SVCC HLC Self-Study Document

Sauk Valley Community College
HLC Self-Study Document

September 19-21, 2011

Responses to HLC Concerns

In an earlier section, we have addressed the concerns of and responded to suggestions made by prior review teams at the 2002 Reaffirmation of Accreditation visit and the 2006 Focused Visit under the previous criteria. Three of these relate directly to evidence addressed in this criterion and are summarized here:

  • “The college’s Strategic Plan speaks directly and indirectly to the need for employee development. However, as indicated in the budget and as discussed with employee groups, sufficient resources to support this endeavor have been removed” (2002, p. 12).

    Shortly after the visit, the $300 budgeted for each faculty member became a single pool of $20,000. A Faculty Development Committee was formed to oversee and approve use of the funds. In the 2009 employee survey, most employees indicated that the college is moderately to highly supportive of professional development: 96% of faculty, 93% of administration, 92% of support staff, and 88% of professional/technical staff (Link to another section of Self-Study 4A.2).

  • “In a review of the documents, and in interviews with the faculty and administration, there exists no clearly defined philosophy statement regarding general education requirements as agreed upon by the faculty, no identification and articulation of expected competencies to be attained by students within each area, no method of assessment and measurement of those areas of importance, generally no stated career program outcomes, and no current process for including the results in instructional improvement and the annual budgeting of the institution. Faculty generally does not demonstrate a shared understanding of the potential or goals of academic assessment and they demonstrate only minimum buy-in to the overall program. Necessary professional developmental funds are not allocated to support consultants and travel of employees required to develop an understanding of an effective program of student academic assessment. The college should ensure that the faculty are fully understanding of their role in the ownership and direction of the curriculum, as well as provide for clarity in student’s progression through coursework to a degree” (2002, p. 10).

    By the Focused Visit Team in 2006, the lack noted by the 2002 team had been remedied and the faculty was in its second cycle of using a new assessment system to assess student outcomes related to general education competencies as well as the general education core curriculum. The faculty has continued to own and direct the curriculum as well as the assessment system. The assessment system itself continues to evolve as faculty improve their understanding of how the general education competencies may best be measured.

    • The Focused Visit Team noted that "the faculty has not yet come to full consensus on a common rubric for assessing the achievement of the [gen ed] competencies taught at the college" ( 2006, p. 8). Some increases in standardization have been gained as gen ed data collection has moved into a standardized database form. Other efforts to reach the required consensus have also been made:
      • Career program faculty have created a combined set of program outcomes that they value highly for employment readiness and are assessing them for the first time in the spring 2011 semester.
      • Academic areas that address the General Education Core Curriculum (GECC) requirements have created the standardized rubrics called for by the team as they begin to assess objectives they have developed for those areas: Humanities/Fine Arts; Communications; Mathematics; Social Science; Physical Science.
      • Periodic administration of the CAAP test provides statistically reliable results and external benchmarks against which the ongoing classroom findings can be evaluated.

Link to another section of Self-Study See Core Component 3A for evaluation of the system in general and Core Component 4B for more about assessment of the general education curriculum.