional Occupational Programs (SCROP) that promote students’ career and technical education. Through these programs of study, students are able to transition from the secondary level of occupational and educational experiences to the post-secondary level, without experiencing delay or duplication of learning.
Students and community members are directed to review information on the College’s local area high school articulation agreements and process through the counseling website (II.A-138). The college currently has six agreements with local institutions. To develop these agreements, college and high school faculty compare curricula and identify courses that meet area requirements. High schools must submit a course-to-course articulation form for review and approval. Students can obtain information on credit after completing articulated coursework by submitting an Application for Articulated Gavilan College Credit Form.
In accordance to its mission of developing transfer pathways for its students, Gavilan College has completed lower division course-to-course, major-to-major, and general education agreements with all California State Universities (CSUs), University of California campuses (UC) and a number of private university campuses. Currently, the College offers Transfer Admission Guarantees (TAGs) with six UC campuses; twenty-two Associate Degrees for Transfer (ADTs) for entry into the CSU system; and transfer agreements with more than thirty private universities (II.A-139). These agreements ensure that participating universities will accept certain courses taken at Gavilan College to satisfy general education, major, or elective university requirements.
Students have access to transfer-of credit information in multiple modalities. The college catalog provides comprehensive information on transfer policies, credit awarding, and articulation. The website contains catalog information as well as several links and pages dedicated to transferring credit to and from Gavilan. Students receive transfer guidance by general and specialized counselors, who are available to meet with them in-person, on the main campus, at satellite locations, and through phone and electronically. Retention Services invite students to meet with a counselor upon enrollment. The Career & Transfer Center hosts multiple events that allow students to receive updated, accurate information, directly from university representatives. The Admission & Records department provides students with valuable information on policies and procedures, as well as an electronic and paper depository of required forms.
The College maintains quality curriculum standards by carefully reviewing and vetting curriculum that is developed for transfer to other institutions. Courses are compared against CSU and UC standards before awarding students General Education certification or degrees. Gavilan has articulation agreements with UCs, CSUs, and private universities that allow students to prepare and transfer to post-secondary institutions.
The institution includes in all of its programs, student learning outcomes, appropriate to the program level, in communication competency, information competency, quantitative competency, analytic inquiry skills, ethical reasoning, the ability to engage diverse perspectives, and other program-specific learning outcomes.
Gavilan College has learning outcomes for all of its programs that address communication competency, information competency, quantitative competency, analytic inquiry skills, ethical reasoning, the ability to engage diverse perspectives, and other program-specific learning outcomes.
Institutional learning outcomes (ILO)
The Institutional Learning Outcomes (II.A-34) represent the commitment that every Gavilan graduate will have the opportunity to gain knowledge, skills, and personal capabilities throughout their studies and experiences. Each ILO suggests common activities that may be used in instruction or services to achieve the desired outcome.
FIGURE 41: Institutional Learning Outcomes
A. THINK CRITICALLY & CREATIVELY
ILO A. Develop and apply critical and creative thinking skills, including information literacy and aesthetic responsiveness.
Common actions related to ILO A include:
● Define issues, problems or questions to be researched or examined
● Find, synthesize, and evaluate information
● Collect and analyze data and relevant information from
● multiple reliable sources
● Distinguish facts from opinions and biases
● Formulate ideas and concepts in relation to the ideas of others
● Employ quantitative reasoning to solve problems
● Produce or respond to artistic and creative expression.
B. COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY
ILO B. Express and exchange ideas effectively through listening, speaking, reading, writing and other modes of interpersonal communication.
Common actions related to ILO B include:
● Communicate effectively, ethically and creatively
● Listen actively and respectfully
● Understand the roles of context, audience, and purpose when developing a communication
● Read, write, speak and listen analytically
ILO C. Develop ethical, social and civic awareness.
Common actions related to ILO C include:
● Demonstrate personal and civic responsibility
● Collaborate with individuals and groups to reach common goals
● Practice respect for diverse people and cultures
● Apply academic knowledge and learning to one’s civic engagement
● Practice honesty and apply consistent ethical standards
D. CULTIVATE WELL-BEING
ILO D. Construct personal, educational and career goals and identify lifestyle choices that promote mental, emotional, physical and social health.
Common actions related to ILO D include:
● Develop knowledge, skills, and abilities for personal mental and physical health
● Demonstrate growth and self-management to promote lifelong learning and personal well-being
● Develop job readiness and pursue career goals
● Affirm and promote positive individual and communal identities
Along with the major course requirements needed for each degree major, students must complete all General Education Requirements to be eligible for the Associate Degree. To complete the GE requirements, a student may complete the Gavilan College A.A./A.S General Education, the California State University Breadth Requirements (CSU-GE), or the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) pattern. The General Education Learning Outcomes are published in the College Catalog (II.A-140) and match the academic areas in the Gavilan College General Education pattern.
Each degree or certificate program has associated Program Learning Outcomes that are published in the College Catalog. Program learning outcomes are mapped from the course-level student learning outcomes that comprise the program offerings. All program outcomes are mapped in curriQunet as part of the College’s curriculum process.
For example, the Associate Degree for Transfer in Studio Arts (II.A-141) lists the following outcomes:
● Analyze and describe the historical and contemporary implications of art in terms of aesthetics, content, and meaning
● Create artworks using a variety of two-dimensional art media, tools and equipment
● Create artworks using a variety of three dimensional art media, tools and equipment
● Demonstrate color theory and use color schemes. Students will be able to apply color theory to a variety of art media.
● Demonstrate and articulate social, political, and community issues as they relate to art.”
Each course also has associate Student Learning Outcomes. SLOs are updated and mapped as part of the College’s curriculum process and are evaluated regularly as part of the College’s assessment cycle.
For example, AJ10, Introduction to the Administration of Justice, has the following associated Learning Outcomes (II.A-142):
● Discuss the criminological theories used to explain crime and criminality.
● Explain the methods, theories, and concepts associated with the sources of crime data, the emerging patterns of criminal activity, including their relationship to race and gender, and the costs of crime.
● Explain the historical development of criminal law, discuss the sources of criminal law, and identify crime classifications.
● Summarize the history, development, structure, and function of American police, courts, and corrections.
● Identify and describe special issues in the criminal justice system involving juvenile delinquency, drugs, and future trends.
● Explain how multiculturalism and diversity present special challenges to, and opportunities for, the American system of criminal justice and discuss how this may shape the future of the criminal justice system.
Course SLOs are mapped in curriQunet to the appropriate PLOs and are currently being mapped to the appropriate ILOs and will be mapped to General Education learning outcomes (GELO).
Gavilan College meets the standard. With the College’s adoption of new Institutional Learning Outcomes in 2017-201, the College can now move on to establishing an assessment cycle and process for the new ILOs. The College will work on establishing General Education Learning Outcomes (GELO) that map, along with its program level outcomes to these new ILOs which are aligned to the standard.
The institution requires of all of its degree programs a component of general education based on a carefully considered philosophy for both associate and baccalaureate degrees that is clearly stated in its catalog. The institution, relying on faculty expertise, determines the appropriateness of each course for inclusion in the general education curriculum, based upon student learning outcomes and competencies appropriate to the degree level. The learning outcomes include a student's preparation for and acceptance of responsible participation in civil society, skills for lifelong learning and application of learning, and a broad comprehension of the development of knowledge, practice, and interpretive approaches in the arts and humanities, the sciences, mathematics, and social sciences. (ER 12)
Along with the major course requirements needed for each degree major, students must complete all General Education Requirements to be eligible for the Associate Degree. To complete the GE requirements, a student may complete the Gavilan College A.A./A.S General Education, the California State University Breadth Requirements (CSU-GE), or the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) pattern. All three patterns require coursework in designated academic areas designed to give students competency in communicating, using information, qualitative and quantitative reasoning, ethical reasoning, and diverse perspectives. Gavilan College publishes the purpose, outcomes, and requirements for the general education components of associate degrees in the Gavilan College Catalog (II.A-48) and in Board Policy 4025.
Students seeking local degrees must fulfill general education units in six areas as part of a major, and transfer depends on the completion of the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC). The Associate Degrees for Transfer specify completion of Gavilan College’s A.A./A.S. general education, the CSU-GE breadth pattern, or IGETC. General Education courses are prepared by discipline faculty and approved through the Curriculum Committee processes (II.A-27).
Figure 42: General Education Patterns
Gavilan College GE
Area A: English Language, Communication, and Critical Thinking
Area B: Scientific Inquiry and Quantitative Reasoning
Area C: Arts and Humanities
Area D: Social Sciences
Area E: Lifelong Learning and Self-Development
Area F: Cultural Diversity
Area A: English Language, Communication, and Critical Thinking
Area B: Scientific Inquiry and Quantitative Reasoning
Area C: Arts and Humanities
Area D: Social Sciences
Area E: Lifelong Learning and Self Development
Area 1: English Communication
Area 2: Mathematical Concepts and Quantitative Reasoning
Area 3: Arts and Humanities
Area 4: Social and Behavioral Science
Area 5: Physical and Biological Science
Area 6: Language Other Than English
General Education Learning Outcomes cover six areas: A. English Language, Communication, and Critical Thinking; B. Scientific Inquiry and Quantitative Reasoning; C. Arts and Humanities; D. Social Sciences; E. Lifelong Learning Self-Development; and F. Cultural Diversity. The General Education curriculum prepares students for and acceptance of responsible participation in civil society in areas C, D and F, for skills for lifelong learning and application of learning in area F, and for a broad comprehension of the development of knowledge, practice, and interpretive approaches in the arts and humanities, the sciences, mathematics, and social sciences in areas A, B, C, and D (II.A-48).
Gavilan College states its General Education Philosophy in Board Policy 4025 and makes that philosophy available to students in its catalog. Gavilan’s General Education philosophy as stated in Gavilan College Catalog is as follows:
“Gavilan’s General Education (GE) requirements introduce students to a variety of disciplines through which they comprehend and interact with the modern world. The GE requirements are central both to the college’s mission and to its associate degrees.
Completion of the GE requirements will develop students’ abilities to think and communicate clearly, both orally and in writing; to use mathematics and employ the scientific method; to understand the modes of inquiry in major disciplines; to be aware of other cultures and other eras; to apply critical thinking to ethical and social issues; and to develop the capacity for self-understanding and improvement. The student will also develop a depth of knowledge in a specific field of interest. In completing the requirements, students will come to understand basic principles, concepts and methodologies that may be unique to a specific discipline or universal in the quest for knowledge.” (II.A-144)
The General Education requirements are reviewed by the Institutional Effectiveness Committee / Program Integrated Planning and Review (IEC/PIPR) on a cyclical basis; the last review was in academic year 2011-2012.
Curriculum development begins with discipline faculty who, in following curriculum protocol, create curriculum that is tied to student, program, general education, and institutional learning outcomes (II.A-119). Course-level SLOs are mapped to the General Education Outcomes. Curriculum proposals are reviewed by the technical committee and then twice by the Curriculum Committee as a whole to ensure that all compliances are met. The Gavilan College Articulation Officer submits new courses to the CSU and UC systems for approval. The Board of Trustees supplies final approval for all curriculum.
The Catalog explicitly states the philosophical basis for General Education (GE) curriculum and GE requirements for degrees. Faculty developed curriculum and outcomes undergo a rigorous approval process through the College’s procedures and through articulation with institutions of higher learning. Learning outcomes include a student’s preparation for and acceptance of responsible participation in civil society, skills for lifelong learning and application of learning, and a broad comprehension of the development of knowledge, practice, and interpretive approaches in the arts and humanities, the sciences, mathematics, and social sciences.
All degree programs include focused study in at least one area of inquiry or in an established interdisciplinary core. The identification of specialized courses in an area of inquiry or interdisciplinary core is based upon student learning outcomes and competencies, and include mastery, at the appropriate degree level, of key theories and practices within the field of study.
All Gavilan College Associate and Associate Degrees for Transfer in Liberal Arts and Sciences and Career Education (CE) include either required or core courses in the focused area of study or prescribed interdisciplinary areas (Multiple Subjects, Social Sciences, Expressive Arts, Language Arts and Humanities) from which students must select courses (II.A-145). All degrees are developed by academic departments and then approved by the Curriculum Committee according to the degree standards in the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office Program and Course Approval Handbook. All majors have a core of at least 18 units as specified in Title 5, and several CE programs have additional requirements based on field-specific certification and licensure. All courses are reviewed through the College’s standard curriculum process and CE courses and programs are reviewed by advisory committees, comprised of individuals with experience and expertise in the specific field.
Gavilan College currently offers 23 Associate Degrees for Transfer that comply with the transfer-model curriculum templates developed by CCC and CSU discipline faculty.
All course outlines contain Student Learning Outcomes which are linked to appropriate Program Learning Outcomes, Institutional Learning Outcomes, and General Education Learning Outcomes (II.A-146). Mapping efforts will be in process with the approval of the updated Institutional Learning Outcomes in Spring 2018 (II.A-147). Student Learning Outcomes are regularly updated by discipline faculty to reflect key theories and practices within the field of study.
Gavilan College meets the standard. Program outcomes are assessed for all degree programs. Career education programs and arts programs use capstone and portfolio classes to assess program learning.
Graduates completing career-technical certificates and degrees demonstrate technical and professional competencies that meet employment standards and other APPLICABLE STANDARDS and PREPARATION FOR external licensure and certification.
Gavilan College offers 30 degrees and 26 certificates in the Career Education (CE) division. Career Education programs meet labor market demands for the community and are reviewed annually based on performance indicators in the Vocational Technical Education Act (VTEA) Core Indicators (II.A-148). In addition, all Career Education departments are monitored by local advisory committees which include employers and external agencies. The programs receive input from advisory members (II.A-149) which guides instruction, (II.A-150) (II.A-151) (II.A-152).
Each program maintains applicable industry standards and prepares students for employment and as applicable, qualifies them to take state and local certification/licensure exams that may be required for employment. Through partnerships with businesses in the community, Gavilan College offers Work Experience programs for students to earn credit while in an unpaid or paid position in the field. A number of CE programs have external accrediting agencies that report results of the success rate of Gavilan graduates that take the licensure exams. CE program faculty and the college monitor success rates on these examinations (II.A-153, II.A-154, II.A-155, II.A-156, II.A-157).
Licensure and other professional certifications are conducted by organizations outside of Gavilan College after College programs prepare students to take the exams. However, the Allied Health (Nursing) Department utilizes standardized (nationally normed) exams, which mirror the national test plan on all of the nursing subjects, to prepare students for the National Exam. In addition, the Allied Health Department uses a comprehensive predictor exam that predicts whether a student is ready to take the National Exam. Upon passing the National Exam (known as the NCLEX), the students obtain a California license as an Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) or Registered Nurse (RN). The licensing exam is conducted by National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), a national certifying body of which each state Board of Nursing is a participant. The practice exams can measure the effectiveness against state and national data, and then also against whether the students’ scores did in fact predict their readiness to pass the actual NCLEX exam that gives them their license (II.A-158).
Cosmetology and Esthetics licensing is administered by the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology. Once students meet state requirements, they are eligible for examination (II.A-159).
In the Aviation Department, students complete Gavilan’s courses in preparation for taking their final testing through the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration). This process is regulated by FAA FAR Part 65 & 147 (II.A-160).
Through program performance evaluation, advisory committee guidance, partnerships, and adherence to industry standards and licensure requirements, Gavilan College ensures that graduates completing career-technical certificates and degrees demonstrate technical and professional competencies that meet employment standards and other applicable standards and preparation for external licensure and certification.
When programs are eliminated or program requirements are significantly changed, the institution makes appropriate arrangements so that enrolled students may complete their education in a timely manner with a minimum of disruption.
Students in programs that are facing significant changes or being eliminated are directed to counseling for guidance on substituting appropriate courses that can still be applied toward their educational goal. Substitutions are used only as necessary and to bridge temporary gaps. Once a substitution has been found the student can submit a request for substitution (II.A-161) to the instructor, counselor, department chair, dean and VP of Academic Affairs. This allows all parties to be informed of the request so that adjustments can be made to the program as needed. Arrangements are also made with other institutions for completion of program requirements. For example, when the Engineering Program was recently discontinued, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was created with Cabrillo College that allowed student access to key courses (II.A-162).
Another example can be found in the Computer Graphic and Design (CGD) program. An Institutional Effectiveness summary report was completed in 2010-2011 (II.A-163) and again in 2011-2012 (II.A-164). From 2010-2014 courses in Computer Graphics and Design (CGD) consistently remained below the minimum of 20 enrolled per section (II.A-165). In 2015-2016 classes were cancelled due to low enrollment. The Career Education (CE) Counselor and Department Chair reviewed transcripts for CGD majors. It was discovered that cancelling courses in CGD affected graduation requirements for one student. The CE Counselor and Department Chair worked with the affected student to identify two course substitutions to satisfy completion requirements of the certificate. CGD courses were submitted and approved to be inactive at the February 27, 2017 curriculum committee meeting (II.A-166, II.A-167).
Through annual program planning and budget allocation cycles, programs are evaluated in a timely manner to ensure currency and relevance. Going forward, Gavilan will create a program initiation, viability and discontinuance Board Policy and an Administrative Procedure.
The institution regularly evaluates and improves the quality and currency of all instructional programs offered in the name of the institution, including collegiate, pre-collegiate, career-technical, and continuing and community education courses and programs, regardless of delivery mode or location. The institution systematically strives to improve programs and courses to enhance learning outcomes and achievement for students.
Gavilan College improves and evaluates its instructional programs regularly in a variety of ways. Strategies for improvement and corresponding resource needs for each instructional unit are incorporated into the unit’s yearly program plan (II.A-168).
The Gavilan College Institutional Effectiveness Committee / Program Integrated Planning and Review reviews all of the College’s programs and services every three to five years to ensure program/service quality and to facilitate continuous program/service improvement. Programs write a detailed self-study, answering a series of questions about the program (II.A-169) and incorporating data provided by the GavDATA system (II.A-75). In its new incarnation as the Program Integrated Planning and Review (PIPR) (II.A-170), the committee will review programs and services on a three year cycle. The review process will involve a self-study, peer review, and planning, including budget.
Each program completes a yearly program plan (II.A-168). Program plans allow departments and their faculty to share their plans to improve their program annually and make the budget requests necessary to do so. The program plans incorporate planned changes based on feedback from student and program learning outcomes, and data and advice from the program review process. The program plans and their accompanying budget requests are reviewed and ranked by the division deans. The budget committee, led by the Associate Vice President of Business & Security Services, finalizes the ranking of the budget requests, which are then reviewed by the President’s Council.
Program and student learning outcomes are regularly assessed on a five year cycle. Department discussions, as well as individual instructor self-assessment, contribute to the assessments. Program and student learning outcomes are also reviewed and updated on a five-year cycle through the curriculum process (II.A-31). Results of outcome assessment are included in program review and program planning documents.
Curriculum is a faculty driven process at Gavilan College (II.A-119). The Curriculum Committee considers all credit and non-credit courses and programs offered through the College. For each course, the following factors are considered:
● course description;
● units and hours;
● status as C-ID aligned/basic skills/cross-listed;
● methods of instruction;
● method of delivery (face-to-face, online, and/or hybrid);
● student learning outcomes;
● methods of evaluation;
● course content;
● out-of-class assignments;
● general education learning outcomes;
● similar courses at other community colleges or four year colleges;
● local Gavilan College general education learning outcomes;
● whether it is anticipated that the course will be accepted for transfer;
● resources needed to offer the course.
For each program, the Curriculum Committee considers the following:
● program requirements;
● program learning outcomes, including a plan for their assessment and a mapping to course level learning outcomes and institutional learning outcomes;
● the place of the program in the College curriculum;
● similar programs at other colleges in the service area;
● units completed by students;
● equipment, staff, facility, and library resources necessary to offer the program and their associated costs
Distance education courses are also approved through the Curriculum Committee using the standard curriculum process as well as an evaluation to determine whether the addition of the course increases a program’s course offerings via distance education delivery to over 50%. Other factors for consideration include:
● the needs justification (II.A-171),
● methods of Instruction,
● instructional materials and resources,
Also considered are accommodations for students with disabilities, office hours, and instructor contact methods (II.A-174).
Non-credit programs are approved through the same curriculum process as credit courses.
The community education director evaluates potential course offerings proposed by instructors. Both content, community need, and methods of delivery are considered. Each class distributes a confidential exit survey to all students in attendance.
The College has been awarded a number of Federal grants which have the goal of increasing student success and improving College programs. The current 2015 Title V grant builds on previous efforts by scaling up key initiatives such as acceleration, civic engagement, and online education. The Basic Skills Outcomes Transformation grant (2016-2019) addresses persistence and completion in English and Math, especially for Latino and underprepared students. The STEM III (2016-2019) goals include a STEM Support Center that provides centralized, comprehensive academic/ career advising, counseling and tutoring services. This grant supports Guided Pathways as the Articulation and Transfer model to streamline and expedite students’ pathways to STEM degrees (II.A-94).
The Learning Council (II.A-96), the Equity Committee (II.A-175), and the Guided Pathways Committee (II.A-102) meet regularly to discuss practices that can improve the Gavilan College students’ learning experience.
Gavilan College regularly evaluates and improves the quality of all instructional programs and student services, through regular program review, curriculum updates, Institutional Effectiveness Committee / Program Integrated Planning and Review, and the process of assessing student and program learning outcomes. In recent years, faculty and staff have had increasing access to data tools to guide planning and improvement efforts. The College participates in ongoing initiatives and activities designed to improve student achievement and success.
Gavilan College ensures that instructional programs, library and learning support services, and student support services align with its mission by maintaining curriculum protocols, regularly assessing learning outcomes, and reviewing programs to ensure they meet college standards. Gavilan ensures rigor by scrupulously adhering to state and federal regulations and Board policy on the one hand and conscientiously following college procedures in curriculum development, program review, and outcome assessment on the other. Continuous improvement in educational quality is sought through outcomes assessment, faculty evaluation and training, cyclical program review and regular consultation with state policies. Degree programs are designed for depth and breadth, and the same process of review, adherence to regulations, and assessment permeates the whole of student and learning support services in the same manner that it is applied to instructional programs.
- SLO assessment data: Implement curriQunet’s SLO assessment software to make the recording and tracking easier for the faculty.
- Improvements to Placement: Respond to the recent passage of AB 705 to review the current placement process to ensure compliance and provide direct access to transfer-level courses for students deemed prepared. Adjust “default placement rules” as Gavilan collects data from student placements and is able to adjust the standards to fit local conditions.
- ILO assessment cycles: Establish an assessment cycle and process for the new Institutional Learning Outcomes (ILOs).
- GELOs: Establish General Education Learning Outcomes (GELO) that map to the new ILOs.