Academic Senate
Student Learning
Let's Talk About
Teaching and Learning
Board Policy
The Ed
Flex Day

October 4, 2007



-Repetition of non-credit classes: Doug tells me that the BOG will make a decision in January 2009. This information comes from Carol B-F when she was here for the BSI meeting. This language is what they will follow:

Title 5, Chapter 6 draft


Section 58161 Apportionment for Course Repetition

A community college district may claim the attendance of students who repeat courses for state apportionment only if so authorized by this section and if all other requirements of this chapter are satisfied.


Sections (a) through (g) talk about credit courses


(4) The Chancellor shall report to the Board of Governors by January 15, 2009, on appropriate limitations on state apportionment for repetition of noncredit courses. The Chancellor’s recommendations* shall be developed in consultation with the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges and the Chief Instructional Officers and shall be based on research concerning the educational efficacy and public benefit of repetition of each of the categories of noncredit courses. It is the intent of the Board of Governors to consider the recommendations of the Chancellor and adopt appropriate limitations on repetition of noncredit courses by June 30, 2009.


*John Gonzalez tells me that we’ve been told that the Chancellor will recommend a “reasonable” number of repeats for “non-enhanced” noncredit courses. We are hoping that “reasonable” means 4 or more. There is currently no limit on repetition of non-credit courses.



-Accreditation Progress Report

-Due March 2008

-Means we have to finish it by Christmas (so we can get it to our board in time)

-Doug is calling the WASC folks for more focused direction on this report.

-We will need somebody to write it.

-We should be setting the stage and putting people in place who steer the committees and write the self-study in 2008-2009.

-We will need a faculty co-chair, or two faculty co-chairs for this big steering committee

-We need to start recruiting people for this now.


-Accreditation site-visit teams for other colleges

-WASC has requested names for people to participate in accreditation site-visit teams for other colleges.

-It is important for faculty to participate in this process.

-After all, we would like faculty to be part of the team that visits us.

-I received the following e-mail from Doug:



I have received a request from the commission to update the files of recommended members for accreditation teams.  I have added your name already.  Currently listed faculty members in their files are:  Homer Bosserman, Mark Clements, Judee Timm, and Grant Voth.  I would like to add the names of a few interested faculty members.  The commission lists the following as qualifications:  those who possess a broad perspective about an educational institution; can exercise sound judgment; are effective at their position; enjoy respect of their peers; good analytic thinkers; able to use a computer to create and access documents; meet deadlines; able to work as part of a team; and perhaps most important, able to fulfill their commitment if assigned to a team.  That commitment involves reading the self study and all related background materials for the institution, attending a day-long training session, devoting a week to the visitation, and writing their portion of the report immediately after.


We’ve talked about the importance of faculty participating on these teams.  I invite the Senate to recommend faculty members for possible service.  The actual invitation to serve is done by the commission, so my only role is to recommend potential team members.

I’d appreciate it if you could make your recommendations in the near future so I can return this report.





CAC Chair

-Susan Walter has done an outstanding job in this role.

-She has taken the CAC from a paperwork-driven, detail oriented committee to one that is broad-based, big-picture oriented, and is dedicated to assuring that MPC conforms to Title 5 and includes critical thinking in all appropriate classes.

-Disaster awaits us.

-Susan is leaving the CAC at the end of this year. We need to find a replacement.


From PACC:

The Policy and Communication Committee (PACC) is responsible for distribution of proposed Board Policy and/or Board Policy Appendix language to campus constituent groups for review and approval.  The final proposed language will be presented to College Council for review and approval, prior to submission to the Board of Trustees.  Attached you will find proposed language for Board Policy Appendix 5105A, Procedures for Complaints of Unlawful Discrimination, including Sexual Harassment.  Included also as background information are the Model Policy and Procedures for Handling Complaints of Unlawful Discrimination, developed by the Chancellor’s Office and on which the proposed draft is based, as well as the relevant California Code of Regulations sections.  Finally, a routing form has been included which must be returned to PACC via the President’s office, recording the constituent group’s action.


Please note that all feedback must be received by November 1, 2007.  If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact the President’s office.


Fred, we’ll let you decide how you want to distribute this information to the Academic Senate.






Student Leaning Outcomes (SLOs) for MPC




An SLO is a measurable or evaluable description of what a student is expected to be able to “do” at the end of a course. The word “do,” in this context, could mean, for example, “perform,” “paint,” “produce,” “analyze,” “demonstrate,” “discriminate,” “synthesize,” “use the scientific method,” or any number of verbs appropriate for a particular course. This description is totally and completely up to the faculty members developing the SLOs, as are the methods of evaluation, which may be quantitative or qualitative.


From training materials that WASC gives to accreditation site-visit teams: “As team evaluators look for evidence that the institution is evaluating student learning outcomes, they will want to think about the designed curriculum, the taught curriculum, and the learned curriculum, bearing in mind that grades are not the best evidence of student learning. The designed curriculum is what is in the college catalog and in official course outlines of record. The taught curriculum can be found in the course syllabi. The learned curriculum is what assessment is all about—what have the students learned?” SLOs describe the learned curriculum.


From a chemistry teacher quoted by Janet Fulk: “Outcomes demonstrate an understanding and application of a subject beyond the nuts and bolts which hold it together; objectives represent the nuts and bolts.” 


What is most important about all this?


The act of faculty talking to each other about teaching and learning is an identifying characteristic of a vibrant academic institution. Incorporation of SLOs into our culture is one way to do this. It also happens to be endorsed and required by WASC.


From Doug Garrison after attending a WASC training session for accreditation site visit team members: “The most important  part of determining student learning outcomes is the faculty dialog involved in examining the designed curriculum [college catalog and course outlines], the taught curriculum [course syllabi] and learned curriculum [direct and indirect assessment]. The focus should not be on compliance. It should be on faculty discussing curriculum and teaching. Since all disciplines are different, there is no one way to write an SLO.


Why are we being asked to do this?


We are required to do this by WASC.


WASC is the last accrediting agency to adopt SLOs.


SLOs are part of an accountability trend currently evident in all aspects of national and state politics. Our paychecks are issued by the state of California, a political entity.


Are SLOs different from objectives?




Student learning outcomes build upon, but are different from, course objectives because they represent an over-arching description of what a student can do at the end of a course.



Student Learning Outcomes

Objectives represent valuable skills, tools, or content (nuts and bolts) that enable a student to engage a particular subject.

SLOs represent overarching products of the course.

Objectives can be stated in terms of higher level thinking skills

SLOs can be stated in terms of higher level thinking skills

Objectives can often be numerous, specific, and detailed.

SLOs are broad statements of what can be accomplished once the objectives are mastered.


Objectives are written in the course outline of record and comprise the individual parts that make up the whole of the class. The objectives are the “nuts and bolts” that hold the product together. The SLOs are the big picture vision of what that product looks like. Objectives describe the skills, tools, or content that a student will master by the end of a course. SLOs describe over-arching goals of what a student will be able to do by the end of a course.



For MPC, we recommend one to three SLOs per course. If you write more than three, you’re probably writing objectives rather than SLOs.


Examples from my courses:


Geology: Use observations of rock types and landscape morphology to interpret basic geologic history and processes.


Oceanography: Recognize major seafloor features based on their shape and interpret their origin using plate tectonic theory.


Oceanography:  Analyze how the earth's oceans are a part of the earth's systems from geological, chemical, biological and physical perspectives. (I found this one while looking for internet examples)


Painting: Students will use appropriate tools and materials to create paintings that synthesize conceptual understanding of image and content, and contextualizes the role of individual expression in historical and contemporary art.



Examples found on the internet:


Biology: Apply concepts of chemistry to physiological systems.


History: Evaluate historical myths, clichés, and prejudices that permeate contemporary US culture.


Criminal Justice: Describe the principles of community-based policing and apply them to given situations.


Speech: Organize outline, and deliver well-researched speeches to inform and persuade that are tailored to a specific audience.


Photography: Manually operate a 35 mm camera to create original black and white photographs that apply principles of exposure and development to concepts of composition, design, aesthetics, and content.


Piano: Sit at the keyboard so that the body will rest on it frame in such a way to be able to use one’s hands, arms, and fingers to produce a beautiful tone with great speed and evenness.


Nutrition: Analyze a documented nutritional problem, determine a strategy to correct the problem, and write a draft nutritional policy addressing the broader scope of the problem.


Engineering: Functioning as a member of a team, the student will design and

present a concrete structure which complies with engineering standards.


Math: Given data students will analyze information and create a graph that is correctly titled and labeled, appropriately designed, and accurately emphasizes the most important data content.


Most important thing to remember


If we don’t write SLOs for our courses and programs, somebody else will. And that would be everybody’s worst nightmare.


MPC SLO Articulation Committee

Fred Hochstaedter

Robynn Smith

Jon Mikkelsen

Marianne Ide