Curriculum is the heart of the mission of every college. College curriculum approval processes have been established to ensure that rigorous, high quality curriculum is offered that meets the needs of students. While some concerns may exist regarding the effectiveness and efficiency of local curriculum processes, all participants in the process must remember - and remind external stakeholders - that the faculty of the California community colleges have long worked to ensure that their college curriculum approval processes are sufficiently robust and deliberative to ensure that standards for high quality and rigor appropriate for college curriculum are met and maintained. Through their local senates and curriculum committees, California community college faculty are entrusted not only with the professional responsibility for developing high quality curriculum but also with the professional responsibility for establishing local curriculum approval processes and ensuring that local curriculum approval processes allow curriculum to be approved in a timely manner. Students are best served when curriculum approval processes are efficient and effective and when they ensure a focus on the quality and rigor of the curriculum. Therefore, local senates should periodically review their curriculum approval processes to determine if any improvements are needed and implement any necessary changes. This paper is intended to provide guidance to local senates and curriculum committees on effective practices for curriculum approval processes and to focus on the participatory governance aspects of curriculum. While guidance and effective practices for developing new courses and programs are beyond the scope of this paper, other ASCCC papers address these practices (e.g., The Course Outline of Record: A Curriculum Reference Guide
). The contents of the Fall 2015 white paper are incorporated in this document, with additional guidance provided regarding professional development and training related to local curriculum approval processes, providing sufficient resources for the college curriculum team, and guidance on separate distance education approval requirements.
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