3.4.10 Responsibility For Curriculum

The institution places primary responsibility for the content, quality, and effectiveness of the curriculum with its faculty.


JUDGMENT: Compliant


Each educational program at Southwest Texas Junior College, and all related curricula, are created, reviewed, and changed primarily by the SWTJC faculty. The SWTJC Faculty Handbook outlines faculty responsibility in the planning and approval of instructional programs.  The Curriculum Committee is the College’s official recommending body for discussing curricular issues, including monitoring the quality and effectiveness of educational programs. The Curriculum Committee is composed of 25 members, 5 of whom are full-time faculty. Five other members are the Division Chairs, who represent their faculty; they come from the full-time faculty ranks, and continue to teach in their current duties.  The procedures for presenting a recommended change to courses and/or programs are outlined in the SWTJC Faculty Handbook.

Curriculum content and student learning outcomes are developed by SWTJC Faculty using descriptions in the State’s Lower Division Academic Course Guide Manual (ACGM)and the Workforce Education Course Manual (WECM). In addition, for specific course content, SWTJC faculty have developed Master Syllabi for all courses taught at the College. These syllabi contain required course resources, suggested outcomes measures, and student learning objectives. The syllabi are approved by discipline faculty, Division Chairs, and Deans.

The Program Review Process is utilized at SWTJC for each program to ensure quality program instruction.  The process is on a five- year cycle, or more frequently if necessary, and is conducted by the Program Review Committee, composed of the Dean of Liberal Arts, Dean of Applied Sciences, Dean of Workforce Education, one technical program faculty representative, and one faculty representative from the academic department. The program review process includes a Program Self-Assessment and Program Review Report. The Program Self-Assessment report allows program faculty to do an overall program self-review. The Program Review report allows the committee to do an in depth review of all aspects of the program, including: enrollment, curriculum, finances, facilities, equipment, outcomes assessment and planning. Program Review results are discussed with the program faculty, presented to the SWTJC Curriculum Committee, and finally to the President’s Cabinet. Results of the Program Review are shared with technical program Advisory Committees.  Recommendations for the program are then inserted as goals within the program’s Unit Action Plan (UAP).

A recent illustration of the foundational role of faculty in development of program content and of effectiveness measures is the 2014 General Education Core Curriculum. SWTJC’s General Education Committee met from January, 2012 to April, 2013 revise the College’s General Education Core Curriculum from 47 to 42 semester hours, in response to a State mandate. The committee, comprising 11 faculty and 2 staff members, recommended courses eligible for the Core Foundation Component areas. In addition, discipline faculty collaborated to create the assignments in Core courses to assess the Core Objectives of Critical Thinking skills, Communication skills, Empirical and Quantitative skills, Teamwork, Personal Responsibility, and Social Responsibility. Furthermore, at “Assessment Summits,” faculty comprise the teams which assess the student responses to those assignments.

SWTJC utilizes a number of measures to evaluate the quality and effectiveness of its curriculum. College faculty have developed Unit Action Plans (UAP’s) to set curricular goals and establish measures to assess the achievement of those goals. 

Still another example of the SWTJC faculty’s central responsibility for the content, quality, and effectiveness of the curriculum relates to distance education. The College has three standing committees which are charged with first-line oversight of video-conferencing, hybrid, and online classes. The Video Conference Committee, the Online Committee, and the Distance Education Committee. Each has a minimum of eight faculty members. These committees evaluate proposals for the development of new distance education courses, monitor technology needs, and periodically review courses for adherence to quality standards. At the writing of this Compliance Certificate, the Distance Education Committee is preparing a rubric for the evaluation of online courses. Categories for review are overall design, navigational information, technological requirements, and clarity of presentation.


SWTJC Faculty Handbook, 2014 pp. 31-34
SWTJC Curriculum Committee Minutes Sample
SWTJC Faculty Handbook, 2014, p. 120
SWTJC Faculty Handbook, 2014, p. 53-55
Academic Course Guide Manual Spring 2014
Workforce Education Course Manual
SWTJC Master Template Syllabi
SWTJC Unit Action Plan Wildlife
SWTJC General Education Meeting, September 21, 2014
SWTJC Assessment Summit Roster
SWTJC Unit Action Plan Math
SWTJC Faculty Handbook, 2014, p. 132
SWTJC Faculty Handbook, 2014, p. 127
SWTJC Faculty Handbook, 2014, p. 121


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