American Bar Association Standing Committee on Paralegals 321 North Clark Street Mail Stop 19.1 Chicago, Illinois

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1 American Bar Association Standing Committee on Paralegals 321 North Clark Street Mail Stop 19.1 Chicago, Illinois APPLICATION FOR REAPPROV AL OF PARALEGAL EDUCATION PROGRAM Institution Name: The Community College of Aurora Program Name: Community College of Aurora Paralegal Program Address: 9235 E. 10 th Drive, Building 859 City: Aurora State: Colorado Zip: Telephone Number: (303) Fax Number: (303) Institution Website URL: Program Website URL: We hereby certify that the information and materials contained in this report and supporting exhibits is complete and accurate to the best of our knowledge. Institution President or Dean: Richard Gentile-Dean of Instruction, Legal Studies Signature: 1E~1 Program Director: Margaret Ann Uchner Address of Program Director: Margaret. U Signature:. I r hi I Date Submitted: May 11, American Bar Association All rights reserved. The American Bar Association hereby grants permission for copies of these Corms to be made by any institution of higher learning or for use by not-cor-profit organizations, providedthat no lee is assessed or royalty is paid. Requests to reproduce materials in any other manner should be addressed to: Copyrights & Contracts Department, American Bar Association. 321 North Clark Street, Chicago. IL ; Telephone: (312) ; Facsimile: (312) ; Produced by the Standing Committee on Paralegals Page 1

2 American Bar Association Standing Committee on Paralegals UNIFORM TABLE OF EXHIBITS Include only the exhibits listed and identify with the specified number. If an exhibit does not apply to the program, indicate that it is not applicable. Exhibits marked * must be provided in the format shown. Exhibit 1 Exhibit 2 Exhibit 3 Exhibit 4 Exhibit 5 Exhibit 6 Exhibit 7 Exhibit 8 Exhibit 9 Exhibit 10 Exhibit 11 Exhibit 12 Exhibit 13 Exhibit 14 Exhibit 15 Exhibit 16 Exhibit 17 Exhibit 18 Exhibit 19 Exhibit 20 Exhibit 21 Exhibit 22 Exhibit 23 Exhibit 24 Exhibit 25 Exhibit 26 Enrollment Chart/Students by Program Option* Number of Graduates by Program Option* Organization Chart(s) Advisory Committee Members* Advisory Committee Guidelines or Procedures Advisory Committee Minutes Advertisements and Announcements to Recruit Faculty Composition of Paralegal Program Faculty by Gender and Ethnic Background* Expenditures and Budgets* Assessment Plan/Analysis & Summary of Assessment Results Curriculum for Each Program Option* Exemptions from General Education and Total Unit Requirements* List of Legal Specialty Courses by Term* Legal Specialty Course Information Sheet* Information on Courses Offered in Alternative Formats (if applicable)* Assessment Results for Courses Offered in Alternative Formats (if applicable) Resumes of Persons with Responsibilities for Program Direction Faculty Participation in Professional Development* Faculty Meeting Minutes List of Faculty Members* Resumes of Faculty Members All Promotional Material used by Program Employment and Continuing Education Information on Graduates* Promotional Material for Continuing Education Courses (if applicable) Written Agreement with External Library (if applicable) Inventory of Required Library Resources Page 2

3 American Bar Association Standing Committee on Paralegals SECTION I GENERAL INFORMATION G-101 through G-107 A. Name of the Program: Community College of Aurora Paralegal Program B. 1. Please check the name of the accrediting agency by which the institution is accredited: Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools New England Association of Schools and Colleges X North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools Council on Occupational Education New York State Board of Regents (G-302(c)) 2. Please indicate the date of the most recent reaffirmation of accreditation. November 17, Please indicate the current status of the institution s accreditation. Accredited. C. Program Options: 1. Please complete the following for each program option in paralegal studies offered by the institution. (Note: Program option is defined in G-103.A). Type of Program Option Name of Program Date Students (i.e., BA/BS; AAS/AA/AS; MA/MS; Option First Admitted Certificate [Specify type, such as (i.e., Paralegal Studies, Legal To Option post-baccalaureate]; Minor, etc.) Studies, Nurse Paralegal, Legal Nurse Consultant, etc.) AGS (Discontinued 2009) Paralegal Fall 1988 N/A AAS Management/Paralegal Emphasis Fall 1988 Date Option Approved by ABA (If not approved as part of your initial approval) N/A Page 3

4 AGS Paralegal Fall 2011 February 2011 AAS Paralegal Fall 2011 February 2011 Certificate Paralegal February 1993 N/A 2. Did you notify the Standing Committee on Paralegals in advance of offering any new program options or ceasing to offer an approved program option? We did not notify the Standing Committee on Paralegals in advance of the cessation of a program option. We have now notified the Committee and have been informed that they have received all of the information that was requested. We notified the Standing Committee on Paralegals in advance of offering two new program options. The ABA has approved the program options. 3. Complete Exhibit 1, showing the number of students enrolled in each program option listed in item C.1 for the past four years. See Exhibit Complete Exhibit 2, showing the number of graduates in each program option listed in item C.1 for the past seven years. See Exhibit Does the program offer a minor which it does not consider a program option? If so, how do you demonstrate that the minor should not be considered a program option? No. D. Location of the Program: 1. Are legal specialty courses offered at locations other than the main campus of the institution? If so, please provide the following information: No. a. The addresses of all other locations and the distance from the main campus. Not applicable. b. For each location, provide a list of all legal specialty courses offered there for each of the past four years. Not applicable. Page 4

5 2. Did you notify the Standing Committee on Paralegals in advance of offering courses at a new or additional location? Not applicable. E. Does the institution offer any programs for the education of paralegals, as defined in G-103 of the Guidelines, which are not included in this report? If so, describe and explain. (G-106.A) No. F. State verbatim each recommendation and compliance issue from the site team report of your last site visit and from any related follow-up visits. After each recommendation and compliance issue state the actions that the program has taken to address each issue. MANDATORY ACTIONS NEEDED TO MEET GUIDELINES: 1. A manager of paralegals [and a public sector attorney] who is not a faculty member must be added to the Advisory Committee. [G-203 A.] The Advisory Committee has members from all of the areas specified in G-203. See Exhibit To realistically reflect the level of practical skills training being provided by the Program and to adequately reflect the depth of legal courses, syllabi must be drafted to reflect a more complete description of the practical assignments to be completed in and detailed subject coverage for each class. [G-301 B. 3. and G-302 I. 1. h.] The Program continues to use syllabi that reflect complete descriptions of practical assignments and that detail subject coverage. 3. The Program must implement a process for graduate surveys whereby all graduates are surveyed within six months of graduation. [G-301 E. and G-502] The Program has been inconsistent with the six month survey requirement. The Program has resolved this issue with the assistance of CCA s Institutional Research Department and has a new survey to send to graduates within six months of their graduation. 4. The Program must adopt a policy limiting the number of legal specialty credits that can be earned through transfer or examination. [G-302 I. 6. a.] The Program has revised its policy on transfer credits, credit for prior learning, credit for life experience and credit by examination, and the policy has been incorporated into the Paralegal Program Student Handbook. Page 5

6 5. All College literature (including print and electronic) containing references to the Program must be revised to consistently reflect the fact that paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public except as permitted by law. [G-501 A. 3.] The references to the Program contained in all College literature, including print and electronic, have been revised to consistently reflect that paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public except as permitted by law. 6. The Career Development Job Search Center should make a more conscious effort to become aware of the needs of paralegal students and to integrate its offerings with these needs. [G-502] The college no longer has a formal career center. The Program Coordinator gives students information about job openings when they are received. One of the members of the Advisory Committee is in the legal job placement field and is available to assist students with placement. 7. While the resources available meet Guidelines, the legal collection needs to be continually expanded, especially to include more practice manuals and form books covering all areas of legal specialty taught in the Program. Periodicals from both major national paralegal associations must be added. [G-601 G. 6. and G-601 G. 7.] The Program has expanded the legal collection available to students, including more practice manuals, treatises and form books. Many resources that were previously housed at a municipal library have been moved to the campus that houses the Paralegal Program and is more accessible to the students. For years, CCA subscribed to periodicals from both major national paralegal associations. It was discovered that these subscriptions had lapsed inadvertently during a change of library personnel. The library has renewed its subscriptions to these magazines. SUGGESTED ACTIONS TO IMPROVE AND STRENGTHEN PROGRAM: 1. The College should remain committed to continually reviewing the resources it allocates to the Program to ensure that all Program leadership functions are realistically met and that the total time and effort devoted to leadership of the Program are adequate to accomplish the functions set forth in the Guidelines. [G- 202 and G-402 A.] The college has remained committed to the Program through the allocation of resources. In July, a new Dean of Instruction was hired. The Program is one of the divisions for which he is responsible. He is aware of the needs of the Program, is supportive, and advises CCA s Cabinet about the Program. 2. There is not consistent attendance by a cross-section of the Advisory Committee. Additional members in all areas could be added to increase the size of the Advisory Page 6

7 Committee, and attention should be paid to attendance so that non-attending members can be removed, thereby ensuring continued representation of all segments of the Committee. [G-203 A.] The attendance of the Advisory Committee members has been more consistent. Members that are not participating have been removed. The Advisory Committee is more actively involved in the Program than in past years. 3. While the Program is to be commended on the diversity of its student body, there are still few minority faculty in the Program. Outreach efforts to address issue this should be ongoing. [G-204 B.] Although outreach is made to groups that could provide qualified minority faculty, there is still a lack of ethnic diversity in the faculty. 4. In meeting the demands of the Program-specific employer and graduate survey processes and in an effort to meet its requirement to provide complete and accurate statistical reporting, the College should utilize the Institutional Research division, in cooperation with the Program Coordinator, for the completion of these tasks. [G- 301 E.] Employer surveys are not conducted by Institutional Research, and when conducted by the Program have been of little or no use to meet the stated objective. The Advisory Committee is working on establishing focus groups to assist in compliance with the objectives. The Program Coordinator has met with Institutional Research to strengthen accurate statistical reporting. 5. More attention should be given to ensuring that students have appropriate technology skills other than legal research through the implementation of a technology-specific course or integration of technology skills within each legal course. [G-302 G. and G-601] The Program is ensuring that technology skills are included in more legal courses whenever appropriate. For example, students in Family Law are using the Colorado State Judicial Branch website s property settlement and child support calculators as well as learning about the court s e-filing system. Students in Civil Litigation also work with e- filing. An Advanced Litigation course, which was designed to give students training on related software, was offered. Because of low enrollment, a modified version of this course was presented as a short seminar with no cost to the students and they did not receive credit. The Advisory Committee has a newly established subcommittee to deal with technology for the students. One of the tasks of the subcommittee is to assist in designing a class on technology and obtaining necessary software. There is a technology course that is being created and will be offered in the fall of 2011 or spring of Page 7

8 6. The College should consider taking stronger steps to ensure that a rational sequencing plan is followed for its legal courses and that diligent advising is being provided to Program students in this regard. [G-302. I. 2.] The Program accomplishes proper sequencing through a system of prerequisites that are programmed into the registration system. The Program Coordinator has met with Advising to discuss the sequencing plan. The faculty have provided input that will improve student success in their courses. Changes will be made to reflect this input. 7. Legal Research instructors should remain cognizant of the fact that students must learn traditional research methods preliminarily to the teaching of electronic research methods so that students are able to perform legal research proficiently by both methods. [G-302 I. 4. and G-601 J.] The Legal Research & Writing instructors teach traditional research methods before introducing online computer research. They also have included two trips to libraries to show the students how to do traditional research. Included in the class are practical assignments using traditional research methods. 8. All adjunct faculty should participate in professional training and faculty meetings to demonstrate their commitment as teachers. [G-401 F. and H.] The Program has continued to encourage and provide incentives, including pay, for adjunct faculty to attend faculty development classes and in-service trainings provided by the College. Faculty also participate in outside professional training. 9. Paralegal-related books and periodicals located within the Coordinator s office should be moved to either the Library or the Learning Resource Center for better access by students. [G-601] SECTION II Paralegal-related books and periodicals are in the CCA law library. ORGANIZATION AND ADMINISTRATION G-201 through G-206 A. State the specific goals and explicit objectives of the program. Indicate where these goals and objectives are published, e.g., college catalog, program brochures, websites, etc. (G- 201.A) The primary program goal is to provide quality and meaningful education so that when students enter the workforce they are prepared to perform their jobs ethically, effectively, and professionally. Page 8

9 Program objectives: Upon receiving their certificate, graduates should be able to: 1. Demonstrate knowledge of the paralegal s role in delivering quality legal services. 2. Exhibit clear understanding of their ethical obligations when engaging in their profession. 3. Perform the job of a paralegal utilizing the necessary practical skills and knowledge expected of someone in the profession. 4. Demonstrate strong organizational skills. 5. Work well for and with others in the job setting. 6. Demonstrate strong communication skills, both written and oral. The goals and objectives will be published in the student handbook and on the website. B. Provide an organizational chart showing (1) the academic unit within the institution where the paralegal program is situated; (2) the title of the person to whom the program director reports; and (3) where the program fits within the structure of the institution. Include the chart as Exhibit 3 and highlight the placement of the paralegal program. (G-201.B - E) See Exhibit 3. C. Provide information on the advisory committee: 1. Complete Exhibit 4, showing the members of the paralegal program s advisory committee. See Exhibit Include as Exhibit 5 copies of any written guidelines or procedures governing advisory committee activities. See Exhibit How are advisory committee members appointed? What are the appointment terms? The members of the Advisory Committee are chosen by the Program Coordinator with the advice of the current members of the Committee. Members will be selected based on needs as outlined in the ABA guidelines. Members will serve an initial three-year term which may be extended to fit the needs of the Committee. Members may be removed from the Committee for lack of commitment and participation. 4. If the committee has any subcommittees, indicate the specific areas of responsibility, the names of current members, and how often they meet. The Advisory Committee recently formed subcommittees. They are in the areas of Surveys, Technology, Web Content, Marketing, and LinkedIn. Page 9

10 Member / committee assignments: Surveys: Mianne Besser, Jo Kennedy Technology: Louise Lella, Robin Rossenfeld, Jason McCord Web: Margaret Ann Uchner, Janie Lemmers, Jo Kennedy, Tim Wilkerson Marketing: Scott Uyeoka, John McMullen, Mary Tierney, Jim Evans LinkedIn: Jason McCord, Robin Rossenfeld Based on their expertise, some members are able to serve on more than one subcommittee. The Marketing subcommittee met on 11/03/10 to familiarize everyone with the College s current advertising plan, define goals, discuss outreach strategies and marketing ideas for attracting new students. The Web Content subcommittee met on 11/03/10 to define goals, critique current Web page placement and content and to discuss improvements in layout. They participated in telephone conference on 03/14/11 to update everyone on the progress. 5. List below the dates of each advisory committee meeting and any subcommittee meetings held during the past four years. Include as Exhibit 6 copies of the minutes of these meetings. The minutes must include the dates of the meetings, the names of those in attendance, and a record of substantive discussions. (G-203) The dates of the Advisory Committee meetings were: November 28, 2007; November 19, 2008; January 21, 2009; May 27, 2009; August 19, 2009; August 11, 2010; November 3, 2010; January 26, Subcommittee meetings: Web-content/Technology met on January 26, 2011 and again on March 14, The Marketing subcommittee met on January 26, See Exhibit 6. D. Describe the procedures by which the institution maintains equality of opportunity and seeks to avoid prohibited discrimination regarding the treatment of personnel and students. 1. Where does the institution publish its non-discrimination policy or affirmative action plan relating to students and personnel? The college publishes its policy in the college catalog and on its website. 2. Where does the institution publish its policy or procedures for the accommodation of students and personnel with disabilities? The college publishes its policy and procedure in the college catalog, the website and in each course syllabus. Page 10

11 3. What methods are used to encourage diversity in the student body of the paralegal program? There are no methods in place to encourage diversity in the student body of the Program because it is already quite diverse. 4. Complete the following chart with respect to the ethnicity and gender of the paralegal students in each of the last four years. Year % of Minority Students % of Female Students % of Male Students % 75.4% 24.6% % 79.7% 20.3% % 84.3% 15.7% % 81.0% 19.0% % 77.0% 23.0% 5. What methods are used to encourage diversity in the faculty of the paralegal program? Please include the steps taken to recruit and retain a diverse faculty. If written advertisements and/or announcements are used, include copies as Exhibit 7. A member of a subcommittee of the Colorado Bar Association assisted the Program by posting an adjunct teaching opening on a Bar Association listserv that reaches a diverse population of attorneys. The only responses were from non-diverse applicants. Other adjunct faculty positions were filled with referrals from Advisory Committee members or unsolicited resumes. When future openings occur, the Program will try to target organizations that will reach a more diverse applicant pool. There are no written advertisements or announcements. 6. Complete Exhibit 8 showing the composition of the faculty of the paralegal program by racial/ethnic classification and gender for each of the last four years. (G-204) See Exhibit 8. E. Complete the budget chart provided as Exhibit 9, showing (1) the amounts spent for each category of expense for each of the past four years; (2) the budget for the current year; and (3) the projected budget for the next year. (G-205) See Exhibit 9. Page 11

12 F. Has there been a change in institutional ownership or in financial support, which has not been previously reported? No. Note: G-201.F requires that the program must engage in planning, including long-range planning, and such planning must encompass the matters set forth in the Guidelines. G-202 requires that the paralegal education program be given status within the institution comparable to other units of similar size and function. Program Directors should be prepared to demonstrate compliance with both of the Guidelines to the site visit team at the time of the site visit. SECTION III EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS G-301 through G-302 A. Additional Educational Opportunities: 1. List all articulation agreements your program has with other institutions, including the name of each college and program. The Program has an articulation agreement with Regis University s College of Professional Studies. 2. For those programs awarding associate degrees: (G-301.C) (a) Indicate the percentage of program graduates who have transferred to an institution offering a baccalaureate degree in each of the past four years. The college does not presently have a way to track students who have transferred to an institution offering baccalaureate degrees. CCA s Institutional Research department is in the process of developing a student tracking program. This program will track students who transfer to universities offering higher degrees. The Paralegal program will be one of the first programs in the college to be part of this tracking. (b) Describe the methods used to encourage students and graduates to earn higher or additional degrees or certificates upon completion of the program. Students are made aware of the opportunities to articulate their CCA degrees to baccalaureate programs through advising, the web site, the Student Handbook, the Program Coordinator and the school catalog. Page 12

13 B. Describe the program s plan for evaluation, review, and continuous improvement of the program, as follows: 1. Explain how the program determines the extent to which it is meeting its stated goals and objectives. Include whether the assessment of goals and objectives is part of an institutional plan. The Program s goals and objectives as stated in this report are new and have therefore not been specifically assessed. Measuring the extent of meeting these objectives will begin during the summer semester. The Program does participate in the college s institutional assessment of lifelong skills: Critical Inquiry, Communication (both written and oral), Personal Responsibility, Technology, Quantitative Reasoning, and Aesthetics. The Program prepares annual reports assessing certain skills to measure student success in the college. One assessment tool is institutional rubrics that the Program uses in grading selected assignments. The Program also uses student course and faculty evaluations, which are completed each semester for every course. Students who participate in Internships are evaluated by the intern host/supervisor on a variety of areas to assess if the student is meeting the Program s goals and objectives. Also, the Advisory Committee gives input about the Program strengths and areas for improvement. A subcommittee is working on surveys and possible focus groups. 2. Attach as Exhibit 10 a copy of the program s written assessment plan, including an analysis and summary of the assessment results. See Exhibit 10. (G-301.E - F) C. Complete Exhibit 11 showing the total curriculum for each program option included in Section I.C. See Exhibit 11. D. Describe the program s sequencing plan for each program option included in Section I.C. (G-302.E.5) Students who are seeking any degree option are advised to take some general education courses prior to taking paralegal courses beyond PAR 115 Introduction to Law. They are strongly encouraged to complete ENG 121 English Composition early in their course work. The paralegal course sequencing requirements for all of the Program s program options are identical. Students enrolled in any of the Program s options are required to complete PAR 115 Introduction to Law before they may take any 200-level paralegal course. Students may take other 100-level paralegal courses in the same semester as PAR 115. Students must have completed both PAR 115 and ENG 121 English Composition I (or equivalent) before they may enroll in PAR 213 Legal Research and Writing I. Students must complete PAR 213 before they may enroll in PAR 214 Legal Research and Writing II. Prior to taking Page 13

14 PAR 201 Civil Litigation, students should take at least one substantive Legal Specialty course. Students must have completed at least seven paralegal courses before they may enroll in PAR 280 Internship or PAR 285 Independent Study. E. General Education Requirements: 1. How is the distribution requirement for three disciplines within the general education component met? (G-302.E.2) Each of the degree options requires at least one English class, at least one mathematics or natural sciences class, and at least two social and behavioral science classes. The AGS Paralegal and AAS Paralegal also require at least two arts and humanities classes. 2. What method(s) is/are used to determine whether students demonstrate writing proficiency at the college level? (G-302.E.3) Students are required to complete ENG 121 English Composition I before they may enroll in PAR 213 Legal Research and Writing I. 3. What means are used to ensure that students demonstrate competence in oral communication? (G-302.E.4) Students who do not already have a degree are required to complete either COM 115 Public Speaking or COM 125 Interpersonal Communication to receive their degree. 4. If credit is given by examination or through other means for general education courses, what methods are used to determine whether credit should be granted? Indicate how evaluation for equivalence is conducted and whether there are limits on the amount of credit that is earned through such means. (G-302.E.6) The following from the college catalog contains the school policy on general education credit awarded by examination and other means: Credit for Prior Learning Students may be awarded credit for college-equivalent education acquired through non-traditional schooling, work, or other life experiences. Such prior learning must be comparable to Community College of Aurora courses and must relate to the student s declared certificate or degree program as outlined in college publications. A handbook explaining credit for prior learning is available online at Payment must be made before assessment is undertaken and cannot be paid for with financial aid funds. Students must be registered for at least one semester hour of coursework at the time they submit an application for credit for prior learning (CPL). This credit will not be recorded on a transcript until at least one semester hour has been completed at CCA. Awarded credit may not be used to meet Guaranteed Transfer (gt) courses. If credit for prior Page 14

15 learning is applied to AA, AS, or AGS-articulated degree requirements, transfer guarantees may be affected. Consult your advisor or transferred institution for details. A student relocating to another Colorado community college may have their prior learning credits transferred there as long as the course is applicable to the student s declared degree or certificate. Students transferring to a college or university outside the state system of community colleges should contact that school to determine if CCA prior learning credits will be accepted. The Community College of Aurora does not guarantee transfer of credit outside the Colorado Community College System. Students may document prior learning through successful completion of any of the following: Challenge Examinations Students may challenge a course, provided they are not enrolled in that course, by taking a comprehensive examination. Students must first meet with an academic advisor, then with their appropriate academic dean. No more than one challenge of a particular course will be arranged during any one semester. The cost is 50 percent of in-state tuition per credit hour and payment must be made prior to the examination. Evaluation Using Published Guides Students desiring credit for formal training courses completed through the U.S. Armed Forces, corporate training programs or at other postsecondary education institutions may receive credit for these classes if they are listed in the American College of Education (ACE) guide, which is used by CCA to evaluate this type of prior learning. There is no charge for this method of evaluation. Portfolio of Learning Outcomes Students may petition the college for credit by developing a portfolio that describes and documents relevant prior learning comparable to that gained in CCA courses. Faculty in the appropriate program area will evaluate the portfolio and award credit commensurate with the learning experience. No more than one portfolio evaluation for a particular course per student will be arranged during any one semester. Each course must be in the college curriculum and must be part of the student s certificate or degree requirements. The cost for a portfolio evaluation is 50 percent of in-state tuition per credit hour and payment must be made prior to the evaluation. Standardized Testing CCA evaluates the results of standardized tests for the possible awarding of credit. Official copies of the student s scores must be sent by the testing service to the CCA Enrollment Services office. After evaluation, the student will be notified by the college if the scores were sufficient for the awarding of credit. Page 15

16 College Level Examination Program (CLEP): Testing in both general and subject area examinations is offered in the Learning Resource Center (LRC). CLEP study guides may be purchased in the CCA bookstore. Test information, registration forms, and testing schedules are available in the LRC, located in the Student Centre Building, Room S202, For information concerning minimum score and credit transferability, contact Enrollment Services at Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES): Test information, registration forms, and testing schedules are available in the LRC, located in the Student Centre Building, S202, If general education credit is accepted in transfer, what policies govern the acceptance of transfer of general education credits completed at other institutions? How are the courses evaluated to ensure that they meet the definition of general education and the breadth contained in these Guidelines? (G-302.E.6) The following from the college catalog contains the school policy on general education credit accepted by transfer: Transfer Credit Evaluations Students must be enrolled at CCA in order to have their credits evaluated. An official transcript must be mailed directly to CCA. Transfer credit will be evaluated course by course, based upon the student s declared degree or certificate. Generally, grades of C or better will be accepted in transfer. CCA may choose to transfer D grades on a case-by-case basis, determined by the student s chosen program and whether a D grade may be used to meet degree or certificate requirements. Written confirmation of the credit awarded will be sent to each student for whom a credit evaluation is completed. Students can also check the status of their transfer credits by viewing their unofficial transcripts online at and accessing their MyCCA account. It is the responsibility of the student to provide all required documents. Documents become the property of the college and will not be released to the student or transferred to other institutions. F. How does the program ensure that students have technology skills (other than electronic legal research skills) that are appropriate for employment as a paralegal? (G-302.G) In Civil Litigation the students learn e-filing; in Research & Writing the students use the Microsoft Office Suite; Property Law students use the Department of Real Estate website. Assistance with many software programs is available at the Learning Resource Center. G. If the program admits and graduates students who have not met the general education or total unit requirement of G-302.H, complete the chart provided as Exhibit 12, showing information about students receiving exemptions from the general education and/or total unit requirements for each of the last four academic years. See Exhibit 12. Page 16

17 H. Complete the chart provided as Exhibit 13, showing the legal specialty courses offered for each of the past four years. (G-302.I) See Exhibit 13. I. For each legal specialty course listed in Exhibit 13, complete the Course Information Sheet provided as Exhibit 14. (G-302.I) See Exhibit 14. J. Does the paralegal program include an internship or other field experience as a legal specialty course? If yes, provide the following information: Yes. The program includes an internship opportunity. (G-302.I.1.d) 1. the systematic plan for developing, assigning, monitoring, and evaluating internships or other field experiences; There is an Internship Handbook which contains materials that are used to evaluate internships. The students are requested to find their own internship. If they cannot, the Program Coordinator assists the student. The Program Coordinator monitors the internship. 2. the number of hours on the job needed to earn credit; The student must complete 135 hours to earn the credit. 3. how the program ensures that students and sponsors understand expectations; The Internship Handbook explains the expectations from the student and the sponsor. There is a contract that both the student and the sponsor sign about the requirements of the internship. 4. how the student, sponsors, and program faculty communicate during the course of the internship or other field experience; Communication is by phone, and occasionally a visit to the site. 5. how the program ensures that the work emphasizes paralegal skills and competencies. The Internship Handbook describes the requirements and both the student and the sponsor sign a contract that indicates they understand the emphasis on paralegal skills and competencies. Page 17

18 K. Which course or courses provide instruction in ethics and professional responsibility? Approximately how many hours in each program option are devoted to teaching this subject? (G-302.I.3) All paralegal courses are required to provide instruction in ethics and professional responsibility. Approximately twenty hours are devoted to teaching ethics and professional responsibility. L. Which course or courses provide instruction in legal research? In electronic research? Approximately how many hours in each program option are devoted to teaching legal research? (G-302.I.4, G-601.I - J) Introduction to Law, Legal Research & Writing I and II, Civil Litigation, Employment Law, Probate and Estates, Family Law, Torts, Bankruptcy Law, Business Organizations, Property Law, and Current Issues in the Law all provide instruction in legal research. In most of the courses, the instruction is in electronic research. Approximately 60 to 70 hours are devoted to teaching legal research. M. Does the program cross-list any legal specialty course with other programs or majors offered by the institution? If so, list and explain. (G-302 and G-503) No. N. What policies govern the acceptance of transfer of legal specialty credits completed at other institutions? Include criteria for accepting courses in transfer, procedures to protect the academic quality and integrity of the program, limits on the number of legal specialty courses that may be accepted in transfer, and where these policies and procedures are written. The criteria must include procedures for ensuring that programs provide at least ten semester credits or the equivalent of legal specialty courses through traditional classroom instruction as provided in G-302.J. (G-302.I.6) The following policy governs the acceptance of transfer of legal specialty credits and is published in the Program s Student Handbook: PARALEGAL PROGRAM POLICY: TRANSFER CREDIT; CREDIT FOR PRIOR LEARNING; CREDIT FOR LIFE EXPERIENCE; CREDIT BY EXAMINATION If you have completed coursework at other colleges, it may meet some of the requirements for graduation from the Paralegal Program. To arrange for an evaluation, complete a Request for Transfer Evaluation form in the Admissions and Records Office and request that an official transcript be mailed directly to CCA. Your transfer credit will be evaluated course by course based upon your declared degree or certificate. You will be mailed a written confirmation of the credit awarded to you, if any. It is your responsibility to provide all required documents. Documents become the property of the College and will not be released to you or transferred to other institutions. Page 18

19 The Paralegal Program is approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) and is regulated by the Colorado State Department of Higher Education. The following policies are designed to meet their requirements and to maintain the quality and integrity of the Paralegal Program. Transfer of Paralegal Course Credits From ABA-Approved Institutions Students may transfer up to fifteen credit hours of paralegal coursework completed at ABA-approved, accredited post-secondary institutions. 1. To receive credit for designated legal specialty courses, the courses must be directly equivalent at 80% or more of the course content of the legal specialty courses offered at CCA. 2. Equivalency for any course considered for transfer from an ABA-approved program will be determined by the Program Coordinator in consultation with faculty who teach the legal specialty course in question. Students may be required to submit a copy of the course syllabus, examples of completed coursework, etc., in order to prove course content equivalency. In some instances, a student may be required to complete a course examination or course portfolio as part of the transfer approval process. From Non-ABA-Approved Institutions Students may transfer up to nine credit hours of paralegal coursework completed at non- ABA-approved, accredited post-secondary institutions. 1. To receive credit for designated legal specialty courses, the courses must be directly equivalent to 80% or more of the course content of the legal specialty courses offered at CCA. 2. Equivalency for any course considered for transfer from a non-aba-approved program will be determined by the Program Coordinator in consultation with faculty who teach the legal specialty course in question. Students may be required to submit a copy of the course syllabus, examples of completed coursework, etc., in order to prove course content equivalency. In some instances, a student may be required to complete a course examination or course portfolio as part of the transfer approval process. General Transfer Policies 1. Credit for a course not designated a legal specialty may be substituted for a paralegal elective course. 2. To be approved for transfer, any paralegal course (whether designated legal specialty or not) must contain at least the same number of credit hours/contact hours as the course the student is requesting to substitute by the transferred course. Page 19

20 3. Paralegal courses that were completed more than five years prior to the student s first paralegal course taken at CCA will not be accepted for transfer credit. 4. Should any paralegal course be denied transfer, the student will be advised of the reason for the denial in writing. O. What policies govern the award of legal specialty credit by course challenge, examination or portfolio? Include procedures to protect the academic quality and integrity of the program, limits on the number of legal specialty credits that may be earned through such means, procedures for evaluating and approving the award of such credit, and where these policies and procedures are written. (G-302.I.6) The following policy governs the award of legal specialty credit by course challenge, examination or portfolio and is published in the Program s Student Handbook: Credit for Prior Learning, Life Experience or Examination Students applying for credit for work completed at other than accredited post-secondary institutions or for credit for work experience must comply with the requirements outlined for the "Credit for Prior Learning process as adopted by CCA and the Paralegal Program. (Examples include learning associated with real estate schools, law enforcement training academies, conferences, workshops, and employment in the legal environment.) Students may apply for up to nine credit hours of paralegal course credit whether designated legal specialty or not. General Policy Students must take at least fifteen hours of paralegal coursework in the classroom at CCA in order to matriculate with a CCA Paralegal Certificate. P. Are any legal specialty courses offered through alternative delivery formats, such as compressed, accelerated, hybrid with 50% or more online instruction, hybrid with less than 50% online instruction, or fully online courses? If so, indicate which courses were submitted for approval or certified in advance of being offered and when the courses were approved or certified. Hybrid courses containing less than 50% online instruction do not require prior approval. Yes. PAR 117 Family Law and PAR 216 Employment Law are offered fully online. These courses were approved by the ABA. We were notified of the approval on June 2, Both courses were submitted for approval prior to being offered. Q. For each method of alternative delivery used in each of the past four years: 1. Explain how the program ensures that students take at least ten semester credits or the equivalent of legal specialty courses through traditional classroom instruction or the equivalent as defined in G-302.J.1. Page 20

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