A major aspect of Institutional Effectiveness is evaluation of an institution’s performance. For this reason, the Lee College Institutional Effectiveness Committee (IEC) has selected a number of key indicators designed to reflect the progress that Lee College is making with respect to accomplishment of its goals. Thus, included in this IERC are measures for each of the College’s goals for the 2006-2007 year. For ease of use, the IERC is organized by goal with relevant indicators following each goal. Some indicators are more accurate measures than others. For instance, financial indicators, such as cost per full time equivalent student (FTE), are precise. Others are less so, but serve as acceptable proxies for the desired information. Generally, the IEC chose indicators that are well understood, widely accepted, and easy to compute using available data.
The IEC recognizes that to assess performance, it is often helpful to compare Lee College with other institutions. Accordingly, wherever possible, the IEC collected such comparative data.
The IEC wants to emphasize that there is no “right” or “wrong” value for any indicator. What is essential is to know Lee College’s position relative to peers, to past performance, and, most importantly, to accomplishment of its goals and then to investigate and understand the reasons for any perceived problem areas. Once these reasons are understood, the IERC can become the basis for taking or not taking action.
It is also important to bear in mind the external trends and influences not directly reflected in the indicators presented. For example, as a public institution, Lee College must monitor Texas political and economic trends that will affect appropriations. In addition, as a community college, Lee College must monitor local business trends for clues about needed new programs.
Caveats notwithstanding, the IERC provides a framework for understanding Lee College’s institutional condition relative to its goals and for taking steps to improve.
Institutional Effectiveness Report Card
Lee College, with its annual Institutional Effectiveness Report Card (IERC), sustains its strong commitment to institutional effectiveness. This year’s review, embodied in this document, includes indicators derived from the College’s goals for 2006-2007. The measures shown are designed to reflect how well the College is accomplishing its goals, which in turn, support Lee College’s mission.
The Institutional Effectiveness Committee (IEC), as part of its annual preparations for publishing this year’s IERC, reviewed last year’s indicators and made some additions, modifications, and deletions. These changes were generally made to add indicators that the committee believed were more relevant to the College goals and to take advantage of additional data that has become available since last year’s report. All measures chosen reflect the consensus of the IEC. A comparison of the core indicators of effectiveness published by the American Association of Community Colleges on May 17, 1994 shows that this IERC provides all but two of the indicators recommended:
As with previous IERCs, this document is organized by goal with institution-wide indicators shown for each goal. Every effort was made to use the most recent data available. The IEC developed the recommended working targets for the indicators after reviewing existing historical data, discussing what the desirable targets should be, and reaching group consensus. Newer indicators may have no working target yet established.
The IERC is designed to foster discussion among all the College’s diverse elements with a view towards continuous improvement in the accomplishment of the College mission.
Charge: To evaluate the College’s effectiveness in accomplishing the goals and mission, to select and use a variety of performance measures (institutional effectiveness indicators), and to publish an Institutional Effectiveness Report Card (IERC).
Membership: Four academic members (three teaching and one non teaching), four applied science and community education members (three teaching and one non teaching), one dean (chair), one any division non-teaching, and one administrator/administrative support, plus ex officio research technician, and immediate past chair, if available.
Method of Selection: The Academic Studies Division elects its representatives, the Applied Science and Community Education (ASCE) dean appoints ASCE members, the President appoints the chair and the administrator/administrative support member, and the appropriate dean appoints the any division non teaching member.
Process: The Committee meets in the Spring to validate indicators of effectiveness. These indicators are measures of the degree to which to College is meeting the College goals. Then, the Committee publishes an Institutional Effectiveness Report Card (IERC) in the July-August timeframe. The Committee Chair normally briefs the President’s Council on the results of the IERC in September of each year.
How to Use The IERC
Step 1. Recognize that the IERC is but one part of a comprehensive, continuous, institutional effectiveness process.
Step 2. Review the College goals. Each section contains a page with a goal statement containing a summary of the College’s progress towards accomplishing that goal.
Step 3. Review the institutional effectiveness indicators for each goal. The indicators contain the data used for a particular measure, the source(s) for the data, the working target(s), and a designated Office of Primary Responsibility (OPR) for the indicator.
Step 4. After your review of the IERC, meet with others in your functional area and discuss how you will use the results of the IERC’s evaluation. Are there any adjustments that you believe may be needed to better meet the College’s goals? This is your big chance to influence how the College accomplishes its mission!
Step 5. In coordination within your organization, modify your unit plan to incorporate the adjustments of Step 4. For example, an indicator may lead you to recommend accomplishing research to uncover the reasons behind performance. Or, your action plan might conceivably become part of a budget proposal to obtain the resources needed for goal attainment.
Step 6. Over the course of time, monitor your unit’s performance via the annual IERC to see if the adjustment you made actually moved the College closer to goal accomplishment. What were the results of your initiatives?
Step 7. Go back to Step 1 and start the cycle over again. Adjustments would be made and the process of continuous improvement sustained.
Functional areas do not have to address each and every indicator simultaneously. Because of limited resources, such an approach is clearly not economically feasible. Accordingly, an organization may choose to focus its attention on one particular issue and over the course of time research and implement a specific action plan for just that item. The idea is to use the IERC as one means to evaluate goal achievement and, then, as a framework for continuous improvement.