Institutional Effectiveness Summary Report 2008

Institutional Effectiveness Model

Technologically skilled workforce

Reporting Components

The cycle for reporting the institutional effectiveness components to the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education for Tri-County Technical College is as follows: 

  1. General Education - Four-Year Cycle
  2. Majors or Concentrations - One-Year Cycle
  3. Academic Advising - Four-Year Cycle
  4. Achievement of Students Transferring from Two- to Four-Year Institutions - Two-Year Cycle
  5. Procedures for Student Development - Four-Year Cycle
  6. Library Resources - Four-Year Cycle
  7. Technologically Skilled Workforce - One-Year Cycle

Institutional Effectiveness Model:

Mission

Tri-County Technical College is a public, two-year community college dedicated to serving as a catalyst for the economic and lifelong development of the citizens of Anderson, Oconee, and Pickens Counties through outstanding programs and unparalleled service. An open admissions institution with primary focus on teaching and learning, the College serves approximately 6,000 to 7,000 students through both on-campus and distance learning courses. The College grants certificates, diplomas, and associate degrees in technical, career, and transfer programs. The College also offers certificates in Corporate & Community Education programs.

 

Tri-County Technical College's Institutional Effectiveness Policy and Institutional Effectiveness Procedure state that the College "will engage in ongoing, integrated, and research-based planning and evaluation processes that include periodic reviews of all programs and services..." and that are "designed to ensure continuous improvement and success in achieving the College's mission." In addition, the College is "committed to the integration of institutional effectiveness data into strategic planning at all levels of operation" and "will organize its human, physical and fiscal resources to carry out assessment, research, and planning processes."

 

Assessment

Systematic and ongoing assessment at Tri-County Technical College supports continuous improvement in all major areas of the Institution. The processes include broad-based participation of faculty, staff, students, administration, and external stakeholders. The resulting information is used by all units of the College to improve. Principal assessment activities include:

·        academic and administrative & educational support services program outcomes

·        institutional core indicators

·        student course/instructor evaluations

·        student, graduate, and employer surveys

·        academic program reviews

Research

The Research and Evaluation Department is responsible for assisting individuals and committees on campus who are involved in planning and decision making by gathering external and internal data appropriate to the need. The Department is responsible for presenting the data in a useful format and posting the results for the College community, if appropriate, and the timelines for ongoing data-gathering processes.

  

Planning

Planning at Tri-County Technical College occurs at both the College and the unit levels. The strategic planning process is coordinated by the Special Assistant to the President and unit-level planning is coordinated by divisional Vice Presidents. The planning process includes the development of mechanisms to use assessment data and a review of pertinent external data to improve the College and make institutional changes. In addition, the College provides a Budgeting/Planning workshop in coordination with the Business Department to train employees on the process, and to emphasize the relationship between budgeting and planning and the use of data and analysis in the planning process. All plans and budgets are required to have approval from appropriate supervisors and are then presented to the President by appropriate Vice Presidents and Deans for approval. The Research and Evaluation Department is responsible for developing and posting templates, timelines, and completed plans for the College community.

College Strategic Plan The College's 2005-2008 Strategic Plan is designed to define the College's mission, vision, and values and to identify actions to be taken on large college-wide initiatives that address priorities required to move the College forward and respond to assessment findings. Annually, before the budgeting process begins, the Executive Staff reviews the long-term initiatives and priorities to determine if they are still appropriate or if they need to be modified to reflect changing internal or external conditions. For any updates or revisions to the plan, the President assigns areas of responsibility. Vice presidents, in collaboration with faculty and staff within the respective unit, develop annual plans.

Division Plans: Strategic and Operational Planning at the Unit Level Divisional Plans are annual unit-level plans for all areas of the College: Institutional Advancement, Student Affairs, Academic Affairs (includes Corporate & Community Education), and Business Affairs (includes equipment, facilities, financial, and information technology). These plans include the mission of the unit as it relates to the College's mission and activities that have been assigned from the College Strategic Plan that respond to weaknesses and address new programs or services needed for continuous effectiveness in the future of the unit. Every five to eight years, the College works with a consultant to develop a long-term master facilities plan. Out of this comes an annual capital improvement plan, which is a part of the Business Affairs Divisional Plan.

Evidence of Continuous Improvement

The College's institutional effectiveness process is also continually being assessed. The Academic and Administrative Support Services Outcomes Process, a recently revised Institutional Effectiveness Policy and Procedure, and a new planning process for the new planning period are evidence that the College is dedicated to continuous improvement of the institutional effectiveness process.

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Technologically skilled workforce:

Tri-County Technical College is dedicated to providing a technologically skilled workforce. This is accomplished in multiple ways.

Technology Use in Teaching and Learning

The College is committed to the use of technology as an integral component of classroom and laboratory instruction. In addition to program-specific software, faculty use technology to enhance the teaching and learning environment. Chief among the instructional technologies used are (1) web-based systems: the College communication and resource portal (eTC, based on the Luminis portal technology), WebCT (course management system used for both distance learning delivery and on-campus course supplements), and the Academic Web (instructor and department web pages); and (2) classroom-based technology, such as presentation systems and SMARTboards. To assist faculty in fully integrating technology into instruction the College provides support through the Instructional Support Department, which directly assists faculty in developing and delivering technology-rich learning materials for both on-campus and distance learning courses. The staff provides consultation in on-line course design, web page development, WebCT, and other software packages used to create learning materials; facilitates a Teaching with Technology workshop series in conjunction with Faculty/Staff Development; and maintains a number of resources to aid faculty in utilizing technology in their classes. Additionally, the annual Master Teacher seminar series includes a session on the pedagogical aspects of integrating technology into instruction.

Appropriate to meeting the objectives of its programs

As an institution with technical degree programs, the College has many curricula that use specialized technology and software to accomplish program objectives. Advisory committee members, comprised of practitioners in the community, assist faculty in keeping abreast of industry standards to ensure that technology is appropriate for meeting individual program objectives. In addition, employers of graduates are surveyed annually in June and July concerning quality of preparation in general and technical competencies, as well as areas that need more emphasis in the curriculum.

Individual programs, departments, and divisions engage in technology planning through the College planning and budgeting process. Program faculty identify and plan for their specific technology requirements. The technology needs are informed by student learning outcomes and determined through advisory committee recommendations, research done by program faculty, and regional employer contacts.

In addition to program-specific student learning outcomes related to the use of technology, the College's identified general education Core Competency 1.3 states that all students who complete the general education component of their program will be able to "utilize current communication technologies to present ideas and information."

To meet the needs of students with multiple life and work responsibilities who are unable to attend regularly scheduled classes on campus, the College offers three degree programs through distance learning technology: Associate in Engineering Technology with a major in Industrial Supervision, Associate in Business with a major in Management, and Associate in Public Service with a major in Criminal Justice Technology. These entire programs, plus numerous courses from other programs, are delivered via the Internet (in addition to also being available in a traditional on-campus format), most through the web-based course management system WebCT. In fall 2007, the College delivered 119 courses online, with a duplicated enrollment of 2,035.

For many programs on campus, technology training is incorporated into class and/or lab instruction and faculty in these programs are available to provide 'hands-on' assistance to students outside of class/lab time.

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Reporting Components:

  1. General Education: This component was last submitted to the Commission on Higher Education in 2006. Based on the schedule of reporting for this component, a report on general education will be submitted next to the Commission on Higher Education in 2010.

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  1. Majors or Concentrations: This component was last submitted to the Commission on Higher Education in 2007. Based on the schedule of reporting for this component, a report on majors or concentrations will be submitted next to the Commission on Higher Education in 2009. The following presents a summary of the results for 2008.

Assessment Methodology: The assessment consists of annually surveying employers and graduates in all diploma and associate degree technical majors on satisfaction with educational experience, and work performance. Since 2003-2004, 771 employers and 2,396 graduates have provided feedback.

Major Findings:
The following summarizes the major findings of the assessment of majors or concentrations. Effectiveness Ratings of 0% up to 85% equal Very Ineffective, 85% up to 90% equal Ineffective, 90% up to 95% equal Effective, and 95% to 100% equal Very Effective.

·   Satisfaction with Educational Experience: 96% of graduates over the last five years indicate they are satisfied or very satisfied with their educational experience at Tri-County Technical College with annual ratings from 92% to 98% since 2003-2004. The rating for 2007-2008 equaled 92% (Effective).

·   Quality of Life: 94% of graduates over the last five years indicate that their Tri-County Technical College experience probably or definitely improved the quality of their lives with annual ratings from 90% to 94% since 2003-2004. The rating for 2007-2008 equaled 90% (Effective).

·        Preparation for Employment in Field: 93% of of graduates over the last five years indicate Tri-County Technical College adequately or very adequately prepares its graduates for employment in the field with annual ratings from 91% to 95% since 2003-2004. The rating for 2007-2008 equaled 91% (Effective).

·        Work Attitude of Graduates: 96% of employers rate the work attitude of Tri-County's graduates as adequate or very adequate compared to other workers with similar jobs with annual ratings from 95% to 97% since 2003-2004. The rating for 2007-2008 equaled 96% (Very Effective).

·        Hiring Tri-County Technical College Graduates: 100% of employers indicate they would probably or definitely consider hiring another Tri-County Technical College graduate with annual ratings from 99% to 100% since 2003-2004. The rating for 2007-2008 equaled 99% (Very Effective).

Major Initiatives: Based upon the institutional effectiveness findings for majors or concentrations, the following initiatives have or are being implemented.

·    Through collaboration between the Oconee County School District, the College, Oconee County Council, and the Allied Health Initiative of the SC Technical College System, funding has allowed the TCTC to assume administrative oversight of practical nursing at the Hamilton Career Center. The expansion will allow Oconee County high school students who might be interested in the LPN career pathway as an initial nursing credential to take dual enrollment general education courses suitable for transfer into Associate or Baccalaureate nursing studies. In July, 2008, the project reserved an award of $640,000 from the Duke Endowment to be paid over the next two years.

·    The Heat, Ventilation, and Air Condition program created a service learning activity for students. The students installed a HVAC system in the dog kennel for the Veterinary Technology program.  They also installed a redundant backup system.  This allows the VET  program to house large dogs in the summer months.

·    The Early Childhood Development Program received national accreditation through the National Association of Education for Young Children (NAEYC).

·    The  Arts and Sciences Division developed the Learning Beyond College Initiative, a seven-week program offered in the summer. Studies took place on campus for five weeks and in the New England area for two weeks. Both HIS 201 and ENG 201 could be taken for 6 credit hours or one course could be taken for 3 credit hours. The classes were taught separately  and points of intersection were occasionally highlighted in regards to the sites visited during the trip. 

·    The Professional Development Department in Corporate & Community Education created a Culinary Arts program at the Anderson Campus.  This program consists of 420 hours of training and provides students extensive hands-on training in an industrial kitchen.

·    The Health Care Department in Corporate & Community Education completed and submitted to the State Technical College System a model curriculum for PHM 152 and PHM 164, working towards a uniform state wide Pharmacy Technician Certificate. The curriculum was developed at the request of SC Board of Pharmacy.

·    The Business Training Center in Corporate & Community Education expanded its Construction Exam Preparation offerings to include Plumbing and General Contractor, helping to meet the needs of individuals working toward licensure.

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  1. Academic Advising: This component was last submitted to the Commission on Higher Education in 2004. Based on the schedule of reporting for this component, a report on general education will be submitted next to the Commission on Higher Education in 2012. The following presents a summary of the results for 2008.

Assessment Methodology: The assessment consists of annually surveying students on the quality and effectiveness of academic advising. Since 2003-2004, 9,095 students have provided feedback.

Major Findings:
The following summarizes the major findings of the assessment of academic advising. Effectiveness Ratings of 1.0 up to 2.0 equal Very Ineffective, 2.0 up to 3.0 equal Ineffective, 3.0 up to 4.0 equal Effective, and 4.0 to 5.0 equal Very Effective.

·   Availability of Advisors: Over the last five years students rate advisor availability as very good, with an average rating of 4.0. The annual ratings range from 3.9 to 4.1 since 2003-2004. The rating for 2007-2008 equaled 3.9 (Effective).

·   Assistance from Advisors: Over the last five years students rate advisor assistance as very good, with an average rating of 4.0. The annual ratings range from 3.9 to 4.1 since 2003-2004. The rating for 2007-2008 equaled 3.9 (Effective).

·   Accuracy of Information: Over the last five years students rate advising information as very good, with an average rating of 4.1. The annual ratings range from 4.0 to 4.2 since 2003-2004. The rating for 2007-2008 equaled 4.0 (Very Effective).

·   Quality of Advising: Over the last five years students rate advising quality as very good, with an average rating of 4.1. The annual ratings range from 3.9 to 4.1 since 2003-2004. The rating for 2007-2008 equaled 3.9 (Effective).

·   Concern of Advisors: Over the last five years students rate advisor concern as good, with an average rating of 3.9. The annual ratings range from 3.8 to 4.0 since 2003-2004. The rating for 2007-2008 equaled 3.8 (Effective).

·   Effectiveness of Advisors in Meeting the Needs of Students: Over the last five years students rate advising effectiveness as very good, with an average rating of 4.0. The annual ratings range from 3.9 to 4.1 since 2003-2004. The rating for 2007-2008 equaled 3.9 (Effective).

Major Initiatives: Based upon the institutional effectiveness findings for majors or concentrations, the following initiatives have been or are being implemented.

·    The Industrial and Engineering Technology Division hired a dedicated academic advisor to work closely with new students and provide academic support for existing students.

·    The Health Education Division hired a dedicated nursing liaison to work closely with new students and provide academic support with existing students.  The liaison counsels new students, coordinates the LPN to Professor program, and facilitates the process for students entering the clinical portion of the nursing program.

·    The Business and Public Services Division hired a dedicated retention and advising support liaison to work closely with new students and provide academic support for existing students.  

·    The Arts and Sciences Division provided continuous advising services for students who came to campus during times that were designated for advising and registration.

·    The Arts and Sciences Division provided advising workshops to promote consistency and quality in advising across the division.

·    The Nursing Department developed a 90 minute session that is offered monthly for students who are interested in a nursing career. Student who wish to enter the clinical portion of the nursing curriculum are required to attend a session. The purpose of the session is to make sure that all students get consistent information concerning the requirements for entering clinicals, as well as a tutorial on how to complete the competitive clinical entry application.

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  1. Achievement of Students Transferring from Two- to Four-Year Institutions: This component was last submitted to the Commission on Higher Education in 2006. Based on the schedule of reporting for this component, a report on general education will be submitted next to the Commission on Higher Education in 2010.  The following presents a summary of the results for 2008.

Assessment Methodology: The assessment consists of annually surveying Associate in Arts and Associate in Science graduates on Corporate & Community Education status, university transfer academic competencies, instruction, instructors, and preparation for transferring to another college/university program. Since 2003-2004, 289 Associate in Arts and Associate in Science graduates have provided feedback.

Major Findings: The following summarizes the major findings of the assessment of achievement of students transferring from two- to four-year institutions. Effectiveness Ratings of 1.00 up to 2.00 or 0% up to 85% equal Very Ineffective, 2.00 up to 3.00 or 85% up to 90% equal Ineffective, 3.00 up to 4.00 or 90% up to 95% equal Effective, and 4.00 to 5.00 or 95% to 100% equal Very Effective.

·   Preparation of University Transfer Academic Competencies: Over the last five years graduates rate their academic competency preparation for transfer as good or very good. The annual ratings range from 3.8 to 4.1 since 2003-2004. The rating for 2007-2008 equaled 4.1 (Very Effective).

·   Preparation for Transferring: Over the last five years, 98% of graduates indicate Tri-County Technical College adequately or very adequately prepared them for their new program. The annual ratings range from 93% to 100% since 2003-2004. The rating for 2007-2008 equaled 100% (Very Effective).

·   Satisfaction with Educational Experience: Over the last five years, 96% of graduates indicate they are satisfied or very satisfied with their educational experience at Tri-County Technical College. The annual ratings range from 93% to 100%. The rating for 2007-2008 equaled 93% (Effective).

·   Transferring to Two- and Four-Year Institutions: In 2007-2008, 80% of graduates accepted into another college/university program were accepted into a four-year college/university program and 20% were accepted into a two-year college program.

·   Percentage of Transfer Credit: In 2007-2008, 68% of graduates accepted into another college/university program indicated that 75%-100% of their credits transferred.

·   Grade Point Average in First Transfer Term: In 2007-2008, 88% of graduates accepted into another college/university program indicated that their first term transfer grade point average was 2.5 or high.

Major Initiatives: Based upon the institutional effectiveness findings for majors or concentrations, the following initiatives have or are being implemented.

·   The College created the LPN to Professor initiative in collaboration with Clemson University. The initiative aligns Tri-County's LPN and RN curricula with Clemson's BSN program to create a seamless transition for students seeking to complete their bachelor's degree. In May, 2008, approximately a third of the RN graduating class were in the BSN track.

·   The College, in collaboration with Clemson University, continued to develop the Bridge to Clemson University Program. This program is a competitive academic-enhancement transfer program available by invitation only from Clemson University. It provides a strong academic freshman year experience at Tri-County Technical College, located only a few miles from the Clemson campus. The program is centered on targeted advising, academic support and a seamless transition to Clemson University upon successful completion of academic requirements. Enrollment in the program has increased 33% in two years, with over 315 students registered for fall 2008 up from 236 in fall 2006.

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•5.      Procedures for Student Development: This component was last submitted to the Commission on Higher Education in 2007. Based on the schedule of reporting for this component, a report on procedures for student development will be submitted next to the Commission on Higher Education in 2011.

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  1. Library Resources: This component was last submitted to the Commission on Higher Education in 2005. Based on the schedule of reporting for this component, a report on library resources will be submitted next to the Commission on Higher Education in 2009.

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  1. Technologically Skilled Workforce: This component was last submitted to the Commission on Higher Education in 2007. Based on the schedule of reporting for this component, a report on technologically skilled workforce will be submitted next to the Commission on Higher Education in 2009. The following presents a summary of the results for 2008.

Assessment Methodology: The assessment consists of annually surveying employers of graduates from all diploma and associate degree technical majors on technical workplace competencies, general workplace competencies, and work performance. Since 2003-2004, 771 employers have provided feedback.

Major Findings: The following summarizes the major findings of the assessment of technologically skilled workforce. Effectiveness Ratings of 1.00 up to 2.00 or 0% up to 85% equal Very Ineffective, 2.00 up to 3.00 or 85% up to 90% equal Ineffective, 3.00 up to 4.00 or 90% up to 95% equal Effective, and 4.00 to 5.00 or 95% to 100% equal Very Effective.

·        On-the-job Performance of Graduates: Over the last five years, 97% of employers rate the on-the-job performance of Tri-County's graduates as adequate or very adequate compared to other workers with similar jobs with annual ratings from 96% to 99% since 2003-2004. The rating for 2007-2008 equaled 96% (Very Effective).

·        Work Quality of Graduates: Over the last five years, 97% of employers rate the work quality of Tri-County's graduates as adequate or very adequate compared to other workers with similar jobs with annual ratings from 96% to 99% since 2003-2004. The rating for 2007-2008 equaled 97% (Very Effective).

·        Preparation of Technical Workplace Competencies: Over the last five years, 97% of employers indicate Tri-County Technical College effectively or very effectively prepares graduates on the technical workplace competencies required for employment in the field with annual ratings from 97% to 99% since 2003-2004. The rating for 2007-2008 equaled 97% (Very Effective).

·        Preparation of General Workplace Competencies: Over the last five years, 99% of employers indicate Tri-County Technical College effectively or very effectively prepares graduates on the general workplace competencies required for employment in the field with annual ratings from 98% to 100% since 2003-2004. The rating for 2007-2008 equaled 98% (Very Effective).

Major Initiatives: Based upon the institutional effectiveness findings for technologically skilled workforce, the following initiatives have been or are being implemented.

·    The Veterinary Technology program added an evening program increasing enrollment opportunities for working students, and has increased program retention.

·    The Heat, Ventilation, and Air Condition program created a service learning activity for students. The students installed a HVAC system in the dog kennel for the Veterinary Technology program.  They also installed a redundant backup system.  This allows the VET  program to house large dogs in the summer months.

·    The faculty within the General Engineering Technology program are developing an evening hybrid program.  This will provide an accelerated program in the evening, while reducing the number of trips required to campus for the students.  The faculty continues to create the courses necessary for implementation. 

·    The Management program developed a Banking and Finance emphasis to support students interested in finance-related careers.

·    The World Class Training Center in Corporate & Community Education purchased technical training equipment that is being used at the Anderson Campus to provide technician training for individuals employed in the Anderson area. WCTC staff developed course materials and curricula to use with the new equipment, for extended programs for both Owens Corning Fiberglas and Orian Rugs.

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