SUBCATEGORY FOUR: INTEGRITY
Developing and communicating standards
JCCC is committed to being open with all stakeholders. The College has a strong web presence where information is easily available to the public. The College launched a newly designed website in 2015. The previous website reflected the College’s internal structure and academic vocabulary, which often made it confusing for students and other stakeholders to use. After interviews with students and other users of the website, the College constructed “personas” that reflected the needs of typical types of stakeholders to guide their thinking. It also conducted user studies throughout the redesign process to confirm their changes. The new website is organized around pathways students expect to follow using verbiage they understand (2.B).
College policies, as approved by the Board of Trustees, reflect the College’s commitment to legal and ethical behavior. The policies set standards for handling finances, income and investments, budgeting, purchasing and contracts, travel and reimbursement of expenses, employee conduct and performance, hiring, handling complaints and discipline, conflicts of interest, and student conduct and discipline. The standards are developed by the appropriate areas (i.e., Student Success and Engagement works with legal counsel on policies that affect students) and are communicated through a number of channels to staff and faculty, students, and the public (2.B).
College standards are also communicated internally in a number of ways. All employees receive a twice-daily compendium of messages via an email system called InfoList to inform them of College events, deadlines, and processes. The InfoList messages are housed in a SharePoint site along with information from various departments that is always available to employees. Also, a fleet of digital signs throughout the campus promotes upcoming events and deadlines. Additionally, periodic messages from key leadership are emailed to all employees and/or students (2.B).
Training employees and modeling for ethical and legal behavior across all levels of the institution
New faculty members are enrolled in a new faculty orientation program during their first year of employment. The group is led by experienced faculty members and used as a venue for acquainting new faculty with JCCC’s history, mission, culture, procedures, and instructional issues. During the first year of service, each new faculty member is assigned a faculty mentor; the two meet weekly throughout the year to address topics such as College standards (2.B).
Adjunct faculty are encouraged to complete the adjunct certification training. Upon completion of certification, the adjunct instructor should be cognizant of the College’s mission, aware of policies and procedures of the academic branch, comfortable in the College’s learning community, and equipped with more resources to enhance student learning in the classroom (2.B).
New administration and staff members are required to participate in new employee orientation sessions where they learn about the College's mission, culture, and processes and procedures (2.B). Training in ethical standards and behaviors is required of all employees at JCCC. Every year, each employee is trained on preventing harassment, FERPA standards, College security, and data security. The training consists of interactive online training modules with mastery tests. This training is mandatory for all full-time and part-time employees; non-compliance leads to discipline upto and including termination (2.A). Management topics meetings are scheduled periodically to provide supervisors training on such topics as performance management, tips for JCCC travel, leadership, change management, and security issues.
The College has established a code of ethics that trustees and certain administrators (president, executive vice presidents, vice presidents, associate vice presidents, executive directors, and the director of audit and advising services) must abide by to ensure conflicts of interest are addressed early and appropriately (2.A).
Ensuring the ethical practice of all employees (2.A)
The College has an Ethics Report Line powered by Ethics Point, that is a comprehensive and confidential reporting tool to assist management and employees to work together to address fraud, abuse, and misconduct in the workplace. Each report received is automatically dispatched to a review committee, which is a three-person committee created to ensure accountability and control. The review committee consists of the executive vice president of Instruction and Operations, the executive director of Audit and Advisory Services, and the director of Insurance and Risk Management. The review committee logs the initial response to the reporter to confirm receipt of a report and makes every effort to respond within 48 hours (2.A).
The review committee determines whether the content of a report concerns an ethical issue or if there is a more appropriate avenue to address the concern. The committee will notify the reporter if the report is not deemed to be an ethical issue and will attempt to obtain additional information from the reporter, if necessary, via the ethics report line’s two-way communication function. This functionality allows for two-way communication for anonymous reports via a “report key” feature (2.A).
Based on the actual content of the case, the review committee determines the appropriate primary case manager. Because the ethics report line is one of several intake methods, each case is handled consistently with similar received cases regardless of the method, following existing College policies and procedures (2.A).
At the quarterly meeting of the Board Audit Committee, a summary report on the activities of the Ethics Report Line is presented, including statistics on the number of cases received and general information about their disposition. This information is reflected in the monthly board meeting minutes as part of the quarterly Audit Committee report (2.A).
Operating financial, academic, personnel, and auxiliary functions with integrity, including following fair and ethical policies and adhering to processes for the governing board, administration, faculty, and staff (2.A)
To ensure that matters are handled with integrity, JCCC brought legal matters in-house in 2011. Before then, legal matters were handled by outside counsel, who often could not handle day-to-day matters like contracts, policies, and board governance. The College’s two attorneys work with all areas of the College on contracts, grants, policies and procedures, safety and security, open records, board governance, personnel and student matters as well as areas of federal regulation, including copyright and trademarks; reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities; FERPA; EPCRA; the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act; Title IX, the Clery Act, and the Violence Against Women Act; and Title IV and financial aid (2.A). The Office of General Counsel (OGC) also works proactively with departments to create checklists and forms to complement the College's policies and procedures to help create consistencies, encourage knowledge transfer and ensure best practices.
The College’s department of audit and advisory services works with other College departments to help them achieve their business objectives and serves as an independent appraisal function for College management and the Board of Trustees. Through its auditing function, the department ensures that College assets and records are protected, the reliability and integrity of information is intact, College resources are being used economically and effectively, the College is in compliance with laws and regulations, and that goals and objectives are being met (2.A).
Making information about programs, requirements, faculty and staff, costs to students, control, and accreditation relationships readily and clearly available to all constituents (2.B)
The primary communications device concerning all aspects of the student experience is the College website. Students find information online concerning college programs (both credit and noncredit), program requirements, faculty and staff, tuition and fees, governance, and accreditation. Much of this information is provided in a single location on the web under the Consumer Information page. In addition to the website, the College provides a variety of printed marketing and program materials as well as academic expectations for students and external constituencies.