SUBCATEGORY THREE: ACADEMIC PROGRAM DESIGN
Identifying student stakeholder groups and determining their educational needs (1.C.1, 1.C.2)
JCCC student stakeholders include prospective students, current students seeking two-year technical education degrees, students seeking associate degrees for transfer to four-year institutions, and community members seeking additional knowledge through academic coursework. The College identifies student stakeholder groups through the recruitment and admission processes. Applicants for admission indicate educational intent and provide demographic information. If a student indicates they may be part of a special needs population, prompts are provided for additional relevant information. Instructions are provided in the application that guide applicants through the admission process by maintaining repeated and continuous communication. A personal admission plan is created for each degree-seeking applicant. Additionally, success advocates call applicants to assist with the matriculation process. To maintain the College's open-door mission, non-degree seeking students do not have to meet admission requirements, but are still bound by course prerequisites (1.C.1, 1.C.2).
The College provides counseling and specialized services to student stakeholder groups, including international and second-language students, veterans, students placed in developmental courses, and students needing classroom accommodations like those governed by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In addition, the College provides opportunities and academic credit for students in partnerships with local secondary educational institutions through its College Now program (1.C.2).
Identifying other key stakeholder groups and determining their needs (1.C.1, 1.C.2)
Ongoing research on the needs of stakeholders is done primarily through the Department of Institutional Effectiveness, Planning and Research, which conducts student surveys, advisory board surveys, tracking on graduation rates, persistence rates, and success rates. In addition, career and technical education programs benefit from ongoing relationships with career-specific industry advisory boards. An additional point of contact between the College and our community is the JCCC Foundation Office. The Foundation supports academic programming through scholarships, funding for programming, co- and extracurricular activities, and capital improvements.
Continuing Education (CE) classes are available to serve the broader community (1.C.1). Through the Division of Continuing Education, the College offers a variety of courses and certificates. Students come to CE offerings to enhance workplace skills; attain professional credentials; or prepare for tests required by state licensing boards, certifying agencies, and professional associations. Professions currently served in this division of the College include health and human services, mediation, early childhood education, payroll and human resources management, information technology, and technical trades. In addition, CE offers successful personal and youth enrichment opportunities (1.C.2).
Developing and improving responsive programming to meet all stakeholders' needs (1.C.1, 1.C.2)
JCCC collaborates with the Kansas Board of Regents through its Kansas Core Outcomes Group. This group meets annually and is composed of faculty from all regents' institutions in the state in an effort to articulate seamless transfer of general education degree courses. Currently, more than 60 courses have been articulated in this process. In addition, the College supports ongoing transfer and articulation efforts through a full-time staff member in the Student Services Division.
The College's career programs maintain strong ties with Career and Technical Education Advisory Boards. Advisory committees fulfill a crucial role by advising programs of job opportunities; placing graduates; assisting programs in understanding the changing nature of the workforce; advising on facilities and program equipment; answering questions about course content; building interest and understanding between the College and community and professional organizations; and promoting education in career and technical education programs with business, industry, and the legislature. The Office of Institutional Effectiveness, Planning and Research surveys advisory committee members annually to evaluate the effectiveness of the advisory committee process and to elicit suggestions for enhancing the ability of advisory committees to assist the career program facilitators in meeting the needs of students and the workplace in the most effective manner possible (1.C.1, 1.C.2).
Continuing Education plays an active role in identifying stakeholders and building partnerships in the business community. The CE leadership team identifies and prioritizes a comprehensive list of potential partners in the community. An external partnership plan identifies the partnerships to pursue and the resources and objectives that will go toward each partnership. Examples of objectives for partnerships include having a representative on the organization's board of directors, hosting an event, and positioning JCCC faculty and staff into leadership programs. Evaluation is continuous and is based upon progress toward the objectives and whether changes are warranted.
Selecting the tools/methods/instruments used to assess the currency and effectiveness of academic programs
As previously noted, all credit academic programs and instructional support units participate in the Program Review processes. This is the primary means by which the currency and effectiveness of programs are evaluated. CE program areas conduct an annual product review process. All course titles for a one-year term are identified as products to review, with specific emphasis on enrollment, revenue, operating costs, retained revenue, and gross margin. Staff members collect data and organize the information into a standardized Excel spreadsheet.
Reviewing the viability of courses and programs and changing or discontinuing when necessary (4.A.1)
Within the Program Review processes, the instructional deans review and address the vitality self-assessments completed by the departments, which measure demand, quality, and resource utilization. The dean provides feedback to the department, which spurs future goals and action plans. Summary data on academic programs annual reviews are published on the College website. The Program Review process, specifically the vitality assessment, has processes and policies in place for revitalization and discontinuance of programs (4.A.1).
The CE processes on viability of its programming provide findings that include identification of courses operating at high or low gross margin, and high or low enrollment. The review process affirms decisions made throughout the previous year or provides the context for improvements for the following year.