Program Advisory Committee

Procedure Number: 
001
Policy Number: 
3105
Responsibility: 
Vice-President, Academic
Approved: 
Vice President, Academic
Effective: 
June 11, 2014
Review: 
June 11, 2015
Procedure Statement: 

These procedures set out the process for establishing and maintaining Program Advisory Committees (PAC) both for developing new programs and for programs that have been approved for delivery at JIBC.

Program Advisory Committees provide strategic advice and assistance to programs in such areas as trends that may affect programming, options and opportunities for employment of program graduates, changes in the field/program area, etc. They also have a role in reviewing significant proposed changes to programs and providing constructive critique with a goal of enhancing programs.

Establishing Program Advisory Committees

  1. All PACs are advisory to the appropriate Dean of the School in which the program resides. Membership of a PAC for development of a new program may be different from membership of an existing program/program cluster.
  2. Deans shall consult with program staff and faculty to establish appropriate membership.
  3. Formal requests to individuals for participation in PACs will be made by the Dean to establish committee membership.
  4. Membership shall normally be for a two year term, with a possibility of extension for up to an additional two years. By exception, some membership terms may extend beyond four year at the discretion of the Dean.
  5. Particular guests (non-members) may be invited to a specific meeting at the discretion of the Dean to contribute perspectives who are not regular members of the PAC.

Membership and Meeting Frequency

  1. Consideration of the following criteria should occur when considering inviting individuals to join an advisory committee:
    •  Experience and/or expertise – individuals must have significant experience or particular expertise in the specific areas/discipline as well as a positive reputation amongst their respective peers and viewed as leaders by those in their field/area;
      Time – sufficient time to participate in committee meetings and preparation for meetings. Additional requests may be made of committee members between regular meetings as well;
      Ability to work effectively with others;
      Membership inclusive of Aboriginal perspectives (e.g., from an Aboriginal organization or agency);
      If representing a particular group or constituency (e.g., a professional organization) the ability to ‘speak for’ the group that they are representing.
  2. Given that advisory committees are intended to provide advice and perspective to programs the program-related staff/faculty participation shall be limited to the Program Director or Director. Other program faculty or staff may attend as resource people given the agenda as determined by the Dean.
  3. The PAC meetings shall be considered open to JIBC (e.g., other program staff/faculty can attend as observers).
  4. Regular attendance is important to effective committee functioning. Normally, if a member misses two consecutive meetings their membership will automatically expire.
  5. While the frequency of meetings depends on the needs of the program/program cluster and are established by the chair, normally the committee will meet a minimum once a year or at the call of the Chair.
  6. The Chair of the PAC is the Dean of the School in which the program/program cluster is housed.
  7. Members participate on a voluntary basis and normally are expected to cover their own travel expenses. In exceptional circumstances, as approved in advance by the Dean, some assistance for these expenses may be made available.
  8. Meetings may utilize teleconferencing or other options to facilitate participation from a distance.

Terms of Reference[1]

The primary function is to make recommendations to the Dean in matters relating to the development, ongoing implementation and evaluation of programs and curricula. What follows are topic areas that the Dean may seek advice and council from PACs.

Note that PACs cannot commit the institution financially or make policy decisions, they are non-voting committees.

The following may be matters of committee consideration and advice:

  • provide data/opinion on employment needs to help verify the validity of request for new programs or the updating or expansion of existing ones;
  • assist in determining the professional or technical qualifications essential for suitable faculty and may also provide assistance in the recruitment and selection of faculty.
  • define program objectives and methods of achieving them;
  • establishing a curriculum designed to educate and train students for purposes of employment;
  • criteria for length of program;
  • types of specialized equipment required and appropriate laboratory or practice layouts;
  • enabling public awareness through information and advertising;
  • interpretation of the program or services to the community, to unions or professional societies and to employers;
  • academic experience, maturity, health and other particular requirements of students for admission to the program;
  • placement of students in work experience or applied learning opportunities;
  • assistance in obtaining student bursaries and scholarships for the program;
  • program evaluation and follow-up on the performance of graduates, ensuring relevance of program and assessing career opportunities and identifying changes in the labour market;
  • acquisition of additional resources (material, personnel, methods) that will enhance the value of the program;
  • transfer arrangements to other institutions offering parallel or advanced programs or other options; and,
  • recruitment of students into the program.

Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Program staff and faculty have a role in providing suggestions for membership to the Dean.
  2. The Dean will extend offers to participate, and provide appropriate thank you letters for committee members who leave the committee.
  3. Administrative support will be provided through the Dean’s office with appropriate materials circulated one week in advance of the meeting including any background materials.
  4. Minutes of PACs will be circulated in a timely manner to membership program faculty and staff.
  5. Advice will be thoughtfully considered by the Dean and program.
  6. Annual reports for all PACs are to be submitted to the Vice President Academic (through the PAC Chair/Dean) by the end of June each year. A standard template will be used for this submission.
  7. A current membership list will be kept by the Dean’s Office.


[1] Reference: http://web.viu.ca/corrin/CTAB/Section%20B/PNP55260660[1].pdf

Last updated August 22, 2016