The institution demonstrates strong commitment to a mission that emphasizes achievement of student learning and to communicating the mission internally and externally. The institution uses analyses of quantitative and qualitative data and analysis in an ongoing and systematic cycle of evaluation, integrated planning, implementation, and re-evaluation to verify and improve the effectiveness by which the mission is accomplished.
The institution demonstrates strong commitment to a mission that emphasizes achievement of student learning and to communicating the mission internally and externally. The institution uses analyses of quantitative and qualitative data and analysis in an ongoing and systematic cycle of evaluation, integrated planning, implementation, and re-evaluation to verify and improve the effectiveness by which the mission is accomplished.
The institution has a statement of mission that defines the institution's broad educational purposes, its intended student population, and its commitment to achieving student learning.
1. The institution establishes student learning programs and services aligned with its purposes, its character, and its student population.
Gavilan College has clearly defined its purposes, values, intended student population, and its commitment to ensure student success through its mission statement. This mission statement, along with the statement of Visionary Educational Values and Goals, guides the institution in the development of educational programs, support services, community engagement, and other educational opportunities to meet the needs of the communities served by Gavilan College.
The mission of Gavilan College is:
Gavilan College cultivates
learning and personal growth in students of all backgrounds and abilities
through innovative practices in both traditional and emerging learning
environments; transfer pathways, career and technical education,
developmental education, and support services prepare students for success
in a dynamic and multicultural world.
The mission statement is regularly evaluated and revised. The Board of Trustees approved the most recent revision in December 2012, following a shared-governance revision process with input from students, faculty, staff, and administrators. A subcommittee of the Strategic Planning Committee led the process, presenting a draft to the campus in fall 2012 (1.2). In reviewing the mission statement, input was sought from all constituency groups through surveys, forums and meetings of shared governance committees, including the Academic Senate.
As the mission statement makes clear, Gavilan College is committed to educational excellence. The College aspires to be an exemplary, student-centered community college through leadership, planning, and a commitment to ongoing improvement. Its services and programs are designed to instill the values of critical thinking, life-long learning, cultural understanding, and community service. This is reflected in the character of the institution, which is focused on teaching and learning.
Gavilan College strives to accomplish its mission with creativity and innovation and with a proactive, accessible approach that is responsive to the diverse communities it serves. The College is dedicated to fulfilling its mission with compassion, caring and understanding and holds in high regard the respect and worth of all students and staff.
To guide the work on its mission, Gavilan College has developed and approved values and goals, which are included in the Educational Master Plan. The visionary educational values and strategic goals are:
Gavilan College serves large portions of Santa Clara and San Benito Counties. The service area includes the cities of Gilroy (population 48,812), Hollister (34,928), Morgan Hill (37,882), San Martin (7,027), San Juan Bautista (1,862), Aromas (2,650) and the southernmost portion of San Jose (1.5).
Persons of Hispanic descent represent a large portion of the population in the College's service area. Approximately 54 percent of the population is Hispanic, with Aromas (72 percent) representing the city with the highest Hispanic population and Morgan Hill having the lowest percentage (33 percent) (1.5 ). The students of Gavilan College closely mirror the community at-large with 50.1 percent of students in fall 2011 self-identifying as Hispanic. (1.6).
Gavilan College offers a wide range of services, including programs of contract and community education, study in the liberal arts and sciences, noncredit programs, basic skills programs and study in the pre-professional, business, vocational, and technical fields. To support student success, Gavilan College offers services that strengthen and augment the learning environment. Courses and programs of study are offered days, evenings, weekends, and online (1.7, 1.8). All offerings are designed to assist students in meeting their educational and life goals.
Educational programs at the College are designed to meet student and community needs. Credit course offerings include a wide range of both traditional arts and sciences and technical and public service programs, many of which are transferrable to public and private four-year institutions. Since 2007, the College has launched the following new credit programs designed to facilitate transfer and/or job skills:
In addition, the following seven associate degrees were approved in support of SB 1440, the transfer model curriculum programs:
Noncredit courses are offered to meet the special needs and capabilities of those students who do not desire or need to obtain unit credit, or who need preparation for college-level work. These courses provide remedial, developmental, occupational, and other general educational opportunities. Courses are offered in elementary and secondary basic skills, English as a Second Language, and preparation for the California General Educational Development (GED) exam.
Through its Contract and Community Education program, Gavilan College provides lifelong learning opportunities to the residents of the service area. Classes and activities are offered beyond the College's traditional instructional program and include short-term offerings in wastewater technology, veterinary assistance, computer skills, motorcycle training, health and fitness, and digital media, as well as a College for Youth summer program. Many community education classes are available online.
Gavilan College meets Standard I (A)(1).
2. The mission statement is approved by the governing board and published.
The Gavilan College mission statement is approved by the Board of Trustees and is published in both print and electronic formats that are easily accessible. The College ensures that all revisions to the mission statement occur through the shared governance process and are approved by the Board of Trustees with widespread input from all College constituent groups.
The current mission statement was approved by the Board of Trustees in December, 2012 (1.22) and is included in the Board Policies and Procedures Manual (Board Policy Manual, Chapter 1, BP1200). The mission statement is broadly published: in the class schedule, in the catalog in both printed and electronic formats (1.9), on the College website (1.1), posted in offices throughout the College and included in every community report (1.10).
Gavilan College meets Standard I (A)(2).
3. Using the institution's governance and decision-making processes, the institution reviews its mission statement on a regular basis and revises it as necessary.
Gavilan College provides opportunities for broad input in the regularly occurring mission statement review process and incorporates feedback from all constituent groups in making revisions.
Gavilan College has recently completed a review and revision of the mission statement as part of the Strategic Planning process. In November 2011, the Student Voices Project engaged students in the review of the mission statement (1.3). Students were shown the mission statement and asked to provide their input and suggestions for additional elements. These comments were summarized and provided to a subcommittee of the Strategic Planning Committee (1.12). In February 2012, the faculty and staff completed a survey, whereby they provided input and suggestions for updating the existing mission statement (1.13). Environmental scans and other research also informed the review of the mission statement (1.5, 1.14).
The subcommittee of the Strategic Planning Committee met during fall 2012 to analyze the internal feedback and external information on the mission statement, determine whether revisions were needed and make a recommendation to the Strategic Planning Committee. The draft mission statement also passed through the shared governance process for review and input from all constituent groups: administrators, faculty, staff, and students. The Draft Mission Statement resulting from this process was presented to the Board of Trustees for final approval in December 2012. As the basis for all of the planning documents of the College, the changes to the mission statement will be incorporated into these documents through the ongoing planning cycle.
Gavilan College meets Standard I (A)(3).
B. IMPROVING INSTITUTIONAL EFFECTIVENESS
The institution demonstrates a conscious effort to produce and support student learning, measures that learning, assesses how well learning is occurring, and makes changes to improve student learning. The institution also organizes its key processes and allocates its resources to effectively support student learning. The institution demonstrates its effectiveness by providing 1) evidence of achievement of student learning outcomes and 2) evidence of institution and program performance. The institution uses ongoing and systematic evaluation and planning to refine its key processes and improve student learning.
1. The institution maintains an ongoing, collegial, self-reflective dialogue about the continuous improvement of student learning and institutional processes.
The College uses multiple processes to ensure participatory dialogue, with a plan and review cycle leading to continuous improvement and student learning. Guiding the work of the College are the Educational Master Plan, Strategic Plan, and Program Plans, each with a regular cycle of review (1.15). A strong shared-governance process ensures that all constituency groups are included in the dialogue (1.16).
Shared governance committees, such as the Budget Committee and the District Technology Committee, include participation from all constituency groups: students, professional support staff, faculty, supervisors and confidentials, and administrators (1.25). The Strategic Planning Committee serves as the initial committee to develop and/or review changes in the Educational Master Plan and the Strategic Plan. The Strategic Planning Committee is a subcommittee of the President's Council and ensures broad participation at the strategy development phase for updates to the Strategic Pla and educational Master Plan.
In spring 2011, the review of the Educational Master Plan began with an institutional scan and was followed by development of a draft, through a broad based, college-wide dialogue open to all the constituencies (1.14, 1.17, 1.18). One element of this dialogue asked staff to recount the stories that students tell about Gavilan College. This information was summarized and helped inform the goals of the plan. The draft document included a summary of the College's data, progress, and goals for the future. The outline of the plan and its goals was posted and presented through the shared-governance process. The final revision of the Educational Master Plan was completed in fall 2012 (1.4).
Gavilan College has a Five-Year Strategic Plan that is updated annually (1.19). The Board of Trustees approved the current plan on July 12, 2011 (1.20). The Strategic Planning Committee leads the annual development and review of the plan and makes recommendations through the President's Council (1.21). The committee's annual review includes research into internal and external data and progress made on the prior years goals and objectives. The committee also collects input from staff and students (1.23, 1.12), conducts dialogue through member reports back to their constituent groups, and makes recommendations regarding new proposals, long range strategic directions and significant changes that affect the operations of the District.
Annually, programs reflect, plan and monitor progress through the program planning cycle (1.26) (1.15). In these annual plans, program representatives narrate their vision and annual objectives, which include activities and budget requests to accomplish those activities. The Strategic Plan is central to the annual Program Plan developed by each department or division. A recent improvement in the planning process includes direct linkages to the College's resource allocation process. Decisions made by the Budget Committee are directly related to the goals contained in the Strategic Plan (1.25). Each year program representatives update the program planning website with their progress on the stated objectives, and this information informs the development of the following year's Strategic Plan. Revisions to the strategic plan are mined from these planning items by the Strategic Planning Committee, then shared extensively through the shared governance process, edited by all constituent groups, and approved by the president's cabinet and the Board of Trustees.
Gavilan College has developed a comprehensive program review process through the work of the Institutional Effectiveness Committee (1.27). Program reviews are intended to evaluate how well each program functions in relation to its objectives, the mission of the College, the College's institutional goals and priorities, and the needs of the community. The review process is designed to strengthen planning, decision making, and scheduling. It influences program development and improvement; assess the impact of the interrelationships of programs; improve the use of College/District resources; establish the basis for changes to the strategic plan; establish the basis for resource allocation requests for incorporation into program plans and annual department budget requests; and improve student learning. Programs under review use data to assess their accomplishments, challenges and future objectives, contributing to improved institutional effectiveness.
Programs are encouraged to use a collaborative model, which relies upon dialogue within the program and with the Institutional Effectiveness Committee (IEC) to generate the program review report. The members of the IEC review each program review report both individually and collectively. Representatives of the program under review are given a summary of questions and concerns and are invited to meet in-person to dialogue with the committee to discuss these items. Collaborative recommendations are generated and assessed two years after the review is completed. At the end of each academic year, an executive summary and copies of the final program review summaries are provided to the Board of Trustees (1.28). The IEC, a committee of the academic senate, reviews all instructional and non-instructional programs and is accountable to the President's Council and the Board of Trustees.
Another source and conduit for ongoing dialogue is the Student Learning Outcomes (SLO) assessment and reporting system. Individual courses and both instructional and non-instructional programs are regularly assessed, reflected upon, and reported in an online system. Since 2007, the College has had great success in institutionalizing the SLO system. All non-instructional programs and a majority of instructional programs have participated in this continuous improvement system (1.29).
The College has also established institutional, program, and course learning outcomes and is currently in the fifth year of assessing these outcomes. The College operated an Outcomes Advisory Committee from 2007 to 2010 to lead the formation of these processes. This work is now carried out at the departmental and divisional level.
A dynamic venue for ongoing dialogue and action, with a strong focus on student success, is Gavilan College's highly recognized Learning Council (1.30). The Learning Council's membership includes representation from all constituency groups, including an active contingent of students. The group discusses and directly problem-solves issues directly related to student learning and success, and reports directly to the Academic Senate and the President's Council. The Learning Council grew out of Gavilan College's participation in the California Leadership Alliance for Student Success (CLASS). Through this process, the College community was presented with critical data and had a very energetic dialogue on what factors might increase student success (1.31). A forum was established for continued ongoing dialogue about student learning. These initial dialogues led to the formation of the Learning Council, created specifically to move forward and expand upon the localized success efforts within Gavilan College. College personnel presented the Learning Council model at a statewide student success conference and at the January 2012 ACCJC commission meeting. Both of these activities brought recognition for Gavilan College's work in promoting dialogue concerning student success.
In addition to the Learning Council, the shared governance system at Gavilan College ensures ongoing dialogue and addresses issues of institutional effectiveness. Shared governance committees meet regularly and are composed of representatives from all constituency groups. Shared Governance groups include the President's Council, the District Technology Committee, the Institutional Effectiveness Committee, and others (1.32).
Functional and task-specific committees are also venues for dialogue on outcomes and institutional processes. For example, the Faculty Staff Development Committee reviews faculty development plans and the Professional Development Day Committee plans bi-annual workshops to ensure professional development reflects the needs of all faculty and staff.
In spring 2012, a project entitled the Shared Governance Road Show conducted a series of presentations throughout campus to discuss the current integrated planning model and shared governance system and gain feedback on the perception and understanding of this process among different segments of the College community. Through the Shared Governance and Integrated Planning Road Show, campus groups have been informed of the various planning processes and their role in campus decision-making. The feedback that has been collected at each Road Show will be used to improve the planning processes.
Gavilan College has worked since the last accreditation visit to develop a planning and allocation system that is integrated and reflective. There is more to be done to make sure that all members of the College community understand the interrelated processes and participate in dialogue and decision-making. Assessments have demonstrated that staff and faculty have increased their understanding and participation in these processes (1.33). However, the survey found that "There is a continued need for more involvement in and explanation of the shared governance and planning processes." The Shared Governance Road Show has shown results and will be continued.
Gavilan College meets Standard I (B)(1).
2. The institution sets goals to improve its effectiveness consistent with its stated purposes. The institution articulates its goals and states the objectives derived from them in measurable terms so that the degree to which they are achieved can be determined and widely discussed. The institutional members understand these goals and work collaboratively toward their achievement.
Goals and objectives associated with the Educational Master Plan, Strategic Plan, and program plans are developed through dialogue and input and reviewed and evaluated on a regular basis. Planning processes for linking short-term, long-term, and departmental goals are clearly defined and delineated with the goal of improved implementation and meeting student success objectives. Measurement of goal attainment is captured in a variety of ways.
The Educational Master plan provides direction for both long-term and short-term planning and informs the annual priorities set forth in the Strategic Plan. The Educational Master Plan is revised on a six-year cycle, most recently in fall 2012. (The five themes that are a part of the revised Educational Master Plan include: implementing the state vision and new legislation regarding the student success initiatives, expansion of the educational programs in Morgan Hill and Hollister, institutionalization of grant projects, development of the local student success agenda based on local policy and procedures (1.34) and the work of the Learning Council, and a continued commitment to a personalized learning model.
The Strategic Planning Committee provides a forum for widespread collaboration in identifying institutional goals, articulating timelines, and assessing progress towards meeting those goals. Continued refinement of this process is built in to the annual review cycle. Each year the committee, which includes members of all campus constituency groups, updates the Five-Year strategic plan (1.35). Particular attention is paid to developing goals that incorporate data and input from a broad range of members of the Gavilan College community (1.23) and articulating the resulting goals in a way that is accessible (1.19). An annual evaluation report provides feedback to the College and the board on the progress made on each of the strategies and goals. Administrators responsible for each area facilitate the collection of relevant data and information on new developments and progress in achieving goals (1.37). The Strategic Plan is posted online and is presented through the shared governance process annually.
The Strategic Plan is linked to the Institutional Effectiveness Committee (IEC) process and the program planning allocation process. In each IEC program review report, program representatives document any progress they have made towards achieving articulated strategies and goals (1.38, 1.27). Goals identified in the Strategic Plan are also reflected in Program Plans at the departmental level. During the development of the annual program plans, program representatives are required to link their specific objectives to the corresponding strategies and goals. These linkages and the program plan's objectives are followed through the planning and allocation process (1.26).
The annual Budget Guidelines document provides an in-depth qualitative and quantitative assessment of strategic plan accomplishments (1.40, 1.41). As a part of the integrated planning process, each program plan with its corresponding objectives is reviewed and ranked (1.42). Program representatives are prompted to provide data and information as to the progress on each objective.
Through bimonthly department chair meetings, representatives from each department have an opportunity to share departmental and institutional goals, discuss shared strategies for achieving them, and assess outcomes (1.43). Student services and administrative services also plan, assess, and review learning outcomes on a regular basis (1.29).
Gavilan College meets Standard 1 (B)(2).
3. The institution assesses progress toward achieving its stated goals and makes decisions regarding the improvement of institutional effectiveness in an ongoing and systematic cycle of evaluation, integrated planning, resource allocation, implementation, and re-evaluation. Evaluation is based on analyses of both quantitative and qualitative data.
Gavilan College uses input from all segments of the College community to regularly review the College mission statement, goals, Educational Master Plan, Strategic Plan, budget, and other plans (1.15). Each review is a time to assess what has been achieved since the prior review and to determine the College's future direction. For example, during the annual review of the Strategic Plan, all employees and students are invited to participate in providing input for both the strategic goals and the mission statement. These strategic goals are then used by the Budget Committee and President's Council to guide the budgeting process.
In response to the 2007 site visit Gavilan College initiated a series of improvements to the planning process that illustrate the College's commitment to integrated planning, resource allocation, improved institutional effectiveness, and evaluation of these processes (1.44).
The recommendations from the 2007 accrediting team included the following:
The College formally structure and document all aspects of the planning process by which budget requests connect to program reviews and their accompanying unit plans and ensure the consistent application of the planning processes throughout the College.
The College regularly evaluate and document the College's progress of the achievement of goals outlined in the strategic plan and individual unit plans and use the results of this evaluation to improve student learning and institutional effectiveness.
The College develop mechanisms to evaluate regularly all of the College's planning and resource allocation processes (1.45).
A new model integrating strategic planning, program review and budget allocation was developed in 2007 and approved through a shared governance process, including adoption by the President's Council and the Board of Trustees (1.48).
Also in 2007, the program review process was updated to include a more focused survey form and rigorous review. The new process includes the submission of a self-study by the program under review. Each program uses data and information to demonstrate developments since the previous review, identifies the challenges facing the program, and describes plans for the next five years. The Institutional Effectiveness Committee (IEC), with representatives from each constituent group, reviews each program's submission and provides a summary of questions and concerns to the program representatives. The program representatives and the IEC meet in-person to discuss these issues. In some cases, additional information or writing is requested and documentation and evidence is requested to support conclusions and future direction for the program. Through this process, recommendations, which are developed collaboratively between the program and the IEC, are summarized in a report, which is then presented to the President's Council and the Board of Trustees. These recommendations are linked to the program planning and allocation process. In 2009, a system of tracking the status of recommendations made through IEC was established. This included requiring each program to complete a mid-term update on progress towards satisfying the recommendations made by the committee (1.49).
Each year since 2007, the forms and reported processes have been reviewed and revised, resulting in improved reporting and recommendations. The IEC conducts an annual evaluation of its forms and processes and engages stakeholders in suggesting improvements. For example, in academic year 2008-2009 the Student Services division suggested a more question-based review process that better fit the review of student support functions. This pilot resulted in similar changes for IEC review processes for instruction and instructional support. (1.50).
A program plan form, (formerly called a Unit Plan), was developed in 2008 that linked planning and budgeting items into a single document and process. As a part of this process, each program or department outlines its annual objectives and the activities and funding needed to accomplish these objectives. In the 2008 version of the program plan form, the strategic plan was linked to this process so that each objective contained in the program plans was aligned with a specific goal in the strategic plan. In 2008, this process became entirely web-based (as opposed to paper) allowing for improved processing of the information for the Budget Committee and for reviewing and refining the Strategic Plan (1.26). Users and constituents have regularly provided input to help improve the online form and the process (1.21). For example, users requested the ability to export the form in order to view it for group discussion. This update was made in 2011. To implement the cycle of continuous improvement in the program plan form and the integrated planning process, an Integrated Planning Committee, with representatives from the Strategic Planning committee, Institutional Planning committee, and the Budget Committee, was formed to regularly collect input and revise the form and processes.
The Budget Committee (BC) is a formal shared governance group with representatives from the faculty, staff, students and administration constituencies. The BC represents the College community at large by providing a forum and process to insure broad based discussion and prioritization of the institutional budget and fiscal matters affecting the College as a whole.
In 2009, the Integrated Planning Committee developed a new rubric for use by the Budget Committee to rank and allocate resources contained in program plans. The rubric defines criteria by which objectives are ranked and includes criteria for cost benefit, impact on student success, advancement of the strategic plan goals, and the extent to which it is supported by data (1.51). In 2009, the deans and vice-presidents began the practice of ranking each objective to develop institutional focus and provide the ranking committee process with more information. This rubric was further refined in 2010 and in 2012.
Through a database created as a result of program planning's evolution from a paper process to an online process, the Budget Committee members are able to search and view each objective and corresponding budget request online. This database is also available to the entire College community to view the budget request rankings before they are forwarded to the President's Council for review.
Each piece of the integrated planning process (IEC, Program Plan, Strategic Plan, Budget Committee) is evaluated individually on a regular basis. More globally, a review of the entire planning and shared governance process occurs annually (each Spring) when the Integrated Planning Committee meets to review the most recent planning cycle. This committee has representatives from IEC, Budget, and Strategic planning groups.
Surveys of the campus community are conducted biannually to solicit input and suggestions on the shared governance process (1.33). Individual interviews, and qualitative input from representatives to the committee also inform the process. Integrated Planning Committee recommendations are sent to the President's Council (1.52).
The Institutional Effectiveness Committee (IEC) reviews both instructional and non-instructional programs, each on a rotating basis every three to five years. Through this review, each program completes a self-study to review what they have accomplished, trends affecting their program, and plans for the future. Through extensive dialogue between representatives of the program and the IEC committee, recommendations are generated (1.27). Another product of the IEC review is an updated Program Plan describing actions that are planned for short-term implementation. These actions are linked to the objectives of the Strategic Plan. By this method, IEC review furthers the development of both the individual program and institutional goals. Each program submits a mid-term status report to the IEC outlining progress made on each recommendation (1.49).
The Institutional Effectiveness Committee maintains a webpage for all program review documents and outcomes and houses documents to assist each program in preparing its self-study report and mid-term reports. (1.27). The website also links to the Office of Institutional Research for current data that helps each program evaluate its level of success. The IEC maintains a folder for each program that includes its most recent program review evaluation and the annual program plans the program creates during the interim period between formal reviews. The IEC can then regularly examine these documents to determine whether or not the program is doing what it said it would do as a result of the previous review.
The annual review at the institutional level and the program reviews for the IEC use data, both quantitative and qualitative, from many sources. Examples of data may include enrollment figures, Student Learning Outcome assessments, budget data, student survey data, and surveys. Examples of qualitative and quantitative research include the Student Climate and Connection Survey (1.53), the Student Profile Report (1.6,) which is completed each semester, and the state Chancellor's Office Accountability Reporting for the Community Colleges (ARCC) (1.55). The results are then assessed to determine whether or not established goals have been achieved or should be modified or discarded in favor of new goals.
One report that has been particularly useful in evaluating the College's overall progress has been the biannual Student Success report (1.56). This report was developed to outline and monitor short term and long-term performance indicators over time, (as required in BP 4600) and recommended by the Learning Council. The report includes short-term indicators such as "success rates" and long term indicators such as "transfer rates," both for all students and groups designated as "at risk." The Student Success Report, which contains both quantitative and qualitative data, is presented to the Board of Trustees and is the basis for discussion in the shared governance structure at Gavilan College.
Gavilan College meets Standard 1 (B)(3).
4. The institution provides evidence that the planning process is broad based, offers opportunities for input by appropriate constituencies, allocates necessary resources, and leads to improvement of institutional effectiveness.
The planning process provides for input from a broad range of individuals and groups. The College planning and decision-making model is defined in the document "Participating In Shared Governance/A Handbook for Collaboration" (1.16). Chapter 6 illustrates the College's commitment to shared governance in decision making. For example, classified employees, faculty, and students elect individuals to represent them through the CSEA, Academic Senate, and Associated Student Body. Each of these groups sends two representatives to the President's Council. The President's Council also includes two supervisors/confidentials, two administrators, and the College president. The President's Council serves as the College's central participatory council, functioning as the institution's primary shared governance body, and is advisory to the president. The structure of the President's Council facilitates interaction among all institutional constituencies (1.57). The President's Council approves the Strategic Plan, recommendations from committees such as the Budget Committee and Technology Committee, and suggested revisions to the Board of Trustees Manual of Policies and Procedures. Recommendations are then sent to the president and the Board of Trustees.
Since 2007, the College has conducted several College wide planning events to give all members of the College community an opportunity to provide input into planning and decision-making. For example, on August 28, 2009 our institutional researcher presented a workshop to the faculty entitled "All You Ever Wanted to Know About the Gavilan Strategic Planning Process" (1.58) Also, as part of the Fall 2010 Staff Development Day, a workshop for the whole of the faculty included an overview of the planning process and planning cycle followed by an afternoon of practical work in completing documents and processes related to planning (1.59). On February 1, 2011 all faculty and staff participated in a "gap analysis" activity (1.23) related to strategic planning that was led by members of the Learning Council. These events have broadened the participation in College planning activities.
A recent survey (fall 2012) was conducted to gauge understanding of the Integrated Planning elements. Similar surveys were completed in 2007, 2009, and 2011. The findings suggest that over time constituents have become more familiar with the elements of the strategic planning elements and more positive about how their input is used in College decision-making (1.33).
The 2011 survey had revealed a lack of knowledge about the President's Council and how it operates. A majority of respondents at that time had reported knowing "nothing" or "a little" about most aspects of the President's Council (percentages ranged from 52-71 percent). The survey also asked respondents to rate how well different processes functioned. Fifty percent of respondents reported that the President's Council process functioned either "well" or "very well".
In response to this and other data, Gavilan College developed a handbook about participating in shared governance with a focus on the role that each workgroup, committee, and shared governance activity play in institutional effectiveness. This handbook was distributed to all employees as a draft document in the fall of 2011. A Shared Governance Task Force was then created to refine the document and to develop a plan to use it as a thematic reference tool in an "Integrated Planning and Shared Governance Road Show" that began in the spring of 2012 and will occur for all campus groups in Fall 2012. The survey will again be administered following the Road Show to further gauge understanding of the shared governance process in general and specifically the role that the President's Council plays in this process.
Moreover, in the past two years students have been more actively involved in College planning. Representation of students on shared governance committees has increased, including participation in the College's Learning Council. Students have planned and conducted Students' Voices and Veterans' Voices forums to elicit student input about the College and planning processes (1.3).
The President's Council / Shared Governance survey was repeated in fall 2012 (1.33). There was good participation. All personnel groups were well represented except part-time faculty, who participated at a 6.7% rate. Although respondents' reported somewhat low levels of absolute knowledge of the President's Council, shared governance, and planning processes, these rates have been steadily increasing since fall 2007. Respondents' reported improved levels of awareness and attitudinal rates regarding shared governance and integrated planning from previous years. Knowledge of the elements of integrated planning was relatively high, and also showed an increase over previous years.
The improvement in levels of knowledge and understanding of the President's Council, shared governance, and planning process indicates that the corrective measures that have been put in place: the Shared Governance Road Show, creation of a Shared Governance handbook, and improvements to the planning process, are having a positive impact and should be continued.
The program planning process at Gavilan College is a bottom-up approach to planning and allocation. Through discussions at the program-level, program plans with associated budget requests are developed. These plans, which are linked to specific objectives of the Strategic Plan, are rated according to a rubric, and used by the Budget Committee to make allocation decisions. This process, which has developed and consistently improved over the past four years, has gained more active participants as it has become more widely understood. An example of this process in action was the addition in 2011 of the Student Activities Coordinator position that currently aids in student success. As a result of the program plan process, program review, and budget process, this position was approved and resourced to lead the student life programs and activities on campus (1.49).
For the past few years, funding from the State of California has been reduced. Gavilan College has been successful in developing alternate sources of funding. Over a period of 18 months, three federal grants were secured through Title V, addressing Basic Skills, Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and Career Technical Education. The College also has a practice that brings the shared governance system to bear on budget reductions, and ensures that all departments and constituency groups have the opportunity to participate in the discussion. The Expenditure Reduction Task Force is brought together at times when budget reductions are required: first in 2003, again in 2008 and most recently in fall 2012. The recommendations of the Expenditure Reduction Task Force are presented to the President's Council and Board of Trustees (1.60).
Gavilan College meets Standard 1 (B)(4).
5. The institution uses documented assessment results to communicate matters of quality assurance to appropriate constituencies.
Gavilan College regularly conducts assessment, research, and evaluation to inform the improvement of programs and services and create a culture of evidence. Assessment data is systematically utilized to inform decision-making at the Board and cabinet levels and in the major planning documents that guide the institution – the Educational Master Plan, the Strategic Plan, the Facilities Master Plan, and the Technology Master Plan.
The Office of Institutional Research supports the College by providing demographic data on students and employees, enrollment management information, evaluative tools, and research services for instructional and student services programs. They also assist in the development and administration of surveys. Assessment results are directly linked to policy decisions and operational improvements in a systematic approach. Assessment data are consistently shared with the constituent groups that comprise the College community – students, external customers (potential students, business community, the community at large), and internal customers (administrators, faculty, and staff). The research page housed on the College's website (1.61) serves as the repository for the assessment activities conducted at the College. Examples of assessment used in planning include College data, needs assessments, evaluative studies, planning studies, comparative studies, and service area data. Community Advisory Boards also inform the institution of constituent needs and augment research data for instructional, categorical, and other programs and services. An extensive shared governance committee structure integrates assessment results into the planning, practices, and programs of the institution (1.62).
Over the past five years, the College has received external funding that has helped to support new initiatives and innovation throughout campus. As many of these initiatives are in the early stages of program development, the Office of Institutional Research has been conducting studies to critically examine the new initiatives and interventions. These evaluations have included aspects of both process and outcomes and employed both quantitative and qualitative data (1.63).
Gavilan College regularly assesses courses and both instructional and non-instructional programs through the Student Learning Outcomes (SLO) reporting assessment and reporting system (1.29). Faculty and the Office of Institutional Research regularly collect data, summarize that data, reflect on results, and propose and make modifications to programs and courses. While this system is relatively new, it is encouraging greater assessment and dialogue about effectiveness for both non-instructional and instructional programs.
The program review process also allows for the critical examination of each program and its successes and challenges, while planning for the future. Each program's Institutional Effectiveness Committee (IEC) self-study includes analyzing information and data since their last review (1.27). These submissions are reviewed and discussed by program representatives and members of the IEC resulting in collaborative recommendations. A summary of each report and resulting recommendations is presented to the campus community through the shared governance process.
Ensuring that the College remains focused on student success, the Office of Institutional Research produces a Student Success report each term. This report includes short and long term outcomes as well as a section for program-specific findings and qualitative developments (1.56). This report is widely distributed to the College community, including the Board of Trustees, and informs discussions about student success (1.64).
A survey in spring 2011 provides data that suggests that staff and faculty are discussing and utilizing assessment data in planning and decision-making. Forty-eight percent reported that they used research "Much" or "Very much" in important decisions associated with their job. A considerable majority of respondents reported that the College used data in institutional decision-making (60.5 percent). These numbers suggest that the College has made progress in communicating and employing assessment data in its planning and decision-making.
Gavilan College meets Standard 1 (B)(5).
6. The institution assures the effectiveness of its ongoing planning and resource allocation processes by systematically reviewing and modifying, as appropriate, all parts of the cycle, including institutional and other research efforts.
Gavilan College uses a shared governance approach to engage constituents in the planning and allocation processes. Over the past six years, numerous individuals and shared governance committees have participated in the review and revision of College planning processes. These developments have arisen from the data, input, and participation of many in the College community. As a result, the College has developed planning and allocation systems that are linked, and has solicited input on the process from numerous constituent groups. In order to continue this improvement, the College has institutionalized a system of review and evaluation. While each planning and allocation element has its own cycle, the overall cycle of review and modifications is led by the Integrated Planning (IP) committee. This committee continues to strengthen the College's processes.
Through the work of the Integrated Planning Committee, the College has undergone significant changes in its continuous revision of planning processes and has increasingly improved its ability to link planning processes to the budget. Budget guidelines are published and communicated through the shared governance process (1.40).
As the process continually improves, opportunities for improvement remain, including increasing the awareness and participation of all members of the Gavilan College community in the planning and allocation processes and increasing the dialogue and planning across programs and disciplines. It is anticipated that the processes and organizational structure that have been developed can accommodate these needed developments.
In response to suggestions repeatedly made through shared governance committees, a task force was established in spring 2010 to revise what was then called the "unit plan" form. The task force included representatives from the Budget Committee, the Institutional Effectiveness Committee (IEC), and Strategic Planning Committee. While this task force met initially to revise the planning form, it became clear there were additional weaknesses in the overall integrated planning process. As a result of this input and dialogue, this task force modified the "unit plan" to include linkages to the strategic plan and program review, and changed the name from "Unit Plan" to "Program Plan." Additionally, the group developed a rubric for rating of program plan objectives. The rubric lays out criteria whereby a dean or vice-president can rank a program's objective and budget request. This rubric is also used by the Budget Committee to rank budget requests. Because the integrated planning and allocation process is continuously developing, this group has been meeting regularly as a sub-committee, the Integrated Planning Committee, to review input on the planning and allocation process and mechanisms (1.65). The committee meets annually in spring to review input from constituency groups in order to modify any processes or procedures of the integrated planning and allocation processes.
In addition to the IP committee, the College as a whole reviews its planning and allocation processes on a regular basis. The major planning processes of the College are reflected in the Educational Master Plan, the Strategic Plan, the Facilities Master Plan, and the Technology Master Plan. The Educational Master Plan serves as the guiding document for College planning. The Educational Master Plan review and update is based on internal and external service area environmental scanning. This review is conducted on a six-year cycle and addresses the challenges and opportunities that exist for the College. All College constituent groups are given the opportunity to present their specific needs, goals, and objectives through this process.
The Gavilan College Strategic Plan addresses the specific challenges and opportunities found in the Educational Master Plan. It defines objectives for a five-year period and is updated annually by the Strategic Planning Committee, with representation from all College constituencies. The annual review and update of the Strategic Plan includes a review of progress made to achieve objectives over the prior year, actions taken as described in Program Plans, and the results of those actions. The Strategic Plan is formally approved through the President's Council, Academic Senate, and the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees approved the current Strategic Plan on September 11, 2012 (1.66).
The Facilities Master Plan is the comprehensive planning document that identifies, organizes, plans, and records the capital outlay required to bring the campus into alignment with educational, fiscal, and student services of the College. Updated every five years, it sets forth needs, goals, and concepts to accomplish stated objectives, matching implementation actions with available resources and appropriate timelines. This document provides for a fair, prudent, and predictable process for the improvement of facilities, including support infrastructure, to enhance learning opportunities for students, and a professional teaching and working environment for staff. Each update incorporates data and uses input from all constituent groups.
Funding resources are limited and Gavilan College must make critical decisions as to how to best use the resources available. The Gavilan College District Technology Plan is a practical outline for identifying and developing technology initiatives that will be implemented to best support the Strategic Plan, the Educational Master Plan, and overall vision of the College. The plan takes a strategic approach to outlining and identifying the technology initiatives necessary to support these objectives. The plan is not meant to be a document that has a "completion date". Rather, it is a living document that is reviewed and updated annually. The Technology Committee is responsible for the ongoing review and updating of the plan.
Program Plans are developed annually with specific goals and objectives to accomplish the broader direction and goals set forth in the major planning documents. Program Plans identify specific activities, measurements, timelines, and responsible parties for completion. Programs update the Program Planning website with their progress resulting from the plans from the previous year.
In order to assess each element of the planning and allocation process, and the process overall, a shared governance survey is conducted every other year. The survey questions staff and faculty on their knowledge of and attitudes about the elements of the planning process (1.33). The results are summarized and shared with the College community in order to help improve the effectiveness of the planning processes.
All instructional programs, student services programs and administrative functions conduct a formal program review through the Institutional Effectiveness Committee (IEC) and are reviewed on established criteria every three to five years. In this process, scheduled units or programs conduct a self-study that is submitted to and reviewed by the IEC. The IEC posts self-studies on the intranet and the College community is invited to comment. The IEC interviews program representatives, requests additional information on items that may not have been clearly stated or were omitted from the self-study process, and makes suggestions for items that should be addressed in a corresponding program plan. The committee then forwards the document along with an executive summary to the President's Council for review in the shared governance process and then to the Board of Trustees for review. The IEC membership includes administration, faculty, student services, classified staff, and administrative services employee groups.
While timelines for the development of the planning documents have been established, the major planning documents serve as "living documents" so the College can easily revise plans to respond to emerging constituent and budgetary needs, as necessary. The College attempts to link each major planning process to the budget through the identification of major objectives related to the strategic plan and program plans during the annual budget request process, through the College Budget Committee, and through the Board Budget Subcommittee.
The College regularly engages advisory boards for categorical, instructional, and other programs at the College. Individual programs and services undergo periodic reviews, both formal and informal, from appropriate state, curricular, and collaborating agencies. For example, Math, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA), Extended Opportunities Programs and Services (EOPS), and the Disability Resource Center (DRC) are evaluated by the Chancellor's Office through the program review process and technical assistance visits. The TRIO program is evaluated by the Department of Education every six years, with an annual report submitted that serves as a program review. The nursing department utilizes success rates from state-level examinations for LVN and RN certification in planning and improvement processes. Certified Nursing Assistant and Home Health Aide programs are certified by the California Department of Health Services. The Licensed Vocational Nursing program is accredited by the California Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians. The Registered Nursing program is accredited by the California Board of Registered Nursing, and ROP classes are accredited through the California Department of Education.
Gavilan College meets Standard 1 (B)(6).
7. The institution assesses its evaluation mechanisms through a systematic review of their effectiveness in improving instructional programs, student support services, and library and other learning support services.
Gavilan College uses a variety of evidence-gathering processes to evaluate the effectiveness of instructional programs, student services, and academic support services. Research projects, point of service surveys, program reviews by the Institutional Effectiveness Committee (IEC), budgetary audits, formal and informal committee activities and minutes, environmental scanning, year-end reports, open forum discussions, and site visits are all utilized in these evidence building and evaluation processes. These projects are conducted on an annual cyclical basis and include both qualitative and quantitative data. All course offerings are reviewed through the Curriculum Committee on a four to five year rotational cycle (1.67).
These mechanisms are reviewed regularly to determine if they are encouraging improvements. As described in Standard 1 (B)(5) above, the Integrated Planning sub-committee reviews the effectiveness of integrated planning mechanisms. This group uses data from the planning survey (1.33) in addition to constituent feedback to annually review the planning and evaluation mechanisms (1.65).
The Institutional Effectiveness Committee guides the process for formal program reviews for instructional, student services, and administrative operation systems at the College. Each unit conducts a major program review on a three to five year cycle that produces recommendations for improvement. Moreover, the IEC follows up with each program through a status check to monitor how much progress each program has made upon program review recommendations (1.69). The IEC reviews these status reports and in certain cases asks for more information or clarity. The reports are summarized and included in the IEC annual report which is presented to the President's Council and the Board of Trustees.
The effectiveness of the IEC process is reviewed annually (1.70). During the program review and status update cycle, if problems with the processes arise, they are recorded for the annual review. At the completion of the annual review cycle, the IEC surveys representatives of the programs that were reviewed for feedback on their experience (1.71). All of this information is reviewed by the IEC and has led to dramatic improvements in the IEC processes and procedures over the past four years. For example, survey respondents suggested more assistance in completing the program review submission, which prompted the IEC to assign two committee members to act as support liaisons for each program.
Gavilan College meets Standard 1 (B)(7).