Action Projects

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NIACC Syllabi Policy

In an effort to ensure all faculty are clearly informing students of  key information necessary to be knowledgeable of stated policies and success in the classroom based on individual instructor policies a common syllabus content policy will be developed.  This policy will include the required components of a standard NIACC syllabus that will ensure all faculty have covered specific topics in their individual syllabi.  We expect this action project to ensure the communication between faculty and students includes all pertinent information to inform students in a consistent manner the necessary course content as well as policies that pertain to their success, retention and graduation.  This policy will also serve as a means to strengthen the mandatory syllabi requirement for NACEP accreditation is being met in a uniform manner.

Development of Rubrics for Four General Education Outcomes

NIACC will continue with the assessment of student learning on the eight general education objectives already in place. The plan is to create four additional rubrics to assess general education student learning outcomes. NIACC faculty, over the past two years, have collaborated to develop rubrics to assess the critical thinking, information literacy, communication, and aesthetics general education outcomes. This year, the faculty will complete development of rubrics to assess student learning outcomes in quantitative skills, technological skills, global awareness, and scientific literacy.

Assessment of Communication and Aesthetics General Education Outcomes

NIACC will continue with the assessment of student learning on the eight general education objectives already in place. The plan is to assess student learning on two objectives each academic year. The means for the assessment will include the collection of artifacts related to the objectives and a capstone experience whereby students will showcase their learning activities with a presentation of their learning outcomes. Artifacts could include writing samples or portfolios in which students demonstrate the outcome of their learning experiences. The capstone experience will showcase student learning through individual or small group presentations (PowerPoint, poster, or other means of display). College faculty, staff, and community stakeholders would be in attendance to support the students’ experience. Rubrics will be utilized for assessment of these learning outcomes.

Monitoring Institutional Performance

The goal of this Action Project is to formalize a process and systems to aid the evaluation of institutional performance.

Each administrative unit of the College will prepare and present to the Board of Directors, a comprehensive overview of its primary activities, key challenges and opportunities, and results, including key performance metrics according to the schedule presented on the following pages.

Following each report, the Board will assess its satisfaction with the featured function, completing an evaluation form which produces an aggregate rating. Through continuous improvement strategies, College leadership strives to earn improved and generally high ratings over time.

Improving the Collection of Past Due Student Accounts

In order to reduce our student accounts receivable, NIACC needs to establish a policy and procedure it will follow consistently to ensure that students understand their rights and responsibilities in paying for their College account.  By doing so, we hope to improve our bed debt and also increase retention.

The College will form a team representing a cross-section of the College, including Business Office, Financial Aid, Admissions, Student Development, Faculty and IT to develop the most effective and efficient methods to reach our goals.

The College will run a weekly listing showing student that have not made any payment on their account.  These students will be contacted in a variety of manners, including email, letter and personal phone calls, to assist them in making payment arrangements with the NIACC Business Office.  We will monitor effectiveness of each method and adjust our techniques accordingly.

A policy will be formed allowing the College to administratively withdraw a student for non-payment.  This policy will communicate the College’s stance on payment and also allow a student to reenroll if payment is made.

We will monitor those that have responded favorably to see if they re-enroll in the College, showing effectiveness in retention.

Implementing Quality Matters

The College desires to expand its online offerings and in doing so set consistent standards for quality measures. This project was the primary focus of our work at the May Strategy Forum. The College has joined the Iowa Community College Consortium which adheres to the standards of Quality Matters (https://www.qualitymatters.org/). The purpose of this project is for a consistent student experience, set quality standards and to develop a process for onboarding new online courses. The project requires participation by all faculty members and adjunct instructors and ranges from initial implementation to evaluation of Quality Matters. Select faculty members will complete Quality Matters certification training to become peer reviewers. The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning will develop supporting materials to assure faculty success. Academic Affairs will oversee and assure process and academic standards are met.

Advancing Continuous Quality Improvement

The purpose of this project is to advance the College’s current Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) efforts via an immersion strategy which includes widespread use of common tools and training of CQI Facilitators. Rather than widespread blanket training for all staff, this seepage approach will focus on a few vital projects. The intention is to continue to build a culture of quality by bringing people together for a common focus with attention to students, process/systems, and data using tools, communication, and consensus building.

Planning the CQI training began with the Strategy Forum in May, 2014. From there, a specific training plan has been developed. Members of the Presidents Council, AQIP Quality Council and selected CQI Facilitators will be trained on the CQI agenda format, flowcharting, and problem solving strategies. After implementation all committees and meetings will be required to use the CQI agenda and minute format. A team of trained CQI facilitators will then be assigned to work with Action Project teams. The facilitators and Action Project team champion will provide monthly updates to the AQIP Quality Council.