American Samoa Community College

II.A.2  Faculty including full time, part time and adjunct faculty, ensure that the content and methods of instruction meet generally accepted academic and professional standards and expectations.  Faculty and others responsible act to continuously improve instructional courses, programs and directly related services through systematic evaluation to assure currency, improve teaching and learning strategies, and promote student success.

The changes made at the College to comply with this standard were guided by Recommendation 1.

The College determines the appropriateness of its delivery modes through ongoing review of course syllabi and assessment of Student Learning Outcomes (SLO).  All ASCC faculty are required to identify different instructional modes of teaching following the expectations for course syllabi requirements.1   Each semester, full-time, part-time and adjunct faculty are required to submit course syllabi to the Department Chairperson (DC). The DC reviews course syllabi to ensure that all SLO, including teaching methods, are listed, and SLO are aligned with assessment instruments that link to course graded assignments. The Office of Academic Affairs monitors the instructional modes of teaching used by all academic departments and programs through its standardized course syllabi template and Instructional Academic Program Review (APR).2 

The College places emphasis on the involvement of faculty, staff and administration in the development and implementation of SLO at all levels.  Faculty discussions on relationships between SLO, student performance and the effectiveness of teaching methods are initiated at the department level. Based on the faculty peer review of student performance, proposed changes to teaching methods are adjusted at the discretion of the department.  Any recommended changes to SLO or curriculum are presented to the curriculum committee for review and approval.  The DC is charged with submission of any course/program changes to the Curriculum Committee for review and approval. The curriculum approval process assures the College of the quality of its courses and programs in achieving SLO. 

ASCC faculty use effective delivery modes that cater to the diverse needs of students and are recorded on course syllabi. A semester basis review of course outcomes, delivery methods, and assessment  instruments assures that the College meets the needs of all students through achievement of SLO. The General Education Faculty Assessment exit report presented to the Assessment Committee resulted in ten recommendations. Two of the recommendations emphasized teaching methodologies and delivery of instruction that have been addressed by departments.

The College defined the annual Non-instructional Divisional Assessment Program Review (DAPR) and Academic Program Review (APR) as assessment instruments to evaluate programs and services. The DAPR is required by the Institution of all its divisions to assess the quality of instructional and non-instructional programs/departments. Areas of review include divisional mission and outcomes, evaluation of program/department effectiveness and improvement, decision making, personnel, staff development and facilities, equipment and technology, student support services, safety and emergency procedures, and divisional planning and resource allocation.3

The APR instrument was revised as an additional program review mechanism and was approved and adopted by the Curriculum Committee. The APR was implemented in spring 2015 and will continue its review annually.7 The APR is comprised of faculty, administrators and staff who were engaged in a collaborative process of assessing and improving the quality of all academic programs. An APR report of its findings has been compiled by the Division of Institutional Effectiveness.  With the establishment of APR, the College has a systematic process for assessing student learning and student attainment of educational goals.4 The APR process is as follows:

This process involves faculty, administrators, and staff in:

  • Gathering information about academic programs/departments,
  • reviewing and analyzing of information,
  • combining all information in making judgments about overall program quality and making recommendations for improvements, and
  • following up to ensure that all academic programs are fully supported in their efforts to provide quality academic programs/courses.

The APR was developed to include these major criteria: (1) Input Measures (2) Program Operations and (3) Output Measures. Input measures are institutional resources provided for a program of study to achieve stated mission and outcomes. Input measures address the area of facilities, equipment, materials, teaching methods, teacher qualifications, and faculty professional development. Output measures are specific student characteristics developed after the completion of an academic program of study or course. The areas identified are tracking, course and degree/certificate, retention/completion rates, and the assessment of student learning outcomes. The Program Operation criteria requires information that is directly related to the instructional program of the College. The instrument (curriculum grid) is designed to obtain information on scheduling history. The reports indicate the number of courses that were offered during each semester of the cycle by each academic department.

APR at ASCC places emphasis on the involvement of faculty, administrators, and staff in linking the academic programs/departments with the community it serves, reviewing and planning, decision-making, and allocating resources at departmental and divisional levels. This emphasis ensures that the review contributes to the attainment of the institutional mission and that appropriate recommendations are made for improvement and currency of all academic programs. Currency of curriculum and program relevancy are the responsibility of the faculty as they initiate changes to courses and programs based on program review results and assessment for instructional improvement.  Through the recommendations, the College ensures continual improvements in the quality of instruction at ASCC. 5

Results of the DAPR compliment the APR in supporting instruction through achievement of SLO and meeting Institutional Student Achievement Standards.   Findings are used in institutional planning through its resource and budget allocation for operation.  Results of both instruments allow academic divisions to allocate funds for strengthening programs, providing adequate personnel, improving on teaching and learning, promoting continuous professional development, improving services, and providing a sufficient budget as an instructional resource for meeting the mission of the College.6

ASCC, as a data driven institution, continues to evaluate and assess the effectiveness of its instructional methods through ongoing assessment of SLO and continuous implementation of program review processes to ensure the currency and high quality of its instructional programs. The College, through broad-based collaboration of its stakeholders, continues to improve and support instructional courses, programs and direct services through effective decision-making and allocation of resources to promote student success.

1 - Academic Affairs Division Standard Operating Procedures Manual, SOP #002-AA, Course Syllabus
2 - Academic Affairs Program Review Summary & Findings 2015, pg.3 9
3 - Participatory Governance Structural Manual: Assessment of Student Learning and Achievement & Institution Set Achievement Standards, p. 16-28
4 - Participatory Governance Structural Manual: Institution Set Achievement Standards, p. 25-27
5 - Academic Program Review-Summary & Findings 2015
6 - Participatory Governance Structural Manual: Assessment of Student Learning and Achievement & Institution Set Achievement Standards, p. 16-28