Setting the Course: Committee Organization
Improving the quality of education is directly related to the degree of involvement, participation, and commitment by advisory committees. The energy and actions of instructors, administrators, and advisory committee members are critical to the effectiveness and success of the committee.
Successful advisory committees develop and implement a written plan each year that reflects consensus on the need and requirements of each program. With that plan established, advisory committees maximize their effectiveness by focusing on the activities that will result in change and improvement.
It is important that members:
- Attend and participate in all meetings.
- Suggest and develop agenda items prior to meetings.
- Help determine committee goals and objectives and ways to achieve them.
- Become familiar with the educational system and how professional-technical education fits into the overall educational structure.
- Respect the rights and opinions of other committee members.
- Accept committee responsibilities.
- Avoid conflicts of interest.
Most advisory committees have at least ten members including employers, employees, faculty, staff and administrators. Some committees may meet two or three times a year to carry out one or two activities, while others may meet more often and carry out a variety of committee activities. This is determined largely by the scope of the committee’s program of work.
A term of membership is decided by each committee in accordance with existing college policy. A three-year term is suggested with reappointment as an option. Systematic replacement is usually established with consideration given to staggered terms. The benefit of having one-third of the members change each year is that it provides new ideas and smooth operation for the committee.