Communications Program Review - Evergreen Valley College

By Tina Arnold,2014-09-26 09:14
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Communications Program Review - Evergreen Valley CollegeComm

Evergreen Valley College’s Mission:

    With student learning as our primary focus, Evergreen Valley College’s mission is to empower students to expand their human potential and to succeed in a global, multicultural society. We prepare students of all ages and backgrounds for balanced and productive lives, so they can ultimately improve the workforce and quality of life in our communities.

DEPARTMENT/PROGRAM NAME: Communication Studies Department

    PREPARED BY: Karen Rowe, John Carrion

    LAST REVIEW: 1999

    CURRENT YEAR: 2009- 2010

    AREA DEAN: Mark Gonzales


    The Communication Studies Department of Evergreen Valley College has existed since the inception of the school (1976). Our department offers a range of opportunities for students to acquire communication competence and confidence. Through our course offerings, students learn how to construct and deliver speeches to diverse audiences, advocate and critically debate ideas in social and political settings, appreciate diverse communication styles, work productively in task-oriented groups, and engage in rewarding interpersonal relationships. In our classrooms we strive to create a learning environment that is supportive and accessible to all students regardless of race, ethnicity, culture, gender, language, disability, sexual orientation, or religion, and to ensure every student has the opportunity to succeed in developing her/his own personal, academic, and career potential. Currently, we offer courses in: Interpersonal Communication (CS 10); Oral Communication (CS 20); Introduction to Argumentation (CS 40); and Small Group Communication (CS 45). In addition we offer a nine unit Communication Studies certificate. Course completion allows students to satisfy admission requirements to either CSU or UC as well as California Independent universities.

    The Communication Department is one of the most successful disciplines at EVC. The following areas of strengths validate this assessment. Our exemplary faculty received certificates, awards, and recognition from the Service Learning Program, the Asian Pacific American Association, the Maestro Del Ano - Enlace Program, and the ASPIRE Program. Our communication department continues to reach out to full time workers in the community by offering weekend courses and communication classes in EVC's Accelerated Program. All of this is reflected in our student success rates. From the fall 2007 to spring 2009, the overall success rates for communication studies courses ranged between 70% to 77%. These success rates are higher than the overall success rates for the same semesters at EVC, which range from 62% to 65%.

    Especially with the dire economic situation at EVC, we fully understand that our campus community faces a plethora of increased demands with fewer resources. And thus far, our

    communication department has dealt with many challenges without substantial losses to our program. Areas our department will continue to work on are redeploying current teaching resources and creating new ones, to add to the overall strength of our program. Further, we must do more than maintain our deep and helpful relationships across campus. We must forge new partnerships in our own campus community and increase the level of coordination with San Jose City College, San Jose State University, local high schools, and our community.

PART A: Overview of Program

    Program Description

    1. Identify EVC’s CTA’s for this year:

    A. Student Centered:

    “Provide access to quality and efficient programs and services to increase retention and

    meet student goals.”

    B. Organizational Transformation

     “Create a trusting environment where everyone is valued and empowered.”

    C. Community Engagement:

    “Transform college image and enhance partnerships with community, business, and

    educational institutions.”

    2. Identify your program/department’s CTA for this year.

    A. Student Centered:

    ; Develop and maintain Communication Studies website.

    ; Revise communication certificate to reflect current trends and needs of students.

    ; Expand use of technology in the classroom.

    ; Update audio-visual library.

    ; Improve Access - Coordinate Communication classes with other programs to reduce

    course conflict. ; Updated curriculum to reflect current trends and needs of students.

    ; Provide services by offering ASPIRE Communication workshops and tutoring.

    B. Organizational Transformation:

    ; Develop PPD session on conflict resolution

    ; Attend relevant educational development programs.

    ; Schedule a designated department meeting hour.

    C. Community Engagement:

    ; Participate in Service Learning Program

    ; Enhance communication between faculty members.

    ; Participated in high school visits promoting EVC Communications courses.

    ; Invite speakers focusing on communication and diversity in the community.

    ; Create partnerships with local elementary and middle schools for teacher development

    through KinderCaminita.

    ; Create “Communication in the Workplace” workshops in conjunction with local businesses.

    3. How did your program/department meet the overall CTA of the College? Describe how your program/department met the overall CTA of the College? Describe areas where your

    program/department needs improvement to meet the overall CTA of the College. Describe specific plan to achieve this goal.

    A. Student Centered CTAs met:

    ; Increased afternoon enrollment in Communication Studies courses.

    ; Added late afternoon Oral Communication and Introduction to Argumentation class.

    ; Scheduled evening classes for all courses covered in the certificate.

    ; Served as faculty advisors for student clubs.

    ; Participated in EVC Kicks It Outside event.

    ; Participate in Service Learning Program.

    ; Participated in Honors Program.

    ; Participated in FasTrack program.

    ; Participated in Aspire program.

    ; Hired third full-time tenure-track faculty member in Fall 2007.

    ; Updated course outlines for all courses.

    ; Developed Student Learning Objectives for all courses.

    B. Organizational Transformation CTAs met:

    ; Members of the Communication Studies faculty participated in shared governance by

    serving on:

    o Academic Faculty Senate

    o Curriculum Committee

    o Archives Committee

    o standing committees

    o tenure review committees

    o screening committees

    C. Community Engagement met:

    ; Participated in Service Learning Program

    ; Participated in KinderCaminita

    ; Invited high profile community speakers to college to address communication and


    Each of our departments CTAs was created to help reach a goal set forth by the CTA of the college. Student Centeredness, Organizational Transformation and Community Engagement have been at the core of all our CTAs and each one relates to a desired area of focus for the College. As outlined above (#2&#3), there is no area that has not been addressed by our department.

    4. Identify

    A. Analysis of unmet goals:

    ; Create and update Communication Department webpage.

    - Lack of adequate training and access to web administrator.

    - The communication faculty is committed to creating and implementing a communication

    department webpage. The department will continue to meet and discuss with the ITSS

    department in creating a Communication Department webpage.

    ; Provide field trips that focus on communication to enrich student's learning


    - Due to budget constraints, funding for field trips were unavailable.

    - The department will continue to meet and discuss alternate funding resources

    such as more communication fundraisers and/or outside sponsors.

    ; Broaden the curriculum to incorporate online communication course.

    - We need to redefine the role of technology while maintaining standards of quality

    to improve upon the best of traditional teaching. The ability to enrich the

    student’s learning experience through an online course while still providing the

    importance of face to face human interaction is a constant debate in the

    communication discipline. Our next and ongoing challenge is to design

    experimental hybrid and/or on-line courses that maintain the integrity of our


    - The communication department will continue to meet and discuss with the Instructional

    Technology department the advantages and disadvantages of creating communication on-line

    classes. We will also continue to dialogue with other community colleges regarding their

    successes and failures in offering communication on-line courses.

    B. Accomplishments of the Communication Studies Department:

    ; Increased afternoon enrollment in Communication Studies afternoon courses. ; Updated Communication Certificate to reflect current course offerings.

    ; Hired new Communication Instructor that specializes in Argumentation.

    ; Increase success rates of ASPIRE Students from 55% to 73%.

    ; Invited high profile speakers from our community to educate our students.

     - i.e. Speakers Congressman Mike Honda, News Reporter Robert Handa, Council

     Member Madison Nguyen.

    ; Provided tutoring for communication students with excessive communication anxiety.

    - Students meet with tutors and work on a one-on-one basis in ASPIRE Program

    and Student Learning Center.

    C. 3 new initiatives:

    ; Offer a Communication Scholarship.

    ; Offer PDD workshop that focuses on conflict-resolution communication skills. ; Broaden the communication curriculum to reflect current community needs.

    5. State the goals and focus of this department/program and explain how the program contributes

    to the mission, comprehensive academic offerings, and priorities of the College and district.

    The Communications Studies Department fulfills EVCs mission by providing multicultural

    experiences and satisfying the admission requirements to CSU, UC, and California

    independent universities. Our courses meet the needs of the community by enabling students

    to become proficient in a range of communication skills designed to enhance their personal

    and professional growth. Due to financial constraints, the program is not as broad as we

    would like it to be, but the depth of the existing programs is quite satisfactory. 6. Identify current student demographics. If there are changes in student demographics, state how the program is addressing these changes.

    Student demographics were reviewed from Fall 2005 through Spring 2009. The

    student demographics, based on age and ethnicity, for the Communication Studies

    courses showed limited variability over the four years reviewed.

    Similar to the college, the largest percentage of the students is between the ages of

    18-22. However, in the communication courses, the percentage of students in this age

    category is much higher than the college, 71% vs. 51% college-wide. Therefore, the

    communication courses have fewer students in the 25-50+ age categories compared to

    the college, resulting in younger students enrolling in the courses. Additionally, the

    data suggests that more students taking communication studies are registered for 12

    units or greater as compared to the college, over 50% compared to 30% college-wide.

    The percentages of ethnic groups represented in the Communication Studies Courses

    closely align with the college demographics and had limited variability over time.

    During Spring 2009, the majority of the students enrolled in Communications Studies

    identified with Latino/a, 36% compared to 34% college-wide; Vietnamese 18%

    compared to 20% college wide; Filipino 10% compared to 9% college-wide. Ten

    percent of the students enrolled self identified as white students, which is slightly

    higher than the college’s 8%. A detailed analysis of EVC student demographics can

    be viewed in Appendix A and for the Communication studies courses in Appendix B. 7. Identify enrollment patterns of the department/program in the last six years and analyze the pattern.

    The enrollment patterns for Communication Studies were reviewed from 2004 through 2009. Table 1 delineates total offerings by course in fall and spring semesters. Table 2 reviews the total offerings by course during summer sessions. Since minimal courses were offered during intersession, these will be discussed in narrative format.

    As noted in table 1, COMS 020 has shown the greatest enrollment growth from 6 section offerings in fall 2004 to 9 offerings in fall 2009. These course sections have consistently filled and maintained targeted productivity. Both COMS 040 and 045 showed growth increasing by two sections from 2004 to 2009 and COMS 010 has consistently maintained two course offerings, meeting productivity goals.

    The majority of the course offerings are during the day. Each course only offers one evening section. Based on enrollment data, one evening offering per course either filled or closely met capacity; however, enrollment numbers were lower than the day offerings. Therefore, having one evening section of each of the courses meets the needs of the evening students.

    Table 1: Communication Studies Fall/Spring Course Offerings

    Course Fa 04 Sp 05 Fa 05 Sp 06 Fa 06 Sp 07 Fa 07 Sp 08 Fa 08 Sp 09 Fa 09

    2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 COMS


    6 7 8 9 8 9 10 10 10 11 9 COMS


    3 4 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 4 5 COMS


    4 3 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 4 6 COMS


    Similar to fall and spring semesters, COMS 020 had the largest enrollment growth from two to five offerings during summer sessions. The majority of the course offerings filled or closely met capacity.

    Table 2: Communication Studies Summer Course Offerings

    Course Su 05 Su 06 Su 07 Su 08 Su 09

    COMS 010 1 1 1 1 1

    COMS 020 2 2 4 5 5

    COMS 040 1 1 1 1 1

    COMS 045 2 2 2 1 2

    Since Intersession 2005, the communication course offerings ranged from one to four courses. Intersession 2009 offered the most sections, total of four; including two COMS 020, and one

    each of COMS 040 and COMS 045. COMS 020 has consistently been offered since Intersession 2005. In most sessions, communication courses filled to capacity and met productivity goals.

    Overall, the Communication Studies courses have experienced enrollment growth and have filled to capacity. Therefore, the current class offerings seem to be sufficient to meet the needs of the students.

    8. Identify department/program productivity.

    The Communication Studies courses are consistently productive, with the WSCH/FTEF reaching or exceeding the 525 benchmark. The analysis includes cumulative Communication Studies

    course offerings from Fall 2005 through Spring 2009. For actual productivity scores, see Appendix B.

    9. Identify student success rate and patterns within the department/program paying particular attention to our college’s target groups.

    From Fall 2007 to Spring 2009, the overall success rates for communication studies courses ranged between 70% to 77%. These success rates are higher than the overall success rates for the same semesters at the college, which range from 62% to 65%.

    Over the span Fall 2007 through Spring 2009, the largest student group with the highest success rates in the communication studies courses were the Asian Vietnamese students. In Spring 2008, the success rate of the Vietnamese students was 73% in comparison with two other large student groups, the Latino/a (61%) and African American (68%) students. Based on these findings, the faculty in communication studies will initiate discussions with the special programs Enlace and AFFIRM to draw on their expertise and consider what might be done to more specifically address the needs of these students. If resources allow, the faculty would be open to offering an AFFIRM and Enlace communication sections.

    The faculty may also utilize classroom assessment techniques (CAT) to measure the progress of the student’s understanding of the content. In addition to these assessments, as the college learns more through Achieving The Dream, the faculty will integrate strategies that will make our program even more successful.

    10. If the program utilizes advisory boards and/or professional organizations, describe their roles.

    Although the department actively engages with other groups, colleagues, and community

    members, we do not currently utilize advisory boards.

    Part B: Curriculum

    . Identify all courses offered in the program and describe how the courses offered in 1

    the program meet the needs of the students and the relevant discipline(s).

    These are the Communication courses offered at EVC:

    A. COMS-010 Interpersonal Communication (Needed to complete Communications

    Studies Certificate. Meeting the EVC needs of working professional and the EVC

    community at large.)

    B. COMS-020 Oral Communication (Needed to transfer to a CSU. Needed to complete

    Communications Studies Certificate. Meeting the EVC needs of working professional

    and the EVC community at large.)

    C. COMS-040 Introduction to Argument (Needed to transfer to a CSU. Needed to

    complete Communications Studies Certificate. Meeting the EVC needs of working

    professional and the EVC community at large.)

    D. COMS-045 Small Group Communication (Needed to transfer to a CSU. Needed to

    complete Communications Studies Certificate. Meeting the EVC needs of working

    professional and the EVC community at large.)

    E. COMS -098 Directed Study in Communication Studies (Meeting the needs of

    individual students who wish to transfer and/or wish to deepen their knowledge on a

    particular subject.)

    All of these communication courses focus on communicating successfully with people from different cultures.

    Students must successfully complete a college-level course in Communication Studies to receive either an Associate in Arts, Associate of Science degree and/or be accepted in EVC's Nursing Program. This requirement is typically met by completing one of the following: Interpersonal, Oral, Group, or Intro to Argument. Also, our department offer courses fulfilling two of the three areas in the General Education Requirements regarding CSU transfer.

    General Education Requirements for CSU

    Area A: Communication In The English Language And Critical Thinking

    A1 Com S 10, 20, 40, 45. 3.0 units

    A3 Com S 40. 3.0 units

Communication Certificate

    The Communication Studies Program offers a Communication Studies Certificate to students who successfully complete ten or more units of communication studies course work. This certificate will inform future employers, college admissions offices, graduate schools, and professional institutions that the recipient has specialized training in speech communication


    The courses required to complete the Communication Certificate of Specialization are the following:

    COMS-010 Interpersonal Communication OR 3.0

    COMS-020 Oral Communication 3.0

    COMS-040 Introduction to Argumentation 3.0

    COS-045 Small Group Communication 3.0

    Total Units 9.0

    All Communication Studies courses are articulated with CSU and UC systems and focus on communicating with people from different cultures.

    2. State how the program has remained current in discipline.

    Faculty has remained current in the discipline by attending conferences, workshops and meeting to exchange teaching methodology. All conferences focused on communication, diversity and developing curriculum.

    The textbooks and materials used are the most up to date editions.

    All of the communication courses taught at EVC include the required SLOs.

    All of the communication courses adhere to the philosophy and standards of the National Communication Association, 2010. Please refer to link:

    3. All course outlines in this program should be reviewed and, if appropriate, revised every six years. If this has not occurred, please list the courses and present a plan for completing the process. (curriculum recency)

    ; All communication courses have been updated in the last six years.

4. Identify and describe innovative pedagogy your department/program

    developed/offered to maximize student learning and success. How did they impact student learning and success?

    Through attendance at local and national conferences, instructors have kept abreast of the latest developments in communication studies teaching and learning, and have used a variety

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