ERIC Number: ED362238
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-May
Reference Count: N/A
Student Success: Implementing a Comprehensive General Education Program for Occupational Students.
Nolte, Walter H.; And Others
Reviewing accreditation standards and employer needs surveys emphasizing the importance of general skills for graduating occupational students, this paper describes the 5-year process utilized at Tacoma Community College, in Washington, to develop and implement a general education program for its occupational degree and technical certificate students. Following a brief introduction, local accreditation standards established in 1984 are discussed, highlighting the emphasis on general education in occupational and certificate programs. Next, results from surveys of employer needs are summarized, indicating that most employers consider basic academic skills, communication skills, and adaptive skills to be more important than specific technical skills. The first 2 years of the planning process are then described, reviewing the formation of a task force and the definition of the following six essential skill areas: communication, computation, leadership, human relations, critical thinking, and computer literacy. The next sections discuss outcomes for the third and fourth years, including the development of an implementation document based on faculty input which suggested a flexible approach to implementing general education requirements, as well as efforts to win approval for the plan. The final section describes the implementation of the requirements, indicating that program faculty have been pleased with results and students have enjoyed the flexibility in the curriculum. Contains 12 references. (ECC)
Descriptors: Community Colleges, Curriculum Development, Educational Innovation, Employer Attitudes, General Education, Instructional Development, Instructional Effectiveness, Integrated Curriculum, Needs Assessment, Program Development, Skill Development, Standards, Two Year Colleges, Vocational Education
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Tacoma Community College WA
Note: Paper presented at the Annual International Conference of the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development on Teaching Excellence and Conference of Administrators (15th, Austin, TX, May 23-29, 1993).