The institution maintains a curriculum that is directly related and appropriate to the purpose and goals of the institution and the diplomas, certificates, or degrees awarded.
Cape Fear Community College (CFCC) is in compliance with this federal requirement. The College’s curriculum complies with state-mandated curriculum standards for all diplomas, certificates and degrees awarded. New programs require approval from the North Carolina State Board of Community Colleges, and the College must demonstrate relevance to the purpose and goals of the institution as part of its new program application. Relevance is also considered by technical advisory committees, comprised of faculty and occupational experts, which meet at least annually to review each program of study. In addition each curriculum program is subject to a formal program review process looking at issues such as purpose, enrollment, graduation rates, student outcomes and assessments, staffing, curriculum relevancy, facility and equipment requirements and student survey results. Every program is scrutinized in this manner a minimum of once every five years, but more often if necessary.
Cape Fear Community College maintains curricula that directly relate to and are compatible with the College’s purpose and goals. The College’s Mission Statement reads that:
“Cape Fear Community College is an open door, multi-campus, comprehensive community college that strengthens the academic, economic, social and cultural life of the citizens of New Hanover and Pender counties. As a member of the North Carolina Community College System, Cape Fear Community College fully supports the system’s mission and fulfills its purposes by:
• Focusing on vocational, technical, pre-baccalaureate, literacy education, and continuing education programs and services;
• Recruiting, enrolling, advising and retaining a diverse student body;
• Recruiting, retaining and developing a highly qualified and diverse faculty and staff who are dedicated to quality education and service to the College and the community;
• Evaluating existing programs and implementing new curricula and instructional strategies to serve the changing needs of the service area;
• providing support services that help students succeed;
• Enhancing student life through clubs, cultural activities, leadership opportunities, and athletics; and
• Interacting and cooperating with others to encourage, promote and facilitate economic and community development.” (CFCC Mission Statement pg 2)
Therefore, the College's mission and goals are to provide a quality education, ensure the success of its students, contribute to workforce development, meet the needs of a diverse population, and enrich the community.
The College offers courses that lead to two-year degrees, one-year diplomas and certificates that meet the semester hour requirements set forth by the North Carolina Community College System. CFCC programs of study and related state curriculum standards are attached (NCCCS Curriculum Standards). The College endeavors to meet the needs of its client groups by offering college credit courses leading to the Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, Associate in Fine Arts, Associate in General Education and Associate in Applied Science degrees as well as related diplomas and certificates. Cape Fear Community College is currently authorized to offer 30 technical associate degree programs, three college transfer associate degree programs, one general education associate degree program, 19 diploma programs and 42 certificate programs (Curriculum Programs pg 47). In keeping with the rapid growth in the college’s service area, the college has approximately doubled its curriculum offerings in the past decade. (1995 Curriculum Course Offerings)
The courses in these programs include the general education courses along with the coursework specific to the students’ desired program of study. There are also a wide range of courses offered leading to diplomas and certificates in the technical and vocational areas.
North Carolina community colleges establish new degree programs by making application to the State Board of Community Colleges following procedures outlined in Section 3 of the NCCCS Curriculum Procedures Manual (NCCCS Curriculum Program Application Procedures). These procedures require colleges to demonstrate the purpose of the proposed new program, its relationship to the college's mission, student interest in the program, and the involvement of a curriculum advisory committee composed of key industry or occupational representatives. Additionally, the college must project enrollment and employment opportunities for graduates of the program and address the adequacy of budget, faculty, library and other resources to support the program. Furthermore, the college must indicate adherence to program accreditation criteria; job competencies and performance skills required to perform the tasks or duties identified for the curriculum. Finally, the college’s application must contain an appropriate curriculum design and document the acceptance of the program by senior administrators of other colleges in the North Carolina Community College System.
Once curriculum programs are established, validation of their content is conducted in two ways. First, for each Vocational Technical program, a Technical Advisory Committee is established (Advisory Committee). These committees, comprised of area employers, occupational experts, and CFCC instructors and administrators, meet at least annually and review each program for relevance in the technical specialty. Committee responsibilities are specifically delineated in a brochure distributed to all members (Advisory Committee Information). Further each Vocational Technical program and the College Transfer program are subject to an in-depth Program Review conducted by a program review team. The lead instructor of the program being reviewed will be an ad hoc member of his/her program review team. The reviewing team will have 7 members from the Institutional Effectiveness (IE) Committee including the dean of arts and sciences, the dean of vocational technical education, the director of career and testing services, two instructional department chairs and two members at large. The institutional researcher will serve as an ex officio member. Cross-institutional membership of the review team ensures that the program review process is thorough and objective. The program review team examines strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for each program by looking at issues such as purpose, enrollment, graduation rates, student outcomes and assessments, staffing, curriculum relevancy, facility and equipment requirements and student survey results (Program Review Process for Vocational and Technical Programs) and (Program Review Process for College Transfer Programs). Each program is reviewed at a minimum of once every five years (Program Review Schedule). Programs with low enrollment or other significant issues or problems are reviewed more frequently. Program reviews are documented with copies maintained in the office of the appropriate dean and department chair (Medical Transcription Program Review).
Cape Fear Community College also offers basic skills courses helping clients reach their goal of completing Adult High School or GED requirements. The College offers developmental classes in preparation for college credit courses and a tutoring service at the Learning Lab. A large percentage of Cape Fear Community College’s students are employed. In order to meet these students’ needs there are a cross section of credit and non-credit classes offered each week after 5:00 pm and on weekends. Each year, approximately 1,700 non-credit continuing education classes are offered throughout the College’s service area. Refer to Comprehensive Standard 3.4.2 for a detailed explanation of the CFCC continuing education, outreach and service programs.