Comprehensive Standard 3.3.1

 

The institution identifies expected outcomes, assesses the extent to which it achieves these outcomes, and provides evidence of improvement based on analysis of the results in each of the following areas (Institutional Effectiveness):

 

3.3.1.1 educational programs, to include student learning outcomes

3.3.1.2 administrative support services

3.3.1.3 educational support services

3.3.1.4 research with its educational mission, if appropriate

3.3.1.5 community/public service within its educational mission, if appropriate

 

COMPLIANCE

 

Narrative:

Vernon College demonstrates compliance in the identification and assessment of outcomes, the extent to which it achieves these outcomes, and provides evidence of improvement based on the analyses of the results. The College Priorities, College Directive Goals, and each unit’s goals in the Annual Plan identify expected outcomes for the educational programs and for administrative and educational support services. Each curricular, administrative, and educational support unit annually sets goals or desired outcomes in relation to the institutional mission, and the annual College Priorities and College Directives.
 
Each unit evaluates its goals at the end of the academic year, assessing results and indicating what improvement needs to be made. The unit identifies how it has used or will use the results of assessment in further planning and refinement of its services.
 
The Annual Plan assembles the data for review by the Planning and Assessment Committee. Observations from that review are incorporated into annual College Priorities, which give focus for the ensuing planning cycle.

  

Establishing outcomes for each functional unit of the College (educational, administrative, and support), assessing the achievement of those outcomes, and providing evidence of the use of results for continuous improvement are the core components of the planning process at Vernon College.   

 

Identifying Expected Outcomes Process

 

Since 1987, Vernon College has conducted formalized planning and review of its educational programs. In 2002, the College reviewed the existing procedures and subsequently implemented the following revisions which are still in place:

 

·         Expanded the inclusion of the College’s non-instructional functions;

·         adopted a new planning and review template with an emphasis on setting program outcomes;

·         moved the begin/end cycle dates for the planning/review process from the fall of the year to the spring to ensure better alignment of planning and budgeting;

·         implemented the new planning procedures for the 2005-2006 planning period

 

The Annual Planning process and form adopted by the College requires an outcomes-based review of the prior year and an outcomes-based plan for the coming year. Expected outcomes are clearly defined through the use of success criteria, the specification of responsible parties, and the designation of time lines.

 

The Annual Plan form is designed to lead the unit through an analysis of the outcomes met/not met during the prior year, an analysis of additional key performance indicators, and a review of the status of decisions made the year before. The results identified in this review are used to set the expected outcomes for the next year, to set the additional key performance indicators to be monitored, and to formulate the decisions/strategies necessary for achieving improvements in the coming academic year.

 

Evidence of the use of results from this review process can be found in five areas:

 

·         the new outcomes established

·         the evaluation methods determined

·         the new decisions/strategies formulated

·         the assessment reviewed

·         the narrative outlining the use of results 

 

Documentation of Performance

 

By March of each year, the Institutional Research office sends all Annual Planning forms to each functional unit. The individual College units meet to review and document their performance during the prior year. Once this review has been completed, each unit of the College uses the assessment results to develop and document plans to improve performance during the coming year. Each unit of the College (instructional and non-instructional) completes its Annual Planning document by May.

 

Assessing Expected Outcomes Process

 

The Annual Planning process and template require that outcome results be assessed in relation to the success criteria established for each expected unit outcome. Unit administrators review their annual planning document and then meet with their units to discuss improvements required, institutional implications, strategies, budget considerations, equipment/personnel considerations, and common themes. The Institutional Research office presents the Summary of the Evaluation of the Annual Plan each year to the Planning and Assessment Committee for review and for discussion of outcomes (both met and unmet). The Planning and Assessment Committee makes any recommendations and/or proposes any revisions to the process to the President’s Council. 

 

Evidence of Improvement Based on Analysis of Results

 

The Institutional Research office makes available a Summary of the Evaluation of the Annual Plan outlining improvements achieved as a result of planning and evaluation. Vernon College has demonstrated that the College identifies expected outcomes for each of its functional units (educational, administrative, and educational support) through its Annual Planning process. Detailed examples presented in this section illustrate that the College systematically uses the results of these assessments to improve its programs and services provided.

 

Educational and Administrative Support Services

 

Establishing outcomes for each functional unit of the College (administrative and educational support), assessing the achievement of those outcomes, and providing evidence of the use of results for continuous improvement are the core components of the planning process at Vernon College.   

 

Educational and Educational Support Services

Instructional Services Division:  Goals, Objectives, and Strategies from the 2006-2007 Annual Plan and the Evaluation of the 2006-2007 Annual Plan

 

Example 1
College Priority Two
- Improve the delivery of existing programs and courses

 

Goal:  Attract quality adjunct faculty to teach at Vernon College

Objective #11: Enhance the attractiveness of working as a part-time instructor at Vernon College by increasing the current adjunct salary scale as evidenced by ease of hiring qualified adjunct instructors.

Strategy:  Request additional monies for salary increase

How the objective will be evaluated:  Report from the Division Chairs on the ease of attracting qualified adjunct instructors. 

Results: Not Achieved  

Assessment: Funds to increase the adjunct salary rate from $1,350 to $1,500 were not approved during the 2006-2007 budget funding year.

Use of Results for Improvement: Instructional Services believes that in order to be competitive in the “adjunct market” the college must continue to boost the adjunct salary rate. Therefore, this objective will be carried over to the 2007-2008 Annual Plan.

 

Example 2
College Priorities Two, Seven, and Eight
- Improve the delivery of existing programs and courses
- Acquire and support appropriate technology and facilities for curricula and administrative enhancement

- Develop and implement intervention strategies which improve the retention and success rate of students

 

Goal: Provide a quality distance learning program at Vernon College

Objective #25:  Provide a secure, proctored instructional testing environment for Internet/ITV students as evidenced by the existence of a facility at Vernon and Century City Center and a schedule depicting availability.

Strategy:  Secure Funds to staff instructional testing lab; hire proctor and schedule testing

How the objective will be evaluated:  Evidence by the existence of Vernon and Century City Center testing lab and a schedule depicting availability

Results:  Achieved    

Assessment:  Instructional Testing Centers were established at the Vernon and Century City locations in spring 2007 due to concerns over distance learning testing integrity. Students enrolled in Internet and hybrid courses may use the Instructional Testing Centers for required proctored tests. Hours of operations are posted on the Vernon College website and in the Campus Announcement section of the Blackboard (WebCT) Learning Management System.

Use of Results for Improvement:  Feedback will be gathered from faculty/staff as to whether or not the testing centers have indeed provided a secure testing environment for Internet/ITV students. Students and faculty will be surveyed as to the appropriateness of Instructional Testing Center schedules.

 

Example 3

College Priorities Seven and Nine
- Acquire and support appropriate technology and facilities for curricula and administrative enhancement

- Increase professional development activities for college employees

 

Goals:  Grow leadership from faculty ranks; and effectively utilize existing faculty, classroom space, and instructional budget allocations for maximum benefit to the student and the institution

Objective #21: Provide current and relevant STARLINK professional development opportunities to faculty as evidenced by an increase over the 2005-2006 activities in professional development participation by Vernon College faculty members.

Strategy:  Secure funds to repair satellite equipment; contract with vendor to repair satellite; advertise and promote STARLINK broadcasts; and provide incentives for faculty attendance

How the objective will be evaluated:  Evidenced by an increase in professional development participation by faculty members

Results:  Achieved  

Assessment: STARLINK satellite equipment repair was completed 8-31-2006. The Library Assistant/Media Specialist at Century City was designated as the technical contact and to disseminate information about the broadcasts to faculty members. Faculty attendance was reported on three broadcasts during 2006-2007. No participation was reported in 2005-2006.   

Use of Results for Improvement: Satellite broadcasts for STARLINK programs will be discontinued 9-1-2007. STARLINK Training Services will broadcast the programs live through streaming video and then archive them for later viewing on their website. STARLINK will also send a DVD of each program they produce to Vernon College. The Director of Distance Learning and the Director of Library Services will maintain the DVDs as resources available for all faculty to check out. Library staff will track the use of the DVDs. The Library Assistant/Media Specialist will seek additional venues to promote the STARLINK Broadcasts for quality professional development activities for faculty including forwarding broadcast information to all faculty, sending information to Division Chairs to give out at faculty meetings, and posting fliers in the mail rooms at each campus. The annual report for professional development will include faculty who checked out STARLINK DVDs. STARLINK has also been added to the Professional Development Activities report that each faculty member completes annually. 

 

Administrative Support Services

Student Services Division:  Goals, Objectives, and Strategies from the 2006-2007 Annual Plan and the Evaluation of the 2006-2007 Annual Plan

 

Example 4

Student Activities

College Priorities Two, Five, Seven, and Eight
- Improve the delivery of existing programs and courses
- Improve and expand student access and success in programs through the use of educational support services and various resources and facilities

- Acquire and support appropriate technology and facilities for curricula and administrative enhancement

- Develop and implement intervention strategies which improve the retention and success rate of students

 

Goal:  Encourage fellowship and inspire student leadership among students on the Vernon Campus

Objective #3:  Develop an interactive leadership environment for the Student Government Association (SGA)

Strategy:  Create a WebCT resource classroom for the purpose of team-building and self-development

How the objective will be evaluated:  Evaluated through feedback by SGA  

Results:  Achieved   

Assessment:  A WebCT environment entitled “Leadership in Action” was developed for use by members of the Vernon College SGA. The environment served the purpose of team-building and self-development by including resources such as tracking volunteer hours, resume builders and scholarship essay writing tools, meeting agendas and minutes, as well as a master calendar.

Use of Results for Improvement:  Student usage of this resource will be encouraged and monitored on an ongoing basis and adapted as needed.

 

Administrative Services Division:  Goals, Objectives, and Strategies from the 2006-2007 Annual Plan and the Evaluation of the 2006-2007 Annual Plan

 

Example 5

Physical Plant Operations

College Priorities Two, Five, Seven, and Eight
- Improve and expand student access and success in programs through the use of educational support services and various resources and facilities

- Acquire and support appropriate technology and facilities for curricula and administrative enhancement

 

Goal:  Provide updated facilities on the Vernon campus

Objective #1:  Continue with facility upgrades on the Vernon Campus

Strategy:  Replace the roof on the Colley Student Center; update the Facilities Master Plan; transition to College personnel the management for the Century City Center – Dean of Administrative services will begin the management of the leased spaces instead of the contracted lease manager

How the objective will be evaluated:  Architectural plans approved and roof replaced by summer of 2007

Results:  Achieved

Assessment: Colley Center roof removed and new roof applied. Vernon College Master Facilities Plan completed, reviewed by staff, and Board of Trustees. The Dean of Administrative Services began and continues to supervise the leased tenants within the Century City Center in Wichita Falls.

Use of Results for Improvement: The Master Facilities Plan process continues to seek broad based input from committee members of the Facilities Planning Committee.  The plan incorporates not only facility updates but also include historical data, preventive maintenance data, and perpetual maintenance data. The Facilities Master Plan assists the College in the overall planning process. The institutional oversight for the leased properties within the Century City Center by a college official has proven to be a good move. The institution has a better feel for the relationship between the lessees and the institution as owner of the property.

 

Both the complete 2006-2007 Annual Plan and 2007-2008 Annual Plan are provided in the full documentation at the end of this narrative.

 

Educational Programs

 

Since 2001, the College has experienced a gradual evolution in the process of assessing outcomes in its educational disciplines and programs. The College first began framing student learning outcome statements in terms of enrollment, credentials awarded, grades, and graduation. The College has expanded the process to include course outcomes, skills competencies, and the formulation of global student learning outcomes. Instructional units are encouraged to assess the macro competencies specified in the curriculum program descriptions, covered in capstone courses, covered in co-op work experiences, and covered in licensure/certification examinations. 

Programs and disciplines are evaluated according to a five-year rotating basis schedule to ensure consistency with the college mission statement, programmatic quality and improvement, adequate enrollment and student demand, accountability, and efficient management. Preliminary evaluations are assigned to faculty members and Division Chairs and a Program/Discipline Evaluation Task Force. Evaluations are reviewed by the Dean of Instructional Services, Academic Council, and then by the College President, who makes decisions on the future status of programs or disciplines.  The Board of Trustees alone has the authority to continue or terminate a program/discipline based upon the recommendation of the College President. These evaluations and procedures are available in the Program Evaluation, Discipline Evaluation, and General Education Program Evaluation documents.

With the need to directly assess student learning outcomes, Vernon College began to determine learning outcomes in all courses taught at Vernon College.  As a result, all course syllabi specify learning outcomes which are directly supportive of the program outcomes.  To keep course and learning outcomes current, Division Chairs continually work with instructors to review course syllabi to relate course learning outcomes with program learning outcomes.  Course learning outcomes are stated in such a way as to permit direct measurement, thereby documenting that course, program, and general education outcomes are achieved. Concomitant with the review of the syllabi, instructors determine student assessment necessary to demonstrate achievement of the course learning outcomes (e.g. competence in writing, understanding of scientific principles, or skills in a technical area.) The assessment, determined by faculty, may be in the form of an examination, a project, a critique of a speech, analysis of a scientific or social problem, or an instructor’s assessment report on a demonstrated skill.

 

·         Assessment of the General Education Program at Vernon College was added to the Program/Discipline Evaluation rotation (for the 2009-2010 academic year) to be sure the general education core at Vernon College is assessed as a program. The General Education Program Evaluation, like other programs and disciplines at Vernon College, includes multiple measures to assess the outcomes of the General Education Program.

·         Vernon College has begun to implement layers of evaluation within our General Education Program to further assess the student learning outcomes:

o   At the course level, pre/post tests with documented and meaningful results will be revamped by faculty and Division Chairs. During the spring and summer of 2008, the Student Core Competencies Committee will research to determine the best way to develop and document pre/post test assessment (though the College has been doing this, there is a desire to add a “quality control measure” to the process along with the quality enhancement measures that already exist through pre/post testing). A revised Pre/Post Test Procedure will be developed by May 2008. Revised pre/post tests will be developed by July 2008. Then revised pre/post tests will be implemented in the fall 2008 semester. Standardized finals that include the 15 question pre/post test instrument will be used in the courses. This will serve as a quality control measure for adjunct faculty members.

o   At the discipline level, the evaluation of the general education core becomes part of the Program/Discipline Evaluation process (see above).

o   At the cross-discipline level, VConfirm the Core will continue to be used. The Student Core Competencies Committee has formed an Ad-Hoc Assessment Committee, consisting of Sandy Gabel, the Committee Chair and a Computer Sciences faculty member, Joe Johnston, the Chair of the Communication Division and an English faculty member, Dr. Gary Don Harkey, the Chair of Mathematics and Science Division and an Agriculture faculty member, and Dr. Brenda Kays, the Dean of Instructional Services. The charge of the Ad-Hoc Assessment Committee will be to determine if VConfirm the Core is working, revamp if needed, and determine if the model should continue to be used; determine if there are other types of assessments (such as portfolios) that should be used; and continue to educate faculty on the Five Global Student Learning Outcomes

o   At the institutional level, the Student Core Competencies Committee will continue to explore the use of MAPS as an exit assessment tool. Vernon College is seeking a MAPS-ETS consultation during April 2008 and will begin implementing the testing through the Testing Center in the fall.

 

Through its Annual Planning and Program/Discipline Evaluation processes, Vernon College demonstrates compliance in the identification and assessment of outcomes, the extent to which it achieves these outcomes, and provides evidence of improvement based on the analyses of the results. 

 

Documentation

1.    Vernon College Mission Statement

2.    Vernon College Vision

3.    Vernon College Values

4.    Vernon College Strategic Plan 2006-2010

5.    Vernon College Priorities, 08-09

6.    Planning and Assessment Committee

7.    Vernon College Annual Planning Calendar 2007-2008

8.    Vernon College Annual Planning Calendar 2008-2009

9.    Vernon College Annual Planning Calendar 2006-2007

10. Vernon College 2006-2007 Annual Plan

11. Vernon College 2007-2008 Annual Plan

12. Evaluation of Annual Plan 2006-2007

13. Vernon College Priorities 07-08

14. Vernon College Priorities 06-07

15. Vernon College Directive Goals 08-09

16. Vernon College Directive Goals 07-08

17. Vernon College Directive Goals 06-07

18. Program/Discipline Evaluation Schedule

19. Program/Discipline Evaluation Results 2006

20. Program/Discipline Evaluation Results 2007

21. Program Evaluation

22. Discipline Evaluation

23. General Education Program Evaluation

24. VConfirm the Core

25. Vernon College Master Facilities Plan