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LAVC

Teaching and Learning: Academic & Professional Matters

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Syllabus:

Every instructor teaching a course is expected to adhere to the course outlines established by the department. They can be found on the Electronic Curriculum Development (ECD) site. Faculty must provide students with a syllabus. The following elements should be included, and information designated by an asterisk* is required by Board Rules to be on your syllabus:

  • Approved course SLOs*
  • Information on the consequences of academic dishonesty*
  • The work product that will be the basis for the grade*
  • Your grading criteria*
  • Your contact information*
  • How students can receive accommodation for a disability*
  • Information on financial aid
  • Course objectives
  • Assignments and due dates
  • Your student drop-in hours (aka office hours)
  • The deadline to drop without a penalty (It is recommended you let students know how they’re doing in your class well before this date so they can make informed decisions about withdrawal.)

For suggested statements, see Course Syllabus at: http://www.lavc.edu/profdev/teachingres.html

Faculty must upload their syllabi to the Academic Affairs website. Click here to upload them.

Faculty Office Hours (also referred to as Student Drop-in Hours):

All instructors must keep scheduled student drop-in hours per week at a reasonable time to meet with students. If a student is unable to make your posted hours, try to find another time to accommodate him/her. Faculty (both full-time and adjunct) are paid for these hours. The obligation is 10 minutes per week for one standard hour of instruction, so for a 3-unit class, you would have 35 minutes of office hour time per week. See Article 13 of the contract for more information.

According to Article 9 of the contract, adjunct faculty should be provided access to office space that includes a desk, computer, phone, and secure storage. Many departments have set aside shared adjunct faculty offices that meet these requirements. The PDC (LARC 200) has computers, a printer, and phones for faculty use and is open from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, and 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday.

Dealing with disciplinary issues:

Disruptive classroom behavior can be a serious impediment to teaching and learning in the classroom. Cheating and plagiarism are also issues of concern. The Office of the Vice President of Student Services offers several options for dealing with these issues, including disciplinary referrals, mediation, and informal discussions. If you have a problem with a student in your class, contact Annie G. Reed at goldmaa@lavc.edu or call her at (818) 947-2320.

It is important to file the appropriate forms at the first sign of a problem. If a student is acting up in your class, chances are that he/she has done it in others. It is important to have a paper trail. Forms and information are posted on the Faculty/Staff Resources page under Student Discipline.

Commencement:

Commencement takes place in June of each school year. Unless other professional responsibilities conflict, it is expected that faculty will participate in commencement. Flex credit may be earned for attendance. Your presence is important to our graduates, their families, and friends. Robes and caps can be rented from the bookstore. Join your colleagues before graduation for the traditional procession to the stadium.

Classroom Guest Speakers:

If you invite a guest speaker to your classroom, you will need to submit a Classroom Guest Speaker form to your department chair, who will submit it to the Vice President’s office at least three days prior to the day the scheduled speaker comes to the class. If you invite a guest to campus who is not an LACCD employee, that person will need to go to the Sheriff’s Office to obtain a temporary parking pass.

Academic Rights and Responsibilities:

Your rights to academic freedom are guaranteed by the bargaining agreement (Article 4) and by Board Rules. LAVC’s Faculty Code of Ethics states the standards expected and the procedures to be followed when an instructor is accused of not living up to the code.

Academic Rank: Information on how to apply for faculty advancement in rank can be found on the campus Academic Senate web page.

Course Standards: Courses taught for credit must meet minimum state requirements. Course content must include material described in the course outline of record (COR) on file in the department and available on the ECD. Special attention should be paid when a course is a prerequisite for another course to ensure that those elements that make it a prerequisite are emphasized. State standards say that a unit of credit should require three hours of work per week by the student, so a three-unit course should require, in addition to the traditional three-hour classroom lecture or other activities, six hours of reading, writing, lab, and/or other activities.

Student Learning Outcomes:

All faculty are required to participate in the SLO assessment cycle by assessing courses using the process determined by the Department Chair and the Outcomes Assessment plan. According to our contract, one of the criteria on which faculty are evaluated is “Participates in the Student Learning Outcomes Assessment Cycle.” A contract interpretation clarifies what this means:

  • All instructors must incorporate approved SLOs in their teaching and include the officially approved course SLOs on their course syllabi. (If course SLOs have not yet been approved or provided by the chair, this will not negatively affect the instructor’s evaluation.) All instructors must conduct SLO assessments in their assigned classes and use the results to make appropriate changes in instruction to improve student learning.
  • Full-time faculty are responsible for writing SLOs and developing assessment tools, usually as a discipline or department.
  • Adjunct instructors may participate in discipline or departmental activities to create SLOs and establish assessments but are not required to do so.

In addition to course outcomes, credit coursework must involve elements determined by our faculty to be crucial to meeting program outcomes, such as critical thinking. See the Program Assessment page for your program’s learning outcomes.

According to Board Rules, written work not returned to the student should be kept by the instructor for at least one year from the end of the term. Grade records should also be kept for at least a year.

Rosters, Exclusions, and Grades:

Accessing class rosters, excluding students, and entering grades are done online using the LACCD WebFaculty Instructor System, accessible on the Faculty/Staff Resources page. Watch your campus email for instructions and deadlines at the beginning of every semester. If you are a new instructor and your course is not loaded into the system before the beginning of a semester, contact IT at (818) 947-2489 (option 1).

Assembly Bill 1725, which has been codified in Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations, assigned the responsibility for community college curriculum to Academic Senates. The Valley College Curriculum Committee (VCCC) resolves all curriculum concerns such as prerequisites, co-requisites, course content, and programs. The VCCC settles interdepartmental curriculum disputes and conducts periodic reviews to ensure state mandates are met. Instructors should take curriculum issues to their department chairs for resolution or forwarding to the VCCC.

Faculty Obligations:

It is the responsibility of all contract faculty to be involved in college activities, including developing curriculum, sponsoring co-curricular groups, participating in committees (on a department, college or District level), attending department meetings, and fulfilling your professional development (flex) obligation. A list of required and optional duties can be found in Appendix Q of the bargaining agreement.

Professional Development:

The Professional Development Center (PDC) is located in the Faculty/Staff Resource Center, Room 200 of the Library Building (LARC) and offers many resources for faculty:

  • Computers and printers for your use
  • Scanners
  • A Scantron machine
  • A laminator
  • Handouts on teaching strategies (e.g., classroom management, plagiarism, study skills, active learning, assessment, group activities, and more)
  • Retention strategies: Use these suggestions to help students be motivated and engaged.
  • Training DVDs from Lynda.com for check-out (e.g., Photoshop, Google Docs, and more)
  • Flip cameras and laser pointers for check-out
  • A library of books and handbooks
  • Software training on Microsoft Office programs (Access, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Word)

Staffed hours are Mon.-Thurs. 9 am to 4:30 pm. Since the Office of Professional Development shares space with Media Services, the PDC is open from Mon.-Thurs. 7:30 am to 10:00 pm and Fri. 7:30 am to 3 pm.

Professional Development also offers workshops throughout the year. Check our website for sessions. We offer Tech Fest in the summer, adjunct faculty orientations every semester, and training throughout the year. Our training rooms can be reserved for sessions. One room has 12 desktop computers; the other can be used for presentations or can be set up with 32 laptops. If you would like to offer a workshop (and receive triple flex credit) contact profdev@lavc.edu.

Free Resources for Faculty:

LAVC has licenses to the following resources for faculty:

  • Gradekeeper-- Manage your grades and let your students know how they are doing
  • 3C Media Solutions – Video hosting, videos to use in class, training videos for faculty
  • Intelecomonline – Free educational videos to show to your classes

 

STARS (Strategic Team for the Advancement and Retention of Students):

STARS holds workshops for students and faculty/staff to promote student success. Click on “Past Events” to download handouts for past workshops.

College Buys:

Amazing discounts on software are available to California Community College employees and students through the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office Foundation. To access the store, you will need to register and provide proof of employment.

Professional Development (Flex) Obligation:

Because our District follows a flexible calendar – meaning that instructors are paid for time spent “in lieu of classroom instruction” – full-time classroom faculty must spend at least 33.5 hours per academic year on activities that help improve teaching and help students be successful. Adjunct faculty and full-time faculty with extra assignments must fulfill half the total number of weekly classroom hours on these professional growth activities. Fulfillment of this obligation is one of the criteria used in your performance evaluation. Failure to document your hours will be reported to college administration for follow-up action.

To plan ahead for the year, faculty are encouraged to fill out a Planning Worksheet in the fall. Forms documenting fulfillment of this obligation are due in June every academic year. For more information and to download the forms, go to PD Obligation Forms, visit the PDC in LARC 200, email profdev@lavc.edu or call (818) 947-2712. To reach Deborah Kaye, Professional Development Director, call (818) 947-2569.

Conference and Tuition Reimbursement:

Thanks to an agreement negotiated by the District and the faculty union, the LACCD provides funds for instructors to attend conferences and be reimbursed for tuition spent to advance in their fields. Funds are available beginning in July of each year and are allocated by the Professional Growth Committee. Guidelines and information on applying for Faculty Conference Reimbursement and Faculty Tuition Reimbursement can be found on the Faculty Staff Resources page. Submit forms to Administrative Services. The College President gives final approval for all Conference requests after taking into account the institutional need for attendance and the resulting impact the request will have on students.

Media Services (formerly IMS):

Located in the Faculty/Staff Resource Center (LARC 200), Media Services has equipment available for check out:

  • Laptops, projectors, and screens
  • Digital and video cameras, document cameras
  • Wireless PPT remotes, laptop speakers
  • iPads, interactive tablets, response clickers

And more!

You can also request one-on-one help to learn how to use the equipment in your smart classroom or contact them for troubleshooting. If you need an event or classroom activity videotaped or require audio-visual equipment set up, contact them to make arrangements. They are also available to take photographs and create and edit videos.

Hours are Mon.-Thurs. 7:30 am to 10:00 pm, Fri. 7:30 am to 3:00 pm. Call (818) 947-2489, and hit option #2 or dial ext. 2405 or 2485 to reach Jose Torres or Jesus Quintero.

LAVC Monarch Store:

The LAVC Monarch Store is our college bookstore, located in the new Student Union. Students can buy and re-sell textbooks and obtain gear, like backpacks and clothing, as well as supplies and snacks. Faculty are encouraged to buy a t-shirt or sweatshirt, lanyard or water bottle, and show your Monarch Pride!

Textbooks:

Some departments have selected the books faculty should use in certain courses. Check the course outline to see what books are required or recommended. Except when there is a department-approved text, instructors are free to decide on the textbooks they wish to use. However, keep in mind that students may need to purchase very expensive textbooks for several classes, so consider the cost when selecting materials.

Online textbook ordering: For online text book ordering use our LAVC email login; the default password is “monarch”. If you are a new faculty member, you need to email the bookstore manager, Mary John, and give her your user name and login ID so she can create an online account for you and set your default password to “monarch”. You can change it once you log in for the first time.

Textbook order due dates for the following semesters and intersessions are:

WINTER: OCTOBER 1-15 (OR ASAP ONCE ASSIGNED)
SPRING: OCTOBER 1-31 (OR ASAP ONCE ASSIGNED)
SUMMER: APRIL 1-10 (OR ASAP ONCE ASSIGNED)
FALL: APRIL 1-30 (OR ASAP ONCE ASSIGNED)

The bookstore can make custom bound copies of materials you provide, which will be sold at the bookstore for a reasonable cost. Be sure to use only open access materials unless you have obtained copyright permission.

An instructor may request a review copy of a text from the publisher. If you obtain a student copy (not an instructor edition), please give it to the library to put on reserve for students who need to access the textbook on campus.

Finals:

The final exam must be given on the day and time listed in the Schedule of Classes. You are expected to hold a class session for the time scheduled.

Major Religious Holidays:

According to District Administrative Regulations, “On major religious holidays, students shall not be required to register or attend classes.” Since faculty have the option of observing religious holidays without penalty, the same holds true for our students, who should not be penalized for observing major religious holidays. It is the responsibility of the student to find out what assignments will be or have been missed and to make up the work.

Distance Education/Virtual Valley:

This site offers help for students and faculty in Distance Education, as well as assessments to help you find out if online education is right for you. The Virtual Valley Help Desk offers assistance by phone, email, and in person in its office located in LARC 232. Only faculty certified in Canvas, the college's learning management system, may teach online or hybrid classes. See the Canvas Training Schedule to find out how to get certified.

Accommodating Students with Disabilities:

If you have a student who needs accommodation for a physical or learning disability, send them to the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) in the Student Services Center Annex. Click above for information that all faculty should be aware of, including the SSD Handbook for Faculty.