The Lower-Division Academic Course Guide Manual (ACGM) is the official list of courses approved for general academic transfer that may be offered by public community and technical colleges in Texas for state funding. As part of an effort to improve the ACGM and statewide course transfer, Board staff are engaged in a project to develop student learning outcomes for some of the most frequently taught courses across the state. For each round of this project, a specific series of steps are taken.
After identifying a set of frequently taught ACGM courses, Board staff begin the process of recruiting faculty from the appropriate discipline areas from public two-year and four-year institutions. Work groups are formed for each discipline, composed of equal numbers of faculty from the two types of institutions, and are guided by a designated Board staff member. The faculty work groups review a large sample of course syllabi from public institutions, identify the common elements, and create updated course descriptions and sets of student learning outcomes for each course under consideration.
These descriptions and outcomes are publicly posted for comments. Board staff collect and organize the comments, taking particular note of those that recommend substantive changes to the materials. The comments are then brought back to the faculty work groups, who discuss and decide by majority vote which comments to incorporate into the descriptions and outcomes. These final draft materials are then considered by the ACGM Advisory Committee, which makes the final recommendations concerning the adoption of the materials into the ACGM for the next published edition.
Here is a list of the courses already developed during 2010 as part of this project:
The courses currently being developed are part of the following six disciplines: Economics, English Composition, English Literature, Government, History, and Mathematics. Additionally, Board staff have also been engaged in projects to review and update courses for the Voluntary Transfer Compacts. The most recent such project in Electrical Engineering has produced new course descriptions and learning outcomes in the disciplines of Engineering, Mathematics, and Physics.
The courses currently under development for 2012 are part of the following disciplines: Philosophy, Psychology, Spanish, Speech, and Sociology. In addition to these, Board staff worked with faculty groups to update many of the Developmental Education courses. There are also courses that have been revised as part of the Voluntary Transfer Compact development process.
Faculty groups from these disciplines have reviewed course syllabi from two-year and four-year public institutions and developed new course descriptions and learning outcomes for eventual inclusion in the ACGM. Toward that goal, we invite faculty to review and comment upon these draft descriptions and outcomes. In order to facilitate the efforts of CB staff to incorporate public comments into the final product, we would appreciate receiving one collective comment from each department, rather than separate comments from each faculty member. The public comment period will begin August 17, 2012 and will end on September 17, 2012.