Advisory Committee Guidelines

1. Introduction

Portland Community College recognizes the importance of the link between educators and practitioners in the field in order to achieve program quality and program relevance.  These guidelines are intended to communicate the expectations of advisory committees and to provide a format for the effective operation of these committees.

Note:  Advisory Committees for programs receiving Perkins funding may have requirements not addressed in these guidelines.

2. The Role of Advisory Committees

The Advisory Committee and the staff of the corresponding program work together to ensure that the program is delivering instruction that is current, up to date, and relevant to current business, industry, labor, and professional employment practices.  Advisory Committees provide support and advice to academic programs.  Also, they may assist in the development of new Career Technical Education (CTE) programs; an ad hoc committee may be established for this purpose.

Best practice standards, Perkins grants, and accrediting bodies stipulate that Advisory Committees are utilized to facilitate a dialog with members of a broader society.  A description of the committee’s activities related to curricular and program development and assessment must be periodically submitted with accreditation and/or other official College documents.

3. Duties

The Advisory Committee makes recommendations to help ensure that the program:

  • addresses employment and educational needs of business, industry, labor, and/or the profession
  • assesses the local/regional labor market demand for program graduates
  • provides graduates with the skills needed to meet employment needs
  • assesses the currency of curriculum and teaching practices

In addition, the Advisory Committee will:

  • serve as an advocate of the program and a communication link between the College and the community
  • provide feedback, advice, and/or assistance with a variety of program-driven tasks and/or projects

4. Membership

Advisory Committee members represent both the diversity of the community and a cross section of business, industry, labor, and/or the profession.  Expertise and experience are reflected in skills, knowledge, and professionalism relevant to the particular CTE Program.

  • Prospective Advisory Committee members are identified by existing Advisory Committee members or program faculty and staff.  Their names are submitted to the Advisory Committee and to the Program Facilitator.  Per Academic Policies and Standards Handbook section A108, their appointment needs to be recorded with the office of the Dean of Academic Affairs [].
  • The suggested number of voting committee members is seven to fifteen.
  • Advisory committee members serve for a term of three years with a one- or multiple-term renewal at the discretion of the Advisory Committee and the Program Facilitator.
  • Program faculty and staff may be Advisory Committee members.  They serve as a resource representing the program and are non-voting members.
  • If attendance becomes irregular, Advisory Committee members may be replaced.
  • Program students are encouraged to attend meetings.  Attending students are non-voting members.
  • Guests may contribute to the discussion at the discretion of the Advisory Committee Chair.
  • A Program Facilitator is a resource person to the Advisory Committee.

5. The Advisory Committee Chair and Vice-Chair

  • The Advisory Committee will elect a Chair annually from its membership by a majority vote.  For larger committees, a Vice-Chair may also be elected.  If no committee member is able to serve as Chair, a faculty member may function as an interim ex officio (non-voting) Chair until an Advisory Committee member is elected.
  • The Advisory Committee Chair leads the Advisory Committee.  Conducting meetings is the primary role.  Together the Chair, Vice-Chair, and the Program Facilitator can call special Advisory Committee meetings and advise on urgent matters.
  • The Advisory Committee Chair prepares an agenda with input from the Program Facilitator, conducts meetings, and represents the Advisory Committee at other meetings as needed.
  • The Advisory Committee Chair may create subcommittees to carry out duties or work on pressing issues.  Subcommittees may include non-committee members.

6. Program Facilitator

The Program Facilitator is a program faculty or staff member.  The duties of the Program Facilitator are listed below.

  • Helps identify potential Committee members.
  • Maintains a current list of Advisory Committee members, noting the Chairperson, the Vice-Chair (if applicable), terms of office, and, for all members, the dates of Committee membership, affiliation (organizations where Committee member works), addresses, telephone numbers, and electronic address if applicable.
  • Determines locations, reserves rooms, and makes arrangements for refreshments for meetings.
  • Attends Advisory Committee and subcommittee meetings (or sends a designee) and greets committee members upon their arrival.
  • Provides support to the Committee for note taking and preparation of the minutes and ensures that Advisory Committee meeting records, including attendance, agenda, discussion summaries, and decisions, are maintained.
  • Contributes to the focus of the Advisory Committee by providing agenda items.
  • Prepares or provides any supporting, descriptive, or background information which clarifies topics on which the committee is working.
  • Forwards all meeting minutes and recommendations made by the Advisory Committee to the committee members, Program Subject Area Committee, Program Faculty Department Chair, Division Deans, Deans of Instruction, Campus Presidents, Dean of Academic Affairs, and the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs.

7. Advisory Committee Meetings

Effective meetings are critical to the success of the Advisory Committee.  It is at meetings where discussions of important matters are translated into decisions and recommendations.  Advisory Committee meetings should be held frequently enough and be of appropriate length to maintain the interests and involvement of Advisory Committee members and to meet the responsibilities of the Advisory Committee per Academic Policies and Standards Handbook section A108 [].

Policy/Standard Name:  Advisory Committee Guidelines
Policy/Standard Identifier:  Appendix A
Authority:  N/A
Units responsible for review and update:  Dean of Academic Affairs
Approval:  College President
Responsibility:  Vice President for Academic Affairs
Date of Final Approval:  April 2015
Effective Term:  Summer 2015
Prior Versions:  Yes