2014 Mar Highlights

Once a month, we highlight departments, programs, and committees from across the college that have great things happening motivated by a desire to improve student learning.

March 2014

Broadcast Electronic Media Arts

BEMA uses Industry Advisory Boards to align degrees with work place standards. Below, students take a tour of Fantasy Studios in Berkeley as part of Dana Labrecque's Sound Recording course.


Broadcast Electronic Media Arts (BEMA) has consulted industry advisors throughout its 75 year history and since 1995 has conducted between one and two formal industry advisory panels annually to ensure that curriculum aligns with current professional industry practice. Student interns are invited to assist in planning and implementation supervised by faculty. In addition to the initial invitation sent out to advisors, two follow up emails are sent periodically, each with more information about the event including questions that will be asked, information about CCSF in general, and information specifically about BEMA programs. The department has tried various approaches for offering refreshments and has found that the most efficient approach is to ask each faculty member to donate funds for refreshments.     

On the day of the advisory meeting, faculty, interns, and staff work together to set up for the event. A  video loop featuring students working on projects throughout the department is set up in the HDTV studio or sometimes in the “green” room where refreshments are located. About an hour before the advisory meeting begins, guests arrive and are greeted by student interns who give each industry advisor a personal tour of department facilities.  The tour ends in a room designated for refreshments where student interns, faculty and advisors socialize for about 30 minutes before moving to the HDTV studio for the advisory session. Advisors are seated on the HDTV studio stage with a table in front of them, a bottle of water, a pen and pad, and a packet of materials that includes  the 4-5 questions that will guide the session.  Faculty are seated on the studio floor behind a table facing the advisors.   

The Department Chair or the faculty coordinator welcomes everyone and shares brief information about CCSF, BEMA, and the advisory meeting,  points to the questions in their packet, asks each panelist to introduce themselves and then asks the first question.  It has been BEMA’s experience that with minimal facilitation, the entire set of questions sent earlier to the panel can be covered comprehensively within two hours.  BEMA finds the most useful advisory sessions to be “directed conversations” rather than tightly controlled Q/A sessions. Fifteen minutes is scheduled at the end of each advisory session for students to ask industry advisors questions.  The session is followed by a short period of socialization/networking before student interns escort each advisor back to their car. Students then return to the department and faculty, staff and students work together to put everything away. Students who attend advisory  meetings are encouraged to share what they learned with their peers. Advisory meetings are audio recorded and faculty take turns taking careful notes.  Faculty meet within a week following the advisory session to discuss and implement recommendations and suggestions into the curriculum and then submit the changes to the College Curriculum Committee.

The most recent BEMA industry advisory meeting in December 2013 focused on a comprehensive review of the interdisciplinary Multimedia Studies Rich Media Production Certificate of Achievement. Faculty from BEMA, Multimedia Studies (VMD), Journalism, Cinema and Speech were invited.  The event was well attended and information from the advisory panel resulted in a substantial revision of program learning outcomes, required course sequence and certificate title to Convergence Media Production. The revised Convergence Media Production Certificate of Achievement incorporates new approaches to  media creation, content and marketing utilizing emerging technologies such as mobile devices and social media along with traditional modes of communication. Here is a link to BEMA’s advisory web page: http://tinyurl.com/BEMA-Advisory-Panels

Honors Program

More students from CCSF are competively selected to particpate in the Bay Area Honors Consortium than any other Bay Area College. 

Honors student Wolf giving a speech

Like all of the other departments and programs here at CCSF, the Honors Program has embraced the assessment of student learning outcomes.  Progress has been made in the area of participation in a honors student symposium, honors faculty round table, and assessments collected after Honors Program workshops.

One of the chief aims of the Honors Program across the curriculum is to teach and encourage students to engage in research.  Every year since 2008 the Bay Honors Consortium has offered their Community College Research Symposium. In terms of the location, this event is held every other year at either Stanford University or the University of California, Berkley, with these two hosts taking turns every other year.  Community college students from all over California apply in February to speak at the conference.   Presentations generally revolve around a research paper that students have written in exchange for an honors credit on their transcripts. Original research is more likely to be chosen by the selection committee than literature reviews.  The committee looks for a fair balance between qualitative and quantitative empirical research.  The rigor of the study as well as the originality is also a factor in a paper’s selection.  After a fifteen to twenty minute long presentation students entertain a substantial question and answer session.  Audience members include students, community college professors, professors from the host university, and friends / family.  The event also features a transfer workshop, transfer panel, and campus tour, all of which are run by the host university.  University admissions officials also typically speak at the opening and closing ceremony.  Students leave the event with a stainless steel water bottle and t-shirt commemorating the event.   CCSF Faculty edit papers, coach students on speaking skills, serve as moderators, and serve on the planning committee.  Among those faculty that frequently participate are Lillian Duck (Social Sciences), Matt Kennedy (Behavioral Sciences), Benedict Lim  (Asian Studies), Ardel Thomas (LGBT Studies), Edgar Torres (Latin American Studies), Janet Carpenter (Art), and Sami Kudsi (Speech).  In terms of outcomes, on average more CCSF students have been selected to speak at the event than any other community college.  Last year, one of our students won the best speaker award.  This was the second time we won the award.

In the fall for the last 3 years CCSF faculty have participated in a Community College Honors Faculty Round Table, hosted by Mills College. This event is also sponsored by the Bay Honors Consortium.  At the roundtable a keynote address is given by Mills faculty to inspire community college honors faculty.  For the rest of the day break out sessions are held to discuss ways of teaching honors classes and standards for what is and is not acceptable in an honors class.  This intercampus dialog regarding honors outcomes never fails to enlighten CCSF professors.  In addition to participating, CCSF faculty also are involved in the planning and running of the round table.

In terms of assessment on campus, CCSF Honors Program Coordinator has created a multiple choice quiz to distribute to students at CCSF that attend his honors transfer workshops, which he periodically offers on campus.  So far this measurement instrument has been piloted and is currently being fine-tuned by the program with help from CCSF Honors Issues Subcommittee.  The instrument attempts to asses how well students understand the program learning outcomes featured on our web site.  Once the instrument has been perfected, it will be distributed at subsequent workshops.

Obviously the Honors Program is only scratching the surface of what can be done in the area of assessment.  The future of continuous assessment is very bright for the Honors Program.