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Using Program/Unit Review in Instructional, Business/Administrative and Student Services Areas to Facilitate Change


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Title: Using Program/Unit Review in Instructional, Business/Administrative and Student Services Areas to Facilitate Change

Using Program/Unit Review in Instructional,
Business/Administrative and Student Services
Areas to Facilitate Change
  • The League for Innovation
  • Innovations Conference 2005, NYC
  • March 8, 2005
  • Terri M. Manning, EdD
  • Denise Wells, MS
  • Kathy Drumm, DBA, CPA
  • Central Piedmont Community College
  • Charlotte, North Carolina

Some history.
  • CPCC is the largest community college in both the
    Carolinas with approximately 60,000 enrolled
  • We have over 100 instructional program areas
    including for-credit, continuing education and
  • We have almost 50 administrative and student
    affairs units

Some history.
  • When we started this process (1998), the College
    had done nothing truly IE related since the
    last SACS visit in 1992 when they received a
    recommendation for most must statements in
    section III.
  • The IR office staff had rolled over and all
    institutional memory was gone.
  • We had less than 5 years to put every program and
    unit through a review process.

Why this Process?
  • The evaluation of teaching and educational
    effectiveness is a top priority for most
  • However, the evaluation of business,
    administrative and student services units is
    often undervalued and overlooked
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of services (not
    just customer satisfaction) makes good business

Institutional Effectiveness and the Southern
Association of College and Schools
  • At the heart of SACS philosophy is the concept
    of institutional effectiveness (IE)
  • IE involves a process of planning, evaluation,
    assessment and use of results
  • Under the new core requirements and comprehensive
    standards, there are two mandates that
    specifically address program or unit reviews

Under the New Core Requirements and Comprehensive
  • Core Requirement 2.5 states The institution
    engages in ongoing, integrated, and
    institution-wide research-based planning and
    evaluation processes that incorporate a
    systematic review of programs and services that
    (a) results in continuing improvement, and (b)
    demonstrates that the institution is effectively
    accomplishing its mission.
  • Comprehensive Standard 3.3.1 States The
    institution identifies expected outcomes for its
    educational programs and its administrative and
    educational support services assesses whether it
    achieves these outcomes and provides evidence of
    improvement based on analysis of those results.

IE at Central Piedmont
  • CPCC established an IE committee in 1998 and an
    IE website in 2000 (http//
    (this website gets an average of 61 hits a day
    most outside the college)
  • Committee members were from various instructional
    departments, student services and
    administrative/business offices
  • The committee established an IE plan for the

Visual of the IE Plan
Four Major Overlapping Pieces of the IE Plan
  • Annual goal setting and follow-up required by all
    units (Strategic Plan)
  • Program/unit review on a 3-5 year cycle
  • College assessment plan involving surveys,
    assessment and data analysis
  • The evaluation of general education

Developing the Process
  • We wanted to create a meaningful program/unit
    review process
  • We wanted programs to complete the process having
    learned something valuable (not a document to set
    on a shelf)
  • We wanted the process to be outcome-based to
    stand the test of time

Developing the Process
  • The first review process was created for
    instructional programs
  • During the 1998-99 year, 18 programs were
    reviewed (approximately 100 programs over five
  • The perception at the beginning was that this is
    just another academic exercise
  • But the results were very different than any
    review process previously completed

Organizational Stages of Outcome Evaluation
Stage 5
Acceptance adaptation Challenge
competition Catalyst - Proactive
Stage 4
Depression - exhaustion Compliance - Passive
Stage 3
Bargaining - no time/no money Seek outside sources
Stage 2
Anger and antagonism Resistant Reactive
Disbelief Denial Paralysis - Passive
Stage 1
Instructional Program Review
  • The review process contained five sections
  • I. The Program Profile
  • II. Program Content
  • III. Student Learning Outcomes
  • IV. Need for Change
  • V. Future Issues

Instructional Program Review
  • Tasks accomplished through review
  • Defined their program
  • Detailed faculty and staff (credentials, prof.
    dev, accomplishments)
  • Unit mission or purpose
  • Link unit mission to the college mission
  • Defined the content of their program
  • Defined the population served
  • Set outcome objectives
  • Performed some means of assessment
  • Analyzed results
  • Determined strengths and weaknesses
  • Created strategies for improvement
  • Determined future needs (including curricular
    change, needed resources, staff and space)

Instructional Program Review
  • Rules for the process included
  • Involvement on the part of all faculty in the
    department under review (not just one person).
    It is recommended that the program begin with a
    brief faculty retreat to discuss and divide
  • All programs must use at least one external
    committee (advisory groups are fine) to provide
    feedback to programs.
  • All programs must utilize feedback from students.

What We Learned.
  • The first group was dragged kicking and screaming
    through the process
  • Faculty had very little time for the details
  • Faculty had trouble identifying student learning
  • The results produced great marketing materials
  • Once they saw the results, faculty embraced the

Identifying Outcomes
  • We focused on three types of outcomes
  • Outcomes
  • Program Outcomes
  • Student Learning Outcomes
  • Administrative Outcomes

Outcomes and the Classroom
  • "Outcomes" are benefits for people changes in
    knowledge, values, position, skills, behavior or
    status. More simply stated, outcomes are
    typically what service providers hope recipients
    achieve once they complete a program or receive
    services. This is not the what but the why
    of education.
  • Student learning outcomes are outcomes related to
    the learning that takes place in the classroom.
    We measure improvements in writing, speaking,
    understanding the scientific method, etc.
  • Program outcomes are the benefits to a student
    who receives an associate degree in Nursing or
    completes a certificate in Network
    Administration? Typical outcomes might be
    licensure exam scores, job placement, etc.

Program Outcome Model
Resources Services Products or Results
of Activities Staff Education
(classes) Numbers served Buildings Services FTE
(input next year) Facilities Counseling
Classes taught State funds Student activities
Students recruited FTE Who
participated Constraints Laws State regulations
Program Outcomes Model
gt gt gt Benefits
for People New knowledge
skills Changes in values
Modified behavior Improved
condition Altered status
New opportunities
Administrative Outcomes
  • Many units do not directly serve students or they
    want results within their units that are not
    truly student learning outcomes.
  • They want to improve services or approach an old
    problem in a new way.
  • They want to become more efficient and effective.
  • They will set administrative outcomes.

My Administrative Outcomes
  • 1. 80 of faculty/staff responding to the
    faculty/staff survey will perceive that Planning
    and Research responds quickly to their requests
    for data.
  • 2. 80 of faculty/staff responding to the survey
    will perceive that Planning and Research makes a
    significant contribution to the College.
  • 3. 80 of faculty/staff responding to the survey
    will perceive that Planning and Research
    contributes to the effectiveness of CPCC.
  • 4. 80 of faculty/staff responding to the survey
    will indicate that Planning and Research produces
    enough reports to meet the planning and
    information needs of faculty and staff.

We Had to do Training on How to Set Outcome
  • Theres no magic number
  • e.g. 80 or 90
  • What is reasonable?
  • What can you afford?
  • What realistically can your staff accomplish?
  • May need to benchmark (e.g. enrollment growth)
  • What percent shows youre not committed and what
    percent shows youre naïve?

How to Set Outcome Objectives
  • Examples
  • Fifty percent of students will be able to
    communicate effectively in
    writing (complete the writing exam with a grade
    of 60 D or better)
  • By the end of the spring term, 95 of faculty and
    staff will have completed 20 contact hours of
    professional development (workshops, college
    courses, conferences, onsite trainings, etc.)

More Realistic
  • Seventy percent of students will be able to
    communicate effectively in writing (complete the
    writing exam with a grade of 75 C or better)
  • By the end of the spring term, the professional
    development office will increase their offerings
    for faculty and staff by 10 over what was
    offered last year (workshops, college courses,
    conferences, onsite trainings, etc.)

What Happened
  • Deans used the results to make a case for
  • The administration became interested in what was
    learned through the review process
  • Faculty knew their programs were working

Unit Review Lessons Learned
  • To do this well you need several critical pieces
  • 1. Support from the top (President or Chancellor,
    Vice Presidents or Vice Chancellors)
  • 2. Buy in from the grassroots level
    (participation in the development of the process)
  • 3. Across-the-college participation (no one is
  • 4. Technology to make it easy (web page and
    review templates)
  • 5. Technical support from institutional research
    (liaison to mentor)

IE Committee Decision
  • The instructional program review process was
  • The review of instructional units was important
    but administrative/ESS units helped created an
    environment conducive to learning at the college
    and supported the learning process
  • Administrative units should go through a similar
  • Create a committee to draft a similar process for
    the administrative and students services areas of
    the college
  • Administrative units were spread across three VP
  • Two representative from each VP area participated
    in drafting the new review process
  • We spent approximately six months creating a
    workable process

Administrative Units Reviewed
  • Planning and Research
  • Health and Safety Office
  • Human Resources
  • Professional Development
  • Resource Development
  • Equal Opportunity Employment Office
  • Facilities Services (Distribution Services,
    Facilities Design and Construction, Facilities
  • Financial Services (Payroll, Budgeting, Financial
    Reporting, Purchasing, Accounts Payable,

Administrative Units Reviewed, cont.
  • Audit and Compliance
  • Basic Skills Reporting
  • Inventory Control
  • College Services (Bookstore, Campus Printing and
  • Information Technology
  • Administrative Computing Services
  • Security
  • Executive Assistant to the President
  • Marketing and Community Relations
  • The Colleges Foundation
  • The Library

Student Services Units Reviewed
  • Counseling and Advising
  • Career Services
  • Graduation Office
  • Financial Aid/Veterans Affairs
  • Student Activities
  • Admissions
  • Registration
  • Retention Services
  • Recruitment
  • Campus Student Services
  • Information Services
  • Welcome Center/Student Success Center
  • Testing Center

The Administrative Unit Review Design
  • I. The Unit/Program Profile
  • A. The Mission/Purpose
  • 1. Role unit plays in the college mission
  • 2. Unit/program goals as they relate to the
    colleges mission
  • B. The Staff
  • 1. Professional and administrative staff
  • (since the last review)
  • a. Position description/duties
  • b. Credentials (full and part-time, if any)
  • c. Accomplishments (if applicable)
  • d. Service to college, community and nation

The Administrative Unit Review (continued)
  • B. The Staff (continued)
  • e. Professional development activities
  • 2. Classified Staff
  • a. List of names and positions
  • b. List of required credentials (if any)
  • C. The Customer/Client Served
  • 1. Breakdown of students/faculty or staff by
    type or demographic information (thorough
    explanation of who is served)

The Administrative Unit Review (continued)
  • II. Definition of Services or Program
  • A. Definition of day-to-day duties of the
  • B. Innovations, new projects, new
    initiatives, local, state-wide or national
  • C. Required functions of unit (description
    and status of compliance)
  • 1. SACS requirements
  • 2. State mandates
  • 3. Federal mandates
  • 4. Other

The Administrative Unit Review (continued)
  • III. Administrative Outcome Objectives and
    Student Outcomes (where appropriate)
  • A. Administrative Outcome Objectives (2-3
  • B. Outcomes (or status if incomplete) of
    innovations, new projects, new initiatives,
    local, state or national efforts
  • C. Assessment explanation (what was
    assessed, who, when, how many)
  • D. Results of Administrative Outcome
    Objectives Based on Assessment

Assessment of Administrative Units
  • During the year of program review, the Annual
    Faculty/Staff Survey contained questions from
    those units being reviewed.
  • Results were given to each unit and broken out by
    campus and job type
  • http//
  • Theres a link to survey results.

The Administrative Unit Review (continued)
  • IV. Need for Change
  • A. Strengths identified by external
    sources, faculty, staff and students
  • B. Weaknesses identified by external sources,
    faculty, staff and students
  • C. Recommendations by faculty, staff, external
    sources and students to improve the unit's
    services and programs
  • D. Strategies for change (based on input from
    Sections A, B C) - closing the loop
  • E. A one-year follow-up brief report to the
    Unit VP reporting on the progress of D above
    (due at the end of the year following review)

The Administrative Unit Review (continued)
  • V. Future Issues - Resources needed for future
  • A. Market trends within the broad service
    unit or program area (based on
    best- practices, the literature or training
  • B. Anticipated future changes and needs
    (based on market trends)
  • C. Resources, equipment, space, staffing and
    work load changes needs for future growth or
  • D. Future plans of unit

Assistance from the Website
  • The IE website
  • http//
  • Explanation of IE process
  • Templates and forms for review
  • Perfect examples for clarification
  • Schedule for review

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Overall Benefits
  • 1 No recommendations in the area of
    Institutional Effectiveness from SACS during the
    October 2002 re-accreditation visit
  • The college became change-oriented
  • Units had to define strategies for change
  • Didnt have to be perfect but rather making
    continuous progress
  • Strategies for change helped identify needed
    resources for units
  • Units had to close the loop with the one-year
    follow-up (couldnt promise and not deliver)

Overall Benefits
  • Units became empowered to perform their functions
    in an optimal manner and to ask for what they
    needed (no one noticed them before, now they do)
  • Created data to support needs
  • Accomplishments were reported to major
    administrative groups across the college
    (Presidents Cabinet, Planning Council, etc.)

Overall Benefits
  • The college community understood the purpose and
    function of every unit
  • Senior administration realized the benefits and
    became strong supporters
  • Data are reported annually from program/unit
  • VPs became stronger advocates for their units
    making changes to improve services

Overall Lessons Learned Through Program/Unit
  • The response rate to on-line surveys was double
    that of pencil-paper surveys
  • Faculty and staff did not know what many units
  • Faculty and staff were unsure of many policies
    (how to obtain funds from the Foundation, etc.)
  • Email was the preferred method of communication
    for faculty and staff
  • Overall, faculty and staff were pleased with
  • Wednesday afternoons were the best time to hold

Overall Lessons Learned Through Program/Unit
Review (cont.)
  • Faculty and staff had good ideas on how to
    improve services if we just asked them
  • Use of P-Cards was saving the college time and
    money and faculty/staff preferred using them
  • Faculty and staff wanted to continue to receive
    paycheck receipts in the mail (all employees are
    direct deposit)
  • More than 80 of faculty and staff were using
    remote access to email
  • Faculty and staff wanted changes in the budgeting
    process too complicated

Administrative Response
  • Units spend a lot of time working on the program
  • If we want them to take it seriously, we have to
    take it seriously.
  • Once reviews are reported at the end of the year,
    their Dean or Vice President/Chancellor need to
  • 1. Read them
  • 2. Respond to them

From Personal Experience
  • Sit down with the unit (group meeting)
  • Give them my attention
  • Discuss what was learned
  • Discuss their major issues
  • Discuss what they need to make improvements
  • Actually attempt to direct resources to them to
    make those improvements
  • Then they do not see it as an academic exercise

How It Works for Us
  • Administrative Units Reviewed in 2003
  • Administrative Technology Services
  • Compliance Audit, Inventory Control, Basic
    Skills Compliance Reporting
  • Facilities Services
  • Information Technology Services
  • Institutional Advancement/Foundation
  • Planning and Research
  • Resource Development

Facilities Services
  • Consists of the following departments
  • Facilities Design and Construction Oversee
    planning, design, and construction of new
    facilities and major renovations
  • Facilities Management Operates and maintains
    existing facilities of the College
  • Security Provides physical security services at
    all campuses
  • Distribution Services Manages collection and
    delivery of U.S. and intercampus mail, package
    deliveries, and centralized shipping and
    receiving services
  • Inventory Control Manages the Colleges
    inventory tracking, reporting, and disposal

Facilities Services
  • Survey respondents gave high rankings (in the
    80-90 range) for
  • Newly constructed or newly renovated facilities
    being of high quality and meeting needs
  • Knowing what was planned for the future
    facilities of their respective campuses
  • Classrooms in buildings built since 1990 being
    adequate in size, furnishings and other amenities

Facilities Services
  • Classrooms and common areas being generally clean
  • Lighting levels being adequate
  • A safe and secure environment being provided for
    all members of the College community
  • Knowing procedures to follow if a medical
    emergency on campus
  • Providing mail, shipping and receiving, and
    inventory control services

Areas Needing Improvement And Actions To Be Taken
  • Only 73 of respondents were pleased with new
    office spaces.
  • To address this concern, the Facilities Standards
    Subcommittee of Facilities Partners will review
    the adopted standards for offices and furnishings
    and make recommendations for revisions.
  • Only 50 faculty and staff were pleased with the
    temperatures in classrooms.
  • The Central Energy Plant began operating in the
    summer of 2003 when connected to the main body
    of Central Campus, the back-up capabilities of
    this facility should minimize the disruption of
    cooling. The College is also developing a plan
    for the future pairing of boilers to provide
    back-up heating for Central Campus buildings. At
    the suburban campuses, central plant approaches
    are being used to link buildings, thereby
    providing back-up capability.

Areas Needing Improvement And Actions To Be Taken
  • Only 57 of the respondents expressed
    satisfaction with the cleanliness of bathrooms.
  • The College entered into a new housekeeping
    contract as of July 1, 2003 which employs a new
    vendor and has enforceable cleanliness standards
    that must be met. Additionally, Facilities
    Management is addressing the appearance of some
    of the older restroom facilities on Central
    Campus as part of a cyclical rehabilitation

Future Considerations
  • The College will be adapting its long-term
    capital planning to new guidelines from the
    County and seeking the use of alternative funding
  • Facilities Services will be working with other
    units of the College to ensure coordinated
    planning relating to the staffing and specialty
    services for new facilities.
  • Facilities Services will be developing new
    strategies for meeting operational demands in the
    face of decreasing dollars per square feet in the
    County budgets.

One Thing We Learned
  • People have a lot to say when you hit them where
    they live (e.g. facilities services and
    information technology)
  • The open-ended questions produced pages and pages
    of comments

An Example from Instruction
  • Workplace Basic Skills
  • This program is a literacy initiative that goes
    directly into the worksite and teaches ESL
    classes, GED prep and GED classes.
  • During their review, they surveyed both employers
    and students.
  • This was the first time they had ever done this.

What They Learned
  • Employers said
  • 43.8 of employers reported increases in employee
    performance as a result of participation in the
  • 31.3 reported a reduction in absenteeism by
  • 87.5 said classes improved the morale of their
  • 37.5 said participants received raises
  • 50 said communication had improved.

What Students Said
  • 70.2 reported being able to fill out job forms
  • 35.5 said they could now help their children
    with their homework
  • 91.1 said they felt better about themselves
  • 44.4 said they had received a raise, promotion
    or opportunity as a result of the courses
  • 86.3 said their ability to communicate in the
    workplace had improved

What Has Happened Since
  • Their assessment data has shown up in their
    marketing brochures to employers.
  • Their enrollment has grown dramatically.
  • They have received funding and marketing support
    from Charlotte Reads (considered a model adult
    literacy program).

Best Results of Best Practice
  • Better use of data across the college
  • We have become more client/customer focused
  • Review gives direction for goals and needed
  • Departments are empowered to do their jobs (cant
    slip through the cracks and be unnoticed)
  • Problems must be resolved (there is no hiding and
    no excuses)
  • Surveys provide needs assessment data as well as
    evaluation which gives departments direction

For a copy of this presentation
  • Contact Terri Manning or Denise Wells
  • Download or print presentation
  • http//
  • Click on studies and reports
  • Listed as League Presentation
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