Organization of the Report

The Focused Visit Report consists of this narrative section of four descriptive chapters plus appendices of supporting evidence under separate cover that shows how the College has met the expectations of HLC for this visit:

  • Chapter One introduces the reader to Sauk Valley Community College, explains that the college adopted a learning college model, and provides information about the resulting institution-wide system structure on which both strategic planning and assessment depend.
  • Chapter Two addresses the strategic planning focused visit expectations, combining evidence of our achievement with description of how myriad separate processes transformed into a comprehensive strategic planning cycle.
  • Chapter Three addresses the assessment focused visit expectations, combining evidence of our achievement with description of how faculty, supported by administration, have turned assessment into an institution-wide activity that is able to impact strategic planning.
  • Chapter Four is a conclusion that describes how the College's adoption of the learning college model is transforming the organizational culture beyond the scope of the HLC directive for change, presents evidence that a Learning college foundation is in place, and discusses plans for sustaining that transformation into the future.
Support Documents

The Appendices contain evidence of the preparation for this visit, much of which is referred to in the narrative. They are a compilation of internal documents, graphic representations of planning processes, and meeting minutes. Text references to appended material are cross-referenced. Several of the most critical components are highlighted below:

  • Appendix A is a reflection on the benefits to our organizational culture that came from our efforts to address the concerns which precipitated this focused visit. Written by the College's senior faculty member, it provides perspective on the impact on the institution of the transformation wrought by the focused visit.
  • Appendix D is a full-sized, color version of the Operational Planning and Improvement System Chart. This graphic provides the initial conceptual foundation of how separate institutional systems and component parts interrelate and on which the resulting planning system was based.
  • Appendix F is the Planning System Timeline. Development of this document has proven critical in ensuring that the strategic planning system benefits from information across the full spectrum of data available in the learning college and that the cycle achieves continuity across academic and fiscal years.
  • Appendix M is the Strategic Planning Procedures Manual, which documents the accountabilities and processes of the College's strategic planning process, and the 2005-2006 Strategic Plan.
  • Appendix N is the Academic Assessment Plan, which spells out the accountabilities and processes of the College's academic assessment system, including the rationale for the selection of the system in use.
  • Appendix O is the Academic Assessment Handbook for Faculty: An Introduction to the System, a tool for instructors which contains specific explanation of the assessment data collection process.