Chapter 9: Criterion Five, Engagement and Service

As called for by its mission, the organization identifies its constituencies and serves them in ways both value.

 

Core Component 5a. The organization learns from the constituencies it serves and analyzes its capacity to serve their needs and expectations.

 

Evaluative statement for all of Component 5a

Chadron State College clearly identifies its constituents and listens to them to discern their needs through advisory boards, focus groups, and partnerships. An important and growing group of constituents is the Hispanic populations in the southern part of the college’s service region. Another significant population is the Lakota whose two reservations in South Dakota border the northern panhandle of Nebraska. The college is currently seeking funding for major initiatives to encourage these populations to pursue college educations. Regional partnerships in K-12 education, economic development, and healthcare provide additional opportunities for the college to connect to its constituents and respond to their needs.

 

Evidence Cited

  1. Title III planning grant for Native American and Hispanic students
  2. Advisory boards and community forums for the President and academic programs
  3. Regional partnerships – K-12 Education, economic development, healthcare
  4. Extended Campus Programs needs assessments

 

Discussion of 1st item of evidence - Title III planning grant for Native American and Hispanic students

  • In 2003 the college received a Title III planning grant, titled “Reducing Barriers to Recruitment, Retention, and Graduation of Native American and Hispanic Students at Chadron State College.” (RR46) In the fall of 2006 Dr. William Roweton was named Director of Sponsored Research & Funded Initiatives for Minority Student Achievement and Retention. He is actively working on additional grant applications to support implementation of the important initiatives developed by the Title III planning grant. See Chapter Five, Criterion One, Core Component 1b for more details.
  • In the fall of 2006 Dr. Roweton was nominated by President Park to participate in the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) Hispanic Student Success Study. As a participant he will be assigned to a team that will visit Texas State University in San Marcos in March of 2007 to study its practices with regard to Hispanic student retention and success. CSC will fund the travel expenses involved with his participation in this project. AASCU hopes to answer some important questions for the benefit of all students and institutions through this study of best practices.

Discussion of 2nd item of evidence - Advisory boards for the President and academic programs

  • As cited previously in more detail in Chapter Six, Criterion Two, Core Component 2d, Discussion of 3rd and 4th items of evidence, external advisory boards are used by the presidents and academic programs to identify needs and receive advice from college constituents. This advice has been used to improve the college’s programs and services. Additional examples of activities that have been implemented from their inputs include the following:
    • For the past ten years Family & Consumer Sciences have used a regional group of professionals as a focus group (RR130) for curriculum concerns relative to workforce needs. This group has aided the department in the development of wellness and nutrition courses, marketing of the program, creating ideas for student internships, and the information about the secondary school curriculum.
    • The Business & Economics Department’s advisory council (RR131), formed in 2005, has provided information about the corporate needs for the graduates as well as internship placements. The council provided important input into the design of the accelerated Business Academy format for both the graduate MBA degree and the undergraduate degree in Business Administration. This council also suggested that the department conduct an economic development study for Valentine, Nebraska and an impact study for Alliance, Nebraska; two communities with deep commitments to rural economic development. These studies have been completed and presented to the respective communities and will also inform the new Nebraska Business Development Corporation (NBDC) in the department about small business workshops that may be needed by entrepreneurs in the region.
    • The Social Work Advisory Council (RR132) was formed in 2004 to address curriculum relevance to the regional service area and to improve the field placement functions of the program.
    • The Education Department regularly uses the northern panhandle Highway 20 school administrators as a sounding board for teacher preparation and emerging issues in the classroom. This group, which meets on a monthly basis, raised concerns regarding special education preparation and general preparation relative to the new Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) laws. The results of this input included additional coursework for teacher candidates to increase their effectiveness in an inclusive environment as required by federal law. Input from the Highway 20 group also resulted in the delivery of the middle school endorsement for teachers in an online modality to assist schools in the certification of existing elementary teachers as middle school certified instructors. The of Dean of Education, Human Performance, Counseling, Psychology & Social Work (EHPCSPW), along with the Field Coordinator for teacher education and the department chair, now attends the Highway 20 meetings as a result of the group’s suggestions.
  • Over the past nine months President Park has traveled to the seven larger communities in the CSC service region. She has met with community and business leaders in each location to share information about their needs and ideas about how the college can better serve them. Beginning again in the spring, Dr. Park will start another round of community visits to extend these conversations with those she has already visited and to create dialogues with additional communities. During these visits, Dr. Park has toured three of the largest industries in the college’s service region, including Parker Industries, Becton Dickinson, and Adams Land & Cattle Company, the largest feedlot in the state. During these tours, she discussed with the company CEOs and Human Resources Directors how the college might modify its programs and curricula to better fit the knowledge base and skill sets for these companies’ employees. She has shared this information with the academic affairs group in the president’s council and they are considering an extensive survey of businesses in the region to update company profiles and the knowledge and skill sets they value.
  • CSC regularly hosts the Western Nebraska Administrators Association on campus. (RR45) This group also serves as an advisory board to the Education faculty as they seek to provide appropriate programs for students and assist schools and students with teacher placements. The chair of the CSC Education Department attends the monthly meetings of the Education Service Unit (ESU) #13 staff and superintendents of the panhandle school districts. These interactions allow the college to be aware of emerging issues in K-12 education and to provide timely responses to those needs.
  • An example of the ability of the college to listen and respond to constituents involves a recent decision by the CSC Department of Education to address a critical shortage of school superintendents in Nebraska and surrounding states. The faculty members have re-designed the delivery of the specialist degree that leads to certification for school superintendents so that it can be completed in two years using primarily online courses. The degree will be offered in a cohort format with participants completing two courses each semester and attending face-to-face sessions for two weeks each summer. (RR133)

 

Discussion of 3rd item of evidence - Regional partnerships

  • As cited previously in more detail in Chapter Five, the college engages its constituents in an extensive array of applied research, service, and partnerships in education, economic development, and healthcare. Additional examples, beyond those already cited, are the following:
    • The Director of Housing & Residence Life meets regularly with community leaders and law enforcement officers as partners in the Chadron Drug & Alcohol Task Force. The group shares information and implements activities and policies to reduce the illegal use of drugs and alcohol by high school and college students. In a similar vein, Dr. William Roweton, Director of Sponsored Research, and Mr. Brad Smith, CSC Athletic Director, have just completed a grant application to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to support a drug and alcohol education program for the campus.
    • During the summer and fall of 2006, the Interim Vice President for Administration & Finance, Mr. Dale Grant, joined a task force with community and county governmental personnel on bird flu pandemic response. This task force organized a plan for the region in the event of a bird flu outbreak. Because of its facilities and it high concentration of students, the college’s participation in this strategic plan is very important. The leadership of Mr. Grant was invaluable in coordinating these plans among independent agencies throughout the region.

 

Discussion of 4th item of evidence - Extended Campus Programs (ECP) needs assessments

In Chapter Six the planning processes used by ECP are described in detail. These procedures allow the college to receive significant input from its constituents throughout its service region. In addition, the ECP personnel, who live and work throughout the region, create an embedded listening opportunity on a continuous basis.

 

Core Component 5b. The organization has the capacity and the commitment to engage with its identified constituencies and communities.

 

Evaluative statement for all of Component 5b

Chadron State College creates significant connections with its constituents and allocates substantial resources for these activities. In addition to an array of cultural and artistic exhibits, speakers, and performances, the college’s students and faculty engage in service-learning projects, regional research, and service. Extended Campus Programs provide important contact with external constituents through offices around the college service region, as well as its online presence.

 

Evidence Cited

1. Extended Campus Programs personnel

2. Co-curricular engagement

Discussion of 1st item of evidence - Extended Campus Programs personnel

  • As mentioned above in Core Component 5a, ECP engages community members and students around the region in needs assessment and periodic focus group discussions. It also works diligently to meet the needs of the growing population of distance learners who connect to CSC through online, ITV, and correspondence instruction. This is possible through a series of offices maintained on the community college campuses throughout the western half of the state of Nebraska. These offices are located in Alliance, McCook, North Platte, Scottsbluff, and Sidney on the campuses of Mid-Plains Community College and Western Nebraska Community College.
  • Several years ago, ECP reallocated a position within the unit as an online ombudsman and coordinator for distance learners. This has become an increasingly important and mission critical position, and the Assistant Vice President for Extended Campus Programs (AVPECP) is analyzing current personnel to determine if additional resources can be designated in this area. The online ombudsman, Ms. Jodi Banzhaf, is the point-of-contact for all distance learners and she can be reached directly via an 800 telephone number or via email. Her job is to address any questions, issues, or problems of distance learners within a short turn-around timeframe. This reduces the “run-around” about which students traditionally complain. She also provides a one-stop call for faculty who may not always know where to refer students on campus.
  • ECP devoted the past twelve months to creating a website for distance learners that includes expanded and improved services for applications, financial aid, registration, and tutoring.
  • CSC is a partner with the western Nebraska public schools in a West Nebraska Distance Learning Consortium. This consortium involves the resources for maintaining and upgrading an interactive television network between the schools as well as coordination of the transmission schedule for the utilization of the system. The interactive classroom for Chadron is housed on the CSC campus and is serviced by ECP technical staff. These networked facilities are used to deliver high school courses and teacher in-service opportunities, and to provide a communication link for meetings and short conferences, which reduces travel and increases participation.

 

Discussion of 2nd item of evidence – Co-curricular engagement

  • As described in great detail in Chapter One and Chapter Five, the college engages its internal and external constituents in cultural and creative outreach through the Galaxy performances, Distinguished Speakers series, artistic exhibitions in Memorial Hall and the Mari Sandoz High Plains Heritage Center, plus a variety of stand-alone events.
  • In Chapter Eight are detailed descriptions of student and faculty engagement in service learning and applied research projects that create connections between the college and its service region.
  • Additional examples of how the college’s departments interact with regional agencies, groups, and organizations in collaborative efforts to enhance the regional communities are: HPER and Education Departments sponsor Special Olympics; HPER holds an outdoor adventure day and a Challenge Day for elementary students, along with the Jump Rope for Heart program; Education sponsors an “Educational Excellence” conference; Family & Consumer Sciences sponsors the annual Excellence in Early Childhood Education conference and also collaborates with Head Start programs in the community; Education and Applied Sciences sponsor the annual FFA regional competition for high school students; all of the departments sponsor the annual Scholastic Day in which more than 2500 students participate in academic contests; History sponsors the regional History Day competition; Education sponsors a Native American Welcome Day * for high school students; Social Work collaborates with the Council of Professional Social Workers and the Nebraska Advocacy Services to sponsor Lobby Day; Business & Economics sponsors a VITA program for tax preparation for college students.
  • The CSC Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) conduct community outreach activities for K-12 students. In 2006, this group received the Nebraska First Lady’s Community Service Award, and in May they won first place in the Entrepreneur competition at the SIFE national convention in Kansas City. In addition, the team ranked among the top fifteen teams in four of the remaining five special competition categories that were open to all 900 SIFE teams in the nation.

 

Core Component 5c. The organization demonstrates its responsiveness to those constituencies that depend on it for service.

 

Evaluative statement for all of Component 5c

The college enjoys good relationships with all of the community colleges in its service region, throughout the state, and in surrounding regions. We maintain up-to-date articulation agreements with them in order to provide seamless service to the significant number of transfer students who attend CSC. Extended Campus Programs has identified opportunities to deliver programs to distance learners throughout the college’s service region. The college is also engaged in significant activities that serve the region’s needs for rural economic development, entrepreneurship, and excellent K-12 school systems. Examples of some of these projects that demonstrate the college’s responsiveness to the region are described below. Other examples of this type of engagement have been previously described in Criteria One and Four.

 

Evidence Cited

1. Extended Campus Programs – examples of responsiveness

2. Articulation agreements with community colleges

3. Re-establishment of the NBDC

4. Home Town Competitiveness Academy for economic development

5. No Child Left Behind courses to create “highly qualified” teachers

 

Discussion of 1st item of evidence - Extended Campus Programs – examples of responsiveness

  • In Chapter Five is a detailed account of activities initiated by the ECP in response to regional needs. These activities include: the Cabela’s corporate BAS (PRR7), the accelerated and online format of the Business Academy (RR49), the expansion of online degree completion programs to include six undergraduate and six graduate programs, and the increased services for students provided by eCollege and Smarthinking (PRR19).
  • A recent concern was raised by students and their parents in North Platte about sufficient advising of elementary education majors who are place-bound in that community. These students begin the first two years of their programs at Mid-Plains Community College and then transfer into a distance learning program through CSC to complete their teaching degrees. In the past the college has designated a member of the Education faculty to travel and meet with these students once each semester. The concerns raised by these students allowed the Dean of EHPCPSW to consider other options in regard to this program. Based on this opportunity, the dean has created a new faculty position in the southern panhandle. Beginning in the fall of 2007, a member of the Education faculty will reside on a full-time basis in the southern panhandle and teach the courses required for the professional year via ITV from each of the four major sites – North Platte, Scottsbluff, Sidney, and McCook. She will travel regularly to each site, and in addition to teaching over the ITV network from that site, will spend the day advising students. If this plan proves successful in strengthening the advising and services provided to place-bound students in the 2 + 2 programs (RR47) with the community colleges, additional faculty members may be hired to provide support for other academic programs, including social work, counseling, or business.

 

Discussion of 2nd item of evidence - Articulation agreements with community colleges

  • At the CSC website for transfer students, detailed articulation of transfer courses for all the community colleges in Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, and western South Dakota are available (RR134). Additional information for transfer students is also available.
  • Ms. Terie Dawson, the Assistant Vice President, Enrollment Management/ Institutional Research Officer, is responsible for the maintenance and update of these articulation agreements. In addition, she arranges for quarterly meetings between the faculty members and academic administrators of CSC and WNCC. At these meetings the two colleges are able to explore additional 2 + 2 programs or other cooperative ventures.

 

Discussion of 3rd item of evidence - Re-establishment of the NBDC

  • Severe budget cuts in 2002 and 2003 forced CSC to close its small business development center, when federal funding for the Nebraska Business Development Center program was cut.
  • In the fall of 2006, the Vice President for Academic Affairs and several professors in the Department of Business & Economics met with NBDC representatives from Omaha to discuss the re-establishment of a Center on the CSC campus. Support from the state agency has allowed the college to re-open this important center in the Business & Economics Department, which is housed in the Burkhiser Technology Complex. The college provides three hours of reassigned time each semester for Dr. James Koehn, an Assistant Professor of Accounting, who is the director of the CSC NBDC. Dr. Koehn is a certified management accountant and also possesses a Juris Doctorate as well as extensive business experience. His expertise is extremely important to the NBDC. Other staff includes Dr. Tim Donahue, an Associate Professor of Marketing and Entrepreneurship, as the assistant director, an office assistant, and several graduate assistants.
  • The CSC NBDC provides free services to small businesses and budding entrepreneurs throughout the college’s service region. These services are an important contribution to rural economic development.

 

Discussion of 4th item of evidence - Home Town Competitiveness Academy for economic development

  • Chadron State College sponsored in the fall 2006 a three-day Home Town Competitiveness Academy (HTC) (RR44) and solicited teams from communities around the region to attend. The HTC Academy provided training in the four pillars that are essential to rural economic development, and is currently providing technical assistance to those communities who are working to implement the HTC principles. In preparation for the CSC Academy, the college sent six Business & Economics faculty to the parent academy in Lincoln, Nebraska in February 2006. These faculty members then provided planning and oversight for the Chadron Academy.
  • The HTC Academy materials and implementation procedures are produced by a consortium of non-profit organizations including the Heartland Center for Leadership Development, The Center for Rural Entrepreneurship, and the Nebraska Community Foundation. Chadron State College has a formal memorandum of understanding with this consortium to provide HTC service to the rural communities in western Nebraska (RR44). This is an important partnership for the HTC parent organizations, as it reduces the travel costs that would be required for them to travel to western Nebraska to provide services.

 

Discussion of 5th item of evidence - No Child Left Behind courses to create “highly qualified” teachers

  • During 2003 and 2004, CSC created a partnership with Nebraska panhandle K-12 schools and the Mid-Continent Educational Research Laboratory in Denver, Colorado to implement a project titled, “Teaming Up for Teacher Quality.” This project was funded for two years via flow-through dollars from the U.S. Department of Education to the CCPE in Nebraska in a competitive grant proposal process.
  • The overall goal of the Teaming Up for Teacher Quality program was to provide highly qualified teachers in three core academic areas – Science, English and Language Arts, and Social Sciences to high-need schools in the thirty-county service area of Chadron State College. These areas were selected when a needs assessment indicated that many schools had teachers who were teaching in these areas without endorsements. Specific objectives to meet this goal included:

         Formation of teams of Arts & Sciences professors and outstanding 7th-12th grade teachers to design and teach courses in the three areas

         Professional development opportunities for these teams to increase their knowledge of constructivist learning theory, content standards, research-based instructional strategies, and assessment techniques

         Design of exemplary subject matter courses by the teams with mentorship provided by professors in the college’s Department of Education

         Team teaching by professors and high school teachers of the exemplary subject matter courses to panhandle teachers who needed additional coursework in the areas in which they were currently assigned to teach

         Sharing of the teams’ pedagogical knowledge and course experiences with other professors at the college, who may team with classroom teachers to create additional courses

  • During this project, fourteen courses in Language Arts, Social Sciences, and Physical & Life Sciences were designed and taught in short-term formats in the summers of 2004 and 20005. Courses were delivered using combined modalities within each course that included online and face-to-face instruction, which reduced the time that teachers needed to be physically present on campus in Chadron. Nearly 200 teachers benefited from enrollment in these courses and earned credits toward endorsements or re-certification.

 

Core Component 5d. Internal and external constituencies value the services the organization provides.

 

Evaluative statement for all of Component 5d


The value of Chadron State College, as defined by those it serves, continues to grow within the region. Although this cannot be adequately measured to its complete extent, evidence gathered supports this contention. Through the focus of the current Vision 2011 Strategic Plan and the Five Year Plan proceeding it, the college continues to serve its constituents with educational programming, workforce and economic development, and cultural and campus programming. The campus community values this focus on service to the region to such an extent that three of the six focus areas of Vision 2011 relate to developing the value of services provided to the communities in the region beyond educational programs and scholarly activity. These focus areas include Regional Service, Resources and Facilities, and Public Relations. The college continually seeks evidence of the value of its services through attendance records at campus events and surveys of students, employers and alumni.

 

Evidence Cited
1. Attendance at campus events, e.g. Galaxy Series, Sandoz exhibits, athletics

2. Student satisfaction surveys regarding services such as advising

3. Input from external advisory boards and employer surveys

4. Alumni surveys

 

Discussion of 1st item of evidence - Attendance at campus events

         As cited in numerous sections of this self-study report, the college sponsors an impressive array of campus events for students and external constituents. This includes providing the use of campus facilities for outside organizations or private parties to stage individual events, as well as annual college-sponsored events including: theatre productions; music performances; High Plains Music Festivals; Scholastic Day; Galaxy Series; Distinguished Speakers Series; Dorset Graves Lecture Series; Mari Sandoz High Plains Heritage Center permanent and traveling exhibits; Memorial Hall art galleries and artists’ exhibitions; conferences for students and professionals in education, applied science, law enforcement, business and economics, language and literature, and health professions.

         All of these events are coordinated through the college’s Conferencing Office which was developed to provide a “one-stop shop” for external and internal constituents who are planning special events on campus. This office arranges for all facilities, rooms, meals and refreshments, special set-ups, and audio-visual equipment, as well as coordinating the advertising and registration for events. Their staff attends events to provide on-the-spot assistance for any issues that may arise unexpectedly and to ensure that the events are completed as planned. During the 2005-06 year from July 1 through June 30, the Conferencing Office coordinated 1,627 events that resulted in 78,761 participants on the campus and around the region. Revenue that was billed through this office for these events totaled $223,387.56 from non-campus participants and $37,046.15 from the college’s service account. Given the fact that the community of Chadron has a population of fewer than 6,000 people, the campus has approximately 2,200 residential students, and the surrounding communities generally have populations of less than 1,200 people each, these numbers are impressive and speak strongly to the value that constituents place on campus events.

 

Discussion of 2nd item of evidence - Student satisfaction surveys

         Student satisfaction surveys are used by Student Academic Success Services (SASS) and by Extended Campus Programs (ECP) to improve the services that these units provide to campus as well as distance learners. ECP surveys electronically every student enrolled in online and correspondence courses at the conclusion of each semester. SASS asks students to complete short information cards after each tutoring session, as well as yearly surveys of students who used the Advising Center and the Peer Tutoring Center. ECP and SASS incorporate these survey results into their annual assessment reports and make adjustments and recommendations for extending services based on these responses. Several examples of this include:

         Based on the success of the Supplemental Instruction program instituted two years ago, SASS has asked for additional budget support to expand this program to additional courses.

         Online student surveys indicated a continuing need for additional technical assistance, beyond that provided by the college’s Blackboard administrator and Instructional Design Coordinator. The college investigated three new enterprise platforms for online courses that would provide increased services in this area for both students and faculty. As a result, CSC upgraded its system to an enterprise platform with eCollege to provide a higher level of technical support and greater versatility in terms of instructional options for online courses.

         Beyond regular surveys conducted by campus units, quantitative surveys in which students have participated include:

         The 1997 Noel Levitz Student Satisfaction survey in which 439 students evaluated the learning and service environment at the college. Results were examined by the Enrollment Management – Student Success committee and recommendations to improve services were developed. (PRR20)

         The 2006 CAEL survey of adult learners (PRR21) to determine how the college measures up with regard to best practices for these learners. As previously described these survey results have recently been received from CAEL and are being analyzed by the Dean of Graduate Studies and Assistant Vice President for Extended Campus Programs.

         As described in Chapter Seven, the college has participated in the National Survey of Student Engagement in 2004, and is again participating in the spring 2007. In addition to the NSSE component, the college is also using the FSSE, or Faculty Survey of Student Engagement to extend the usefulness of this survey. In the 2004 NSSE there were areas of both strength and weakness, and the survey this year will assist the college in developing longitudinal data and to discern if some of there areas continue to be problematic. (PRR12)

         In 2003 the Carnegie Communications Corporation conducted extensive research through focus groups of students, faculty, staff, and external constituents to determine the perceptions of each group with regard to Chadron State College, as well as its sister institutions in the NSCS. Three hundred fifty-three students participated in this evaluation of campus strengths and learning environment. The results have been used initially to develop a marketing plan for the college based on its areas of strength as identified by these groups. The results are being used to improve campus facilities for students including the improvements in the “Underground” area of the Reta E. King Library and the Nelson Physical Activity Center. The extensive data from this Carnegie survey will continue to be analyzed and used to make recommendations for improvement in other areas of the college.

         The Admissions Office conducts surveys after every event they sponsor to discern student and parent satisfaction in order to improve these events. Information is requested throughout the application process as well as at freshmen orientation sessions. Based on this information, certain parts of the application process have been improved and the freshmen orientation has been substantially revised. Beginning in the fall of 2007, the freshmen orientation will become a required event with two days of informational sessions and exciting activities to help the students become more successful in their freshmen year.

 

Discussion of 3rd item of evidence - Input from external advisory boards and employer surveys

         The input from advisory boards has previously been discussed in detail in Core Component 5a, as well as Core Component 2d. Please refer to these sections for information about the advisory boards and their inputs.

         In addition to advisory boards for academic programs, the college has significant contact with regional employers through its Office of Internships & Career Services. The personnel in this office regularly contact employers about internship opportunities and placements. The office also conducts follow-up surveys of each employer following the completion of the internship. These surveys are used to determine how well CSC students function in internships and the level of satisfaction of employers with CSC graduates. Approximately 400 CSC students participate in some type of internship experience each year, and all of these are coordinated by this office. In addition, two faculty members are permanently designated to supervise the academic and educational aspects of each internship experience and to assign final grades. These faculty members also review formative surveys about student performance provided by the employers.

         The Office of Internships & Career Services also conducts a yearly Career Fair for students and regional employers. Each year approximately 30 to 50 employers have tables at the fair and more than 100 seniors participate in this opportunity to investigate employment possibilities. Surveys of each employer participating in the fair are also conducted to improve the event. This career fair is in addition to the annual Education Day where school districts have an opportunity to come to campus to recruit students for teaching positions in Nebraska as well as around the country.

Discussion of 4th item of evidence - Alumni surveys

         The Director of Alumni Relations & Annual Giving of the Chadron State Foundation maintains a database of over 16,500 alumni. This database is used by the Foundation to mail newsletters and to conduct alumni surveys on behalf of the Foundation. These surveys have allowed the Alumni Office to adjust the services it provides. This database has also created a real sense of community by providing daily answers to requests from alumni who are seeking to locate former classmates. In addition, the database keeps track of email addresses so that electronic surveys are possible. The college also provides free lifetime email accounts for all alumni, in order to facilitate this process.

         This database is also provided 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. The Alumni Office receives numerous requests from academic departments who need to contact graduates. A recent example of this type of activity is the Department of Business & Economics. The department conducted an online survey of alumni for the past five years in order to ascertain the effectiveness of its curriculum. The results have been incorporated into the department’s assessment process and are currently being analyzed.

 

Findings on Criterion Five

Strengths

1.      Chadron State College clearly identifies its constituents and listens to them to discern their needs.

2.      The college is engaged in significant regional partnerships in K-12 education, economic development, and healthcare.

3.      The college creates a wide array of connections with its constituents and devotes substantial resources to engage both its internal and external constituents.

4.      The college is engaged in numerous activities that serve the region’s needs for rural economic development, entrepreneurship, healthcare, and education. These projects demonstrate the college’s responsiveness to regional needs.

5.      Internal and external constituents value the services the college provides as evidenced by attendance at campus events and the level of satisfaction demonstrated in surveys of students, alumni, and employers.

 

Weaknesses

1.      While they are substantial, the records of advising councils and focus group meetings are not well archived within the units of the college, and often reside with single individuals within the college.

2.      There is a lack of systematic process for activating, analyzing, and archiving the alumni survey information and consequently, the ability to share this information widely is hindered.

3.      Much of the survey data focuses on services or career and marketplace needs. Chadron State College needs to emphasize liberal education that aims to create highly informed, well-developed citizens.

Plan of Improvement

1.      The college needs to develop a systematic process for archiving the data produced by individual units with regard to it constituents.

2.      The college needs to design, operate, and archive a systematic approach to the alumni surveys.

3.      When follow-up information is gathered in surveys, all aspects of the curriculum should be included, especially regarding the core curriculum in General Studies.