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Standard IIa - Nadia Questions - Paralegal Program

Page history last edited by abogado 12 years, 6 months ago

Accreditation Stuff




Standard IIA – Questions

Paralegal Studies


Question 1 How do you ensure program quality?


Paralegal Studies carefully schedules all of the required 12 classes to complete the paralegal certificate every semester, along with providing a variety of hybrid/on campus classes to meet the needs of our on campus students at varying to for the major every semester at varying times and days to insure students complete degrees and program requirements in a timely fashion. From the classroom perspective, the business department defines quality by reviewing the following indicators: Retention rate: the number of students who actually finish the class, and Completion rate: Passing of our classes with a C or better grade. Every semester we embed a student evaluation survey in each one of our online law classes. Along with peer and administrator oversight of the faculty evaluation, student evaluations are also performed addressed and a plan is carried out when needed. .


Question 2 How do you ensure that your curriculum meets student needs and represents academic integrity and transfer/workforce currency?


Paralegal Studies updates course outlines of record for all of the Paralegal Studies Program, and just updated all 12 of its law classes within the last two semesters. There is an advisory board comprise of businesses around the community, university personnel, Mission faculty and staff. This advisory body provides the paralegal program with ideas and trends that enhances our curriculum. These trends are then addressed via our curriculum. Curriculum is reviewed every 6 years, which gives us an opportunity to enhance the content. This advisory board also assist in the development of new courses. The Paralegal Program has developed a plan to update its certificate by providing 3 new certificates – Health Care Advocacy, Environmental Law Advocacy, and Special Educational Needs Advocacy. The core curriculum for these 3 new certificates has been developed, and the next step is to upload this new curriculum into the Curriculum ECD Portal and to have the Curriculum Committee review and approve the core curriculum. In addition, the paralegal program plans on “streamlining” its currently required 12 class (36 unit) certificate to 8 class (24 unit) to conform more closely to the curriculum requirements as mandated under Bus. Prof. Code Sections 6400 and 6450.


Question 3 How do you encourage instructional quality?


Instructional quality is closely monitored in several ways. (1) Examination of syllabi and what is actually taught in classes with respect to the course outline of record. (2) Regular evaluation of faculty in accordance with the union contract. (3) Assessment of SLO’s with improvement plans for the curriculum and instruction (4) Every five years, with the update of the course outline of records, we require all of our online Distance Learning Law faculty receive additional training in online pedagogy. In the Summer of 2010, all of our onilne law faculty completed two online classes, and obtained certificates in Teaching with Moodle, and Online Pedagogy with @One certified training – recommended by the LACCD.

The Paralegal Studies Program is part of Federal Funded Perkins Career Technical Education Act (CTE), and the CTE Office and program at Mission focuses on workforce development. Through this program, faculty are encouraged to attend conferences that are marketed especially for paralegal, law and business law, and related legal fields. The faculty are also encouraged to participate in the various professional development training, which includes on-campus workshops and online-training. During department meetings, faculty shares their best practices; while working on student learning outcomes, faculty also share their best practices.


Question 4 How do you ensure that using SLO's and SLOA's are effective means to ensure quality programs, curriculum and instruction?


Upon completion of SLO assessment, faculty who teach assessed courses develop an improvement plan to address the areas where students are under-performing. Instructors also scrutinize their own syllabi and teaching methods, sharing ideas as to what is effective and what is not effective. The paralegal program completed an assessment of all of its 12 law classes required for a certificate in 2007, and adopted and implemented a strategy to address the weaknesses found in our student's learning. Also the paralegal program has selected a Program Learning Outcome - “Demonstrate the application of ethics in legal matters”, and has developed a “case study”, grading rubric, guidelines, resource materials, a powrpoint, etc. for use in the assessment which will commence this semester in all 12 of our law classes.


Question 5 How do you determine hours allocations between courses that target different student goals?   For example, if your department offers Basic Skills, Credit and Non-Credit courses, how do you determine how to divide your total hours among these different student populations.   Or, how do you determine what percentage of hours to allocate to courses that are attached to a program as opposed to hours that serve primarily as general education hours? 



For all courses in Paralegal Studies, the primary factor in determining how many sections to offer is student demand. Special consideration is given to ensure that every semester we offer all of the law classes required for our students to obtain their paralegal certificate. This ensures that our students can complete the certificate within 12-18 months, or within two semesters.

Question 6 How do you determine what methodologies and pedagogies best serve any one discipline's specific teaching and learning goals, and how do you determine what delivery method best serves learning (online, hybrid, lecture, traditional, etc.)


Paralegal Studies instructors use a variety of delivery methods for traditional lecture classes including visiting the local law library. With our online classes, we offer a rigorous and robust online set of materials, resources, methodologies, and pedagogies, including, but not limited to screencasts, podcasts, screen captures, whiteboards, online chat, discussion forums, class email blasts and updates, CCC Confer phone conferences, Youtube videos, and the like.

The best way to address methodology and pedagogy methods begin with training. LA mission College provides a plethora of workshops. Each year, staff development provides a set of workshops called “Faculty Academy.” These 4 week series addresses specifically on methods for pedagogical approaches, including hybrid and online classes. Faculty is encouraged to attend these training opportunities.


Additionally, one of the evaluation process goal is to address specific faculty teaching methodologies. Faculty are observed and meaningful conversations then take place so that their delivery methods meets or exceeds the needs of our students.


Question 7 How do you determine the learning outcomes of any one program?    How do you measure that the outcomes or futures the program promises are delivered?  (For example, if it is a transfer program, how do you ensure that the skills students take with them serve their transfer studies?



The Paralegal Studies program developed a set of program learning outcomes for the paralegal program in August 2008, and is posted at our law website (lamission.edu/law) We are commencing the process of assessing the Program Learning Outcome on “Ethics”. The Paralegal Studies Program in an effort to track its gradautes, in Spring 2011 created an excel database of all of its paralegal graduates from 2006 to present, along with a group email for the same set of paralegal graduates. This semester (Fall 2011) we will create a survey instrument for our former paralegal graduates to help assess student learning, their ongoing academic and workplace experiences to improve meeting our students needs and to improve job placement and performance in the paralegal and law fields. This will be a longitudinal study.


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