Terms of Reference:
Advisory Committees have an important role in the educational process. Generally, these are the ways that Advisory Committees contribute to Sault College:
- Contribute to the continuing relevance of course materials to meet the evolving needs of the marketplace.
- Provide assurance that programs meet the needs of employers without being so narrowly directed that job mobility is impaired.
- Monitor the continuing suitability of College facilities and equipment.
- Participate in the College's program review process.
- Form a valuable link between the College and the community.
- Encourage programs to reflect the changing roles and needs of our society.
- Provide written reports to the Board of Governors, as warranted.
In addition to normal Committee business, some suggested agenda topics for review and recommendations are listed below. Most of these topics are researched and developed by the College prior to Committee review in order that Committee discussion can be focused and expedient. These topics are based on a schedule of one or two meetings per academic semester.
Fall Semester (one or two meetings)
Academic Preparation of Students
Labour Market Trends
Student Life Activities / Orientation
Impact of Provincial and Legislative Changes
Planning and Budgeting
Facilities Requirements: New and Replacement
Prior Learning Assessment
College Standards & Accreditation
Winter Semester (one or two meetings)
Curriculum Development / Review
General Education / Generic Education
Work Performance of Graduates
Program Review Criteria
Requirements for Industrial / Commercial Support
Contract Training & Community Ventures
Advisory Committees and the Board of Governors
Advisory Committees report to the College's Board of Governors.
The full minutes of Advisory Committee meetings are to be completed within 30 days of meeting date, signed by the Chair of the Committee, and forwarded to the office of the Vice President Academic. The full minutes are not distributed to the Board of Governors except in special circumstances.
The Board of Governors and President review on an ongoing basis the summary reports which include Items for Special Attention to the Board and report back to members on recommendations as requested.
The Board of Governors meets on a monthly basis and Academic and Staff Relations / Building and Finance Committees meet once per month. Given this schedule of meetings, the Board of Governors responds on a monthly basis to all issues and concerns arising from Advisory Committees / Councils. This communication usually takes the format of a written response from the Chair of the Board of Governors and/or administrative liaison to the Committee / Council.
Many informal requests from Advisory Committees / Councils may be most appropriately and expeditiously processed by direct referral to a resource program Dean or direct communication with the College administration concerned.
Communication and informal sharing between the Board of Governors and Advisory Committees is further accommodated within the functional and structural organization of the College.
To facilitate improvements in communication, informational sharing, and liaison in general, a representative(s) of the Board of Governors is encouraged to attend Advisory Committee / Council meetings.
Usually, an annual spring meeting is held between Advisory Committee / Council Chairs and the Board of Governors to allow for the discussion of ideas and concerns. Further, a fall meeting between Advisory Committee / Council Chairs and administrative representatives may be established, as warranted, to provide an additional exchange of essential information.
Usually, Advisory Committees have five to 12 members appointed by the Board of Governors. Members are recommended for appointment by Governors, Advisory Committee members, or College faculty and staff.
Advisors may be drawn from the local area or from elsewhere in Ontario or Canada. The location(s) of employment opportunities will influence where Advisors are sought.
Advisory Committee members normally serve three-year terms, which may be renewable for one additional three-year term for a maximum of six years of service. Appointments are made by the Board at any time deemed appropriate by Governors. The Advisory Committee nominates and recommends renewing membership and new membership on a monthly basis to the Board of Governors.
Members of the Advisory Committees are employers and potential employers of graduates, people actively working in a program-related occupation, professionals, trade and business organization representatives, educators, and government employees. Recent Sault College graduates and members of the general public are also often members. Current students also participate in the work of Advisory Committees.
Staff, Faculty, and Student Participation
The College is represented by the Dean of the program cluster as an ex-officio committee member. Other staff members and students may serve as resource people on an ad hoc or support basis. The utilization of resource members in staff and students is strongly recommended on a regular basis. Further, the practice of inviting recent program graduates to Advisory Committee meetings has proven to be beneficial and is accordingly encouraged. The program Dean provides secretarial assistance to the Advisory Committee as required.
Advisory Committees and Councils may independently form sub-committees to address specific needs or circumstances.
For example, subcommittees could be established to address changes in program delivery. Subcommittees might investigate and then advise on delivery of programs in co-operative education and distance education models.
Special Advisory Committees
From time to time, Advisory Committees are established for special purposes. Special information or expertise may be needed to deal with a unique new situation.
Advisory Councils are similar to Advisory Committees in most functional areas. However, Advisory Councils typically possess a broader span of influence and review under their terms of reference. Presently, there is only one Advisory Council operating at Sault College, specifically: The Native Education and Training Council.
Advisory Councils and the Board of Governors
Advisory Councils report to the Sault College Board of Governors. Council members are appointed by the Board and typically serve three-year terms.
The Board of Governors and the President review the minutes and reports of all Council meetings and communicate with members on recommendations made by them.
Communication and information sharing between the Board of Governors and Advisory Councils is accommodated within the functional and structural organization of the College. Although Advisory Councils are not ultimately responsible for the effectiveness of programs, they do offer important assistance to the Board of Governors in developing and maintaining educational programs for the community.
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