|Edison State College Response Report to the Visiting Committee|
|Comprehensive Standard 3.5.3: Undergraduate Program Requirements|
Recommendation 14: The Committee recommends that the institution provide evidence that requirements for undergraduate programs are consistently enforced.
Edison State College Response:
Course Substitution College Operating Procedure
The COP for course substitutions was adopted in January 2011 and revised on July 8, 2011 [ 1 ]. The Response Team charged with reviewing the COP to ensure that practice followed procedure determined the COP should be revised [ 2 ]. The President’s Cabinet approved the revised COP on March 27, 2012. It states that the student must have a declared major prior to requesting a course substitution and that the substitution must meet both the content and competencies of the course it replaces. The academic advisor may initiate a course substitution at the time the student declares a major, or the student may initiate the process if appropriate. The substituted course must derive from a regionally accredited institution as transfer credit. The checks and balances for this procedure include review by the academic advisor, the specific department within which the substitution is requested (faculty chair), and approval by the Associate Dean, Academic Dean, and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Signatures by the aforementioned individuals certify that the substitution is consistent with the core requirements of the degree program and it complies with the procedure. A student may not receive more than three course substitutions or 10% of the program credit hours within a given program of study, whichever is greater.
The Course Substitution Request form [ 3 ] and the Course Re-evaluation form [ 4 ] are found on the College’s web site [ 5 ], along with the directions for requesting a course substitution. The student bears the responsibility for providing a certified copy of the transcript verifying completion of the course, a course description from the institution's catalog, and evidence the course meets the content and learning outcomes of the required course. This supporting documentation must accompany the request
[ 6 ][ 7 ].
While the District Board of Trustees provides governance and does not typically review College Operating Procedures, the Course Substitution College Operating Procedure was presented to the Board on March 27, 2012 for information only. The entire College is committed to rectifying past practice and to ensuring the integrity of Edison’s degrees. The administration is confident the processes in place provide academically sound best practices which will ensure the integrity of the academic degrees offered at Edison State College.
Review of Course Substitution Reports
Comprehensive Standard 3.5.3 requires institutions to define and publish requirements for its undergraduate programs, including its general education components, and that these requirements conform to commonly accepted standards and practices for degree programs. From the Report of the Reaffirmation Committee, “The issue identified by the On-Site Committee is not whether the institution defines and publishes the requirements but whether they are consistently enforced” (November 2011).
To audit the College’s compliance with its own course substitution policies and procedures, a benchmark for acceptable practice was established. Course substitutions approved between Jan. 1, 2011 and June 30, 2011 were compared with those of July 1, 2011 to Dec. 31, 2011. An initial review identified 54 course substitutions that required further scrutiny. Of those, three students with six substitutions were found to have graduated in December 2011 with questionable course substitutions. These substitutions were processed prior to July 2011. This was reported to Dr. Barry Goldstein on March, 2, 2012 [ 8 ]. The analysis shows that the College has made significant improvement in enforcing the defined and published requirements for its undergraduate programs [ 9 ]. During the period from January 1 to June 30, a total of 322 course substitutions were approved [ 10 ][ 11 ]. In contrast, during the time period from July 1 to December 31, a total of 153 course substitutions were approved. Between January 1 and June 30, approximately 24.8% of approved course substitutions were deemed inappropriate. Between July 1 and December 31, that figure dropped to 0.65%.
Students with 45 hours or more were notified in September 2011 to make an appointment with an advisor. Open advising sessions were held in January 2012, and a log records each one [ 12 ]. An email sent to every student currently enrolled in the AS degree programs offers them advising sessions [ 13 ]. In addition to these measures, the College is making every effort to ensure that all current students who have received prior egregious substitutions have been contacted and properly advised. An email was sent to all students in the targeted degrees on March 20, 2012, as a follow up [ 14 ].
The faculty in the targeted programs performed a review of their curriculum. The current degrees were mapped against the state frameworks. The appropriate changes were made and submitted to the Curriculum Committee for approval. These actions assure students will successfully matriculate through the programs without unnecessary substitutions. As the degree core requirements were clarified, the number of electives were reduced and clearly specified [ 15 ]. In addition to the curriculum review, the College purchased DegreeWorks, and plans a pilot implementation for Summer 2012. A consultant was hired, and every degree program has been audited for accuracy in the existing CAPP degree audit program, as well as being scribed for the new DegreeWorks.
|1.COP||Course Substitutions COP|
|2.Revised COP||Course Substitutions COP|
|3. Form||Course Substitution Form|
|4. Form||Course Re-evaluation Form|
|5. Web Site||Register’s Web Site|
|Course Re-evaluation of Transfer Examples|
|8. Memo||Dr. Barry Goldstein|
|9. Analysis||Analysis of Course Substitutions Over Time|
|10. Report||Substitution Summary|
|11. Report||Substitution Report|
|12. Log||Advising Sessions|
|13. Email||Student Advising Email|
|14. Email||Sent Email Record|
|15. Curriculum Documents||Curriculum Review Committee Documents|