Standard III.C. Technology Resources
Evidence for Standard III.C.1
Gavilan College has made significant efforts to provide appropriate and adequate technology resources to support the institution’s management and operational functions, academic programs, teaching and learning, and support services. A plethora of new technologies and enhancements have been implemented to streamline operational processes, deliver instructional content efficiently, and provide support to student services effectively.
The College identifies technology needs through inputs from multiple sources to ensure technology services, professional support, facilities, hardware, and software are appropriate and adequate to support the District’s academic and operational functions. Input is provided through the following committees, surveys, and documents:
● District Technology Committee
● Technology Master Plan 2014-2019
● Annual Program Plans and Budget Requests
● Institutional Effectiveness Committee / Program Integrated Planning and Review (IEC / PIPR)
● Distance Education Committee
● Other participatory governance committees, sub-committees, or task forces
● IT Help Tickets/Requests
● Student, Faculty, and Student Surveys
● Third-party contractors
The District Technology Committee (DTC) is a participatory governance committee comprised of representatives from the College’s constituent groups (i.e., Student, Faculty, Professional Support, Director/Confidential, Administration) and Divisions (i.e. Instructional Services, Students Services, Administrative Services) (III.C-1). Decisions regarding technology services, support, facilities, hardware, and software are prioritized through the DTC. The DTC analyzes and finalizes decisions regarding the technology needs and the stated initiatives in the Technology Master Plan (III.C-2).
The DTC creates an annual task force to update the Technology Master Plan (TMP). The TMP is a “living” document which identifies and develops initiatives that will best support the overall strategies of the College. It is integrated with the Gavilan College Mission Statement (III.C-3), Strategic Plan (III.C-4), 2017 Educational Master Plan (III.C-5), and the Facilities Master Plan (III.C-6).
The task force collects input on technology needs and completes a prioritized list of initiatives (III.C-7). Once the technology needs are identified and prioritized, annual program plans and budget requests are initiated for major technology projects (III.C-8). For example, the Content Management System (CMS) was identified as a technology need and became a TMP initiative in 2014 (III.C-9). The DTC evaluated several CMS products, and provided a recommendation for Cascade CMS (III.C-10). The Informational Technology (IT) department submitted a program plan and budget request for FY 2014-15, which was ranked high by the Budget Committee (III.C-11). In 2015, GJCCD purchased the Cascade CMS, which went live in Fall 2016.
All departments and programs participate in the annual program plan and budget cycle, in which resources are requested to support institutional strategies/goals, Institutional Effectiveness Committee / Program Integrated Planning and Review (IEC / PIPR) recommendations, or Student/Program Learning Outcome assessment results. In addition to the annual program plan and budget cycle, all departments and programs go through a comprehensive program IEC/ PIPR review / self-study every three to six years. The DTC evaluates program plans, budget requests, and IEC / PIPR self-studies to identify any new technology needs.
The Technology Master Plan (TMP) is a living document that is updated every year. TMP initiatives are organized by the following priorities: 1) Safety, 2) Security, 3) Compliance, 4) Cost Savings, 5) Education, and 6) Operations. Status is assigned to each initiative for tracking progress, and budget is one of the options. If funding is necessary to complete the initiative, a program plan and budget request is completed.
Gavilan College also identifies technology needs through participatory governance committees, sub-committees, task forces, and divisional/department areas (III.C-12). Since 2015, the following technologies were identified and implemented:
● CI Solution for Student ID cards (III.C-13)
● curriQunet Curriculum Management Systems (III.C-14)
● Cascade CMS (III.C-15)
● Canvas Learning Management System (III.C-16)
● Cranium Café
● EAB Navigate
● CampusLogic (III.C-17)
● Board Docs (III.C-18)
Gavilan College has a support help desk for faculty and staff as well as a helpline for students. Additional technology and training needs are identified from these support requests. Requests are either fulfilled by IT or forwarded to the DTC for collaborative discussion. Many needs are effectively met through help desk requests.
Surveys of faculty, staff, and students are administered throughout the year to evaluate the technology needs of the District. These include online surveys, computer center surveys, distance education surveys, administrative services surveys, and off-site surveys. Overall, the surveys indicate a satisfactory level in regards to current technology (III.C-19). According to the 2018 Accreditation employee survey, 57% of employees agreed or strongly agreed that Gavilan’s technology support is sufficient to meet the mission of the institution and 76% of employees have a satisfactory or excellent experience with their desktops computers or laptops (III.C-20, III.C-21). According to the 2018 Accreditation student survey, 91% of students agreed to strongly agreed that Gavilan supports student learning through services such as computer labs (III.C-22). Additionally, 37.08% of employees and 55.81% of students rated Wi-Fi reliability as excellent to satisfactory (III.C-16, III.C-25).
In 2015, the College contracted with an outside consultant to complete an Information Technology (IT) infrastructure needs assessment encompassing the following areas: Data Center Core Computing, Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Planning, Infrastructure Support Staffing and Support Tools, Access-to-Computing-Systems and Technology Refresh Planning. This report provides cost estimates for the recommended improvements to deficiencies found in the District’s IT infrastructure (III.C-23).
One recommendation from the 2015 needs assessment was that the College virtualizes its data center. Virtualization reduces the number of physical servers, thereby reducing staff support needs, ongoing system maintenance costs, and power consumption (III.C-24). Virtualization provides a greater ability to centrally manage the computing needs of the College and more quickly recover from hardware failures or other disasters. A key advantage of virtualization is the ability to easily package and transport applications systems computing environments to alternate disaster recovery processing locations.
Another recommendation from the IT infrastructure needs assessment was to upgrade its Core Data and Edge Network to increase the performance and reduce response times required by end system users (III.C-24). In addition, it was recommended that the College upgrade the Campus Fiber Optics Backbone and Cabling that were not covered by Measure E, a facilities improvement bond passed in 2004. The campus fiber optics backbone is the high-speed data communications freeway that connects the campus buildings’ wired and wireless networks to the data center core computing environment, and the Internet. As network payloads and applications increase, higher performance is required. Higher backbone speeds are the key to providing higher performance and response times demanded by multimedia applications, streaming video, and online interactive application systems.
In addition, the IT Needs Assessment recommended that the District upgrade its core and wire/wireless network. To increase the Wi-Fi reliability, GJCCD purchased new Ruckus Wi-Fi Access Points to replace its out-of-support Xirrus WiFi Access Points. IT completed the first phase of the upgrade by deploying all Ruckus Wi-Fi Access Points. IT is implementing the final phase of deploying the centralized Ruckus Cloud Wi-Fi portal system. Once deployed, students, faculty and staff will be able to access secure, faster, and reliable Wi-Fi access.
After reviewing the IT infrastructure needs assessment, DTC recommended that the College virtualize its data center, upgrade its core data and edge network, and upgrade the campus fiber optics backbone and cabling not covered by Measure E (III.C-26). The IT department submitted a program plan with a budget request, which was rated high by the Budget Committee as a priority to purchase (III.C-8). In January 2017, the District purchased equipment for the network infrastructure from various funding sources.
The Technology Master Plan (TMP) and the Minimum Technology Standards for Classrooms and laboratories, a component of the Technology Master Plan, serve as guides for College technology implementation (III.C-27). Through Measure E, the College was able to retrofit all classrooms using the media-enhanced technology to create “smart” classrooms. A smart classroom includes a computer teaching station with broadband Internet connectivity integrated with a VCR/DVD player supporting closed-captioning, audio and video controls, and LCD projector, and stereo speakers. Smart classrooms have become a standard feature in all renovated buildings. In addition, Measure E provided a mobile cart for the presentation screen used in instructor training sessions. Once the Measure E funding had been exhausted, many classrooms were renovated from the Media Services budget, Stem Grant, or Title V monies. Many classrooms still need to be updated either through wiring or new projectors, see Appendix D in the Technology Master Plan (III.C-28).
Besides the Gavilan campus, Gavilan’s IT department provides support for all programs and services at all four offsites (Morgan Hill, Hollister, Coyote Valley and San Martin). Technical needs are addressed through site surveys (III.C-14). The TMP addresses prioritization, standards for hardware, software, the internet, and network management, and outlines a 5-year Desktop Computer Replacement Plan. According to the 2018 Accreditation Employee survey (Q45), 43% of employees agree to strongly agree that the college replaces and maintains technological equipment on a predetermined basis to ensure that all program needs are met (III.C-29). IT replaces outdated desktops in accordance to its Desktop Computer Replacement Plan as funds are available (III.C-30). IT reviews annual Program Plans to identify additional hardware not included in the Computer Replacement Plan. In recent years, computer replacement has been funded either through the Measure E bond or through grants. Based on the IT infrastructure needs assessment, it is recommended that the College lease desktop computers (similar to the Data Center) to avoid large unplanned expenditures as IT equipment reaches end-of-life (III.C-24). Gavilan College is currently evaluating alternative procurement options for our desktop computers such as leasing or virtual desktop infrastructure. According to the TMP, the Smart Classrooms on campus and at the off-site locations need to be updated to ensure that there is appropriate and adequate hardware in the teaching and learning environments (III.C-31). Appendix D of the TMP lists the Smart Classroom Prioritization list as a guideline for planning (III.C-28).
In 2017, Gavilan College began its Centralized Printing Project to help reduce printing costs, increase efficiencies, and improve its carbon footprint. An assessment report was completed and recommendations were suggested on centralized printing by a consultant (III.C-32). After researching a wide range of print solutions, the college chose Konica Minolta multifunction printers/copiers (MFP) to replace out-of-support copiers and costly desktop printers. In addition, The College is using Papercut software to allocate printer services to departments efficiently, provide cost reports for departmental chargebacks, and enable users to print to any MFP copier/printer from any device (III.C-33).
The Information Technology (IT) Department coordinates the delivery of professional services to various departments and deploys technologies that benefit the entire Gavilan Joint Community College District (GJCCD). Gavilan has hired many contractors to configure Banner modules (e.g., Human Resources, Finance, Payroll, Student, Financial Aid) and digital document archiving (e.g., Banner Document Management System). Additional resources were focused on improving the workflow in Human Resources, Payroll, and Finance. Other engagements involved network security evaluation and redesign.
In 2016, IT collaborated with the Business Department on implementing online requisitions. Prior to the online requisition project, College personnel submitted paper requisitions and quotes for approval. Once approved, the Purchasing Agent would manually input data from the paper requisitions into the Banner system. The entire process of requisition creation, approvals, input into Banner, and budget verification would take 2-4 weeks to generate a purchase order (III.C-34). The online requisition system enabled users to create requisitions online, verify availability of budget up front, and send to the appropriate staff for approvals. Once approved, the requisition is routed to the Purchasing Agent electronically. This allows the Purchasing Agent to review requisitions and generate a Purchase Order immediately. The online requisition system reduced the requisition process from 2-4 weeks to 1 week (III.C-35).
Another technology project supporting the institution’s management and operations functions is the Human Resources (HR) / Payroll implementation. IT collaborated with both HR and Payroll departments on implementing an in-house Payroll system. Prior to 2017, Gavilan College contracted with Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) for payroll services. HR and Payroll staff would log into the SCCOE system to input data enabling SCCOE to process the GJCCD payroll and submit the STRS/PERS retirement data. Starting November 2015, the College contracted with Ellucian to help implement the HR/Payroll module in its Banner ERP system. An Ellucian consultant worked with HR, Payroll, and IT staff for 14 months on strategic planning, helped with configurations, provided ongoing training, and tested parallel payrolls and documentations (III.C-36). GJCCD went live with its in-house Payroll system in January 2017.
In Fall 2016, the District implemented its new content management system for the website called Cascade Server by Hannon Hill. The District worked with a local web design contractor to develop a responsive design framework ensuring easy navigation from tablets and smartphones. The overall design is cleaner and more user-friendly and allows for quick updates and stronger branding of the institution. In addition, the new website has been designed to improve student access to information regarding matriculation, registration, financial aid eligibility, and available programs and services (III.C-37). Gavilan continues to strive toward ADA Section 508 compliance by utilizing the following Chancellor’s Office software programs such as: Compliance Sheriff and Equidox. For instance, results from the Compliance Sheriff reports are discussed monthly at the Universal Access Task Force meetings (III.C-38). During the summer of 2018, the Chancellor’s Office will be replacing Compliance Sheriff with a new software program, and Gavilan will implement the new program the following semester.
In summer 2017, the District migrated from Moodle to Canvas for its learning management system (III.C-39). Canvas is currently used for all online courses as well as for face-to-face courses as a means to communicate with students and provide additional support. Canvas has been adopted by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office Online Education Initiative (OEI). In addition, the College subscribes to Turnitin (III.C-40), which allows teachers to check for plagiarism. Canvas and Turnitin have been widely used by faculty across disciplines for both distance education and face-to-face courses.
In Fall 2017, the District implemented curriQunet Meta, a cloud-based curriculum management system. It interfaces with the Chancellor’s Office Curriculum Inventory for management information system purposes, improves the efficiency of curriculum workflow processes, and allows for better access to the course outline inventory by the District and general public (III.C-41).
The District is a member of the Education Advisory Board (EAB) Student Success Collaborative. EAB is a collection of community colleges, including six in California, committed to redesigning registration and decision-making processes to increase student goal attainment. In alignment with its mission of student success and innovation, Gavilan College implemented the EAB Navigate technology platform. EAB Navigate includes a personalized onboarding path, a smart program matcher, customized degree plans, best-fit student schedules, and term-to-term nudging and registration to prompt students to complete each step in the enrollment process (III.C-42). Despite its dynamic features, the EAB Navigate software was not being fully utilized by students. After research by the Student Services division and IT, the District is planning to discontinue the use of the EAB Navigate software due to its low utilization (III.C-43) and is replacing EAB Navigate with several cost-effective technologies such as Cranium Cafe and Go2Orientation.
Since 2010, the student support services areas developed online tools for students and counselors. Gavilan continues to utilize DegreeWorks, a comprehensive academic advising, transfer articulation, and degree audit solution. The primary use of DegreeWorks is that it assists students and counselors in creating an educational plan. It can be viewed, or edited online, instead of a paper copy (III.C-44). Another software solution offered by student support services is Go2Orientation. Go2Oriention is a web-based software platform that is customizable, supports video and audio files, and interfaces with the student information system when a student has successfully completed the module(s) (III.C-45). Counselors customized this online orientation with modules that could be reviewed by students as needed.
The District consolidated most software acquisitions and procurements into yearly subscription packages for cost saving measures such as: Dell (III.C-46), Microsoft (III.C-47) and Adobe (III.C-48), and they are now readily available to the District’s employees (III.C-49).
The District evaluates the effectiveness of technology using various methods, such as survey results from students, staff, faculty and input to the District Technology Committee (DTC). Also, the DTC is also involved in identifying the technology needs of the main campus and the four offsite locations. When the Technology Master Plan is updated, input regarding the technology needs and completed initiatives is requested from the entire college community (III.C-1). The TMP creates a prioritization list that the College can utilize when making strategic technology and resource allocation decisions. Funding is not always available to address these initiatives, such as: the 5-year Computer Replacement Plan, so research and analysis to find other funding supports for IT is imperative.
The institution continuously plans for, updates and replaces technology to ensure its technological infrastructure, quality and capacity are adequate to support its mission, operations, programs, and services.
Gavilan College continuously plans for, updates, and replaces technology to ensure its technological infrastructure has the quality and capacity to adequately support its mission. In the message from the 2017 Educational Master Plan (EMP), Dr. Kathleen Rose, Gavilan’s Superintendent/President, stated that this plan “is a comprehensive review to determine how our curriculum, campus, and infrastructure will meet the current and future needs of our students” (III.C-2). Just as the EMP is a blueprint to inform the other college’s plans, the Technology Master Plan (TMP) guides Gavilan’s technological development through the shared governance decision-making process. The TMP is integrated with the initiatives from the college’s various documents and plans such as: the Mission, Strategic Plan, Educational Master Plan, and the Facilities Master Plan. The purpose of the TMP is to prioritize initiatives developed in this process and identify and clarify the technology resources needed to successfully implement these initiatives. The TMP initiatives are developed within the following areas: Institutional Services, Administrative Services, Instructional Services, and Student Services. Gavilan’s technology needs are identified through the District Technology Committee (DTC), individual program plans and budget requests (III.C-8), and program reviews (III.C-51) through the Institutional Effectiveness Committee / Program Integrated Planning and Review (IEC). The DTC forms a task force to review and update the Technology Master Plan. Technology issues are discussed at the District Technology Committee meetings and then committee members disseminate information and receive input from their respective constituent groups. Once decisions are made, recommendations from the committee are forwarded to the President’s Council for final determinations. The committee publicizes the technology-related decisions by posting the Technology Master Plan and the District Technology Committee meeting minutes on their website (III.C-1).
Management, support, and procurement of technology are the responsibilities of the Information Technology (IT) Department that is centralized at the District’s main campus in Gilroy. In addition, the IT Department supports the off-site locations in San Martin, Hollister, Morgan Hill and Coyote Valley. The Director of IT leads this department, which coordinates technology planning, prioritization and budgeting with others in the College leadership, including Deans, Vice Presidents, and various managers. In regards to staffing the IT Department, the 2014-2019 Technology Master Plan follows the guidelines listed in the Chancellor’s Office Statewide Technology II Plan (III.C-2). Within this plan, the Gartner Group and the Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Committee (TTAC) determined the appropriate Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) model for the community college environment (III.C-52). Gavilan uses this model as a guide for developing a baseline minimum requirement for Information Technology (III.C-52).
The broad mission of the IT Department is to provide Gavilan students, faculty, and staff with technological equipment and services that enable learning and growth within a diverse community. Services include device and software support, web development, programming, training, and seeking out and procuring up-to-date technology for the campus. The IT department also gathers and reports campus-wide data for the Community College Chancellor’s Office (III.C-5). Since the TMP does not delineate funding strategies, these are developed through collaborative discussion among the relevant parties (III.C-2). The IT Department and the managers work together to identify strategies to fulfill the proposed initiatives. The Director of Information Technology (IT), VP of Administrative Services and Facilities/Maintenance Director work together to develop timelines for classroom renovations and handle immediate issues that come up when equipment fails.
Technology needs are identified in several ways: surveys and focus groups, annual program reviews, specific user group feedback, District Technology Committee meetings, comparison to industry standards, and assessments by the Information Technology (IT) Department Director and consultants. Surveys of faculty, staff and students are administered throughout the year to evaluate the technology needs of the District. These include online surveys, computer center surveys, distance education surveys, and administrative services surveys. For example, in 2015 when the college was researching the need to update the Gavilan website, media preference surveys were administered, and sections of the website to be modified were identified. These surveys addressed the website appearance, content, navigation and functionality of the website from a user perspective (III.C-53). These surveys were used by the particular DTC subcommittee (the “Webheads”) and were instrumental in planning and implementing the newly designed website. This subcommittee has representatives from all college constituents, and they have been meeting regularly since 2012 (III.C-54).
One task force that reports directly to the District Technology Committee is the Universal Access (formerly Section 508) task force. This task force was reconvened in October, 2015 and is co-chaired by the High Tech Center (HTC) instructor from the Accessible Education Center (AEC) and the Section 508/ADA Coordinator. The Universal Access (UA) task force works to develop a plan for enforcement of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Section 508 policy and administrative procedures to embrace a fully accessible and culturally sensitive campus. The four distinct areas of access challenges include: procurement, web-enhanced instruction, campus web sites and alternate media formats. The task force has researched several other colleges’ procurement processes, best practices and case studies, added language to our vendor contracts, and attended accessibility workshops. They have disseminated a survey on electronic and information technology (EIT) to the college (III.C-55), and they have developed a Roadmap to Compliance checklist (III.C-56).
The Gavilan Web Developer runs Compliance Sheriff reports on the Gavilan website to check for web accessibility and reports to the committee monthly (III.C-57). The HTC instructor and a few of Gavilan staff have been trained on Equidox, a software program that creates accessible PDFs. In addition, the HTC instructor is collaborating with the Teaching and Learning Center (TLC) faculty in developing training resources in order to assist faculty in creating accessible course materials. The IT Director and the HTC instructor also evaluate Voluntary Product Accessibility Templates (VPATs) and demo products using assistive computer technologies before purchase to ensure ADA Section 508 compliance (III.C-58).
After evaluating the results from the Universal Access survey, it was found that a majority of the answers pointed to the “Not sure” category, so the UA task force deemed it necessary to focus their efforts on awareness and education (III.C-55). They are currently in the process of developing an Accessibility Plan for the college, and they are in the initial planning stages of utilizing the Institutional Information and Communication Technology Accessibility Guidance checklist (III.C-59) recommended by the Accessibility Center of the California Community Colleges (III.C-60). The Universal Access task force members have collaborated with the Webheads Subcommittee members to develop an Accessibility link (III.C-61) on the footer of Gavilan home page, so individuals can report an issue regarding web accessibility. In addition, they have developed a Web Accessibility Complaint Process, which was recommended by the District Tech Committee in April 2018, and it is currently under discussion in shared governance before it goes to the Board. The draft was listed on the Academic Senate’s May 1, 2018 agenda as an informational item (III.C-62).
Currently, Gavilan has approximately 1700 computer stations on campus and at the off-site locations at San Martin, Morgan Hill, Hollister, and Coyote Valley. The Chancellor’s Office has stated in its Technology II Plan that a computer has an expected useful life of three years. Gavilan’s TMP states that computers in classrooms should be replaced every three years in order to keep pace with the level of instruction/proficiency demanded by industry and education (III.C-2). Many instructional or student services programs purchase their own laptops, and some programs have utilized grants to fund these laptops. Even though the funding sources may vary, the IT Department provides support for these laptops so Gavilan developed a Desktop Computer Replacement Plan (III.C-30) for the implementation of new computers in the classrooms, laptops and faculty/staff computers.
As part of the College’s annual resource allocation process, academic departments can submit annual program reviews to request instructional equipment or software. These requests go to the Budget Committee for vetting and ranking and their recommendations are forwarded to the President’s Council. Departments report back the following year on the status of funded requests and how they have impacted their instructional programs (III.C-8). Deans and lead faculty are consulted, so computer labs and computer classrooms meet the needs of the specific department. The Vice President of Student Services consults with student services staff and also faculty to ensure that student learning support needs are met through the necessary technologies. For example, the Nursing Lab, Math Lab, Digital Media Lab, and the Business Skills Center have specialty software that is utilized specifically for instructional courses.
Technology accommodates the College’s commitment to classroom-based and online modalities of student learning. The institution continuously plans for, updates and replaces technology to ensure its technological infrastructure, quality and capacity are adequate to support its mission, operations, programs, and services. Technology resources are identified through the shared governance decision-making process, and they are detailed in the 2014-2019 Technology Master Plan (III.C-2). The TMP is integrated with the initiatives from the college’s various documents such as: the Mission, Strategic Plan, Educational Master Plan, and the Facilities Master Plan.
The District Technology Committee is an institutional governing committee that advises the President’s Council on technology issues affecting the District. Many report to the DTC on technology related issues such as the Webheads subcommittee and the Universal Access task force. The mission of the IT department is to provide Gavilan students, faculty, and staff with technological equipment and services that enable Gavilan to support its mission, operations, programs, and services. Because technical support is such a critical area for the college, the deficit of technical support positions has to be addressed as funding becomes available. The EMP suggests that Gavilan move towards a virtual infrastructure in order to reduce costs and save space. This includes a virtualization of all backend servers, and a college-wide implementation of a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), which will allow students to access College resources and services from their own devices (III.C-5). In addition, the EMP states that Gavilan should continue to utilize various technological methods to increase student success by streamlining assessment, educational planning, and counseling. These methods include Accuplacer, DegreeWorks, SARS, and the Gavilan Early Alert Referral System (GEARS) (III.C-5).
The Gavilan College Technology Master Plan prioritizes computer needs, and it states that computer classroom labs should be updated first and maintained current as funding permits. Once the labs are properly equipped, money can be spent on other areas such as faculty/staff computers. As part of the plan, it is suggested that the computers in the labs be recycled for use as faculty/staff computers, if possible (III.C-30).
Gavilan Joint Community College District (GJCCD) assures that technology resources at all locations where it offers courses, programs, and services are implemented and maintained to assure reliable access, safety and security. The District has one main campus in Gilroy and four off-sites locations in San Martin (Aviation), Hollister, Morgan Hill, and Coyote Valley. Its centralized data center is located at the main campus, but offers the same level of access, safety, and security across all sites through a seamless network integration. All critical applications are centralized but distributed as well. A complete information technology infrastructure assessment was performed in 2016 by an outside consultant that covered:
● Data Center Core Computing
● Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Planning
● Access-to-Computing Systems
● Infrastructure Support Staffing and Support Tools
● Technology Refresh Planning
This report provided cost estimates for the recommended improvements to deficiencies found in Gavilan’s Information Technology (IT) infrastructure. An IT refresh plan was proposed as part of the annual budget process to provide for a systematic approach to upgrading equipment over time in a planned manner. Planned refresh cycles allow the college to pay-as-you-go avoiding large unplanned expenditures as IT equipment reaches end-of-life (III.C-24).
Access permissions to IT core equipment and datacenter were also reviewed in the network security assessment. Physical access was limited to only network and server technicians. Network permission is controlled with Active Directory (AD) permission levels based on the Principle of Least Privilege (PoLP) and the Need-To-Know security fundamental principles. The access levels of IT technicians are routinely reviewed and adjusted. In event of power failure, the IT core equipment and datacenter is protected by both UPS unit and backup generator. According to the Technology Master Plan’s network management standards, Gavilan has made significant progress or the status is in-progress in establishing equipment redundancy to eliminate single points of failure in order to maintain service levels including 24/7 network availability and UPS battery backup protection for the data center (III.C-61).
In order to assure reliable access of core applications, the College opted to make most services available on the Web, sometimes leveraging cloud-based applications. For instance, a new mobile-friendly student portal, a new self-password reset module, online parking permit purchase, and many faculty applications are all available on the MyGav Portal (III.C-62).
In order to provide reliable access to the College’s information resources and respond to increased mobile device usage, a new responsive-design website was created. It adapts to all screen sizes thereby offering more user-friendly navigation to mobile device users, which are primarily students. The content management system (CMS) platform permits easier content editing. It also uses cascading style sheets (CSS) to enforce the College branding and its look and feel (III.C-65). The content management system (CMS) platform secures sensitive information through unified authentication (LDAP).
The Technology Master Plan (TMP) establishes many specific items to be pursued over the five-year period. Two such items include: 1) preparing a disaster recovery strategy, including backup capability and recovery hardware and software, and 2) implement various improvements in the monitoring, evaluation, and maintenance of all network and server hardware and infrastructure (III.C-5). The District aims to ensure that all network management standards are accurate, up-to-date, and accessible for instruction, student services, and administrative services both on campus and at the off-site locations (III.C-66). The standards encompass the following areas: usability, reliability, performance, and security (III.C-2). The following network updates have been completed to ensure stability to the network:
● Purchased adequate bandwidth to support instruction for both on-campus & off-campus sites due to discussion with the Chancellor’s Office need to update DS-3 CENIC.
● Increased the speed of the network backbone since the minimum standard for any new or renovated buildings should be at least 10GB per second.
● Standardized network hardware including switches.
● Ensured that we have Quality of Service enabled equipment that will let campus needs determine service levels.
● Established remote centralized management by testing and monitoring all networking equipment efficient tech support. Automatic alerts are sent to network managers.
● Provided secure, remote access for Gavilan employees to work from remote locations.
● Provided a system-wide notification of changes in system operations and maintenance schedules.
● Incorporated anti-virus software and malware protection for the network and desktop stations (III.C-66).
According to the TMP’s network management standards, Gavilan has made significant progress or the status is in-progress in the following areas:
● Provide a secured environment to ensure integrity and privacy to comply with government standards to include physical connectivity to the network.
● Plan for a network that includes the capability for new technology services and/or infrastructure. For example, this may include video and voice over IP, i.e. convergence.
● Establish the capability of supporting network intrusion, detection, prevention and logging, to include network access accounting (III.C-66).
In 2017, Gavilan College implemented an enterprise security service called Cisco Umbrella. This security service provides enhanced protections from adware, malware, malicious websites, phishing attacks, Botnets, and Ransomware. Any device on the District’s network will be redirected to a warning page if a suspected/affect site is trying to be accessed. Malicious web sites are blocked by Cisco Umbrella (III.C-63).
Through institutional planning, financial resources have been allocated to implement and maintain the technology resources necessary for its courses, programs and services. Gavilan offers the same level of access, safety, and security across all sites through seamless network integration. All critical applications are centralized and distributed. Even though Gavilan has made significant progress toward reliability, safety and security of its infrastructure, not all updates have been completed since funding is not always available.
Gavilan’s 2017 Educational Master Plan states that, “the growing ubiquity of technology in education requires that more thought, resources, and funding be directed toward the Gavilan IT department to keep it from falling behind the technology of its competitor colleges.” Important technologies that the department has supported and continues to support include moving towards virtual infrastructure in order to reduce costs and save space, creating a refresh plan, and establishing a backup recovery plan. As Gavilan moves toward a virtualization of all backend servers and a college-wide implementation of a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), it will allow students to access College resources and services from their own devices (III.C-5). Many efforts have been made toward developing these goals and will continue to do so when fiscal resources are designated for these purposes.
The institution provides appropriate instruction and support for faculty, staff, students, and administrators, in the effective use of technology and technology systems related to its programs, services, and institutional operations.
Gavilan College continues to offer quality training for faculty, staff, students, and administrators in the use of technology. Technology training and support is provided for instructional programs, student services, and business services. Gavilan’s training needs are assessed by surveys (III.C-67). In addition, Gavilan’s support needs are determined by the types of email requests sent to the tech help address (firstname.lastname@example.org). Calls to the TLC help desk are also evaluated periodically to determine the staff’s technology training needs (III.C-68).
A Professional Development Day committee creates the agendas and organizes the Professional Development Day and Convocation Day workshops each semester for all employees. Following the day's activities, evaluations are disseminated to all participants. From these evaluations, needs are assessed and new trainings are developed for faculty and staff every year. The Faculty Professional Learning Committee is a standing committee of the Academic Senate and its purpose is to review and approve faculty professional growth activities. They review and approve the flex contracts, co-curricular, and individual professional development plans. Technology trainings that include flex credit are initiated by the instructors and coordinated between the Vice President of Academic Affairs and the Teaching and Learning Center (TLC). Convocation and Professional Learning Day workshops are included in flex contracts and these trainings are frequently focused on technology (III.C-69).
The TLC is a centralized place on campus where a variety of training opportunities and equipment are provided for all faculty and staff (III.C-70). The TLC organizes and implements ongoing trainings for both faculty and staff. Currently, the TLC is staffed by the Distance Education Coordinator and a part-time faculty member. The TLC’s program plan calls for the addition of a full time instructional Technologist position, per State Guidelines (III.C-71). The Title V Grant is paying for a part time Instructional Technologist which will end in 2020.
The equipment in the TLC includes: 7 lab PC computers, 2 Macs, one document scanner, a color printer, a copy machine, and a Macintosh with a large monitor for presentations and web conferencing. The lab is open to all staff and faculty on a drop-in basis. However, employees can reserve the computer lab or the presentation area for specific trainings or monthly committee meetings. A list of ongoing trainings is provided on the TLC website (III.C-72) and flex credit options are available. Training and support needs are assessed through individual faculty requests and survey results (III.C-73). The current Title V grant funds faculty opportunities for technology trainings and focuses on online teaching. Announcements and information are disseminated regularly by the TLC staff on workshops, courses, webinars and conferences from sources such as: Online Education Initiative Consortium, @One, and the Accessibility Center (III.C-74).
The TLC also provides equipment and training for faculty who teach distance education courses (3C.4.9). When the college transitioned from Moodle to the Canvas Learning Management system, the TLC provided several workshops on “Getting to Know Canvas” (III.C-75). The TLC also designed a Canvas Help website to instruct faculty on the topics of: Getting Started, Adding Course Content, Using Outcomes, FAQs, etc. (III.C-76). Individual appointments for assistance or training are available throughout the semester and drop-ins are welcome. Examples of ongoing trainings include the latest Microsoft Office software, podcasting, video creation, YouTube captioning, anti-plagiarism software (TurnItIn), Adobe Creative Suites software, Google docs, etc. Sign-in sheets for these various trainings are maintained in the TLC (III.C-77). The TLC also maintains a website that provides links to many informational resources and tutorials such as: Distance Education Best Practices, Classroom Resources, 3C Media, Kognito, California Acceleration Project, and SLO/PLO resources (III.C-78). The Media Services staff provide continuous support and training on how to utilize the existing equipment and the new technologies in the classroom. In addition, they assist in video and sound production and setting up the assisted listening devices (ALD) in the classrooms and theater.
With the conversion to the content management system (CMS), Hannon Hill, the TLC staff and the Webmaster have been instrumental in streamlining the transition. The webmaster provides continuous weekly trainings on the software in the TLC and the training also includes web accessibility guidelines (III.C-79). Resources on how to create accessible web pages and course materials are also provided to faculty. Each department/program has a representative who is trained, and responsible for maintaining their department or service website. The Web Developer and the SLO faculty liaison collaborate to ensure that the SLO Reporting Website is up-to-date and operational (III.C-80). The SLO faculty liaison also provides training to faculty on how to assess their student learning outcomes and how to upload their results to the website.
Whenever a new software program or service is purchased, trainings are provided by the vendor or the contracted service as part of implementation stage. When curriQunet was purchased, Gavilan’s IT and Curriculum Specialist collaborated on implementing the program. Once the program went live, the Curriculum Specialist and Curriculum Chair provided several trainings for the Curriculum committee members on how to use the program, so that faculty could provide ongoing training for other faculty (III.C-81). Gavilan’s IT department, Curriculum Specialist, and Curriculum Chair continue to support the users of curriQunet.
Extensive training was provided to faculty and staff during the implementation of Ellucian’s Banner, the Enterprise Resource Program (ERP) for the College. The IT department offers introductory Banner training when requested by new users. Detailed module training is provided to employees by their respective departments. For example, the Business Office offers training on the self-service finance module bi-annually to individual budget managers who require or request training. With the addition of the Ellucian’s Banner HR Payroll module and the FLAC online contract module, trainings are continually provided for the staff using the technology (III.C-82). The implementation of Banner required changes to some of the College's business processes.
When new software systems or upgrades are implemented, trainings are provided for faculty and staff. Some examples include: DegreeWorks, SARS Anywhere, Banner Self-Service, 25Live, GEARS and Argos/Hyperion (III.C-82).
Through the implementation of Banner and student email, students now have increased access to information regarding their student account, registration, financial aid, degree progress, and course information. An additional feature of Banner is that it is available 24/7 for students and faculty access. Informational and training websites and tutorials are available for students to learn how to access the myGav portal, Self-Service Banner, mobile apps, and use their Gavilan email (III.C-83).
Gavilan provides students with many free tools to help them stay organized and have instant access to grades, schedules, and other campus resources. For example, Grad Guru sends electronic notifications regarding important deadlines, and EAB Navigate takes the guesswork out of education requirements from registration to graduation. There are mobile apps, emergency alert systems, interactive online programs, and free online tutoring available for Gavilan students (III.C-84).
Gavilan provides quality training opportunities for students in many different areas. In addition to the computer application courses, technology training for students is provided in the Computer Center, Library, High Tech Center, Learning Skills lab, Business Skills Center, Tutoring Center, Writing Center, Learning Commons, Math Lab, Digital Media/CSIS Lab, and off campus labs, on a drop-in basis or as requested by the student. For example, once the students are trained in the assistive computer technologies in the High Tech Center, the software is available in various student labs on campus and at the off-site locations (III.C-85). According to the 2018 Accreditation Student Survey, of the 64% of the students responding to the question about assistive technologies, 57% rated the assistive technologies satisfactory to excellent (III.C-25). According to the 2018 Accreditation Student Survey, 83% of students agreed that the District provides adequate information and training about various technologies including myGav Portal, iLearn, and computer labs (III.C-86).
The new student orientation for Gavilan students is a two-part process. The first part of the new student program requires a completion of the Online Kick Start session (III.C-87). The second part of the new student program is the completion of the New College Student Seminar or First Year College course called Guidance 210 in which students can take either as a face-to-face or as an online course. This course includes a section on navigating and using online resources (III.C-88).
When students are enrolled in online courses, they are provided with many opportunities for training and support. Gavilan offers an in-person or an online orientation workshop for the use of Canvas each semester. Students can attend orientations in the library each semester for additional assistance and information, and the trainings and resources are listed on the Distance Education website (III.C-89). An online non-credit student orientation course (LIB 732: Introduction to Online Gavilan) is available for all students enrolled in online courses (III.C-90). Students may choose to complete the course as needed. Another non-credit course that was developed for student training is Guidance 700: Online Basic Academic Skills (III.C-91). This online course is designed for entry-level students who want to improve their basic academic skills or prepare for the GED or HiSET test through the use of appropriate software. Additional online non-credit courses are available to assist students with online research and avoiding plagiarism. The online non-credit information competency tutorials that are offered with the Nursing program include: Library 740: Information Competency for Nursing Assistants, Library 741: Information Competency for the Life Cycle, and Library 742: Information Competency for Nutrition (III.C-92).
Faculty, staff, students, and administrators are provided with sufficient technology training and support. Online instructions, tutorials, one-to-one instruction, and small group sessions are provided weekly by the TLC faculty and Webmaster.
Workshops, in the Teaching and Learning Center are readily available to all faculty and staff who want to utilize various delivery modes and teaching methodologies within Canvas. Technology trainings are provided to assist employees when new software is implemented and business processes have evolved. Technology training and support needs are assessed through individual faculty requests and surveys, and workshops are continuously developed based on those results. Each semester, Professional Learning Day activities are evaluated and new workshops are developed to meet the needs of all faculty and staff. Students have many opportunities to select courses offered in a variety of delivery formats. If they choose online, appropriate instruction and support is available to guide a student to be successful. Gavilan also provides our students with many free technology tools to assist them in staying organized and giving them instant access to grades, schedules, and other campus resources.
According to the 2018 Accreditation employee survey, only 59% of employees agree to strongly agree that the District provides sufficient training in the use of technology both hardware and software, to effectively carry out their work responsibilities (III.C-93). Even though many trainings are conducted when new technologies are introduced, it appears that a significant number of employees feel they are not receiving sufficient training. These results may be due to various reasons such as scheduling conflicts and part time faculty availability. To address these training needs, the District will continue to survey employees on their specific training needs and create a variety of professional growth opportunities accommodating multiple schedules.
Gavilan College has policies and procedures that guide the appropriate use of technology throughout the teaching and learning process. Decision-making policies for technology resources are detailed in the 2014-2019 Technology Master Plan (III.C-2) and are integrated into the College planning and shared governance processes. Gavilan’s Board of Trustees is responsible for setting policy for the District. There are several Board Policies and Administrative Procedures that specifically address appropriate use of technology resources. In addition to the Board policies and procedures, many standards were developed and listed within Appendix E of the Technology Master Plan (TMP), such as: Hardware, Software, Web and Network Management Standards (III.C-27). Many of these standards are discussed at the District Technology Committee meetings, and then committee members disseminate information and receive input from their respective constituent groups. Once decisions are made, recommendations from the committee are forwarded to the President’s Council for final determinations. The committee publicizes the technology-related decisions by posting the TMP and the District Technology Committee meeting minutes. The Distance Education Committee has also developed best practices and processes regarding the appropriate use of technology resources to meet the needs of the faculty responsible for distance education. These guidelines are best described in the following documents: the Distance Education Master Plan (III.C-94) and the Distance Education: Best Practices (III.C-95).
Gavilan’s Board Policy (BP 3720) Computer and Network Use states that the employees, trustees and students who use the College’s computers and networks and the information they contain, and related resources have a responsibility not to abuse those resources and to respect the rights of others. It also states that users must also respect software copyrights and licenses, respect the integrity of computer-based information resources, refrain from seeking to gain unauthorized access, and respect the rights of other computer users (III.C-96).
The associated Administrative Procedure (AP 3720) (III.C-97) outlines in more detail the following areas: Conditions of Use, Legal Process, Copyrights and Licenses, Illegal Distribution of Copyrighted Materials, Integrity of Information Resources, Unauthorized Access, Usage, Nondiscrimination, Disclosure, Dissemination, and User Acknowledgement. This procedure states that the District’s computers and network systems are for instructional and work related purposes only. Regarding unauthorized access, users must protect their password or they may be subject to both civil and criminal liability. Regarding copyrights and licenses, it emphasizes that computer users must respect copyrights and licenses to software and other online information, specifically prohibiting plagiarism of computer information. It says that plagiarism is prohibited in the same way that plagiarism of any other protected work is prohibited. All new employees have to sign a Computer and Network Usage Agreement, located in AP 3720, acknowledging that they have read the BP and AP procedures. Furthermore, IT is implementing a “pop-up” dialog box stating that these rules will be abided by when utilizing the District’s computers and network systems.
Gavilan’s Board Policy 6340 (BP 6340) (III.C-98) 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. The District is authorized to proceed with a contract that best serves the college constituencies by several related Administrative Procedures. One such example is Gavilan’s Administrative Procedures (AP 6365) Contracts - Accessibility of Information Technology. This AP mandates that a contract for the purchase, development, procurement, maintenance or use of any electronic or information technology must contain a provision that the vendor complies with the requirements of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and its related regulations (III.C-99).
Gavilan College’s Board Policy (III.C-100) and Administrative Procedures (AP 6520) Security for District Property both state that procedures and processes will be followed to ensure sufficient security of all equipment, including locking software for computers (III.C-101).
Initially when the College established its TMP, it was recommended that standards be developed for hardware, software, web, and network management. The Hardware Standards document describes the procedures for hardware purchases specifically for Macintosh computers, laptop computers, and handheld wireless devices. It is also reiterated that the vendor must ensure that their product meets the ADA Section 508 standards in Appendix E-1 Hardware Standards of the TMP (III.C-102). The Software Standards section, Appendix E-2, defines the procedures for software purchases for both individual and computer lab purchases. This standard emphasizes the importance of purchasing software that will be compatible with Gavilan’s existing hardware, software and network also ensuring that the product complies with the ADA Section 508 standards (III.C-103). The Web Standards, Appendix E-3, section emphasizes the importance of ensuring all official pages on the District website are accurate, up-to-date, and accessible according to ADA Section 508 (III.C-104). The Network Management Standards, Appendix E-4, strive to ensure that all network management standards are accurate, up-to-date and accessible for instruction, student services, and administrative services both on campus and off-campus (III.C-66). The main focus areas for this standard include: usability, reliability, performance and security (III.C-27).
The 2014-2019 Gavilan College District Technology Master Plan effectively documents decision-making policies and procedures for technology resources. Several Board Policies and Administrative Procedures specifically address the appropriate use of technology resources in the teaching and learning processes. The Distance Education Master Plan and the Distance Education Best Practices document serve as guidelines for faculty who teach online. The institution further demonstrates the appropriate use of technology through its Hardware, Software, Web, and Network Management standards outlined in the Technology Master Plan.
The District evaluates the effectiveness of technology using various methods, such as survey results from students, staff, faculty and input to the District Technology Committee (DTC). Technology accommodates the College’s commitment to classroom-based and online modalities of student learning. The institution continuously plans for, updates and replaces technology to ensure its technological infrastructure, quality and capacity are adequate to support its mission, operations, programs, and services. Technology resources are identified through the shared governance decision-making process, and they are detailed in the 2014-2019 Technology Master Plan (III.C-2). The TMP is integrated with the initiatives from the college’s various documents such as: the Mission, Strategic Plan, Educational Master Plan, and the Facilities Master Plan.
The Gavilan College Technology Master Plan prioritizes computer needs, and it states that computer classroom labs should be updated first and maintained current as funding permits. Through institutional planning, financial resources have been allocated to implement and maintain the technology resources necessary for its courses, programs and services. Gavilan offers the same level of access, safety, and security across all sites through seamless network integration. All critical applications are centralized and distributed.
Faculty, staff, students, and administrators are provided with sufficient technology training and support. Online instructions, tutorials, one-to-one instruction, and small group sessions are provided weekly by the Teaching and Learning Center (TLC) faculty and Webmaster. Each semester, Professional Learning Day activities are evaluated and new workshops are developed to meet the needs of all faculty and staff. Even though many trainings are conducted when new technologies are introduced, a significant number of employees feel they are not receiving sufficient training. To address these training needs, the District will continue to survey employees on their specific training needs and create a variety of professional growth opportunities accommodating multiple schedules.
The 2014-2019 Gavilan College District Technology Master Plan effectively documents decision-making policies and procedures for technology resources. Several Board Policies and Administrative Procedures specifically address the appropriate use of technology resources in our teaching and learning processes. The Distance Education Master Plan and the Distance Education Best Practices document serve as guidelines for faculty who teach online. The institution further demonstrates the appropriate use of technology through its Hardware, Software, Web, and Network Management standards outlined in the Technology Master Plan.
- Procurement Improvements: Evaluate alternative procurement options for desktop computers such as leasing or virtual desktop infrastructure.
- Facilities Improvement: Update the Smart Classrooms on campus and at the off-site locations to ensure that there is appropriate and adequate hardware in the teaching and learning environments.
- ADA Compliance: Develop an Accessibility Plan for the College and continue to make progress towards ADA Section 508 compliance. Continue to discuss the Web Accessibility Complaint Process in shared governance and then send to the Board for adoption.
- Professional Development: Continue to survey employees on their specific training needs and create a variety of professional growth opportunities accommodating multiple schedules.