Chapter 6:  Criterion Two, Preparing for the Future

            The organization’s allocations of resources and its processes for evaluation and planning demonstrate its capacity to fulfill its mission, improve the quality of its education, and respond to future challenges and opportunities.

 

Brief Overview

As outlined in Chapter One, Institutional Context, the change in demographics and the recent fluctuations in state funding have the potential to negatively impact Chadron State College.  Positive results in an environment of negative trends are largely possible due to the college’s long history of planning and evaluation.  The new President of Chadron State College, Dr. Janie Park, has continued this process by analyzing the status of the college and outlining a vision with priority objectives that will take the college into its centennial year in 2011.  With the assistance of her cabinet and council, she has designed an institutional effectiveness model that ties the college’s ongoing assessments in all units and programs together with annual reports from presidential committees and ad hoc task forces into the strategic planning process for yearly and long-term goals.              

 

Core Component 2a.  The organization realistically prepares for a future shaped by multiple societal and economic trends.

 

Evaluative statement for all of Component 2a

 

Chadron State College has a long history of future-oriented planning.  A number of planning documents and processes guide the college through its transition from planning to action.  These include the Vision 2011 Strategic Plan, the Facility Master Plan, the Technology Plan, the input from distance learners, and the Faculty Senate Academic Review Committee oversight of changes in academic programs.

 

Evidence Cited

            1.  Strategic planning and institutional effectiveness

            2.  Facility Master Plan

            3.  Technology Plan and process

            4.  Distance learning planning

            5.  Academic Review Committee oversight of changes in academic programs

 

Discussion of 1st item of evidence - Strategic planning and institutional effectiveness

  • Over the past eight years local, regional, and national expertise has been sought to provide information to support sound decision making.  For example:
    • Dr. Thomas Krepel, the previous college president, used an external advisory council to provide input regarding regional needs and to assess the college’s efforts.  The current president has been visiting each of the communities in the college’s service region and engaging in discussions with businesses and community leaders.  In addition, the CSC Foundation Board, whose membership is drawn from across the region, provides regular and timely advice to the President.
    • The Clarus Corporation was hired in 1999 and again in 2000 to provide external information regarding regional impressions and educational needs and demands. (PRR10)
    • In 2002-03, Dr. Dennis Jones of NCHEMS provided an analysis of national, regional, and local environmental influences on the college’s future, and presented his report to the Vision 2011 committee and the entire campus. (PRR24)
    • Bob Doty of the Nebraska Workforce Development agency also provided information to the Vision 2011 Committee, including the educational needs of the workforce for our region and Nebraska.
    • In 2003-04 the NSCS Board of Trustees contracted with the Carnegie Corporation to assess the perceptions and realities of the student educational experience at CSC by using focus groups and surveys of current students, potential students, and guidance counselors. (PRR6)
    • In phase one of the Foundations of Excellence in the First-Year Experience project, the presidential committee, Enrollment Management – Student Success, spent considerable time asking questions, finding data, and evaluating the status of the college’s efforts in support of first-year students.
    • In 2007, Kaludis Consulting was hired to provide guidance for the development of a comprehensive technology plan.
  • At the January 2007 all-campus meeting, President Park unveiled her plan for enhancing strategic planning and budgeting based on institutional effectiveness.  At this meeting she reviewed the priority objectives of the Vision 2011 Strategic Plan that she had previously outlined for the campus at her inauguration and again at the opening day all-campus meeting in the fall of 2006.  The graphics that she used at this meeting are shown below.  They demonstrate that the college’s mission and priority objectives are at the center of all we do in terms of planning, acting, studying, and reporting results.               

 

Discussion of 2nd item of evidence - Facility Master Plan

  • Every ten years the college reviews the previous Campus Facilities Master Plan to determine the current campus needs and goals and to begin the process of creating an updated Master Plan.  The current plan was revised in 2001 and it provides the guidance for all campus renovations and new buildings.  (PRR11) 
  • The Master Plan is reviewed each year by the Vice President for Administration & Finance and the President’s cabinet in preparation for the annual meeting in July with representatives from the Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education (CCPE) and the Governor’s budget and legislative analysts.  The purpose of this meeting is to update the CCPE and the Governor regarding enrollments, major changes in academic programs, regional needs, budgets, facility use, and anticipated capital improvements. In preparation for this meeting, the college’s facility capacity is examined.  The Nebraska State College System (NSCS) office in Lincoln is currently revising the criteria and models used to determine capacity for future growth based on campus facilities.  Program statements for remodeling projects and new buildings are updated as needed to ensure that the college will be ready when external funding from the state becomes available for these projects.
  • Twenty-five major buildings with more than one million square feet of floor space provide state-of-the-art facilities for residential students.  Five buildings have been completely renovated in the past six years and another is currently being remodeled.  For additional details, please see Chapter Two, Significant Developments, page 35.
  • The Facilities Master Plan includes a new agriculture laboratory building and large-animal arena and an addition and renovation to Armstrong Gymnasium.  The new agriculture science building and the new athletic complex have been approved by the CCPE and now move into the waiting period for funding.  Both of these buildings are part of the Chadron State Foundation comprehensive campaign to provide matching dollars for state funds that may be committed to these projects.
  • On an annual basis, smaller renovation projects for computer labs and classrooms are undertaken as part of the annual needs assessment conducted by the academic deans.  In the past five years, in addition to those created in the renovation of Memorial and Miller halls, the campus has added 12 mediated classrooms with computers, ceiling-mounted projectors, Elmo document projectors, SMART Boards, DVD players, sound systems, and Internet access.

 

Discussion of 3rd item of evidence - Technology Plan and process

  • On a regular basis, the college updates the Agency Comprehensive Information Technology Plan as required by the Nebraska Information Technology Commission (NITC).  A minimal technology fee charged to students on a per-credit-hour basis helps to counter the rising cost of technology and to keep pace with its rapid changes.  A separate presidential Technology Fee Committee oversees the use of these funds and develops criteria for prioritizing needs.  The committee has a significant student representation, including 50 percent of the Technology Fee Committee membership, and representation on the new Technology Planning Committee by an undergraduate and a graduate student.
  • Priority projects identified by the college-wide Technology Fee Committee include:  (1) replacing computers and printers in student general usage computer labs on a three-year rotation; (2) funding paper and laser toner for the computer labs; (3) upgrading the NT lab servers; (4) purchasing of general lab software and upgrades; (5) staffing the technical help desk in Computer Services; (6) expanding the campus bandwidth through installation of a DS3 line; (7) upgrading MyCSC server storage capacity; and (8) implementing the MyCSC portal.
  • The new presidential Technology Planning Committee was established during the 2006-07 academic year with the charge to develop a campus technology mission statement, goals, and action items for the effective use and management of technology.  (RR98)  Kaludis Consulting * has been hired to assist the committee with this process, which will be directly tied to the CSC Strategic Plan.
  • The Computer Services website has a complete listing of the extensive network of general and specialized use computer labs on campus for student use.  (RR23)  In addition, Vision 2011 funding provided a wireless environment in both the Reta E. King Library and the Student Center. * Vision 2011 grants also purchased a dozen wireless laptops for checkout and usage within the library and funded JSTOR Online Periodicals. * This service added more than 100 online, full-text periodicals with Internet access for both distance learners and residential students.
  • The Mari Sandoz High Plains Heritage Center received technology assistance from the Octavo Corporation to establish a state-of-the-art digital preservation laboratory at the Center.  Octavo preserves rare books, manuscripts, and antiquarian printed materials in technologically advanced digital formats and makes these unique materials affordable and accessible worldwide in CD-ROM format.  The college has used this technology to digitize the priceless Graves Photo Collection, ca. 1906-1939.  CSC has published a book, Ray and Faye Graves Photographic Studio Collection, on the Graves collection that includes more than a hundred reproductions of glass plates that document turn-of-the-century Native American and pioneer cultures.
  • CSC is currently working with the Nebraska Division of Communications (DOC) on an RFP for a new phone service to increase functionality.  Voice-over-IP is being considered.  The college has also worked with DOC to bid and purchase Polycom devices for the college’s distance-learning sites and to activate the conversion to IP video.  These devices have been installed at college sites in Scottsbluff, Alliance, Sidney, North Platte, and Chadron.
  • The college has addressed innovation in instructional design.  Vision 2011 funds have been utilized to purchase infrared student response devices * for use in classroom instruction.  The physics faculty in Physical Sciences, and the criminal justice faculty in Justice Studies are currently using this technology, which allows professors to ask questions and see the student responses on the computer screens in the mediated classrooms.  This allows both the students and the professors to see how well the class understands the material as it is covered in class, and to make mid-course corrections in terms of additional clarification.  The “clickers” are also very useful in polling students in an anonymous way regarding controversial topics.  Some of the college’s professors have also expressed an interest in video streaming of classes and podcasting of lectures, and several of them have attended conferences with sessions on these topics.  As interest continues to develop, the college will invest in innovative instructional technologies.

 

Discussion of 4th item of evidence - Distance learning planning

  • The Assistant Vice President for Extended Campus Programs (AVPECP), Mr. Steve Taylor, oversees the college’s regional service commitment and distance learning.  He works closely with the Vice President for Enrollment Management & Student Services (VPEMSS), the Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA), and the Dean of Graduate Studies.  In the fall of 2002, Mr. Taylor organized an ad hoc planning committee consisting of the academic deans, the Director of Institutional Research, and faculty from both academic schools.  This group reviewed the policies and procedures related to online courses as well as reiterating the motivations, guiding principles, target audiences, and program priorities for future development.  The committee identified the following general principles for distance learning at Chadron State College:  improve student access; increase enrollments; provide stability and viability to specific programs;  prevent defections from CSC programs; mitigate competitive pressure; provide a rigorous and student-centered learning experience; serve the lifelong learning needs of specific audiences; provide an opportunity to connect with younger, technologically-savvy generations; provide flexible course formats; optimize the use of facilities; and provide intellectual stimulation to faculty.
  • Program needs are determined by (1) requests from constituents and students; (2) information from the Clarus Corporation surveys conducted for the college in 1999 and 2000 (PRR6) to determine regional employment needs and economic development trends; (3) contacts with businesses, schools, and governmental agencies; (4) role and mission mandates via legislative statutes, the NSCS, the CCPE, and Vision 2011; (5) needs of non-traditional learners who are often place-bound by employment; and (6) student demands for flexible formats and times of delivery.  The Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Management (AVPEM) and the AVPECP are charged with obtaining data in these six areas.  They present information regarding these items to the President’s Council.  The Council examines institutional resources for student services, library services, and academic programming.  The academic deans involve departments in discussions of the data and program viability to determine interest by the departments in responding to the identified needs.  After review and recommendations by the President’s Council, an ad hoc Distance Learning Planning Committee, which was formed in 2005 to provide advice to the VPAA, examined new proposals based on these identified needs to determine the campus capacity and ability to respond to those needs based on facilities, equipment, budgets, and personnel.  This ad hoc committee includes professional staff from Computer Services, Student Services, the Registrar’s Office, the Business Office, the Comptroller’s office, and the Online Instructional Design Coordinator.
  • Distance learning via online, hybrid, blended, correspondence, and interactive television (ITV) courses is the primary tool for reaching place-bound learners throughout the college’s vast service region, described in Chapter One.  The college maintains ITV classrooms on campus in Miller Hall and the Burkhiser Technology Complex, and off-site at the community college campuses located in Alliance, North Platte, Sidney, and Scottsbluff.  CSC also has access to the Nebraska Videoconference Network (NVCN) at sites in McCook, Valentine, and Ainsworth.  The college can use interactive satellite transmissions to share courses with Wayne and Peru state colleges in Broken Bow and Scottsbluff, Nebraska, as well as the University of Nebraska in Lincoln and Omaha.  In 1999, the college partnered with the Educational Service Unit #13 in Scottsbluff in the Western Nebraska Distance Learning Consortium which sends classes to high schools in western Nebraska.
  • Many of the college’s place-bound learners are adults who have family and employment ties that prevent them from attending classes in Chadron.  In order to analyze the services it provides to these students, CSC contracted with the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) and the Noel-Levitz company in 2006 (PRR12B) to determine how well the college embodies the eight principles of good practice that should characterize an Adult Learning Focused Institution, based on research and theories developed by CAEL.  The assessment process includes an institutional self-study survey that is evaluated by CAEL and an adult learner inventory conducted and evaluated by Noel-Levitz for CSC students.  Both of these instruments have recently been completed, and in the spring and summer of 2007 the Dean of Graduate Studies and the AVPECP will begin the analysis of the results and development of recommendations to improve academic programs and services for adult learners.
  • In May 2001, the CCPE approved the Bachelor of Applied Sciences degree for CSC.  This degree was developed in response to learners across the college’s service region who had completed associate degrees in occupational studies and were unable to seamlessly transfer them into other bachelor’s degrees at the college.  At the time of its approval, the CCPE applauded this effort by the college as a creative solution to serving the unmet needs of an identified population. 
  • Personnel in the Extended Campus Programs offices around the region periodically conduct informal focus groups and needs surveys to ascertain the educational needs of residents.  In 1999 and 2000, Dr. Royce Smith, Professor of Business Administration, spent the summers conducting an extensive survey of human resource managers in North Platte (PRR22) and Rapid City (PRR23) to identify skill sets and academic programs that employers value.  His findings contributed to a variety of initiatives, including the development and approval of online Business and Education degree programs.       

 

Discussion of 5th item of evidence - Academic Review Committee overseeing changes in academic programs

  • Faculty members in all academic programs regularly update the curriculum and programs of study to reflect the emerging global and social trends.  All of these changes must be approved by the Faculty Senate Academic Review committee which includes representatives from each of the thirteen academic departments and is chaired by the VPAA as an ex-officio member.  The following are examples of recently approved changes in programs and their delivery:

§   In the fall of 2002, as a result of the academic restructuring of the college from four academic schools to two, the speech program was removed from the Speech & Theatre Department and was merged into the Department of Language & Literature, which contained a stand-alone major in journalism.  The Speech program evolved into Communication Arts and the curriculum was revamped to reflect this new emphasis.  In 2005, the Communication Arts program became a comprehensive major with options in journalism, communication, or public relations as the journalism major was merged within Communication Arts.  An additional faculty member with expertise in public relations was hired to advance the new option in public relations.  In 2006, Communication Arts became a separate department from Language & Literature, which became the Department of English & Humanities.  The new comprehensive major, and particularly the option in public relations, is beginning to grow rapidly as students discover the extensive employment opportunities associated with this degree.

§   In 2004, faculty members in Mathematical Sciences and in the Management Information Systems (MIS) option in Business Administration collaborated to do a survey of businesses with needs for technically-trained employees.  Based on this information, the two departments developed a new shared program of study, Information Management Systems (IMS).  This new program provides greater computer science training than the MIS option and more business training than the previous computer science (IST) degree.  Instituted in the fall of 2006, the IMS program is developing very quickly, and several regional employers have indicated that they will employ every IMS graduate that CSC can produce.

§   The Master of Science in Organizational Management degree is a Nebraska State College system-wide online degree that was approved in the spring of 2006 by the CCPE.  For two years the Dean of Graduate Studies and the VPAA worked with their counterparts at Wayne and Peru state colleges to develop the plan for this new degree.  Faculty in Communication Arts, Health, Physical Education & Recreation, Physical & Life Sciences, and Business & Economics were also involved in the formulation and review of the plan.  The Graduate Council and Academic Review approved the new degree prior to forwarding the plan to the Board of Trustees and the CCPE.   The new degree was developed in response to a regional need for a graduate degree that would allow a wide range of individuals to enhance their management skills and advance within their organizations.  CSC already had a series of strong graduate programs in Education and Business Administration but none existed for this particular constituency who were not necessarily business graduates or educators.  The program of study in Organizational Management has four separate options:  Human Services; Natural Resources; Sports Management; and Economic Development & Entrepreneurship.  Courses are offered online by the three state colleges and students may take courses from any of the campuses for the degree.  Admission to this degree program is seamless among the three state colleges, which share student information among the registrars.  During its current reaccreditation process, CSC is seeking the addition of this degree to its Statement of Affiliation Status.

§   In May 2001, the NSCS Board of Trustees and the CCPE granted approval to CSC to offer a Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) degree.  This degree enables students with Associate of Science or Associate of Applied Science degrees to transfer up to 70 credit hours into a CSC BAS degree.  Students are required to complete all remaining CSC General Studies requirements plus 45 hours of upper division courses that support or complement the technical portion of the associate’s degree, with a minimum of 125 total hours.  The BAS effectively converts AAS and AS degrees into terminal four-year degrees.

§   In the spring of 2005, based on the success for the past two years with the accelerated MBA program, faculty members of the Department of Business & Economics proposed to extend the eight-week course format to undergraduate courses for the Business Administration bachelor’s degree.  This laid the groundwork for the implementation of the “The Business Academy at Chadron State College.”  (RR49)  The academy is an innovative adaptation of a traditional business education that reflects the realities of the business world.  It is uniquely designed to accommodate both campus-based and distance learners in time-efficient courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.  All courses are offered in time-effective eight-week formats that are either completely online or in blended formats.  The blended formats include three hours per week of classroom instruction on campus supplemented with online learning.  The faculty members have spent considerable time designing the cycle of course offerings in the first and second eight-week sessions each semester so that students will, ideally, enroll in one or two business courses each session.  These are then overlaid with traditional 16-week courses offered by the other departments on campus.  The faculty is also closely monitoring the student learning outcomes data to ensure that the new format, while providing greater flexibility for students, also results in appropriate learning.  Careful monitoring of the format during this year and next will be used to determine its continuance at the undergraduate level.  The Student Senate is conducting an online survey of students to determine their satisfaction with the new format.  The Business Administration program at both the graduate and undergraduate level is accredited by Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).

           

Core Component 2b.  The organization’s resource base supports its educational programs and its plans for maintaining and strengthening their quality in the future.

 

Evaluative statement for all of Component 2b

Chadron State College resembles many public institutions in that it faces extraordinary challenges posed by rising costs, value-shopping by consumers, increasing sophistication by all post-secondary institutions, and limited financial flexibility.  Careful planning over the past decade, detailed viability studies of each unit on campus in the past five years, and serious prioritization of the use of monetary and human resources has allowed the college to maintain and strengthen the quality of education and services it provides to its students and the region.

 

Evidence Cited

            1.  College Budget 1997-2006 and planning processes

2.  Professional Development funds, travel funds, reassigned time, and sabbatical leaves

            3.  Faculty loads

            4.  Chadron State Foundation

            5.  Renovation of buildings driven by curriculum

                       

Discussion of 1st item of evidence - College Budget 1997-2006 and planning processes

  • The budget for CSC is adequate to meet the educational goals of the institution, even though the college has had to cope with declining budgets as funding from the state has either been reduced or held flat with additional costs absorbed by the institution in fiscal years 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004.  This reduction in funding has occurred in most state-supported institutions in the U.S., and the college’s reduction in funding is similar to that affecting all Nebraska state universities and colleges.  In the recent past some of the loss of state revenues has been offset by an increase in tuition.  The college is mindful that some students have difficulty paying for large increases in tuition and has held these increases in tuition to the lowest possible level.  The tables below, which are also included in Chapter One, summarize the changes in revenue and tuition increases and compare the college’s revenue and expenses.

 

 

Acad.

Year

Tuition

Rates

%

Increase

97/98

57.75

5.00%

98/99

59.50

3.03%

99/00

62.50

5.04%

00/01

65.75

5.20%

01/02

69.75

6.08%

02/03

76.25

9.32%

03/04

87.00

14.10%

04/05

95.00

9.20%

05/06

97.75

2.89%

06/07

102.50

4.86%

Source:  Dale Grant, VPAF

Acad.

Year

State

Appropriation

%

Increase

97/98

      10,507,259

2.98%

98/99

      10,916,522

3.90%

99/00

      11,459,968

4.98%

00/01

      11,841,526

3.33%

01/02

      12,628,426

6.65%

02/03

      12,898,037

2.13%

03/04

      12,235,491

- 5.14%

04/05

      12,501,692

2.18%

05/06

      13,475,315

7.79%

06/07

      14,181,707

5.24%

Source:  Dale Grant, VPAF

Chadron State College

Comparison of FY 2004/05 to 2005/06 Revenue and Expenses

Category

 

 FY 2005/2006

 FY 2004/2005

Tuition and Fees (net)

 

 $       4,029,872

 $       4,110,378

State Appropriations

 

 $      13,475,315

 $      12,501,692

Investment Income

 

 $          318,718

 $          279,946

Capital & Private Grants & Contracts

 $          913,954

 $       1,165,171

Auxiliary enterprises, net

 

 $       3,895,016

 $       3,524,559

Other

 

 $       2,989,586

 $       3,805,807

  Total Revenues

 

 $      25,622,461

 $      25,387,553

 

 

 

 

Instruction

 

 $       9,432,606

 $       9,066,543

Student Services

 

 $       2,111,751

 $       1,847,764

Operation & Maintenance of Plant

 

 $       2,228,065

 $       1,675,997

Administration

 

 $       4,514,191

 $       4,188,112

Auxiliary

 

 $       2,257,843

 $       2,332,962

Other **

 

 $       5,462,734**

 $       5,854,423

  Total Expenses

 

 $      26,007,190

 $      24,965,801

 

 

 

 

    Revenues - Expenses

 

 $         (384,729)**

 $          421,752

 

 

 

 

**Of the $5,462,734 listed as other expense in FY 2005/2006, $1,343,158 was for Depreciation which is a non-cash expense.

 

Source:  Dale Grant, VPAF

 

  • Academic program operational budgets are allocated to the lowest administrative unit or department with full autonomy for expenditures.  Significant leveraging of resources occurs among departments, schools, Extended Campus Programs, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, and the Vice President for Enrollment Management & Student Services.  Whenever possible, equipment is shared or reassigned.In addition to operations budgets for each unit, the academic departments also have yearly budgets for equipment, travel, and library resources.  Budget controllers can shift funds within their units to respond to unanticipated opportunities or concerns.The new institutional effectiveness model, cited in 2a, brings together planning and assessment efforts from all campus units and committees.  Budgeting of resources can then reflect the goals and priorities identified through careful analysis.
  • State appropriations for all state agencies, including the NSCS, are made on a biennial basis.  Prior to the legislative session during the biennial year, the NSCS submits requests for new and expanded programs.  Although these requests are seldom funded, it does provide a planning opportunity for the college.  Some of these plans have been instituted at a later time through internal reallocations of resources.  An example from several years ago is the creation of a full-time Student Services Counselor responsible for dealing with multicultural programming.  Although additional funding was not approved for this position, the college redistributed resources in order to implement this idea. 

     

Discussion of 2nd item of evidence - Professional Development funds, travel funds, reassigned time, and sabbatical leaves.The following items are discussed in greater detail in Chapter Seven, Criterion Three, Core Component 3b:

  • Resources provided to faculty include $500 per faculty member per year for travel to conferences and professional development activities.  College vehicles are provided for use by faculty or faculty with groups of students. The Faculty Senate Research Institute Committee (RIC) distributes $23,000 per year in seed money for research projects to faculty. Each year, the college awards a minimum of two sabbatical or personal leave requests for faculty based on meritorious proposals. The Vice President for Academic Affairs, working in conjunction with a task force from the Faculty Senate, has created a new program which will take effect in the 2007-08 academic year.  The program, called “Mini-sabbaticals In Situ,” allows tenured and non-tenured faculty to apply for three to four hours of reassigned time in a given semester to pursue special scholarship projects.
  • CSC provides permanent reassigned time to faculty who engage in important activities and services for the campus.  Reassigned time varies from 25 to 50 percent release from teaching assignments, depending on the nature of the activities. (RR34)
  • All employees of Chadron State College may take college courses using faculty and staff tuition waivers. 

     

Discussion of 3rd item of evidence - Faculty loads

  • The NSCS Board of Trustees recognizes annual faculty loads of 30 credit hours, six of which are devoted to scholarship and service, with the remaining 24 for teaching and student professional growth.  Loads are normally equally divided between the fall and spring semesters.  Overloads are paid when the yearly teaching load exceeds 25 credit hours, with payment for all credits in excess of 24.  Overloads are generally avoided whenever possible to protect the academic integrity of programs.  In those programs with specialized accreditations, as in teacher education, business administration, and social work, all overloads are disallowed.  When overloads become frequent in a program, the academic deans and academic vice president examine the resource allocation of faculty or consider the possibility of additional tenure-track faculty positions to alleviate the problem.  In the past two years, the college has added faculty lines in Music, English, and History because of this type of analysis. (RR99)
  • As cited above, sabbaticals, personal leaves, and reassigned time for significant projects are regularly granted. 

     

Discussion of 4th item of evidence - Chadron State Foundation

  • The Chadron State Foundation is an affiliated 501(c)3 organization that raises significant dollars for scholarships and special projects at Chadron State College.  The Foundation was incorporated in 1963 to operate as a charitable and educational foundation exclusively for the promotion and support of Chadron State College.  It is dedicated to enhancing CSC's ability to meet its primary educational mission in western Nebraska. The Foundation supports scholarship programs for the college and undertakes fund-raising activities which provide resources vital to its mission in the areas of instruction, research, and service.  The Chadron State Foundation recognizes the generosity of donors who provide CSC an all-important margin of excellence as it continues to meet the educational, economic, and cultural needs of western Nebraska.
  • For the 2005-06 academic year, the Chadron State Foundation provided a $60,000 grant to campus for scholarships that were distributed by the campus Scholarship Committee.  Endowed scholarships that year totaled $185,800 plus an additional $72,000 for annual need.  In the current 2006-07 academic year, the Chadron State Foundation provided a $60,000 grant to campus plus $256,000 in endowed scholarships and $78,000 in annual need.  Next year, 2007-08, the Chadron State Foundation is providing a $75,000 grant to campus along with $287,000 in endowed scholarships and $78,000 for annual need.
  • The president of the college serves as an ex-officio member of the Chadron State Foundation Board of Directors.  The Foundation has hired the consulting firm of Hartsook, Inc. to assist the Foundation and CSC president with the college’s first comprehensive campaign that would create endowments for each of the three academic schools and the library, as well as additional scholarships for students and capital contributions to defray the costs of a new agriculture laboratory building and renovations of Armstrong Gymnasium.  This campaign will coincide with the college’s Vision 2011 Strategic Plan to take the college into its next century.

   

Discussion of 5th item of evidence - Renovation of buildings driven by curriculum

  • Five buildings have been completely renovated in the past six years and another is currently being remodeled.  These include Memorial Hall for Visual & Performing Arts, Miller Hall for advanced technology in teaching, Edna Work residence hall, the Burkhiser Technology Complex for Business & Economics and Applied Sciences, and the former Carnegie Library building as the Mari Sandoz High Plains Heritage Center.  The Burkhiser Complex, Miller Hall, and Memorial Hall were updated to include additional classroom space, updated computer labs and computer training facilities, and fully mediated classrooms.  Sparks Hall is currently undergoing renovations to be completed in the summer of 2007 and will house administrative and Foundation offices.  This will result in the Administration Building being remodeled in 2007 and 2008 as an instructional building with high-tech classrooms, faculty offices, and facilities for five academic departments as well as offices for the Dean of Arts & Sciences. 
  • In all of the renovation plans, including the most recent ones developed for the Administration Building, faculty members from all departments housed in the buildings are engaged in several months of planning with the architects for instructional space.  The recommendations of the faculty are incorporated into the renovation plans.  Faculty members are also consulted about technology and furnishings for classrooms and offices. 

 

Core Component 2c.  The organization’s ongoing evaluation and assessment processes provide reliable evidence of institutional effectiveness that clearly informs strategies for continuous improvement.

 

Evaluative statement for all of Component 2c

Chadron State College has been active in academic program assessment since 1991.  In addition to program assessment, the college has been involved in evaluation and assessment processes at all levels of the institution.  All faculty, professional staff, and support staff are evaluated annually, and faculty evaluation of administrators was implemented four years ago.  Faculty, professional staff, and administrators develop annual professional goals that they address in their evaluations.  On a seven-year rotating cycle, the CCPE requires academic program review that in some cases results in the termination of non-viable programs.  As can be seen in President Park’s institutional effectiveness graphic cited under Core Component 2a of this chapter, these assessment processes result in study and reporting that informs the planning and budgeting for the college’s short-term and long-term directions.

 

Evidence Cited

            1.  Faculty and staff evaluation process

            2.  Faculty evaluation of administrators

            3.  CCPE program review process and program viability reports

            4.  Annual program assessments

                       

Discussion of 1st item of evidence - Faculty and staff evaluation process

  • Each spring, employees of the college participate in an annual, personal evaluation with their immediate supervisor.  This includes all faculty members regardless of full-time or part-time status, tenured or non-tenured, or academic rank.  All administrators, professional staff, and faculty have annual goals that they have developed as part of their professional plan and the annual evaluations examine progress toward these goals, along with performance on tasks and responsibilities related to each person’s job description.All faculty, professional staff, and administrators provide a professional activities report to their immediate supervisor prior to the evaluation. The report summarizes progress toward professional goals and additional discussions of yearly activities, including for faculty a reflective section with regard to the results of student ratings of teaching.
  • Evaluation forms (RR68) for faculty include a section on progress toward promotion and tenure, in which the academic dean can give a candid assessment.  Student ratings in two of the professor’s classes are also part of the annual evaluation process.  Performance is rated as satisfactory, needs improvement, or unsatisfactory, and those areas rated as “needs improvement,” or “unsatisfactory,” require a performance improvement plan to be attached to the final evaluation.  This improvement plan is developed collaboratively between the faculty member and the academic dean.  The annual evaluations become part of the faculty portfolio for promotion and tenure.  Faculty may file an addendum or rejoinder to the evaluation forms within ten days after meeting with the academic dean if they disagree with any part of the dean’s evaluation.

Discussion of 2nd item of evidence - Faculty evaluation of administratorsIn addition to evaluation by their immediate supervisor, the college President, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Vice President for Enrollment Management & Student Services, and all three academic deans are evaluated each year in the spring by the faculty.  Four years ago the college administration asked the Faculty Senate to design a plan for faculty evaluation of administrators.  The senate adopted the IDEA system from Kansas State University, which allows an extensive online survey by faculty for each administrator (http://idea.ksu.edu/feedbacksystem/index.html).  The results of these evaluations are given to the president who reviews the results and discusses them with the vice presidents. The IDEA results are given to each administrator for use in their personal improvement plan.  Because these are confidential employee evaluations, similar to student ratings of faculty, these are not published or shared with third-party individuals.

 

Discussion of 3rd item of evidence - CCPE program review process and program viability reports

ˇ        On a rotating seven-year cycle set up by the CCPE, CSC reviews each of its existing academic programs.  The purpose of the review is to determine the quality and effectiveness of each program, the efficiency with which each is delivered, and the avoidance of unnecessary duplication in state college and university services.  The program review process includes department and campus review, review by the NSCS Board of Trustees and, finally, review by the CCPE.  These reviews incorporate viability standards for programs that have been previously established by the CCPE. (RR100)

ˇ        The review is conducted using the same steps as those for the approval of new programs and addresses the following four issues about the program:

                        1.      Its centrality to the role and mission of the college.

                        2.      Its consistency with the Comprehensive Statewide Plan for Postsecondary Education.

                        3.      The objective evidence of need and demand for the program.

                        4.      The adequacy of available and anticipated resources to support the program and indicators of program quality.

ˇ        The review includes a summary of the strengths and weaknesses of the program; determination of the continuing need for the program; student demand for the program; whether the program is appropriate given the goals of the institution and system goals for the next five years, which are designed to promote the program quality; and when indicated, recommendations for program reductions or program discontinuation.

ˇ        In the event that a program does not meet all of the above-mentioned criteria, CSC shall provide the Board with recommendations for terminating the program or for taking corrective action that will improve and justify continuance of the program.  In the past ten years, this process has resulted in the reduction of three academic majors to minors including geography, political science, and sociology.  However, the process also resulted in new programs that met critical needs of the region, including the Information Science & Technology (IST) major, which has recently been revised into a joint major and Information Management Systems, which provides coursework in both IST and Management Information Systems.  Another example is the new Master of Science in Organizational Management that is discussed in more detail in the section for Core Component 2a.

  • In addition to the seven-year cycle of program review through the CCPE, the college periodically conducts program viability studies.  In the period of 2002-2004, as CSC experienced significant declines in state appropriations, the VPAA and the academic deans undertook a detailed viability analysis of all undergraduate and graduate programs.  The results of the undergraduate study are located on the Vice President for Academic Affairs website at www.csc.edu/vpaa/csc_program_viability_report.pdf.  The graduate study can be found at www.csc.edu/vpaa/csc_master_program_viability_analysis.doc.  These documents guided the college in determining which programs were viable and robust and which were in decline.  The campus continues to monitor this type of data, and faculty members are very much aware of how their programs are faring.

 Discussion of 4th item of evidence - Annual program assessments

  • Chadron State College has been involved in formal academic assessment since 1991.  That system of assessment for academic and student services programs was designed to determine the extent to which the programs met established standards.  It analyzed the strengths and weaknesses within the curriculum against professional standards and used student satisfaction surveys for support services.  Nationally over time, assessment has changed to become centered on results in terms of student learning rather than the mere alignment of curriculum and services to external standards.In the fall of 2002, with this new idea in mind, the college required that student-learning outcomes be developed for each course offered by the college and published in the course syllabi; most have complied. (RR70)  These outcomes were aligned with the development of overall student outcomes for each academic program.In 2003, each academic program and all student and support service units on campus were required to develop or modify existing yearly assessment plans to reflect each program’s or unit’s contribution to student learning and student learning outcomes.  The plans included outcomes, timelines for measurements using various assessment tools, and the designation of one day each semester for units to analyze assessment data and plan improvements based on assessment results.
  • In 2003 and 2004, the college sent groups of faculty and administrators to a series of assessment workshops sponsored by AAHE and HLC.  In addition, a nationally-recognized assessment consultant conducted on-campus assessment workshops for all faculty and professional staff.  As part of the CSC participation in the new HLC Academy for the Assessment of Student Learning, the college will implement several assessment training workshops on campus in the spring of 2007.  The college also is sending a team of ten people from student services and Extended Campus Programs to the HLC workshop on assessment of student services in February 2007. 
  • Currently all academic programs of study at CSC have program assessment plans based on student learning outcomes. (RR138)  Most course syllabi include specific learning outcomes that are subsets of the program learning outcomes. (RR70)  A variety of direct and indirect methods of assessment are used by the academic departments.  Data is collected and analyzed each semester on “Assessment Day,” which is the first day of final exam week when no exams are given during the day.  This allows faculty to conduct assessments of graduating seniors, as well as time to meet with colleagues to discuss data and its analysis.  Assessment reports are due on October 1 each year, for the previous academic year.
  • Chadron State College is one of fourteen institutions in the “pioneer cohort” of the HLC Academy for the Assessment of Student Learning.  The college’s participation in this four-year program will allow it to accelerate assessment in academic units and jump-start new efforts in non-academic services units.  In addition, the college’s plan for the Academy will improve assessment efforts in the graduate programs as well as General Studies.  Additional details about this effort are in Chapter Seven as well as documents related to the HLC Assessment Academy in the resource room.

 

Core Component 2d.  All levels of planning align with the organization’s mission, thereby enhancing its capacity to fulfill that mission.

 

Evaluative statement for all of Component 2d

 

Every decision at Chadron State College is made with an eye to the college’s mission of education and service, not only to the residential students on campus, but also to those students and residents throughout its service region.  Facilities and services are examined and upgraded as needed to better serve students near and far. Vision 2011 planning provides for grassroots budgeting to support innovation.  The administration and academic departments solicit input from residents and employers around the region regarding their needs and what they value in education.  These processes are not single, stand-alone events, but a way of life at CSC.

 

Evidence Cited

            1.  Upgrades in facilities and services that support learning

            2.  Planning links to budgeting processes

            3.  President’s advisory boards and external input

            4.  Programs’ advisory boards and internship surveys

                       

Discussion of 1st item of evidence - Upgrades in facilities and services that support learning

  • Chadron State College realizes the importance of providing a safe and aesthetically pleasing learning environment on the campus.  It also recognizes the importance of efficient access to services for both distance learners and residential students.
  • Aware of upcoming communication challenges, costs, and standards, CSC worked closely with the State of Nebraska to implement a plan of replacing all videoconferencing equipment and network topology to an Internet Protocol (IP) based system.  Currently the college uses H.323 standards-based equipment and has converted all existing dedicated network infrastructure to less expensive and more efficient IP networks.  The advantages of these upgrades are the unrestricted ability to interconnect with other networks and the faster response time for connecting additional locations for audio/video course delivery as well as academic advising sessions with distance learners.  Using the state-wide network as a “backbone” for its own videoconferencing network, CSC currently interconnects eleven IP-based Polycom CODECS at five designated off-campus locations for delivery of courses via ITV and student services.  These locations are also capable of both satellite and dedicated fiber connectivity for additional networking opportunities for students and residents.  The better quality of the audio/video transmissions and the quicker response time greatly enhances the learning experiences of students at sites throughout the college’s service region.
  • A challenge for the college has been the delivery of student services not only to distance learners, but also to an increasingly technologically savvy residential student population.  In response to 24/7 service demands, during the 2005-06 academic year CSC studied core services and devised ways to provide them online for all learners.  Through the website, www.chadronstateonline.com, students can learn more about CSC’s online program offerings and are provided links to apply for admission, register for courses, communicate with advisors, review financial aid information and apply for assistance, access an array of students services, take a Readiness for Online Learning quiz, visit a Demonstration Course, take a Browser Test, and participate in class.  The Extended Campus Programs office reallocated a position as an “online ombudsman” who is the point of contact for all distance learners.  On a daily basis this person fields questions from students and finds the answers or resolves the issues that the students have.  This avoids the “run around” of handing off students from one office to another and demonstrates to distance learners that they are not alone and that CSC cares about them.
  • Services for residential students have also been upgraded to include online versions of nearly all campus services including admissions, financial aid, registration, advising, and tutoring.  Students can access a variety of forms online and can complete and submit them electronically as well.  The Tutoring Center has instituted online tutoring with residential tutors at CSC, as well as Smarthinking commercially-available tutoring services for 24/7 access to academic help. The new campus portal, MyCSC, provides a one-stop information center for all of the college’s learners.
  • In August and September 2006, a network upgrade was performed to substantially increase the Internet capacity of the campus.  The main campus router was replaced and four traditional T1 lines were replaced with a DS3 line, expanding the Internet capacity from 6.16 Mbps to 45 Mbps.  This expansion has provided improved response time to Internet-based services, including those provided by CSC, to all CSC learners and employees.  It also gives CSC the scalability to offer expanded Internet-dependent technologies in the future. 
  • In addition to the major renovation of five buildings, with two more in progress, faculty and staff regularly examine existing facilities for important upgrades.  Computer Services is in charge of numerous student computer labs across the campus.  These labs are either general-use labs or specialized labs for instruction in certain academic disciplines.  Computer equipment for the labs is replaced on a three-year to five-year rotating basis, and desks and chairs are updated to provide a comfortable and aesthetically pleasing environment.  Other recent examples of planning and implementation to enhance learning include the renovation of the basement of the library, the graphic design lab, the theatre arts scene shop, and the Black Box Theatre.  Descriptions of these follow: 

§         Last year the new Director of Library & Learning Resources developed a strategic plan for turning the library into the “intellectual living room of the campus.”  In order to entice students back into the library, the director worked with his staff, Computer Services, campus maintenance, and the campus food service to develop and implement an upgrade to the basement of the library.  The basement was cleared of stored materials and redecorated.  A coffee café was created in a large central area where Creative Dining, the campus food service, now provides Starbucks coffee creations, pastries, salads, and sandwiches.  Students may take food and drink throughout the library, with the exception of the computer lab, which increases the appeal of study areas.  A fully-mediated classroom was established with computerized projection and Internet capabilities.  The small computer lab that had been on the top floor of the library was moved to a large room in the basement and the number of computers was increased from 18 to 30.  Computers and furniture in the lab were upgraded.  A seminar room with seating for nearly 20 people was created, along with an additional classroom and a study room for groups of students.  The library’s director established the Dorset Graves Lecture Series that provides Tuesday night presentations by the college’s faculty and staff on a variety of intellectual topics. 

§         Another success story involves the upgrade of the CSC graphic design lab.  Three years ago the Visual & Performing Arts Department expanded its academic program in graphic design.  Although the department’s facilities are housed in Memorial Hall, the computerized graphic design lab was in the Administration Building.  This was an extremely inconvenient situation for both students and faculty.  To remedy this situation, a large area in the basement of Memorial Hall was cleared out and remodeled to provide an up-to-date instructional area and graphic design lab.  Previously this area had been a dingy, catch-all location, but now it is an attractive and comfortable area where graphic design students can meet, work on projects, and attend classes.  The facilities have fully-mediated capabilities with computer projection of electronic images, as well as hardcopy of three-dimensional objects using the Elmo system.  The area includes both comfortable classroom seating as well as computer stations for twenty Macs.  The lab is open on evenings and weekends to provide time for students to use the expensive, industry-standard software packages for class projects. 

§         The Theatre program has long been plagued by the need for a campus-based scene shop.  Because the scene shop requires high ceilings with no supporting posts or barriers, it was difficult to find such space on campus.  Therefore, the scene shop had been located off-campus within the community at several facilities that had previously been warehouses.  While the space was ideal, its location was inconvenient for students and faculty, and safety supervision became an issue.  To solve this problem, an academic dean and the Vice President for Administration & Finance explored options on campus.  An under-utilized lecture hall was identified where classes could be relocated to smaller classrooms, and the open space in the large room could be remodeled to accommodate the scene shop.  Large double-doors were installed to allow the removal of large scene pieces directly to the outside after construction.  The lecture hall was located a short walk along a straight sidewalk to Memorial Hall.  This new location now provides a safe and convenient location for students and faculty for scene work.              

 

Discussion of 2nd item of evidence - Planning links to budgeting processes

  • As described previously in the chapter under core components 2a and 2b, President Park has initiated a planning and institutional effectiveness model that incorporates the assessment and planning reports from every unit on campus, including presidential committees and task forces. (RR66)  The input from individual units, departments, and committees allows the president to determine the overall state of the college’s effectiveness including areas in need of expansion or improvement.  This information then informs the short and long-term planning process that includes considerations in budgets, facilities, and personnel.  Prior to Dr. Park’s model, assessment by units was more or less a stand-alone process that often did not inform the greater campus processes.  The new plan also transformed the previous College Assessment Committee into the Institutional Effectiveness Committee with expanded duties beyond the mere examination of assessment plans.  Assessment now drives planning and budgeting, thus encouraging units to carefully analyze their status.In addition to the new model of planning described above, the president has also sought to engage the campus in conversations with regard to Vision 2011 and needed improvements.  In her first year, she gave presentations at all-campus meetings and then provided suggestion forms that employees could submit anonymously regarding things that needed to be changed or improved.  This year, the all-campus meetings have incorporated a new technique of “table talks”. (RR87)  This process allows attendees at the all-campus meetings to sit at various tables, share information, and discuss ideas.  Suggestions generated in this way are provided to the president and her council for consideration and implementation.
  • Essentially, except for emergencies, all budget allocations at the college level are now scrutinized in light of the college’s Strategic Plan, Vision 2011, annual revisions of the plan, and often-stated and distributed goals and objectives.

 Discussion of 3rd item of evidence – President’s advisory boards and external input

  • As previously mentioned in core component 2a, Chadron State College seeks the advice and input from external constituents in order to make informed decisions regarding academic programs and college outreach services.  This input takes several forms, including presidential advisory boards, community conversations, and the services of outside consultants.  For example:

§         The previous college president, Dr. Thomas Krepel, used an external advisory council to provide input regarding regional needs and to assess the college’s efforts.  The advisory council met twice each year over several years and provided important perspectives.

§         The current president, Dr. Janie Park, has visited each of the communities in the college’s service region and engaged in extended discussions with business and community leaders.  These visits allow her to become familiar with the CSC service region, its residents, its educational and service needs, and its perspectives on important issues.

§         The Chadron State Foundation Board, whose membership is drawn from across the region and the country, provides regular and timely advice to the President who serves as an ex-officio member of the Foundation Board.

§         President Park included external constituents on the HLC Self Study Committee.

§         The Clarus Corporation was hired in 1999 and again in 2000 to provide external information regarding regional impressions and educational needs and demands. (PRR10)

§         Dr. Dennis Jones of NCHEMS provided an analysis of national, regional, and local environmental influences on the college’s future and presented his report to the Vision 2011 committee and the entire campus.

§         Bob Doty of the Nebraska Workforce Development agency also provided information to the Vision 2011 committee, including the educational needs of the workforce for our region and Nebraska

§         In 2003-04, the NSCS Board of Trustees contracted with the Carnegie Corporation to assess the perceptions and realities of the student educational experience at CSC by utilizing focus groups and surveys of current students, potential students, guidance counselors, and community residents in the college’s service region. (PRR6)

 Discussion of 4th item of evidence - Programs’ advisory boards, focus groups, and internship surveys

  • A number of academic and support departments at CSC use advisory boards or focus groups consisting of residents from the community and the region.  These departments include Business & Economics, Social Work, Family & Consumer Sciences, Health Professions and RHOP, Education, Admissions, the Child Development Center, and Extended Campus Programs.The input from these advisory boards and focus groups allows each unit to be responsive to the needs of students and professionals in the field and to plan improvements to existing programs or implement new initiatives and outreach activities.  The Director of Alumni Relations & Annual Giving maintains a database of more than 16,500 graduates of the college.  She regularly provides this database to academic programs that seek to conduct surveys or recruit advisory board members for their departments.  The database can be sorted in a wide variety of ways that allow departments to target specific constituents.  Recent examples of responses to requests and suggestions from external sources include the Excellence in Early Childhood Education Conference, a series of law enforcement seminars and conferences, the creation of the Business Academy accelerated program, the implementation of summer hours for the Child Development Center, the approval of the Master of Science in Organizational Management degree, the creation of the Cabela’s corporate BAS program, the expansion of the college’s online programs to include six undergraduate and seven graduate programs that have great appeal for adult place-bound learners, and changes in admission and scholarship procedures. 
  • The Office of Internships & Career Services consults with businesses and agencies across the college’s service region to set up internship experiences for students and to coordinate an annual Career Fair by employers.  In conjunction with these activities, the office conducts surveys of employers to determine how well CSC students function in internships and the level of satisfaction of employers with CSC graduates.  The office also publishes a yearly placement report on graduates that is available on their website. (RR17)      

 Findings on Criterion Two Strengths

  1. The campus is widely engaged in a campus-wide Vision 2011 strategic planning process that is accompanied by individual planning at different levels of the institution including campus-wide meetings, departments, units, organizations, and individuals.  These planning activities direct the attention of individuals and units to the mission of the college.
  2. President Park has identified priority objectives within Vision 2011 and has begun the implementation of a new model for planning and institutional effectiveness.  This model ties assessment analysis and reporting by all units of the campus to the planning and budgeting process.
  3. The college plans extensively for the future.  These plans are based on significant input from its internal and external constituents and its responsiveness to their needs.
  4. Despite negative trends in demography and state appropriations, the college has been able, through assessment of programs and services, to reallocate internal resources in order to provide high quality educational experiences, services, and environments to its students and constituents.
  5. Administrator, faculty, and professional staff annual evaluations are tied to continuous improvement through professional development goals.
  6. Renovation of facilities that support student learning are regularly planned and undertaken by faculty and staff of the college.
  7. CSC was one of 14 colleges chosen to participate in the pioneer cohort of the HLC Academy for the Assessment of Student Learning over the next four years.  Participation in the Academy will allow the college to significantly accelerate its efforts in assessment.

 Areas for Improvement

  1. The planning and institutional effectiveness process, as outlined by Dr. Park, is brand new and the college needs to ensure follow-through.The applications for Vision 2011 funding are extensive, and the college needs to consider ways to create synergy and outside funding for these important initiatives.The college should continue to strengthen communication and involvement with external constituents.
  2. The college needs to complete the CAEL analysis and implement improvements for adult learners.

 Plan for Improvement Schedule

  1. Hold an all-campus meeting to brainstorm ideas in the areas of improvement identified in the self-study.Conduct an in-depth survey of regional employers to update previous information regarding skill sets and knowledge that are necessary for their employees and required for their businesses.Complete the CAEL survey and implement improvements for adult learners.
  2. Fully participate in the four-year HLC Assessment Academy.