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2019-2020 Program Review

1) Unit Profile

1.1) Briefly describe the program-level planning unit. What is the unit's purpose and function?

A) Our program prepares students for a broad array of entry-level positions working directly with older adults or behind the scenes in in the Aging Network, Graduates of Gerontology programs become employed in the Aging Network, a system of state and local government agencies, non-profit organizations, institutions, and contractors that provide information services, employment and legal services, activity and recreation programs, health education and health promotion programs, and care and support services for older adults. B) Employment in the Aging Network is driven by the Older Americans Act and Population Aging. The Older Americans Act of 1965 is a federal initiative that mandates and funds programs intended to help older adults live a full life within their communities for as long as possible and to support older adults living in long term care and health care settings when living in their community is no longer possible. Population Aging means that the percentage of people over 65 is going up. C) Currently, the department offers six vocational AA degrees, six Certificates of Achievement, one Specialist Certificate, three CTE Course Certificates, and four Department Certificates. These offerings “inspire critical thinking” by presenting real-life scenarios and case studies, “learning and achievement” through examinations, papers and projects, and "responsible participation in the community” through service learning and work experience.

1.2) How does the unit contribute to achievement of the mission of American River College?

Our broad program and CTE course offerings enable students to “achieve career as well as other academic goals” through equally broad entry-level employment opportunities in the Aging Network.

2) Assessment and Analysis

The program review process asks units to reflect on the progress they've made towards achieving the goals they identified in each of the Annual Unit Plans they submitted since their last Program Review. Follow this link to access your previous EMP submissions. For assistance accessing the EMP system, please contact Mary Goodall at or (916) 484-4535.

2.1) Consider the progress that has been made towards the unit's objectives over the last six years. Based on how the unit intended to measure progress towards achieving these objectives, did the unit's prior planned action steps (last six years of annual unit plans) result in the intended effect or the goal(s) being achieved?

The following accomplished objectives and objectives in progress confirm significant achievement of the previous planning unit goals. A) ACCOMPLISHED OBJECTIVES: 1) AGHE Program of Merit 2018 (Renewal) 2) AGEC Initial National Accreditation 2018 (Dual approval for exiting and revised program) 3) RFCE Administrator Training 2019 (Renewal) 4) 96 Internship sites have been established 5) Admission & Transition, Counseling, and Financial Aid offices have been provided with a substitution plan for our program while revisions are underway. B) OBJECTIVES IN PROGRESS: 1) In consultation with the ARC Articulation Officer and the Sac State department chair, a new AA is being designed that will provide transferring our transfer students with a unit-efficient degree to meet their needs and enable them to "complete" a degree before transferring. 2) The Activity Leader course and certificate are in revision. 3) All degrees and certificates of achievement are currently in revision.

In the following program-level metrics, a green-yellow-red light icon provides a quick sense of how a particular data set's values relate to an established threshold (click '+' for details).

The following data sets may be useful in promoting and informing departmental dialogue, planning, decision making, and resource allocation.

The two data sets show 5 years of fall or spring duplicated enrollment, disaggregated by gender and ethnicity. Note that ARC's data-on-demand tool will soon provide considerably more sophisticated ways of viewing and analyzing your planning unit's headcount and enrollment trends.

current fall/spring semester enrollment is equal to or exceeds the prior year's fall/spring enrollment.
current fall/spring semester enrollment reflects a decline of less than 10% from the prior year's fall/spring enrollment.
current fall/spring semester enrollment reflects a decline of 10% or more from the prior year's fall/spring enrollment.

The two data sets show 5 years of fall or spring productivity (WSCH per FTEF: the enrollment activity for which we receive funding divided by the cost of instruction). Note that ARC's data-on-demand tool will soon provide considerably more sophisticated ways of viewing and analyzing your planning unit's productivity trends.

current fall/spring semester productivity is equal to or exceeds the prior year's fall/spring productivity.
current fall/spring semester productivity reflects a decline of less than 10% from the prior year's fall/spring productivity.
current fall/spring semester productivity reflects a decline of 10% or more from the prior year's fall/spring productivity.

Shows green-yellow-red indicators for each race/ethnicity to reflect the extent to which any given group's three year average grade metrics are disproportionately impacted, as defined by the State Chancellor's Office (click the report link for details). Note that ARC's data-on-demand tool can provide some additional insights in this area, including representativeness, grades and awards by gender and race/ethnicity.

No measurable DI — All courses’ rates exceed the disproportionate impact threshold for a given racial/ethnic group by at least three percentage points.
Yellow (formerly, “- - “ in previous versions or cycles)
Insufficient data available — Monitoring recommended. DI may or may not or exist for one or more racial/ethnic groups, in one or more courses, but too little data is available to be certain (cell sizes < 10).
Light-Red (formerly yellow in previous versions or cycles)
Potential DI—Monitoring or Action recommended. The rate of one or more racial/ethnic groups, in one or more courses, is near (by less than 3 points) the DI threshold.
Clear DI—Action recommended. The rate of one or more racial/ethnic groups, in one or more courses, is at or below the DI threshold.

Department Set Standards

Shows course success rates (# of A, B, C, Cr, and P grades expressed as a % of total grade notations) compared to lower and upper thresholds. Thresholds are derived using a 95% confidence interval (click the report link for details). The lower threshold is referred to as the Department Set Standard. The upper threshold is referred to as the Stretch Goal.

Most recent academic year exceeds the upper threshold
Most recent academic year falls between the lower and upper threshold
Most recent academic year falls below the lower threshold

The faculty's continuous review of student achievement of course SLOs is documented using the Authentic Assessment Review Record (AARR), which involves a review of student work demonstrating achievement of the course SLO. Faculty record student achievement for a randomly assigned course SLO based on one or more authentic assessments that they regularly perform in their classes. The aggregated results are then reviewed annually as part of Annual Unit Planning, in which the results may serve as the basis for actions and, if applicable, resource allocation, and are aligned with college goals and objectives.

The AARR summary link provides an aggregate of the results of the most recent AARR implementation. The AARR results by SLO link provides a more detailed view, including the specific ratings assigned by faculty to each randomly assigned course SLO, and what, if any, actions were taken.

Note: Established thresholds (i.e., green/yellow/red indicators) have yet to be developed for SLO data.

Email Standard Data Set link

In addition to reflecting on the metrics shown above, it may prove useful to analyze other program-level data to assess the effectiveness of your unit. For instructional units, ARC’s Data on demand system can be used to provide program and course level information regarding equitable outcomes, such as program access or enrollment, successful course completion, and degree or certificate achievement (up to 30+ demographic or course filters are available).

You might also consider pursuing other lines of inquiry appropriate to your unit type (instructional, student support, institutional/administrative support). Refer to the Program Review Inquiry Guide for specific lines of inquiry.

2.2) What were the findings? Please identify program strengths, opportunities, challenges, equity gaps, influencing factors (e.g., program environment), data limitations, areas for further research, and/or other items of interest.

A) KEY FINDINGS-STRENGTHS: 1) Overall Spring Enrollments 2019 increase: 4.7% (since 2015 -38.1%) 2) Fall 2018 DI Groups Increases: African American (40.9%) & Filipino (+80%) 3) Spring 2019 DI Group Increases: 16.7% to 300% in all categories except Asian, Multi-race & White 4) DI Drop Rates are of no concern; however, few of our courses meet the number of faculty teaching a course required for the analysis. 5) Productivity increase: Spring 2019 compared to Spring 2018 +17.8% B) KEY FINDINGS-CHALLENGES: 1) Overall Fall Enrollments 2018 decrease: -11.6% (since 2014 -53.6%) 2) Overall Spring Enrollments 2019 decrease: 4.7% (since 2015 -38.1%) 3) DI Course Mastery Rates decreases: GERON 300 and GERON 335 4) Overall Course Success Rate decrease: GERON 335 5) Productivity decrease: Fall 2018 compared to Fall 2017 -6.4% 6) Offering only 36 unit vocational degrees causes students to transfer before completing a degree at ARC. 7) COVID shut-down cause lock-downs at facilities that serve older people, which interrupted work experience internship placement. C) STRONG WORKFORCE DATA Gerontology qualified for and received SWF funding for this period due to the program's to have internships established that lead to employment in all degree focus areas.

3) Reflection and Dialog

3.1) Discuss how the findings relate to the unit's effectiveness. What did your unit learn from the analysis and how might the relevant findings inform future action?

A) Due to the nature of gerontology, the program experienced an unusually large enrollment bubble during the recession. Gerontology students tend to stay in the program for years while completing multiple degrees while employed and raising a family, Because of this tendency, the deflation of the enrollment bubble was protracted and did not have full impact until Fall 2017. In addition: 1) There were back to back losses of two long-standing faculty in 2015 and 2016, which caused the loss of relationships in the Aging Network. 2) The long-standing clerk resigned in 2016, which left the program in disarray and with department wide system losses. 3) Program coordination efforts ceased during 2016-2017, when we lost the release time temporarily and as a result, CTE programs were not submitted to the state for approval and did not run, which impacted enrollment and completion rates. 4) When the previous chair stepped down in December 2019, there was a second loss of almost all the department's electronic documents. GOING FORWARD: The shared drive has been set up for the department that provides the department chair and the area AA both with ownership of documents and a Canvas course is under construction specifically for faculty to access the current/finalized documents. b) Data confirms the need to review and revise some courses: 1) DI Mastery rates confirm the need to revise GERON 300. A new "intro" course GERON 303 is replacing GERON 300 as soon as all the articulation agreements are in place. 2) DI Mastery rates and overall success rates confirm the need to revise and is on the revision schedule for spring. It will be revised to be more of a gerontological biology of aging and health promotion course than a fitness/kinesiology course (the discipline of the adjunct who designed the course). GOING FORWARD: The success data will be reviewed annually and courses with exceptionally high or low success rates will undergo a syllabus and outline review for out of class workload, rigor, and policies. Revisions will be made as needed. B) The Strong Workforce data identified a number of potential problems related to the focus of the program and program codes in Socrates. 1) Our program TOP codes were Adult Development rather than Gerontology. 2) CIP codes were not in place. 3) SOC codes, which relates to the specific type of employment the program prepares students for were not in place. GOING FORWARD: Had the codes been in place, we may not have qualified for SWF funding, but we put the funding to use and created a network of internship placements. In the process we learned that the Environmental Design degree and certificate should be deleted because there are no internships or entry-level employment opportunities available for that area of focus (no students have ever completed that degree). Revisions for all the programs that take care of coding and other problems will make the 2021-2022 catalog.

3.2) What is the unit's ideal future and why is it desirable to ARC? How will the unit's aspirations support accomplishment of the mission, improve institutional effectiveness, and/or increase academic quality?

A) Ideally, through program and course revisions, our program will become fully aligned with the 2019 Final Report of the CA Future Health Workforce Commission Report and the 2020 Masterplan for Aging Stakeholder Report. In the process all the courses in the program will be revised in such a way that the entire program and all courses can be completed fully online. Fully online programs are in high demand and a mission-related goal of ARC. Once our program is fully online, we will be the only online gerontology program in the state. These accomplishments will be measurable through completed curriculum actions, and increases in traditional, regional, and statewide enrollments. B) To support the accomplishment of ARCs mission, an outreach program to a local high school with a large DI student populations is planned using educational resources supported by the Gerontological Society of America. Its success will be measurable over the long, rather than short term. However, its incremental impact will be easy to identify and measure through enrollments of traditional student because at present, almost 0% of our enrollments are traditional. C) In advance of the program and CTE course revisions publishing in the next catalog, all program pathways documents will be updated and Home Base coaches and counselors will be provided with other information they need to be knowledgeable about gerontology and its career opportunities, which will increase institutional effectiveness. Ongoing professional development specifically related to gerontological knowledge and course revisions in alignment with the gerontological competencies and the Masterplan for Aging, which will increase academic quality.

4) Strategic Enhancement

4.1) Identify/define one or more program-level objectives which enhance the unit's effectiveness. What does your unit intend to do to work towards its ideal future? How will success be measured?

A) The CA Workforce report and the Masterplan for Aging have taken the guesswork out of the program redesign and provide a natural alignment with ARC’s social justice and equity commitments. This guidance came at a critical time, because our field has a broad area of service and until now, the interests and academic background of faculty drove program development. This has been problematic because most of our faculty hold degrees in other disciplines and a certificate in gerontology or a license that allowed them to receive an equivalency. Over the decades, this resulted in a core program that left large gaps in the primary focus of gerontology. B) Although we are a longstanding program of merit, our program developed well before the Gerontological Competencies and Gerontology Program Guidelines were were developed and published. Over the decades and neither the programs or courses were fully revised or aligned with these important standards. C) The 2019 Final Report of the CA Future Health Workforce Commission focuses on the health profession and calls for active recruitment of workers from DI populations in high schools and community colleges, and the establishment of paraprofessional positions that scaffold toward professional positions, as well as training for the positions. The 2020 Masterplan for Aging Stakeholder Report relies on the Workforce report in the area of healthcare workers and focuses on the human services and support needs of older people and adults with disabilities. The Masterplan focuses on workforce needs related to human services and identified a desperate need for formal Service Coordinator Training, Information and Referral Service Training, and improvements in the Activity Leader and Activity Coordinator training. INTENTION: In some respects, our program has the bones for the scaffolding called for by the Workforce report. By revising the core course GERON 490 Aging Policy and Practice into a Service Coordinator Training course and by revising a 4.5 unit CTE certificate into a one 3-unit course and adding it to the core, we will add two CTE courses in our core that will prepare students for immediate employment, while they continue to work on their degree. This strategy will provide students with an educational opportunity that provides almost immediate employability and continued upward mobility as they progress through the program. Likewise, adding a regular AA designed to prepare students for transfer provides a clear and expedient pathway to a higher degree, which also improves lateral/upward mobility. D) Develop a communication and interaction strategy course that provides communication training in person-centeredness, cultural competency, and enrichment strategies such as storytelling, reminiscence, validation, etc. This course will replace two communication strategy courses in the current program, GERON 330 Validation and GERON 334 Reminiscence and fill a major hole in the curriculum that has grown in the last decade since person-centeredness and cultural competency became the foundation communication strategy for gerontologist and other recently developed evidence-based interaction strategies. PROGRESS MEASUREMENT: Program and course revisions currently in progress and scheduled for spring 2021 will fully align the program and courses with both of standards and allow measurement of progress until the changes publish in the catalog. Going forward after that, success, enrollment, completion, and employment rates will measure the effectiveness of these strategies and their benefits.

4.2) How will the unit's intended enhancements support ARC's commitment to social justice and equity?

Implicit ageism and other factors tend to make the field of aging unattractive to white high school students. Most entry level healthcare works are currently from DI populations; however, they often accept employment without training and are trained by their employer, which provides them with little upward mobility and little opportunity to move up in a different work setting. Our high school outreach will focus on providing DI students with almost immediate employability and provides lateral/upward mobility as they progress through the program. In this respect, our outreach plan for a local DI impacted high school is perfectly aligned with the ARC Social Justice and Equity Commitment.