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Institutional Mission and Effectiveness
Improving Institutional Effectiveness
The institution demonstrates a conscious effort to produce and support student learning, measures that learning, assesses how well learning is occurring, and makes changes to improve student learning. The institution also organizes its key processes and allocates its resources to effectively support student learning. The institution demonstrates its effectiveness by providing (1) evidence of the achievement of student learning outcomes and (2) evidence of institution and program performance. The institution uses ongoing and systematic evaluation and planning to refine its key processes and improve student learning.
IB.1 The institution maintains an ongoing, collegial, self-reflective dialogue about the continuous improvement of student learning and institutional processes.
IB.2 The institution sets goals to improve its effectiveness consistent with its stated purposes. The institution articulates its goals and states the objectives derived from them in measurable terms so that the degree to which they are achieved can be determined and widely discussed. The institutional members understand these goals and work collaboratively toward their achievement.
IB.3 The institution assesses progress toward achieving its stated goals and makes decisions regarding the improvements of institutional effectiveness in an ongoing and systematic cycle of evaluation, integrated planning, resource allocation, implementation, and re-evaluation. Evaluation is based on analyses of both quantitative and qualitative data.
The college maintains an on-going, collegial, self-reflective dialogue about the continuous improvement of student learning and institutional processes. The college community works collectively to draw from its dialogue on student learning in setting goals to improve its effectiveness consistent with the college's mission.
College-wide dialogue on the student learning process has occurred in the Council for Institutional Development (CID) in preparation for the accreditation self study and in the Department Chair meetings. A special dialogue was held with guest Vincent Tinto in fall 2003 with department chairs, leaders of the Academic and Classified Senate, managers and other interested parties regarding implementation and assessment of the teaching/learning paradigm at Ventura College .
Open-invitation dialogues have been hosted over the last five years by a group of faculty leaders interested in providing support to faculty exploring ways to incorporate new student-centered learning activities in the classroom. (See Teacher Exchange Description, p. 5 of this report.) Additional dialogue was conducted by the subcommittee on Standard I.
College goals were revised during the 2002-2003 academic year through a broad-based process that included input from the community, students, faculty and staff. The college community worked with outside consultants to evaluate the old goals based upon the increased focus on student learning. The proposed revisions were distributed and discussed in the Academic Senate, Classified Senate, Department Chairs, Administrative Council, CID and the President's Cabinet.
In preparation for the self study, the subcommittee for Standard I conducted a college-wide assessment of the college's progress toward the new goals through the development of an "Activities Matrix Survey."
Institutional effectiveness encompasses the entire spectrum of college operations. To focus on institutional effectiveness, it is necessary to examine the full range of activities engaged in by the college educational enterprise. No college endeavor is exempt. In essence, institutional effectiveness is synonymous with how well the college achieves its educational mission and goals.
Ventura College recognizes that institutional effectiveness is neither a singular action nor an effort conducted by a small group of concerned individuals. The college has pursued institutional effectiveness on the basis of a community and collegewide commitment.
Descriptive Summary: Approach to Standard IB
During initial dialogue sessions on Standard IB, the chairs and co-chairs determined that the seven elements listed above could be addressed by incorporating several primary campus activities. These include the following:
- The work of the Council for Institutional Development (CID)
- Clearly defined college goals connected to the college mission
- Conducting a campuswide Activities Matrix Survey and presenting the results
- Presenting the Strategic Planning (Decision) Model
- Describing the benefits of the Measure S Bond and the building of the Learning Resources Center (LRC)
The first element concerning the CID is covered in Standard IA. This body of campus functional areas provides open dialogue on topics of student learning and institutional effectiveness, especially as they relate to the processes that address and measure these two topics.
The second element involves having clearly delineated college goals that reflect the mission of the college (both previously discussed in the Standard 1A section). The college originally created nine goals at a 1999 retreat of campus leaders, and then, as part of preparation for an Educational Master Plan Report, refined these and added a tenth at a 2003 retreat.
Descriptive Summary: Activities Matrix Survey
The third element above is a mechanism for measuring the effectiveness of the goals throughout the campus community. The chairs and co-chairs concluded that a list of campuswide activities would help support the effectiveness of the ten campus goals and assist in dispelling the notion that these goals are disconnected from daily activities. However, such a list alone could not provide measurable evidence that the articulation of the goals had been manifest in activities across campus.
Thus, the chairs and co-chairs sought a more effective approach. Dialogue sessions focused on providing some level of documentation to support that the ten college goals were valid, understood, and acted upon. The most unambiguous approach was the use of an Activities Matrix, whereby the ten goals could be cross-referenced with activities that have occurred (or are in progress) across campus (see Activities Matrix Table below). These activities would be listed under the related goal. Additional refinements in the Matrix resulted in seven areas of information requested under each of the ten goals, and a decision to circulate the Matrix in survey format (IB-1). Selection of these seven areas resulted from studying phrases and vocabulary in the subsections of Standard IB. These areas would help frame campus activities as they relate to Standard IB and provide up-to-date documentation from a campuswide perspective (IB-2).
The seven areas for inclusion in the survey form were the following:
- Describe the activity/project/process and how it is linked to student needs
- How did the college support the project/activity?
- How did the college provide resources needed to support this activity?
- Who was involved in the initiation and implementation of the project/activity?
- What measures have/will you use to evaluate the project/activity?
- Strategies employed to encourage participation and communication with the college community
- Recommendation(s) for future improvement
Activities Matrix Cross-Reference Example for Goal 1
Author: __________ Organizational Unit: _______________ Task Title: ______________
- College Goal I -
Develop and maintain excellent educational programs and services in a unique learning environment where individuals can fulfill their personal and professional dreams.
Describe the activity/project/process and how it is linked to student needs.
How did the college support the project/activity?
How did the college provide resources needed to support this activity?
Who was involved in the initiation and implementation of the project/activity?
What measures have/will you use to evaluate the project/activity outcomes?
Strategies employed to encourage participation and communication with the college community?
Recommendation(s) for future improvement.
he survey was prepared by cross-referencing the ten college goals with the seven areas of interest. Since Standard IB relied heavily on data from the Matrix, the campus community (faculty, classified or administrators) recorded and submitted activities completed or ongoing as they related to the ten college goals. In many cases single activities applied to more than one of the goals.
With the exception of the four appointed chairs and co-chairs of Standard IA and IB, membership for both Standard I subgroups consisted of campus leadership bodies rather than specific individuals. This arrangement allowed dialogue, input, and discussion from any of these members. The four chairs and co-chairs believed this approach could involve more than 50 individuals in their respective roles as campus leaders. Those bodies, identified as the "membership" of Standard IA and IB, included the Council on Institutional Development (CID); the Department Chairs Council (which convenes monthly with the executive vice president); and the Administrative Council, which convenes weekly under the direction of the executive vice president of student learning and the vice president of Business Services. The chairs and co-chairs believed that these three entities best represented the leadership structure of the campus (see Standard IA committee membership)
The four chairs and co-chairs met in an open forum with each of these leadership bodies to explain both Standard I and the Activities Matrix approach to collecting data. The members briefly described effective activities, which were recorded on tear-off poster sheets according to each of the ten college goals and then combined into a single document. After consideration by the co-chairs, a member of the college faculty and a staff member or an administrator who had the most directly related information, recorded each activity. Activities were not restricted to those assigned, and any member of the college community contacted had an opportunity to complete a form on any additional activity.
Initially, emails were sent to 41 individuals. Because of printing problems, this mailing yielded only a 20-plus percent return rate. Some forms submitted were useable and were added to the database, while others were returned for additional information and/or rewriting. After two weeks, a reformatted follow-up hard copy was sent to the remaining individuals. Many of those given paper copies received phone calls and personal contact. Of the 40-plus individuals contacted, many were requested to provide a completed form on more than one activity. Sixty-three suggested activities were collected and collated from the three organizations (listed above).
The four chairs and co-chairs continued ongoing meetings to discuss the approach to Standard I, develop the Matrix, distribute the Matrix to the college community, and catalog the results. Documentation of the meeting dates and topics are provided in the following table.
Standard IA and IB Meetings
|Date||Topic of Meeting|
|10/09/03||Accreditation Team attends a full-day WASC workshop on new four Standards|
|10/17/03||The four chairs/co-chairs meet with Accreditation Team for directions/updates|
|11/05/03||The four chairs/co-chairs meet to further develop the Matrix ( 8:00AM )|
|11/05/03||The four chairs/co-chairs meet with Accreditation Team for update reports ( 2:30PM )|
|11/10/03||Chairs/co-chairs meet to refine/finalize the wording/structure of the Matrix|
|11/12/03||Chairs/co-chairs present Matrix to the Council on Institutional Development (CID)|
|11/25/03||Chairs/co-chair present Matrix to the Department Chairs|
|12/03/03||Standard I presents progress report to the Accreditation Team|
|12/10/03||Chairs/co-chairs dialogue with CID solicit suggestions for activities for the Matrix|
|01/12/04||Initial round of emailing the suggested activities to college community begins|
|01/23/04||The four chairs/co-chairs meet to plan analysis of Matrix|
|02/02/04||Secondary emailing of the suggested activities completed|
|02/09/04||Follow-up hard copies are made to those who did not reply to initial email|
|02/18/04||The chairs/co-chairs meet to review content of text portion of report|
|02/26/04||The chairs/co-chairs meet to review activities Matrix submittals and text portion|
|03/03/04||The chairs/co-chairs meet with Accreditation Team for update reports|
|03/05/04||The chairs/co-chairs meet to analyze the activities Matrix data for text presentation|
|03/12/04||The chairs/co-chairs meet to review text drafts and follow-up Matrix submittals|
|03/18/04||The chairs/co-chairs meet to finalize text drafts and refine previous drafts|
|03/22/04||The chairs/co-chairs submit their final draft text to the Office of Student Learning|
Descriptive Summary: Strategic Planning (Decision) Process Model
Finally, the fourth element addressed a broad-based planning process that allowed for campuswide input. The president's Council on Institutional Development (CID) worked with Academic Senate and Classified Senate leaders to develop a Strategic Planning (Decision) Model (See Matrix on subsequent page). The resulting flow chart (model) is the product of numerous revisions and suggestions, ensuring that all vested campus areas have a role in planning either directly or through designated representatives. The model allows input at any point-a basic tenant all parties felt so strongly about that it was articulated in this flow chart.
According to this model, initiatives and challenges can be generated in the discipline, department, program, campus committee, Administrative Council, CID, Academic Senate, Classified Senate or Student Government. Final decisions can be made only after the initiative has been evaluated through the college's strategic decision process. The final decision is reached at the President's Cabinet, which represents the shared governance process and is composed of the key leadership of the college. The President's Cabinet includes the following:
- College President
- Executive Vice President
- Vice President of Business Services
- President of the Academic Senate
- President of Classified Senate
- President of the Associated Students
- Public Relations Officer
- Executive Director of the Ventura College Foundation
Ventura College Planning System
(shows relationship of planning elements to one another)
The system revolves around student learning, which, in turn, drives the development and regular revision of the college's mission by the Council for Institutional Development. It is the first of two models that are delineated in this report.
The mission drives strategic master planning activities, including internal and external scans, and an analysis of the college's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats; these lead to the creation or revision of college goals, which are recommended by the Council for Institutional Development for final adoption by the President's Cabinet.
College goals drive the educational master plan, which is reviewed and revised through input by the Council for Institutional Development, Administrative Council, Academic Senate, Curriculum Committee, Classified Senate and student government.
The educational master plan drives various college wide plans, including the technology plan, the staff development plan, the facilities master plan, etc., which are created or revised by appropriate college committees.
All of these college-level planning elements, including the college mission, strategic master planning activities, college goals, educational master plan, accreditation self studies, program reviews, and college wide plans, drive the unit-planning elements.
Strategic Planning (Decision) Model
Descriptive Summary: Proactive Strategies College Uses to Fund Student Learning Initiatives
As the Activities Matrix summary showed, several faculty and administrators are active in grant writing. These activities are responsible for funding of supplies as well as staff salaries, depending on the grant. Grants have been secured through varies agencies, including, but not limited to, the National Science Foundation (NSF), The State Parks System, and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Revenues from these sources have been well used and welcome in recent budget-challenged years. All grants are processed through the college's Institute for Community and Professional Development (ICPD), which has regular staff as well as a grant-writing specialist. The existence of this center is a result of campus planning activities through the Council for Institutional Development (CID). The ICPD is an integral part of the campus and will be an essential part of the college's future.
A quick review of the activities submitted by students, staff, faculty and administrators will reveal that many of these tasks included no direct dollars for completion. Analysis of the survey found that 71 percent of the activities cited showed that the college had provided facilities or staffing support either as classroom/office space or staff time. However, only 14 percent mentioned direct financial support for their activity. The Ventura College Foundation provides $1,500 to individuals through Faculty Innovation Grants. Several grants are funded annually. This process has funded numerous smaller activities over the last decade.
Since the summer of 2002, many innovative student success grants were funded through the Title 5 Grant for Hispanic Serving Institutions. The Title 5 grant supported several innovative faculty projects that explored new teaching techniques, including the following:
- English Department faculty use of the Interactive English program in their composition class
- A professor conducted a sociology forum for part-time sociology faculty to help them assess their teaching strategies
- The psychology and multimedia faculty infused multimedia projects in the psychology curricula
- The Biology Department developed a service-learning program for biology students
- A theatre arts instructor worked with the Math 10 class to assess how math is perceived from different learning perspectives
- An English professor evaluated the award winning Multicultural Education Transfer (MET) Program and is recommending implementation at Ventura College
Self Evaluation: Institutional Effectiveness Research
The college assesses the strength of student learning and institutional performance through an array of institutional research and traditional student outcome measures. As with most community colleges, one of the dominant means to evaluate student effectiveness and institutional efficiency is to gather tabular information on student accomplishments. Some of the standard pieces of information for review include: graduation rates, student attrition rates, course persistence, average unit load, and transfer rates, etc.
In addition, the college routinely assesses student enrollment information to determine course vitality, student demand, and course level accuracy to meet student needs. Student scholastic performance is evaluated based on the enforcement of the college's academic and progress probation policies. Students who are experiencing substandard academic progress or grade deficiencies are provided with counselor intervention services and alerted to avenues to improve their academic standing.
The Ventura College Enrollment Management and Growth Plan is another source of obtaining institutional measures of effectiveness. In process since 1998-and part of a districtwide effort that included Moorpark and Oxnard, its sister colleges-the enrollment plan requires obtaining data elements to be used as statistical measurements of student outcomes. Based on the college enrollment plan, the following information is extracted: annual number of high school graduates; enrollment projections of current and potential students; and an increase in enrollment of historically underrepresented groups. The impact of the state legislative budgeting process played a major role in enrollment management at the time that the 1998 plan was developed (General Reference Bin).
However, commencing fall 2002, two major factors affected the college's fiscal status, and as a result, its enrollment management process. First, due to the bleak statewide fiscal projections, the college had to substantially revise its approach to enrollment management. The dramatic fiscal shortfalls affecting all California Community Colleges also impacted the Ventura County Community Colleges. In addition to the drastic fiscal shortfalls projected from the state, Ventura College identified itself as fiscally disadvantaged with respect to its sister colleges. The vice president of Business Services began working with appropriate staff at the district office and sister colleges to revamp the current allocation model. Extended committees and forums-both campus and districtwide-temporarily suspended the allocation model because the college would not have the resources to continue existing programs and services; neither would its sister colleges. These committees continue to be critical decision-makers with respect to Ventura College 's budget allocation. More than ever before, the college's enrollment management will be linked to its resource allocation.
Since the previous accreditation, Ventura College has made considerable progress in documenting its accomplishments in enrollment management and in linking the entire planning process together. The Enrollment Management Plan is an ongoing process led by the executive vice president of student learning, with the involvement of many groups, both campus and districtwide. Since the previous Accreditation visit, the college has made substantial advances in noting its accomplishments in all aspects of planning, and the Enrollment Management Plan is an integral component as it relates to the college goals and to the Educational Master Plan (General Reference Bin).
There is an institutional commitment to continuing all planning endeavors. Not only are they tied to the college's enrollment management projections but to the college's educational and facilities master plans. For example, the college updated its process for program review and this year was able to evaluate the new process after its first full year-in time for this accreditation visit. As part of its enrollment management, and with the assistance of the district office and the college enrollment team, the college instituted a process for systematic analysis of data for the 2003-2004 academic year. The college Enrollment Management Team, with the assistance of the district office of Institutional Research, collects and analyzes a broad spectrum of data from reports, including the following:
- Profiles of Students FTES Worksheet
- Annual 320 Analysis and Projection Report (FTES)
- Program Planning Detail Report (PPDR) (local Banner FTES reports run by division)
- Local High School Projections
- Local Economic Forecast
- Zip Code Analysis
- WSCH/FTE Program Reviews
- CCC Chancellor Office Fiscal Projection
The college Enrollment Management Team consists of the executive vice president, student learning, the Enrollment Management Specialist, the Director of the district office of Institutional Research, the Public Information Officer, a counselor, the Dean of Student Development, the Registrar, the vice president of Business Services and department chairs.
Ventura College 's Enrollment Management Plan will continue to guide decision making and resource allocation. In view of the current statewide projected budget shortfalls, it would be naïve to expect that the budget would not have a substantial impact on college decisions as well. Nevertheless, the college will strive to maintain the integrity of its instructional offerings and student services programs, as defined by our mission and as incorporated into our Educational Master Plan.
Over sixty-two institutional campus research studies targeted to student services alone have been gathered for accreditation display. Along with studies conducted by the district office of Institutional Research (OIR) previously mentioned, the college has gathered research, services data, and student data from our student services departments and offices. Over sixty program-oriented research reports offer the college a unique opportunity to gain a comprehensive view of its student services operations and their direct impact on students. Fortunately, support service departments/offices annually provided many of these reports; these indicate student contact and data that monitor student use of our service offerings (See 2003 Progress Report in the General Reference Bin). Student contact and service information are also gathered electronically through our college Scheduling and Reporting System (SARS) computerized appointment system. A number of student services offices-including counseling, the Educational Assistance Center (Disabled Student Program and Services-DSP&S), and the Student Health Center -utilize this networked system.
Matriculation services and curricular data needs have formed some of the motivation for some institutional research, including accessing information pertinent to the validation of college placement instruments, course prerequisites, cut-off scores, ESL or Limited English Proficiency (LEP) course sequencing, and course pedagogy. Research has been conducted in the past, on the effectiveness of assessment, orientation and advisement activities on the success rate of new students.
Another source of institutional effectiveness information is derived from specialized college research projects generated in response to specific questions or needs. In some cases, college staff and/or committees identify needed institutional research and request that a study to get information or to guide an important decision be conducted. In other instances, institutional research is initiated by the need to acquire information required by categorical funding mandates or by the need to gather institutional information for grant funding proposals. An example of information derived through federal and/or state reporting mandates includes financial aid services. Based on periodic student financial aid institutional data, the college is afforded critical information concerning students' financial status, needs, and available resources for educational purposes. Additionally, through annual reports of the Educational Assistance Center/Disabled Student Program and Services, information is derived about the special educational needs of students. The college's ability to accommodate special student needs and create educational access to all students is enhanced by this institutional data.
The district researcher has conducted some excellent longitudinal studies throughout the district and for Ventura College in particular. Studies include student satisfaction, student perceptions, and employee satisfaction and perceptions. Compared to other measurements, the studies on student satisfaction and perceptions have had the greatest utility and impact on student support services planning and decision making. The longitudinal aspect of the studies allows the student service division to analyze service quality and student perception of services, and to compare effectiveness at set intervals. For example, the Student Success Team analyzed the student satisfaction findings, acquired a planning grant, and initiated a directed effort toward improving our first contact/outreach services.
The Survey of Student Perceptions has been administered four times in the last decade (1993, 1996, 2000, and 2003). Altogether, over 6,600 Ventura College students have completed the survey and given valuable feedback to the college. A comparison of the 2003 survey responses to findings from previous years showed that "overall satisfaction with campus services" had increased dramatically with 63% of the respondents indicating that they were satisfied to very satisfied, compared to a low of 45% in 2000. Student services, and the college in general, are proud to see some positive results from the hard work and unified effort that they have placed on improving services for students. Ratings of the "overall quality of instruction" and the "overall experience at this college" have remained high over the last decade (IV-8).
Research studies that examine student data of underrepresented and special populations are of particular note. Studies in relationship to the Mathematics, Engineering, and Science Achievement (MESA) and Engaging the Latino Communities for Education (ENLACE) projects provide invaluable information about our institutional performance with these populations.
Some of the studies include the following: Potentially MESA-eligible students at Ventura College; MESA eligible attending Ventura College; ENLACE: Ventura College Students from Fillmore and Santa Paula High Schools; ENLACE: High School Data-revised; Grade Distributions for fall 2001 and spring 2002: All Students and Hispanic Students Only; and fall 2001: Academic Performance of EAC (DSP&S) Students (See 2003 Progress Report in the General Reference Bin).
Self Evaluation: Exemplary Learning Programs and Support
The college has made a significant start toward conducting research and/or collecting data regarding the effectiveness of programs, services and teaching strategies. There are also good examples of how this research and data collection, both quantitative and qualitative has been used to make decisions to improve programs and services.
One way this information has been used has been to improve instructional and managerial efficiency. Our vocational education programs have been modified and reorganized in order to create increased continuity of operations and curricular fluidity.
As part of the college reorganization plan implemented in the fall of 1997, administration for the Vocational Technical Education Act (VATEA) program was transferred. The change was intended to combine instruction in a major vocational division with VATEA administration; this would better focus the use of the funds on developing stronger ties between general education and vocational programming. In addition, the assigned dean was asked to emphasize coordination and use of VATEA funding to further integrate general education across the vocational curriculum.
An evaluation of program review and college wide discussion has led to a concerted effort on the part of the college to increase the integration of instruction and vocational education. Following the 1996 accreditation visit, the vice president of instruction met with interested faculty to discuss the need for greater integration of curriculum. This group organized a Flex Day workshop to discuss the integration of curriculum and to brainstorm projects. A core group of faculty met on a regular basis throughout the 1996-97 academic year to encourage and support integrated curriculum projects throughout the campus. Representatives for the Tech Prep initiative shared their efforts within the college and with local high schools.
The task force developed and presented two Flex Week workshops on integrating curriculum, and distributed a newsletter to all staff. The newsletter explained the importance of, and suggested various models of, curriculum integration.
Occupational class instructors have made a commitment to include the use of SCANS in curriculum development. In 2000, the Curriculum Committee also strengthened the process by completely revising the course outline of record to include a stronger focus on course objectives, and to emphasize SCANS by requiring all vocational courses to respond specifically to them. In order to improve course preparation, annual workshops and Flex Week training activities for the Curriculum Committee and faculty at large review the uses of the new course outline, especially in the case of vocational course integration with general education.
Some highlights from faculty projects involving integrated vocational education and general education include the following:
- The use of practical nursing measurements in mathematics
- Practical applications of physics in the automotive program
- The development of a multi-disciplinary course in Ethics
- The use of technical writing in Criminal Justice courses
- A faculty member in the Business Department used a sabbatical to study internship programs from around the state
- A thriving work experience and internship program
- Development of a new biotechnology program that incorporates general education, with the college serving as a regional development center under a state grant
- Prepared a publication by Matriculation of new bilingual materials that emphasize a number of vocational program courses, including those required to meet general education requirements.
Self Evaluation: Allocation of Resources for Teaching and Learning
The search for external funding sources to support our student teaching and learning needs has generated another resource for institutional research. The college has made extraordinary efforts at acquiring outside funding to supplement dwindling revenue sources. Prime examples of revenue generating efforts are found in the grants awarded to the college.
Ventura College is designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education and has successfully obtained two Title V grants to better serve its students. The college has also developed projects and programs to better serve its underrepresented student population, such as ENLACE and MESA . Also, in an effort to provide greater educational access to our students, the college opened the Ventura College East Campus. The East Campus serves the areas of Santa Paula , Fillmore, Ojai and Piru.
Several other notable grant projects have been implemented, such as the Alternative Text Media Production Center (Braille); Middle College High School (MCHS) grant; Biotechnology-NSF grant; School-to-Career grant; and Home Builders Apprenticeship grant.
External funding efforts have not only produced important institutional data about our college and its students, but also provide significant support toward effective student teaching and learning. The level of external funding is unique because the college's efforts not only augment available monies, but also offer "above and beyond" learning opportunities and services to our students.
Support for promotional materials, equipment and technology was mentioned on 11 percent of the survey forms. Promotional support is most often provided by the campus Public Information Office, which periodically solicits news and events from the campus suitable for publication in various campus or community venues. Because many projects originated on campus and may have used campus email, computers or telephones, technical and equipment support may have been higher than 11 percent.
Unlike smaller activities on campus, the larger building projects under the local Measure S Bond and the soon-to-be-completed Learning Resources Center (LRC/Library) were fully funded and will have an enormous impact on a campus that had been housed in outdated and deteriorating 1950s structures. The LRC will provide a focus for learning activities, and in the next decade Measure S monies will help replace much of the campus with new buildings. The Sports Complex will be another notable addition. This multi-million dollar renovation will provide a state-of-the-art building to host multiple sports events while providing a physical focus to the college's highly successful sports programs.
Development of a Facilities Oversight Group (FOG) is an outcome of the very successful LRC planning process. The LRC planning group (SanDiMan Group), which will be finishing their work with the completion of the LRC, has been interacting with all sectors of the campus community for nearly ten years. The success of this group has spawned the new FOG group to oversee the ten-year-long Measure S building sequence. The FOG group is already actively involved in planning and placement of new structures on campus. This includes a combination building that will house several previously unavailable functions on campus: a planetarium, large central art gallery, larger lecture halls, and a small convention-type facility for campus meetings. This facility will also help tie the college community to the local business and professional communities by offering a modern meeting space to off-campus organizations.
Self Evaluation: Activities Matrix Survey
Of the 63 Matrix activities solicited from the college community, more than 45 were completed, submitted, analyzed, and added to Standard I support documentation. This put the return rate at about 72 percent. Each of these activities was listed according to the college goal indicated by the author. The spreadsheet in Table IB-3 shows the summary. Columns contain an activity (task) title and the campus organization the author represented. The materials provided by the campus community were finalized showing one activity per page.
This analysis lends support to the conclusion that the college's planning process is closely linked to college goals, and that the college, as well as particular program and service areas are actively participating in the implementation of unit projects and activities resulting in accomplishments that support the college's revised goals.
Activities Matrix Summary
|ACTIVITY||ORGANIZATION||TEN COLLEGE STRATEGIC GOALS|
|Community Partners||Associated Students||X|
|Donation of $25K||Associated Students||X|
|Leadership Interns||Associated Students||X|
|Internet Café||Associated Students||X|
|Facilities Master Plan||Business Services||X|
|Child Care Program||Child Develop. Ctr.||X|
|Family Co-op Program||Child Develop. Ctr.||X|
|Alt. Text Production||Community Develop.||X||X|
|Cal WORKS Program||Div: Comm. Resources||X||X||X||X|
|CAPS Local TV Station||Div: Comm. Resources||X||X||X|
|Community Education||Div: Comm. Resources||X||X||X||X||X|
|Emeritus Program||Div: Comm. Resources||X||X||X|
|Job & Career Center||Div: Comm. Resources||X||X||X||X|
|Title V Grant: Hispanic||Div: Comm. Resources||X||X||X|
|Cheer Team||Dept: Athletics||X|
|Intercollegiate Sports||Dept: Athletics||X|
|Student Art Auction||Dept: Art||X|
|Legacy Grant||Dept: Behavior. Sci.||X|
|Women's Awareness||Dept: Behavior. Sci.||X|
|Re-Entry Orientations||Dept: Behavior. Sci.||X|
|Re-Entry Workshops||Dept: Behavior. Sci.||X|
|Biotech Program||Dept: Biology||X||X||X||X|
|USDA Grant||Dept: Biol/Geosci.|
|One Book-One Campus||Dept: English||X|
|Spanish: Medical||Dept: Foreign Lang.||X|
|Spanish: Law Enforce||Dept: Foreign Lang.||X|
|Spanish: Teachers||Dept: Foreign Lang.||X|
|Spanish: Workplace||Dept: Foreign Lang.||X|
|GIS Certif. Program||Dept: Geosciences||X|
|GIS Day Event||Dept: Geosciences||X||X||X|
|State Parks Grant||Dept: Geosciences||X||X|
|College Newspaper||Dept: Journalism||X|
|Internships: Poli. Sci.||Dept: Political Sci.||X|
|Int'l Studies Major||Dept: Political Sci.||X|
|'Linked Classes'||Dept: Theater Arts||X|
|MESA Science Program||Division: Arts & Sci.||X||X|
|Sports Complex||Division: Health & HP||X|
|Build LRC (Library)||Division: Learning R.||X|
|ESL Outreach||Division: Social Sci.||X|
|ENLACE Program||East Campus Center||X||X||X|
|Medical Assist. Class||East Campus Center||X||X||X|
|Title 5: East Campus||East Campus Center||X||X||X|
|Assistive Technology||Educ. Assist. Center||X|
|EAC/Rehab. Contract||Educ. Assist. Center||X|
|Banner Training||Enrollment Manage.|
|Activities of CID||President's Office||X|
|Middle College Acad.||Student Services||X|
The majority of the activities were recorded under College Goals I, which addresses "educational programs and services" and relates directly to activities or innovative programs targeted for students and the classroom. This trend is representative of support for the student-centered values created by CID, and partly to the renaming of the Office of Instruction to the Office of Student Learning. The new name was a purposeful outgrowth of CID, intended as a constant reminder of our new campus focus.
During the distribution and data collection from the Activities Matrix (on the previous page), chairs and co-chairs discovered that the student support area had independently undertaken a similar internal exercise the previous year . Their work was aimed at connecting college goals to activities specifically within the student services arena.
Self Evaluation: General
The Ventura College Educational Plan and program reviews being conducted within various campus divisions will provide a rich source of new institutional perspectives and empirical understandings of college operations. Given the budgetary dilemma and prospects for continued fiscal duress, it is essential that our institutional effectiveness be analyzed and evaluated in our decision-making processes. The college has been confronted with "downsizing" of management and "budgetary constraints" in the past. Our response to limited resources has resulted in significant reductions and modifications of certain college programs and services. Although the college did experience lay-offs and transfers of college staff (primarily classified positions) in 2002-2003, previous fiscal considerations were handled without draconian measures and largely through attrition and non-replacement of staff. If the situation arises that severe cuts are necessary, the college does not have clear mechanisms or traditions to draw upon. Major issues involving process, shared governance, and decision-making as they relate to institutional effectiveness and the college mission will become critical factors and should be determined in advance.
Self Evaluation : Institutional Research Efforts
The college has made progress toward developing a strong teaching/learning climate through dialog, inservice and support of specific projects promoting teaching and learning. The college has done a better job coordinating research efforts with the district's institutional research office, i.e. assessment test cut off score research, distance education and counseling department surveys. These efforts need to be expanded simultaneously with collegewide learning and support for better institutional research.
The college has implemented a variety of quantitative and qualitative measures of institutional effectiveness. Through recent regional workshops hosted by the college, the college has begun the process of clarifying future needs for a more systematic collection of institutional effectiveness measures. The college implements student perception surveys that have been bench-marked to compare results over time. The college routinely collects traditional measures of institutional success than can be compared over time. The college has conducted more specific research on the effectiveness of assessment, orientation, achievement activities as well as student success data related to assessment validation research.
In addition the college has collected much data on its student and their progress through the grant activities of Title V, Enlace, Middle College , the National Science Foundation Grants, etc. Additional effectiveness data is collected in all vocational programs.
The college acknowledges that these efforts provide a foundation for a much needed more systematic, thorough and well-supported research program.
Aside from examples already cited, institutional research at Ventura College is evaluated by campus personnel is piecemeal, fragmented, not well published, has no overall coordination, support or home. The Matrix survey revealed that the activities/projects use a variety of methods for assessing their effectiveness. Some of the methods reported include the following:
Completion of course
Number of students that transfer
Surveys conducted by faculty
Completion of construction
Quantitative data gathered by faculty
Ventura College 's institutional research function is considered disorganized because a number of key ingredients that might ensure effectiveness are lacking. First, a campus institutional researcher is needed. Additionally, no overall institutional research master plan or strategic process is in place to evaluate the college's data requirements or to ensure implementation of research projects. Student learning outcomes are not clearly evaluated (IB-3). At present, the existing governance structure has not assigned responsibility or accountability to any college entity for campus research functions, although the Office of Student Learning has organized research efforts for the purposes of accreditation for the past two years. No provisions have been created for college wide discussions or collective decisions about research. Even with the expected hire of an institutional researcher for fall 2004, the efficacy of the position will be limited, as it will most likely be funded solely out of categorical funds, and must focus on the projects supporting it.
To rectify the criticisms regarding the lack of systematic organization and coordination of existing institutional research efforts the college needs to provide greater motivation and support for faculty to assess student learning in the classroom and share these findings. The college needs to expand its efforts to coordinate institutional research with the district Research Office. The college needs to implement past requests for the redesignation of existing staff and the hiring of new research staff.
The Matrix Survey revealed that our efforts to encourage participation and to communicate our projects/activities to the college community are sporadic and disorganized. The respondents use a variety of methods:
College Web site(3)
Currently, no centralized process exists for communicating the projects to the general campus community (IB-4).
The evidence shows that Ventura College has been very supportive of the projects and activities by providing valuable resources/support (IB-5). The Matrix Survey revealed the following:
- 71 percent of respondents received facility (office, classroom, and conference room) support
- 82 percent received staff support (faculty and support staff)
- 44 percent received support with advertisement and publicity
- 26 percent received support in curriculum development
- 15 percent received support in grant writing
- 8 percent received support in equipment
The evidence also shows that the college has been very successful in providing the staff and students the opportunity to initiate proposals through the Strategic Decision Process. The Matrix Survey showed 16 activities initiated by faculty (within their departments); four by students (within their student government organization); seven by staff; six by directors/coordinators, and six by deans.
The Council for Institutional Development needs to develop a task force to create both a strategic plan and an implementation process to conduct institutional research. The task force should develop a process to identify and prioritize institutional research needs, determine how research outcomes will be utilized to initiate college programs or efforts, and generate potential resources to promote and fund increased institutional research.
Ventura College needs to create an institutional process establishing a paradigm shift that gauges our success in terms of measurable student outcomes. This process must ensure that new accreditation standards will become an integral part of the ongoing review and evaluative format by which the college measures its effectiveness and attainment of institutional mission and goals.
The faculty and staff of Ventura College are committed to serving students and building on our efforts to engage the entire college community in discussions relevant to our mission and goals. Many initiatives to better serve students continue to need support and evaluation. Furthermore, some programs and services have not been implemented or are in need of expansion
Clearly, the documenting of activities related to goals does not prove that the college community is following the goals as written. While most people on campus could not recite the mission or the ten goals, the mission and goals are reflected in the activities that improve service to students. Further dissemination of the mission and goals needs to be part of an ongoing process. Presently, both of these items are listed in the college catalog and the college Web site, and utilized in campus meetings to provide clarity and direction. Often these are titled Strategic Planning Goals to indicate the vision they were intended to convey.
For the fall semester of 2004, 22 new faculty members will be hired. This is a district Board of Trustees action directly related to the deteriorating 75/25 ratio (established under SB 1725) on our campus and the estimated potential cost of the noncompliance fine. These new hires will need a full orientation on many fronts, including an articulation of the goals. The next few decades will be their legacy, and the campus will need to build on the groundwork of the past decade.
Two new faculty positions are of special importance. One is the institutional researcher included in the list above. For about ten years, the campus has had limited access to research for all its grants and projects from a part-time individual, but the demand of the job is greater than time would allow. With the addition of a full-time researcher, the volume and direction of studies will be greatly improved, allowing decision-making bodies to request surveys and data on a wide variety of topics to validate all of the college's grants and projects implemented with categorical funds. Data are essential to solid decision making. The second new position-not included in the list above-is the distance education coordinator. This faculty coordinator was hired during the spring of 2003 and will organize the many distance education programs throughout the campus, and provide training to faculty who want to expand their programs through distance education formats.
The survey shows that the college should continue support in several important areas. Financial support for programs affected in recent low-budget years needs to be restored. The Child Care Center is a prime example, though there are other areas in need that were not mentioned in the survey results. Institutional support is also needed to maintain and nurture programs that have created partnerships with educational, business, professional or community organizations. Many of these partnerships exist due to an individual or group who began, and now continues, the relationship. Plans should call for a larger institutionalization of these through administrative channels that could, at the very least, formally recognize partnerships through college awards or a recognition process, perhaps on an annual basis.
A review of activities shows that many of the smaller programs on campus are a product of a faculty or staff "cottage industry" instead of a campuswide effort. Valuable programs that have been pioneered and maintained by individuals need to be turned over to a formal campus committee if they are to be sustained. Examples include the Women's Awareness Day, the One Book-One Campus program, and the student-funded Internet Café, which is heavily used but operated with outdated computers and hand-me-down desks and tables. The college must evaluate which programs or activities provide a vital function or a creative solution and provide resources to maintain them.
The data suggest that a well-coordinated process for promoting the activities/projects to the campus and general community does not exist. The efforts noted in the survey appear sporadic and uncoordinated. The college should centralize the communication of these projects with the Public Information Office.
The college must remain committed to the shared governance process and continue the utilization of the Strategic Decision Process.
Standard I AB
Institutional Mission and Effectiveness
List of Documents:
IA-1 Cal State University , Northridge Writing Proficiency Exam Results
IA-2 Faculty Handbook
IA-3 Student Intern Handbook
IA-4 Distance Learning Plan
IA-5 Student Services Accomplishment Report
IA-6 Ventura College Action Plan Summary
IA-7 Overall Satisfaction Ratings at Ventura College (spring 2003)
IA-8 Governing Board Minutes, February 10, 2004
IA-9 Student Demographics and Goal Attainment
IA-10 Beyond 2000: Education and Training in Next Century
IA-11 Council for Institutional Development Calendar, 1999
IA-12 The College Plan 2000-2003
IA-13 Academic Senate Minutes, April 18, 2002
IA-14 Council for Institutional Development retreat notice
IA-15 Academic Senate Minutes, January 16, 2003
IA-16 Academic and Classified Senate and Associated Student notice
IA-17 Academic Senate Minutes, March 6, 2003
IA-18 Standard I Matrix
IB-1 Goals Survey
IB-2 Responses to Goals Survey
IB-3 Summary of Activities Matrix Survey- Evaluation
IB-4 Summary of Activities Matrix Survey-Communication
IB-5 Summary of Activities Matrix Survey-Resources
Activities Matrix Summary
Ventura College Strategic Decision Process
Standard IA and IB Meetings