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RSCC Policy GA-24-01; Institutional Effectiveness

Roane State Community College
Policy Number: GA-24-01
Subject: Institutional Effectiveness

Since 1993, Roane State Community College has utilized a systematic, cyclical, research-based process of integrating institutional planning, evaluation, and improvement activities in order to demonstrate institutional effectiveness.

The college’s institutional effectiveness system incorporates the strategic planning process of the Tennessee Board of Regents which provides a collaborative framework for establishing and assessing institutional goals and objectives in support of system-wide educational priorities. As an integral part of this process, the college sets benchmarks for the accomplishment of its stated goals and objectives, assesses whether it has achieved these outcomes/objectives, and uses the results of this assessment for improvement opportunities. The college utilizes SPOL (Strategic Planning Online™) an integrated, online system to record and continuously update departmental strategic objectives, assessment efforts, and the use of assessment results for improvement.

The Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness, Planning and Research provides oversight to ensure that planning and evaluation efforts are consistent with institutional goals and provides training and assistance to faculty and staff on the development and implementation of assessment measures and the use of SPOL.

The basic elements of the college's institutional effectiveness process are the following:

  1. Mission Statement - The college mission statement is developed as part of a broad-based effort involving the Tennessee Board of Regents, the college strategic planning committee, faculty, staff, and students as well as external constituencies. The mission statement, as the defining statement of institutional purpose and vision, is reviewed and, if necessary, revised at the beginning of each planning cycle.
  2. Institutional Goals - The Tennessee Board of Regents develops goals for each planning cycle based upon system-wide priorities. Traditionally, this has been done on a five-year cycle; however, statewide goals for higher education have moved the system toward a ten-year planning cycle. Guided by these priorities, Roane State’s strategic planning committee, representing the major areas of institutional activity and faculty, staff and administrative constituencies, uses input from internal and external resources to develop the college’s institutional goals, objectives, and annual benchmarks for the planning period. During the course of the planning cycle the college's objectives are periodically reviewed to determine if internal or external conditions necessitate any changes to objectives or benchmarks.
  3. Departmental Outcomes and Objectives - Each academic and administrative organizational unit develops objectives and action plans for the academic/fiscal year. The process of establishing annual unit objectives begins with the development of departmental budgets. During the period from February - March, college units develop budgets for the upcoming fiscal year which begins July 1. Departmental budgets are based upon (1) distribution of allocated funds for base operations and (2) requests for new funds to support activities associated with strategic objectives linked to institutional goals. All requests for new funding must be tied to objectives with designated action plans and assessment measures. (The college budget committee [consisting of the president, the vice presidents, the Faculty Senate president, and the Support Staff Council president] prioritizes new funding requests based upon alignment with institutional goals and fiscal feasibility). Concurrent with or immediately following the budget development calendar, academic and administrative units also establish strategic objectives which are not dependent upon new funding for implementation. Throughout this process the Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness, Planning and Research is available to facilitate departmental meetings and help departments write their objectives. This unit planning process is mirrored in the performance plans of faculty and administrative staff members which are developed to help the department, division, or academic program meet its goals.
  4. Implementation of Evaluation/Assessment – In order to determine the effectiveness of the college’s strategic efforts, one or more assessment measures must be associated with each academic and administrative unit objective. Departments may utilize a wide variety of quantitative and qualitative assessments conducted on an institutional basis and/or develop their own unit-level means of evaluating the accomplishment of departmental objectives. Assessment measures commonly selected include outcomes testing, surveys, data collection for trend or comparative analysis, program review, etc.
  5. Use of Assessment Results – Annually, academic and administrative units conduct an analysis of their evaluation/assessment results and determine how to use the results of assessment for ongoing improvement and continual progress toward accomplishment of their outcomes and objectives. The flexibility of the SPOL online documentation system enables planning units to close the loop on strategies and objectives that have been completed as well as carry forward into the next year objectives that will continue. Annually, employees also conduct a final assessment of their performance plan in conference with their supervisor and determine individual and collaborative efforts to assist in the achievement of unit objectives.

Revision History: 09/01/1995, 12/15/1999, 03/15/2004, 02/04/2008, 04/30/2010; 05/24/2010, 09/09/2014
Revision Date Effective: 09/09/2014
Revision Approval By: Christopher L. Whaley, President
Original Date Effective: 03/16/1988
Original Approval By: Cuyler A. Dunbar, President
Office Responsible: Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness, Planning, and Research
Reviewed: 10/10/2017

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