There are two formal mechanisms used by the college to provide broad-based representation in its planning process: program advisory committees and graduate student focus groups. Not all academic programs or non-instructional programs use these mechanisms. The following programs have advisory committees:
Accounting, Culinary Arts, Hotel Operations, and Office Administration
Figure 1: Instructional and Non-Instructional Programs with Advisory Committees
The advisory committee can be made up of faculty, staff, potential employers, current and former students, employees in related fields, and any other interested community individual. Copies of advisory committee guidelines, composition, and minutes may be obtained by contacting the secretary of the program.
Each program advisory committee meets at least once per year, and many of these committees meet more often as they deem necessary. Advisory committee minutes are shared with program personnel and incorporated into the program’s short and long range planning.
Focus groups comprised of recent KCC graduates are also used by some instructional and non-instructional programs to help in assessing their effectiveness. The following procedure is used for focus groups: 1. questions are generated by program faculty, 2. students are contacted by the program’s secretary, and 3. an independent interviewer meets with the focus group to conduct the interview. All responses are kept confidential and a written report is made to the instructional program. These reports, reflecting the concerns of recent graduates, become an integral part of program planning.
Self Evaluation In a Self Study Survey of the faculty and staff conducted in Fall 2005; respondents were asked to rate their level of agreement to the following two statements: 1) “I am satisfied with the mechanisms that exist for participating in college planning,” and 2) “the college effectively allocates resources to achieve its plans.” Seventy-nine responses were received. Of those, 41 percent agreed that existing mechanisms are sufficient. However, only 26 percent agreed that the college efficiently allocates its resources to achieve its plans. The majority of survey responders, 68.3 percent, gave a neutral to strongly disagree rating.
Advisory committees are a primary method for vocational and non-instructional programs to obtain feedback from constituents. Some of the staff in OCET stay in touch with community training needs by serving on various boards, such as the Chamber of Commerce, Hawai‘i Restaurant Association, Hawai‘i Hotel Association, and Society of Human Resource Managers.
Advisory committees exist for the programs in Figure 1. Other programs have other vehicles to incorporate constituency feedback, such as university articulation committees for the Liberal Arts program, vendor or fiscal management committees for Business Affairs, and the Faculty Senate or Budget and Finance Committee for Administration.
The procedures for requesting funding vary. The most frequently used method is for the program faculty to first meet with an advisory committee to assess the program’s needs in relation to community or college goals; the program faculty then meet with their division to decide on a plan of action that will be forwarded to both the Faculty Senate and the College Council.
Biennial and supplemental budget requests must reflect program action plans and are assessed in a variety of ways, including by the program review or APRU process, including advisory committees when applicable; relevant program meetings; the College Council; deans and directors; the; the president for community colleges; the UH System Biennium Budget Committee; and president of the UH System. If proposals successfully navigate these channels, they are submitted to the BOR for approval. Proposals approved by the BOR are then submitted to the state legislature for possible funding.
The college has taken steps to include more feedback from its constituents in its budgetary planning, but the timeline needs to be further modified to allow for more input during the decision-making process.
All representatives to the College Council need to report back to their individual units to explain budgetary decisions and to receive input, ideas, and a clear sense of the unit’s budgetary priorities.
Further, in the event of budgetary shortfalls, alternate means for obtaining funding need to be encouraged and supported by the administration.
I.B.5. The institution uses documented assessment results to communicate matters of quality assurance to appropriate constituencies.
Kaua‘i Community College engages in ongoing, systematic evaluation and integrated planning to assure currency and measure achievement of its stated Student Learning Outcomes. Each program is required to undergo a program review or an APRU at the end of March. The program review process examines a variety of qualitative and quantitative evidence such as student achievement, enrollment, student demographics, student outcomes, course completions and transfers.
The APRU is the final step in the program review process that links data analysis and decision making to resource allocation and action plans. The APRU includes an update on the progress made on action plans, a review of analysis of Program Health Indicators, and a resource and allocations priorities list. The action plans become the basis for the annual status reports embodied in the APRUs. The College Council reviews each action item from a program plan in relation to the college’s strategic goals to determine what program goal is being addressed by the action item, the steps the program intends to take, the resources that will be needed, and the performance indicators that will be used to determine the action’s effectiveness.
Program reviews and college data are accessible through the college’s Institutional Effectiveness Website. The website provides accessibility of program review data openly to both internal and external audiences. Information on program reviews, strategic planning, and assessment data have also been discussed through Advisory Committee Meetings that some programs have. For example, nursing meets with its advisory committee, which includes nursing community stakeholders, once every semester. Data on enrollment,
workforce needs, graduation rates, transfer rates, student achievement, and program efficiency and actions plans are reviewed at the Nursing Advisory Committee meetings (Exhibit I-23: Minutes of Nursing Advisory Meetings).
Self Evaluation The college does a good job of documenting assessment results and organizing the materials for easy access through the Institutional Effectiveness Website, but, according to the 2005
Self Study Survey, most faculty and staff were either neutral or did not agree that the college was very effective in publicizing its assessment data. Further, 35 percent of the respondents “Disagreed” or “Strongly Disagreed” that “the institutional data is easily accessible and user friendly.” These responses suggest that other, more user-friendly means of distributing this information, particularly to the larger island community, would be helpful. Other than in advisory meetings, there are few opportunities for sharing such information in an open forum on a regular ongoing basis.
Planning Agenda Kaua‘i Community College systematically strives to improve access to information about its goals, progress, and plans by maintaining an up-to-date and user-friendly college website.
Programs with advisory meetings should meet regularly to discuss assessment data and program review, and how the results of these efforts can best be communicated to the campus and island community.
To improve public communication, one of the chancellor’s goals is to compile an annual report for the college’s constituencies that will also be placed on the college website for open review. A summary of the annual report, with appropriate links to the entire document, should be made available through other public media, such as newspapers, radio, and television, to inform the general public of the college’s assessment results, data, and strategic plans.
I.B.6. The institution assures the effectiveness of its ongoing planning and resource allocation by systematically reviewing and modifying, as appropriate, all parts of the cycle, including institutional and other research efforts. Descriptive Summary Currently in its initial review cycle, the 2003-2010 College Mission and Strategic Plan guides the overall planning process at the college, as well as provides policies and procedures for assessment of institutional effectiveness. Now in its second full year of implementation, the college has initiated scheduled, five-year cycles of program reviews, with annual reviews by each program (KCCM 1-6). Using qualitative and quantitative data and following a specific format, all program reviews include self assessments, goals, action plans, and budgetary needs. Based on these reviews, program budget requests are submitted to the College Council, which prioritizes program needs based on defined goals and supporting evidence (Faculty Senate Minutes and College Council Notes). Recommendations for resource allocations are then submitted from the council to the chancellor for final decision making and action. The program review process is an ongoing cycle of continuous self-assessment and planning.
Self Evaluation The college meets the standard. Through the accreditation and self study processes, institutional planning, program reviews and surveys, the college engages in collaborative, ongoing institutional evaluation and improvement. Twelve of twenty-four programs have completed their Annual Program Reviews Updates (APRU). These updates have helped the college establish future student-learning goals, staffing needs, and resource allocations priorities. A recent Self Study Survey indicated that 41 percent of 79 respondents, comprised of faculty, staff and administration, strongly agreed or agreed that satisfactory mechanisms exist for participating in college planning, while 33.3 percent remained neutral. Twenty-three percent disagreed or strongly disagreed. Twenty-six percent of the same audience strongly agreed or agreed that the college effectively allocates its resources to fulfill its plans, while forty-eight percent remained neutral. Twenty percent disagreed or strongly disagreed. It is unclear why significant responses were neutral.