1 Page 1 of Program Review Name of Program: Political Science Name of Unit: Behavioral and Social Sciences Name of Area: Academic Affairs Date Completed: 10/22/2014 Program's Mission Statement The Political Science Program is consistent with the college s focus and mission of lifelong learning, challenge, innovation, and quality. The program provides students with the essential tools needed by citizens living within a democratic society. The critical thinking skills, knowledge of ideologies, policy formulation approaches, and an understanding of how political systems work offered through this program are essential as a basis for life-long learning and the pursuit of excellence. Program's SLO Information - Assessment Results (1a) Assessing student learning outcomes continues to be challenging. That is, the factors or variables that contribute to student success cannot be readily isolated. For example, it is evident that, based on retention and persistence rates provided elsewhere, but it is difficult to attribute these to any particular actions. Academic performance in Political Science courses has improved over the most recent years, evidenced by those measures readily and traditionally available (final grades, persistence, other). The department full-time faculty members attribute this to the stability established over the most recent period. This includes a higher level of focus on student accountability (attendance/participation, use of course resources, such as complementary course websites). Significantly, the department has been able to continue a talented and effective adjunct faculty team. As is generally true for many other disciplines, reading and writing skill levels have been identified as items which limit student s learning. These are identified through topic-related papers submitted by students, as well as responses to exam questions.
2 Page 2 of 18 Program's SLO Information - Changes in Instruction (1b) There has been a greater awareness among Political Science faculty as to the need for incorporating writing assessments and feedback, in addition to the required discipline content assessments and feedback. How this is done throughout the department remains something which varies from instructor to instructor. Nevertheless, it is understood and is an area for staff development and collaboration with basic skills faculty. It is anticipated that the department must and will work with the division dean and other departments to address this mandate. Program's SLO Information - Requested Resources (1c) Resources requested are under consideration and the department faculty will engage in a discussion with the division dean and others to better determine which resources should be sought. Of course, identifying how any proposed resources/approaches impact on achievement of student learning outcomes will be a part of those discussions. Program's SLO Information - Assessment Reports (2) The information is available to some extent as raw data (pre-post studies), but has not been fully developed. Program's SLO Information - Online Results (3) Currently, only the Introduction to Government course (POLYS 110) is taught completely online. Six (6) sections are offered each semester, but there is a possibility that one or two additional sections will be added at some point in the near future. It is evident that students who are prepared to do online instruction do quite well. That is, a higher degree of discipline is required for online work, in addition to computer competency. Many students still require oncampus, face-to-face instruction. Counseling and introductory workshops are essential to ensure that a student selects the form of instruction which would best suits him or her. No assessment has been performed which could help determine the differences, but is discussion which the college, as a whole, and not simply the department, must engage in.
3 Page 3 of 18 Program's SLO Information - Degrees and Certificates (4) The department has obtained authorization for and is currently offering the AA Transfer Degree in Political Science. We have determined that the Political Science 110 and Political Science 110H courses are fundamental and necessary. Proficiency in these courses is essential for success in the Political Science major. Program's Characteristics, Performance and Trends **Updated Data for: Program Year**
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6 Page 6 of 18 Program's Strengths The demand for Political Science courses this current semester (fall 2014) is exceptionally high, with all sections (28) at or exceeding cap (45). The number of sections of Political Science 110 (Introduction to American Government) offered increased from fall 2011 (26) to
7 Page 7 of 18 fall 2014 (28). Meanwhile, the number of sections was increased from spring 2013 (19) to spring 2014 (22). The class size average increased as follows: fall 2010 (43.8) to fall 2011 (47.3) and spring 2011 (44.8) to spring 2012 (45.9), to spring 2013 (50.1). Preliminary statistics for spring2014 (approximately an average of 44 at end of semester) suggests that per section number of students remains high. It is important to note that a recovering economy is affecting overall college enrollment (reductions in attendance). In addition to the Political Science 110 Introduction Course, the program currently offers students courses in International Relations (POLS 140) and Comparative Government (POLYS 130). The POLYS 130 course offering has increased from an average of 16 students (fall05 - fall07) to over 45 students (fall10 -fall14), at beginning of semester. The POLS 140 course has increased from an average of 25 students (fall05 -fall07) to 45+ (spring10 -spring 14). Political Science 140 sections offered went from one to two per academic year (with each section at or above the 45 class limit), beginning fall In addition, the Political Science Department offers an honors course in Political Science, which is part of the University of California Transfer Honors Program, and also offers students the opportunity to participate in a Work Experience Program/Internship (CWE) for credit (spring semester only). There is also a section of the Introduction to Government taught off-site, during the academic year, at the El Monte Education Center or the South Whittier Education Center. Student success and student retention percentages appear a bit mixed over the last several semesters. First, student retention compares quite favorably to that of the college s. That is, for spring 2014, the program retention was 92.2%, while the college average was 89.9%. For spring 2013, the program retention was 91.9%, while the college average was 89.00%. The program success was somewhat less than that of the college s, likely due to its higher level of difficulty when compared to other college programs. The program s success for spring 2014 was 63.7%, while the college s success rate was 68.9%. The program s success rate for spring 2013 was comparable to the college's rate at 68.1%. The college s success rate for that semester was 69.1%. Also on the positive side, the program success rate has been, generally speaking, on the upswing. Somewhat of a down slide occurred from summer 2011 (79.5%) to summer 2012 (76.4%), however, the rate for fall 2011 was 59.2%, improving to 61.60% for fall The success rate for spring 2012 was 61.00% and was 63.7% for spring During the fall of 2006, Political Science Professors Manuel Baca and Colin Young collaborated with Chicano Studies Professor Juana Mora in gaining approval for a course in Chicano Politics (POLYS 150). The course has been offered and has gained popularity (fall enrolled; fall enrolled; fall enrolled; fall enrolled; fall enrolled; fall enrolled; fall enrolled; Spring enrolled). In addition, during the Academic Year, Professor Young collaborated with Professor Ted Preston of Philosophy to secure approval of the Political Philosophy course (POLYS 128). During spring 2010, the course filled at the beginning of the semester and ended the semester with 43 students enrolled. The course is offered every two years and is being aught once again this fall semester, 2014 with 40 students enrolled. More recently, Political Science 135/Economics 135 -International Political Economy received all necessary approvals and is listed in the college catalog as a UC/CSU transferable course. It is also on the Rio Hondo General Elective list. The listing of the course on the class schedule is pending, as of fall The department currently offers several online (12) sections during the academic year, providing students with this alternative mode of instruction. These online sections are very popular, with all online sections consistently enrolling over cap, with a demand remaining. An
8 Page 8 of 18 additional section, possibly two will be added in the near future. The two full-time members of the department are actively involved in numerous on-campus (Past President of Faculty Association, Curriculum Committee, student club advising, mentoring, other activities) and off-campus activities (President of CCC Board of Governors, CCC Student Success Task Force member, local political campaigns, and elected office). This involvement provides opportunities for the strengthening the department with off-campus governmental/business contacts, as well as with new course development (cross listing of courses, such as those described above), discipline degree, and program-related efforts, such as student internships. Although the Political Science Internship remains small in numbers (as planned), the potential for future growth is clearly evident. Placements of interns with the City of Whittier (spring 2011), CCC Chancellor's Office (summer 2010), Congresswoman Judy Chu's district office ( ), Assemblyman Anthony Rendon (2014), and Assemblyman Ian Calderon (2014) have been highly successful. Non-credit placements with State Senators Ed Hernandez and Ian Calderon have also been productive. It is anticipated that the Political Science faculty will place at 5-6 interns at various locations, including Congresswoman Judy Chu's office, Assemblyman Ian Calderon's office, State Senator Hernandez's office, and possibly Congresswoman Grace Napolitano's Office and the City of Whittier during the spring semester of In addition, the Political Science faculty will cooperate with others on campus by supervising internships (approximately 5-6 in spring 2015) at law offices, as part of the college's pre-law program. Program's Weaknesses Although the Political Science offerings are among the most popular at the college (of 28 sections offered fall 2014 all filled), the department continues to have only two full-time instructors. During the past academic year ( ), 31 of 47 sections were taught by adjunct faculty. This strongly suggests that the department is not in keeping with the preferred 75/25 full-time/part-time faculty ratio. Given the situation, full-time faculty availability and access for students is not possible to the extent that it should be. This, of course affects, among other things, retention and success. Additionally, it prevents further growth and collaboration, such as that suggested in the strengths section (internships, for example). As mentioned elsewhere, the number of section offerings, as they are, for Political Science 110 consistently fill (51 sections - two semesters combined - all filled early for the spring 2014 and fall 2014 semesters), pushing faculty to add beyond the class limit. This clearly suggests that at least some students were turned away and not accommodated. Political Science faculty members, generally speaking, are forced to balance access (maximize enrollment) with student success (instructional quality). Obviously, adding too many students into a class creates the potential for a loss instructional quality. A Political Science Transfer Degree was developed and approved during the spring 2014 semester. A transfer degree in this discipline achieved compliance (state requirement) and will be supporting our transfer of students to the California State University. As mentioned previously, the Political Science 135/Economics 135 course has not been offered, but it is anticipated that it will be as budgetary resources become increasingly available. This
9 Page 9 of 18 course contains some of the elements covered in the International Relations course and when offered would significantly provide for a deeper understanding of global economic relations. Program's Opportunities In the spring of 2010, Professor Colin Young created Political Science 290, a special course for internships in Political Science. Professor Manuel Baca coordinates the Political Science Internship Program, having placed interns with the City of Whittier, Congresswoman Judy Chu's District Office, Assemblyman Ian Calderon, Assemblyman Anthony Rendon, and the state Chancellor's Office in Sacramento. Program credit for students (those placed in internships during spring 2011 through spring 2014) was earned through the College Work Experience (CWE) Program. Other students (not earning CWE credit) were placed with State Senators Hernandez's and Calderon's office. Other area members of the legislature (Assemblyman Hagman, State Senator Huff, and Congresswoman Napolitano) have expressed their interest in providing our students with valuable internships. The internship for Political Science includes student placement with cities, state agencies and legislative offices. As noted above, students are provided college credit for their participation in this program. Professor Baca s lengthy involvement in local government and civic affairs provides the department with the knowledge base needed to implement this effort. During summer 2009, Professor Baca arranged to have a Political Science major student spend a miniinternship under the supervision of the Community Colleges Chancellor's Vice Chancellor of Governmental Affairs in Sacramento. The student had the opportunity to learn about the state's budgetary and legislative processes, as well as meet elected officials and dignitaries, including former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. During 2011, a student had a very successful internship with the City of Whittier, prior to transferring to UCLA. She has since her B.A. Degree and is now completing her Master's Degree, following a very successful graduate internship in Washington, DC. Several interns have successfully worked with Congresswoman's Judy Chu's Office staff. In Spring 2015, it is expected that 5-6 students will be placed as interns with local and state offices previously mentioned). Applications will soon be accepted from students and will be reviewed for placement during spring The Political Internship Program is based on the idea that it offers students opportunities for growth and also strengthens college-community (governmental) relationships. In an effort to continue with new course development and inter-disciplinary collaboration, Professor Young is working with History Department faculty to develop a course which could serve to complement the Political Science 130 (Comparative Government) course. Professor Young's academic history (BA) and contributes toward this goal. In 2009 Professor Young took part in a Social Science Division forum on the Legalization of Marijuana. In fall 2010, Baca, Young, and four part-time faculty members in Political Science hosted Elections Forum in 2008 and Although the Political Science Department did not directly sponsor a similar forum during fall 2012, other faculty (Speech Communications and History) did. During the fall semester 2013, the department hosted a campus-wide (full attendance in the Wray Theater) forum on "The Affordable Health Care Act." The forum was led by State Senator Ed Hernandez, who has been the chief legislator on the major federal legislation (state implementation).
10 Page 10 of 18 Program's Threats The most significant threats to the continuation and development of the Political Science Department have to do with fiscal state of affairs which continues to plague the community colleges and Rio Hondo. This impacts on new full-time faculty hires, as well as the ability for the division to offer additional course sections and certain courses not currently offered, such as the Political Science 135 course and possibly the State and Local Government course. As is true campus wide, the department faces the same basic skills issues as other disciplines do. That is, there exists a significant need to address student's basic academic skills (in reading and writing) as the core Political Science principles and concepts are being delivered. Program's Accomplishments and Recommendations for Improvement Overall, the Political Science program continues to be strong in enrollment, success, and retention. As evidenced in the Program's Characteristics, Outcomes, and Trends of this plan, the program maintains equivalency or exceeds those statistics exhibited by other disciplines within the college. The number and scheduling of Political Science sections has been based not so much on demand and/or patterns of enrollment over the past several years, but that associated with budgetary considerations. Clearly, based on the recent semester-to-semester enrollments, the program could easily expand beyond its current section offerings. The number of sections offered, as well as the scheduling may well increase as the college s financial situation continues to improve. The department s two full-time members (and experienced adjunct members) have established a responsive and professional delivery of instruction, as well as maintained an excellent faculty/student climate. The addition of at least one full-time member to the department is vital in order to further strengthen the department. Having another full-time member in the department will help improve our delivery of associated activities (internships, college-wide presentations, club advising, other) and provide students with great access to faculty. As also noted in the Program s Characteristics, Outcomes, and Trends of this plan, retention rates for the past five semesters/sessions have shown marked improvement (87.00% -Fall, 2011 and 92.2% -Spring 2014, for example) when compared to the period (75% average). The reasons for this improved have not been easy ones to measure, but it should be added that the period was one of transition (three full-time faculty members retired). Since then, with only the two full-time faculty members and a reliable adjunct faculty, the department has achieved stability, resulting in higher enrollment and retention, among other things. The success rates for Political Science courses compare favorably with the general college enrollment, although the degree of discipline difficulty produces a slightly lower percentage. When compare over time, there has seen a significant increase in discipline/department success from the academic year (59.17%) to that for spring 2013 (68.1%). This is fairly comparable to the college s success rate for that semester was 69.1%
11 Page 11 of 18 Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) have been produced for all active courses within the Political Science Department. This includes POLS 110, POLS 110H, POLS 128, POLS 130, POLS 140, and POLS 150. Professors Baca, Young, Ted Preston (Philosophy), and Juana Mora (Chicano Studies) continue working on best instruments and assessment tools to use in determining (assessing) Student Learning Outcomes. Program's Strategic Direction With the addition of Political Philosophy (POLS 128) and Chicano Politics (POLS 150), both which are cross-listed, the department (program) is moving in the direction of a more crossdisciplinary approach in the teaching of government and politics. Further collaborative work with the faculty members in History and Economics will contribute to this interest; as will the development of the on-campus political forums. A Political Science Transfer Degree has been approved and it will be used to ensure that our participating students are transferring the California State University in greater numbers. The Political Science Department will continue cooperative efforts and formal ties with local governmental entities, as well as state and federal legislative offices, as the student internship "program" evolves for eventual Political Science majors. During Spring 2015, the department will continue to work with area legislative and governmental agencies to secure internships for our students, but will also add partnerships with law schools and legal firms. Program's Staff Development Both full-time members of the Political Science faculty are fully engaged in politics and governance at the local, state, and national level. The background and experiences include political activism, engaging in and working with others in proposing legislative bills, and participating in other local and state efforts related to community college governance. One member of the Political Science faculty is immediate Past President of the Faculty union and the other is a member and President of the California Community Colleges Board of Governors, as well as a member of an elected community college governing board. This form of involvement is particularly significant in that it provides "real life" experiences for discussion in the classroom. Furthermore, this engagement, particularly the campus work supports those activities which can builds collaboratively with faculty of other disciplines. This collaboration not only can build for a strong community oriented approach to teaching (similar to learning communities), but helps foster a better understanding of basic skills issues and remedies to address deficiencies in these learning areas. It should also be noted that Professor Young has been the coordinator of the RHC Honors Program since 2010, thus increasing the department's interdisciplinary interaction with faculty from across the campus. Although available, to some extent, budgets should reflect a strong commitment for both full-
12 Page 12 of 18 time and part-time faculty professional development. Again, the department includes only two full-time faculty members and, with twenty-seven sections offered each semester (Spring), it is heavily dependent upon several excellent part-time faculty members. The adjunct faculty benefits greatly, when made available, from professional development activities. Program Review - Additional Comments Program Review - Executive Summary Program Review - Response to the Executive Summary Goal #1 Long term (2-5 years) Corresponds with Institutional Goal # 6 Status: in progress Description of Goal 1. Continue the Political Science Internship Program: Local government and/or legislative contacts and the placement of several students (current or prospective Political Science majors), as interns, in local government or legislative offices each spring, during and the academic years,. Assess and consider funding opportunities for an expanded internship program. Evaluation of Goal NOTE: In the summer of 2009, a student was placed in the CCC Chancellor's Office under the supervision of the Vice Chancellor for Governmental Relations. During each Spring Semester (2011 and 2012), a student was placed with the Congresswoman Judy Chu's District Office and with the City of Whittier. Other students (in 2013 and 2014) were placed with Congresswoman Chu, Congressman Ian Calderon, Congressman Re
13 Page 13 of 18 The local and state government course which has existed within the department for years has not been offered recently due to previous low enrollments. The internship program provides a means by which the college can create a greater interest in local city government and, therefore, may contribute to the "resurrecting" of the local and state government course. The real life experiences which internships provide will complement the instructional program well and lead to more active involvement by students in politics and governing. C Objective #1.1 Status: in progress The ultimate objective is to be able to gain funding for the program. Currently, the program is functioning on a limited basis. Nevertheless, without additional funding resources, the efforts of faculty involved have allowed for contacting local governmental entities (city administrators) and legislative offices (state legislative and congressional staff), and establishing agreements to cooperate on an internship program. In the future, funding for the program will be sought from multiple sources (cities, finacial aid, grants). Subsequently, additional students will be recruited and placed at internship sites. Interns may also be compensated monetarily and/or given college credit. Continuation of program may depend on successful grant funding, or those funds from other sources). Existing Resources Resources will be those provided by cities and/or legislative/congressional offices. The Political Science faculty will continue the program during Spring of 2011 on a limited basis. Goal #2 Long term (2-5 years) Corresponds with Institutional Goal # 1 Status: in progress Description of Goal 2. There continues to be a goal by the History faculty to create a History course in Modern European History. This would complement our offerings in Comparative Politics, International Relations, and International Political Economy. Evaluation of Goal The disciplines of Political Science and History (U.S.) are closely related. Adding a Political
14 Page 14 of 18 History or related course would add to students understanding of the government within a historical context. Objective #2.1 Status: in progress Member of the Political Science Faculty member will collaborate with History faculty member in developing a course in Political History, or other similar course. Impact of Objective on Other Programs, Units,and/or Areas Impact on the Behavioral and Social Sciences Program: Economics course in Political History Existing Resources Normal faculty workload. Goal #3 Short term (1 year) Corresponds with Institutional Goal # 11 Status: in progress Description of Goal Collaborate with division and college faculty in the implementation and promotion of political and issue-oriented campus forums during the 2014 general election cycle. This collaboration (with the health sciences, among others) should extend to include a series of campus forums related to the new Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare), for example. Evaluation of Goal An issue-oriented forum on marijuana legalization was held in while an Election 2010 forum was held in October There has been no formalized program related to this interest. Forums have been sponsored on campus by various departments and programs (Speech Communications and History, during 2012), but not consistently. Bi-yearly elections raise much interest among youth and college students. Past Rio Hondo s forums, have been well attended, thereby evidencing the interest that students have in such events. Of course, more recently, the issue of universal health care has brought about much interest and a demand for information, specific to individuals. The instructional benefits are that students gain a great understanding of specific issues, as well as increase their motivation to learn more about how government and politics work.
15 Page 15 of 18 Objective #3.1 Status: in progress The Political Science faculty will work with other faculty within the Social Science, Humanities, Philosophy Division (Speech, Economics, Sociology, History, Philosophy, Chicano Studies, Humanities) in coordinating at least two on-campus political or issueoriented forums for students. Existing Resources Normal faculty load Goal #4 Long term (2-5 years) Corresponds with Institutional Goal # 1 Status: in progress Description of Goal Establish a Political Science Transfer Degree as required by state mandates. The Degree will strengthen the overall Political Science program by providing a greater focus for students. Evaluation of Goal A Political Science Transfer Degree was approved by the Curriculum Committee (Academic Senate) and state-level authorities (specifically the CCC Chancellor's Office) in It is now available for especially those students seeking to transfer to a California State University campus. Objective #4.1 Status: in progress Determine appropriate courses needed for degree major. Develop degree proposal according to state-mandated requirements. Take proposed Political Science Degree through the appropriate local and state channels, including the Curriculum Committee. Existing Resources Full-time faculty in Political Science and Chicano Studies departments will assume responsibility for developing and submitting degree proposal for approval.
16 Page 16 of 18 Appendix A One Full-time faculty member should be added to the department. Rationale: As stated elsewhere in this plan, the number of sections currently taught, during an academic year, by adjunct faculty is 61.5% (38.5% by full-time). This is not consistent with the 75/25 full-time/part-time faculty ratio. Although not entirely fixing this, adding one fulltime instructor to the POLYS Department would bring it more in line (FT/PT, 55.4%/44.6%) with the goal of 75/25 in regulations.
17 Page 17 of 18 Appendix B
18 Page 18 of 18 Individuals Who Participated in Developing this Plan The following people acknowledge that they participated in the development of or reviewed this plan. Name Role 1. Baca, Manuel Review Manager 2. Young, Colin Participant
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