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Environmental Analysis Task Force Executive Summary


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Title: Environmental Analysis Task Force Executive Summary

Environmental Analysis Task Force Executive
  • Arapahoe Community College
  • November 24, 2008

Process for creation of analysis
  • Product of approximately two months of effort by
    the Environmental Analysis Taskforce at Arapahoe
    Community College.
  • Aim of the Taskforce
  • To Provide
  • An initial structure
  • Systematized access to data
  • Tentative analysis
  • A foundation for the articulation of the
    Strategic Plan.
  • This is a work in progress.
  • The Environmental Analysis is but one component
    of the culmination of the entire Strategic Plan
    creation process.

Task Force Members
  • John Ratliff (FT Faculty SOC POS Faculty
    Tri-chair) Christi Maes (Admin Assistant,
    Automotive Classified Tri-chair) Mary
    Sherman (Manager, Institutional Research
    Administrative Tri-chair) Dave Castro (Chief
    Operating Office)Joe Lorenzo (Chief Financial
    Officer)Darcy Briggs-Jackson (Registrar)Deb
    Goldberg (Student Success Center
    Coordinator)Linda MacMackin (Admin Assistant,
    Advising)Michael McManus (Academic Advisor/New
    Student Programs)Linda Whitehouse (Director,
    Univ. Center at Chaparral)

Task Force Responsibilities
  • 1) Study the list of strategic planning questions
    provided by the Presidents Council (Glandon,
    Shellberg, Hegeman) to determine relevant
    qualitative and quantitative data that can be
    identified or generated that will assist ACC in
    addressing these questions.
  • 2) Obtain the data identified and share it among
    members of the Environmental Analysis Task Force
    for discussion, with the aim of developing a
    narrative description that analyzes ACCs and the
    external communitys situation, focusing on
    needs, defined as gaps in results gaps with
    regard to service to students, service to ACC
    employees, and service to society as a whole
    (Kaufmans Model).
  • 3) Report Task Force progress to ACCs Strategic
    Plan Content Council.

Task Force Responsibilites (cont)
  • 4) Collaborate with the Strategic Plan Content
    Council to write the narrative for the
    environmental analysis and to present the
    analysis and relevant data on which it is based
    to the entire College at the Fall Connections
    meeting on November 24, 2008.
  • 5) Share a draft of the narrative with the
    Values, Vision, Mission Task Force and the
    Strategic Plan Content Council in advance of the
    presentation to the entire College on November
  • 6) Assist in the evaluation of the work of the
    Environmental Analysis Task Force, documenting
    the work of the Task Force as part of the
    planning process archives.

Methodology and Data Gathering
  • Gather data and information to help interpret the
    four internal and four external questions
    outlined at the start of the Strategic Planning
  • Each of these eight questions would, in turn,
    align itself with one or more of the five
    Institutional Goals.
  • In order to obtain the best information possible
    for each of the questions, we chose members of
    the task force whose work areas were geared most
    specifically toward the question(s). The
    knowledge and expertise of the members, and those
    in their field, guided the information gathering
    process to address each of the questions.

Methodology and Data Gathering (cont)
  • Focus Gather information that was currently
  • Interpret what we have, and add questions for
    further consideration.
  • Resources are listed on ACCs Intranet
  • Members of the Environmental Analysis Task Force
    will be available to assist other committee
    members as the process continues, and further
    data is requested/required.

Taxonomy for Interpreting Internal and External
  • Evolution of the task force
  • We looked at all of the Internal and External
    questions as they tied to the Institutional
  • Goal was to provide pertinent information to back
    up each question and make that information
    available to other task force members for
  • All information gathered is currently available
    on the ACC Intranet http//campus.arapahoe.edu/st

ACCs Institutional Goals
  • Continually Increase enrollment and retention.
  • Implementation process of the P-20 model.
  • Assure and expand our programs of excellence.
  • Continue to strengthen institutional
    communication and culture.
  • Increase community engagement and responsiveness.

Internal Question 1 How does ACC currently
invite or restrict access to higher Education?
  • Contributor Darcy Briggs-Jackson (Aligns
    w/Inst. Goals 1 and 2.)
  • Advising and Admissions/Records working with
    several small cohorts to help promote success for
    at-risk populations
  • Promoting Diversity within the college
  • Support Services available to all students
    (Student Success Center, TRiO, Disability Svcs,
    New Student Orientation, Pre-Enrollment
    Workshops, Student Affairs, Career Center,
  • Recruitment Efforts (College Ready, PSEO, College
    Fairs, HS Recruiting)
  • Open Enrollment/Low Cost
  • Flexibility within Instruction (Online, Distance
    Ed, UCC)
  • Non-Traditional Learning (Community Ed, Corporate
  • NSF Grant

Internal Question 1 How does ACC currently
invite or restrict access to higher Education?
  • Marketing restrictions (budget, service area,
  • Course Scheduling Conflicts
  • Higher Education Environment in Colorado (funding
    formulas, COF, HB1023)

Internal Question 1Questions to Consider
  • How can we adequately evaluate all the ways we
    invite access and find and expand the approaches
    that work best?
  • How do we effectively transition from simply
    inviting access to long term retention?

Internal Question 2 What are the perceptions of
students (current and prospective) about access
to the college and their experiences in attending
  • Contributor Debra Goldberg (Aligns with
    Institutional Goals 1, 2 3.)
  • Quality of classes and programs
  • Instructors
  • Feel Safe and Welcome
  • Course Offerings/Schedule
  • Teaching Methods
  • Increase Awareness of Services

Internal Question 2Questions to Consider
  • How can we increase the response rate of the
    student surveys and thus increase the validity
    and reliability of the results?
  • How can the College more effectively respond to
    concerns of the students?

Internal Question 3 How do the experiences and
characteristics of successful and unsuccessful
students differ, beginning with their initial
contact with ACC? To what extent can we
demonstrate value added, and what measures of
learning are available to us?
  • Contributors Mary Sherman, Michael McManus,
    Christi Maes, Debra Goldberg (Aligns with
    Institutional Goals 1, 2 3.)
  • Working definition of success Retention and
    Graduation (measurable)
  • Worked primarily with FALL 2006 to compare
    overall population to smaller cohort groups
  • Data shows
  • Declining Graduation Rates
  • Retention rates low compared to other Community
  • Value Added (also see Internal Question 1)
  • Student Success Center
  • Specialized Programs
  • Online Instruction increasing

Internal Question 3Questions to Consider
  • As an institution, how can we more effectively
    measure our overall rate of success (other than
    state and federal mandates)?
  • How do we move to make our college atmosphere
    more diverse given the limitations of our service

Internal Question 4How do our fiscal, facility,
technological, student affairs, and human
resource capabilities, policies and strategies
support and/or hinder students in meeting their
learning goals?
  • Contributors Joe Lorenzo and David Castro
    (Aligns with Institutional Goals 1 4).
  • Data Available to Analyze 6 Year Fiscal Trends,
    Master Plan (coming in December 2008), Technology
    Replenishment Plan
  • 2006 MSEC employee survey ACC employees had a
    neutral overall response to questions (4th
    lowest) showing relatively low satisfaction.
  • 2008 MSEC employee survey initial results just
    obtained Showing improvement in employee
    satisfaction (David and Diane to present)
  • Conversation Day results available on ACC
  • Vital Focus accomplishments
  • Instructional Expansion Task Force

Internal Question 4Questions to Consider
  • Are there new/others sources of information that
    could be examined to broaden our perspectives?
  • How are non-student members of the ACC community
    impacted by these issues?

External Question 1 What are the potential
changes to our community its needs between 2008
2013? What are the most significant changes
that will impact the programs services ACC
delivers to the community to meet those needs?
  • Contrib. Linda Whitehouse (Aligns with
    Institutional Goals 1 5)
  • Research areas of government regulations,
    financial aid, state funding, higher education
    trends, student and population demographics,
    global issues that directly affect college
    campuses (politics, going green, security, global
    warming, etc.)
  • Use community leaders, local business
    organizations, local, state and national
    information providers to gather economic and
    demographic information and rely upon data-driven
    higher education analysis sites to provide
    trends, connections and reliable information for
    higher education decision making.

External Question 1 What are the potential
changes to our community its needs between 2008
2013? What are the most significant changes
that will impact the programs services ACC
delivers to the community to meet those needs?
  • Environmental Scan shows areas for growth in
    Arapahoe/Douglas County to be in the areas of
    technology, business and education.
  • Build educational relationships and partnerships
  • Seven K-12 school districts within ACC service
  • Develop articulation agreements between ACC and 4
    year Colleges and Universities (within the state
    and across the country, public and private)

External Question 1 What are the potential
changes to our community its needs between 2008
2013? What are the most significant changes
that will impact the programs services ACC
delivers to the community to meet those needs?
  • Instructional Expansion Task Force
  • New goal for each academic dean
  • Increase community engagement and responsiveness
  • STEM Education Coalition
  • NSF Grant
  • P-20 Model
  • CAP4KIDS (Curriculum Alignment Program)
  • Collaborate with College Outreach/Corporate
    Learning Division as a support for promotion of
    academic programs that will reach beyond the

External Question 1 What are the potential
changes to our community its needs between 2008
2013? What are the most significant changes
that will impact the programs services ACC
delivers to the community to meet those needs?
  • Build business, non-profit and community
  • Actively participate in Chambers of Commerce,
    Economic Development Councils.
  • Non-profit organizations that may have common
    goals of serving the community.
  • Work closely with government agencies that
    support/regulate ACC activities and coursework
    (CO Dept. of Ed., etc.)
  • Engage businesses that can support academic
    programming and internships (hospitals, auto
    dealerships, etc.)
  • Rely upon accrediting and regulatory agencies
    that govern external certificate and program

External Question 1Questions to Consider
  • What are the research tools available to ACC to
    determine the most significant changes that will
    impact ACC programming and services?
  • Who are the consistently dependable higher
    education resources that will be able to
    determine changing social conditions and global
    issues that will affect students and strategic
  • What technology changes will be necessary to
    continue to produce and deliver trustworthy
    programming and services?
  • What training and re-education of existing
    faculty and staff may need to occur to
    effectively function during this time period?

External Question 2 How might our relationships
with community partners (including business,
non-profit and government) support, enhance, and
detract from our ability to meet needs arising
from community changes?
  • Contr. Linda Whitehouse (Aligns w/Institutional
    Goal 5.)
  • The framing of this question is somewhat narrow
    because state, national and international
    concerns form a community with demanding and
    immediate needs that require planning and
    consideration that affect programming,
    operations, faculty and staff.
  • Community needs to be defined as global and our
    approach to this question should encompass
    partnerships that ACC should engage to enhance
    strategic planning and direction as well as our
    foundational educational goals.

External Question 2 How might our relationships
with community partners (including business,
non-profit and government) support, enhance, and
detract from our ability to meet needs arising
from community changes? (cont)
  • Prepare ACC to be positioned to take advantage of
    upcoming trends.
  • Provide ACC students with the most current
    information and research.
  • Financial support for programs and learning
    experiences for ACC students.
  • Position ACC as a leading knowledge provider and
    problem solver within the community.
  • Provide learning and research experiences for
    faculty that will translate to enhanced classroom
  • Detract
  • Some partnerships may be cost prohibitive.
  • Lack of interested staff or lack of follow up may
    damage ACC reputation in the community.
  • Changes of personnel on either side of a
    partnership may bring different expectations that
    may not be able to be met.

External Question 2Questions to Consider
  • How does ACC engage and partner with 4 year
  • What Advisory Councils are set up? What work
    comes before them? How may Advisory Councils be
    best used to support and enhance partnerships
    within the community?
  • Which entities will be able to notify the ACC of
    community needs or changes?
  • What role could/does, the ACC Foundation bring to
    this work?
  • Which community entities can provide data to
    support ACC decision making?
  • What process within ACC should be used to
    consider worthy opportunities for partnerships?
  • Who should initiate or investigate partnerships?
    Should inviting partnerships and relationships
    with businesses, etc. become part of the culture
    of ACC? How would this be managed?
  • Should there be a clearing house of sorts to
    list and familiarize staff with ACC partnerships?

External Question 3 Who are our current
competitors and how might they change by 2013?
What are our competitors targeted populations
programs, who are their successful recruits, and
what is the volume of their enrollment?
  • Contributors Darcy Briggs-Jackson, Mary Sherman,
    Michael McManus (Aligns with Institutional Goal
  • IPEDS Data Collection comparing college data
    (enrollment, retention, etc)
  • Environmental Scan showing growing areas in
    health care, technology and education.

External Question 3 (cont)Marketing views these
to be our primary competitors
  • Metro State College
  • Johnson Wales
  • Webster Univ.
  • Univ. of Phoenix
  • Colo. Technical Univ.
  • Art Institute of Colo.
  • Columbia College
  • Everest College (Parks)
  • Westwood College
  • Colo. Free University
  • CC of Aurora
  • CC or Denver
  • Red Rocks CC
  • Front Range CC
  • Pikes Peak CC

External Question 3Question to Consider
  • How can we more critically define and evaluate
    our competition?

External Question 4 What is our current and
projected public policy environment, our strategy
for navigating that environment, and the results
we wish to achieve in garnering resources to
serve our employees, clients and students?
  • Contrib. Darcy Briggs-Jackson (Aligns with all
    Institutional Goals)
  • State funding formulas (community colleges
    generally receive less than 4 years)
  • Amendment 50 When will this trickle down?
  • Current State of economy
  • 4 year colleges working to get COF for
    Developmental Ed
  • CDHE considering additional funding to help
    improve graduation rates

External Question 4 What is our current and
projected public policy environment, our strategy
for navigating that environment, and the results
we wish to achieve in garnering resources to
serve our employees, clients and students? (cont)
  • Maintain a strong relationship with CCCS
  • Seek out ways to increase cash-funded programs
    with partner agencies
  • Be proactive in addressing any new legislative
  • Maintain current and accurate data to facilitate
    appropriate decision-making

External Question 4Questions to Consider
  • How do we address unexpected changes (economic
    and other) that may impact state and federal
    funding / stimulus proposals?
  • While economic downturns result in decreased
    funding for colleges, which negatively impacts
    the ability to serve increased student
    populations, how do we balance these opposing

  • We operate in an environment of great
    uncertainty, which presents both challenges and
  • Global externalities
  • Health of the economy
  • state budget considerations
  • proactive policy moves by government at the
    local, state and federal levels
  • Technological and emerging career developments in
    the local economy
  • Emerging P20 model
  • All will require an agile, flexible and creative
    response on the part of our College.

KEY POINTS, contd.
  • Demand for Community College education should be
    expected to grow in our service area
  • Continuing population increase Changes in the
    employment market
  • While high school graduates will increase, the
    proportion earning a standard diploma will
  • Research indicates that harder economic times
    should result in increased community college
  • Tightened budgets make community college a more
    attractive choice.
  • A more difficult economic environment should give
    us a competitive advantage over our more
    expensive competitors.
  • Discouraged job seekers should be returning to
    school to upgrade their job skills
  • The newly passed GI Bill will result in more
    returning GIs and their families seeking college
    education, many at the CC college level.

KEY POINTS, contd.
  • 3. The changing economy will affect the needs and
    expectations of our students
  • Colorados economic future is unpredictable
  • Dependent on market conditions
  • Severity of current recession being impossible to
  • Emerging hi-tech sectors with new career
    opportunities will create new demand for lifelong
    education as adults increasingly retool for new

KEY POINTS, contd.
  • 4.Evolving budget and policy environment will
    create both challenges and opportunities for ACC
  • Legislative issues and 2008 ballot initiatives
    that may impact funding in the fairly near
  • The passage of Amendment 50 will eventually
    provide increased funding directly to the
    community colleges it will be some time before
    that money will actually be available.

KEY POINTS, contd.
  • 4. (cont)
  • Defeat of Amendment 59 will result in TABOR
    refunds being reinstated if funding is lost for
    P-12 education, it is highly likely that funding
    will be taken from higher education and given to
    P-12 to make up for the funding loss .
  • Private funding becoming more critical.
  • Governor Ritters state stimulus proposal
    contains potential funding to set up job training
    at community colleges.

KEY POINTS, contd.
  • 4. (cont)
  • The new Obama Administration has already pledged
    immediate passage of a stimulus package which
    should include increased federal funding for job
    retraining as well as possible direct financial
    aid to hard hit state and local governments.
  • Longer term initiatives should include targeted
    investment in new technologies, especially
    renewable energy, which could directly impact
    ACCs future trajectory.
  • Changes in the health care system could increase
    demand for health care related fields. It is
    important that the College continues to cultivate
    ties with community and governmental
    organizations involved in these initiatives.

KEY POINTS, contd.
  • 5.Working to improve learning results, and to
    document those improvements, will continue to
    challenge the College and our students.
  • The College should encourage increased community
    interest to improve college readiness, as well as
    to provide developmental education for entering
  • As students move on to their first experiences at
    ACC, a large number will struggle, and we will
    need to make informed decisions about why this is
    the case and what to do about it.
  • As learning technologies evolve, the College will
    need more information about which students will
    be successful with different learning modalities,
    such as online courses.

KEY POINTS, contd.
  • 6. The communitys needs and related expectations
    are changing
  • Employers are seeking employees who can readily
    learn and adapt to new technologies, who work
    effectively with people from a variety of
    backgrounds and cultures, and who contribute to
    solving societal and global problems (NSF Grant).
  • Employment in the health care and high technology
    fields, especially emerging renewable
    technologies, should experience increased local
  • Demands for public accountability will intensify,
    adding to the need to collect, analyze and report
    to the public, and to continuously improve our
    assessment of learning.
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