Action Project #9

Back to Top Developing a Profile of Institutional Effectiveness

Challenging X   Easy
Simple   X Complex
High Payoff X   Low Payoff

AQIP Criterion to which this primarily relates:Measuring Effectiveness
Subsidiary AQIP Criteria:Supporting Organizational Operations  

Back to Top What is the business case of this project?

The College has self-identified a need to better understand how its systems and processes can be measured and desires to work toward benchmarking as part of its continuous improvement initiative. In addition, it needs to position itself to respond to several needs within higher education, including:

  • The Spellings Commission and its call for accountability
  • New Illinois Board of Higher Education goals: A comprehensive P-20 student information system is vital for sound policymaking and accountability.
  • Expectations by the HLC/AQIP for enhanced measures of institutional effectiveness

Back to Top What is the preliminary analysis of the problem; what is the opportunity?

The College had great success in developing its Outcomes Assessment initiative and is using this system to improve the teaching and learning process. AP #9 builds on this acceptance and broadens the initiative to other areas of the institution. There is an outstanding opportunity here to improve effectiveness-first by developing a consensus on those areas that "matter most"-and then by developing measures that fairly speak to the level of effectiveness that is being achieved-and finally by laying the groundwork for the College to use benchmarking as an additional means to improve quality.

Back to Top Briefly describe the scope of the project as well as the assumptions and restraints that are made. Do not proffer opinions on accountability or on the exact course of action that is needed.

This project will study the many different ways that SWIC's institutional effectiveness can be seen, understood, and measured. It will use this research as a basis to select certain key indicators that fairly speak to the institution's performance as a whole and that can be utilized to foster self-improvement. These indicators will reflect the central mission of teaching and learning but will very specifically include the many support and resource functions without which the mission would fail. Institutional Research resources are insufficient to sustain this initiative. The team must review this resource and recommend what is needed to assure sufficient IR support.

Back to Top Which constituencies or stakeholders ought to serve on this Action Project team; which positions ought to be included in the team's membership?

The Action Project team should include a cross-section of faculty, staff, and administrators.

Back to Top What guidelines should the team recognize as it responds to this Action project?

The team should first study the national movement toward the adoption of effectiveness indicators and then proceed to examine best practices in peer institutions. The team should collaborate with staff at the functional level in identifying and proposing appropriate indicators. The team should also seek to review its work with the President's Staff and the Strategic Planning Council.

The indicators selected should meet several criteria:

  • They should reflect institutional performance outcomes that result from the various processes and systems that accomplish the college's mission.
  • To the extent possible, they should be capable of benchmarking (i.e. base lined with internal results and/or comparable to the outcomes of peer institutions).
  • The indicators should be well-recognized as key and critical to the institution's success by those involved in the recommendation as well as those who are involved in the underlying processes or systems whose effectiveness is being measured.
  • Indicators selected should represent the outcomes of systems and processes that can be improved. That is, the value and the inclusion of such indicators are linked to their use in quality improvement.
  • A concise sub-set of indicators should be selected for use in an effectiveness dashboard. This would include indicators traditionally valued by the academic community as well as those commonly understood by the public.
  • Indicators should include major areas of institutional functioning, specifically including community education, information technology, and support areas such as finance, facilities, auxiliary enterprises, and human resources.
  • Some indicators should speak directly to SWIC's effectiveness in the teaching and learning processes, as seen in outcomes relating to students' overall success in achieving their academic, career, and personal goals.

Back to Top What are the elements, milestones, and deliverables, that are envisioned for the project-and when should the team achieve these?

  • May-June  Form committee; conduct orientation
  • June- July  Accomplish research and conduct best practices inquiries.
  • July-September  Finalize research; compile results; narrow down indicators; select preliminary set; recommend on IR resource issues.
  • September-October Identify final set; solicit feedback from SWIC community
  • November  Issue final report
  • December (target)  Issue first Profile of Institutional Effectiveness (based on most complete fiscal year information then available)

Back to Top Who are the most important stakeholders for this project?

Trustees, Administrators, Staff, Faculty

Back to Top Who is (are) the Action Project Sponsor(s) for this project? How has support from the sponsor(s) been confirmed?

H.O. Brownback will serve as the sponsor

Back to Top Who are the AQIP Champions assigned to this project?

Larry Friederich and Michelle Birk

Back to Top Who will prepare a process map (if appropriate) of the areas in which measurement will be focused?

H.O. Brownback-if needed