Dawson Community College’s Institutional Effectiveness System (IES) forms the framework with which the College applies clearly defined evaluation and planning procedures, assesses the extent to which it achieves its mission and core themes, and uses the results of assessment to effect institutional improvement. The College publishes the progress and results of these efforts on this website. Through these processes, the College regularly monitors its internal and external environments to determine how and to what degree changing circumstances may affect the institution and its ability to ensure its viability and sustainability.
In a shared governance environment, the IES integrates assessment of mission and core theme fulfillment, strategic planning, annual budgeting, and the continuous improvement of systems and processes. A number of standing committees comprise the institutional effectiveness system. The IES standing committees are the following (click on the committee’s name to see its mission, chairperson’s name, members’ names, and most recent meeting minutes):
The number and foci of the standing committees help ensure broad representation of internal stakeholders in the IES, and allows committee members to develop necessary content area expertise. The minutes for standing committee meetings are stored permanently on the College’s shared network drive.
The Institutional Effectiveness Committee serves as the direct conduit between the IES and the College President and Board of Trustees by reviewing all recommendations and decisions from the other standing committees, and making recommendations for action as necessary. The Academic Quality and Continuous Improvement (QCI) Committee and the Administrative QCI Committee serve dual purposes, which are to (a) review, approve, and monitor academic or administrative institutional effectiveness plans (IEP) from instructional chairs and unit managers respectively; and (b) consider and take decisions on recommendations from the standing committees reporting to them. The other standing committees consider opportunities and threats for specific areas of College operations, and consider operational issues relevant to the committee’s specialized focus area and/or mission. These standing committees report to either the Academic or the Administrative QCI committee, which helps ensure efficient operation of the IES.
Institutional Effectiveness and Continuous Improvement
The College engages in ongoing, participatory planning that provides direction for the institution and leads to the achievement of the intended outcomes of its programs and services, accomplishment of its core themes, and fulfillment of its mission through the IES. The resulting plans reflect the interdependent nature of the institution’s operations, functions, and resources.
Annually, the College President develops an Institutional Effectiveness Plan (IEP) for the year; based on the mission, core themes, and strategic plan approved by the Board of Trustees. Each Instructional Chair and Administrative Unit Manager creates, in collaboration with appropriate stakeholders, an IEP for his or her area that (a) aligns with the President’s IEP, (b) outlines assessment and evaluation protocols for the unit, and (c) identifies tactics for continuous improvement. The Instructional Chairs and Administrative Unit Managers forward their IEPs to the Academic QCI Committee or Administrative QCI Committee respectively for review and approval.
Once the Instructional Chair or Administrative Unit Manager receives approval from his or her respective QCI Committee, he or she (a) leads the unit in implementing the IEP, (b) collects assessment data, and (c) formulates plans for improvement. The Instructional Chairs and Administrative Unit Managers forward end-of-year reports on IEP performance and recommendations to their respective QCI committee. The President provides an end-of-year report on College IEP performance to the Board of Trustees.
Responding to Changing Internal or External Conditions
Through the Institutional Effectiveness System (IES), the College ensures that planning and implementation processes are sufficiently flexible to address unexpected circumstances that have the potential to affect the institution’s ability to accomplish its core theme objectives and to fulfill its mission. Any College employee, student, or stakeholder may forward suggestions for College improvement, raise concerns about College performance, or identify changing conditions in the College’s internal or external environment to the chairpersons of the Administrative QCI, Academic QCI, or Institutional Effectiveness committees. The chairperson will refer the topic to the appropriate standing committee(s) for consideration and analysis. If the committee determines that an action — including a change in plans or tactics — is necessary, the standing committee(s) will make recommendations for action, if any, to the referring Institutional Effectiveness Committee or QCI committee. If necessary, the Academic or Administrative QCI Committee will forward recommendations to the Institutional Effectiveness Committee.