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ACCJC DE Standard II.A

Beyond Compliance: Excellence in Distance Education @ SBVC

ACCJC Standard: II.A.1

The institution demonstrates that all instructional programs, regardless of location or means of delivery, address and meet the mission of the institution and uphold its integrity.1 


ACCJC Guide for Evaluating Distance Education (June, 2013)

  • How does the institution ensure that its DE/CE program offerings fit the stated mission of the institution? 

  • How does the institution ensure that its DE/CE programs and services are of high quality, comparable with the institution’s face-to-face offerings, and appropriate to an institution of higher education? 

  • How does the institution choose the fields of study in which it offers DE/CE programs? What stakeholders are consulted about the choices of study in which the institution offers DE/CE and how are they consulted? 

  • What are the student achievement outcomes of the institution’s DE/CE programs; i.e., to what extent do students progress through and complete degrees and certificates, gain employment, or transfer to four-year institutions through DE/CE programs only or through a mix of DE/CE and face-to-face delivery? 

  • By what means are DE/CE programs assessed for currency, teaching and learn-ing strategies, and student learning outcomes, and are the assessment methods different from those methods applied for assessment of face-to-face programs? What is the rationale? 
  • Evidence that DE/CE offerings align with the institution’s mission 
  • Evidence that the quality of all DE/CE programs is consistently assessed to determine that it meets a high standard
  • Evidence of the annual growth in headcount enrollment into DE/CE programs

Beyond Audit and Compliance: DE Excellence at SBVC


Description:

The ACCJC's Committee on Substantive Change approved SBVC’s Substantive Change Proposal for Distance Education on May 10, 2012 (full Commission approval in June, 2012).  Early in the process of writing that proposal, it became clear that the mission of the college is enhanced by all the various distance education offerings.  In no way does distance education at SBVC change the college’s raison d’etre:  “San Bernardino Valley College provides quality education and services that support a diverse community of learners.”  In fact, distance education addresses two of the college’s planning initiatives–access and technology.  Distance education uses technology to increase access to educational opportunities for our students.  [website--Substantive Change Proposal]

Because of a recent state mandate to create new "transfer degrees" and because of an increase in classes approved for distance education delivery, SBVC submitted another Substantive Change Proposal to ACCJC in the spring of 2014.  This iteration of that document affirmed, once again, that distance education at SBVC does not alter or change the mission.  Distance education enhances SBVC's mission. [website--Substantive Change Proposal]

The affirmation of distance education’s support of the college’s mission is found on SBVC’s web page dealing with online classes, on the Online Program Committee web page,  and also in the planning principles included with in Online Learning Plan crafted by the Online Program Committee.  Furthermore, students taking distance education courses are informed of the alignment of the mission in the  Handbook for Online Students. [website-SBVC's Website] [website-Online Program Committee web page] [website-Online Learning Plan] [website-Handbook for Online Students]

Each year, the College Council revisits the issue of the mission of the college. The Technology Committee is represented on College Council, and the Online Program Committee is represented on the Technology Committee.  The Substantive Change Proposal (May, 2012) included this statement:  "The college will continue to monitor how it communicates its mission and how courses and programs approved for DE delivery support and further that mission."  SBVC continues to do that through the Online Program Committee, the Technology Committee, and the College Council.  In both 2012 and 2013, the Online Program Committee affirmed that the mission of distance education at SBVC is the same as the mission of the college.  In 2013, that affirmation was formally presented to the Technology Committee.  If there ever is a change in distance education programs that would have an impact on the mission of the college, the College Council would be notified through the Technology committee [website-minutes Online Program Committee fall, 2012[website--minutes Online Program Committee, fall, 2013

Initially, online classes were offered sporadically by departments wishing to use technology to increase access for students.  This included transfer disciplines such as sociology, psychology, and philosophy as well as more career and technical oriented programs such as administration of justice and library science.  Occassionally a department that was having problems sustaining itself with on-campus enrollments would develop online versions of the classes to increase the enrollments.  Real Estate is an example of one such department.  But in all cases, the approval process through the curriculum committee includes a separate approval process for distance education delivery.  That process ensures that appropriate stakeholders are included and/or consulted when a class is approved for alternate delivery. 

Although the idea of an "Online College" was used as a marketing strategy from 2003 to about 2010, there never was any concerted effort on the part of the college to encourage students to get a degree by only taking online classes.  The implicit function of online classes, and by extension, all distance education classes, was to create a scheduling opportunity that would give students the most flexibility.  In 2010, the notion that online classes would help students "complete" their degree in a more timely fashion was specifically included in the SBVC website. [website--SBVC online classes]

There was steady growth in the online offerings from 1998 (when the internet version of FirstClass and the requisite servers were purchased through a grant) through 2009.  The problems with educational funding from the state of California from 2009 through 2012 meant that there were reductions in enrollment across the campus, including distance education offerings.  In 2013, however, increased section offerings meant that there were more students able to be served.  And this included students taking online classes. 

Each course at SBVC undergoes the process of "content review" every six years.  This is to ensure that the curriculum is up-to-date and that all articulation agreements are current.  As a part of this content review, any course that is approved for distance education delivery undergoes a review of the rationale, the need, and the process of administrating that alternate form of delivery. [website--click link on the left side of the window to access the Curriculum Handbook

The Student Learning Outcomes identified for any course at SBVC are the same for all iterations of that course, regardless of the delivery mode.  So the assessment of those SLOs would be identical, or functionally equivalent, for all sections of a class.  In 2013, the college revived the electronic warehouse for Student Learning Outcomes, eLumen.  As a part of that revival, online classes are able to be disagregated from on ground lecture classes. 


Evaluation:

It is the opinion of the Online Program Committee that SBVC meets this standard in terms of Distance Education.


ACCJC Standard: II.A.1.a

 

The institution identifies and seeks to meet the varied educational needs of its students through programs consistent with their educational preparation and the diversity, demographics, and economy of its communities. The institution relies upon research and analysis to identify student learning needs and to assess progress toward achieving stated learning outcomes. 


ACCJC Guide for Evaluating Distance Education (June, 2013)

 What research is conducted to inform the college what student learning needs are, including the academic and technical skills required, and if the needs can be effectively addressed through DE/CE? 

 What means does the institution use to assess students’ educational preparation for DE/CE programs? How is this information incorporated into program planning? 

  Is there a policy that defines “regular and substantive interactions” for DE courses? (34 C.F.R. § 602.3.) (New in the August 2012 manual)

   What kind of research is being conducted to determine if students enrolled in DE/CE programs are achieving stated learning outcomes and if their level of achievement is comparable with students enrolled in face- to-face programs?

  • Evidence of analytical reviews demonstrating that instructional programs are relevant to the interest, needs, and goals of the students served in DE/CE courses and programs offered by the institution
  • Evidence that students are achieving stated learning outcomes developed for the DE/CE programs
  • Evidence of assessment of student achievement data for students enrolled in DE/CE programs

Beyond Audit and Compliance: DE Excellence at SBVC


Description:

Title 5 of the California Education Code requires that if any of the instruction of a particular course is intended to be offered by Distance Education, then that course needs to undergo a separate review process.  [55206. Separate Course Approval. If any portion of the instruction in a proposed or existing course or course section is designed to be provided through distance education in lieu of face-to-face interaction between instructor and student, the course shall be separately reviewed and approved according to the district's adopted course approval procedures. NOTE: Authority cited: Sections 66700 and 70901, Education Code. Reference: Sections 70901 and 70902, Education Code] All of the courses approved for Distance Education delivery at SBVC have undergone such scrutiny.  SBVC requires that all courses proposed for Distance Education delivery be separately reviewed and approved by the Curriculum Committee, a standing committee of the Academic Senate, before being forwarded to the Board of Trustees for final approval.[website-Curriculum Committee Handbookhandbook--Click Curriculum Handbook--find DE approval section]

A part of the process for DE approval is to identify the need for the course and the delivery mode.  If the need cannot be demonstrated at the level of the Curriculum Committee, the approval process stops.  So SBVC has built in to its processes the mechanisms to ensure that the course offered in a DE mode addresses the needs of the students. 

The Substantive Change Proposal, approved by ACCJC's Substantive Change Committee on May 10, 2012, identified 15 degrees and 20 certificates of achievement that could be completed by a student taking 50% or more of the units via a course approved for Distance Education.  In addition, the proposal identified the four general education pathways that a student can follow to complete an associate's degree.  All four of those pathways have 50% or more of the units approved for Distance Education delivery. Furthermore, another Substantive Change Proposal submitted in 2014 identified 25 degrees and 2 certificates that meet the ACCJC threshold  [website--substantive change proposal]

Those Substantive Change Proposals included job data analysis for all the the certificates.  Such job data analysis is needed by the SBVC Curriculum Committee for approval.   In most of those degrees and certificates, students find online classes and hybrid classes to be a convenient way to complete units toward their degree.  Even when a degree or certificate can be completed by only taking Distance Education courses, the vast majority of the time students "mix and match" on campus and online classes.  To identify a completely separate population for Distance Education classes and a completely separate pathway to a degree or certificate does not match the reality at SBVC.  SBVC knows that the online offerings are relevant to students because the online classes are the first classes to fill in the registration process.  Those classes are in highest demand.   [website-- All Online Classes]

******

The SBVC splash page for the "Online Classes" tab includes a self assessment tool used by the Univeristy of Houston.  This tool evaluates a student's readiness for online learning based on four criteria:  basic technical and academic skills; the ability to study independently; good organizational skills; and the willingness to devote the same amount of time and effort as a face-to-face course.  Although this is from the University of Houston, the same characteristics of readiness for online learning apply to SBVC students as well.  That section of the college website also includes a page titled "Are Online Classes for Me?"  In addition there is a page titled "Succeeding in Online Classes."  Furthermore, there is a section of the Handbook for Online students dealing with both the technical skills and the "soft skills," such as time management, necessary for success in online classes. [website--Online Classes]

Although there can be no prerequisites for a delivery mode (prerequisites apply to courses, not to delivery modes), there are conversations in the Online Program Committee about how best to make sure students have the necessary attitudes and skills to succeed in the Distance Education delivery mode. [website--Online Program Committee minutes]

*****

In 2006, the college finished the transition from a paper process for course approval in the Curriculum committee to a process driven by CurricUNET, a state-wide database program designed to assist California Community Colleges with their curriculum development and approvals. As a part of this transition, the Online Program Committee realized that the required separate approval for DE courses needed clarification. Specifically, Title 5 of the California Education Code states that any course that is approved for Distance Education Delivery demonstrate that there will be "Regular Effective Contact" between instructor and students in the class.

[55211. Instructor Contact. In addition to the requirements of section 55002 and any locally established requirements applicable to all courses, district-governing boards shall ensure that: (a) All approved courses offered as distance education include regular effective contact between instructor and students, through group or individual meetings, orientation and review sessions, supplemental seminar or study sessions, field trips, library workshops, telephone contact, correspondence, voice mail. e-mail, or other activities.]

In 2006, the Online Program Committee developed standard definitions that identified the types of contact included in DE courses. Although separate approval for DE courses has been in place for over 30 years, this clarification was a significant addition to the CurricUNET process. That process includes the initiating faculty having a conversation with a co-chair of the Online Program Committee, creating a detailed description of the rationale for Distance Education delivery, including sample assignments focusing on the appropriateness of DE delivery for the content of the course, and, finally, listing the appropriate contact types that constitute a minimum baseline for each section of the course offered in the Distance Education format. The specified contact types clearly identify the Regular Effective Contact that happens in each course and clearly states how the class will fulfill the quality control measures regarding Regular Effective Contact established in Title 5. The final review process for DE delivery includes one of the co- chairs of the SBVC's Online Program Committee and the District's Executive Director of Technology and Educational Support Services, thereby ensuring that approval for Distance Education Delivery meets the highest standards of the college and the District. [website--click curriculum handbook link on left side of window]

The definition of Distance Education by ACCJC includes a requirement that DE courses demonstrate that there is "Regular Substantive Interaction" between faculty and students.  This is one of the major distinctions between Distance Education and Correspondence Education drawn by the ACCJC. In 2011, the Online Program Committee discussed the Title 5 requirements and the ACCJC requirements and decided that at SBVC "Regular Effective Contact" is equivalent to "Regular Substantive Interaction."  When SBVC fulfills the Title 5 requirements of the State of California, the accreditation requirements of ACCJC are simultaneously being fulfilled. This was incorporated in the Substantive Change Proposal submitted to the ACCJC in the spring of 2012 (subsequently approved by the ACCJC at its June 2012 meeting).  That Substantive Change proposal was brought before the Academic Senate in the fall of 2011.  It was approved unanimously (with one abstention).  Then the Substantive Change Proposal was approved by the Board of Trustees in February, 2012.  Thus, the stipulation that "regular effective contact" is equivalent to "regular substantive interaction" has been vetted at all levels of the college and the District. That process was replicated in 2013 and 2014, with the Academic Senate specifically approving the "Regular Effective Contact"/"Regular Substantive Interaction" language.   [website--Substantive Change]

This process was reiterated when SBVC submitted its latest Substantive Change Proposal in the spring of 2014. The Online Program Committee, the Academic Senate, and the Board of Trustees again approved the equivalency of "regular effective contact" and "regular substantive interaction.  [website--Substantive Change]

*****

The California Community College Chancellor's office is a source of data regarding student learning in California Community Colleges.  Two of the data elements relevant here are student success and retention.  Those numbers are generally lower for online classes than for on campus classes state-wide and at SBVC.  The Online Program has kept track of that college-wide data for four years.  In the last two years saw the committee focus the data in a more granular way, identifying retention and success rates for specific departments.  In October, 2012, the committee identified measurable goals and objectives regarding retention and success in online classes. SBVC's goal for the retention and success is based on the averaging of the data for four semesters.  The state average for retention and success become the benchmarks.  SBVC's goal is to, first, match the state average for retention and success in DE courses.  When that goal is reached for 4 consecutive semesters, then the goal will be revisited and revised.  [website--CCCC datamart.] [website--Online Learning Plan]



Evaluation:


It is the opinion of the Online Program Committee that SBVC meets this standard in terms of Distance Education.

ACCJC Standard: II.A.1.b

 

The institution utilizes delivery systems and modes of instruction compatible with the objectives of the curriculum and appropriate to the current and future needs of its students.1 


ACCJC Guide for Evaluating Distance Education (June, 2013)

 How does the institution determine that delivery of instruction in DE/CE mode fits the objectives and content of its courses and programs? 

 How are activities offered in DE/CE mode evaluated for their effectiveness in meeting student needs? 

 How effectively does DE/CE facilitate student learning? Is the level of effectiveness for facilitating student learning different from traditional delivery modes? 

Evidence that the institution considers how instruction is delivered and how it assesses that delivery of DE/CE programs is both appropriate and current

Evidence that data has been analyzed for DE/CE and face-to-face students in order to compare student achievement and attainment of expected learning outcomes?

Evidence of review of assessment results from DE/CE programs and utilization for improvement of student learning and student achievement


Beyond Audit and Compliance: DE Excellence at SBVC


Description:

All courses are subject to scrutiny by both discipline/department experts and a trained curriculum committee. Courses are reviewed every six years for appropriateness of content, methodology and materials through the content review process with the curriculum committee structure. The process requires substantial dialogue with appropriate entities including department and external parties (business, other higher ed institutions, etc.) prior to launch of a new course. The curriculum committee further explores the course for appropriateness of content, methodology and materials from the members’ perspectives  No matter what delivery system is used, the course outline, objectives and outcomes remain constant.

Through the curriculum process, additional review is required if courses are planned for distance education. Reviewers identify strategies to ensure effective student contact, availability of resources, and appropriate use of technology. [website--click link on left side of window to access Curriculum Handbook]

All instructors are evaluated on regular cycles (every year during first four years, then every three years for full-time faculty and every six semesters for adjunct faculty). During that evaluation process, techniques of instruction are identified and evaluated.

All the Student Learning Outcomes are the same for each class, regardless of delivery mode.  And the assessments of those SLOs will be the same or functionally equivalent.  Comparing the results of SLO assessments for online classes and face to face classes was sporadic and haphazard until the fall of 2013.  At that time, the eLumen software was resurrected under a new organizational structure.  And included as a foundation for this latest iteration of eLumen was the explicit ability to break out online classes and hybrid classes from traditional on-ground lecture classes by data elements in DataTel.  This capability was embraced by the Online Program Committee.  That committee developed a plan to compare the SLO results for the 2014-2015 academic year.  The results of that study will be analyzed in the summer of 2015 and recommendations for the next academic year will be forthcoming. [website--Online Learning Plan

Evaluation:


It is the opinion of the Online Program Committee that SBVC meets this standard in terms of Distance Education.

ACCJC Standard: II.A.1.c

The institution identifies student learning outcomes for courses, programs, certificates, and degrees; assesses student achievement of those outcomes; and uses assessment results to make improvements. 


ACCJC Guide for Evaluating Distance Education (June, 2013)

•What student learning outcomes and assessments has the institution identified for courses, programs, certificates, and degrees offered in DE/CE mode? Are they different from outcomes/assessments in courses, programs, certificates, and degrees offered in traditional teaching mode? What is the rationale?

•How and by whom are student learning outcomes/assessments for programs offered in DE/CE mode and strategies for attaining them created? Do the strategies take into account how DE/CE programs compare with traditional programs in terms of student achievement?

•How and by whom are student learning outcomes and program outcomes for DE/CE assessed, and how are the assessment methods different from those used in the assessment of traditional programs? How are the results used for improvement, and who is involved in this dialog?

•If the institution uses course materials developed outside the institution for its programs offered in DE/CE format, how are these materials assessed, and how does the institution ensure that the academic standards are comparable with its other programs?

  


Beyond Audit and Compliance: DE Excellence at SBVC


Description:

Student Learning Outcomes are the same for each section of a course regardless of delivery mode.  This was emphasized in the SLO report to the ACCJC in the fall of 2012. Student Learning Outcomes are created by faculty in the departments and revision by the faculty in the departments.  The processes of creation and revision are the same regardless of delivery mode.  

The Online Program committee tracks the retention and success of courses offered through distance education.  There is a comparison between non-DE delivery and DE delivery on both of those key measures.  [website--Retention and Success]

Student learning outcomes are assessed by the faculty departments.  The assessment processes are the same, regardless of delivery mode.

Departments like Math and Real Estate use publisher-prepared material for their online courses.  The evaluation of those materials and the decision to use those materials is made by the department.  Therefore, the responsibility for maintaining academic standards resides at department level.   


Evaluation:

It is the opinion of the Online Program Committee that SBVC meets this standard in terms of Distance Education.


  • ACCJC Standard: II.A.2

The institution assures the quality and improvement of all instructional courses and programs offered in the name of the institution, including collegiate, developmental, and pre-collegiate courses and programs, continuing and community education, study abroad, short-term training courses and programs, programs for international students, and contract or other special programs, regardless of type of credit awarded, delivery mode, or location.1,2 


ACCJC Guide for Evaluating Distance Education (June, 2013)

 By what criteria and processes does the institution decide to offer developmental, pre-collegiate, continuing, and community education, short-term training, international student, or contract education programs in DE/CE mode? 

 Which of these (or other) categories of courses and programs does the institution offer in DE/CE mode? 

 What is the process for establishing and evaluating each type of course and program offered in DE/CE mode? How does the college determine the appropriate credit type of its courses and programs offered in DE/CE mode? 

 
  • Evidence that the institution considers how instruction is delivered and how it assesses that delivery of DE/CE programs is both appropriate and current

  


Beyond Audit and Compliance: DE Excellence at SBVC


 

Description:

 By what criteria and processes does the institution decide to offer developmental, pre-collegiate, continuing, and community education, short-term training, international student, or contract education programs in DE/CE mode? 

SBVC offers some of the prerequisites to transfer level courses in Reading and Math as online and/or hybrid classes.   Those departments saw the need to help with flexible scheduling for students who needed to demonstrate competency prior to entering college-level classes 

 What is the process for establishing and evaluating each type of course and program offered in DE/CE mode? How does the college determine the appropriate credit type of its courses and programs offered in DE/CE mode? 

Title 5 of the California Education Code requires that if any of the instruction of a particular course is intended to be offered by Distance Education, then that course needs to undergo a separate review process.  [55206. Separate Course Approval. If any portion of the instruction in a proposed or existing course or course section is designed to be provided through distance education in lieu of face-to-face interaction between instructor and student, the course shall be separately reviewed and approved according to the district's adopted course approval procedures. NOTE: Authority cited: Sections 66700 and 70901, Education Code. Reference: Sections 70901 and 70902, Education Code] All of the courses approved for Distance Education delivery at SBVC have undergone such scrutiny.  SBVC requires that all courses proposed for Distance Education delivery be separately reviewed and approved by the Curriculum Committee, a standing committee of the Academic Senate, before being forwarded to the Board of Trustees for final approval.[webpage-Curriculum Committee Handbookhandbook--Click Curriculum Handbook--find DE approval section]

A part of the process for DE approval is to identify the need for the course and the delivery mode.  If the need cannot be demonstrated at the level of the Curriculum Committee, the approval process stops.  So SBVC has built in to its processes the mechanisms to ensure that the course offered in a DE mode addresses the needs of the students.  It is at the level of the Curriculum that the appropriate credit type is assessed.  

The evaluation of each course and program offered in a distance education modality is the same as a course delivered on campus.  SBVC has a robust program review process. Courses and programs that are offered as DE are evaluated through the program review process.  At the division level, decisions are made  on whether to offer DE courses based on student demand.  The Online Program Committee monitors retention and success for both DE and non-DE courses. Retention and success are key institution-set standards regarding courses offered in the distance education mode. [website--retention and success]

Evaluation:

It is the opinion of the Online Program Committee that SBVC meets this standard in terms of Distance Education.


ACCJC Standard: II.A.2.a

The institution uses established procedures to design, identify learning outcomes for, approve, administer, deliver, and evaluate courses and programs. The institution recognizes the central role of its faculty for establishing quality and improving instructional courses and programs. 


ACCJC Guide for Evaluating Distance Education (June, 2013)

•What established policies and institutional processes guide the development and evaluation of courses and programs offered in DE/CE mode? Are they different from the policies and institutional processes that guide the development and evaluation of courses offered in traditional mode? What is the rationale?

•What is the role of faculty and how is discipline expertise or teaching knowledge and expertise in the field of DE/CE used for establishing quality of these courses?

•What processes exist to approve and administer DE/CE courses and programs? Are the processes effective?

•By what means and how often are DE/CE courses and programs evaluated? How is the evaluation different from that of traditional courses and programs? What is the rationale?

•What improvements to DE/CE courses and programs have occurred as a result of evaluation?


Beyond Audit and Compliance: DE Excellence at SBVC 


Description:

What established policies and institutional processes guide the development and evaluation of courses and programs offered in DE/CE mode? Are they different from the policies and institutional processes that guide the development and evaluation of courses offered in traditional mode? What is the rationale?

Having stated that the courses are the same in content, rigor, and quality no matter what the mode of delivery, Title 5 of the California Education Code requires that if any of the instruction of a particular course is intended to be offered by Distance Education, then that course needs to undergo a separate review process.

[55206. Separate Course Approval. If any portion of the instruction in a proposed or existing course or course section is designed to be provided through distance education in lieu of face-to-face interaction between instructor and student, the course shall be separately reviewed and approved according to the district's adopted course approval procedures. NOTE: Authority cited: Sections 66700 and 70901, Education Code. Reference: Sections 70901 and 70902, Education Code]

All of the courses approved for DE delivery at SBVC have undergone such scrutiny. SBVC requires that all courses proposed for DE delivery be separately reviewed and approved by the Curriculum Committee, a standing committee of the Academic Senate, before being forwarded to the Board of Trustees for final approval.

In 2006, the college finished the transition from a paper process for course approval in the Curriculum Committee to a process driven by CurricUNET, a state-wide database program designed to assist California Community Colleges with their curriculum development and approvals. As a part of this transition, the Online Program Committee realized that the required separate approval for DE courses needed clarification. Specifically, Title 5 of the California Education Code states that any course that is approved for Distance Education Delivery demonstrates that there will be "Regular Effective Contact" between instructor and students in the class.

[55211.  Instructor Contact. In addition to the requirements of section 55002 and any locally established requirements applicable to all courses, district-governing boards shall ensure that: (a) All approved courses offered as distance education include regular effective contact between instructor and students, through group or individual meetings, orientation and review sessions, supplemental seminar or study sessions, field trips, library workshops, telephone contact, correspondence, voice mail. e-mail, or other activities.]

The Online Program Committee developed standard definitions that identified the types of contact included in DE courses. Although separate approval for DE courses has been in place for over 30 years, this clarification was a significant addition to the CurricUNET process. That process includes the initiating faculty having a conversation with a co- chair of the Online Program Committee, creating a detailed description of the rationale for Distance Education delivery, including sample assignments focusing on the appropriateness of DE delivery for the content of the course, and, finally, listing the appropriate contact types that constitute a minimum baseline for each section of the course offered in the Distance Education format. The identified contact types clearly identify the Regular Effective Contact that happens in each course and clearly states how the class will fulfill the quality control measures regarding Regular Effective Contact established in Title 5. The final review process for DE delivery includes one of the co- chairs of the SBVC's Online Program Committee and the District's Associate Vice Chancellor of Technology and Educational Support Services, thereby ensuring that approval for Distance Education Delivery meets the highest standards of the college and the District.

The definition of Distance Education by ACCJC includes a requirement that DE courses demonstrate that there is "Regular Substantive Interaction" between faculty and students.  This is one of the major distinctions between Distance Education and Correspondence Education drawn by the ACCJC. In 2011, the Online Program Committee discussed the Title 5 requirements and the ACCJC requirements and decided that at SBVC "Regular Effective Contact" is equivalent to "Regular Substantive Interaction."  When SBVC fulfills the Title 5 requirements of the State of California, the accreditation requirements of ACCJC are simultaneously being fulfilled. Thus, the rigorous approval processes in place at SBVC initially demonstrate that the relevant Commission Policies regarding DE are being addressed. [website--substantive change proposals]

  

What is the role of faculty and how is discipline expertise or teaching knowledge and expertise in the field of DE/CE used for establishing quality of these courses?

As with any course or program, SBVC faculty are initiators and facilitators of establishing high quality educational offerings.  As stated above, there is an extensive curricular review process for any course offered in a DE modality.  And faculty are involved at every step of this process.

What processes exist to approve and administer DE/CE courses and programs? Are the processes effective?

Courses and programs in DE mode are a part of a department or division.  There is no separate division for Distance Education.  SBVC has a unique history in the development of online learning . As such, the "management structure" is also unique. There is no distinct director or dean of Distance Education at SBVC. The District has an Associate Vice Chancellor of Technology and Educational Support Services. That position provides the support for the infrastructure for online learning. That is, internet connectivity, learning management systems, and software licenses are handled at the District level. Furthermore, the Blackboard Administrator, also a district position, provides extensive professional development and software support at both SBVC and Crafton Hills College. There are campus network administrators at each campus to assist with software related issues. Management support at the campus level is in the office of the Vice President of Instruction. Managerial oversight and clerical support services are provided through that office. The Technology Committee and the Online Program Committee both provide the collegial support for the management and staff. The faculty and administrative co-chairs of the Online Program Committee are key in communicating to the Vice President of Instruction concerns and issues regarding online learning. And the Coordinator of Professional and Organizational Development provides for extensive training opportunities for faculty interested in teaching online. [Link to Professional Development]   

By what means and how often are DE/CE courses and programs evaluated? How is the evaluation different from that of traditional courses and programs? What is the rationale?

Any course or program that is offered in the DE mode is evaluated in SBVC's content review cycle.  This happens every two years for CTE courses and every six years for all other courses.  This content review cycle is managed by the Curriculum Committee.  

What improvements to DE/CE courses and programs have occurred as a result of evaluation?

One example of data being used for program improvement is the Chemistry department.  The Chemistry department offered its basic chemistry class in a hybid format.  However the success and retention rates were low.  So the department decided not to offer that basic chemistry class in a distance education format.  The retention and success rates for a typical lecture/lab on campus class are much better.

Evaluation:


It is the opinion of the Online Program Committee that SBVC meets this standard in terms of Distance Education.

ACCJC Standard: II.A.2.b

 

The institution relies on faculty expertise and the assistance of advisory committees when appropriate to identify competency levels and measurable student learning outcomes for courses, certificates, programs including general and vocational education, and degrees. The institution regularly assesses student progress towards achieving those outcomes. 


ACCJC Guide for Evaluating Distance Education (June, 2013)

 How are competency levels and measurable student learning outcomes determined for DE/CE? Are the means deployed different from those deployed for traditional programs? What is the rationale? 

 What is the role of faculty in this process? Has the institution established any advisory committees with expertise in DE/CE, and if so what is the role of such advisory committees? 

 Do students have a clear path to achieving the student learning outcomes required of a course, program, degree, or certificate offered in DE/CE mode, and what information is provided to students in that regard? How well does the institution achieve and evaluate the effectiveness of learning at each level? 

_Evidence of review of assessment results from DE/CE programs and utilization for improvement of student learning and student achievement

␣Evidence of procedures to design, identify learning outcomes for, approve, administer, deliver and evaluate DE/CE courses and programs. Evidence of the role played by advisory committees and faculty with expertise in DE/CE

␣Evidence of the role played by advisory committees and faculty with expertise in DE/CE

_Evidence that DE/CE programs are appropriately sequenced to provide the bases for subsequent courses


Beyond Audit and Compliance: DE Excellence at SBVC 


Description:

 How are competency levels and measurable student learning outcomes determined for DE/CE? Are the means deployed different from those deployed for traditional programs? What is the rationale? 

The student learning outcomes for courses are the same, regardless of delivery mode.  There are no differences or distinctions in terms of student learning outcomes for any section offered in a Distance Education modality.

 What is the role of faculty in this process? Has the institution established any advisory committees with expertise in DE/CE, and if so what is the role of such advisory committees? 

SBVC's Online program Committee is a standing committee of the Academic Senate.  Its charge is to advise the Vice President on all aspects of online learning at SBVC.  This committee is primarily composed of faculty members.  Therefore faculty play a key role in the process of directing online learning at SBVC.  Where a complete program can be completed by taking courses that are offered in the DE format, such water technology and library services, the faculty are instrumental in planning and coordinating those offerings.  

 Do students have a clear path to achieving the student learning outcomes required of a course, program, degree, or certificate offered in DE/CE mode, and what information is provided to students in that regard? How well does the institution achieve and evaluate the effectiveness of learning at each level? 

Students are informed of the certificates and degrees that can be completed by taking courses offered in a DE format.   The effectiveness of student learning is evaluated through both the program review and content review processes.  [website--degree completion]

Evaluation:

It is the opinion of the Online Program Committee that SBVC meets this standard in terms of Distance Education.

ACCJC Standard: II.A.2.c

 

 High-quality instruction and appropriate breadth, depth, rigor, sequencing, time to completion, and synthesis of learning characterize all programs. 


ACCJC Guide for Evaluating Distance Education (June, 2013)

•How does the institution demonstrate the quality of its instruction for programs and courses in DE/CE mode? What evidence exists that DE/CE programs are characterized by the variables cited in this standard? How does the college use these qualities (breadth, depth, etc.) to determine that a DE/CE program is collegiate or pre-collegiate level?

•What institutional dialog has occurred to enhance understanding and agreement about the quality and level of its DE/CE programs? Who within the institution is involved in this dialog? How does staff with expertise and experience in teaching courses in DE/CE mode participate in this dialog?

  


Beyond Audit and Compliance: DE Excellence at SBVC

 


Description:

How does the institution demonstrate the quality of its instruction for programs and courses in DE/CE mode? What evidence exists that DE/CE programs are characterized by the variables cited in this standard? How does the college use these qualities (breadth, depth, etc.) to determine that a DE/CE program is collegiate or pre-collegiate level?

Title 5 of the California Education Code requires that if any of the instruction of a particular course is intended to be offered by Distance Education, then that course needs to undergo a separate review process.

[55206. Separate Course Approval. If any portion of the instruction in a proposed or existing course or course section is designed to be provided through distance education in lieu of face-to-face interaction between instructor and student, the course shall be separately reviewed and approved according to the district's adopted course approval procedures. NOTE: Authority cited: Sections 66700 and 70901, Education Code. Reference: Sections 70901 and 70902, Education Code]

All of the courses approved for DE delivery at SBVC have undergone such scrutiny. SBVC requires that all courses proposed for DE delivery be separately reviewed and approved by the Curriculum Committee, a standing committee of the Academic Senate, before being forwarded to the Board of Trustees for final approval.

 

What institutional dialog has occurred to enhance understanding and agreement about the quality and level of its DE/CE programs? Who within the institution is involved in this dialog? How does staff with expertise and experience in teaching courses in DE/CE mode participate in this dialog?

The state Chancellor's Office requires that each California Community College maintain records and report data for course sections in which 51% or more of the instruction is provided through Distance Education. Further, SBVC is required to provide to the SBCCD Board of Trustees a report on all DE instruction. (Section 55219 of Title 5) This data included information on student enrollments, student retention, student success, and other elements of courses taught through DE delivery. This helps guide the college administration in the planning process regarding offering courses via Distance Education.

Only very rarely has an online class had problems with enrollment. So there is high student demand for this format of learning across the disciplines.

Success and retention rates for online courses are lower than courses taught in a tradition classroom format. This is true both at the state level and for SBVC.  Online courses require that students possess greater self-motivation and more nuanced time-management skills. Sometimes technical difficulties create barriers to success in online classes, but anecdotal evidence suggests that these technical issues are decreasing. The latest draft of the SBVC's Online Learning Plan includes specific goals, objectives, and benchmarks regarding success and retention in online classes.

To improve the quality of online instruction, the Online Program Committee has created a Comprehensive Quality Control Process for online faculty.  This process gathers information about preparation for online teaching, regular effective contact, student privacy issues, student authentication concerns, ADA and 508 compliance, and a checklist including elements considered to be consistent with high quality online learning. From the faculty perspective, this process helps monitor keep the policies and procedures unique to online learning in the forefront.

In the fall of 2011, SBVC's Online Program Committee created a student satisfaction survey that was piloted in 10 online classes. (Results of this pilot survey are included in Appendix M.) In the spring of 2012, this pilot survey was expanded to include all online sections. The same survey was deployed in the spring of 2013.  The results of this survey are available to the public at SBVC’s website.  It is the intention of the Online Program Committee to survey all online students each spring semester.  This information will be combined with retention, success, and enrollment statistics to help in the planning process for online classes. [Link to Student Satisfaction Survey]

Both the Office of Institutional Research of the college and the office of Distributed Education at the District level collect data on efficiency, success and retention from campus researchers and presents to the board of trustees.  One such presentation occurred in August, 2011.  On March 9, 2013 the board of trustees requested an hour-long study session on the status of online learning in both colleges of the district.  Since SBVC has more than 10 times the number of distance education sections than Crafton Hills College, SBVC’s portion of this study session was extensive and included comparative data on success and retention. 

The Online Program Committee includes in its plan the necessity to review and analyze the data on student success and retention comparing the college statistics with the aggregate data from the California Community College system. This set of data is compiled and presented in the “Online Student Handbook” on the college’s website.  [Link to success and retention data]

Evaluation:

It is the opinion of the Online Program Committee that SBVC meets this standard in terms of Distance Education.

ACCJC Standard: II.A.2.d

 

The institution uses delivery modes and teaching methodologies that reflect the diverse needs and learning styles of its students.1 


ACCJC Guide for Evaluating Distance Education (June, 2013)

•What assessment of student learning styles that relate to teaching in DE/CE mode has the college performed?

•How does the institution demonstrate that it is meeting the needs and learning styles of its students? How are faculty and staff informed and kept up-to-date about learning needs and pedagogical approaches related to DE/CE?

•Do courses in DE/CE mode include multiple ways of assessing student learning?

•What teaching methodologies are commonly used in DE/CE programs? How are methodologies selected? Do faculty discuss the relationship between the selected teaching methodologies and student performance?

•What efforts has the college made to match the teaching methodologies with particular needs of students and with learning styles? How effective are the instructional methodologies that the college uses in producing learning in DE/CE mode?


Beyond Audit and Compliance: DE Excellence at SBVC

 


Description:

What assessment of student learning styles that relate to teaching in DE/CE mode has the college performed?

The landing page for the "Online Classes" section of the college's website includes a link to the University of Houston's assessment of readiness for online learning.  It includes sections that help student's analyze their learning styles and whether those styles would be appropriate for online learning.  The Online Program Committee experimented with creating a "home grown" assessment but quickly learned that using an instrument that was already developed and deployed would be better for the students.  [website--Online Classes]

How does the institution demonstrate that it is meeting the needs and learning styles of its students? How are faculty and staff informed and kept up-to-date about learning needs and pedagogical approaches related to DE/CE?

The results of the Student Satisfaction Survey distributed to all online students each spring semester demonstrate that students are satisfied with the online classes.  Since the population submitting the survey is broad and inclusive, the Online Program Committee extrapolates from that high rate of satisfaction to include students with a variety of learning styles. [website--Student Statisfaction Survey]

Faculty are informed and kept up-to-date about learning needs and pedagogical approaches related to DE by a regular faculty newsletter and by numerous professional development opportunities.  [website--faculty newsletter] [website--professional development]

Do courses in DE/CE mode include multiple ways of assessing student learning?

Typically courses offered in a DE mode do include multiple ways of assessing student learning.  Obviously these ways vary from departement to department, and even from instructor to instructor.  But the requirements for "Regular Effective Contact" or "Regular Substantive Interaction" will lead instructors to adopt multiple measures and multiple modalities of assessment of student learning.

What teaching methodologies are commonly used in DE/CE programs? How are methodologies selected? Do faculty discuss the relationship between the selected teaching methodologies and student performance?

Asynchronous discussions, peer review of writing assignments, quizzes and exams, virtual group collaboration, and virtual research projects are some of the teaching methods that are used in DE courses.  These methods are selected at the departmental level and the level of the individual faculty member.  Discussions about the relationship between student learning and DE teaching methods occur at the department level and in the Online Program Committee.  Recent conversations in the Online Program Committee have identified the ubiquity of mobile devices as the next frontier for designing meaningful learning DE learning experiences.

What efforts has the college made to match the teaching methodologies with particular needs of students and with learning styles? How effective are the instructional methodologies that the college uses in producing learning in DE/CE mode?

No effort has been made to segregate students based on learning styles.  What is the norm at SBVC is that faculty members employ multiple approaches to the material.  And this allows students with various learning styles to be successful.  For example, in a philosophy class one instructor uses extensive textual material coupled with numerous audio files using his voice to explain complex philosophical issues.  This combination allows students with more auditory learning styles to be included in the conversation around the subject matter of the class.


Evaluation:

It is the opinion of the Online Program Committee that SBVC meets this standard in terms of Distance Education.  

ACCJC Standard: II.A.2.e

 

The institution evaluates all courses and programs through an on-going systematic review of their relevance, appropriateness, achievement of learning outcomes, currency, and future needs and plans. 


ACCJC Guide for Evaluating Distance Education (June, 2013)

•How does the college evaluate the effectiveness of its courses and programs offered in DE/CE mode? Is the process similar to courses and programs offered in traditional mode? What is the rationale?

•Are there policies that dictate satisfactory progress in DE/CE courses/programs?

•What types of data are available for DE/CE program evaluation? Does the evaluation include a curricular review?

•How is the relevancy of a program offered in DE/CE mode determined?

•How are results of evaluation of programs in DE/CE mode used in institutional planning? What changes/improvements in programs have occurred as a result of the consideration of program evaluations?


Beyond Audit and Compliance: DE Excellence at SBVC


Description:

How does the college evaluate the effectiveness of its courses and programs offered in DE/CE mode? Is the process similar to courses and programs offered in traditional mode? What is the rationale?

All courses and programs are reviewed at the college level through a rigorous program review process.  Distance education offerings are included in this process. 

Furthermore, the state Chancellor's Office requires that each California Community College maintain records and report data for course sections in which 51% or more of the instruction is provided through Distance Education. Further, SBVC is required to provide to the SBCCD Board of Trustees a report on all DE instruction. (Section 55219 of Title 5) This data included information on student enrollments, student retention, student success, and other elements of courses taught through DE delivery. This helps guide the college administration in the planning process regarding offering courses via Distance Education. 

Success and retention rates for online courses are lower than courses taught in a tradition classroom format. This is true both at the state level and for SBVC.  Online courses require that students possess greater self-motivation and more nuanced time-management skills. Sometimes technical difficulties create barriers to success in online classes, but anecdotal evidence suggests that these technical issues are decreasing. The latest draft of the SBVC's Online Learning Plan includes specific goals, objectives, and benchmarks regarding success and retention in online classes.[website--Online Learning Plan]

Are there policies that dictate satisfactory progress in DE/CE courses/programs?

Since distance education classes are primarily used by students to complete a degree or program in conjunction with on campus classes, the progress toward completion is included in the evaluation of the course or program as a whole.

What types of data are available for DE/CE program evaluation? Does the evaluation include a curricular review?

Success and retention data for distance education courses is available.  The Online Program Committee monitors this data and makes it available to the public by publishing the data on the SBVC website. [website--success and retention

How is the relevancy of a program offered in DE/CE mode determined?

Having stated that the courses are the same in content, rigor, and quality no matter what the mode of delivery, Title 5 of the California Education Code requires that if any of the instruction of a particular course is intended to be offered by Distance Education, then that course needs to undergo a separate review process.

[55206. Separate Course Approval. If any portion of the instruction in a proposed or existing course or course section is designed to be provided through distance education in lieu of face-to-face interaction between instructor and student, the course shall be separately reviewed and approved according to the district's adopted course approval procedures. NOTE: Authority cited: Sections 66700 and 70901, Education Code. Reference: Sections 70901 and 70902, Education Code]

A key element of this separate approval process at SBVC is the identification of the need for DE delivery of a class.  If the need cannot be demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Curriculum Committee, then the course or program will not be offered in a DE mode.

All of the courses approved for DE delivery at SBVC have undergone such scrutiny. SBVC requires that all courses proposed for DE delivery be separately reviewed and approved by the Curriculum Committee, a standing committee of the Academic Senate, before being forwarded to the Board of Trustees for final approval.

How are results of evaluation of programs in DE/CE mode used in institutional planning? What changes/improvements in programs have occurred as a result of the consideration of program evaluations?

One example of data being used for program improvement is the Chemistry department.  The Chemistry department offered its basic chemistry class in a hybid format.  However the success and retention rates were low.  So the department decided not to offer that basic chemistry class in a distance education format.  The retention and success rates for a typical lecture/lab on campus class are much better.


Evaluation:

It is the opinion of the Online Program Committee that SBVC meets this standard in terms of Distance Education.

ACCJC Standard: II.A.2.h 

 

The institution awards credit based on student achievement of the course’s stated learning outcomes. Units of credit awarded are consistent with institutional policies that reflect generally accepted norms or equivalencies in higher education. 


ACCJC Guide for Evaluating Distance Education (June, 2013)

  • What policies does the institution have for the award of academic credit for DE/CE programs? Are the policies similar to the traditional programs? What is the rationale for the decision? Are these policies regularly reviewed, including review of the extent to which they are suited for DE/CE? 
     

Beyond Audit and Compliance: DE Excellence at SBVC


Description:

The policies for awarding academic credit for Distance Education programs and non-DE programs is the same.  Academic credit is not a function of delivery mode.  Further, the student learning outcomes for a course remain the same, regardless of delivery mode.  

Any review of curriculum proceeds through the Curriculum Committee.  And Title 5 of the California Education Code requires that if any of the instruction of a particular course is intended to be offered by Distance Education, then that course needs to undergo a separate review process.

[55206. Separate Course Approval. If any portion of the instruction in a proposed or existing course or course section is designed to be provided through distance education in lieu of face-to-face interaction between instructor and student, the course shall be separately reviewed and approved according to the district's adopted course approval procedures. NOTE: Authority cited: Sections 66700 and 70901, Education Code. Reference: Sections 70901 and 70902, Education Code]

All of the courses approved for DE delivery at SBVC have undergone such scrutiny. SBVC requires that all courses proposed for DE delivery be separately reviewed and approved by the Curriculum Committee, a standing committee of the Academic Senate, before being forwarded to the Board of Trustees for final approval.

Each course is reviewed every six years as a part of the Content Review process.  At that time, all parts of the unified course outline of record, including the DE approval, are reviewed and adjusted as necessary.

Clarification of the academic credit and the credit hour for DE classes was added to the Handbook for Online Students in the fall of 2012.    [website--Academic Credit]


Evaluation:

It is the opinion of the Online Program Committee that SBVC meets this standard in terms of Distance Education.

ACCJC Standard: II.A.3.b

 

3. The institution requires of all academic and vocational degree programs a component of general education based on a carefully considered philosophy that is clearly stated in its catalog. The institution, relying on the expertise of its faculty, determines the appropriateness of each course for inclusion in the general education curriculum by examining the stated learning outcomes for the course. 

General education has comprehensive learning outcomes for the students who complete it, including the following: 

a. An understanding of the basic content and methodology of the major areas of knowledge: areas include the humanities and fine arts, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. 

b. A capability to be a productive individual and life-long learner: competency, computer literacy, scientific and quantitative reasoning, critical analysis/logical thinking, and the ability to acquire knowledge through a variety of means. 


ACCJC Guide for Evaluating Distance Education (June, 2013)

•Are any of the institution’s general education courses offered in DE/CE mode? What is the rationale for this decision and is it stated clearly in its catalog? How is it communicated to all stakeholders?

•What criteria does the college use to assure that the required skill level of students in DE/CE courses and programs meet collegiate standards and rigor?

•By what means does the institution ensure that the students develop the listed skills in DE/CE mode? How does the institution know that these means are effective? 

•How well are students achieving these outcomes? What data exist about how well students are able to apply these skills to subsequent coursework, employment, or other endeavors?


*  Evidence that the rationale for offering general education in distance education mode is communicated to students, employers, and other constituencies. 

*  Evidence that clear and complete information about degrees and certificates offered in DE/CE mode is made available to students in publications and course syllabi. 

   

Beyond Audit and Compliance: DE Excellence at SBVC 


Description:

•Are any of the institution’s general education courses offered in DE/CE mode? What is the rationale for this decision and is it stated clearly in its catalog? How is it communicated to all stakeholders?

By the time SBVC submitted the Substantive Change Proposal to the ACCJC in the spring of 2012, each category in every general education sequence could be satisfied by taking a course approved for distance education delivery.  Not every class in every category is approved for alternate delivery.  But every category in every general education pathway can be fulfilled by taking a class that is approved for distance education delivery.  This was clearly identified in that Substantive Change Proposal in 2012. [website--substantive change proposals]

The coverage of all the GE categories was not so much a planned event as it was a natural outcome of the growth of online offerings over the last decade at SBVC.  Online offerings in English, Political Science, Reading, and Health were added for departmental reasons.  But the effect was to, eventually, cover all the GE categories with classes approved for distance education.

The handbook for online students on SBVC's website includes a page clearly stating the fact that a student can complete the General Education requirements by taking courses offered in a Distance Education format. [website--certificates and degrees]

•What criteria does the college use to assure that the required skill level of students in DE/CE courses and programs meet collegiate standards and rigor?

 Prerequisites and co-requisites are determined as a part of the rigorous curriculum process at the college.  There is no differentiation for prerequisites because of mode of delivery.  The skill level of the transfer classes offered online would be the same skill level for an on campus class.  

•By what means does the institution ensure that the students develop the listed skills in DE/CE mode? How does the institution know that these means are effective?

 There are no prerequisites based on delivery mode.  Any prerequisite for a class offered in a distance education mode would be fulfilled the same way that the prerequisite would be fulfilled for an on campus class.  The effectiveness of the prerequisites are analyzed in the normal cycle of content review.  SBVC has created a generic orientation to online learning titled "Learn to Learn Online."  This is an optional tutorial to orient students to online learning at SBVC.  [website--Learn to Learn Online]

•How well are students achieving these outcomes? What data exist about how well students are able to apply these skills to subsequent coursework, employment, or other endeavors?

For the last three years, the Online Program Committee has deployed a Student Satisfaction Survey to all online students.  In the spring, 2014 iteration students responded to the question of whether they would take another online class with a 95% affirmation rate.  72% of the students said that they had taken an online class in a previous semester.  So there is a high rate of students returning to the online format and an extremely high rate of students saying they will continue to take classes in the online format.  [website--student satisfaction survey


Evaluation:

It is the opinion of the Online Program Committee that SBVC meets this standard in terms of Distance Education.

ACCJC Standard: II.A.6 

 

The institution assures that students and prospective students receive clear and accurate information about educational courses and programs and transfer policies. The institution describes its degrees and certificates in terms of their purpose, content, course requirements, and expected student learning outcomes. In every class section students receive a course syllabus that specifies learning outcomes consistent with those in the institution’s officially approved course outline. 


ACCJC Guide for Evaluating Distance Education (June, 2013)

 How does the institution assure that information about its DE/CE programs is clear and accurate? Are student learning outcomes in these programs included in descriptions of courses and programs? 

 How do students enrolled in DE/CE programs receive information about the institution’s degrees and certificates and in what format is the information available for reference? How does the institution verify that students receive a course syllabus that includes student learning outcomes and individual sections of courses adhere to the course objectives/learning outcomes? 

*  Evidence that clear and complete information about degrees and certificates offered in DE/CE mode is made available to students in publications and course syllabi. 


Beyond Audit and Compliance: DE Excellence at SBVC




Description:

 How does the institution assure that information about its DE/CE programs is clear and accurate? Are student learning outcomes in these programs included in descriptions of courses and programs? 

With the revision of the SBVC website in 2010, the information regarding distance education offerings came under the control of the Online Program Committee.  With that change in levels of permission, the committee created a robust hub of information.  The Online Program Committee verifies the accuracy of this information every semester. Since the student learning outcomes for a class are the same regardless of delivery mode,  the handbook for online students directs students to the portion of the college website that includes all the student learning outcomes for courses and programs. [website--online classes] [website--Online Learning Plan] [website--handbook for online students]

 How do students enrolled in DE/CE programs receive information about the institution’s degrees and certificates and in what format is the information available for reference? How does the institution verify that students receive a course syllabus that includes student learning outcomes and individual sections of courses adhere to the course objectives/learning outcomes? 

The printed catalog and the SBVC website are the two primary sources of information regarding courses and programs offered in the distance education format. Two portions of the website also provide extensive information about distance education courses and policies.  [website--college catalog] [website--Online Program Committee] [website--Online Classes]

Verification that students receive a syllabus with student learning outcomes and that courses adhere to the course outline of record happens at the division level.  

Evaluation:

It is the opinion of the Online Program Committee that SBVC meets this standard in terms of Distance Education.

ACCJC Standard: II.A.6.a

 

The institution makes available to its students clearly stated transfer-of-credit policies in order to facilitate the mobility of students without penalty. In accepting transfer credits to fulfill degree requirements, the institution certifies that the expected learning outcomes for transferred courses are comparable to the learning outcomes of its own courses. Where patterns of student enrollment between institutions are identified, the institution develops articulation agreements as appropriate to its mission. 


ACCJC Guide for Evaluating Distance Education (June, 2013)

 How does the institution develop, implement, and evaluate articulation agreements for DE/CE programs? What principles apply to the transfer of credit from other DE/CE programs where articulation arrangements do not exist? 

 What principles apply for the approval of granting of credit for prior work experience in the institution’s DE/CE programs? 

*  Evidence that articulation agreements including DE/CE courses exist and are regularly evaluated. 

*  Evidence that transfer policies are made available to students and how they apply to DE/CE

Beyond Audit and Compliance: DE Excellence at SBVC


Description:

 How does the institution develop, implement, and evaluate articulation agreements for DE/CE programs? What principles apply to the transfer of credit from other DE/CE programs where articulation arrangements do not exist? 

The college's articulation officer oversees all the articulation agreements for all programs, including those that offer classes in the distance education delivery mode.  The articulation agreements are evaluated when the content review process has an impact on a program.  Where there are potential limitations on articulation--such as speech performance classes, science lab classes, and foreign language classes--the articulation officer informs the relevant departments.  In addition, the articulation officer is a member of the Online Program Committee and keeps that committee informed of any developments regarding transfer. 

The SBVC website includes a page with information for students regarding transfer and articulation. [website--articulation and transfer]

 What principles apply for the approval of granting of credit for prior work experience in the institution’s DE/CE programs? 

 There are no instances where prior work experience is used as credit for a specific course offered in a distance education mode.

 

Evaluation:

It is the opinion of the Online Program Committee that SBVC meets this standard in terms of Distance Education.

ACCJC Standard: II.A.6.c

The institution represents itself clearly, accurately, and consistently to prospective and current students, the public, and its personnel through its catalogs, statements, and publications, including those presented in electronic formats. It regularly reviews institutional policies, procedures, and publications to assure integrity in all representations about its mission, programs, and services. 7 


ACCJC Guide for Evaluating Distance Education (June, 2013)

 Through what means does the institution represent itself about its DE/CE programs? How are these means reviewed? Are they effective in reaching the potential students for DE/CE programs? How does the institution know that they are effective? 

 Does the institution provide information to the public on student achievement in DE/CE programs? How does the institution ensure that information is current, accurate and aligned with the DE/CE provision? 

*  Evidence that publications and other representations of the college that relate to its DE/CE activities are clear and accurate. 


Beyond Audit and Compliance: DE Excellence at SBVC


Description:

The college's website is the primary means of distributing information regarding the online programs at SBVC.  The tab on the main page labeled "Online Classes" is a clear and visible entrance to the information needed by students who are thinking about taking online classes and who are already enrolled in online classes.  These links are effective in disseminating information because one of the links is almost always in the "most popular" links tracked dynamically by the website.  The other space in the website relevant to DE is the Online Program Committee pages.  The information there is more administrative and, therefore, relevant not so much to students as to the college community and outside review boards, such as ACCJC, to ensure that the quality of the DE programs is high and the polices and processes are transparent.  [webpage--SBVC Online Classes] [webpage--SBVC Online Program Committee]

Both the "Online Classes" section and the "Online Program Committee" section of the website are reviewed every semester by the Online Program Committee for accuracy and relevance.  [webpage--Online Learning Plan]

The college's website includes an online student handbook for online students.  One of the sections of that online student handbook includes information about student success in online classes.  Specifically, it includes information about retention and success as compared to all the other California Community Colleges.  This information is gathered each semester and added to the website by the Online Program Committee.  So students and the public at large have access to that data. [webpage--Online Student Success]



Evaluation:

It is the opinion of the Online Program Committee that SBVC meets this standard in terms of Distance Education.

 



 

ACCJC Standard:  II.A.7.b

II.A.7. In order to assure the academic integrity of the teaching-learning process, the institution uses and makes public governing board-adopted policies on academic freedom and responsibility, student academic honesty, and specific institutional beliefs or worldviews. These policies make clear the institution’s commitment to the free pursuit and dissemination of knowledge.  

II.A.7.b. The institution establishes and publishes clear expectations concerning student academic honesty and the consequences for dishonesty. 


 ACCJC Guide for Evaluating Distance Education (June, 2013)

• Does the institution have a college-wide policy on academic honesty? Does the policy address issues on academic honesty, including verification of student identity, in relation to registration for, participation in, and completion of DE/CE? 

• What mechanisms does the institution have for informing students and faculty about, and enforcing, its policies on academic honesty, including in DE/CE programs? Does the policy appropriately ensure the protection of student privacy in the verification process? 

• What mechanisms for verification of students enrolled in DE/CE programs does the institution have? Do these mechanisms include either a secure login and password and/or proctored exams and/or other effective technologies and practices for verifying student identity? Are the mechanisms regularly reviewed and how does the institution know that the mechanisms are effective in ensuring that the student who registers for a course is the same student who participates, completes, and receives credit the course? 

• How are policies and information about academic honesty and student verification made available to students, faculty, staff and the public? How does the college know that the promulgation of this information is effective? 

• Does the institution have any prevention strategies in place to promote student verification? Are faculty members encouraged to promote student verification in the design of DE/CE courses? Is academic integrity including student verification covered in staff training and development? (For practices on student verification refer to WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies at http://wcet.wiche.edu/wcet/docs/cigs/studentauthentication/BestPractices.pdf) 

• To what extent is institutional data about incidents of academic dishonesty available and what types of data are available?  

  • Evidence that the college has appropriate and effective mechanisms in place to verify that the students registered are the students participating in the DE/CE courses/programs and receiving the credit (student identity). 
  • Evidence that attendance in DE/CE courses is monitored. 
  • Evidence that the mechanisms for student verification appropriately protect the students’ privacy. 

  • Evidence of how these policies on academic honesty are disseminated to students enrolled in DE/CE programs. 

Beyond Audit and Compliance: DE Excellence at SBVC  


Description:

The SBVC college catalog includes a sub-section titled "Academic Dishonesty" as a part of the section on "Student Rights and Responsibilities." (page 26 of the 2014-15 SBVC catalog)  In 2014, that section of the catalog was edited to specifically include reference to students taking courses in the Distance Education mode.   "This policy on Academic Dishonesty applies to all students, including students taking online and hybrid classes."  Further, the Handbook for Online Students, included in SBVC's website, includes an expanded reference to academic honesty as it applies to Distance Education  students, specifically addressing student authentication and the students' responsibilities for upholding academic integrity.   [webpage--SBVC catalog] [website--Handbook for Online Students]

The mechanism used to verify that the student doing the work is the student getting credit for the work is a password-protected course management system.  The UserID for each student is the unique student ID number.  The initial password is that same student ID.  Students are reminded to change their passwords to something unique and with strong security so that their accounts will be protected.  [Link to Blackboard splash screen]

At every log in to the Blackboard server, the log in screen has this reinforcement of academic integrity.  "By clicking on a course link in Blackboard, I affirm that I am the student who is enrolled in the course.  Furthermore, I affirm that I understand and agree to follow the college's regulations regarding academic integrity.  Failure to abide by those regulations may result in disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion from the college. "  Further, there is a module on the Blackboard home page dealing with Academic integrity and reinforcing that statement.  Students cannot remove this module, so it is a reminder at the level of course entry.  [Link to Blackboard splash screen] [pdf--Blackboard landing page Academic Integrity]

In 2013, the District's Office of Distributed Learning began the process of selecting a product to help with plagiarism detection.  Turnitin and SafeAssign were evaluated by SBVC and Crafton Hills College.  In the spring of 2014, Turnitin was chosen as the product to best help the college detect plagiarism and to help support a culture of academic integrity.  

The statewide Academic Senate in California has encouraged online faculty to develop pedagogical strategies to supplement this password-protected security.  The Online Program Committee has had discussions about such strategies, and the online faculty are informed of such discussions and strategies through the periodic newsletter to online faculty. [website--Online Program Committee minutes]

In addition to the section in the college catalog dealing with academic honesty, there is a section in the Handbook for Online students that links, in specific detail, the application of academic integrity issues to classes offered in the Distance Education format.  A question on the accreditation self study survey found that 78% of respondents indicated that they either strongly agreed or agreed that they are familiar with SBVC's policies regarding academic honesty. [website--Handbook for Online Students]


Evaluation:

With a high turnover in administrators in the Student Services area, there are some gaps in the collection of information about academic dishonesty.  The newest VP of Student Services is charged with getting a handle on that piece of the puzzle.  When that happens, then it is the opinion of the Online Program Committee that SBVC meets this standard in terms of Distance Education. 

 

 

 

ACCJC Standard: II.A.8

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


ACCJC Guide for Evaluating Distance Education (June, 2013)

 Does the institution promote its distance education in foreign locations? How is the promotion of these activities overseas in line with the institution’s mission and the objectives for its DE/CE? 

 Does the institution enroll students who do not reside in the U.S. into programs? How does it ensure that the foreign students appropriately comply with the admission requirements for the programs? Are all students admitted to the programs recognized as U.S. students?  

* Evidence that the college’s admission policies are applied to students who do not reside in the U.S and who are not U.S. nationals. 


Beyond Audit and Compliance: DE Excellence at SBVC 


Description:

SBVC has no off campus sites in foreign countries.  However, SBVC admits students who are not citizens of the United States.  The specific rules that apply to International Students are described  on page 6 of the 2014-15 SBVC catalog.  The description of the program for International Students is also included on the college website.  So any student who has access to the web can get information about SBVC.  But there is no active marketing of SBVC in any foreign country.   Enrolling international students at SBVC does not, in any way, alter the mission of the college.  International students enrolling in Distance Education classes does not, in any way, alter the mission of the college.   [website-SBVC Catalog]  [website-SBVC Student Services--Specialized Programs--International Students]  

The International Student Services office oversees the process that ensures that all international students are in the country legally and that they fulfill the federal requirements for residency.  Furthermore, this office is also responsible for any specific law pertaining to Distance Education.  Those specific rules and regulations are included in the SBVC website to ensure transparency and clear communication. [website--Online Classes and International Students


Evaluation:

SBVC meets the standard in terms of distance education.