Back See this section in context: Criterion 3 Core Component 3B
3B.1: Qualified Faculty Controls Instruction
Sauk’s range of academic and career degrees and certificates results in a wide range of qualifications for faculty in those specific areas. These qualifications are contained in each job description and are clearly described in every job posting and advertisement.
All of Sauk’s faculty are qualified for the positions they hold. Full-time and adjunct faculty who teach transfer courses are required to have at least a Master's degree in the content areas they teach. Faculty who teach dual credit classes in local high schools or the career center are held to the same credential requirements as full-time college faculty and must also have appropriate Illinois high school certification. The educational credential requirements for career faculty vary by discipline. The Human Resources Office verifies that individuals hold appropriate educational credentials at the time of hire.
The faculty controls the curriculum within policy guidelines and regulations established by the institution and various regulatory agencies:
- Curriculum Committee: At the institutional level, faculty control of curriculum is embodied in the committee that is charged with approving all credit programs and courses, all prerequisite changes, and all institutional policy changes related to curriculum (Appendix). The Curriculum Committee is chaired by a faculty member and consists of six faculty representatives, counselor, a student, and the instructional deans. Other college offices are represented on the committee in ex officio resource capacities. The minutes of the Curriculum Committee provide evidence of the role of the faculty in the addition, deletion, and proposed changes of courses and programs at Sauk.
- New courses and programs: Any full-time or adjunct faculty member may initiate a new course. The course outline and a sample syllabus must be created and submitted to the appropriate Dean or the Academic Vice President for preliminary approval. During this step in the process, IAI issues and compliance with outcome-based outline design are assured. Once approved, the faculty member submits the proposal to the Curriculum Committee using the Curriculum and Policy Action Form. The faculty member is invited to explain, clarify, or defend the proposal at the Curriculum Committee meeting where the proposal is given first reading and discussed. At a following meeting, the committee votes whether to approve the new course, with a simple majority deciding the outcome. The same general procedure is followed for the addition of new programs, as well as for the deletion of courses or programs.
- Course outlines: Course content is regulated by a Course Outline that uses a standard template to establish the critical components of the course. The outline assures that anyone teaching a section of a given course will have access to the same learning outcomes requirements to use in developing a syllabus. It specifies which parts of the course will be uniform in every section and which will allow for teacher preference. Specific teaching strategies are typically determined by each individual instructor, so many assessments are listed as a set of alternatives. For example, some developmental-level math courses have standardized texts, chapter tests, and end-of-course assessment tools. In contrast, the college-level English composition outlines standardize the outcomes, but provide broad latitude for diverse use of texts and assessment tools. Each of these decisions made by faculty is approved by the Curriculum Committee when the outline is approved.
- Syllabi: Each semester, each faculty member is required to create and supply to students a syllabus that describes the requirements for the course; indicates how the course outcomes will be assessed; and provides information, including grading practice, attendance policies, schedule of activities, etc. A standard template is provided for the syllabus, and all of the syllabi are submitted to and kept on file by the Academic Vice President each semester.
During FY06, the Assessment Core Team spearheaded a project for faculty to revise course outlines, many of which had not been revised since 1997, when they had first been restated in outcomes-based language. When the program review process was revised most recently, a specific prompt was added to make sure that faculty review all of the area’s course outlines, to ensure that this important review is systematically conducted.