Local Senates & Curriculum Committees
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Local Senates & Curriculum Committees. Richard Mahon, Area D Beth Smith, Treasurer.

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Local Senates & Curriculum Committees

Richard Mahon, Area D

Beth Smith, Treasurer


PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: After the local senate, the local curriculum committee is the most important committee providing faculty oversight for academic and professional matters. While curriculum committees are virtually always standing committees of the local senate, some curriculum committees work very closely with the local senate while others work very independently. How would the “ideal” senate and curriculum committee work together? Is there an ideal or are there 112 effective local models? Come discuss the relationship of your senate and curriculum committee to share your effective practices and to learn from others.


California Education Code §70902

  • a(7): Establish procedures not inconsistent with minimum standards established by the board of governors to ensure faculty, staff, and students the opportunity to express their opinions at the campus level, to ensure that these opinions are given every reasonable consideration, to ensure the right to participate effectively in district and college governance, and to ensure the right of academic senates to assume primary responsibility for making recommendations in the areas of curriculum and academic standards.


Title 5 §53200

  • (b) “Academic senate,” … as the representative of the faculty, is to make recommendations to the administration of a college and to the governing board of a district with respect to academic and professional matters. For purposes of this Subchapter, reference to the term “academic senate” also constitutes reference to “faculty council” or “faculty senate.”


(c) “Academic and professional matters” means the following policy development and implementation matters:

****The 10+1 items****

How many of these involve curriculum?


  • (1) curriculum, including establishing prerequisites and placing courses within disciplines;

  • (2) degree and certificate requirements;

  • (3) grading policies;

  • (4) educational program development;

  • (5) standards or policies regarding student preparation and success;

  • (6) district and college governance structures, as related to faculty roles;

  • (7) faculty roles and involvement in accreditation processes, including self-study and annual reports;

  • (8) policies for faculty professional development activities;

  • (9) processes for program review;

  • (10) processes for institutional planning and budget development; and

  • (11) other academic and professional matters as are mutually agreed upon between the governing board and the academic senate.


Scenarios: Do any of these apply to you? placing courses within disciplines;

  • Disagreement with administration regarding distance education?

  • Conflict over reassigned time for curriculum chair (or other faculty leaders)?

  • Disagreement between colleges in MCDs over curriculum?

  • Disagreement over plus/minus grading?

  • New program development?

  • Hiring faculty for programs not yet established?


Local Structures? placing courses within disciplines;

  • How have the faculty on your campus chosen to organize the Curriculum Committee?

  • Members elected by department? Division? At large? The senate?

  • Does it include Counselors? Articulation Officer? Counseling? Librarians? Students?

  • The role of administration?


Local Process? placing courses within disciplines;

  • How does your local curriculum committee relate to your senate?

  • Who develops curriculum policy & procedure?

  • How and when do recommendations from your local curriculum committee go to your board? Who presents to the board?


Is your system working? placing courses within disciplines;

  • Is the local senate well informed about curriculum issues?

  • Is your local board aware of both curriculum issues and faculty primacy?

  • Is your faculty at large well informed about curriculum issues and faculty primacy?


Resources for Curriculum: placing courses within disciplines;

  • The ASCCC Curriculum Institute

  • The ASCCC President

  • The ASCCC Curriculum Committee chair

  • The System Advisory Committee on Curriculum (SACC)

  • The Chancellor’s Office (esp. Stephanie Low)

  • The un-moderated curriculum listserve


  • More Resources for Curriculum placing courses within disciplines;

    • The Program and Course Approval Handbook (PCAH)

    • ASCCC Papers

    • ASCCC Website, www.asccc.org

    • System Advisory Committee on Curriculum (SACC) Website,

    • http://www.cccco.edu/SystemOffice/Divisions/AcademicAffairs/InstructionalProgramsandServicesUnit/SystemAdvisoryCommitteeonCurriculum/tabid/1497/Default.aspx

    • Academic Affairs in the Chancellor’s Office Website,

    • http://www.cccco.edu/ChancellorsOffice/Divisions/AcademicAffairs/tabid/229/Default.aspx


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