CATEGORY TWO: INTRODUCTION
The following category will show that the College’s processes for meeting student and other stakeholder needs has reached a maturity level of aligned: processes being explicit, repeatable, and periodically evaluated for improvement. Further, this category will demonstrate that results collected on these processes are aligned: data and information is collected and archived for use, available to evaluate progress, and are analyzed at various levels. Highlights in this section include:
- As part of the College's Strategic Plan, Goal 1, a Task Force was formed to focus on developing a Strategic Enrollment Plan (SEP) for the College. An interdisciplinary and ongoing Strategic Enrollment Team (SET) was created to develop strategies for segmentation and development of enrollment targets for student populations.
- The Student Pathways program implemented during the 2016–2017 academic year includes the goals of increasing student access to counseling; creating a guided experience for students to navigate the educational system; bridging the gap for students who are unsure of their next steps; creating a guided self-advising experience; developing training and standards for the student experience; and developing a communications and marketing plan for counseling/advising services.
- In the Division of Continuing Education (CE), an external partner plan was developed in Fall 2014. The process for plan development included the identification of key stakeholders and the development of continuous contact strategies with the business community.
SUBCATEGORY ONE: CURRENT AND PROSPECTIVE STUDENT NEED
Identifying key student groups
JCCC is an open-access public comprehensive community college with the dual mission of providing transfer and career and technical education. To serve this mission, the College maintains more than 250 articulation agreements with transfer colleges and universities and offers approximately 150 degree and certificate options. The CE branch of the College offers more than 2,600 courses and programs that enhance career development and personal enrichment. Non-credit courses and contract training increase knowledge and skills while boosting job productivity and career potential.
The Kansas Board of Regents (KBOR) is the statewide coordinating board for the state’s 32 public higher education institutions (six state universities, one municipal university, 19 community colleges, and six technical colleges). Their task is to determine the vision for higher education in Kansas. In their 2010 report titled Foresight 2020, KBOR unveiled its strategic goals affecting Kansas community colleges: 1) increase higher education attainment among Kansans, and 2) improve alignment of the state’s higher education system with the needs of the economy.
To reach its first goal, KBOR charged institutions with increasing recruiting efforts for traditional, non-traditional, and underrepresented populations at levels matching state demographics. The College’s response to this initiative was to increase its staff and programs in the area of admissions to reach more of these types of students. JCCC employs four full-time recruiters in the Admissions Office who serve school districts in Johnson County through weekly recruiting events both on and off campus. Through research of census demographics, the College has identified a growing Hispanic population in Johnson County and the state of Kansas. To address this changing demographic, one recruiter is charged with increasing the diversity of applicants to better align with the state's and county's population. Furthermore, another employee in the Admissions Office has responsibilities that include recruiting adult students ages 23 and older, many of whom have earned college credits in the past. The Admissions Office has worked to identify strategies, such as adopting policies and outreach mechanisms, to meet the needs of these changing student populations.
Continuing Education is active in the community. The mission for CE is to provide learning that promotes the growth of individuals and the success of organizations. To address the ongoing changes in workforce development needs, CE staffs two business liaisons. This team meets on a regular basis with the Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Councils, professional organizations, and companies. In addition, the CE branch includes the Kansas Small Business Development Center and Procurement Technical Assistance Center to work with new small businesses, existing small businesses, and companies who contract with government agencies. The Adult Basic Education, General Education, and English Second Language programs work in the community with a diverse group of stakeholders. They provide services to nontraditional learners with the assistance of volunteers.
Determining new student groups to target for educational offerings and services
To determine which new educational services are need for new student groups, the College uses the community perception/image survey; analysis of student and stakeholder feedback; collaboration with advisory boards; segmentation of enrollment data; and analysis of local, state, and national demographic and workforce data. Current student and stakeholder feedback is routinely segmented demographically and geographically to identify new student groups.
The task force charged with developing a Strategic Enrollment Plan worked with Instruction, Institutional Research, Information Services, Student Success, and Engagement and Marketing Communications to propose enrollment targets for targeted populations (in 2015–2016: current high school students, high school graduates, non-traditional students, minority students, and international students); segment the market and define segment owners; formalize an enrollment plan; and identify segment-appropriate service delivery approaches. An additional outcome of these tasks was the creation of an ongoing interdisciplinary Strategic Enrollment Team (SET) that establishes both the target student enrollment goals and recommendations for reaching those goals. Other recommendations involved possible changes to class scheduling, additional online and College Now class offerings, and added late-start options.
The Continuing Education branch uses data from EMSI, CERI, and MARC to monitor workforce development trends. The CE staff serve on boards, committees, and advisory groups that provide data on the stakeholders they serve. The community members involved in the various groups assist CE by making connections to resources, funding, and facilities to support programming. All program participants in open enrollment and contract training classes are asked to complete an evaluation. The data from the evaluations is used for planning and research as new programming is developed.
Meeting changing student needs
The Ruffalo Noel Levitz Student Satisfaction Inventory (SSI) has been administered at the College since Spring 2000. Student satisfaction and priorities are measured through this indirect student perception survey. One of the challenges identified from the Spring 2015 results was a desire for more convenient class times to be scheduled.
In addition to SSI, students have an opportunity to formally share their needs and concerns with College administration through the Student Senate. Keeping in touch directly with students assists the College in identifying and planning for changing student needs. College officials are periodically invited to attend senate meetings to receive student input on issues and concerns, or they request to be on the agenda in order to have a dialogue regarding changes that will impact students.
The College president meets monthly with the president of Student Senate prior to the meeting of the Board of Trustees to gather information included in the President’s Report to the Board. Students also have an opportunity to speak informally with President Joe Sopcich through "Cup of Joe" sessions at the College's coffee shop. A representative from the Student Senate is included on many campus-wide committees, including Strategic Planning, Educational Affairs, Media Board, Council Addressing Substance Abuse Issues, Student Sustainability Committee, Performing Arts Series, Foundation Board, Student Experience Team, Sexual Assault Resource Team, Virtual College, and as needed on the Appeals Board.
In these ways the College community keeps abreast of changing student needs and can initiate plans to meet these new needs by updating goals and generating action plans.
Identifying and supporting student subgroups with distinctive needs (e.g., seniors, commuters, distance learners, military veterans) (3.D.1)
JCCC provides services targeting specific subgroups within its student populations. The College offers services to international students for issues related to immigration status, visa and passport issues, JCCC documentation requirements, regulatory advisement, cultural adjustment, and other similar issues. For students with Learning Disabilities or who are Hearing Impaired, the College's Access Services provides ADA Accommodations: testing accommodations, note-taking assistance, sign language interpreting services, audiobooks/alternative text, assistive technology, and tutoring. JCCC’s serves English Language Learners through its English for Academic Purposes course offerings.
Veterans: To help meet the increasing numbers and needs of veterans, the College established a Veteran and Military Student Resource Center in 2014. The center is a place for veterans, military service members, and their dependents to get assistance with their educational benefits and to get connected with campus and community resources, e.g., Veterans Upward Bound and Kansas Commission on Veterans Affairs. The College is designated through the Department of Veterans Affairs as a Principles of Excellence participant and by the U.S. Department of Education as an Eight Keys to Veterans’ Success Site. In 2015, 1,503 students identified themselves as veterans.
The VetSuccess on Campus (VSOC) program, run through the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, provides a VA Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC) to each VSOC school. JCCC is one of only 92 colleges across the country and the only college in Kansas and the Kansas City area that has this program. VSOC counselors ensure that veterans receive the support and assistance needed to pursue their educational and employment goals. Because VSOC Counselors are easily accessible on campus, they help resolve any problems that could potentially interfere with a veteran's educational program, including assisting with disability accommodations. If needed, VSOC counselors can also provide referrals for health services through VA Medical Centers, Community-Based Outpatient Clinics, or Vet Centers.
The College grants early enrollment privileges to veteran and military students and offers veteran-focused sections of general education classes, such as English Composition in support of unique learning needs.
Distance Learners: JCCC is expanding its online course options using the Desire to Learn (D2L) learning management platform. The College has invested time and resources in developing student video tutorials, online tutoring, library widgets, and counseling widgets on the D2L platform. Additionally, two counselors have become certified in counseling/advising distance learners, and all counselors are available by e-mail, phone, and instant messaging.
College Now: The College Now program is a partnership program that provides high school students the opportunity to earn college credits while completing their high school requirements through concurrent enrollment. Courses reflect the College’s course content, objectives, and assignments and are taught in the high schools by qualified high school teachers. The College maintains close contact with high school College Now instructors, providing them with teaching resources and professional development opportunities. Students are encouraged to visit the JCCC campus and interact with faculty from their discipline interest areas.
TAACCCT Grant: In 2014, the College was awarded a four-year, $2.5-million federal grant: the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grant (TAACCCT). The TAACCCT funds innovative ideas that encourage students to complete programs faster and prepare them to meet employer expectations. The program, entitled Accelerated Collaborative Technology Training Services (ACTTS), has targeted four career programs: computer information systems/computer programming, information technology networking, web development, and health information systems. Career coaches are also funded under this grant.
The Accelerating Opportunity: Kansas (AO-K) enables students to work toward a high school equivalency (currently a GED) while concurrently earning a postsecondary career/technical credential in an in-demand field. While earning a GED, students complete stackable, short-term certificate programs aligned with local labor market needs and immediate jobs with longer-term opportunities for career and wage growth.
The Bridge students are served by the Adult Basic Education (ABE) program. A student is encouraged to enroll in the Bridge program when their placement scores in math and English show they are underprepared for college level classes. General Education Development students attend Johnson County Adult Education (JCAE) classes either in person or online to prepare for the test and earn a Kansas state high school diploma. JCAE partners with the Johnson County library to provide volunteers for under-educated adults.
Deploying non-academic support services to help students be successful (3.D.2)
Students who are seeking a degree or certificate or those taking courses in English and math are required to take placement tests in English, reading, and mathematics. The College’s Testing Services offers these tests free of charge, and its website includes links to study materials to help students prepare for placement testing.
The Student Success Center located on the second floor of the Student Center building is designed to support the needs of prospective and current students. Services offered include support for admissions, enrollment, records, financial aid, counseling, career development, and ACCESS Services. Student activities and clubs/organizations are located on the first and third floors of the Student Center, respectively. Students who face challenges such as transportation, child care, and other necessities are referred to the Student Success Center—there, they are connected with appropriate campus or community resources (3.D.2).
A partnership with Kansas Workforce was implemented to assist non-credit students with career planning and financial resources. Workforce Partnership connects local employers with qualified job candidates and offers a wide range of solutions in the areas of hiring, recruiting, training, retention, and expansion to businesses of all sizes. The Kansas Workforce Partnership staff member is housed in CE one full day each week and at the Learning & Career Center in Edgerton, KS three full days each week. The JCCC Foundation also partners with CE to provide scholarships to non-credit students. These partnerships help close the gap for funding because non-credit students are not eligible for financial aid.
Ensuring staff members who provide non-academic student support services are qualified, trained, and supported (3.C.6)
The Office of Human Resources screens all applicants who apply for a position to confirm applicants meet minimum posted requirements. If a position requires completion of a degree, candidates must provide official transcripts to Human Resources. Only those candidates who have had their applications verified by Human Resources are forwarded to the hiring department.
Once hired, staff are provided with opportunities for enrolling in memberships in professional organizations and opportunities for travel to regional and national conferences. The College encourages and supports staff taking leadership in both regional and national organizations in their respective fields. Staff leadership in these organizations is recognized each spring at an on-campus luncheon sponsored by BNSF railroad.
The Staff and Organizational Development office enhances organizational effectiveness and impacts student success by providing College employees with lifelong learning and development opportunities. At the beginning of the fall and spring semesters, Professional Development Days sessions cover a variety of topics both work related and about personal enrichment. Additionally, Staff and Organization Development provides mandatory trainings in Preventing Workplace Harassment and Information Security/Campus Safety Awareness and offers classes in using technology.
Communicating the availability of non-academic support services (3.D.2)
The College’s website is the primary means of communication for internal and external constituencies. In 2015, a new “digital first” content model became the top priority for advertising, social media, and analytics with the rebuild and redesign of the College website. A mobile-friendly, user-centered website was created that better met the needs of prospective and current students. As a companion to the digital communication model, there are video monitors in every campus building that run notifications and events. The College also uses some print materials for communication in addition to the digital content: posters are placed on campus-wide bulletin boards; table top brochures are placed in the dining areas; and post cards are occasionally mailed to students and/or parents to their homes (3.D.2). Information is shared with faculty who are also encouraged to verbally notify students of services and/or hand out information. Meetings of student groups such as student senate, student activity groups, and specific campus-wide meetings for students and staff are another vehicle in how this information is shared at a peer and group level (3.D.2).
Selecting the tools/methods/instruments to assess student needs
The College uses two nationally normed survey instruments. The first is focused on satisfaction, the Ruffalo Noel Levitz Student Satisfaction Inventory (SSI), and the second is focused on engagement, the Community College Student Satisfaction Engagement (CCSSE). Regular use of the same instruments allow longitudinal data to indicate trends over time.
Additionally, the College uses data from the National Community College Benchmark Project. This program was launched as a special project by the College in 2004. The Benchmarking Institute has additional tools designated to provide data to identify opportunities for improvement. Performance of individual community colleges are compared against peer institutions to provide high-level benchmarks on institutional demographics, student outcomes, student demographics, financial, human resource, and workforce development data. Student satisfaction and engagement are included in these measurements.
Assessing the degree to which student needs are met
The indirect SSI and CCSSE surveys provide insight to students’ perceptions regarding their overall campus experiences, such as sense of belonging, faculty attitude, quality of instruction, sense of security, efficiency and availability of student services, career development opportunities, campus climate, adequate and up-to-date library and computer facilities, approachability of administrators, and adequate course offerings. Furthermore, commitment to needs of students who attend part-time/evenings, are non-traditional, students with disabilities, or part of under-represented populations are also measured. Additional perceptions are gauged about why the student decided to attend the College: cost, availability of financial aid, reputation, location, athletics, recommendation from family or friends, a positive recruitment experience. Then, they are asked if after reflecting on their experiences thus far, would the student make the same decision to attend the College.
Beyond survey instruments, the College uses information from the National Community College Benchmark Project to review key performance indicators (KPIs) that focus on student success. Success is viewed as completing a degree or certificate, persistence toward completion, mastering learning outcomes in general education courses, or academic success after transferring to one of JCCC’s neighboring universities. Benchmarks are reported using institutional and national comparisons from a variety of topics, including SSI and CCSSE.