1 AQIP The Overview The Overview: contains the College Vision Statement, Mission Statement, history, location, control, status, and answers to nine items reflecting the nine AQIP categories. In the Overview, we describe the contexts and constraints within which our institution structures and operates its systems and processes. Vision Statement The vision of Allen County Community College is to be recognized statewide for our excellence as a valuable, responsive resource to the communities we serve and as a caring institution that empowers and educates our students to embrace change, become lifelong learners, and take their place as productive citizens in the world community. Mission Statement As an institution of higher education, the purpose of Allen County Community College is to provide quality educational support services in an atmosphere that is caring, safe, and conducive to learning. Based on the belief that learning and self improvement are continual processes, the college is committed to a wide range of affordable educational programs to enable all students to reach their academic, occupational, and personal potential. Through this commitment, Allen County Community College shall: a. Enable learners to transfer college credit and successfully pursue education at other institutions. b. Enable students to study vocational/technical certificate and degree programs that will result in their successful employment. c. Upgrade work skills of students through workforce training initiatives. d. Prepare students with deficiencies in reading, writing, or computational skills for success in college level work through developmental courses. e. Enrich and encourage personal development through course offerings.
2 f. Promote diversity within the student body, administration, faculty, and staff. g. Enrich the environment of service area students and citizens by engaging them in social, intellectual, cultural, and recreational activities. h. Support student success through effective advisement, counseling and other support services. i. Enhance the student experience by incorporating intercollegiate activities in student life. j. Promote economic development within the service area. k. Ensure campus facilities are safe, comfortable, and conducive to learning. l. Implement a program of continuous institutional improvement that ensures quality, effectiveness, and relevance. History and NCA Affiliation Established in 1923 as Iola Junior College under the jurisdiction of the local Board of Education, Allen enjoys a long history of serving our community. A full history of the people and places of Allen County Community College can be found on the College s website at The College s affiliation with the North Central Association began with our Candidacy for Accreditation in 1972, leading to full Accreditation in Under an act of the State Legislature in 1999, Kansas community colleges moved from organization through the State Department of Education to coordination under the Kansas Board of Regents system, linking public institutions of higher education. Allen applied for participation in the HLC Academic Quality Improvement Program in December of 2004 and was granted admission to AQIP in February of The year of the College s next Reaffirmation of Accreditation is Locations, Control, and Status Today, Allen Community College provides quality higher education and workforce development through two distinct campuses and online learning to approximately 5,000 students each academic year. Allen is a public two-year college under the control of a locally elected, six-member Board of Trustees and coordinated in higher education by the Kansas Board of Regents. The Iola Campus, with residence halls and a vibrant athletics program, offers the two-year college experience in a caring environment. The Burlingame Campus, located 25 miles south of Topeka, offers a broad range of courses scheduled to accommodate busy commuter lifestyles. Our online learning program serves students wishing to learn from a distance or who wish to take an online class to compliment their face-to-face courses. Our multi-county service area in the rolling Flint Hills of eastern Kansas comprises the counties of Allen, Coffey, Osage, Woodson, southern Anderson, and southern Wabaunsee, all home to approximately 49,000 people.
3 Iola Campus Burlingame Campus 1801 N. Cottonwood St. 100 Bloomquist Dr. Iola, Kansas Burlingame, Kansas Contexts and Constraints 1. What are your goals for learning and shaping an academic climate? What are your key credit and non-credit instructional programs, and educational systems, services, and technologies that support them? General education goals align with Kansas Board of Regents requirements for transfer degree programs. Academic transfer programs are university-parallel and assured through State articulation agreements, creating seamless pathways for students in higher education. Career and Technical Education programs are designed within business and industry frameworks and guidelines, assured through advisory boards, and approved through the Post-secondary Technical Education Authority of KBOR. Allen is approved through the Kansas Board of Regents to offer the following degree and certificate options: Associate of Arts, 64 credit hours Associate of Science, 64 credit hours Associate of Applied Science, 60 credit hours Associate of General Studies, 60 credit hours Certificate, credit hours Stand Alone Program, leading to licensure or certification from outside the College. As a comprehensive community college, our educational systems include Adult Basic Education, developmental education for students needing to improve toward college-level work, undergraduate general education toward transfer to a four-year institution, and career and technical education toward specific workplace employment. Figure 1a shows key credit instructional programs, fall semester course section hours, and fall semester student registered hours for the three previous years.
4 While in many of our key instructional programs section hours offered have remained steady over the previous three fall semesters, the chart shows that registered credit hours (thus, seats taken) has risen substantially in many of these same key instructional programs. Figure 1b shows the percentage of total credit hours for key instructional programs by delivery mode or location for the fall semester of eight previous years.
5 Online learning has grown over the last decade to be a significant mode of delivery at Allen. While in fall 2002, 87% of instruction was delivered in a face-to-face format at one of our two campus locations and just 2% was delivered in an online format, today in fall 2009, enrollment is fairly evenly portioned with 30% delivered face-to-face at the Iola Campus, 26% delivered face-to-face at the Burlingame Campus, and 28% delivered in an online format. These changes in instructional delivery and student enrollment have driven changes in our systems and processes for supporting student learning and student services. We support online learning and the delivery of online instruction through the Blackboard course management system. Allen contracts with Blackboard to house our course shells on their servers for both security, with comprehensive redundant backups, and reliability, with 24/7 availability and a 99.7% guarantee for uptime. Most semesters, as we track our availability, uptime is closer to 99.9%. Students identities are verified by both student ID numbers and passwords to access the system. Currently, we are exploring options for further student verification procedures, with a pilot of the Axciom Identity Verification system scheduled for use with a selected group of online courses during the spring semester What key organizational services, other than instructional programs, do you provide for your students and other external stakeholders? What programs do you operate to achieve them? Allen has identified four distinctive objectives, from the strategic planning process, through which
6 we serve our students and stakeholders. These key organizational objectives, other than instructional programs, are Economic and Workforce Development, Diversity Awareness, Enrichment (or Institutional Learning), and Extracurricular Involvement. To achieve our goals for each of these distinctive objectives, the College operates programs and events, guided by the planning, development, and implementation of committees and institutional leaders, for the benefit of students and stakeholders. 3. What are the short- and long-term requirements and expectations of the current student and other key stakeholder groups you serve? Who are your primary competitors in serving these groups? Figure 3a shows short-term requirements of current students and other stakeholders. Figure 3b shows long-term requirements of current students and other stakeholders.
7 The College s primary geographic competitors in serving students and other stakeholders through face-to-face instructional programs and services include: Neosho County Community College, Chanute, Kansas Fort Scott Community College, Fort Scott, Kansas Washburn University, Topeka, Kansas Emporia State University, Emporia, Kansas. The College s primary competitors in serving students and other stakeholders through online instructional programs and services include: Highland Community College, Highland, Kansas Fort Hays State University, Fort Hays, Kansas Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, Kansas. Allen has worked to strategically grow student enrollments over the past decade through instructional program development, concurrent enrollment programs, Burlingame Campus investments, online learning commitments, and alternative schedules. These efforts have been successful, as Allen leads the State in enrollment growth by percentage of student credits hours. Only two of the nineteen Kansas community colleges, Allen Community College and Kansas City Kansas Community College, have seen steady enrollment growth each semester over the past ten years. Figure 3c shows Allen s enrollment growth as compared to the Kansas statewide system of higher education for seven of the previous years, 2001 to Figure 3d shows the overall percentage change in credit hour enrollment for Allen as compared to four competing Kansas community colleges during the same seven year period,
8 4. What are your administrative, faculty, and staff human resources? What key factors determine how you organize and use them? Allen employs 279 people in the following roles: 7 administrators; 196 faculty members, with 35 full-time and 161 active part-time; and 76 staff members. The key factors that influence how we organize and utilize our human resources are student and stakeholder needs, strategic objectives, and institutional effectiveness. Students and stakeholders influence our organization and utilization of human resources through their need for quality instructional programs in a variety of formats and delivery modes. Strategic objectives influence our utilization of human resources through prioritization of the strategic plan. As we focus on particular objectives, College personnel must be allocated to focus on and achieve the objectives. Institutional effectiveness influences our utilization of human resources through continuous improvement efforts, whether those efforts are on improvements in curriculum and instruction or those efforts are on a new action project. Figure 4a on the following page shows Allen s Organizational Chart. 5. What strategies align your leadership, decision-making, and communication processes with your mission and values, the policies and requirements of your oversight entities, and your legal, ethical, and social responsibilities? Strategies that help us at Allen to align our leadership, decision-making, and communication processes with our mission and values include a strong strategic planning process, leadership responsibilities among all employee groups, and transparent communication processes. Our strategic planning process is referenced and discussed in Category 5 and detailed in Category 8. Faculty leaders, staff leaders, administrative leaders, student leaders, and community leaders all serve the College and are responsible for communicating forward and back to their colleagues information which might impact their work areas or communities. Scheduled meetings of the Board of Trustees and councils of the College provide structured pathways for recommendations, decision-making, and communication. Figure 5a shows leadership, decision-making, and communication processes in the form of scheduled meetings within the governance and communication systems of the College.
10 Allen s faculty, staff, students, and Board members serve our communities through volunteerism, service, and membership in a wide range of social, community, and religious organizations toward the betterment of others and the improvement of the towns, cities, and countryside in which we live. Members of the College community participate in Rotary International; the Chambers of Commerce in Burlingame, Iola, and Osage City; Thrive Allen County; advisory boards within Unified School Districts; Leadership Allen County; and the Walk Kansas organization. Board of Trustees Policies and Procedures documents provide additional guidance to members of the College community in matters of legal and ethical responsibilities. For Board members, Trustee Ethics and a Code of Conduct show standards; for employees, policies for Non-Discrimination, a Drug Free Workplace, Cultural Diversity, and against Sexual Harassment guide actions; and for students, a Code of Conduct outlines behavioral expectations. 6. What strategies align your key administrative support goals with your mission and values? What services, facilities, and equipment do you provide to achieve them? The College utilizes both proactive and reactive strategies to align administrative support goals with its mission and values. The ultimate goals of all support areas are to support student learning and improve student success. Services, facilities, and equipment to achieve these support area goals, and that help to provide environments in which learning can thrive, include: Admissions Services o Recruitment o Admissions o Placement testing Financial Aid Services Business Office Services Disability Office Services Academic Advising Services Academic Support Services o Writing Center, face-to-face and online o Tutoring, face-to-face and online o College Library, face-to-face and web services Computing Support Services and Facilities o Website o Information Portal for students and staff o Open Computer Labs Online Learning Services and Equipment o Blackboard Course Management Software o Blackboard Help for students and staff Physical Facilities o Master planning o Management o Campus Safety Housing Service and Facilities (Iola Campus) o Dormitory and Duplex Facilities o Foodservice 10
11 7. What determines the data and information you collect and distribute? What information resources and technologies govern how you manage and use data? Internal and external stakeholders and their needs determine the data and information we collect, analyze, and distribute. The motivations range from improving student learning to answering accountability requirements. Examples include instruction measures focused on improving student success, data for Program Reviews, information for State Perkins reporting, data for Kansas Board of Regents Performance Agreements, information for comparative financial surveys, and measures for institutional strategic planning. Information resources, tools, and measures are tied to specific systems that help us to measure our effectiveness in both instructional and non-instructional areas. Instructional o ACT or Compass assessments, as a standardized benchmark o Student placement rates, as an indicator of student needs o Overall GPA, as an indicator of student achievement o WorkKeys or CAAP assessments, as a standardized benchmark o Graduation rates, as a comparison to other like-colleges. Program Reviews o Enrollment statistics, as an indicator of meeting student and stakeholder needs o Total credit hours taught, as a measure of utilizing human resources o Cost-benefit analysis, as a measure of utilizing fiscal resources. Perkins Reporting (four components in the Kansas system of review and compliance) o Perkins Program Review of Approved Programs o Perkins Data Evaluation and Accountability o Civil Rights Review o Perkins Financial Program Review. Performance Agreements (Kansas Board of Regents) o Articulation agreement history and targets, as a measure of effectiveness o Student retention rate history and targets, as a measure of improving outcomes o Student success rate history and targets, as a measure of improving outcomes o Student graduation rate history and targets, as a measure of improving outcomes. Financial Surveys o Audit reports, as measures of accountability o FTE measures, as a basis for Kansas state funding models. Strategic Planning o Enrollment statistics, as an indicator of growth and meeting student needs o Student retention rates, as a comparison to baseline rates o CLARUS survey results, as measures to improve services o Noel-Levitz survey results, as measures to improve student satisfaction. 11
12 8. What are key commitments, constraints, challenges, and opportunities with which you must align your institution s short- and long-term plans and strategies? Commitments Constraints Challenges Higher education opportunities to the people of our service area Economic and workforce development for the region. Geographic boundaries of the service area Limited human resources Limited fiscal resources Limited housing space availability (Iola Campus) Limited classroom, lab, and office space for growth (Burlingame Campus). Continued enrollment growth Technology advancements. Opportunities Continued enrollment growth Online degree options. 9. What key partnerships and collaborations, external and internal, contribute to your institution s effectiveness? Allen fosters key partnerships and collaborations in three distinct external areas: Concurrent Enrollment Programs with Unified School Districts 2+2 Articulation Agreements with universities and transfer institutions Agreements and relationships with other community colleges. Allen fosters key partnerships and collaborations in two distinct internal areas: Strategic Planning Process Structure of Councils, Committees, and Task Forces. These key external partnerships and collaborations raise the level of learning for our students and build educational and career pathways. The seamless transition for students from secondary education to community college learning to university study fosters higher completion rates while encouraging continued and lifelong learning. A recent development is the direction of partnerships and collaborations between community colleges. While collaborations in the career programs of Nursing and Allied Health are established between two-year institutions, Allen and Fort Scott Community College have ventured toward the idea of 1+1 Articulation Agreements, in essence sharing programs, to provide a greater range of career options and learning opportunities for students. Key internal collaborations through the strategic planning process and Allen s structure of councils, committees, and task forces, provide transparent systems for communication and effectiveness efforts. 12
13 These processes and systems have enabled the College to positively engage in AQIP as a means of continuous improvement, with action projects carrying the status of task forces. Within the nine AQIP categories, we are still challenged with aligning our measures with our processes. Our progress on the continuous improvement path is uneven. Within some categories, we think we are heading in good directions, with some alignment present yet with growth still to come. Within other categories, we don t yet recognize alignment of our processes with our measures. And still, within other categories, we have yet to decide on measures for our processes. The continuous improvement journey is a lifelong path; we understand fully that we ve just begun our travels. 13