6.2b Program Faculty
Employs a sufficient number of full-time faculty members to ensure curriculum and program quality, integrity, and review. (Program faculty)
√ Compliance ____Non-Compliance
St. Petersburg College (SPC) employs a sufficient number of full-time faculty members to ensure curriculum and program quality, integrity, and review. Full-time faculty members teach across modalities depending upon how courses are taught within their program and teach Dual Enrollment courses offered at SPC in all modalities. Dual Enrollment courses taught at the High Schools are taught by Adjunct faculty that meet the SPC credentialing guidelines.
Defining Educational Programs
During the 2021-21 academic year, the College employed 329 full-time faculty members and 787 adjuncts across 52 discipline areas, 35 in Associate level areas, and 17 in Baccalaureate areas.
State Board of Education Administrative Rule 6A-14.030 provides authorization for SPC to offer the number and type of credit certificates and degrees listed in the table below, which aligns with the Institutional Summary Form prepared for this institutional review. Note: SPC also offers several clock-hour, workforce programs that can articulate into A.S. degree programs (e.g. Police and Fire Academies), but are not included in this standard as they are not credit-bearing.
Table 6.2.b.1 — Certificates and Degrees Offered at St. Petersburg College
For purposes of analyzing faculty adequacy at the program level, SPC uses “academic organizations” (called program areas for this report) rather than individual programs in order to ensure each course is not double counted when shared by multiple programs. Accordingly, the College developed a crosswalk between the academic program and academic organization to show how we pulled faculty workloads. In addition, the Associate of Arts program courses, which are primarily composed of General Education courses designed for transfer purposes, have been separated by discipline groupings and noted as “GE” on the crosswalk. All certificates have been designed to be stackable credentials within programs, so they have not been separated out from their parent Associate of Science degree. This includes Advanced Technical Certificates and Certificates of Professional Preparation, which usually combine courses from several degree programs.
When reviewing the adequacy of full-time faculty, SPC uses these definitions for the different types of faculty per Board of Trustee Rule 6Hx23-1.01 (attachments below are links to sample job postings):
- Full-Time Faculty – Contractual instructional personnel paid according to the Faculty Salary Schedule and the Supplemental Salary Schedule for courses in addition to contractual loads.
- Instructor-In-Charge– Full-time faculty who are responsible for the supervision and evaluation of adjunct faculty at the campus level and are paid according to the Faculty Salary Schedule, including an academic stipend. Formerly Academic Chair.
- Adjunct Faculty – Part-time, temporary instructional personnel paid according to the Adjunct Salary Schedule.
The organizational structure of the academic departments at SPC begins with the President of the College, who is authorized to hire instructional staff per Florida Statute 1001.65 (3) and Board of Trustees Rule 6Hx23-2.201. Each of the College’s academic programs are organized by Career and Academic Communities and overseen by one of the eleven Deans, who report to the Vice President of Academic Affairs. The Vice President of Academic Affairs reports directly to the President.
Full-time faculty report to their Academic Dean. Deans work with their Associate or Assistant Deans, Program Directors, and Instructors-in-Charge to construct course schedules, recruit full-time or adjunct faculty and develop their departmental budgets. The Deans play a critical role in supporting the full-time faculty in their divisions, making sure they have the resources and access to information that allow them to fulfill their responsibilities to the students and the College. Associate Deans, Assistant Deans, Program Directors, and Instructors-in-Charge provide the same support to the adjunct faculty in their department areas.
Process Used to Determine Adequacy of Full-time Faculty
“Adequacy” is defined by St. Petersburg College as having a critical mass of full-time credentialed faculty to provide academic oversight and teach a majority of the student semester hours (SSH) within each modality, across campus locations, and within each academic discipline. The College’s institutional goal is to reach and maintain a 55/45 full-time to adjunct faculty ratio. Student semester hours are defined as the number of course credits multiplied by the student enrollment of the particular course. This ratio is determined by calculating the number of student semester hours (SSH) taught by faculty counted as full-time as compared to the total number student semester hours (SSH) in any semester in all credit-bearing courses. Because SPC faculty teach across disciplines and course credit hours range from 1-4 depending upon the course/program, SSH provides a better measurement of actual student contact within a given semester than a more traditional faculty/student course-based ratio.
For the past ten years, St. Petersburg College program administrators have reviewed their full-time/adjunct (part-time) faculty SSH ratio each fall to determine the percentage of SSH taught by full-time faculty in order to make recommendations to the Vice President of Academic Affairs regarding the need for full-time faculty positions in specific areas of study. The goal of this process is to ensure that full-time faculty in any academic year teach a sufficient number of student semester hours to maintain the critical mass and still be able to fulfill the basic faculty functions that support the College mission – providing curriculum development and oversight, maintaining currency and scope of subject matter, teaching and assessment of student learning outcomes, contributing to College student success initiatives, and engaging in service to the College, department, and profession. SPC ensures there is at least one highly qualified full-time faculty member teaching in each academic degree program, who serves as the Program Coordinator.
As part of the College’s mission, all Florida State Colleges are mandated by the state to focus upon workforce degree programming (Florida Statute 1004.65). As such, SPC is committed to providing students with an equitable academic experience that blends theory with practice. Utilizing workforce practitioners as adjuncts brings real-world, current experience, and practical application into the classroom, and provides the driving force behind the maintenance of a 55/45 full-time to adjunct faculty ratio. In most cases where this split has not been reached, the program was either recently established or has increasingly experienced low enrollment or rapid growth. Additional full-time faculty are added to these programs as enrollment grows; however, if the program is not sustainable, it is put into teach-out status.
Adequacy of Full-Time Faculty
The following table shows the number of semester hours taught by full-time faculty and the number of semester hours taught by part-time faculty by program area for the 2021-22 academic year. In cases where the 55% full-time/ 45% adjunct goal is not met, explanatory notes are provided after the table.
Part III: Fifth-Year Compliance Certification
- Section 5: Administration and Organization
- Section 6: Faculty
- Section 8: Student Achievement
- Section 9: Educational Program Structure and Content
- Section 10: Educational Policies, Procedures, and Practices
- Section 12: Academic and Student Support Services
- Section 13: Financial and Physical Resources
- Section 14: Transparency and Institutional Representation
Part IV: Follow-Up Report
- State Board of Education Administrative Rule 6A-14.030
- Crosswalk of Academic Programs to Academic Organizations
- Board of Trustees Rule 6Hx23-1.01
- Full-Time Faculty Job Description Example
- Instructor-in-Charge Job Description Example
- Adjunct Faculty Job Description Example
- Florida Statute 1001.65 (3)
- Board of Trustees Rule 6Hx23-2.201
- Associate Dean
- Assistant Dean
- Program Director
- Florida Statute 1004.65
- Faculty Manual
- Curriculum & Instruction Processes
- Online Course Revitalization
- Course Review Process
- Academic Program Assessment Process
- Board of Trustees Procedure P6Hx23-3.04
- Curriculum & Instruction Committee Charter
- Student Centered Curriculum at SPC Training
- Quality Matters (QM) Rubric
- Quality Matters Syllabus Template
- Instruction, Design, Education and Support (IDEAS) Website
- Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement
- Engage for Change survey
- Faculty Support Website
- Introduction to MyCourses Training
- Teaching Online Training
- Association of College and University Educators (ACUE) Training
- Position Summary
- Board of Trustees Procedure P6Hx23-2.022
- Student Survey of Instruction (SSI) Example
- Alumni Survey
- Employer Survey
- Center for Community College Student Engagement (CCCSE) Survey
- Survey of Entering Student Engagement (SENSE) Survey
Table 6.2.b.2 — Full-Time Faculty/ Part-Time Faculty Percentage of Student Semester Hours (SSH) Taught by Program Area
Note: Programs noted with a * are currently in teach-out and not required to meet the 55/45 threshold as full-time faculty are moved to alternative discipline areas. Programs noted with a ** are brand new and in the process of growing enrollment and are not required to meet the 55/45 threshold until enrollment warrants additional full-time faculty to be hired.
The following programs did not reach the 55/44 ratio for 2021-22 for several reasons described below:
- Biotechnology is a small specialty program. During the 2021-22 year, only 10 classes were taught, four of which were taught by adjuncts and had higher enrollments thus skewing the SSH balance. To increase enrollment in this program, a new embedded certificate has been created, which will begin enrolling students in the Fall of 2023, to allow for additional completion pathways within the program and provide a stackable credential.
- Computer Information Technology AS includes two introductory courses that students in all lower division programs can choose from to meet the College’s technology literacy requirements. These two courses account for 11,377 SSH – the majority of which are taught by adjuncts. These courses serve to introduce new adjuncts to the department and potentially serve as a recruiting forum for the department. Removing these two courses from the mix provides a 40% FT/ 60% PT ratio. A new Dean for this area was hired during Spring of 2023 and this gap will be improved during the upcoming academic year.
- Crime Scene Technology is a small program. Of the 29 courses taught during 2021-22, 12 were taught by full-time faculty. This program, along with Digital Forensics, will be placed in teach out starting Fall 2023. The content of these programs will be combined with the Criminal Justice degree under a new name, Public Safety AS.
- Dental Hygiene AS went through a series of faculty retirements during the 2021-21 academic year, and adjuncts were used to fill the gap while the program worked to hire new faculty. Of the 80 course sections taught, only 24 were taught by full-time faculty. In 2022-23, of the 24 classes taught to date, 13 have been taught by full-time faculty, and the SSH ratio is 57% full-time to 43% part-time.
- Digital Arts has been working to hire new faculty for the past two years. Of the 76 courses taught, only 18 were taught by full-time faculty. In 2022-23, of the 65 courses taught to date, 38 have been taught by full-time faculty, and the SSH ratio is now 59% full-time to 41% part-time.
- Fire Science will be placed into teach out starting Fall 2023 with the content of the program combined with the Emergency Management Administration under a new name, Homeland Security and Emergency Management. This will bring both programs back into the expected ratio balance.
- Health Information Management has been working to hire new faculty for the past two years. Of the 91 courses taught, 34 were taught by full-time faculty. To date in 2022-23, 36 of the 50 courses have been taught by full-time faculty, bringing the ratio to 67% FT / 33% PT
- Hospitality & Tourism has gone through restructuring and currently only has one full-time faculty member, but the department continues to look for additional faculty.
- Human Services AS is a rapidly expanding program, and the College has been waiting on State approval to offer the Bachelor’s program for the past two years. Additional full-time faculty hires will be made once the approval comes through, and these faculty will teach in both the lower and upper division programs.
- Radiography clinicals use multiple instructors, both full-time and adjunct for each course, which can skew the SSH formula. Despite the low formula results, a deeper look showed that every course had at least one full-time instructor teaching alongside the adjuncts in these cases, thus meeting the desired threshold.
- Veterinary Technology BAS did not hit the desired percentage because one of the full-time faculty was serving as an interim Associate Dean of Veterinary Technology and was calculated as an adjunct for that year. Including her SSH, the split would have been 62% FT/ 38% PT.
Comparison to Peer Institutions
To ensure the College is in alignment with its sister institutions in the Florida College System, The College reviews the faculty/student ratio found in the annual Florida Department of Education Fact Book. According to the 2021-22 Fact Book, St. Petersburg College’s faculty/student ratio is comparable to many of its peer institutions.
Table 6.2.b.3 — Faculty/Student Ratio Comparison
Faculty Workloads and Overloads
Contracted full-time, associate-level instructors generally maintain a load of 36 credit hours each academic year, representing teaching during the three academic semesters – fall, spring, summer – unless otherwise indicated on the job posting. Contracted faculty may elect a load of 30 credit hours each academic year with a salary adjustment for the reduced load. Each full-time baccalaureate-level faculty member maintains a load of 42 credit hours. (Baccalaureate-level faculty are hired using a 12-month contract that includes required academic advising for students, which accounts for their larger credit hour load.)
In addition, full-time faculty may voluntarily request approval from their Dean and the Vice President of Academic Affairs to teach an additional 6 supplemental credit hours (2 classes) per semester, with an additional 3 credit hours (1 class) approved in special circumstances each semester – for a total of 15 maximum credit hours (5 classes) over the three semesters each year. Overloads above the normal requests may occur in cases when there is difficulty hiring additional adjuncts, unexpected vacancies, unexpected increases in enrollment, or departmental need. These additional overloads must also be approved by their Dean and the Vice President of Academic Affairs.
Reviewing the 2021-22 data, 52 of the 329 (16%) full-time faculty had overloads above and beyond the normal requests. Most had requested these additional overloads for one additional course during each semester and potentially more during Summer semester. Below is a chart denoting the discipline/degree area where additional overloads occurred.
Table 6.2.b.4 — Faculty with Overloads by Credentialing Area
Faculty Role in Ensuring Curriculum and Program Quality, Integrity, and Review
In addition to their full-time teaching load (or primary function of instruction, coaching, and student development), full-time faculty are expected to assist in the development and oversight of programs and courses, provide service to the college, and participate in continuing professional development. (Note: research is not a requirement for faculty appointments and thus not discussed in this standard.) These expectations are outlined in the Faculty Manual and are assessed through the faculty e-portfolio evaluation process. To ensure that all full-time faculty have the resources needed to perform these functions, the College provides direct support through the Department of Curriculum Services, the Center of Excellence in Teaching and Learning, the Department of Instruction, Design, Education and Support, and the Department of Institutional Effectiveness.
Oversight of Programs and Courses
Oversight of programs and courses includes ongoing development and modification of courses and programs through the Curriculum & Instruction processes, online course revitalization, course review process, and academic program assessment processes.
Curriculum & Instruction
Each educational program for which academic credit is awarded at St. Petersburg College is developed and approved by faculty, administration and the Board of Trustees in accordance with the Board of Trustees Procedure P6Hx23-3.04 and SPC curriculum processes. These processes are used for all course and program modifications regardless of modality, including all courses taught to Dual Enrolled students on and off campus.
These processes include:
- Creating new programs
- Developing new courses
- Terminating programs (i.e. placing them into teach out)
- Deleting courses
- Modifying courses
- Reviewing courses
- Determining credit hours
- Developing course major learning outcomes
- Determining recommended course size
- Waiving course prerequisites
- Assessing programs
All proposed curriculum changes are reviewed by the Curriculum and Instruction Sub-Committee, composed of faculty from the various disciplines and programs (see C&I Committee charter). Members serve for a minimum of a two-year term. The committee reviews the compatibility of the program curriculum with the educational objectives of the College including SPC’s standards of Student Focus, Academic Quality, Structural Integrity, and Articulation Assurance (see Student Centered Curriculum at SPC training).
Ongoing Curriculum Design and Review
In addition to the college-wide curriculum process, which focuses primarily on the course outline, faculty participate in two major initiatives that focus on course design and review: online course revitalization and ongoing course review.
Online Course Revitalization
In 2015 St. Petersburg College adopted Quality Matters (QM) as the foundational rubric against which online courses are assessed, launching a standard course creation project which continues to produce high-quality courses that are designed to enhance and support student success. To support the utilization of the QM Rubric as SPC’s standard of excellence, the College requires all deans and all faculty selected to develop courses to complete professional development. In addition to “Applying the QM Rubric”, which is facilitated by certified Instructional Design team members, Faculty Developers are also required to complete SPC’s internally designed “Developing an Online Course.” Each course requires approximately 20 hours of effort over two weeks and covers details of how to satisfy the 42 QM standards and various options regarding design, flow, and content to be considered when developing online instruction and assessments. The result of this professional development has been an academic team that possesses strong skills in developing curricula.
During the standard course process, an Instructional Design Specialist guides a faculty member through the review and alignment of Major Learning Outcomes (MLO) and Learning Objectives in the course outline. Faculty consider instruction, activities, and assessment, judging whether each MLO is measurable and whether they match the appropriate Bloom’s taxonomy level for the course. A Quality Matters syllabus template was designed to meet standards in providing information about various types of learner support and resources available. Over eight years the standard course process has yielded nearly 300 high-quality courses, which encompass not only General Education courses, but also core courses and electives in lower and upper division programs.
Started in 2021, a variation called Rapid Course Refresh allows faculty to participate in an instructional designer-guided course improvement cohort that reinforces best practices for engagement and success while applying improvements to a chosen course. This short duration process works well for experienced course developers, producing results in half the time of a full standard course development. Rapid Course Refresh has produced 28 courses to date.
Descriptions of both processes can be found on the Instruction, Design, Education, and Support (IDEAS) website.
Ongoing Course Review Process
Each year full-time faculty participate in the ongoing course review process to ensure courses maintain currency in their field, promote best practices for teaching and learning, and engage students. Designed during a faculty-led Summer Institute during Summer 2019, this process takes a deep look at the appropriateness of course Major Learning Outcomes and associated Objectives, alignment of these outcomes/objectives to learning activities and assessments, development of syllabus content, and high-impact practices around providing feedback and student engagement. Faculty, working with their Deans, choose a minimum of two courses from each key discipline area and participate in this year-long review conducted by the Curriculum Services and Instructional Design, Education and Support (IDEAS) teams.
Assessment of Programs
The development and assessment of student learning is a systematic, unified process across programs at SPC. Identified and developed with input from faculty, advisory board members, and program administrators in conjunction with the Curriculum Services Department, SPC Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs) are developed to demonstrate student learning and clearly articulate the knowledge, skills, and abilities of their graduates. PLOs also incorporate general education outcomes, where appropriate, as well as identified best practices in their fields.
In addition, Institutional Effectiveness (IE) meets regularly with academic program Deans and faculty to develop and review the program learning outcomes, their connections to course outcomes and objectives, as well as their respective assessments of student learning. This process and faculty involvement is discussed at length in Standard 8.2.
Service to the College and Community
As part of their workload duties, all faculty are expected to participate in service to their department, college, and community. This expectation is identified in job descriptions and contracts as “service to the college” and included in the faculty ePortfolio evaluation. Faculty can choose from a myriad of options each year, which they determine in conversations with their Dean.
In addition, the College’s mission, values, and strategic plan identify community service as a key pillar supported through the Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement. The Center provides faculty with resources to embed service learning within their classes, participate in volunteer opportunities, and Faculty and staff are expected to log their community service hours using the Engage for Change survey located on the Center website. These hours, along with the number of courses with embedded service learning, serve as one of the strategic plan metrics for community engagement aligned to local economic impact.
To support academic quality and integrity and to promote its mission of empowering students and our communities to achieve success and economic mobility through academic excellence and engagement, SPC affords its faculty an array of professional development opportunities throughout the year in multiple modalities, including in-person, online, and self-paced. These opportunities are provided by the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL), the Instructional Design, Education, and Support (IDEAS) team (formerly the Office of Online Learning and Services), and the Office of Organizational Effectiveness and Success. Most of these opportunities are outlined in detail on the Faculty Support website, which serves as the main access point for professional development for all faculty. In addition, the site provides a vast array of teaching resources, opportunities for awards, links to external teaching and learning conferences, opportunities for grants, offerings from international program offerings, and a calendar of events. As some events have limited participation available, video recordings of many in-house seminar offerings are provided for future viewing and offered in multiple modalities for faculty to access.
Professional development includes the participation of new faculty in a two-year cohort experience provided by CETL, which provides new faculty support throughout their first two years of full-time instruction with monthly meetings, campus tours, and pedagogical support focusing on classroom strategies that increase student success. Additionally, all new faculty participate in the asynchronous training, Introduction to MyCourses (learning management system), and Teaching Online (for those with asynchronous teaching assignments).
SPC has also partnered with the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE) to provide two certification options for all faculty: the Effective Online Teaching Practices Certification, which is comprised of approximately 80 hours of training in high-impact teaching practices; and the Inclusive Teaching for Equitable Learning Certification, which is comprised of approximately 20 hours of training to assist in creating an inclusive and welcoming learning environment for students. These certifications have been offered to full-time and adjunct faculty with the goal of having all full-time faculty receive both credentials. Faculty participants have been comprised of 66% full-time faculty and 34% adjunct faculty, with a 95% completion rate.
The expectations of participation in ongoing professional development for faculty is outlined in the job postings to which they apply to (see position summary), the faculty manual (pertinent areas highlighted), and discussed during faculty onboarding meetings and ongoing departmental meetings. Professional development funds for out-of-district travel are available to fund faculty conferences and other professional development events. Faculty may access these funds by requesting their Dean submit their request to the Vice President, Academic Affairs for final approval. (Board of Trustees Procedure P6Hx23-2.022)
All professional development opportunities help to ensure the adequacy of the faculty to support the College’s mission as well as its academic quality and integrity.
Indicators of Quality and Integrity of the Academic Programs
Deans, Program Directors, and Instructors-in-Charge monitor the faculty’s support of academic quality and integrity using various measures, including student surveys of instruction (SSIs), alumni surveys, and surveys of employers and students. An indirect measure of the quality and integrity of academic programs is done through end-of-program and general education outcomes assessments (see Standard 8.2.a for more details).
Student Survey of Instruction
Each semester, St. Petersburg College (SPC) administers the Student Survey of Instruction. Students are asked to provide feedback on the quality of their instruction using a 5-point scale, where 5 indicates the highest rating and 1 indicates the lowest rating. The purpose of the SSI survey is to acquire information on student perception of the quality of courses, faculty, and instruction, and to provide feedback information for improvement. Overall high satisfaction ratings on the Student Surveys of Instruction (SSIs) are one indicator of having sufficient and effective faculty to provide instruction. The mean score for every semester and every category was 4.60 or higher for the past two years (see SSI example).
Each year, prior year graduates are contacted to share their impressions on how satisfied they were with SPC’s education programs. The Alumni Survey is designed to collect information related to career and continuing education preparation, as well as their current status in the workforce or continued educational pathway. A strong majority of the 2020-21 alumni respondents (94.75%) indicated that they were satisfied with the help they received from SPC in meeting their goal(s). 79.96% of respondents indicated that their SPC studies prepared them either “very well” or “exceptionally well” for continuing their education. Of the 25 General Education Outcomes, 24 received a satisfied Likert score between 4 and 5 (5-point scale) with two areas of math and two areas of spreadsheet/database receiving scores between 3.7-3.8. Finally, 92.51% would recommend their program at SPC to others.
Employers responding to SPC surveys indicated very high levels of satisfaction with SPC graduates’ technical and performance skills. The employer survey includes questions that enabled employers to rate graduates’ achievement in the following categories: communication, computational, technical, problem-solving, people skills, and lifelong learning. In 2021, twenty-three out of twenty-five key general education competencies and foundational skill areas received mean scores between 4.0 and 4.5 on a 5-point Likert scale (5 indicates “excellent”), with the remaining two areas receiving mean scores between 3.8 and 3.9. The survey outcomes indicate that the AS degree, the BS/BAS degree, and the Certificate programs are achieving their intended objective of adequately preparing students for the workplace, by enhancing their skills, increasing their knowledge, and instilling a desire to build on personal and professional growth.
Community College Survey of Student Engagement
The Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) is a voluntary national survey designed to measure how engaged students are in learning. SPC administered the 2021 CCSSE online during the Spring 2021 session. SPC survey results were included in various institutional reports provided by the Center for Community College Student Engagement (CCCSE). Five areas are included in the CCSSE reports: Active and Collaborative Learning, Student Effort, Academic Challenge, Student-Faculty Interaction, and Support for Learners. In the areas of Academic Challenge and Support for Learners, SPC’s score exceeded the score for the 2021 CCSSE Cohort and the Achieving the Dream Cohort.
Survey of Entering Student Engagement (SENSE)
The Survey of Entering Student Engagement (SENSE) is a voluntary national survey designed to measure how engaged entering students are in learning. SPC administered the 2020 SENSE to randomly selected Developmental courses, entry-level college Math and English courses, and those enrolled in Student Success classes during the Fall 2020 session. SPC SENSE survey results were included in various institutional reports provided by SENSE. Six areas are included in the SENSE reports: Early Connections, High Expectations and Aspirations, Clear Academic Plan and Pathway, Effective Track to College Readiness, Engaged Learning, and Academic and Social Support Network. In the areas of Early Connections, High Expectations and Aspirations, and Clear Academic Plan and Pathway, SPC’s score exceeded the score for the 2021 SENSE Cohort and the Achieving the Dream Cohort.