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October 2012 Update


We began the fall semester knowing we had to make significant and timely progress in developing a comprehensive plan for institutional effectiveness. Specifically, we faced the challenge of completing substantive assessments of all our academic programs. By now you know the story. We apparently stopped engaging in routine program assessments in 2004, we were cited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) for our lack of educational program evaluation in 2009, and we have struggled to regain our momentum ever since. As a result, in late June 2012 SACSCOC continued CVCC’s accreditation with good cause but placed the college on probation.

I am writing today with happier news. Thanks to the leadership and hard work of the college community, we have made dramatic progress in strengthening our institutional effectiveness program and completing assessments of all our curricula. Rather than try to capture our accomplishments chronologically, I have categorized our major achievements below, hoping that this loose classification will illuminate what has been an arduous, complex, and recursive process.    

Management

·         Timeline and goals have been created for successful completion of process

·         SACS program coordinators have been identified for all curricula (along with college program heads)

·         All curricula have been reviewed for productivity/viability—22 more programs are scheduled to be discontinued

·         Office of Institutional Effectiveness (OIE) has defined the Educational Assessment Cycle and communicated it to all faculty

·         Broad-based General Education Task Force has been established to manage GE assessments

·         OIE and Information Technology are developing a comprehensive IE Web site

·         Ms. Cathy Almquist, director of institutional research and assessment at Trident Technical College, has been retained as a consultant

Training

·         Convocation focused exclusively on faculty training in program assessment

·         Dr. Mark Smith, our SACSCOC staff liaison, visited in August 2012, offering guidance and feedback

·         Dr. Fronheiser and Ms. Ogden are conducting information sessions/workshops on assessment strategies

·         Dr. Fronheiser and Ms. Ogden are meeting one-on-one with SACSCOC program coordinators to work on individual program assessments

·         OIE is making plans to train faculty to use Compliance Assist, our new assessment software

Program Assessments

·         Faculty have defined program goals for all curricula

·         Faculty have identified student learning outcomes all programs

·         Faculty are developing curriculum maps for all programs

·         Faculty are identifying “action steps” for all programs to “close the loop” and demonstrate improvement

·         OIE has loaded all data from the 2011-12 assessment cycle into Compliance Assist

Reaffirmation

·         Progress continues on the Compliance Certification

·         Revision of the Faculty/Staff Handbook is almost complete

·         Progress continues on the QEP

As you can see, we have made substantial progress in a relatively short time, and the highlights I have summarized in this list do not even begin to portray the incredible amount of work you have invested in this effort. Indeed, the quantity and quality of your work defy any ready measure; words are inadequate symbols of your time and labor. Granted, we cannot afford to succumb to complacency or retreat from responsibility, for we still have much work that lies before us. But it is also important that we acknowledge our progress and celebrate our achievements. Thankfully, we have many to acknowledge and much to celebrate.

I said at the town hall meeting two weeks ago that, faced with adverse circumstances, groups typically respond in two fundamentally different ways. They can splinter and disintegrate into discord, or they can unite and move forward in concert. The fact that we have banded together and worked together and, yes, even struggled together is a testament to who we are: to the resilience and commitment and selflessness we embody. Ultimately, it is a tribute to the community we are—a community that is finding its strength in purpose and its spirit in action.

As always, I welcome your questions and comments. I hope to see you at the town hall meeting on Thursday.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

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Contact Dr. John Capps, President:
Central Virginia
Community College

3506 Wards Road
Lynchburg VA 24502-2498

Phone: (434) 832-7601
Email: click here