Program Advisory Committees Policy

Purpose

To establish and guide the operations of Program Advisory Committees as directed by the Minister’s Binding Policy Directive: Framework for Programs of Instruction [Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU)]. This policy is ancillary to the College Bylaw No. 1 which establishes the Program Advisory Committees (Appendix 1).

Scope

This policy applies to all postsecondary programs of instruction for which an Ontario college credential is awarded.

Key Definitions

Program of instruction

A group of related courses leading to a credential awarded by the Board of Governors.

Policy

1. In accordance with the MCU Framework for Programs of Instruction Policy Directive, the Board of Governors will ensure that an advisory committee is established for each program of instruction or cluster of related programs offered at Seneca.

2. During the developmental stages of a program, the academic Chair may establish an Ad Hoc Program Advisory Committee. When the program is formally implemented, the Ad Hoc Program Advisory Committee will be dissolved and a Program Advisory Committee will be established.

3. A quorum for motions and resolutions will be represented through a clear majority of voting members (50 percent plus one). Voting can be conducted electronically when appropriate.

4. Membership

4.1. Advisory committees will consist of a cross-section of persons external to Seneca who have direct interest in and a diversity of experience and expertise related to the particular occupational area or discipline addressed by the program. Members will not represent their own organization and will not be remunerated for their participation.

4.2. Program Advisory Committee membership will reflect the diversity of the demographics of the industry and the diversity of the nature of the community in which Seneca operates, and will be composed of persons with diverse skills, experience, backgrounds and perspectives. For the purposes of this policy, diversity includes but is not limited to: skills and experience; gender, race, culture/ethnicity; sexual orientation; income; ability; age; language.

4.3. Each Program Advisory Committee will have a minimum of 6 members. All appointed members will have voting privileges.

4.4. The term for committee members will be three years, renewable once.

4.5. Seneca employees and students may serve as resource persons to the Program Advisory Committees but will not have voting privileges.

4.6. The academic Chair will be an ex-officio member and will act as the primary staff resource to the Program Advisory Committee.

4.7. The academic Chair is responsible for replacing resigning members.

5. Advisory Committee Chair

5.1. Each Program Advisory Committee will elect a Chair from the membership for a two-year term. A Chair may stand for re-election once.

5.2. The Chair will provide leadership to the committee and preside over all meetings with the support of the primary staff resource person.

6. Mandate and Terms

6.1. Program Advisory Committees will provide an ongoing exchange of information between industry and Seneca to update, promote, assess and advise on the development, maintenance and renewal of programs of instruction.

6.2. A minimum of two meetings per year will be held and conducted according to conventional rules of order.

7. Accountability

7.1. The academic Chair will be responsible for actioning requests and recommendations. The academic Chair will keep the Program Advisory Committee members, Dean and Vice President Academic informed of the status of requests and recommendations.

7.2. The academic Chair will provide, through their Dean, an annual report for the Vice President Academic on Program Advisory Committee activity and membership, including information about the diversity of the membership composition.

8. Conflict of Interest

8.1. Program Advisory Committee members who perceive that their private or personal interests conflict or have the potential to conflict with an issue under discussion at a Program Advisory Committee meeting will have an obligation to excuse themselves from the discussion and to abstain from voting on the specific issue.

8.2. A member’s declaration of conflict of interest will be recorded in the meeting minutes.

Supporting Documentation

Related Policies/Procedures

Related Materials

Appendix – Program Advisory Committee Procedures

Procedure Statement

The Minister's Binding Policy Directive: Framework for Programs of Instruction under the Ministry of Colleges and Universities requires that each Ontario college Board of Governors ensure that an advisory committee is established for every program of instruction or cluster of related programs offered. Such Program Advisory Committees are to be made up of a cross-section of persons external to Seneca who have direct interest in and a diversity of experience, and expertise related to the particular occupational area or discipline addressed by the program.

In the formative or developmental stages of programs, the academic Chair may establish an Ad Hoc Program Advisory Committee. When the program is in place, the Ad Hoc Program Advisory Committee will be dissolved and an official Program Advisory Committee will be formed. Program Advisory Committees will be established for full- and part-time programs of instruction.

Procedures

1. Membership

1.1. Candidates for membership on Program Advisory Committees will be identified through referrals, self-nomination or invitation by the academic Chair or Dean.

1.2. Interested candidates will submit a completed Nomination and Consent to Release Information Form to the academic Chair. The academic Chair will send a copy of the form to the Office of the Vice President Academic to draft a welcome letter of appointment. The welcome letter of appointment will be sent to the President’s office for signature and distribution to the candidate.

1.3. Renewal of a member’s term will be determined by the academic Chair and the Program Advisory Committee Chair. Renewal letters of appointment can be provided to the Committee members by the academic Dean.

1.4. At resignation or end-of-term, the academic Chair will inform the Office of the Vice President Academic. A thank-you letter will be drafted and sent to the President’s office for signature and distribution to the member.

2. Orientation and Engagement

2.1. New Program Advisory Committee members will be provided with the Terms of Reference and an orientation led by the academic Chair.

2.2. The academic Chair will review the membership and engagement of the Program Advisory Committee on an annual basis. Required updates to the membership or re-engagement strategies will be implemented as appropriate by the academic Chair.

3. Meetings

3.1. Program Advisory Committee meetings will take place at least two times per year and will be run according to conventional rules of order.

3.2. Academic Chairs will draft meeting agendas for approval by the Program Advisory Committee Chair. The Program Advisory Committee Chair will provide leadership to the committee and preside over all meetings with the support of the academic Chair.

3.3. Minutes of meetings will be taken by a Seneca employee and approved by the academic and advisory committee chairs. Approved meeting minutes will be distributed within two weeks of each meeting to Program Advisory Committee members, the academic Dean and Seneca staff and students in attendance. Minutes will be sent to the Office of the Vice President Academic for record-keeping and for posting on a Seneca Program Advisory Committees document site.

3.4. The academic Chair will have primary responsibility to action requests and recommendations arising from Program Advisory Committee meetings. Recommendations for minor changes can be addressed during program review in accordance with the academic program review and modification policies.

3.5. Where appropriate, a request or recommendation will be brought by the academic Chair to the attention of the academic Dean or Vice President Academic for resolution.

4. Reporting

4.1. The academic Chair will provide the Dean with an annual report for the Vice President Academic on Program Advisory Committee activity and membership, including information about the diversity of the membership composition.

4.2. The Vice President Academic will report to the Board of Governors annually a summary of Program Advisory Committee activity through the Academic Planning and Student Affairs committee of the Board of Governors.