HLC Self Study
Chapter 7 Graphic

Advisory Boards and Committees

Curricular evaluation at Estrella Mountain and the SouthWest Skill Center, especially in occupational and workforce development programs, typically involves employers and other constituents who understand the relationships among the courses of study, the currency of the curriculum and the utility of the knowledge and skills gained. For example, the Culinary Studies program utilizes an advisory council comprised of culinary instructors, industry professionals and current and former students. The group meets annually to discuss program operations and suggest improvements to the current degree experience.

The Speech Language Pathology Assistant Program Advisory Committee meets three times a year to review and discuss courses, enrollment, licensure changes, continuing education, and options for students who want to further their education and become Speech Language Pathologists. Estrella Mountain Education faculty frequently collaborate with educational professionals to ensure that the curriculum aligns with K-12 and university partners. The College regularly participates in a Westside Impact group consisting of local K-12 school district curriculum directors, presenting and sharing new courses, programs and initiatives.

Instructional Computing also relies on the expertise of advisory boards in maintaining the currency of curriculum and skills needed for students to be competitive in today’s technological workforce. The Division of Instructional Computing utilizes the knowledge of several advisory committees consisting of representatives from key industries and businesses, college administration and division faculty. The groups meet annually to discuss current trends, new training for desired skill sets and workforce needs as they relate to programs and course offerings. Faculty aim to meet the committee requests by tailoring individual courses based on specific needs, updating course content to reflect dynamic industry standards. Special sections of courses are offered at both places of business as well as online in a desire to be responsive to the needs. For example, based on advisory committee recommendations, the CIS105 unit on Website Development has been made more robust by adding the fundamental tools of HTML and JavaScript. Instead of just using a simple authoring tool, CIS105 students now acquire a foundation for computer programming languages. Through the introduction of program code and fundamental programming concepts, students are introduced to the concepts required to succeed in higher level programming courses. An advisory committee recommendation to add network, server and workstation virtualization to curriculum is also in development. In spring 2010, the College became a VMWARE Academy, providing vendor-sponsored free licensed virtualization software and educational information for students, faculty and staff.

There are advisory boards for academic programs, such as the Honors Advisory Board and the STEP Grant Advisory Board, both of which consist of faculty and a Dean of Instruction. In addition, there is the President’s Advisory Board which advises the College on academic programs in general.

According to District Policy, the SouthWest Skill Center utilizes advisory committees for program offerings. The SouthWest Skill Center is required to maintain a network of active advisory councils, including a separate council for each vocational training program (Program Advisory Council) and a council for the SouthWest Skill Center as a whole (Administrative Advisory Council).  As an example, the program advisory committee for the SouthWest Skill Center’s Medical Assisting Program consists of the following professionals within the medical field: employers, doctors, nurses, medical assistants, and office managers. Topics covered during the meetings include training requirements specific to the industry, updates to maintain compliance with industry standards, potential for partnerships, and externships to improve marketability. Most advisory committees meet annually.

Estrella Mountain Community College’s Occupational Education and SouthWest Skill Center Community Advisory Boards are as follows:

  • Agua Fria District CTE Advisory Board
  • Agua Fria Union High School Law and Public Safety Advisory Committee
  • Cisco Networking Academy
  • Culinary Program Advisory Board
  • Custom Workforce Training Ad Hoc Advisory Board
  • Maricopa Nursing Community Advisory Committee
  • Peoria CTE Advisory Board
  • SouthWest Skill Center Distribution Logistics Advisory Board
  • SouthWest Skill Center EMT Advisory Board
  • SouthWest Skill Center Medical Assistant Program Advisory Board
  • SouthWest Skill Center Medical Billing and Coding Advisory Board
  • SouthWest Skill Center Spanish Medical Interpreter Program Advisory Board
  • SouthWest Skill Center Nursing Programs Advisory Board
  • SouthWest Skill Center Phlebotomy Program Advisory Board
  • Tolleson District CTE Advisory Board
  • West Valley Police Chiefs Association
  • Westside Impact