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STANDARD I:  Institutional Mission and Effectiveness



The institution demonstrates strong commitment to a mission that emphasizes achievement of student learning and to communicating the mission internally and externally. The institution uses analyses of quantitative and qualitative data and analysis in an ongoing and systematic cycle of evaluation, integrated planning, implementation, and re-evaluation to verify and improve the effectiveness by which the mission is accomplished.



A. Mission:

The institution has a statement of mission that defines the institution's broad educational purposes, its intended student population, and its commitment to achieving student learning.

  1. The institution establishes student learning programs and services aligned with its purposes, its character, and its student population.

DESCRIPTION:

The college has clearly defined its purposes, values, intended student population, and its commitment to ensure student success through its mission statement. This mission statement, along with the visionary educational values and goals, guide the institution in the development of educational programs, support services, community focus, and other educational opportunities extended to the community at-large. The mission of the college is:

"In an environment that nurtures creativity and intellectual curiosity, Gavilan College serves the community by providing a high-quality learning experience which prepares students for transfer, technical and public services careers, lifelong learning, and participation in a diverse global society." (1.1)

The visionary educational values and strategic goals are:

Values:

  • An imaginative and nurturing community of learners, fostered through rigorous scholarship, creativity, and personal and professional development.
  • A college environment and social climate characterized by inclusiveness and mutual respect for all of our students, staff, and community.
  • Excellence in and promotion of comprehensive programs, services, and activities.
  • Partnerships that support the educational, economic, and social development of the college and the communities we serve. (1.1)

Goals:

  • Optimize enrollment to reflect community needs and growth
  • Highlight student performance as a result of a Gavilan College education
  • Improve and expand existing facilities to enhance the learning environment
  • Provide appropriate technology for delivery of instruction, student support services, and management of college operations
  • Recruit and develop staff to attract and retain an optimal student population
  • Expand Gavilan's educational role by becoming a vital force in the development of the community (1.1).

The college serves portions of Santa Clara and San Benito County. The service area comprises the cities of Gilroy (population 43,817), Hollister (36,555), Morgan Hill (34,128), San Martin (4,386), San Juan Bautista (1,675), and portions of metropolitan San Jose (1.2). The college headcount in fall 2006 was 5,433. The typical credit seeking student is age 23. Gavilan students closely mirror local demographics (1.3).

Educational programs at the college are designed to meet student and community needs as stated in the mission statement. Credit course offerings include a wide range of both traditional arts and sciences and technical and public service programs, many of which are transferable to public and private universities. Since 2003, the college has launched the following new credit programs designed to facilitate transfer and job skills:

  • Digital Media:  Digital Audio/Video, Digital Authoring, Digital Art and Imaging
  • Software Applications:  Business Computer Applications
  • School Age Child Care
  • Foster Care/Family Day Care (1.4)

Noncredit courses are offered to meet the special needs and capabilities of those students who do not desire or need to obtain unit credit. These courses provide remedial, developmental, occupational, and other general education opportunities. Courses are offered in Parenting, Elementary and Secondary Basic Skills, English as a Second Language/Citizenship, Older Adults Health and Safety Education, and programs for adults with moderate to severe developmental needs.

The college provides lifelong learning opportunities to the residents of the service area through a program of community education courses. Classes and activities are offered beyond the college's traditional instructional program and include short-term offerings in computer skills, motorcycle training, health and fitness, digital media, and College for Youth. Many community education classes are available online.

EVALUATION:

The college meets this standard. The mission statement and institutional values and goals guide the college in meeting the needs of the greater community, the college community, and each individual learner. The mission statement guides the planning and evaluation process of the institution (1.1, Chapter 1, p. 4). In a recent employee survey, respondents noted as follows that the college has a clear and publicized mission statement which identifies our educational objectives:  strongly agree 38 percent, somewhat agree 34 percent, neutral 15 percent, somewhat disagree 9 percent, strongly disagree 2 percent, not applicable 3 percent (1.5, question 12). On the same survey, evidence that Gavilan "provides an environment that nurtures creativity and intellectual curiosity" as stated in the mission was rated by employees:  strongly agree 31 percent, somewhat agree 44 percent, neutral 15 percent, somewhat disagree 7 percent, strongly disagree 3 percent, not applicable 1 percent (1.5, question 1).

PLAN:

None


  1. The mission statement is approved by the governing board and published.

DESCRIPTION:

The current mission statement was approved by the Board of Trustees on February 14, 2006 and is contained in the Board Policies and Procedures Manual (1.6, Chapter 1, board policy 1200) in both printed and electronic formats. The mission statement is broadly published in the college catalog in both printed and electronic formats and in the 2004-2005 Report to the Community document (1.7, p. 6).

EVALUATION:

The college meets this standard. The college mission statement is well published and has been supported through the Board of Trustees. The college ensures that all revisions to the mission statement are assessed and passed by the Board of Trustees with wide-spread input from all constituent groups of the college.

PLAN:

None


  1. Using the institution's governance and decision-making processes, the institution reviews its mission statement on a regular basis and revises it as necessary.

DESCRIPTION:

The college has just completed the annual review of the mission statement as part of the strategic planning process (1.8). Since this mission statement is linked to the major planning processes of the college, any changes that result from this annual review process will be reflected in the major planning documents. Broad input from throughout the college is sought, from administrators, faculty, staff, students, and the community, in the review and revision process. Service area environmental scanning and other research activities at the college are utilized in the review process of the mission statement (1.1, chapter 2, p. 9-12). Examples of research activities utilized to inform the review of the mission statement include the Educational Master Plan Data Update 2005 (1.3), Performance Indicators Report (1.9), and the College of Choice Task Force Report (1.10).

EVALUATION:

The college meets this standard. The college provides opportunities for broad input in the mission review process and incorporates feedback from its various constituent groups in making revisions. The employee survey suggests that the college sets priorities through a defined evaluation and planning process. Respondents indicated this as follows:  strongly agree 18 percent, somewhat agree 41 percent, neutral 21 percent, somewhat disagree 13 percent, strongly disagree 4 percent, not applicable 2 percent (1.5, question 10).

Changes to the mission statement resulting from the annual review process are reflected and incorporated in the major planning documents and processes at the college. These documents are the Educational Master Plan (1.1), the Strategic Plan (1.11), the Technology Master Plan (1.12), and the Facilities Master Plan (1.13).

PLAN:

None


  1. The institution's mission is central to institutional planning and decision making.

DESCRIPTION:

The Educational Master Plan (1.1), which serves as the guiding planning document, is in turn guided by the mission statement. The Educational Master Plan drives other major planning processes, such as the Strategic Plan (1.11), the Technology Master Plan (1.12), and the Facilities Master Plan (1.13). Each unit of the college develops annual unit plans linked to these planning functions to close the loop of action and activities at the individual and departmental level. Unit plans are also reflective of the strategic short-term planning processes and the major guiding principles and priorities stated in the Educational Master Plan.

EVALUATION:

The college meets this standard. The college planning process is driven by the mission statement at the Board, administration, departmental, and individual levels. The college continues to evaluate its effectiveness in meeting the college mission statement. The college will continue to use the mission statement as the driver of planning and decision-making at all levels of the institution. Through annual review by all of the college's constituencies, the college will continue to guide its planning to achieve the results of the mission statement. The college is in the process of updating the Educational Master Plan.

PLAN:

None


B. Improving Institutional Effectiveness

The institution demonstrates a conscious effort to produce and support student learning, measures that learning, assesses how well learning is occurring, and makes changes to improve student learning. The institution also organizes its key processes and allocates its resources to effectively support student learning. The institution demonstrates its effectiveness by providing 1) evidence of achievement of student learning outcomes and 2) evidence of institution and program performance. The institution uses ongoing and systematic evaluation and planning to refine its key processes and improve student learning.


  1. The institution maintains an ongoing, collegial, self-reflective dialogue about the continuous improvement of student learning and institutional processes.

DESCRIPTION:

Gavilan is currently operating under the Educational Master Plan written in 1999 (1.1). The Board of Trustees approved a Direction of Education plan in June 2004 (1.14). In July of 2005 the college began updating the strategic plan, with input from constituencies throughout the college. The current Strategic Plan was approved by the Board of Trustees on February 14, 2006 (1.8).

The college has established institutional, program, and course learning outcomes and is currently developing plans for assessing program and institutional outcomes. Each department has developed unit plans and periodically updates them. The Institutional Effectiveness Committee provides a forum for the college to review departmental effectiveness. The Faculty Staff Development Committee reviews faculty development plans and the Staff Development Day Committee, comprised of faculty, staff, and administrators, plans bi-annual workshops.

EVALUATION:

The college has established a procedure for developing the Strategic Plan on an annual basis (1.15). In 2005 the Strategic Plan was drafted by the administrators, then shared extensively through the shared governance process, edited by all constituent groups, and approved by the president's cabinet and the Board of Trustees. A Strategic Plan subcommittee of the President's Council has now been established to ensure broad participation at the inception of the strategy development phase for future updates of the Strategic Plan.

The Strategic Plan is central to the activities of many committees and departments, such as the President's Council and student services. A recent improvement in the planning process includes the budget presented to the budget committee referring directly to the goals contained in the Strategic Plan.

The process for developing the Educational Master Plan begins with an institutional scan and is followed by development of a draft. The draft document includes a lot of data updated from the previous plan. The assessment of the data and the rest of the development of the plan is a broad based, college-wide dialogue open to all the constituencies.

While the Institutional Effectiveness Committee reviews individual programs and departments, it could benefit from a well understood mechanism for following up on recommendations. A provision for reviewing overall institutional processes will improve collaboration and communication.

When faculty and staff were recently surveyed about the college's engagement in systematic integrated planning the results noted the following:  strongly agree 22 percent, somewhat agree 37 percent, neutral 19 percent, somewhat disagree 17 percent, strongly disagree 4 percent (1.5, question 11).

PLAN:

  • Develop a model that will be utilized college-wide and by the Institutional Effectiveness Committee that defines accountability, reporting procedures, and evaluation of the unit plans and program review process.

  1. The institution sets goals to improve its effectiveness consistent with its stated purposes. The institution articulates its goals and states the objectives derived from them in measurable terms so that the degree to which they are achieved can be determined and widely discussed. The institutional members understand these goals and work collaboratively toward their achievement.

DESCRIPTION:

The Educational Master plan provides direction for both long-term and short-term planning and informs the annual priorities set forth in the Strategic Plan. The Educational Master Plan is revised on a five-year cycle and is currently being drafted for the next five-year cycle. The Strategic Plan is updated yearly by a committee representative of the college community and is communicated to a broad constituency (1.15). Goals identified in the Strategic Plan are reflected in unit plans at the departmental level.

EVALUATION:

While the planning process for linking short-term, long-term, and departmental goals is clearly defined and delineated, implementation and follow-up can be improved.  Measurement of goal attainment is captured in a variety of ways. For example, the second Gavilan Technology Master Plan has just been completed. Accomplishments of initiatives identified in the 2002-2005 Technology Master Plan have been clearly reported (1.16, p. 9). In addition, development of the Basic Skills Committee resulted from the program review process conducted by the Institutional Effectiveness Committee.

Through bi-monthly department chair meetings, representatives from each department have an opportunity to share departmental and institutional goals, discuss shared strategies for achieving them, and assess outcomes. Student services, administrative services, and athletics, also plan, assess, and review program learning outcomes on a regular basis. The Strategic Planning Committee was established in 2005 and now provides a forum for widespread collaboration in identifying institutional goals, articulating timelines, and assessing progress towards meeting those goals. Continued refinement of this process is built in and will occur annually.

PLAN:

  • Implement improved follow-up procedures for linking short-term, long-term, and departmental goals.

  1. The institution assesses progress toward achieving its stated goals and makes decisions regarding the improvement of institutional effectiveness in an ongoing and systematic cycle of evaluation, integrated planning, resource allocation, implementation, and re-evaluation. Evaluation is based on analyses of both quantitative and qualitative data.

DESCRIPTION:

Gavilan College uses input from all segments of the college community to regularly review the college mission statement, goals, Educational Master Plan, Strategic Plan, budget, and other plans. Each review is a time to assess what has been achieved since the prior review and to determine the college's future direction. For example, during the annual review of the Strategic Plan, all employees and students are invited to participate in providing input for both the strategic goals and the mission statement. These strategic goals are then used by the college Budget Committee to guide the budgeting process (1.17, 1.11, 1.18).

The Institutional Effectiveness Committee (IEC) reviews each program on a rotating basis every three-five years. One of the products of this IEC review is an updated unit plan describing actions that are planned for short-term implementation. These actions are linked to the goals specified in the mission statement and the Strategic Plan. By this method, IEC review furthers the development of both the individual program and institutional goals.

The annual review at the institutional level and the program reviews for the IEC use data, both quantitative and qualitative, from many sources. Examples are enrollment and student outcome measures from admissions and records and/or the researcher, budget data from the office of administrative services, student survey data, and surveys administered by programs/services such as the financial aid office and the Disability Resource Center. Examples of qualitative and quantitative research used in this fashion include the Student Schedule Preference Survey in 2004 (1.19), Performance Indicators Report (1.9), and the Campus Climate Survey in 2004 (1.20). The results assess whether or not established goals have been achieved or should be modified or discarded in favor of new goals.

EVALUATION:

There are strong planning and improvement processes in place. Both quantitative and qualitative data are used by programs and departments as an integral part of assessment.

The Institutional Effectiveness Committee (IEC) has recently created a web page that includes all program review documents to assist each program in preparing its self-study report when it is required, every three to five years (1.21). The website also has links to the institutional researcher for current data that helps the program evaluate its level of success.

The IEC is creating a folder for each program that will include its most recent program review evaluation. Each annual unit plan the program creates during the interim period leading up to its next formal review will be added to the folder. The IEC can then regularly examine these documents to determine whether or not the program is doing what it said it would do as a result of the previous review.

Currently, the IEC is not certain what each program is doing between program reviews. The committee is occasionally brought into the picture when the institution, at the administration level, determines that a particular program falls into the "at risk" category.  Then, a special review is conducted.

It is clear that programs and departments need a clearly defined process for accountability for completing the actions included in their unit plans. Unit plans developed by individual programs and departments reflect what the programs and departments think is important.

PLAN:

  • Implement the Institutional Effectiveness Committee's new model that defines accountability, reporting procedures, and evaluation of the unit plan and program review process.

  1. The institution provides evidence that the planning process is broad based, offers opportunities for input by appropriate constituencies, allocates necessary resources, and leads to improvement of institutional effectiveness.

DESCRIPTION:

The planning process provides for input from a broad range of individuals and groups. The college planning and decision-making model is defined in Exhibit 1 of the Educational Master Plan (1.1, p. 184-187) and illustrates the college's commitment to shared governance in decision making. For example, classified employees, faculty, and students elect individuals to represent them through the CSEA, Academic Senate, and Associated Student Body. Each of these groups sends two representatives to the President's Council which also includes two supervisors/confidentials, two administrators, and the college president. The President's Council serves as the college's central participatory council, functioning as the institution's primary shared governance body, advisory to the president. The structure of the President's Council facilitates interaction among all institutional constituencies. The President's Council was involved in recommendations to implement block scheduling, convert to a 16-week calendar, approve the current Strategic Plan, and approve classroom learning technology standards, along with many other changes.

EVALUATION:

The college meets this standard. Results from employees surveyed suggest that the process of participatory governance guides and informs the college's decision-making activities, short and long-range planning, and problem-solving tasks. When asked if employees had been included in planning, evaluation and research at the college, responses included:  strongly agree 2 percent, somewhat agree 36 percent, neutral 20 percent, somewhat disagree 7 percent, strongly disagree 3 percent, not applicable 3 percent (1.5, question 20). In a recent student survey, students agree that they are included in the planning, budgeting, and evaluation processes at the college as follows: strongly agree 20 percent, somewhat agree 22 percent, neutral 46 percent, somewhat disagree 7 percent, strongly disagree 5 percent (1.22, question 6). While the college shared governance and review process works in most cases, the college will continue to communicate opportunities to participate in the planning process at all levels through the college Strategic Planning Committee (1.15).

PLAN:

None


  1. The institution uses documented assessment results to communicate matters of quality assurance to appropriate constituencies.

DESCRIPTION:

The college regularly conducts assessment, research, and evaluation processes to improve the quality of programs and services. The research office supports planning by providing demographic data on students and employees, enrollment management information, evaluative tools, and services for instructional and student services programs, and the development and administration of surveys.

Assessment results are directly linked to policy decisions and operational improvements in a systematic approach. Assessment data are consistently shared with the constituent groups that comprise the college community – students, external customers (potential students, business community, the community at large), and internal customers (administrators, faculty, and staff). The research page housed on the college's website (1.23) serves as the repository for the assessment activities conducted at the college. Examples of assessment used in planning include: the College of Choice Task Force Report (1.10), the 2003 High School Graduate Survey (1.24), enrollment management data for students needing remediation (1.25), the 2004-2005 Annual Report to the Community (1.26), enrollment profile information (1.27), and the performance indicators report (1.9).

The college utilizes a shared governance approach to ensure the use of assessment results in continuous improvement. Advisory boards inform the institution of constituent needs and augment research data for instructional, categorical, and other programs and services. An extensive internal council structure integrates assessment results into the planning, practices, and programs of the institution (1.28). The President's Council meets bi-weekly to inform and advise the college president and to ensure that internal constituents have an opportunity to share in decision-making. Agendas and minutes from President's Council proceedings are maintained on the college's intranet (1.29) as a forum to assure information sharing and collaboration across the college.

EVALUATION:

The college meets this standard. Assessment data is systematically utilized to inform decision-making at the Board and cabinet levels and in the major planning documents that guide the institution – the Educational Master Plan, the Strategic Plan, the Facilities Master Plan, and the Technology Master Plan.

PLAN:

None


  1. The institution assures the effectiveness of its ongoing planning and resource allocation processes by systematically reviewing and modifying, as appropriate, all parts of the cycle, including institutional and other research efforts.

DESCRIPTION:

The major planning processes of the college are reflected in the Educational Master Plan, the Strategic Plan, the Facilities Master Plan, and the Technology Master Plan.

The Educational Master Plan (1.1) serves as the guiding document for all planning processes. The Educational Master Plan results from internal and external service area environmental scanning conducted on a five-year cycle and addresses the threats and opportunities that exist for the college. All college units are given the opportunity to present their specific needs, goals, and objectives through this process. This document serves as the blueprint for the college for the next five years.

The Strategic Plan (1.11) addresses the specific threats and opportunities found in the Educational Master Plan. The Strategic Plan is developed through extensive shared governance and is formally approved through the President's Council, Academic Senate, and the Board of Trustees. The current strategic plan was approved by the Board of Trustees on February 14, 2006. A strategic planning committee (a subcommittee of the President's Council) has been developed and meets at least quarterly to review strategic directions and advise the President on the Strategic Plan and the Educational Master Plan.

The Facilities Master Plan and the Technology Master Plan also are reflective of the goals and objectives as outlined in the Educational Master Plan. Both are developed through a broad shared governance process.

The Facilities Master Plan (1.13) is the comprehensive planning document that identifies, organizes, plans, and records the capital outlay required to bring the campus into alignment with educational, fiscal, and student services of the college. It sets forth needs, goals, and concepts to accomplish stated objectives, matching implementation actions with available resources and appropriate timelines. This document provides for a fair, prudent, and predictable process for the improvement of facilities, including support infrastructure, to enhance learning opportunities for students, and a professional teaching and working environment for staff.

It is recognized that funding resources are limited and Gavilan College must make critical decisions as to how to best use the resources available. The Technology Plan (1.12) is a practical outline for identifying and developing initiatives that will be implemented to best support the Strategic Plan, the Educational Master Plan, and overall vision of the college. The plan takes a strategic approach to outlining and identifying the technology initiatives necessary to support the campus. The plan is not meant to be a document that has a "completion date". Rather, it is a living document that is reviewed and updated annually. The Technology Committee is responsible for the ongoing review and updating of the plan.

Unit plans are developed annually with specific goals and objectives to accomplish the broader direction and goals set in the major planning documents. Unit plans identify specific activities, measurements, timelines, and responsible parties for completion.

All instructional and student services programs conduct a formal program review through the Institutional Effectiveness Committee (IEC) and are reviewed on established criteria every three to five years. In this process, scheduled units or programs conduct a self-study that is submitted to and reviewed by the IEC. The IEC posts self-studies on the intranet and the college community is invited to comment. The IEC interviews program participants and makes recommendations for items that may not have been clearly stated or were omitted from the self-study process and makes suggestions for items that should be addressed in a corresponding unit plan. The committee then forwards the document along with an executive summary to the President's Council for review in the shared governance process and then to the Board for review. The IEC membership includes administration, faculty, student services, classified staff, and administrative services employee groups.

While timelines for the development of the planning documents have been established, the major planning documents serve as "living documents" so the college can easily revise plans to respond to emerging constituent and budgetary needs, as necessary. The college attempts to link each major planning process to the budget through the identification of major objectives related to the strategic plan and unit plans during the annual budget request process, through the college Budget Committee, and through the Board Budget Subcommittee.

The college regularly engages advisory boards for categorical, instructional, and other programs at the college. Individual programs and services undergo periodic reviews, both formal and informal, from appropriate state, curricular, and collaborating agencies. For example, MESA, EOPS, and the Disability Resource Center are evaluated by the Chancellor's Office through the program review process and technical assistance visits. The TRIO program is evaluated by the Department of Education every six years, with an annual report submitted that serves as a program review. The nursing department utilizes success rates from state-level examinations for LVN and RN certification in planning and improvement processes. Certified Nursing Assistant and Home Health Aide programs are certified by the California Department of Health Services. Licensed Vocational Nursing is accredited by the California Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians. Registered Nursing is accredited by the California Board of Registered Nursing, and ROP classes are accredited through the California Department of Education.

EVALUATION:

A shared governance approach engages constituents in the planning processes. The college has increasingly improved its ability to link planning processes to the budget. Budget guidelines are published and communicated through the shared governance process. An opportunity for improvement exists in developing a universally understood expectation for how results are reported, how measures should be developed, and how collaboration across the various departments at the college could be enhanced to avoid duplication of effort and disconnects in two approaches to address the same issue.

Results from the recent employee survey regarding how effectively the college systematically reviews and modifies its institutional research efforts, evaluation processes, plans, and planning processes were as follows:  strongly agree 25 percent, somewhat agree 33 percent, neutral 22 percent, somewhat disagree 12 percent, strongly disagree 2 percent, not applicable 5 percent (1.5, question 19). Furthermore, in the same survey, employees indicated that they had been included in planning, evaluation, and research activities at the college as follows:  strongly agree 32 percent, somewhat agree 36 percent, neutral 20 percent, somewhat disagree 7 percent, strongly disagree 3 percent, not applicable 3 percent (1.5, question 20).

PLAN:

  • Assess the planning cycle timelines to ensure that cycles continue to be appropriate for the needs of the institution and educate the college community about the overall planning process and the linkages between the major planning documents.

  1. The institution assesses its evaluation mechanisms through a systematic review of their effectiveness in improving instructional programs, student support services, and library and other learning support services.

DESCRIPTION:

The college uses a variety of evidence-gathering processes to evaluate the effectiveness of instructional programs, student services, and academic support services. Research projects, point of service surveys, program reviews by the Institutional Effectiveness Committee, budgetary audits, formal and informal committee activities and minutes, environmental scanning, year-end reports, open forum discussions, and site visits are all utilized in these evidence building and evaluation processes. These projects are conducted on an annual cyclical basis and include both qualitative and quantitative data for use in planning.

The Institutional Effectiveness Committee guides the process for formal program reviews for instructional, student services, and administrative operation systems at the college. Each unit conducts a major program review on a three to five-year cycle with recommendations for continuous improvement as the result. This cycle ensures the periodic review of all aspects of the institution. The activities referenced above such as site visits, point of service surveys, etc., result in secondary review processes appropriate to the college function (1.21).

EVALUATION:

The college meets this standard. The college provides for the systematic and comprehensive review of all instructional, student services, and library services programs through the Institutional Effectiveness Committee. Each individual review process results in a list of improvements that should be included in future unit plans. All course offerings are reviewed through the Curriculum Committee on a six-year, rotational cycle (1.30). When responding to a survey item regarding the institution's maintenance of ongoing, collegial, and self-reflective dialogue about continuous improvement of student learning and institution processes, responses included:  strongly agree 30 percent, Somewhat agree 28 percent, neutral 21 percent, somewhat disagree 15 percent, strongly disagree 4 percent, not applicable 2 percent (1.5, question 17).

PLAN:

None

Last modified: February 4, 2007
Gavilan College Red Diamond 5055 Santa Teresa Boulevard Red Diamond Gilroy, CA 95020 Red Diamond (408) 848-4800