Standard 4: Educational Programs
The Tri-Valley area has developed dramatically since 1995, and, therefore, LPC has grown substantially as well. LPC has been experiencing a minimum growth of between four percent and six percent in enrollment each year, from 1995 to 2000. The number of faculty has grown significantly, increasing 35.3 percent since the last accreditation. Within the next few years, if growth money continues, the College should move closer to compliance with AB 1725 that mandates that 75 percent of college instructional hours be taught by full-time faculty. The demographics of the LPC community have changed as well.
LPC plans to meet the evolving needs of its diverse student population through the Strategic Planning Team. The Team reviews College practices and processes, seeking a consistent vision that supports College efforts to meet its students' career, academic, personal growth, and life-long learning needs.
LPC has a strong commitment to planning and offering programs and courses that allow students to complete program requirements as announced and within a reasonable time. Administrators follow an understood practice when changing or eliminating programs; however, this process has not been well defined in writing. The scheduling of required program or degree and transfer courses is carefully executed and monitored at the department, division, and campus levels.
Any evidence of changing student needs gets special attention. Courses that fill and close early during registration are carefully monitored. Occasionally, when need is great, Division Deans work with discipline coordinators to provide additional sections as late-start classes. Recent efforts to provide new scheduling opportunities for students and offer more courses online further demonstrate College efforts to increase teaching and learning opportunities for faculty and students. Limited financial resources and impacted facilities constrain the College from growing as quickly as it could in an area of rapid population growth. Although many changes have occurred since the last accreditation, the growth of the region and the student population has been the greatest challenge at LPC. The student population will continue to grow, and at this point classrooms are full during morning, evening and night hours. LPC is sometimes unable to offer as courses as needed, due to facility limitations and instructor shortages. Steps are being taken to minimize faculty and facilities shortages through recruiting efforts, and through investigation of alternative classroom sites.
The scope of degree and certificate programs offered by LPC aligns with the institution's mission and interpreted purpose. The College provides dynamic spectrum of educational services from basic skills to occupational certificates to transferable Associate of Arts or Sciences degrees to employment training and opportunities.
Students who complete the language and computation courses required for the AA and AS degrees at LPC demonstrate competence in these skill areas. LPC complies with Title V by ensuring that students demonstrate competence in language skills.
Program faculty, formally and informally, document the competence of students completing technical and vocational training. The reports of external agencies and public bodies document this as well. Taking into account recommendations from the Advisory Boards, faculty implement program and curriculum changes as needed to ensure that students have the latest technical knowledge and vocational skills necessary for the job market.
The LPC Catalog defines grades and grade points, as well as College academic standards.
LPC allows the transfer of lower-division course work credit from accredited two- and four-year institutions. In accepting transfer credits to fulfill LPC degree requirements, the content of transfer courses must be equivalent to current LPC course standards. LPC determines that the credits accepted, including those for general education and major requirements, achieve comparable educational objectives.
LPC employs a wide range of delivery systems and instructional modes
to meet the curriculum objectives and student needs. Computers and other
technology are widely available and used in instruction, and non-traditional
courses and programs are in place to address student needs.
The Distance Education program at LPC is growing rapidly. During 2000-01, a new AA Online Degree Pilot Program was designed, developed and implemented.