Fullerton College Program Review – Academic Programs Geography Social Science Division This program review was prepared by those listed below in an open and collaborative process. All full-time faculty in the program have had an opportunity to review the report, and the report was made available to the division as a whole prior to being submitted. Participants in the Review: Claudia Lowe Susie Grabiel Dan Tesar, Dean Department Coordinator Dean _________________________ ________________________ ___________________________ Date A. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION AND HISTORY The geography program at Fullerton College offers classes that meet the general education requirements in both social science and physical science disciplines for students transferring to four year colleges and universities. These courses also provide foundations for students majoring in geography and transferring to upper division coursework at advanced degree institutions. Additionally, geography meets multi-cultural and AA degree requirements at Fullerton College; and global geography is required for the State of California Teacher Education Program for both the multi-subject credential and single subject social science credential. Geographic techniques provide necessary skills required in Business, Criminal Justice / Police Science, Fire Science and Urban Planning programs of college curriculums across the state, along with job retraining skills for students entering and reentering contemporary job markets. The geography faculty is sensitive to access and retention issues and the success of our students while maintaining curriculum integrity. Our courses are transfer level courses with equivalent standards and high retention rates. We have begun to implement on-line classes for all of our core courses. However, due to budget cuts, we have been unable to hire the necessary faculty to offer required technical classes (especially GIS) which are necessary for the police science degree certificates negotiated 5 years ago. This is a critical detriment to the geography program in this time of economic downturn when many people are turning to the community colleges to update their skills for employment in “new job” categories. B. PROGRAM GOALS Geography students learn to address some of the core questions of our times that require an integrated approach, combining both human and natural science. Students learn to use a spatial approach to holistically analyze physical and cultural features on earth and to develop an integrated understanding of cultural, social, political, economic and physical-environmental relationships in order to pose better questions and solutions to global problems. Students become better prepared to understand world events, participate in society as informed citizens and apply critical skills and techniques to a variety of social, political, economic, and environmental and employment arenas. As a result of participation in the program, students will have the following 7 skills and knowledge sets: 1. The geographical evolution and relationship of society and nature. 2. Emerging global issues in an integrated global system— Globalization Process. 3. Global impacts on local places. 4. Variations in cultural landscapes. 5. Reasons and consequences of land-use choices and decisions. 6. Applied systems theory to physical and cultural environments 7. Appropriate use of geographic tools for spatial analysis e.g. maps, GIS, etc. Student Learning Outcomes (SLO’s) 1. Formulate reasoned geographical decisions. 2. Analyze components of emerging global issues. 3. Differentiate between one’s personal values and the value system of others 4. Know and use differing geographic theories and perspectives 5. Choose and evaluate appropriate resources for relevance and reliability of information 6. Analyze a regional situation to identify a problem 7. Translate geography skills into varied employment fields e.g. urban and environmental planning, business, police and fire science, international affairs, government, etc. C. PROGRAM DEGREES AND CERTIFICATES OFFERED AA Degree in Geography Required: 12 Units in Geography and 6 additional from restricted electives. Global Geography 100 Physical Geography 102 Physical Geography Lab 102L Global Environmental Problems 120 Cultural Geography 160 Intro to Geographical Information D. PROGRAM COURSES OFFERED List by course number and title, Global Geography 100 Global Geography 100H Global Geography 100OL Physical Geography 102 Physical Geography 102OL Physical Geography Lab 102L Global Environmental Problems 120 Global Environmental Problems 120OL Cultural Geography 160 Cultural Geography 160OL Urban Geography 170 Economic Geography 260 Intro to GIS 230A Intro to GIS 230B E. PROGRAM FACULTY Claudia Lowe Susan Grabiel 5 Adjunct Faculty II. Program Key Performance Indicators Attach data sheet from institutional research to the report. (Attached) Analyzing trends over the past five years, the Geography Department has added on-line class sections for all foundation classes and is in the first semester of implementation. There has also been a moderate increase in majors. Tracking majors at local 4 year institutions finds that many students declare geography as a major upon transfer. Retention rates are generally in line with Social Science Division rates and, while our success rate is slightly lower, it is comparable to Social Science and Science disciplines that are noted for being challenging and often more unfamiliar to beginning students. However, many of our students find the topics interesting and relevant to their lives and thus return in subsequent semesters to earn a better grade. This is especially relevant since geography is an option but not a required course to graduate. In terms of efficiency and cost for value to the school, the average section size for geography is 48 students per class which is quite high and includes smaller lab classes averaged in. With fill rates continuously over 100% and WSCH per FTE remaining continuously high (619), the geography program at Fullerton College continues to offer good value for money. III. Program Outcomes Analysis A. REPORT ON STATUS OF PREVIOUS REVIEW OUTCOMES ANALYSIS Workplace demands for geographic techniques and skills remain high. Since the last review, we have completed the curriculum component linking GIS courses to the new Police Science Certificates. However, due to lack of funding for geography personnel we have been unable to offer these important classes. We continue to update our “student-centered learning” activities format to promote more in-depth geographical understanding of the complex world we live. This structure promotes greater student ownership of knowledge and mastery of concepts. Since the last program review, the geography department has compiled seven fundamental Student Learning Outcomes for all classes in our program. We will begin implementation of assessments within the next review cycle. (See Section I. B.) B. SUMMARY OF DATA Program Access: Courses are offered mornings, afternoons, evenings and on-line to meet the need of the greatest number of students. We do not offer overlapping geography classes in order to maximize course access. Program Resources: Two Full Time Faculty and Five Part-Time Faculty to maximize course offering flexibility. One shared Physical Geography Lab. Classroom Maps. NOTE: There is a need to purchase GIS programs in order to offer the GIS classes when we can hire GIS faculty to teach GIS classes in conjunction with Police Science and job training programs. Program Efficiency: Average section size is 45 to 50 which includes the smaller class sizes for Physical Geography (science) and labs which are offset by the large class size of Global Geography. Fill rates are consistently 98% to over 100%. WSCH per FTEF is 619 providing a high value for cost. Program Success: Program retention is regularly over 80% and program success as measured by the number of students that enroll at the beginning of the semester compared to the number of students that complete the courses with a passing grade at the end of the semester is regularly over 51 % (see further explanation in section II. paragraph 3). C. IDENTIFICATION OF TRENDS With the economic downturn and workplace trends in environmental occupations increasing, geography is uniquely positioned to offer occupational training and retraining for these new occupational opportunities. Geography is also in the midst of a pedagogical shift to more student- centered learning with a focus on “real- world” problem solving activities and field studies. D. IMMEDIATE SHORT-TERM PLANS Geography is committed to expanding intern opportunities for students in two main areas. One, whereby graduate students from local universities learn to teach through tutoring Fullerton College students; the second, to provide Fullerton College students with geographic experiences working in local community organizations and businesses. The Geography Program is also working on the development of assessment instruments for the Student Learning Outcomes. In the process of implementing the assessments we will also be reevaluating our SLO Goals as necessary. E. LONG-TERM PLANS Given the GLOBAL NATURE OF GEOGRAPHY, the department would like to add a regular, rotating study abroad course to the geography curriculum. As our world becomes more global, there is an ever increasing need for our students to have actual and real guided worldly experiences and interactions to help launch the lives and their careers. This is now essential for acquiring the kind of knowledge that is needed today for awareness, understanding and employment. To add at least one additional geography faculty member to expand course offerings in the techniques and skills, for example, GIS, and add appropriate certificate programs to the geography curriculum. REQUEST FOR RESOURCES Additional faculty member, GIS software and digitizing equipment for the lab.
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