Standard 4

Standard Four:

Educational Programs

The institution offers collegiate level programs in recognized fields of study that culminate in identified student competencies leading to degrees and certificates. The provisions of this standard are broadly applicable to all educational activities offered in the name of the institution, regardless of where or how presented, or by whom taught.

 

A. General Provisions

 

A1 The institution seeks to meet the varied educational needs of its students through programs consistent with its institutional mission and purposes and demographics and economics of its community.

 

Descriptive Summary

The College�s stated mission is, "We at Victor Valley College are committed to excellence in educational programs and services that are accessible to a diverse student population. We continue to be an educational leader by striving for instructional excellence, being responsible to the needs of the community, and providing a nurturing learning environment."1 To this end, the College offers a wide range of certificate programs and a diverse curricula to satisfy both transfer and general education requirements necessary for completing an associate degree.

Ninty-three-point-three percent (93.3%) of students attending Victor Valley College come from the High Desert communities of Victorville, Hesperia, Apple Valley, Lucerne Valley, Phelan, Adelanto, Crestline, and Wrightwood. The remaining students are a combination of out-of-state and neighboring community attendees.2

The demographic makeup of Victor Valley students reveals that the 66.5% of the student population is white, non-Hispanic; 7.8% African-American; 20% Hispanic; 3.7% Asian and 1.1% Native American.2

The average age of students attending Victor Valley College is somewhat older than the "traditional" student definition as is evidenced by MIS demographic profiles. According to the Fall 1998 MIS Student Statistic Report,3 the average age of our students is 32 years old.

Percentages of total enrollment:

1998







Under 18 6.5% 31-40 19.1%

18-20 26.0% 41-50 13.1%

21-25 8.2% 51-60 5.2%

26-30 9.6% >60 6.5%

 

Self Evaluation

To serve the needs of a diverse student population, the College offers not only programs aimed at satisfying requirements for transfer or graduation with an associate degree, but has increased offerings in areas of alternate study, including transitional education, workforce development, community education and career development. For the first time, in 1997-98, the number of certificates awarded exceeded the number of associate degrees, successfully indicating our responsiveness in meeting the needs of lifelong learners and contributing to workforce development for our High Desert residents.

 

Degrees and Certificates Awarded4

 

 

92-93

93-94

 

94-95

 

95-96

 

96-97

 

97-98

Associate Degrees

 

574

 

600

 

603

 

620

 

681

 

648

 

Certifi-cates

 

305

 

323

 

254

 

412

 

579

 

662

Several additional steps have been successfully taken to meet the needs of our increasingly diverse student population. In the Fall of 1998, Victor Valley College expanded counseling services to include a Title IV counselor, a bilingual counselor, and an outreach counselor. New courses submitted to the curriculum committee for approval in 1998 have included an Intercultural Communication and African American Literature Studies offerings5 and courses under development for submission in 1999 include a Spanish for Spanish Speakers and Hispanic Literature Studies. Also being considered are a series of special topic courses designed for increasing conversational Spanish skills for providers in the areas of child care and social services. The Office of Instruction has also paid special attention to expanding evening and weekend offerings to meet the needs of returning adult students.

 

Planning Agenda

1. The College will continue to examine programs and design courses and certificates that address the needs of older and returning students in workforce and professional development.

2. The College will continue to develop new courses that recognize the accomplishments of minorities and serve as models of learning excellence for our increasingly diverse population.

3. The College will continue to plan and develop alternative scheduling, including increases in weekend college programs, open-entry/exit courses, and offerings for online delivery.

 

A2 Programs and courses leading to degrees are offered in a manner which provides students the opportunity to complete the program as announced, within a reasonable time.

Victor Valley College offers two degree programs (Associate in Arts and Associate in Science) and 64 certificates of achievement for satisfactory completion of specific programs of study. Each department independently offers courses that are necessary for general educational requirements and/or satisfy the requirements for a specific area of study.

As an institution, we provide numerous checkpoints for students to assist them with the planning and timely completion of their course of study. The first tool to assist students with planning their educational goals is the Victor Valley Catalog.6 A dedicated section of the Victor Valley Catalog outlines each program of study. Printed in gray, it is easily referenced by our students and stands out as a primary tool for obtaining information on degree and certificate requirements. A second tool for student planning is the publication of the VVC class schedule7 each semester. This schedule outlines a complete listing of all courses available on a semester-by-semester basis. It is made available to students a minimum of one month prior to registration to allow time for the planning and selection of courses. The third tool for student success is the provision of counseling services to assist students with developing individualized education plans that project time lines and sequences for the timely completion of their educational goals.

Associate degrees typically require two years of full time study, although the length of time may vary according to individual student enrollment loads. To assist with on-time completion, required and elective courses are also made available as summer offerings. In high demand areas, multiple sections of courses are offered each term. Courses are scheduled throughout the year and are balanced to accommodate day, evening, and weekend students. Changes in course offerings and scheduling are determined by the Office of Instruction in conjunction with the individual academic departments and division deans.

 

Self Evaluation

The Victor Valley College Catalog6 is meticulously planned to provide accurate and up-to-date information on all programs, degrees and certificates offered at Victor Valley College. Section IX: "Programs of Study" contains a description of what the program will prepare students for in terms of career or transfer opportunities, and clearly lists unit requirements, prerequisites and required core and elective courses. Section X: "Course Descriptions" identifies prerequisites attached to individual courses. In addition, special care is given to identifying courses that are offered on a limited basis. For example, courses offered only on an annual basis are clearly indicated as "Offered in Spring" or "Offered in Fall."

A good deal of attention by department heads and division deans is given to the planning and scheduling of course sequences to meet the needs of our students. Courses are scheduled based on existing and projected student enrollments and demand. Special attention is given to the coordination and offering of prerequisite courses leading to admittance into special programs. For example, additional sections of biology, anatomy and physiology courses have been added to meet the needs of students seeking admittance into the Nursing Program. Two more full-time biology/anatomy instructors will be added in January, 1999.

Whenever possible, given availability of instructors, courses will be added during enrollment periods when all existing section offerings close. If a section cancels, students are notified by letter or phone call to assure them adequate time to transfer to other open sections.

 

Planning Agenda

1. Department chairs and division deans will continue to work together to identify ways to expand course offerings to meet the growing needs of our students. Special attention will be given to expand offerings into early morning and weekend time periods to accommodate further growth while minimizing impact on facilities during peak hours.

2. The College will expand alternative course offerings and scheduling through the development of distance learning courses in accordance with requirements set forth by the California Community Colleges Distance Education Technical Advisory Committee recommendations and through our own program review and curriculum committee review process.

 

A3 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.

 

The curriculum committee determines if a program needs to undergo a change and the district attempts to modify the program in accordance with student needs to avoid disruptions. Program changes are identified through the instructional program review process.

Victor Valley College allows a student to complete a program of study under the catalog year of entry. When a program�s requirements are changed and this change is material to the requirements dictated in the applicable year�s catalog, students are allowed to complete degree requirements under either the old or new listing of courses, whichever is more advantageous to the student.

When programs are eliminated, the College phases out the course offerings, allowing the students nearing completion ample time and opportunity to complete the program. Students are notified of cancellation of a program at the earliest possible time. When courses are not offered, special topics and independent study courses are developed to help students. Students may also transfer to other community colleges and complete required courses.

The counseling department is also made aware of changes to curriculum and assists students in whatever capacity necessary to ensure completion of programs. The department highlights key matriculation needs and follows the student�s progress from inception to completion.

 

Self Evaluation

The key to offering programs that make the best use of limited resources to meet the of students is proper planning. In March of 1996, a Program Development Guide8 was published with the mission to "serve as a college planning, development and review resource to facilitate and continuously promote program integrity." (Program Development & Review Team Mission Statement) The guide provides a format to review programs in areas such as:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Department goals and objectives
  • Methods to promote student access and success (retention, transfer, job placement)
  • Evaluation of course content and curriculum
  • Identification of instructional strategies, staffing needs, technological needs, professional development activities and other required resources for program support.

The Program Development Guide provides a format to couple goals and objectives with empirical data obtained from Management Information Systems (enrollment data, retention reports) to analyze trends and plan accordingly. Through the process, fiscal needs are also identified (instructional and support staff, equipment needs, space requirement), and analysis is made of forecast future directions.

In regards to the Program Review Process, department heads have indicated that they would like to have more flexibility in being able to reformat data received from MIS into tailor-made reports. For example, department heads would like the ability to run an analysis on subsets of data and customize their parameters for conducting research and formulating recommendations. To this end, VVC is currently examining several hardware/software combinations to upgrade our data manipulation capabilities to allow for greater ease-of-use and increased customization of data reports.

 

Planning Agenda

1. Faculty and administration will continuously strive to work together to provide sufficient resources and methodologies to deliver top quality instruction consistent with our mission statement.

2. Through the program review process, the College will examine the potential development of new vocational certificates to accommodate the increases in federally and state-mandated student populations (CalWORKS) and to meet the needs of high desert residents for lifelong learning.

3. The College will continue its commitment to an upgrade for software and hardware that will allow more flexibility in generating reports from MIS data.

 

A4 The institution provides sufficient human, financial, and physical (including technological) resources to support its educational programs and facilitate achievements of the goals and objectives of those programs regardless of service location or instructional delivery method.

 

Descriptive Summary

Administration, faculty, and staff are committed to providing our growing numbers of students with the tools and support necessary to meet educational goals. FTE enrollment has been steadily rising at Victor Valley College for the past several years. Chancellor�s office growth funds, foundation contributions, community donations, and block grants have all contributed to increases in staffing and drastic improvements in our infrastructure. However, fiscal budget constraints are still evidenced and the College continues to deal with challenges as growing student populations lead to increased course offerings and place additional strains on existing classroom space. Recent passage of Proposition 1A gives some hope to begin planning for an additional state-of-the-art classroom and technology facility.

 

Self Evaluation

Over the past five years, an additional 32 faculty have been added, bringing our total full time faculty to 98 and bringing us closer to achieving the desired 75-25% ratio of full-time to part-time faculty. An additional eight full-time faculty will be added in 1999. An increase in faculty has also been followed by increases in the number of classified employees. Programs such as EOPS, Nursing, Library, Maintenance, Financial Aid, and CalWORKS have all increased their work forces to accommodate growth. To evidence our commitment towards planning for growth, a significant portion of the Educational Master Plan has been devoted to incorporating Program Planning into Personnel and Technology Planning and, in turn, incorporating these into Strategic and Facilities Master Planning.

Over the past three years, four new buildings have been constructed: a 6.8 million library, a 7.3 million science building, a 7.1 million student center, and a 2.7 million central utility plant. In addition, the old library has been remodeled into a state-of-the-art Learning Center complete with over eighty terminals for computer mediated instruction. The Learning Center was also upgraded to include a language laboratory, assessment facilities, tutoring rooms, and basic skills programming.

The following programs have also been upgraded with new equipment and furniture:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Art
  • Computer Information Systems (CIS)
  • Construction Technology
  • Contract Education
  • Drafting
  • Electronics
  • Assessment

Courses that are offered at community-based sites within our district maintain the same rigorous standards as offered at our on-campus locations. Off-campus courses are offered at: Desert Trails and Victor Elementary Schools; Apple Valley and Victor Valley Junior High Schools; Apple Valley, Hesperia, Sultana, Mojave, and Serrano High Schools; the Lewis Center for Technology; the Lucerne Valley, Spring Valley Lake, Jess Ranch, Valley Crest, Hook, and 8th Street Community Centers; and the Department of Social Services. In addition, specialized training is provided at additional sites such transportation centers, fire departments, and public works yards.

Giant leaps in "virtual" planning have already led to regional, national, and international recognition. On August 11, 1998, "VVC Online" was officially launched at www.vvcconline.com. In the short time of its existence, the web site has received the "Gold Medallion Award of Excellence." This award was bestowed upon Victor Valley at the Annual District VI Conference of the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations. The web site was up against other western region college competitors from Arizona, Nevada, California, Utah, Hawaii, Guam and Australia. The judges stated that the web site was easily managed, used great color on consistent backgrounds, and took the viewer on a cyber trip through the College with ease. The web site will serve as a means of increasing outreach and services for students. Course schedules, matriculation guidelines, discussion forums, and courses are "Under Construction" (as they say in cyberspace), and we recently had our first long-distance registration. A former student had a sudden relocation to Atlanta, Georgia - but she will be continuing her courses at VVC this Spring, via the Internet.

 

Planning Agenda

1. The College will continue to assess the needs of all participating departments, faculty, and staff at Victor Valley College.

2. The College will assess alternatives in classroom scheduling to ensure adequate space availability for students and faculty.

3. The College will continue to plan for state-of-the-art classrooms and facilities to accommodate technological growth and support alternative means of program delivery.

 

A5 The institution designs and maintains academic advising programs to meet student needs for information and advice and adequately informs and prepares faculty and other personnel responsible for the advising function.

 

Descriptive Summary

Victor Valley College employs a campus wide matriculation program which provides guidance and advice as part of a multi-step orientation and academic counseling program. Identification and goals of counseling services are incorporated into all adjunct faculty training sessions, and full-time faculty are informed of changes in procedures and services.

The counseling department offers a variety of services for students ranging from educational planning and advisement, analysis of transfer, degree, and certificate completion standards, IGETC sign-off, and financial-aid referrals. Faculty also contribute greatly in helping students with counseling, especially in identifying sources of instructional assistance. Advisement in selecting an academic major and assistance with career planning is also provided for our students.

 

Self Evaluation

To meet the needs of an increasingly diverse student population, Victor Valley College has expanded counseling services to include a Title IV counselor, a bilingual counselor, and an outreach counselor.

Instructors are made available of instructional support services in a variety of ways. Flex Day activities review recent changes in special programs and staffing. Special programs, such as Title IV, ACCESS, EOPS, Basic Skills, and the Learning Center develop fliers for distribution at the start of each semester. Each faculty member receives a flyer as an information resource about special services available to students for instructional assistance. In addition, the Learning Center offers tours for individual faculty members and their classes. This has proven to be an extremely successful tool for increasing student awareness of services and instructional assistance available in the Learning Center.

 

Planning Agenda

1. The College will increase communication between counseling services and instructional units by advertising more of the special programs available to students. The College will facilitate more communication between instructional planners and counselors to assure that advisement is coordinated between all units involved in providing services to students.

2. Degree and Certificate Programs

 

B1 The institution demonstrates that its degrees and programs, wherever and however offered, support the mission of the institution. Degree and certificate programs have coherent design and are characterized by appropriate length, breadth, depth, sequencing of courses, synthesis of learning, and use of information and learning resources.

 

Descriptive Summary

In accordance with the mission statement, Victor Valley College offers degrees and programs that demonstrate excellence in education, accessible to a student population with diverse needs. We continue to be an educational leader by striving for instructional excellence, being responsible to the needs of the community, and providing a nurturing learning environment. Courses offered by Victor Valley College allow students to transfer to universities, obtain job training skills, contribute to professional development, and fulfill personal enrichment.

As courses are developed, department chairs and the office of instruction work closely together to determine if new courses are degree applicable, either at the AA or BA transfer level, and if they are to transfer as elective or as CSU General Education or UC IGETC transfer. Prior to submission to the curriculum committee for approval, all new courses designed for transfer are submitted to the VVC articulation officer for review and appropriate processing, according to status as transfer elective, CSU General Education Requirement, or UC IGETC inclusion. Additionally, all new courses are submitted for review to the library to ensure sufficient resources.

 

Self Evaluation

During the development stages, all new courses are subject to rigorous examination by the curriculum committee prior to adoption. This includes submission to the library for approval based on availability of learning resources to support the course. New courses are developed according to their appropriateness to our mission, and in accordance with demonstrable feasibility and need, with adherence to standards, and in compliance with all laws and state educational code requirements. New programs are submitted to the State Chancellor�s Office for approval, in accordance with Section 70901(b)(10) of the California Education Code.

All faculty members, department chairs, and deans are provided with a series of publications and handouts detailing the considerations and steps to be undertaken for developing new courses, degrees, and certificates. These handouts and publications follow the guidelines for course development as outlined in the Curriculum and Standards Handbook published by the California State Chancellor�s Office. The "Victor Valley Course Outline Instructions"9 include directives for establishing new courses and provides guidelines for identifying the Title V categorization, units and contact hours, grading options, catalog description, outcomes and objectives, course content, critical thinking assignments, methods of evaluation, and text/materials identification. Ed Code requirements for repeatability, prerequisites, corequisites, and recommended preparation are included as attachments. The "Victor Valley College New Course Proposal Checklist"10 is provided in conjunction with the course outline instructions, and includes all forms for developing the new course, including the library statement and course transfer summary form, ensuring that all proposed courses go through a library review and articulation office review (when appropriate) prior to submission to the curriculum committee. These two publications that are provided to departments and faculty members during the course development cycle are used in addition to the more extensive guides produced by the Statewide Academic Senate, and by VVC College Committees:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Good Practices for Course Approval Processes 11
  • Stylistic Considerations in Writing Course Outlines of Record12
  • Establishing Prerequisites and Corequisites, A Guide for Departments13
  • Program Development and Review, A Guide for Departments8
  • Information Competency in the California Community Colleges14

 

Planning Agenda

1. Victor Valley College will continue to subject new courses to rigorous review prior to adoption.

2. Traditional programs and degrees need to be examined in light of developing parallel certificate programs of appropriate length, breadth, depth, and sequencing of courses to increase service for workforce training and development and meet industry-specific needs.

 

B2 The institution identifies its degrees and certificates in ways which are consistent with the program content, degree objectives, and student mastery of knowledge and skills including, where appropriate, career preparation and competencies.

 

Descriptive Summary

The requirements for certificates, degrees and university transfer are clearly outlined in the Victor Valley College Catalog. To obtain an associate degree, students at Victor Valley College must complete 60 degree-applicable units, distributed among their major, general education courses, and electives. At least 18 units are required in the major and at least 18 units must satisfy general education requirements. The remaining units (approximately 24) are made up of electives. In addition, at least one Physical Education course is required of all students who wish to earn an associate�s degree.

Transfer requirements are clearly outlined in the catalog, indicating those campuses with which VVC has established a Transfer Admissions Guarantee program, those campuses for which students should follow IGETC standards, and circumstances when students should directly contact their institution of choice for more detailed transfer requirements.

Requirements for Certificates, including identification of required courses and sequences are outlined for each program of study that offers a certificate. Rigorous attention is paid to meeting all state and federal rules and regulations. For example, certificates in Fire Fighting meet all minimum qualifications and competencies not only as required by the California Education Code and Chancellor�s Office, but additionally meet all regulations as required by the National Fire Protection Association and California State Fire Marshal�s Fire Fighter I certificate program.

 

Self Evaluation

Strong partnerships exist between Victor Valley College and the high desert community, providing numerous avenues of feedback for assessing the educational, professional development and job training needs of our community. Principals and Superintendents of area K-12 districts regularly attend roundtable meetings to identify the educational needs of high desert students. Feedback from these meetings has, in one instance, resulted in the formation of a partnership whereby instructors from Victor Valley College are working with instructors from the Lewis Center for Technology32 to develop a core sets of standards to ensure student success in transfer from the K-12 to college level. Business and community leaders sit on the Foundation Board, and regularly provide input to the College in areas of the area�s net job market, emerging small business and occupational opportunities for the area. These close ties of Victor Valley College to our community provide a solid foundation for planning.

In addition to certificate and degree programs, Victor Valley also offers the following special programs that make use of information and learning resources, and are offered in accordance with our mission of serving a diverse student population:

Basic Skills: The Basic Skills program provides personalized instruction in reading, writing and arithmetic, allowing students to build a solid foundation of further introductory college level courses. The Basic Skills Program takes advantage of state-of-the-art computer assisted instruction, as well as individualized one-on-one and small group instruction.

Contract Education: During the past five years, Victor Valley College has conducted customized training for business and industry. By the second year of operation, Contract Education grossed over $500,000 by delivering a variety of courses required by local business and industry partners. We have done clerical and customer service training for the cities, hospitals, and a local surgery center. The large cement companies had the need for welding and maintenance mechanic training, which we delivered through participation with the Employment Training Pane. We conducted a three-year Computer Assisted Mapping project in conjunction with Southwest Gas Corporation. This project was recognized within their corporation as a model co-operative project with our College. Recently, a local mining operation, Specialty Minerals, donated $40,000 toward the sponsorship of a dedicated computer training room for customized computer training.

During the downturn in the economy and with changes in personnel, the level of industry need has dropped off which is reflected in the recent overall productivity of the program. Recently, however, there has been increased need for Corrections Training to staff the local prisons, and a new contract to provide instruction for all teachers of the Victor Elementary School District in the techniques for successful teaching utilizing the internet. We are presently developing plans to be able to meet the increasing demand for Contact Education.

Adult/Continuing Education: Offered as non-credit courses, the adult/continuing education courses meet a broad range of needs in the community, and include subjects such older adult education, parenting, citizenship, ESL, physical fitness, and home economics.

Vocational/Technical Education: Vocational and Technical Education programs offer certificates and provide training for students in specific occupations. Through the involvement of their advisory committees, the vocational departments have developed several new certificate programs. For example, the Automotive Department, with significant input from the Automotive Advisory Committee has developed two new certificate programs, Basic Inspection Area Smog Technician, and Enhanced Inspection Area Smog Technician Certificate.

Similarly, the Computer Information Systems Department (CIS) and the CIS Advisory Committee have developed a Web Authoring Certificate, Network Specialist Certificate, NetWare Certificate, and a Database Administration Certificate15 to adapt to the changing needs of business in today�s world of evolving technologies. In addition, the CIS and Philosophy department chairs worked collaboratively to develop CIS 50 Computer Ethics, which integrates academic and vocational education.

Since 1995, the Child Development Department and the advisory committee have developed three new Principles of Early Childhood Education Certificates: Level I: Associate Teacher, Level II: Teacher, and Level III: Supervisor.16 The integration of academics and vocational education, and the SCANS competencies have been infused into these three Child Development Certificates programs

Community Service: Short-term, self-financed general interest classes are offered to the community and often include a personal interest or cultural component.

Tech Prep: As a member of the Inland Empire Consortium, Victor Valley participates in the Tech Prep program, allowing students enrolled in high schools to begin taking articulated course work towards a degree, certificate, job or transfer program. Students enrolled in the Tech Prep programs eagerly make the transition from high school to college with a high degree of motivation to succeed.

ACCESS/ACT: The ACCESS Resource Center, and the Adaptive Computer Technology Center provide services for students with physical and learning disabilities.

EOPS: The Extended Opportunity Programs and Services provides book services, tutoring, career counseling, work/study programs, peer advising, priority registration and other support services to disadvantaged students.

CARE: The federally-funded Cooperative Agencies Resources for Education Program provides a number of services for single parents over 18 years of age. Services include academic, vocational and personal counseling, child care, transportation, and books.

 

Planning Agenda

1. The Vocational and Academic Deans will strive to form partnerships with area businesses and educational leaders to promote customized Contract Education and other educational programs of study in accordance with our mission.

2. The College will support programs that address special need populations, especially in projected growth areas such as CalWORKS, ESL and Basic Skills.

 

B3 The institution identifies and makes public expected learning outcomes for its degree and certificate programs. Students completing programs demonstrate achievement of those stated learning outcomes.

 

Descriptive Summary

Through the curriculum committee, in accordance with Title V regulations, guidelines for repeatability and minimum standards for successful completion are outlined for each course. Instructors are expected to maintain these standards for all students. All courses leading to degrees, certificates or transfer provide the measurement of student performance in terms of stated course objectives. Grades are permanently recorded and based upon uniform standards.

Instructors are required to distribute a copy of the course syllabus and course outline which states the course content, expected learning outcomes, assessment methods, and class rules. Students demonstrate learning outcomes through various methods. Evaluation of individual students include, but is not limited to: written examinations, essays, research papers, problem solving activities, lab exercises, and oral presentations.

 

Self Evaluation

Demonstration of achievement in specific courses is the primary responsibility of the faculty through their assessment of student performance. Challenges sometimes arise in trying to ensure consistent adherence to these standards in the classroom, and Victor Valley has addressed the issue on several fronts.

Increases in the number of full-time faculty has helped to increase the continuity of grading in accordance with identified mastery-level skills. An informal study conducted by the Biology Department during their last program review indicated that their adjunct instructors, taken as a whole, did have the tendency to provide higher grades than their full-time counterparts teaching a different section of the same course. To counteract this effect, adjunct instructors are required to attend orientations where course grading standards are discussed in light of the defined standards and objectives as presented in the official course outline of record. Training is provided, and examples of good course outlines are discussed. Additionally, instructors are encouraged to identify early-on in the semester, those students having difficulty meeting the standards and refer them to sources of assistance to prevent a minimization of standards. Using these sources of assistance, students can increase their chances of success in meeting formal standards.

Students can receive individualized tutoring and assistance in achieving mastery of their course(s) at the Learning Center. Individualized, computer assisted instruction is available, as well as individualized and small-group tutoring.

 

Planning Agenda

1. The College will strive to create a more formalized method of distributing course outlines of records and syllabi to adjunct instructors.

2. The College will increase participation of adjunct instructors in workshops designed to analyze grading methods and minimum standards.

 

B4 All degree programs are designed to provide students a significant introduction to the broad areas of knowledge, their theories and methods of inquiry, and focused study in at least one area of inquiry or established interdisciplinary core.

 

Descriptive Summary

All degree programs are designed to provide students with a significant introduction to the broad areas of knowledge, methods of inquiry, and focused study in at least one area of study or established interdisciplinary core. The College�s objective is to provide a program of general education that allows each student the ability to explore and expand his/her potential interest and ability.

Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degrees require the successful completion of at least sixty units of college level course work, including a minimum of 18 general education units.

The general education units have been designed to provide students with a broad foundation of knowledge and are divided into the five areas listed. Minimum unit requirements apply to all students seeking a degree.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Communication in the English Language and Critical Thinking (6)
  • The Physical Universe and its Life Forms (3)
  • Arts, Literature, Philosophy and Foreign Language (3)
  • Social, Political, and Economic Institutions and Behavior (3)
  • Life Long Understanding and Self Development (3)

 

Self Evaluation

A broad array of courses, majors, and areas of focused study are available for students to choose from to complete a degree. Most significant is the wide array of majors evidenced in the vocational areas that can be taken in addition to certifications and licensing.

Associate in Science

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Administration of Justice
  • Automotive Technology
  • Business
  • Business Administration
  • Business Education Technologies
  • Business Real Estate and Escrow
  • Child Development
  • Computer Information Systems
  • Construction Technology
  • Drafting
  • Electronics and Computer Technology
  • Electronics Engineering Technology
  • Fire Technology
  • Medical Assistant
  • Nursing
  • Ornamental Horticulture
  • Paramedic
  • Respiratory Therapy
  • Restaurant Management
  • Welding
  • Math/Science areas of study:
  • Mathematics
  • Life Sciences
  • Physical Sciences

     

 

Associate in Arts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Liberal Arts areas of study
  • Science
  • Mathematics
  • Physical Education
  • Humanities
  • Fine Arts areas of study
  • Art
  • Music
  • Theater Arts

 

Planning Agenda

1. The College will maintain high standards for ensuring that new general education courses meet all general education requirements as defined in Title V.

2. The College will collaborate will the Staff Development Office to promote increased workshops for adjunct instructors to identify core standards of competencies in general education and to promote a more consistent adherence to minimum standards as reflected in grading policies and assessment measures.

 

B5 Students completing degree programs demonstrate competence in the use of language and computation.

 

Descriptive Summary

Demonstrated competency in the use of language, and mathematical computation is required through completion of the English Language and Analytical Thinking/Mathematics sections of general education requirements. Students can not obtain degrees without demonstrating competency in these areas, as reflected by successful completion of the necessary courses.

 

Self Evaluation

Students enrolling in programs leading to degree or transfer are assessed for appropriate educational placement levels. At latest count, 87% of our incoming students are undergoing this pre-enrollment assessment. What is currently missing is the formal ability to enforce assessment recommendations for enrollment, and formal tracking of how many students drop out of other degree related courses due to lack of composition or computational skills.

To help promote retention for students struggling with language or computational skills, the English, Math and Science departments offer nine and eighteen week courses designed to meet the needs of students whose assessments indicate they would benefit from additional pre-collegiate course work prior to enrollment in courses leading to the degree. In addition, the Learning Center provides tours and workshops to faculty members to encourage them to identify potentially impacted students early on in the semester and refer them for tutoring and additional instructional assistance.

 

Planning Agenda

1. As a part of the Partnership in Excellence initiative, Victor Valley College will implement plans to formally assess the placement and progress of degree and transfer students.

2. The College will consider implementation of summary exit tests to students in general education English and Math to use as feedback for instructors.

 

B6 The institution documents the technical and professional competence of students completing its vocational and occupational programs.

 

Descriptive Summary

The institution documents the technical and professional competence of students completing its vocational and occupational programs.

Documentation of student course completion is revealed in the vocational and occupational programs through the grading system which includes the successful completion of course work, and the completion of degree and certificate requirements. The course work is based on industry standards and certifying agencies such as the California Board of Registered Nursing, National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, Federal Communication Commission, Electronic Technician Association, Educational Foundation of the National Restaurant Association, Computing Technology Industry Association, Commission On Accreditation of Respiratory Care, American Welding Society, the National Fire Protection Association and California State Fire Marshall�s Fire Fighter I Certification Program, and Peace Officer Standards and Training. Awarded degrees and certificates are evidence of proficiency which are recognized by potential employers in the community.

Vocational faculty and staff design curriculum to match competencies required for success in the work place using input from such sources as local business and industry, vocational advisory committees, and global research efforts such as the Secretary�s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) The Chancellor�s Office also provides Unemployment Insurance Wage data to the College.

 

Self Evaluation

The Vocational department chairs, in collaboration with the vocational advisory committees, assist in maintaining the standards for the professional and technical competency of students completing the vocational programs. The National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation, (NATEF) performed a site visit November, 199817 to review the competency of the department in the instruction of the Automotive Service Excellence Task List. The Automotive Department Advisory Committee, and the department faculty will use the NATEF evaluation to insure students continue to be well prepared for immediate job placement in local community businesses.

Similarly, the Electronics and Computer Technology Department offers courses that prepare students to take and successfully pass three internationally-recognized certification examinations. These are:

1. Federal Communication Commission (FCC) License examinations (in several specialty areas including communications, telecommunications, and radar).

2. Certified Electronic Technician (CET) certification examination (covering a broad spectrum of electronic disciplines).

3. A+ certification examination for computer technicians (A+ Certification Program Development Project).18

Both the FCC and CET certification examinations are administered by the Electronics Technicians Association, International (ETA), and the A+ certification examination is administered by the Computing Technology Industry Association. The Electronics and Computer Technology Department of Victor Valley College is a designated testing center for the ETA and provides certification testing for A+. Students must go to a designated testing center elsewhere (Rancho Cucamonga is the closest site at the moment). Certification attests to the competency of technicians in the industry. Earning certification means that the individual possesses the knowledge, skills, and customer relations skills necessary to become a successful technician as defined by experts from companies across the industries involved.

The Associate Degree Nursing Program Advisory Committee provides input to the Nursing curriculum to reflect critical thinking skills and to provide the employment opportunities for Nursing students. The Nursing Program has regulated clinical competencies i.e., the administering of medication, taking of blood pressure, and physical assessment. These competencies were reviewed in April 199719 by the Board of Registered Nursing and the program is now in compliance with state rules and regulations. In order to monitor the progress of the graduated students, the Nursing department plans to send out follow-up surveys to obtain information regarding graduated student work status. Accreditation of the department is provided by The National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC). The NLNAC in their September 12, 1997 evaluation letter congratulated the Nursing Faculty "for the thoroughness and readability of the progress report, and agreed to continue accreditation."20

Respiratory Therapy students must demonstrate competency in 48 elements during their two year curriculum at the College. Each lecture has a corresponding lab. All students must pass each competency with a 90% or higher score in order to perform the procedure in the clinical environment and advance to the subsequent semester.

The Restaurant Management Department develops competencies for enrolled students enrolled in coordination with the Educational Foundation of the National Restaurant Association, and through extensive research of industry and educational/training needs.21 Skills are taught in task oriented format. Instruction, demonstration, practice, and proficiency are documented.

The Welding Department uses a competency based program outline certified by the American Welding Society.22 Completion of the program prepares students to pass the written test and the welding performance test necessary to acquire a welding license from the Los Angeles Department of building and Safety.

The VATEA/CalWORKS Advisory Committee, which consists of vocational and academic faculty, special populations coordinators, representatives from the One-Stop Career Center and Student Employment Office, have reviewed and analyzed the Unemployment Insurance Wage Data Reports from the Chancellors Office. These reports are used for program planning and improvement in the vocational programs.

In an analysis of the Vocational Degree Completer Count Report,23 it was found that the College awarded 334 vocational degrees in the 1996-97 academic year, compared to 312 during the 1994-95 academic school year. In an analysis of the Vocational Certificate Completer Count Report for 1996-97, it was found that the College awarded 401 certificates compared to 200 certificates in 1994-95. An Undergraduate Transfer Update Report24 was transmitted campus wide on October 15, 1996. These reports are reviewed and used to document student outcomes.

 

Planning Agenda

None.

 

C. General Education

 

C1 The institution requires of all degree programs a component of general education that is published in clear and complete terms in its general catalog.

 

Descriptive Summary

This institution publishes a one-year catalog and semester supplements as public notice of approved courses and programs offered by the college. The general education component for every degree program is clearly represented and defined in the catalog.6 Present requirements range from eighteen to twenty-four units distributed across five wide areas:

Natural Sciences English Language

Analytical Thinking/Mathematics Humanities

Social and Behavioral Sciences

 

Self-Evaluation

Although students have several sources of information about the general education requirements for the Associate�s degree, no recent survey has been taken to determine whether the students find the information understandable or helpful. Also while some material is available in Spanish, not all material has been translated.

 

Planning Agenda

1. Students will be surveyed to assess whether the information in the catalog, its supplements and various handouts are sufficient to understand the general education pattern and the requirements for the Associate degree.

C2 The general education component is based on a philosophy and rational that are clearly stated. Criteria are provided by which the appropriateness of each course in the general education component is determined.

 

Descriptive Summary

General education courses function as the students introduction to comprehending the modern world, promoting the understanding of the principles, concepts, and methodologies of various disciplines. General education courses present the student with the opportunity to appreciate the physical environment and the cultures of the world and to begin the lifelong process of self-understanding, as indicated in the Board of Trustees Policy 5232.25

The general education segment of all Victor Valley College educational programs is based on the philosophy of general education outline in the Board of Trustees policy and the mission statement in the catalog6 on page 2. The philosophy and mission are the foundations for the criteria used by the articulation officer and the Curriculum Committee in determining the appropriateness of each course included. The criteria used to judge a course are as follows: subject matter, rigor and depth, scope and level of material to be covered, and the use of skills in critical thinking.

 

Self Evaluation

Board of Trustees policy 523225 clearly delineates a general education policy. There is no policy or written criteria for the selection of courses to be included in the Associate degree pattern of general education. The College relies on the professional judgment of the Curriculum Committee.

 

Planning Agenda

1. The Academic Senate, through the Curriculum Committee, will consider a policy delineating a coherent policy for the courses to be selected for the general education pattern for the Associates degree.

 

C3 The general education program introduces the content and methodology of the major areas of knowledge: the humanities and fine arts, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. The general education program provides the opportunity for students to develop the intellectual skills, information technology facility, effective and creative capabilities, social attitudes, and an appreciation for cultural diversity that will make them effective learners and citizens.

 

Descriptive Summary

Requirements for Associate degrees and the general education component needed for the degrees are described on pages 42-51 of the catalog.6 Students can find the same information in handouts available from the counseling office. The Student Handbook26 refers students to the catalog as well. The five comprehensive areas are Natural Sciences, Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences, English Language, and Analytical Thinking/Mathematics.

The processes for establishing general education requirements for Associates� degrees and for approving changes involves all segments of the campus academic community and the Academic Senate. Recommended additions and revisions to the general education pattern are submitted to the Curriculum Committee for implementation. The Academic Senate adopts the curriculum changes and the Board of Trustees approves them.

 

Self Evaluation

While Victor Valley College offers a wide range of courses in most of the categories in the general education pattern (English Language: Composition having the fewest), no recent effort has been undertaken to see if these courses represent a coherent philosophy of general education. Also, there has been no recent effort to see if the course choices within a category are equally rigorous. Two areas of knowledge that are not addressed in the general education pattern are gender/multicultural studies and information technology.

 

Planning Agenda

1. The Academic Senate, through the Curriculum Committee, will survey the courses currently in the general education pattern for the Associate�s degree to ensure a relative degree in rigor in the breadth of courses within each category.

 

C4 Students completing the institution�s general education program demonstrate competence in oral and written communication, scientific and quantitative reasoning, and critical analysis/logical thinking.

 

Descriptive Summary

A student who completes Victor Valley Colleges General Education pattern for the Associate degree will have demonstrated competency in the following critical skills: oral and written communication, mathematical reasoning, and critical thinking. In collaboration with these skills the student will have been introduced to broad areas of human knowledge and scientific inquiry.

 

Self Evaluation

Competence in oral and written communication, scientific and quantitative reasoning, and critical analysis/logical thinking is demonstrated by students mainly through successful course completion. Competency is judged by individual instructors through classroom performance evaluation.

 

Planning Agenda

1. The College will implement any changes the Academic Senate approves for the general education pattern for the Associate�s degree.

 

 

  1. Curriculum and Instruction

 

D1 The institution has clearly defined processes for establishing and evaluating all of its educational programs. These processes recognize the central role of faculty in developing, implementing, and evaluating the educational programs. Program evaluations are integrated into overall institutional evaluation and planning and are conducted on a regular basis.

 

Descriptive Summary

The major responsibility for establishing, evaluating, and approving educational programs at Victor Valley College rests with the Curriculum Committee, a standing committee of the Academic Senate. The committee has an established process by which it evaluates and makes recommendations on all matters related to the credit curriculum at Victor Valley College. As indicated in the Curriculum Committee Handbook27 this process includes implementing policies and procedures for the development and approval of the curriculum and reviewing and making recommendations on proposed new courses, new programs, program revisions, and course revisions.

In order to maintain effectiveness, Victor Valley College has implemented a Program Development and Review8 process. The review process involves a self-study by the program faculty with the involvement of students and administrators. The outcome is a written report developed by the faculty and based on information taken from four areas of self-study: department overview, student access and success, curriculum, and instructional excellence. The final report is reviewed by the Dean of that area, Vice President of Instruction and the department chair. The approved final report is presented to the Board of Trustees by the department chair.

Non-credit instruction at Victor Valley College is offered by two different programs. One set of non-credit classes, Adult Continuing Education, is state-apportionment-funded. These classes are approved at the state level after being approved by the appropriate dean. The other set of non-credit classes, Community Service courses, are classes that are self-supporting through user fees. These courses are designed and the curriculum is written by the faculty. The courses are reviewed and approved by the appropriate dean . In the case that any non-credit class relates to a credit class, the appropriate dean consults with the appropriate department head regarding course content. This avoids duplication or conflict with credit courses.

Self-Evaluation

The Victor Valley College Curriculum Committee, as part of the College Faculty Senate, has a well developed procedure for the review and approval of credit courses and programs. The development of new curriculum is with the faculty. Because approval for non-credit rests with either the state in the case of Adult Continuing Education or with the Vice President of Student Learning in the case of Community Service, the Faculty Senate, by way of the Curriculum Committee, is not always aware of what faculty in these programs are doing. Regular communication between the credit and non-credit programs would increase faculty awareness and would contribute to student success.

The Curriculum Committee has made it policy to require credit courses be reviewed every seven years. As new courses are brought before the committee, any new course that has a prerequisite or co-requisite course must show that those pre-or co-requisite courses have been reviewed before the new course can be approved.

The Program Development and Review Guidelines8 are in place and academic programs are complying, according to the former Dean of Institutional Effectiveness and Student Services. According to the same office, however, only assessment, one of the non-instructional programs scheduled for review, actually completed the procedures.

 

Planning Agenda

1. The Academic Senate, the Office of Student Learning, and the Deans, will encourage better communication between the credit and non-credit instructional faculty. In addition, procedures for informing the Curriculum Committee will be considered.

 

D2 The institution ensures the quality of instruction, academic rigor, and educational effectiveness of all its courses and programs regardless of service location or instructional delivery method.

 

Descriptive Summary

Ensuring the quality of instruction is a crucial instructional task that involves many aspects: quality of the curriculum, competent and sufficient faculty, appropriate support for educational programs, long-range planning and prioritization of needs. All are factors which help to establish, foster, and maintain academic excellence. While curriculum is central, many other elements, policies, procedures and appropriate support are significant also. The Academic Senate, acting through the Curriculum Committee, is the chief guarantor of the academic rigor and educational effectiveness of all courses at Victor Valley College.

Monitoring instruction is done by the implementation of Peer Evaluation of tenured faculty. The guidelines require that the faculty member be reviewed by a team consisting of peer faculty members and an area administrator. The team is supplied with syllabi, tests, and any other appropriate material in preparation for a classroom visit by team members. During the classroom visit a student survey is completed as well. The team members write an evaluation and the faculty member writes a self-evaluation as well. This process is planned to cover the entire faculty every three years. The adjunct faculty evaluation process consists largely of student evaluations.

Course rigor and adequate preparation of students are closely linked, especially in highly sequential course work such as math, science, and English. If students are not adequately prepared, instruction suffers and all students are negatively affected. Adequate preparation of students is addressed by the careful establishment of pre-requisites and other conditions of enrollment. The Victor Valley College catalog includes pre-requisites for each course in the course descriptions. These prerequisites have been validated through the Curriculum Committee.

Prerequisite enforcement is done at the classroom level by the instructors. If the prerequisite has been through the Curriculum Committee process in the previous seven years, the instructor may ask for proof that the student has fulfilled it and may enforce the prerequisite against challenge.

 

Self-Evaluation

The institution�s goal is to maintain high quality instruction and academic rigor. A measure of the success of those goals is that the grade point average of our transfer students at California State University, San Bernardino is higher after transfer than the Grade Point Average of students who were continuously enrolled at the same university as freshmen and sophomores.

An excellent instructional program, however, depends on its full-time faculty. Victor Valley College has not achieved the 75:25 ratio as deemed necessary by the Chancellor�s Office. Many disciplines, English and ESL most prominently, have high percentages of part-time faculty. There is a need to support those disciplines where the full-time to part-time ratio is seriously out of balance. The College has a fairly stable population of adjunct instructors, but the recent elimination of mileage reimbursement, the lack of paid office hours, and better pay at neighboring districts have resulted in a loss of part-time instructors.

This problem has resulted in last minute staffing and occasionally the cancellation of classes when no instructor could be found. The Office of Instruction has integrated adjunct instructors into faculty flex activities and offers an orientation session especially for new adjunct. They are paid for attendance for that orientation. Adjunct faculty are only paid for two hours of attendance on regular flex day. Although adjunct attendance is encouraged, only moderate attendance is observed.

Two steps to ensure excellence in education is to hold the teacher accountable for adhering to the official course outlines and to enforce established prerequisites. Currently at Victor Valley College procedures do not exist for either step. Informal procedures have been used in English and Political Science to review syllabi in order to ascertain teacher compliance with the official course outline. Because there is no electronic or manual system to block students who have not completed a validated prerequisite or corequisite from enrolling in courses that have the requirements, instructors are faced with inadequately prepared students. These students limit the enrollment of qualified students and take time in class, disrupting the pace of instruction. There is consensus that this issue needs attention.

Although some faculty, with support from the administration, have developed and are offering Technology Mediated Instruction, the technical capacity of the faculty is uneven. Most of the faculty are hooked up to the campus Internet, but not all. No consistent information is available to tell those areas that are not hooked up to the Internet when they will be. Many of those hooked up do not know how to effectively use this technology. The recent hiring of a contract employee to work with faculty is seen as a positive step to making the faculty more technologically aware. The recently renovated Academic Commons is another area that begins to address the technological needs of the student population. Although their policy on Internet access is not defined, the Associated Student Body has already opened an Internet facility in the Student Activities Center. It offers only 12 stations whereas the Academic Commons has the opportunity to offer 70 or more. The Commons is scheduled to be fully developed by the Fall of 1998, yet no policy as of the end of Spring semester 1998 has been announced.

 

Planning Agenda

1. The College will scrutinize those disciplines that are chronically short of adjunct instructors and give careful consideration to those areas request for new faculty positions. The adjunct faculty have developed a core group of individuals that are actively researching how other campuses treat their adjunct instructors. The College should carefully consider the information brought forth from that committee.

2. The college will address the issue of enforcing prerequisites and corequisites at the point of registration.

3. The College will continue with the contract to develop faculty familiarity with Technology Mediated Instruction and consider whether that contract service should be transferred to a permanent position.

 

D3 The evaluation of student learning and the award of credit are based upon clearly stated and published criteria. Credit awarded is consistent with student learning and based upon generally accepted norms or equivalencies.

 

Descriptive Summary

The grading policies and the criteria for awarding credit for courses are stated clearly in the college catalog. Additionally, the official course outline stands as a permanent record for how credit is awarded for each course.

Prior to or coincident with the commencement of each class, instructors are required to distribute syllabi to all students. The syllabi, therefore, must define the expectations of the students for each class both in the tasks required to complete the course and the standard required to achieve a grade for the completion of the class. A sampling of syllabi indicates that, in general, students are made aware of the requirements of each class during the first week of class. The syllabi function as contracts between the instructors and the student for the semester and are used in settling student grievances. All adjunct faculty are provided with model syllabi during orientation.

Victor Valley College has no formal processes to address grading differences or grade distributions within a discipline. Consequently, the faculty is responsible for the establishment of their own criteria. Grade distribution studies were conducted under Title IV for retention information.

 

Self-Evaluation

Grade studies for the years 1992 through 1996 are available to faculty from the Office of Institutional Effectiveness. These studies describe grades as they relate to student success and patterns of grade distribution. They are primarily obtained to determine the probability of success for transfer students, and the faculty at large is unaware in most cases of the grade distribution within their disciplines and for the college as a whole. The percentage of successful (A,B,C, or cr.) outcomes have remained relatively constant at 66% to 64.3% over the 1992 to 1996 time period. A review of grade distributions from 1972 indicates that the percentage of "A" grades to total grades has increased about 4% over the last 24 years.

Grade inflation is a real concern to many departments (Fran Ferrance and Louis Shahin).28 Given the fact that students have 12 weeks of an 18-week semester to decide to withdraw with a "W" grade, grade inflation may simply be a manifestation of poor students propensity to withdraw from classes in which they will probably receive a failing grade.

All syllabi are required to be submitted to the Dean of Academic Programs at the beginning of each semester, including summer session. Syllabi are available in the Office of Student Learning for full and part time faculty review as learning tools and as models. All department chairs are advised as to the requirements for the submission of syllabi. A review of the syllabi on file indicates that there is a wide disparity among the content of syllabi. Some include every task and assignment that the student must complete during the course of the semester. Others are only a framework of what can be expected by the student during completion of the course of instruction.

Grading standards are established by individual instructors. It would appear that, in general, adjunct and non-tenured faculty tend to award higher grades than tenured faculty. This might indicate that students who feel that they have earned a higher grade than the instructor initially awards might have more success in persuading the non-tenured or adjunct faculty to increase the grade awarded. Grading standards should be uniformly applied by all faculty across the departments. A student who performs the same way in one instructor�s class should receive the same grade as another student who performs in exactly the same way in another class taught by a different instructor. The only way this can occur is if there is some kind of common examination given to all students completing each class. This common examination should be graded by a group of faculty within the department affected.

The English Department has used a common final for its pre-transfer English 50 class in the past to ensure a standard of writing competency before the transfer level class. Although it was discontinued, there is still sufficient interest in the department to create a structure for a common final in that class as well as for the transfer level class. The department and the instructional dean should work together to find a way that these tests can be administered.

 

Planning Agenda

1. Flex Day activities will include a session on the preparation of the syllabi which will retain academic freedom yet include as much as is necessary to form a contract between the instructor and the student. The completeness and depth of the syllabus have a direct relationship to student complaints after the grades are disseminated. Grading standards can be tightened up by describing the standards in more detail in the syllabus and by maintaining a strict adherence to those standards on a uniform basis.

 

D4 The institution has clearly stated transfer of credit policies. In accepting credits to fulfill degree requirements, the institution certifies that the credits accepted, including those for general education, achieve educational objectives comparable to its own courses. Where patterns of transfer between institutions are established, efforts are undertaken to formulate articulation agreements.

 

Descriptive Summary

Victor Valley College offers a variety of ways to earn units in addition to successful completion of classes. These include credit from other institutions, tech prep (2+2) agreements with local high schools, credit by examination, and military training, Military Service Schools and Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES), and credit by course challenge. The College Board Advanced Placement Program Examination (AP), College Level Examination Program (CLEP), and Veterans/Service Credit are explained on pages 26-28 of the catalog.

Victor Valley College accepts credit for courses from other colleges based on an evaluation process using articulation agreements, California Articulation Number (CAN) designation, catalog descriptions, and course syllabi. The other institutions must be accredited by Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA), The Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges (NASC), New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc./ Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (NEASC-CIHE), Western Association of Schools and Colleges/Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (WASC-Jr.), Western Association of Schools and Colleges/Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities (WASC-Sr.), Accredited Institutions of Postsecondary Education. The admissions office evaluates transcripts to determination the accreditation status of transferring institutions and converts units to Victor Valley College equivalent unit value. Articulation issues are handled by the Admission and Records staff whenever possible or deferred to counselors or appropriate faculty as needed. Victor Valley College honors the Pass Along system of evaluation as defined by the Chancellor�s Office regarding the use of credits from another school relative to the way that school has determined they should be used for General Education categories, graduation requirements, and articulation agreements. Victor Valley College provides hard copies of all articulation agreements we have with other colleges, California State Universities, University of California, and private colleges to anyone interested. In addition, the Assist Program provides articulation information between all community colleges, California State Universities, University of California, and is available to everyone.

Some students may earn credits by enrolling in a tech prep program beginning in high school. As per the Victor Valley College 98/99 catalog p. 38,6 each Tech Prep program has an individual articulation agreement between the high school and the College. The units of credit vary among the agreements.

Students may earn units through credit by examination. Victor Valley College will grant up to six semester units of credit to students who achieve scores of 3, 4, or 5, on the appropriate Advanced Placement (AP) test, with the exception of chemistry, French, and Spanish which award up to 10 units. If a department determines that exam content parallels the content of a particular course, the student may be awarded subject credit. Victor Valley College students may also receive credits through the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) in accordance with the American Council on Education Program as indicated in the GECE Handbook p. 82.29 Students may also earn units through credit by examination with approval of the department of the instructor who will administer the examination. The student must have successfully completed 12 semester units and the department must agree to provide the examination. Many departments have chosen not to provide such an examination. The instructor has the authority to deny the application if he or she feels the student is not sufficiently prepared. This process has not been the subject of much discussion, and the process is left to the discretion and professional judgment of the department. Victor Valley College also awards credit toward the AA/AS for suitable Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTE) test scores (determined by the ACE) and for valid military service training. (Victor Valley College 98/99 catalog p. 28)1

Victor Valley College has articulation agreements with 18 of the 22 California State University campuses and with all University of California campuses in varying disciplines. The College has extensive articulation agreements with California State University, Pomona, California State University, San Bernardino, and University of California, Riverside, the three institutions to which most of our students transfer.

The College has agreements to complete the general education pattern for the California State University system and has a defined pattern for the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (Victor Valley College 98/99 catalog, p. 46-47),6 applicable to both state university systems. There are some limited agreements with local high schools under the umbrella of Tech-Prep programs.

 

Self-Evaluation

Victor Valley College has clearly defined transfer of credit policies in terms of both accepting transfer credits from other colleges and of forming articulation agreements with four year institutions. Most of these policies are explained in Chapter 5 of the catalog,6 "Managing Your Education." Victor Valley College provides appropriate documentation for each tech prep (2+2) agreements with local high schools, credit by examination, and military training and Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES). The catalog6 also explains the transferability of many individual courses and how they articulate for each department. (See Transfer section of the description of each department under Programs of Study Chapter IX) The counseling department provides articulation sheets for students transferring to University of California and California State University, for IGETC requirements and for AA/AS graduation requirements. As of January 1998, Victor Valley College staff and students have access to the Assist Program. Although the appropriate transfer of credit policies are in place, are well documented and are followed, policies need to be explained more clearly to our students.

 

Planning Agenda

1. The Office of Student Learning will include a statement such as the following in the Victor Valley College catalog: The college accepts most lower division courses from colleges accredited by the following institutions: Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, The Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc./ Commission on Institutions of High Education, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools/Commission on Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges/Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges/Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities (see Accredited Institutions of Post-secondary Education handbook xi). This will help students know whether or not previous course work will transfer to Victor Valley College.

2. The College will include in the Victor Valley College catalog clear information about the Pass Along agreement as defined by the Chancellor�s office.

3. The College will better publicize the Assist Program.

 

D5 The institution utilizes a range of delivery systems and modes of instruction comparable with the objectives of the curriculum and appropriate to the needs of its students.

 

Descriptive Summary

The Victor Valley College curriculum is delivered largely by traditional means. The lecture/discussion method is still most common. Individuals among the faculty have developed other forms of delivery. The administration, through the use of Flex Day activities and other forms of staff development, has encouraged innovations in instruction. Several instructors in history, political science, business administration, psychology, biology, and business education are engaged in technology mediated instruction, for which the Academic Senate has adopted "Good Practices Standards." Lecture and demonstration are appropriate to the natural sciences and hands-on activities are appropriate for the traditional occupational programs--nursing, restaurant management, and automotive for example. Faculty members are using a variety of audio-visual materials and software in smart classrooms.

Collaborative learning is used as well. A language laboratory/electronic classroom will open in the Fall of 1998. The remodeled library will support the open entrance/open-exit self-paced basic skills program. A classroom will continue to exist in the Humanities building for instruction using computers. The classroom has been used by the English, ESL, and Journalism departments in the past, but it can be used by anyone desiring to teach using computers. Finally , in the blueprint stage is a Modern Technology Building which will further enhance Technology Mediated Instruction (TMI) on campus.

Students with disabilities receive help and support through the Disabled Students Programs and Services and their Adaptive Computer Technology/High Technology Center, which moved into the remodeled library in Fall 1998. Aside from adaptive technology, students may also be provided with note-takers, sign language signers, separate and isolated testing, recorded reading assignments, and mobility aids.

 

Self-Evaluation

The Victor Valley College curriculum is delivered largely by traditional means. The lecture/discussion method is still the most common. However, a number of individuals among the faculty have developed other forms of delivery. At the present time many of the college�s offerings in history are available on the Internet. Dr. Eric Mayer of the History department has developed a variety of interactive modes for students to participate in the Internet courses. For students that do not have computing facilities at their homes, computing facilities are available in a variety of computer labs on campus.

The Psychology department has developed a virtual classroom that provides students an opportunity to participate in two different psychology courses. Bill Bachofner, chair of the Psychology department, will be on sabbatical during the 1998-1999 academic year. His sabbatical activity will be devoted to the development of further techniques to enhance student interaction both in the traditional classroom as well as through the virtual classroom and his Internet courses.

 

Planning Agenda

1. Victor Valley College administration will continue to encourage faculty to take advantage of the class reassigned time to develop classes using technology mediated instruction.

 

D6 The institution provides evidence that all courses and programs, both credit and noncredit, whether conducted on or off-campus by traditional or non-traditional delivery systems are designed, approved, administered, and periodically evaluated under established institutional procedures. This provision applies to continuing and community education, contract and other special programs conducted in the name of the institution.

 

Descriptive Summary

Administrative Services began Program Review in 1995. Instructional Program Reviews for 1997/1998 included Accounting, Art, Auto Mechanics, Business, Business Management, CIS, Early Childhood Education, Electronics, Ornamental Horticulture, Photography, Real Estate, and Spanish. Non-Instructional Program Reviews include Assessment, Associated Student Body, Customer Relations, Feebase Programs, Fiscal Services, Grounds, Institutional Infrastructure, Maintenance, Public Information Office, Student Learning, and Veterans Affairs. (Program Development and Review)8

 

Self-Evaluation

Instructional program reviews for 1997-1998 included Accounting, Art, Auto Mechanics, Business, Business Management, Computer Information Systems, Early Childhood Education, Electronics, Ornamental Horticulture, Photography, Real Estate, and Spanish. The program reviews conducted in the 1997-1998 were carried forward within the guidelines developed by the cross-functional team that set new parameters for the District�s program review and development process. This document, developed in 1996, provides a much easier method of gathering data and provides a sample narrative to departments that are in the review process. The sample materials include both instructional and non-instructional programs.

The non-instructional programs that were scheduled to be reviewed for 1997-1998 included Assessment, Associated Student Body, Consumer Relations, Feebase Programs, Fiscal Services, Grounds, Institutional Infrastructure, Maintenance, Public Information Office, Student Learning, and Veterans Affairs.

To add to the already in place program review, the Governor has instituted an initiative for Institutional Effectiveness, mandating that campuses plan an agenda to address new and required approaches to instruction and documentation of outcomes for accountability. This is called Partnerships for Excellence.

 

Planning Agenda

1. Victor Valley College administration and staff development office will plan in-house awareness of the Chancellor�s Partnerships for Excellence for faculty and department chairs. Victor Valley College will also access appropriate materials for this mandated activity from the Internet.

2. Victor Valley College will continue to enhance the program review procedure that is now in place and encourage stricter adherence for the non-instructional side of campus.

 

D7 Institutions offering curricula through electronic delivery systems operate in conformity with applicable Commission policies and statements on Principles of Good Practice in Distance Education.

 

Descriptive Summary

Currently Victor Valley College offers a limited number of courses via Internet. The Curriculum Committee applied the Distance Education Regulations and Guidelines in their approval of these courses. (CCR Title V #55316-55378, Curriculum Standards Handbook p. 35)30

Self-Evaluation

A number of faculty have been developing other options for the delivery of technology mediated instruction. As indicated earlier, there is a new Advanced Technology Center planned for the campus. Several departments have been actively involved in the planning of this facility. It is expected that the latest of technologies will be utilized in a variety of discipline areas in this facility.

 

Planning Agenda

1. Victor Valley College will continue to encourage the development of classes taught by non-traditional methods. Victor Valley College will also monitor the effectiveness of the current courses taught by non-traditional methods.

 

D8 Institutions offering curricula in foreign locations to students other than U.S. nationals operate in conformity with applicable Commission policies and guidelines.

 

Descriptive Summary

Victor Valley College does not operate permanent facilities abroad. The College offers curricula in foreign location as part of a Multi-college consortium. All the credit classes offered abroad are part of the regular curriculum. Instructors for the study abroad program31 are qualified for community college teaching and teach at colleges that are part of the consortium.

 

Self-Evaluation

Victor Valley College does not operate permanent facilities abroad. Victor Valley College is a member of the Foothill Study Abroad Consortium administered through Citrus College. Through the Consortium, credit classes are offered in London, England, in the Fall semester, and in Salamanca, Spain, in the Spring semester.31 The Consortium has plans to explore other sites including Florence, Italy, and Costa Rica. The courses that are offered are part of the regular curriculum that is established through the Consortium. Instructors that teach in the Study Abroad programs are all qualified community college instructors and teach at colleges within the consortium membership. During the past year, Victor Valley College has provided opportunities for six students to participate in study abroad programs. In addition, three members of the College faculty have had or will have the opportunity to teach in study abroad programs: Steve McDevitt in London, England, in the Fall of 1997, and Janice Rank in Salamanca, Spain, in the Spring of 1998.

 

Planning Agenda

None

 

Standard Four Documents Cited:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Victor Valley College Mission Statement
  2. Educational Master Plan
  3. Management Information Systems Student Statistics Report (11/12/98)
  4. Degrees and Certificates, 1992-98
  5. African American Literature, Intercultural Community Courses
  6. VVC Catalog
  7. VVC Class Schedule
  8. Program Development and Review, A Guide for Departments
  9. Course Outline Instructions
  10. Victor Valley College New course Proposal Checklist
  11. Good Practices for Course Approval Processes
  12. Stylistic Considerations
  13. Establishing Prerequisites Guide
  14. Information Competency in the California Community Colleges
  15. Database Administration Certificate
  16. Early Childhood Education Certificate
  17. NATEF Site Visit
  18. A+ Certification Program Development
  19. R.N. Competencies
  20. N-NAC Evaluation Letter
  21. Restaurant Management Competencies
  22. Welding Outlines
  23. Vocational Degree Completer Count Report
  24. Undergraduate Transfer Update Report
  25. Board of Trustees Policy 5232, Graduation Requirements for AA/AS Degrees
  26. Student Handbook
  27. Curriculum Committee Handbook
  28. Fran Ferrance and Louis Shahin
  29. GECE Handbook
  30. Curriculum Standards Handbook
  31. Study Abroad
  32. Lewis Center for Technology