Current AQIP Action Projects | Southwestern Illinois College

Student Financial Literacy

The goal of this action project is to develop and implement a comprehensive approach to providing financial literacy education to Southwestern Illinois College students. Financial literacy as defined by the President’s Council on Financial Literacy (2008) is the “ability to use knowledge and skills to manage financial resources effectively for a lifetime of financial well-being” (PACFL, 2008). The assumption is that with greater knowledge of personal financial management, students will be able to make more informed decisions regarding college payment options and will be more likely to persist in their educational goals.

Enhancing Internal Communications

Data gathered in a previous AQIP Action Project suggest that improvements in internal communication would provide opportunities to achieve elevated levels of job satisfaction by faculty and staff and enhance decision making associated with their respective tasks. Improved decision making in functional areas will ultimately improve the college’s ability to meet its institutional goals.

The goal of this project is to develop and implement an internal communication plan that:

  • Improves communications within and between administration, faculty and staff;
  • Formalizes methods of communications;
  • Leverages technology to improve efficiency and access to information;
  • Enhances transparency.

Knowledge Management Conceptual Framework

This project will develop and implement a comprehensive and systematic conceptual framework for establishing an institutional Knowledge Management System (KMS). The vision is to (a) crystalize and improve upon “knowing what we know” and (b) improve our ability to provide information that is timely, relevant, concise, and actionable. The KMS will be constructed primarily by using existing software tools and information systems that are currently supported by the college. The initial loading of the KMS will be based on the needs of the institution’s strategic initiatives (e.g., student persistence and retention).

The Framework, strategies and activities will:

Improve current data, document and knowledge management practices and processes.

  • Improve utilization of the institutions documented base of facts, documents, reports, etc.
  • Provide a mechanism to monitor and report on college key performance indicators.
  • Better inform decision-makers and align institutional planning.

Academic Advising: Next Steps

Quality academic advising is an essential component of the overall student support system needs of community college students. As student loan debt continues to rise and the need for timely student program completion is heightened, a strong foundation in academic advising is necessary. This project undertakes an identified need established as a result of a previous Action Project entitled: Student Retention, where the Academic Advisor role was identified as a need and subsequently implemented at the institution.

This project is designed to advance that foundation and structure and aligns with the institution’s strategic priorities related to Student Success and Helping Students Learn. Project outcomes will also inform the college’s assessment of student learning outcomes attained as a result of participation in co-curricular activities. Additionally, student feedback obtained during the project will assist in the college’s ongoing commitment to continuous quality improvements in meeting student and stakeholder needs.