The Self Study process has resulted in a number of important benefits: reaffirmation of the Mission Statement; an increased awareness of the College’s goals; opportunities for extensive discussion throughout the College about strengths and concerns; and the formation of recommendations for future planning. Additionally, the undertaking of a reflective Self Study reminded the College community of one of its fundamental and overarching strengths: the willingness to discuss issues of concern and to identify areas needing improvement.
While the Self Study revealed a number of strengths, it also highlighted areas for improvement including the following major recommendations:
· Develop a Goals Statement and a set of values which complement the Mission Statement to help the College community define priorities and inform decision-making at all levels.
· Define “those who may benefit” from the College’s offerings to inform decisions about appropriate programs and support services.
· Include in all future plans clearly articulated priorities based on College goals and values, commit necessary resources for implementation, and mandate assessment of outcomes.
· Improve decision-making at all levels through better utilization of data and use of a collaborative assessment model, while developing a College-wide commitment to continuous improvement.
· Develop and implement comprehensive enrollment management and marketing plans that develop coordinated and sustained strategies to address student recruitment and persistence.
· Strengthen communication and coordination College-wide to promote and improve institutional effectiveness.
· Ensure that student services are delivered in a high quality, efficient and timely manner and that all services comply with external regulations.
· Develop and implement an effective governance and/or administrative structure to oversee General Education and fully implement a College-wide General Education requirement.
· Establish clear student learning outcomes for General Education, develop an assessment plan, assure collection of data to measure student learning outcomes, and use these data to improve student learning outcomes.
The Self Study provides a roadmap for planning over the next ten years. It has already informed some initiatives at the institution. The College has begun to use the findings of the Self Study in the current Strategic Planning process. An Enrollment Management Task Force was formed last fall and is seeking solutions to long standing problems in this area. The Self Study has generated a renewed interest in General Education. While the College does not have a comprehensive culture of assessment, there is increased commitment to institutional assessment and assessment of student learning. The College will need to consciously reorder its priorities, placing student learning, planning and assessment at the core of its resource allocation and decision-making to ensure institutional and educational effectiveness.