Recommendation 1: In order to increase effectiveness, the college should establish a cycle of validation of institutional set standards so that they remain relevant and informative for discussions on continuous improvement. The college should also publish all the institution standards. (I.B.3)
The College has addressed this recommendation by focusing on attaining three primary outcomes: 1) to evaluate the current institutional-set standards for appropriateness; 2) to re-evaluate the method used to set the standards and determine and publish a regular evaluation cycle; and 3) to publish all standards.
The Institutional Effectiveness Committee (IEC) took the lead on addressing outcomes 1 and 2 above. This committee reviews the institutional-set standards annually as a part of a regular cycle (R.1.1) and has also continuously ensured that they remain relevant and informative. For example, at its December 14, 2017 meeting, committee members reviewed the existing set-standards that would result from deploying several different methods for setting standards and targets (i.e. seven-year minimum, % of average) and ultimately decided to utilize a single formula of 90% of a five-year average to set the floor for each of the standards (R.1.2, R.1.3, R.1.4). At its December 6, 2018 meeting, the IEC added Vision for Success goals as well as goals related to the student-centered funding formula to the institutional-set standards that included equity indicators, first-year completion of math and English, Pell Grant eligibility, and improved CE metrics. The IEC also initiated a slight change to setting future standards and targets (R.1.5). Consistent with the regular cycle established in the planning timeline, the IEC met in April 2019 to review the standards and the College’s progress toward meeting its goals. In the spirit of continuous improvement, the committee noted “The one area that we are falling behind is our certificate completion, this is largely due to the loss of the fine woodworking program and our LVN students not petitioning. The campus has implemented initiatives to remind staff, faculty, and students of the petition deadline” (R.1.6).
The College also met outcome 3 above. The College reported the new institutional-set standards in its published 2018 Commission Annual Report and in all subsequent annual reports, which are available on the College website (R.1.7, R.1.8, R.1.9). The College has made efforts to make this information widely available to College personnel and the community by creating, on the Institutional Research website, an institutional-set standards webpage and other webpages that include key student success metrics, job placement rates, and licensure exam pass rates (R.1.10, R.1.11). The institution-set standards, including the Vision for Success goals, are presented to the Board of Trustees every year and are also published in the Institutional Effectiveness Report that is published every fall (R.1.12, R.1.13, R.1.14, R.1.15, R.1.16).
Lastly, the institution-set standards have been incorporated into the program review process. When areas undergo comprehensive reviews they must reflect on data that is part of the institution-set standards and all areas, on an annual basis, need to reflect on what they have been doing to address the “Vision for Success” goals (R.1.17, R.1.18).
Analysis and Evaluation:
The College’s efforts described above demonstrate that there is a system in place for a regular cycle of reviewing and validating the institutional-set standards and that they remain informative for continuous improvement, notably through the program review process. The College also publishes the standards, and additional data related to the standards, on its website and in its annual reports to the Commission.