Technology resources are used to support student learning programs and services and to improve institutional effectiveness. Technology planning is integrated with institutional planning.
Gavilan College strives to provide technology resources and support to all educational programs, regardless of where the instruction occurs or by what means of delivery. As one of the state's smaller colleges, the desire to be comprehensive and state-of-the-art is challenging. The Technology Master Plan (3C.1) structures a process for identification of needs, judicious allocation of resources, and technology decision-making. The Measure E Bond and instructional equipment monies will provide significant technology enhancement for educational programs and the institution.
Gavilan College ensures that technology needs are identified through the District Technology Committee (DTC). The committee advises the President's Council on technology issues affecting the district (3C.2). The committee's bylaws include: assuring compliance with the statewide Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) model, setting minimum technical standards; prioritizing technology needs; assuring compliance with the California Community College Chancellor's Office, state, and federal MIS reporting requirements; promoting educational programs relating to technology; and serving as the initial screening level for all technology improvements (3C.3). The DTC fosters the development of resources, coordinates the update of the Technology Master Plan, and examines the technical needs of the faculty, staff, and students. The purpose of the Technology Master Plan (3C.1) is to provide a prioritization list to inform strategic technology and resource allocation decisions.
The instructional programs, student services, and administrative services are supported by technology; however, not at the level that all would like. There are approximately 1,000 computer stations on campus for students, faculty, and staff. The library has a drop-in computer center with over 80 computer stations. Fully equipped computer labs have been installed at the off-site locations in Morgan Hill and Hollister and there is also a computer lab at the Hollister airport location for the aviation students. The Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) program has a mobile laptop computer lab for classroom use, workshops, and a student loan program. The TRIO Student Support Services program also provides laptop loans for their students.
Several instructional programs such as ESL (English as a Second Language) and math have incorporated technology components into their program curricula for enhancement of learning outcomes by developing their own computer labs. A variety of telecourses and online courses are offered each year. An increasing number of instructors are experimenting with online course delivery. Many faculty have added web pages, bulletin board or chat room components, and online assignments to supplement their curriculum. Some faculty and students are also using "blogs" to communicate, such as the Teach 4 Tomorrow Club and the Rho Alpha Mu Club (Gavilan's Honor Society) (3C.4). Many lecture halls are now multimedia smart classrooms, and off-site learning environments have multimedia capabilities. However, according to the 2005 Accreditation Survey results, only 42 percent think that we have adequate technology for instructional needs in the classroom (3C.5, question F7). Classroom technology will be improved through Measure E renovations.
Many student services programs utilize technology. Faculty and counselors utilize the SARS (Student Appointment Request System) program for scheduling student appointments. Gavilan's web services for faculty include IGOR, which provides instructors access to rosters and on-line grading. According to the 2005 Accreditation Survey, 79 percent of faculty agrees that they want internet access to student grades, schedules and class rosters (3C.5, question F5). Moreover, many students (up to 81 percent) indicate that they would like web services (3C.6, questions 43, 44, 45). In fall 2006, OnLine Gavilan Access (OLGA) was launched, providing online registration, access to schedules, education plans, grades, and unofficial transcripts. The implementation of SunGard's Banner system Enterprise Resource Plan (ERP) will further integrate and expand online services.
Administrative services departments utilize technology in their daily work and business practices. Applications include budget development, finance, catalog development, scheduling, and state reporting. The ERP, as described above, will integrate workflow and provide access to the system through the internet.
Gavilan College evaluates the effectiveness of its technology in meeting needs by conducting surveys of students, staff and faculty. The results are used to update the Technology Master Plan and create the Minimum Standards for Classrooms and Labs (3C.7). These Minimum Technical Standards will be used as a guideline for Measure E planning and implementation of the Minimum Standards for Classrooms and Labs document (3C.7, 3C.8).
According to the Accreditation Survey 2005, many students indicated a positive impression of Gavilan College's technology access. For example, 55 percent agreed that phone registration simplifies the registration process (3C.6, question 34); 80 percent agreed that they can easily access the college catalog, class schedule, and website (3C.6, question 35); and 71 percent agreed that the availability of technology meets their needs (3C.6, question 3).
Staff had varied opinions regarding access to technology. Fifty-seven percent agreed that instructional and computing equipment is appropriate and well maintained (3C.5, question 24); 60 percent agree that technical support is adequate (3C.5, question 25); 71 percent would like wireless access to the campus network and the Internet (3C.5, question 30). Overall 72 percent of the staff indicated that their computer hardware and software programs are adequate for their needs (3C.5, question 31).
Campus technology meets a range of needs from phone registration for students to financial accounting systems (BiTech), and web services for faculty. These applications are only partially integrated at this point, but will become more seamless and accessible with the implementation of ERP. To be more effective in meeting the technical needs and streamlining business processes, the purchase and implementation of this integrated system and new hardware will be provided through Measure E bond funding. As in all technological developments, significant staff training will be required.
Since 1998, Gavilan has had an active Technology Committee consisting of faculty, staff, administrators, and students interested in technology issues. The members serve both an advocacy and an advisory role. The District Technology Committee posts meeting minutes and agendas online (3C.9).
The District Technology Committee was originally a subcommittee of the President's Council. During May 2004, the District Technology Committee became an institutional standing committee and was reorganized into the current District Technology Committee and the Faculty Senate Technology Committee. The District Technology Committee membership consists of appointed representatives from all constituent groups on campus. The chairperson is the vice president of administrative services. The District Technology Committee has developed a mission (3C.2), created by-laws (3C.3), meets regularly, and posts its minutes on the intranet (3C.8). Several task forces have been developed from the District Technology Committee that continue to meet on important issues such as: Section 508 (3C.10); ERP (Enterprise Resource Plan); Minimum Standards for Classrooms and Labs (3C.7); Website Design/Web Standards work group (3C.11), Web Services and the Distance Education Committee.
The original technology committee completed the final draft of the Technology Master Plan on May 11, 2003 (3C.1). The purpose of the Technology Master Plan (3C.1) is to provide a prioritization list to inform strategic technology and resource allocation decisions, and to identify technology components required for compliance with the Strategic and Educational Master Plans. The Technology Plan is a "living document" that is reviewed and updated annually. The District Technology Committee continues to monitor the plan when making decisions.
On March 2, 2004 district voters approved Measure E, a facilities improvement bond that will include upgrading and renovating existing facilities (3C.12). Improvements in technology infrastructure, minimal classroom and lab technical standards, and the purchase of an integrated ERP system were included within this bond funding. The district refers to the Technology Master Plan to guide decisions related to Measure E renovations.
Gavilan College makes decisions about technology services, facilities, hardware, and software via the recommendations of the District Technology Committee. The Committee strives for the college to achieve the California Community College's Chancellor's Office (CCCCO) guidelines on Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) (3C.1, Appendix B) when designing its operations and improving its overall effectiveness. This Total Cost of Ownership approach is used to factor in not only initial capital outlay, but also staffing, maintenance, training, operational, and replacement costs; however, the college is unable to attain the state's TCO standards due to the lack of funding.
The college was also cognizant of the need to replace the Santa Rosa data management system with a fully integrated commercially produced system. The new ERP solution will enable the district to streamline business processes, and extend and enhance personalized access to information and services, making business practices within the district easy and efficient. Once the new ERP system is in place, we will have more online services available to support distance learning programs and courses.
The college meets this standard. Gavilan College is supported by technology, and decisions relating to technology are made by the District Technology Committee. The DTC recommends and prioritizes issues, which are identified through the Technology Master Plan. Even though the Technology Master Plan prioritizes the needs, many decisions are necessarily influenced by budget constraints. Funding constraints have limited the extent to which some issues have been addressed in the past; however, Measure E bond funds will greatly expand the extent to which these needs can be met. The TCO model guides the college in determining the full cost of ownership (one-time and on-going costs, support, training, and replacement) when purchasing equipment. However, there is still inadequate support to maintain, repair, and improve performance of the equipment, as well as a lack of trained faculty, staff and students. According to the Accreditation Survey 2005, approximately half of the staff indicated that they need additional resources to support students and employees in the use of technology (3C.5, questions 27, 28).
Distance learning programs and courses are accommodated by appropriate technology. Since Gavilan does not have enough resources (hardware or personnel) to host the online courses offered, all online courses are hosted by the Etudes project from the DeAnza-Foothill District. Etudes provides secure, reliable, 24/7 access, and technical support for instructors. The contract with the Etudes consortium provides Gavilan with disaster recovery, privacy, and security (3C.13). Instructors and staff utilize the Staff Resource Center that is equipped with relatively new computers, software to create web pages, images, text files, PDF files, and technical support.
Lack of air conditioning for some facilities with computers is a problem which will be alleviated by the Measure E renovations. With excessive heat, the reliability of the processor and all the components inside the computer is compromised, and its usable life cycle is shortened. The Measure E engineering evaluation and funding will ensure air-cooling and circulation for all facilities.
Gavilan College has provided quality technology training as required for staff, faculty, and students. The library, the high tech center, and the writing lab provide computer training on a "drop-in" basis in addition to regular computer classes for students.
For faculty and staff, the Staff Resource Center (SRC) provides training on a variety of topics such as creation of web pages with Dreamweaver, creating presentations with PowerPoint, incorporating web accessibility and conducting online classes. The Staff Resource Center maintains an online calendar with scheduled training plus email links and telephone numbers to request specific software or hardware training (3C.14).
The college has three committees that are charged with faculty and staff development: of the Faculty Staff Development Committee (3C.15), the CSEA (California Schools Employee Association) Staff Development Committee, and the College Staff Development Committee, which is a standing committee under the President's Council.
The Faculty Staff Development Committee, which is a standing committee of the Academic Senate, is responsible for all of the contractual aspects of faculty development including the approval of co-curricular, flex time, and travel for meetings and/or conferences. The committee has an established constitution and by-laws (3C.16). The College Staff Development Committee began an effort to define competencies for faculty when they developed the 2005-2006 unit plan (3C.17). One specific goal related to technology training is included. The unit plan's goal number four states "the Staff Development Committee will provide appropriate training for all staff to maintain high levels of competency in technology, instructional modalities, and work requirements" (3C.17). This effort is ongoing through the Staff Resource Center and Staff Development Day activities.
The College Staff Development Committee organizes various one-hour technical workshops that are offered during Staff Development days on subjects such as: Excel, Word, Reflections, and web page development.
Enterprise Resource Plan (ERP) installation will occur over the next two to three years. The implementation will include significant amounts of technology training especially for faculty and staff. As technical requirements for jobs are changing, Gavilan job descriptions will need to reflect appropriate technical competencies. Many job descriptions do not include technology competencies unless it is specifically part of a job function.
Gavilan needs to establish competencies for faculty, staff, and students, and develop a plan for providing training to achieve those competencies.
Computer literacy is required for many different disciplines. English as a Second Language (ESL) students, for example, spend one class session per week in a lab viewing internet sites, using e-mail, and using specialized ESL software. English classes spend one session per week in the computer labs using software such as word processing, spreadsheets, specialized databases and the internet for research purposes. Many other programs such as Political Science, Astronomy, Biology, and Statistics include computer training as part of their curriculum. Spanish classes use GASPAR – a unique software program developed at Gavilan College. For students who plan to take an online course, a noncredit course, "Introduction to Online Gavilan" was added in summer 2006, however it is optional. Technical competencies for students can be included in the individual program learning outcomes.
The Staff Resource Center (SRC) provides effective training to both faculty and staff through classes and one-on-one training as requested (3C.14). The Staff Resource Center is staffed seven hours per week with a faculty trainer. The Webmaster and the Distance Education Coordinator also provide additional back-up training. The Distance Education Coordinator works extensively with faculty members and their online course management system. The Distance Education Department website is very informative for both staff and students (3C.18). The results of the 2005 Accreditation Survey indicated that 53 percent of the faculty agreed that adequate support is available for their online class development and use (3C.5, question F6).
The staff and faculty are encouraged to contact the SRC with questions and training requests. The SRC works with the library to provide supporting materials for software applications that are adopted campus wide. When a faculty member takes an SRC course, he or she may apply the hours toward co-curricular or flex time; however, there is no formal record of completion for training. When administrators or classified staff complete SRC training, there are no written procedures established to record completion.
Gavilan College assesses the need for information technology training for students and personnel with surveys and online orientation and help pages for students. The results of the 2005 Accreditation Survey indicated that 58 percent of the staff agreed that training is available and sufficient to meet their needs (3C.5, question 29). Periodically, personnel training needs have been assessed by campus-wide surveys and by individual requests. Most of these training issues are addressed in the College Staff Development Committee unit plan; however, that plan has not been implemented for reasons including the frequent turnover of upper level staff positions.
Extensive training components for faculty and staff are included with the upcoming ERP system software. These training issues have been discussed by the ERP subcommittee, which is a part of the District Technology Committee.
Through the District Technology Committee and the Technology Master Plan, Gavilan College systematically plans technology acquisitions and upgrades to meet institutional needs and stay current with prevailing technology.
Gavilan College provides for the management, maintenance, and operation of its technological infrastructure and equipment through the college Management Information Systems (MIS) department (3C.1, Appendix B). The college has added significantly to the MIS staff during the past several years. The staff has grown from one MIS Director and contract personnel to a staff of six, including an assistant MIS Director, senior PC technician, two PC technicians, and a webmaster. MIS uses contracted services for network administration, Macintosh support, and special projects.
Measure E bond funds have provided new equipment for the student labs and will provide needed infrastructure upgrades (3C.8).
Gavilan College provides daily and quarterly backups for critical servers and data. Backups are completed and stored in a fireproof vault in a campus building separate from the MIS facility.
As a part of the Telecommunications and Technology Infrastructure Program (TTIP), that started in 1996-1997, the Chancellor's Office in conjunction with the Gartner Group, issued standards relating to the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of computer hardware and software (3C.19). According to these optimal standards, there is still a lack of MIS staff support at Gavilan College. Despite not meeting these optimal standards, the staff in Gavilan's MIS department continues to be excellent in support and maintenance of technical services for the Gavilan community and clearly meets the accreditation standard.
Once Measure E bond funds have been expended, a long-term plan will be needed to adequately fund and maintain the institution's physical resources and technology.
A disaster plan for off-site storage and disaster recovery needs to be included in the update of the District Technology Plan.
Gavilan College makes decisions about the use and distribution of its technology resources via the District Technology Committee (DTC) with input from Deans Council, Curriculum Committee, and Department Chairs. The DTC has approved several standards that are included in the Technology Master Plan Appendix E (3C.1). The hardware and software standards have been developed, and the web and network management standards are being developed.
The Web Design/Web Policy subcommittee has worked to create a new home page for the Gavilan College website that was activated on Staff Development Day, January 19, 2006 (3C.20). The Web Design/Web Policy subcommittee is in the process of establishing Gavilan's official web standards and has developed a website that lists its minutes along with tips for faculty and staff (3C.11). The Board approved the District Computer Use standards on December 11, 2001 (3C.21).
Gavilan College provides access to district programs and services to individuals with disabilities to the fullest reasonable extent possible, as guaranteed by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (3C.10). Section 508 requires that all electronic and information technology developed, procured, maintained, used, or purchased by public agencies receiving federal funds is accessible to people with disabilities. The Section 508 subcommittee has created an implementation plan to accompany the district's 508 policy (3C.10, Board Policy 6340) approved in April 2002. The Alternate Media Production Guidelines are included in the Section 508 Standards plan and are published on the college website (3C.22).
Gavilan College has made provisions to assure a robust and secure technical infrastructure, providing maximum reliability for students and faculty. We have utilized the contractual services of an outside firm to provide quality network administration services. We have upgraded the infrastructure (Symantec Gateway Appliance for security and intrusion detection, upgraded switches, etc.) in accordance with the recommendations of these consultants. Measure E will provide for significant infrastructure upgrades.
Gavilan College has policies and procedures in place to keep the infrastructure up-to-date, depending upon funding levels. The District Technology Committee has a hardware replacement plan to replace lab computers every three years, and re-deploy the computers from the labs to faculty and staff as needed (3C.1, Appendix F, 3C.8). Upgrades to the infrastructure are requested during the annual budget development process.
Gavilan College has given sufficient consideration to equipment for selected distance programs. The Staff Resource Center has computers updated on a regular basis, with new software installed as the needs of the staff and instructors change. Specialized hardware is provided for staff and instructors, such as scanners, color printers, laminators, etc. In addition, laptop computers are available on loan for the distance education instructors, complete with standard software. Televised courses, Channel 18 GavTV, library videos, and San Jose State live telecourses are included in the distance education program.
Gavilan College effectively distributes and uses technology on campus. Measure E has provided the funds needed to implement the computer replacement plan: computers in classrooms should be replaced every three years in order to keep pace with the level of technology demanded by industry and education. Classroom labs should be updated and maintained using current technology as funding permits. Computers from the labs should be recycled for use as faculty/staff computers where possible (3C.1, 3C.8).
The Title 5 grant has provided funding for a Digital Media Lab, which utilizes Macintosh computers. Selected instructional programs and staff also require the use of Macintosh computers.
Gavilan College is following the existing hardware and software standards developed by the District Technology Committee. The web and network management standards are still being developed by various sub-committees under the DTC. The Section 508 standards (3C.23) will need to be implemented once the Board restructures the Administrative procedures.
Gavilan currently has a plan for distribution and utilization of technology resources to support the development, maintenance, and enhancement of programs and services. The Technology Master Plan addresses some of these issues (3C.1, Appendix F). The Replacement Plan (3C.1, Appendix F), the Computer Hardware Standards (3C.1, Appendix E.1), and the Computer Software Standards (3C.1, Appendix E.2) currently relate to the distribution and utilization of technology resources and are being followed. However, to be comprehensive, this all-inclusive plan should prioritize technology issues that include the following areas: safety, security, equal access, cost effectiveness, improve education, and improve operations. These areas will be addressed in the update of the District Technology Plan.
The Computer Replacement Plan does not address the upgrade of Macintosh computers. The DTC discussed criteria for determination of the instructional programs and staff that require the use of Macintosh computers (3C.8, Dec. 15, 2005, Jan. 19, 2006). This is currently under review by the vice president of instruction.
Once Measure E bond funds are expended, general funds will be needed to support and upgrade the infrastructure. There will be a need for the district to address the impact of its technological investments and to provide an ongoing financial commitment. The DTC will continue to push for the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) model as the goal for the Gavilan College.
Gavilan College ensures that facilities decisions relating to technology emanate from institutional needs and plans for improvement through the Technology Master Plan (3C.1). The plan initiatives were developed from the institutional needs identified in the Educational Master Plan, Facilities Master Plan, Telecommunication Technology Infrastructure Program (TTIP) and the Chancellor's Office Guidelines for Disabled Student Programs and Services. The District Technology Committee considers these issues and makes recommendations for improvement. The recommendations are forwarded to the President's Council and then to the budget development process. In the past, budget constraints have limited the college's ability to implement many recommendations; however, many of the initiatives in the Technology Master Plan have already been completed. Currently, Measure E funding and the associated facilities planning meetings and forums have generated input from all faculty and staff, some students, and even community members. Future facilities decisions need to be included in the update of the Technology Master Plan. Since the current Technology Master Plan (3C.1) was designed to be a living document for identifying and developing initiatives, Gavilan is currently in the process of updating it. To ensure that technology planning is integrated with institutional planning, the update will include all technical aspects that support the Strategic Plan, the Educational Master Plan, and the overall vision of the campus.
The "Minimum Technology Standards in Classroom and Labs" was drafted in consultation with the Academic Senate, Academic Senate Tech Task Force, and Alfa Tech, a private consulting firm. At the District Technology Committee meeting on January 19, 2006, it was recommended that the report become a part of the revised Technology Plan, acting as a living document (3C.8).
The District Technology Committee (DTC) continues to monitor the current Technology Master Plan while making technology related decisions. In October 2005, the district hired a consultant to improve and update the existing plan.
Gavilan College bases its technology decisions on the results of evaluation of program and service needs. The current Minimum Standards for Classrooms and Labs document is the result of meetings with faculty, staff, and students and is incorporated into the Technology Master Plan (3C.8). The District Technology Committee discussed the need to develop periodic surveys for gathering input from the Gavilan community into technology services at the December 15, 2005 meeting (3C.8).
Gavilan College prioritizes needs when making decisions about technology purchases by taking issues to the DTC. The DTC needs to address the following issues (in order of priority): safety, security, equal access, cost effectiveness, improved education, and improved operation.