The Academic Program Council (APC)

The Academic Program Council has comprehensive responsibility for the academic program, with specific responsibilities for curriculum, policy development, and general oversight of practices and services affecting the academic program. The Council may elect to delegate certain specific responsibilities to subcommittees or members, but all decisions with policy implications will be brought before the entire Council. The Council receives proposals from academic divisions, core course planning groups, students proposing independent majors, as well as its own subordinate committees. It also may initiate policy and program proposals. The Council may approve, modify, or reject proposals that it receives; however, on substantive matters, the Council submits conclusions to the College Faculty Assembly as recommendations for adoption.

The Academic Program Council consists of the Dean of Faculty, the Associate Vice President and Dean of Curriculum and Student Success, the Registrar, one faculty member from each academic division, and one student representative appointed by the Student Government Association. Each member shall have full voting rights, except for the Registrar, who is non-voting. The division designee to APC shall not be the current Division Chair nor a current member of the Faculty Status Council.

Election of the divisional APC designee shall occur in two rounds. Members of a division will nominate (by election) two candidates for the divisional designee. Members of the College Faculty Assembly will then vote to select one of the two candidates as that division’s APC designee. Elected members serve staggered three-year terms, resulting generally in only two new division designees each year. (See section on Elections and Appointments.)

The Council elects its chairperson each year. Under the jurisdiction of the Council are six committees: the Athletics Affairs Committee, the Committee on General Education (COGE), the Convocation Committee, the Student Admissions and Academic Standing Committee (SAAS), and the Teacher Preparation Accountability Committee. The Office of Academic Affairs will provide staff support for this Council.

Athletic Affairs Committee

The Athletic Affairs Committee has within its purview intercollegiate teams and student activity clubs involved in athletic competition. In regard to intercollegiate athletics, a primary responsibility is to ensure a proper balance among such activities, academic pursuits, and the labor program. Toward that end the Committee regularly reviews the scope of the program, the variety of teams fielded, the number and timing of scheduled contests, and formulates policy recommendations. Seeking fair treatment for all College teams, the Committee monitors access to facilities, suitability of equipment, budget allocations, and related matters. The Committee also cooperates with the Athletic Director to ensure compliance with institutional standards and regulations of the associations of which Berea College is a member. Beyond intercollegiate competition, the Committee also reviews issues and provides advice relating to student activity clubs involved in athletic competitions as requested by the Student Life Council.

Six members comprise the Committee. The Faculty Athletic Representative will be appointed by the Administrative Committee and serve a five-year renewable term. One member will be elected from the College Faculty Assembly for a three-year term and one member will be elected from the General Faculty (this member cannot be a member of the College Faculty Assembly) also for a three-year term. Two students—one male and one female—are also members. The Athletic Director will be an ex-officio member without voting privileges. The Athletic Administrative Assistant will attend the meetings and act as a recording secretary.

Committee on General Education (COGE)

The Committee on General Education is charged with acting as the steering committee for the General Education curriculum and is guided by the following aims of the General Education Program:

Aims of General Education

Knowledge: the General Education Program will help students understand:

  1. aesthetic, scientific, historical, and interdisciplinary ways of knowing;
  2. religion, particularly Christianity, in its many expressions;
  3. Berea College’s historical and ongoing commitments to racial (traditionally black and white) and gender equality, as well as to the Appalachian region;
  4. the natural environment and our relationship to it;
  5. the roles of science and technology in the contemporary world;
  6. U.S. and global issues and perspectives.

Skills: the General Education Program will help students develop the abilities to:

  1. read and listen effectively; write and speak effectively, with integrity and style;
  2. think critically and creatively, and reason quantitatively;
  3. develop research strategies and employ appropriate technologies as means to deepen one’s knowledge and understanding;
  4. work effectively both independently and collaboratively;
  5. resolve conflicts nonviolently.

Habits of Mind: the General Education Program will help students:

  1. deepen their capacities for moral reflection, spiritual development, and responsible action;
  2. develop an openness to and knowledgeable appreciation of human diversity, in terms of race, gender, class, religion, sexuality, language, and culture;
  3. cultivate their imagination and ability to discern connections, consider alternatives, and think about topics and issues from multiple perspectives;
  4. think and act in ways that promote peace with justice;
  5. develop habits leading to lifetime health and fitness.

The above Aims of General Education will be achieved through a combination of learning experiences designed to help students become independent learners and thinkers.  Such learning experiences are likely to include:

  1. discussion and lecture;
  2. student-initiated learning;
  3. experiential learning (for example, service-learning, travel, internships, etc.);
  4. collaborative learning.

The Committee on General Education (COGE) has responsibility for oversight of the General Education Program. This includes:

  1. consideration of issues that affect the substance of the General Education curriculum, including reviewing and making recommendations on any matters that affect GSTR course guidelines or the General Education curriculum as a whole.
  2. administration of existing policy within the General Education Program. These matters include (but are not limited to) the development, review and approval of new sections of General Education core courses, Perspectives, and other components of the General Education Program; and consideration of requests for exceptions within the General Education Program.
  3. systematic and on-going assessment of individual GSTR courses, and of the General Education curriculum as a whole.
  4. planning for faculty development in regard to the General Education Program.
  5. initiation of proposals for programmatic and/or curricular changes to the General Education Program which are forwarded to and acted upon by the Academic Program Council (APC).

COGE will consist of eight members—the Associate Vice President and Dean of Curriculum and Student Success; seven Course Coordinators; and a student. The Associate Vice President and Dean of Curriculum and Student Success will serve as a voting member of the Academic Program Council (APC), and will function as a liaison to facilitate communication between COGE and the APC. The WELL Course Coordinator will be appointed by the Dean of Faculty, and the remaining six Course Coordinators will be appointed by the Associate Vice President and Dean of Curriculum and Student Success. Terms will generally be three years, but may range from two to five years. All members will have voice and vote.

Convocation Committee

The Convocation Committee is primarily concerned with annual program planning. It reviews and recommends events and presentations to the Convocation Coordinator that advance the College’s educational purpose and enrich the life of the campus and community. Scheduling of and arrangements for convocation programs are responsibilities of the Coordinator of Convocations, but Committee members provide advice and assistance. The Committee submits recommendations for policy changes to the Academic Program Council.

The Committee is composed of seven members—two persons elected from the College Faculty, one person from the General Faculty (this member cannot be a member of the College Faculty Assembly), two students, the Associate Vice President and Dean of Curriculum and Student Success or designee from the Committee on General Education, and the Coordinator of Convocations.  All elected members serve a three-year term.

Student Admissions and Academic Standing Committee (SAAS)

The Student Admissions and Academic Standing Committee monitors current policies and practices with regard to admission, scholarship, probation and suspension, and formulates policy recommendations for consideration by the Academic Program Council and other appropriate bodies. It offers admissions recommendations and stipulations to the Admissions Decision Team on marginally qualified new, transfer, and readmission applicants. The Committee serves in an advisory capacity to departments, administrative offices, committees, and faculty advisors on matters related to policies and programs that impact student success.

The Committee hears and renders decisions on (1) cases of alleged academic dishonesty; (2) grade appeals after they have been reviewed at the divisional level; (3) appeals from students on academic probation and/or under academic suspension; (4) appeals for denied requests for ninth and tenth terms of extension; (5) requests for additional terms beyond ten; (6) appeals of denied labor overloads (15-20 hours); and (7) requests to work more than twenty hours per week. The committee also assesses the impact of program curricular planning on timely and adequate progress toward students’ completion of their degrees.

Seven members comprise the Committee—four elected from the College Faculty Assembly, one student, the Associate Vice President and Dean of Curriculum and Student Success, and the Coordinator of First-Year Programs. Additionally, the Director of Student Financial Aid Services will serve as an ex officio and non-voting member of the committee. College Faculty Assembly representatives serve three-year terms. Nominations for new College Faculty Assembly members shall be sought from divisions not currently represented on the committee. The Associate Vice President and Dean of Curriculum and Student Success will present cases involving academic probation/suspension, extension of terms, and admissions criteria, as appropriate. In these cases, the Associate Vice President and Dean of Curriculum and Student Success will vote on these matters only in the event of a tie. The Office of Academic Services will provide necessary staff support to this Committee.

Teacher Preparation Accountability Committee (TPAC)

The Teacher Preparation Accountability Committee (TPAC) operates with an understanding that teacher preparation is a college-wide activity and responsibility. TPAC is the coordinating body between the Education Studies Department, the college community, and the school partners. The committee is charged with the overall responsibility to assist in the planning, approving, and reviewing all teacher education programs that lead to public school teaching licensure. The Committee must ensure that the institutional mission, the departmental philosophy, and the most effective approaches to teacher education are considered in all EDS policy matters. The Committee will monitor teacher education policies and program practices for compliance and conformity with current national and state standards, and responsiveness to regional educational needs. 

The specific duties of the Teacher Preparation Accountability Committee are:

  1. Commitment to a formal, systematic, and continuous evaluation process of teacher education and licensure to promote excellence in the preparation of K-12 educators;
  2. Regularly review education programs (certification areas) and auxiliary services related to them to ensure that program goals are being met and that the Quality Assurance System plan is being implemented appropriately (this system provides credible performance data on the progress and achievement of each candidate which are available for feedback and reporting to the candidate, faculty, and program. The Quality Assurance System or QAS, allows the EDS to monitor and report overall candidate progress toward standards);
  3. Review candidate performance data, program performance data, and make recommendations for program improvements as needed;
  4. Serve as liaison between Education Studies and other departments with teacher preparation programs to facilitate broad faculty participation;
  5. Review the courses and programs from departments with teacher preparation programs to make recommendations to ensure best practices and compliance with national and state standards; 
  6. Encourage the development of new courses and programs when the need for these becomes apparent;
  7. Set and review standards for admission to, continuation in, and exit from teacher education programs; 
  8. Review applications for admission to teacher education programs and admission to student teaching and approve all candidates who meet or exceed the standards;
  9. Approve and monitor a collaborative effort to develop a long-range plan to address the recruitment/retention of a diverse student body in teacher education;  
  10. Monitor Student Support Systems (i.e. the Teacher Candidate Support Team policy which covers concerns about teacher candidates' behaviors and/or dispositions); 
  11. Review student/teacher candidate appeals concerning grievances regarding admission to the Teacher Education Program (TEP), retention in the TEP, and teacher certification/licensure;
  12. Perform all duties specified by the Council for the Association of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and the Kentucky Educational Professional Standards Board (EPSB).

Composition of the Teacher Preparation Accountability Committee is designed to meet institutional needs and expectations of the Council for the Association of Educator Preparation (CAEP), and the Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB).

Thirteen voting members make up the Committee:

  1. Four (4) faculty members elected from the College Faculty Assembly from Departments that offer majors in which teacher candidates may seek a license to teach (excluding the Education Studies Department), serve three-year staggered terms,
  2. The Chair of the Education Studies Department, permanent member,
  3. A second faculty member from the Education Studies Department, appointed by the Chair of the Education Studies Department, serves a two-year term,
  4. Associate Vice President and Dean of Curriculum and Student Success, permanent member,
  5. A public school administrator from the region, selected and appointed by the Committee, serves a two-year term,
  6. Three (3) public school teachers representing elementary, middle, and high school grades selected and appointed by the Committee, serve staggered three-year terms,
  7. A student/teacher candidate from the elementary education program, serves a one-year term, 
  8. A student/teacher candidate from a secondary education program, serves a one-year term,  

Note: Student/teacher candidate members of this Committee have the right to vote in all matters coming before the committee except matters of licensure.

Meetings:

The Teacher Preparation Accountability Committee meets monthly during the academic year and at other times when necessary to make decisions regarding curriculum, policies, and procedures that affect all teacher education programs. The Committee will designate a regular meeting date for the academic year. The Chair of the TPAC is elected from faculty members by the committee at the first meeting of the academic year. The chair of the Education Studies Department is not eligible to be chair of this committee.

The Chair of TPAC shall call meetings of the Committee although any other member has this power. The Chair of the Education Studies Department shall prepare a written agenda for the committee meeting to be distributed a week in advance. A majority of the membership constitutes a quorum for voting purposes (i.e., 7 members). A committee member who is unable to attend a regularly scheduled meeting of the Committee must inform the Chair of the Committee or the Chair of Education Studies Department in advance of the meeting. That member may submit in writing the name of a “non-voting proxy” to attend the meeting in their absence. Committee members who miss three consecutive meetings may be replaced by the Committee if deemed necessary.

When meeting to select teacher education candidates for admission to the program or admission to student teaching, the Committee must invite attendance of appropriate representatives of those departments with teacher education curricula which do not also have direct representation on the TPAC. Departments with candidates under review for admission to the program or student teaching will be given 30 days advanced notice for attendance at a TPAC meeting.

The Education Studies Department Administrative Assistant will be responsible for taking attendance, recording minutes, and distributing information.