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2C.3: Evaluation of Institutional Effectiveness
Within Sauk's various planning and evaluation processes, benchmarks are set and results reported in ways appropriate to the system:
- An important part of operational planning training is to orient employees to identify concrete, measurable results and avoid generalized, abstract results on the Operational Plans. The Dean of Institutional Research and Planning reviews submitted plans for their compliance with the creation of appropriate benchmarks. Results are recorded on the Operational Plan Form at the end of the plan year, in preparation for setting the next year’s objectives.
- Program reviews use program-specific data to analyze need, quality, and cost effectiveness and then to make plans. The types of data used are consistent among all instructional programs to allow for cross-program comparisons. Results of the program review are posted on the Sauk webpage as well as reported to ICCB.
- Faculty involved in assessment of student learning set the expected performance for the objectives and review these when discussing their findings. The results of CAAP allow Sauk graduates to be evaluated against a set of peer colleges and against state and national norms. Findings are stored in a digital system for access by the faculty.
The college measures its overall institutional effectiveness against ICCB benchmarks and the goals set by the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) through two required reports, submitted annually to ICCB: the Underrepresented Groups Report and the Performance Report. Although these reports have gone through several transitions during the past few years as the IBHE has revised its goals, Sauk intends to dovetail the IBHE and ICCB benchmarking process with the Strategic Directions.
In the meantime, the FY11 revision to the college’s strategic planning system incorporated a new awareness that the college should be accountable to its own Strategic Goals in addition to those imposed by the state. To that end, meaningful institutional key performance indicators (KPI) were identified by OPIC and are articulated in the Strategic Directions. Sauk’s KPIs measure the success of the college’s overall efforts:
- Transfer rate - The number of students who began their baccalaureate degree at Sauk and successfully transfer to universities.
- Employment rate - The number of students who enroll to develop occupational skills and successfully obtain employment.
- Credit hours generated - The number of credits generated at the end of the year provides a measure of student success and determines the state’s apportionment funding.
- Number of certificate and degree program completions - The number of completions is a measure of student success and Sauk’s efforts to make students successful.
- Proportion of departments that operate within budget - The number of departments that do not exceed their budget is a measure of financial management.
The KPIs represent an institution-level, measureable benchmark appropriate to the broad academic and fiscal charge of the college. They focus staff on Sauk's priorities and should make it easier to determine the extent to which Strategic Goals have been achieved. Although the first cycle of the FY11 planning system will not reach the point of measuring against these benchmarks until summer of 2011, the plan design calls for administration and OPIC to examine the current year rates against the prior year and a multi-year average. From that evaluation, Sauk will generate an annual report that will become the foundation for future planning, which will be published on the website (Appendix).