The Curriculum Committee at Valley College is working to create a solution for a fumbled transition that left campuses district-wide without a curriculum system.
By Isaac Dektor, Staff Writer
The Valley College Curriculum Committee is currently implementing a “paper process” in order to maintain course relevancy during the prolonged district-wide transition from the Electronic Curriculum Depository to eLumen.
ECD is a digital curriculum management system that has not been kept updated and is therefore not fully functional. In 2019, the district announced that it would be transitioning from the antiquated ECD system to the up-to-date eLumen system. The original floating projection for a launch date was in early fall of 2020, but it was pushed to May 2021 due to delays induced by the pandemic.
The committee’s decision to implement a “paper process” came a few weeks after the district Academic Senate issued a statement that allowed each campus to create and approve an interim system at their curriculum committee’s discretion.
The name “paper process'' is a misnomer as it refers to a process that mimics the depository using Microsoft Word and Adobe Sign.
The chair of the committee and ESL professor Edgar Perez explained that course updates have been put on hold during the transition.
“Any course that is close to five years old has to get updated,” Perez said. “Because ECD was shut down last year we’ve been pushing those courses from the fall of 2020 into the spring thinking we would have our curriculum system already working.”
eLumen will not launch until faculty is getting ready to go on summer vacation, allowing for the possibility that many of the 350+ courses needing updates will not be updated in time. The committee chose to implement the “paper process” so that course updates can be streamlined during the transition in order to ensure that Valley students receive the most relevant curriculum possible.
The president of the Academic Senate, Chauncey Maddren, said in a meeting that the paper process is necessary to alleviate concerns that accreditation might be jeopardized during the transition.
“I think the problem is in the meantime we could be in violation of accreditation by not having these things in place, so we are stuck between a literal rock and a hard place,” Maddren said. “An eLumen that doesn’t work and an ECD that no longer works.”
During the Academic Senate meeting, Sen. Ron Mossler expressed frustration about the long-drawn-out process that the transition has become.
“It sounds like part of the reason we’re doing this is because the district has not dedicated enough resources to this,” Mossler said.
Perez assured the Academic Senate that, to the best of his knowledge, the delays are on eLumen’s side and not the district’s. However, Perez did note that the district’s contract lacks adequate measures to hold eLumen accountable for staying on schedule.
“The only thing they [the district curriculum committee] have been able to tell us is that eLumen is not getting paid,” Perez said. “They [eLumen] have milestones that they have to meet and eLumen is not hitting those milestones, so the cash is not hitting their pockets until they actually deliver the system. That’s how they’re being held accountable. The only problem is, yeah, faculty, us, have been waiting for almost a year now and there has been no resolution.”
The delay has created a lot of work that falls primarily on the committee, but Perez is up to the challenge.
“We’ve been kind of just in waiting mode, but now there’s been a lot more movement in terms of the transition,” said Perez. “For me, it's a fun part of the job. Curriculum has always been my passion and it's something that I enjoy.”