States Executive Summary
The Middle States
Commission on Higher Education (Middle States) issued a warning to HACC in
November 2012. It applied to three specific areas:
- Standard 7 (Institutional
- Standard 12 (General Education)
- Standard 14 (Assessment of Student
also made a recommendation for improvements in Standard 4, Institutional
Leadership and Governance.
Learn about each
standard. Discover the steps HACC took to implement, correct or enhance our
work. We have made improvements in organizing, documenting and sustaining our
4: Institutional Leadership and Governance
defines Standard 4 as "the institution's system of governance clearly defines
the roles of institutional constituencies in policy development and
decision-making. The governance structure includes an active governing body
with sufficient autonomy to assure institutional integrity and to fulfill its
responsibilities of policy and resource development, consistent with the
mission of the institution."
HACC revisited the Shared Governance Taskforce. We then developed new
The taskforce has:
- Established a new process. We
based this process on national best practices and a new standing Shared
Governance Process Committee. The committee is a decision-making group.
Its members represent all groups at HACC, including students,
administrators, professionals, classified staff and faculty.
- Assigned the chief of staff to be
the chairman of the committee.
- Eliminated outdated and irrelevant
Administrative Policies (APs).
- Planned for a searchable,
electronic employee handbook. This handbook outlines procedures relevant
to the above-mentioned groups.
By establishing governance bodies, we:
- Formed an Administrators and
- Updated the Constitution and
Bylaws of the Student Governance Association.
- Established a Shared Governance
- Assembled an Institutional
7: Institutional Assessment
Middle States defines standard 7 as "the institution has developed and
implemented an assessment process that evaluates its overall effectiveness in
achieving its mission and goals and its compliance with accreditation
The Board of Trustees participated in an
assessment. They developed an action plan and timeline for future
We also established an Institutional Effectiveness Taskforce. We brought together administrators,
board of trustees, faculty, classified staff and students to participate in the
taskforce. They made many achievements.
- The taskforce developed an
Institutional Effectiveness Plan. This plan includes a timeline for
evaluating HACC's efforts. It also draws clear connections between HACC's
strategic plan and those plans made throughout HACC. This includes all campuses,
academic departments and other HACC departments, such as the Office of
Finance and Office of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management.
HACC's leadership revised the strategic plan. This resulted in a new mission,
vision statement and core values (listed below). The revisions also cover our
ability to request money in order to complete strategic initiatives.
- Mission: Creating opportunities
and transforming lives to shape the future –TOGETHER!
- Vision: HACC will be the first
choice for a quality and accessible higher education opportunity.
- Core Values ("ICE T"): Integrity, Collegiality,
12: General Education
Middle States defines standard 12 as "the institution's curricula are designed
so that students acquire and demonstrate college-level proficiency in general
education and essential skills, including at least oral and written
communication, scientific and quantitative reasoning, critical analysis and reasoning,
and technological competency."
General Education at HACC provides students with essential knowledge and
skill foundations. We teach and reinforce these skills through courses.
- The assessment of the General Education has helped us
shift our approach. This shift ensures all General Education courses assess
essential skills. Essential skills include speech and writing skills,
research and analysis. This is regardless of the subject.
purchased TK20, a database management system. We can now view connections between course learning
outcomes, program capabilities and general education outcomes relating to
research, speech and writing skills. We use TK20 for document-planning
activities. We also use it to generate assessment reports for all of HACC's
academic and non-academic departments.
- We confirmed
that the strategic plan aligned accordingly. This resulted in a clear connection between general
education assessment and HACC's strategic plan.
14: Assessment of Student Learning
Middle States defines standard 14 as "assessment of student learning
demonstrates that, at graduation, or other appropriate points, the
institution's students have knowledge, skills, and competencies consistent with
institutional and appropriate higher education goals."
The College Wide Assessment Committee (CWAC) is comprised of faculty from the
academic departments. The committee worked to:
- Give HACC faculty a better
understanding of assessment practices.
- Make assessments more meaningful.
Faculty use assessments to change curricula when necessary. The committee
worked with faculty to achieve this.
- Align with the faculty Shared
Governance process (Faculty Senate).
- Build a relationship with the
Office of Institutional Effectiveness.
They also established an assessment cycle. This resulted in:
- The integration of TK20 software.
We use this software to monitor and document our assessment work.
- The CWAC overseeing assessment
work and professional development efforts. They made this change based on
consultation with the Centers for Innovation and Teaching Excellence
(CITE). They also worked with HACC units that create and deliver
professional development programs for faculty.
- Ties to HACC governance through
the Faculty Senate and the Academic Council.
Commitment to Excellence
We are committed
to educational excellence. To achieve this, HACC has:
the Office of Institutional Effectiveness. This included hiring a research analyst devoted to
faculty assessment needs.
These consultants provide guidance and mentoring for best practices. They
cover institutional effectiveness. They also cover outcomes assessment for
General Education and student learning.
TK20. HACC can
track and map objectives, outcomes and goals. TK20 also hosts the
assessment results and produces data reports on our efforts.
assessment results more openly through assessment showcases. We held these showcases live
(June 2013 and January 2014) and published summaries online.
This communication shows HACC's commitment to assessment and continuous
improvement in every area.
a new Shared Governance process. This process rewrites existing Administration
Procedures in a streamlined way.
an institutional effectiveness plan. This plan assesses both academic and
non-academic units, such as finance, student affairs and Human Resources. The
plan also holds people accountable for established expectations.
CWAC. CWAC now
trains, mentors, mediates, and oversees Assessment of Student Learning
Outcomes and General Education Outcomes' Assessment.
consultants for functional areas. The consultants made recommendations, and we
restructured the Offices of Information Technology and Services, Workforce
Development and Security. We also updated our marketing efforts. We now
have specific plans to streamline efficiencies and assess results.
- Hired an
external auditor. The auditor examined the HACC Foundation's processes and
procedures. We developed a specific action plan to correct and enhance the