Assessment should never be done solely for the sake of assessment. This is why it is essential to communicate assessment results as they are organized within an institution so that the information obtained can be used for improvement among all levels of the College. The following shows an illustration of the organization and communication flow of the College’s institutional effectiveness process along with a detailed narrative description.
VHCC’s Institutional Effectiveness Process
Tip: College goals should be communicated down to the units (departments/programs) so they have a roadmap for assessing outcomes in WEAVEonline. Post them in each office!
The College has two distinct cycles of planning and assessment, College-Level Strategic Planning and Assessment and Unit Level Planning and Outcomes Assessment. These two cycles fall under the umbrella of the VCCS’ Mission, Vision and Dateline 2009, and the College’s Mission and Vision.
Steps (Refer to the chart above):
College-Level Strategic Planning & Assessment (C)
The College participates in a Strategic Planning effort every 4-6 years. These goals and objectives are updated annually.
C-1. The Chancellor communicates his goals to the President. The President then forwards these goals to his staff and goals are developed for each division. The President’s staff typically have a retreat or meeting with their staff to develop goals for the coming year. Note: It is essential to review the unit-level findings and actions plans in WEAVEonline prior to the development of college goals.
C-2. The College goals/objectives are submitted to the College Board for approval at the July meeting.
C-3. Approved College goals/objectives are communicated to the Chancellor as well as units. This is perhaps the most important step because it is when the two cycles of planning and assessment overlap. It is crucial that the college-level plan is communicated to units prior to development of unit level planning. The College delivers its yearly plan. The President requests a mid-year report on progress of the College goals.
C-4. At the end of the year, results are reported on the progress of the College goals.
Unit level Planning & Outcomes Assessment (U)
U-1. All units (academic and educational support services and educational programs) develop outcomes assessment plans. This process is completed and maintained in WEAVEonline. Units enter Mission, Outcomes/Objectives and Measures in July/August.
U-2. Outcomes assessment plans are delivered throughout the academic and fiscal year.
U-3. Outcomes/objectives are then assessed throughout the academic and fiscal year.
U-4. All units enter Findings and any Action Plan (s) in WEAVEonline. It is then crucial for units to report findings and actions back to their supervisors so College-level planning can begin again.