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2.5 The institution engages in ongoing, integrated, and institution-wide research-based planning and evaluation processes that (1) incorporate a systematic review of institutional mission, goals, and outcomes; (2) result in continuing improvement in institutional quality; and (3) demonstrate the institution is effectively accomplishing its mission. (Institutional Effectiveness)
✔ Compliance Partial
Fayetteville Technical Community College (FTCC) is in compliance with this core requirement. Through an extensive planning process and comprehensive assessment endeavors, FTCC systematically engages in ongoing, integrated, and institution-wide planning and evaluation.
This annual process (described in the Planning Guide) consists of external analysis, internal analysis, strategic direction, implementation, and evaluation, resulting in the development of a five-year Strategic Plan (the selected course of action adopted by the College to achieve its mission). The Strategic Plan demonstrates how the operational activities of each area of the College support specific institutional goals. FTCC identifies these activities through input from advisory committees, through an annual Program Review process, and from internal and external assessments. FTCC includes performance measures and identification of needed resources in its Strategic Plan. All areas of the College prepare an End-of-Year Report to evaluate the level of attainment for each of their stated objective or activity set forth in the Strategic Plan.
FTCC is committed to using meaningful assessment as a tool in making the decisions that contribute to strategic planning, as demonstrated by the College’s recent acquisition of a web-based assessment management system (WEAVEonline®). Within WEAVEonline®, all units of the College develop a unit mission statement that supports the institutional mission statement and identifies intended outcomes that contribute to the achievement of the unit’s mission. The College measures and evaluates these outcomes yearly, using the results to influence and guide the direction and decision-making processes of the unit. Additionally, FTCC uses this management system to create various managerial reports including those that impact funding allocations. The assessment results, along with the managerial reports, become the motivating force for inclusion of many objectives and activities in the Strategic Plan.
FTCC strives for continuous quality improvement though the systematic integration of institution-wide assessment into the annual strategic planning process. Through this commitment, FTCC ensures that it effectively fulfills its mission and is responsive to both the immediate and long-term needs of its constituents.
FTCC has established the Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment Planning Cycle (IEAPC) to integrate the various components of assessment into the College’s overall strategic planning and evaluation process. The IEAPC includes several activities that are directly related to assessment and evaluation. Each of these activities are explained below and are also depicted within the Annual Assessment Activities chart:
(1) FTCC Program Advisory Committees meet several times each calendar year to provide advice and guidance to individual program areas. FTCC uses the input from these external sources to make recommended program improvements, which are to be considered by the faculty/administration of the program area. The faculty/administration of the program area then provides follow-up on the recommendations to the advisory committee members.
(2) FTCC faculty/administration from all academic programs complete an Annual Program Review that includes both a quantitative and qualitative internal analysis of the program’s success during the preceding year as well as a plan for future improvement activities. The appropriate faculty and administrative staff conduct this internal analysis and make appropriate recommendations for improvements to the President. The WEAVEonline® repository houses both program reviews and minutes of advisory committee meetings for easy access by all. This accessibility promotes 100% transparency of the many program improvements occurring at the College, which encourages open communications and dialogue among the various divisions of the College.
(3) FTCC faculty/administration from all Academic Programs and Service-Support Units at the College prepare annual Assessment Plans with a minimum of three quality improvement outcomes. FTCC faculty establish methodologies and achievement levels for each outcome. For each assessment, FTCC faculty/administration report and analyze the findings before moving into the next annual planning cycle. If the findings indicate the achievement target was not met, a corrective action plans will be developed and implemented. These plans will be incorporated into the upcoming annual assessment plan for the respective planning unit. All units analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the annual assessment plan and provide feedback regarding the findings' impact on the units' future. From the President's office to the individual program or service-support areas, FTCC faculty/administration create assessment plans that have become an integral part of the culture of FTCC. The President and various senior administrators perform a review of randomly selected assessment plans. Through this random review process, FTCC ensures continuous improvement.
(4) All Academic Programs and Service-Support Units prepare an End-of-Year Report based on a comprehensive internal analysis of the Strategic Plan goals identified within the previous year’s Strategic Plan. This internal analysis includes data review related to actual achievement levels, expenditures made in support of implementation phases of the goals, and related planning and evaluation information. Goals not yet completed remain within the Strategic Plan until the goal is fully achieved or is no longer valid.
(5) FTCC members of all Academic and Service-Support Units at the College prepare Budget Decision Packages for Faculty/Staff, equipment, facilities, supplies, and other critical resources after analysis of the assessment plan outcomes and the End-of-Year Report data. FTCC administration uses information from decision packages to prioritize financial resources based on the most critical needs and to ensure the budget does not exceed projections for that calendar year.
Faculty and staff of the institution make recommendations through the Planning Council and Executive Council annually for changes to the Institutional Goals, General Education Core Competencies, Planning Assumptions for the upcoming year, Institutional Mission Statement, Purpose Statement, and Assessment Outcomes. The President and Executive Council consider the recommendations and forward those that meet approval to the Board of Trustees at the first board meeting of the calendar year.
The President provides the Board of Trustees copies of Institutional Goals, General Education Core Competencies, Planning Assumptions, Mission Statement and Purpose Statement at the January board meeting for their review. Board members comments are incorporated into the documents and final documents are presented to the Board of Trustees at their February board meeting for approval. These documents are reaffirmed at the September Board of Trustees meeting when the Strategic Plan is approved. The updated Strategic Plan, covering the subsequent five-year period, including goals and objectives derived from an analysis of the recommendations for improvement from Advisory Committees, Program Reviews, WEAVEonline® Assessment Plans and data from the End-of-Year Reports.
The cornerstone of quality improvement activities at FTCC is the outcome assessment process that is housed in the WEAVEonline® assessment management system. This system allows for the integration of End-of-Year Reports, Program Reviews and Advisory Committee recommendations into the assessment process. In turn, the system feeds into and supports the overall strategic planning process. FTCC's use of WEAVEonline® provides documented evidence of student learning outcomes from academic units and intended service outcomes from support units which are incorporated into the Strategic Plan. With the use of WEAVEonline®, FTCC representatives involved in budget planning are able to identify specific budgetary requirements needed to implement specific action plans. FTCC's budget planners can incorporate assessment findings into the strategic plan for identifying funding process. FTCC is committed to financially support assessment activities that enhance student learning and promote institutional improvement, as evidenced by the recent acquisition of WEAVEonline® to effectively manage College-wide assessment activities.
FTCC kicked off the official WEAVEonline® in the spring of 2008 and completed the initial formal assessment cycle was completed in the summer of 2009. This first year’s experience provided strong evidence that the use of WEAVEonline® complemented strategic planning and greatly enhanced campus-wide communication. The increased faculty and staff interaction contributed to stronger campus-wide quality enhancements. The assessment of student learning and/or service-support outcomes helped faculty, staff and administrators identify and guide the development of future strategic planning activities. Based on this first-year success, FTCC initiated a new assessment cycle in the summer of 2009 and included new outcomes that resulted from the findings and analyses of the previous year’s assessments. With our continued emphasis on assessment as a tool for institutional improvement, FTCC will be able to better assist students in their preparation for entering the workforce or for pursuit of higher levels of education. This achievement directly supports the College’s Mission Statement.
Critical Success Factors (Performance Evaluation Measures):
The State of North Carolina is committed to assessment and public accountability based on outcome measurements. The legislature mandates all North Carolina Community Colleges to assess eight Critical Success Performance Factors. The Legislature also requires each College to publish the outcomes for public viewing. FTCC complies by publishing the results on the Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment web page as well as in the Planning Guide and the Strategic Plan. FTCC uses this externally generated report to identify additional areas for improvement and possible inclusion in the next assessment cycle.
The information in this narrative clearly demonstrates that FTCC has a meticulous and broad-based planning and evaluation process founded on the basic principles of total quality management. FTCC ensures through this ongoing process that the College accomplishes its purpose and remains true to its mission.
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