Criterion Five. Resources, Planning, and Institutional Effectiveness

5.A – Core Component 5.A

The institution’s resource base supports its current educational programs and its plans for maintaining and strengthening their quality in the future.

  1. The institution has the fiscal and human resources and physical and technological infrastructure sufficient to support its operations wherever and however programs are delivered.
  2. The institution’s resource allocation process ensures that its educational purposes are not adversely affected by elective resource allocations to other areas or disbursement of revenue to a superordinate entity.
  3. The goals incorporated into mission statements or elaborations of mission statements are realistic in light of the institution’s organization, resources, and opportunities.
  4. The institution’s staff in all areas are appropriately qualified and trained.
  5. The institution has a well-developed process in place for budgeting and for monitoring expense.

Argument

Metropolitan Community College has worked hard throughout the past 10 years to provide adequate fiscal and human resources and appropriate physical and technological infrastructure to support the operations of the institution. The fiscal health of the institution is regularly monitored by the Administrative Services division. MCC has three main revenue streams: state appropriations, local taxes, and tuition.

The state’s economic circumstances resulted in decreasing state appropriations across Missouri from FY 2011 to FY2014. MCC’s local tax revenue has been relatively stable over the past decade, because the college can adjust the levy each year based on assessed valuations. Community college enrollment runs countercyclical to economic conditions, which meant an increase in MCC enrollment during the recession. As the economy has improved the college’s enrollment has begun to decline (2015-16 Budget Book B-3 to B-9). 

To address the declines in revenue, MCC has identified ways to reduce expenditures, increase efficiencies and increase revenue (Board Budget Workshop to disburse – March2015vFINAL).  In 2011, the institution engaged in a comprehensive academic and administrative program review as part of a zero-based budgeting initiative. The review measured programs on their overall effectiveness and their overall alignment to MCC’s strategic plan.

The annual budget planning process includes historical analysis and projecting out three to five years based on economic conditions (Budget_BookFY2014).  Each June, the college presents a balanced budget to the Board of Trustees for the upcoming fiscal year. The annual budget workshop is a mid-year review and presented to the board in an open session for all MCC constituents (Board_Budget_Workshop_to_disburse_-_February_2014v7). This also is the start of the planning cycle for the next fiscal year. Over the past 10 years, MCC’s external financial audits have demonstrated that the college remains fiscally sound (2014_Financial_Report_Final, MCC 2013 Audit report).

In order to carry out its mission and purposes, MCC is organized with a chancellor, three vice chancellors, five campus presidents, and administrators who oversee operations. The current staffing is approximately 900 benefits-eligible positions serving 18,000 students throughout the district (Staffing Table July2015). The human resources department is responsible for monitoring the hiring and evaluation process for all employees.

MCC has five campuses, an administrative center, a facilities location, and courses offered at various community sites. A centralized district facilities services department maintains all locations. Improvements to facilities over the past 10 years have been made to increase services to students and assist them in meeting their educational goals. These include:

  • Creating the Health Science Institute
  • Building an electric utility line field for the lineman program
  • Building a driving track for the police and fire science academy
  • Redesigning enrollment centers at four campuses to improve service to students
  • Updating state-of-the-art chemistry labs at MCC-Longview and Maple Woods
  • Utilizing a FEMA grant to build storm shelters on all campuses that were designed as instructional facilities to meet campus needs
  • Building an Arts & Sciences building at MCC-Blue River to expand classroom and lab space
  • Expanding and upgrading lab space at MCC-Business & Technology to meet industry needs and requirements
  • Building a wind turbine at Blue River for workforce training and for raising community awareness of renewable energy options
  • Installing solar panels on buildings at three campuses (Business & Technology, Maple Woods, Penn Valley)

In FY 2014, a deferred maintenance fund was established by the Board of Trustees (5-8-2014 Designation of Deferred Maintenance). Additionally, in FY 2015 the college was able to refinance a bond, which resulted in savings of $2 million per year over 12 years. The Board designated $1.5 million of these funds annually for deferred facilities maintenance and $500,000 for IT projects (8_14_2014 Advance Refunding of Outstanding Bond Certificates). Facilities Services has recently conducted site visits at each location and defined a maintenance plan to address these needs (Maintenance Repair Blue Print Report 03-14). As the college moves forward on any future capital projects, it is committed to planning adequately for fiscal resources needed to maintain the structures.

In order to ensure that the technology infrastructure meets the needs of the institution, the IT department reviews its structure and effectiveness on a continuing basis. A business process review was conducted in 2010 to assess current practices. It was benchmarked with other institutions to define best practices for MCC (Process_Review  DevelopersProcessReviewandRedesignReport; 2010 User Support Services Process Review Report; 2010 System Managers and Operations2010 Telecom Process Review2010 Web Process Review). In 2013, MCC engaged in an IT audit, which created districtwide IT strategic and tactical plans to support the college’s strategic goals and priorities IT Audit Copyright. MCC officers approved the plan in January 2014. This includes a strategy to upgrade and maintain IT infrastructure and software. A management structure was established to implement the recommendations including a CIO consultant/position and an IT Executive Steering Committee (ITESC). ITESC has subcommittees that include broad representation from the institution (IT Revised Committee Structure).

MCC’s allocation process has evolved but has always been developed to ensure educational purposes receive the necessary funding.  For most of the past 10 years, the college relied on an allocation model that systematically distributed resources to the district’s five campuses and other cost centers. The major funding areas were instructional, administrative, student, and academic support services. This model proved to be effective while the revenue picture remained positive.

As the economic outlook changed, with enrollment and state appropriations on the decline, MCC found itself allocating more than it was generating in revenue. This triggered the need to allocate resources in an entirely new way. In 2011, the institution engaged in a comprehensive academic and administrative program review with the intent to move to zero-based budgeting. The review measured programs on their overall effectiveness and alignment to MCC’s strategic plan. This process has evolved, and the planning process for FY2015 included justifications for all expenditures beyond personnel, moving the college closer to a true ZBB model (ZBB Timeline; Budget_BookFY2014).

MCC’s mission is detailed in the college’s vision and purpose statements Mission Vision Purpose Statements.  Strategic priorities are guided by vision and purpose statements. These priorities serve as the primary guideline for the allocation of resources and decision-making strategies at MCC.

Recruitment and hiring practices ensure that all positions are filled with qualified candidates. Position requirements are based on the needs of the job. As positions become vacant, MCC performs a process of reviewing and in some cases removing or revising position descriptions to ensure that they are aligned with strategic priorities PositionJustification; Position_Justification_NF.  The college also maintains policies on faculty requirements 305115DR – Qualifications for Teaching Courses305080DR – Employment of Full Time Faculty & Administrators. During the hiring process, candidates complete on-line applications and attach required information. The Human Resources department screens candidates to ensure they meet the minimum qualifications before proceeding with the process HR_Screening_Process; Benefit Eligible NonFaculty Hiring WorkFlow.

Hiring committees are established with an appropriate mix of governance group members, content experts, and an EEO representative. The campus division chairs and deans of instruction are actively involved in the recruitment of adjunct faculty Faculty Hiring WorkFlow. MCC developed an online process NB_PTF_Applicant_Review_and_SelectionNB_PTF_Internal_Posting; NB_PTF_Copy_Candidate_to_Internal_PostingNB_PTF_Starting_the_Hiring_Proposal that went live in 2014 with the intent of creating a pool of qualified and pre-screened adjuncts.

All full-time employees attend a new employee orientation that includes a general introduction to the college, benefits overview, and diversity and sexual harassment training NEO Agenda for New Hires. MCC provides a variety of professional development opportunities from internal and external sources for its faculty, staff, and administrators (see KCPDC Faculty, KCPDC_Special_TopicsAAW_2013-2014_FlyerCalendar HR Training Booklet – Fall 2014 – UpdateHR Training Calendar – Spring 2015- revHR Training Calendar EmployeesHR Training Calendar- Supervisors). Furthering an employee’s education is encouraged through tuition reimbursement and tuition/fee waivers for all full-time, benefits-eligible employees Schedule of Salary & Conditions FTF_14-15, Schedule of Salary & Conditions FTS_14-15, Schedule of Salary & Conditions ADM_14-15. Each year, the faculty convocation and district in-service provide opportunities for additional professional development (Faculty_Convocation_Thrive_Flyer_2014, District In-Service 2011).

Annual evaluations are conducted for all staff and administrators, which are managed by the HR department. There is a faculty evaluation cycle that is overseen by the office of the vice chancellor of academic affairs 335010DR – Evaluation of Employees. The director of employee relations and training is responsible for developing and conducting employee training.

MCC has a process in place for creating the annual budget and managing the expenditures to the budget. The vice chancellor of financial & administrative services is responsible for developing and managing the budget process. The annual budgeting process involves all levels of the institution. Each campus/location is provided with past year’s expenses to assist in determining the upcoming year.

On the academic side, at each the campus the president, deans, and division chairs work with their departments to determine their priorities based on the strategic initiatives. These are then used to create the draft budget request. Historically, a preliminary amount was provided as a baseline for the upcoming fiscal year. With the further implementation of ZBB for FY 2015, all non-payroll line items required a justification. The administrative departments use a similar approach to determine their budgets, working with administrators and managers to set the upcoming priorities based on the strategic initiatives. All completed drafts are sent to the director of budgeting to be compiled and then shared with the officer group for final recommendations. The final financial plan is lodged with the Board of Trustees for approval. There is a continuing review of the financial plan by the officers for the current and upcoming fiscal years to make any necessary adjustments.

The accounting department provides the chancellor and vice chancellor of financial and administrative services a monthly analysis of the financials, which is also presented to the Board of Trustees. These include a review of all revenues and expenditures year-to-date with a previous fiscal year comparison with any variances noted OperationalFunds_Mar2012; AuxBoardReports_Mar2012; Cash_Investments_Mar2012; March 2012 Operational Analysis. Each December and April, any budget adjustments based on updated information are presented to the Board for approval (11-15-2012 Budget Adj and Audit Approval; 2013 Officers Recharge Agenda; 2014 Officers Recharge Agenda). The financial system also provides a variety of reports and system access to budget and transactional data. The reports are generated on a monthly basis and sent to departmental budget supervisors, administrators and officers.

Sources

5.B – Core Component 5.B

The institution’s governance and administrative structures promote effective leadership and support collaborative processes that enable the institution to fulfill its mission.

  1. The governing board is knowledgeable about the institution; it provides oversight of the institution’s financial and academic policies and practices and meets its legal and fiduciary responsibilities.
  2. The institution has and employs policies and procedures to engage its internal constituencies—including its governing board, administration, faculty, staff, and students—in the institution’s governance.
  3. Administration, faculty, staff, and students are involved in setting academic requirements, policy, and processes through effective structures for contribution and collaborative effort.

Argument

MCC’s Board of Trustees remains committed to the success of the institution through oversight of the college’s financial and academic policies and practices. The board meets monthly for a work session and a formal board meeting, with an established pre-published agenda and a defined work session agenda.  During the work session, items from the current board meeting as well as future board topics are presented to ensure the board has a thorough understanding. (MCC Board Meeting Agendas 1-15-15) The formal board meeting has standing agenda items that focus on all areas of the institution, including administration, business and financials, physical facilities, curriculum and instruction, personnel, student personnel services, and any other relevant institutional business (MCC Board Meeting Agenda Items 1-15-15). There is also a chancellor’s report that highlights an area of the institution. These have included presentations from faculty, staff, and students. (Board Presentation). All board meetings and work sessions are open to the public and include Officers and governance group members.

The Board of Trustees provides oversight of financial matters on a consistent basis. Each month, the board receives a treasurer’s report (7_23_15 Treasurer’s Report with Notes). This report includes the cash and investment summary, disbursements (Check Register November 2014), the Operational Funds Budget compared to Actual Report, and any adjustments to the Operational Budget.  The board reviews and approves the Annual Financial Report in the fall, including the College/Foundation/Compliance audit (Board_Packet_12_12_13 (Page 5), MCC 2013 Audit Report) , any mid-year budget adjustments, including the high-level plan for the upcoming fiscal year (Board Budget Workshop to disburse – March2015vFINAL), and the College’s Financial Plan in June (2013MCCBudgetBook). The board also annually reviews any changes regarding two of the largest sources of MCC revenue: tax levy rates and tuition rates. (MCC Board Meeting Agenda Items 1-15-15, MCC Board Meeting Agendas 1-15-15, Analysis for the Board of Trustees – 2014). Before these are approved, analysis is presented to trustees and discussed during the work session.

MCC has a history of utilizing shared governance to drive decisions and evaluate the strategic direction of the institution, and employs policies and procedures to ensure this is done. This collaboration involves all levels, including students, staff, faculty, administrators, officers, and the governing Board of Trustees.

MCC has a formal structure in place to involve faculty, staff, and administrators in the governing process (Policy_Dev_Process). The Board of Trustees has developed policies outlining the support of an appropriate governance system, which provides the ability for these groups to participate in the overall direction of the institution (210010BP – Governance System, 210010DR – Governance System).

Any governance group can propose policy changes.  The district policy process dictates that all policy revisions, additions, and deletions presented to the board pass through a formal policy committee, the Chancellor’s Policy Review Committee (CPRC) (Chancellor’s Policy Review Committee). The CPRC is composed of faculty, staff and administrators with the charge to seek feedback from their respective governance groups, following the Board policy on the development, revision, and rescission of district policies and procedures (210020DP – District Policies and Procedures). MCC maintains an informational blog displaying the purpose of the CPRC, current policies under review, and an archived list of completed policy revisions/additions/deletions. All employees have access to this blog.

MCC demonstrates a collaborative effort from its administration, faculty, staff, and students in setting academic requirements, policy, and processes. Ad hoc district committees are formed when needed and given a clear directive to address issues/needs that arise at the institution. This involves working with the governance groups to define committee membership. (MCC Committees 2014-2015) Examples of these committees include the Budget Response Team, Zero Based Budgeting Teams, Strategic Enrollment Management committees, Higher Learning Commission Steering Committee, and many others. (AA Taskforce Final Summary Report 2013, Data Quality Committee Charge, Honors TF Charge 2014, IT Executive Steering Committee, ITESC Structure, Academic Calendar Task Force)

Additionally, each campus has a president’s cabinet comprising members from each employee group to provide feedback on campus and institutional issues. There is a district wide chancellor’s cabinet that includes all five campus presidents, the vice chancellors, and the presidents of the governance groups (Chancellors Cabinet MeetingsChancellors Cabinet Membership, Chancellor’s Cabinet Notes 4-7-14).

On the academic side, curriculum and assessment committees were created to ensure high standards – these are primarily made up of student services, faculty, and administrators (DACC Structure and Charge). A process for curriculum approval involves campus curriculum committees and the Faculty Senate curriculum committee, and is ultimately approved by the District Instructional Curriculum Committee. (Curriculum Flow Chart). The campus curriculum committees include students, staff, faculty, and administrators. The deans of instruction and deans of student services meet regularly to discuss academic policies and issues. Issues that involve multiple constituents are escalated to the appropriate groups.

Students are invited to serve on campus committees.  Additionally, college administrators meet with student leaders at each campus to seek feedback. These groups include Campus Life and Leadership, peer leaders, student ambassadors and/or student government.

MCC has created a number of communication vehicles to reach its internal constituents. These include MCC Insider, an information blog published several times a week or as needed, the MCC Campus Connection for student input, and social media sites to provide the latest information and act as a repository for district committees (YouTubeFacebook.MCCTwitter.PR). The chancellor also conducts town hall meetings on a regular basis at each of the campuses. This is an opportunity for employees and students to voice concerns and ask questions of the chancellor.  A centralized call center was created to assist in sending quality, accurate messages to all (MCC information center).

Recent surveys have shown a decline in satisfaction with the shared governance process. This information is being used to inform decisions related to the college’s new strategic plan and in evaluating the meaning of shared governance at the institution. Moving forward, culture and climate will be one of MCC’s strategic priorities. (MCC Strategic Background SS )

5.C – Core Component 5.C

The institution engages in systematic and integrated planning.

  1. The institution allocates its resources in alignment with its mission and priorities.
  2. The institution links its processes for assessment of student learning, evaluation of operations, planning, and budgeting.
  3. The planning process encompasses the institution as a whole and considers the perspectives of internal and external constituent groups.
  4. The institution plans on the basis of a sound understanding of its current capacity. Institutional plans anticipate the possible impact of fluctuations in the institution’s sources of revenue, such as enrollment, the economy, and state support.
  5. Institutional planning anticipates emerging factors, such as technology, demographic shifts, and globalization.

Argument

MCC has a tradition of aligning its operational processes and resources with a strategic plan developed collaboratively with input from all employee groups (Planning2.50080).  Each year during the budget planning process, proposed and ongoing initiatives are discussed and related to the college’s strategic plan. The annual budget book highlights the items, the educational programs and the support services that uphold MCC’s mission. (2015-16 Budget Book A-9 to A-16)

In 2011, MCC launched an initiative to more closely align the budget allocation model with the current strategic plan. The college performed a review of all academic and administrative programs to determine how they should be prioritized for resource allocation. The goal of this prioritization was to move toward a zero-based budgeting (ZBB) process (Chancellor Message ZBB). Programs were evaluated on how viable they were within the institution and their alignment with the mission and strategic plan (ZBB Norming Session). Recommendations were made on any programs with resource issues, as well as those not as closely aligned with the strategic plan. ZBB Determinations and Thank You, ZBB Academic Program RecommendationsZBB administrative program recommendationsZBB Feasibility Master List, Chancellor’s Cabinet ZZB Update 11 18 13

The ZBB process identified a need to focus on revenue generating opportunities. The MCC Foundation launched the “MCC Works” campaign (Feasibility Study Results, MCC Preliminary Case For Support) with the goal of generating $20 million to support the college’s strategic priorities.

MCC has continued fiscal year budget planning of initiatives in relation to the strategic plan. The college is in the process of implementing budget software that will allow budget line items to directly relate to the strategic plan. This will assist in discussions during annual budget planning.

Additionally, several projects were launched to further identify necessary changes and their resource needs. An IT audit created a multi-year plan (IT Audit Copyright, MCC IT Roadmap 140211) and recommended an IT executive steering committee to provide overall guidance on resource allocation. A Strategic Enrollment Management plan (SEM) initiative created a multi-year plan focused on enrollment/retention, student success, and financial goals. (SEM Plan Structure) A district-wide facilities master plan (Maintenance Repair Blue Print Report 03-14) was updated to include campus strategic priorities and deferred maintenance projects.  MCC worked with the state of Missouri to gain National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements to broaden the college’s reach to online students. MCC_SARA_Approval  

MCC decided to “sunset” its early retirement policy in June 2013 (325100bp-retirementredlined121511), leaving a number of vacant positions. All vacant positions were evaluated to ensure that positions filled are in areas that support the college’s mission. A position justification form was created to support this process and is currently used for any vacated or proposed positions. (position justification )

MCC recognizes the importance of linking academic and operational goals with planning and budgeting processes. Over the course of 10 years,the institution has slowly moved towards more centralized procedures to manage the operational processes. This has helped the college to fully utilize resources to support the strategic plan.

In order to meet the strategic goals related to enrollment, retention and completion, the Student Services areas performed a process review of all their services related to enrollment processes (Process Review ChargeDeans Review–ALL SummaryREV). This highlighted overlap and areas for gaining efficiencies. A multi-year plan was developed to implement best practices. Two of the more comprehensive initiatives were the creation of an orientation class and a Strategic Enrollment Management plan. These are being implemented as resources become available during each fiscal year’s budget planning cycle.

SEM identified needed improvement in the overall student experience. This multi-year plan focused on enrollment/retention, student success, and financial goals (SEM Plan Structure). The first step to address retention needs was to move toward a more comprehensive first-year experience.  This resulted in the creation of a College 100 class (COLL 100 Course Information), required for all incoming students. An Information Center and campus enrollment centers, with cross functionally trained staff, were identified as solutions to improve students’ enrollment experience. To date, these centers have been implemented at Longview, Penn Valley, Blue River and Business & Technology. A center is planned at Maple Woods when resources become available. Outcomes of these process improvements should result in more positive results on all of MCC’s reviews.  (SEM MCC Insider UpdateSEM Timeline, SEM Work Groups, SEM_Matrix Stud LifeCycle)  (SEM cabinet presentation – January 2013 presented Cabinet 2.04.13 (2)SEM Capacity Academic Support).

For ongoing assessment of student satisfaction with MCC, the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) was administered in 2007, 2009, and 2015 (and planned for 2016). There was a Noel-Levitz assessment in 2013 and 2014, and an assessment on new student engagement related to first-year experiences. [CCSSE Assessment Plan 2015MCC CCSSE Spring 2009, Noel Levitz 2014 Website, Noel Levitz Student Satisfaction Inventory, 2014 SENSE Overall Report] Results from these surveys have provided feedback to help evaluate and improve student services. For example, campuses focused on cross training student services personnel, which resulted in higher satisfaction on subsequent assessments.

In the past, program reviews were conducted every three to five years, and looked primarily at demographics. As part of the Open Pathways quality improvement project, these program reviews were modified to close the assessment loop. This change has brought on the new practice of a sustainable program review process. This is described in detail in Criterion 4.A. Recognizing the need for career and technical education programs to rapidly respond to the external environment, yearly program outcome assessments are conducted. The assessment and review process includes a component on budget and planning which is integrated into the annual budgeting process (HIMdata for Program Review).

MCC reviewed its developmental educational programs (StratPlan3_Recommendations) and found that work in this area has not been as successful as the college would like. In response to this, MCC applied for and was awarded a FOCUS grant. (Title III).

The college is in the process of replacing the previous data warehouse with Blackboard Analytics (Blackboard analytics – Officers_10_21_13). This will provide district-wide access to meaningful student and institutional information.

As demonstrated, MCC has consistently performed reviews and the data from these reviews is fed into the zero-based budgeting the district-wide link to the budgeting process. The ZBB process produced recommendations for additional feasibility studies to be conducted on academic programs falling in the lower two quintiles. This has resulted in the archiving of several programs to reallocate resources to other programs. Examples of such programs are Land Survey_GISREPORT and Apparel and Textiles.

MCC has a goal to operate the institution with shared governance and seek perspectives from external constituent groups.

MCC has a history of reviewing and revising the strategic plan through a strategic planning committee involving all levels of the institution. From 2006-2009 the strategic plan focused on 10 priorities (MCC Strategic Plan Adopted July 2006).  In 2009, the plan was updated to focus on eight core strategies in four main areas. (Strategic-Plan-adopted-Feb25-08, Strategic Planning Council December 2009).  In July 2011, a districtwide MCC Strategic Planning Summit was held to revise the current plan into a more concise format. MCC Strategic Planning Summit Presentation 7-22-11 MCC Strategic Plan].

In January 2015, the college identified the need to update the current strategic plan. A consultant from National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS), was hired to assist MCC in the creation of a new strategic plan and ongoing review process. His first step was to review all the information MCC had gathered from various initiatives including process reviews, SEM, CCSSE, Noel Levitz, AAUP survey and demographic studies. Two additional reviews were conducted to identify MCC’s markets and success/opportunities within them(ClarusReportExecutiveSummary) and to analyze the college’s branding (Brand-Promise-Study-Results).  In March 2015, the consultant met with the newly formed strategic planning executive committee to present his assessment of the data and begin the process (MCC.Strategic Planning.Background.030215)  In April 2015, strategic planning informational sessions were held at each campus. The goal was to present the relevant data and gather feedback from all employees. In July 2015, themes emerging from the spring strategic planning discussions were unveiled at the Summer Symposium.

Campuses have also created individual strategic plans to target their needs as they relate to the overall strategic plan. These plans have varied in their development processes and formats. (BR Strategic Plan 2014, Longview BLUEPrint)

Committees are formed with cross representation from all employee groups. Examples of these include ZBB committees, BRT, and the AA Task Force (MCC Committees 2014-2015). These committees make recommendations to the chancellor’s cabinet, which is made up of members of each governance group and all officers. Institutional decisions are vetted with the chancellor’s cabinet before implementation. Campuses host town hall meetings with the officers and chancellor on a regular basis. This ensures communication among the campuses and the leadership group.

MCC also solicits input from external constituents to maintain relevance in academic programs. Our Career and technical education programs have advisory boards and/or accreditation bodies. The institution seeks input from external constituents for both districtwide and campus specific planning. In November 2012, a Kansas City Area Development Council blog published an article describing the turnaround of MCC’s commercial driver’s license program due to the program’s response to area demand and its partnerships with trucking companies (mcccdlinfonov1512).

MCC also uses the Missouri Community College Association (MCCA) for external input and maintaining consistencies across institutions on academic standards and planning. There are various state groups that meet on a regular basis for planning, decision making, and support. These groups include the Chief Academic Officers, Career and College Readiness Task Force, Missouri Completion Academy, Curriculum Alignment Initiative, Institutional Research Council, Career and Technical Professionals, Workforce Liaisons, Financial Aid Directors, Distance Education Directors, and many more. (Five-Year Cycle Institutional Mission Review MCCA Presidents’ Council May 2014)

MCC plans on the basis of a sound understanding of its current capacity including analysis of any impacts from fluctuations in our main sources of revenue. Historically, MCC made a five-year budget plan, but this was revised due to increased uncertainty with the major driving factors. Now, three-year budget projections are made based on the anticipated state aid, local taxes, and enrollment goals. These projections drive the understanding of the institution’s current and future capacity. MCC and other community colleges are part of MCCA, whose goal is to gather and share information for planning purposes. The CFOs meet on a regular basis to discuss legislative items, proposed bills, and the state budget. Funding models are discussed to help all the institutions in their planning. MCC’s Board of Trustees analyzes the tax levy and tuition and fees each year and if necessary makes adjustments. (Analysis for the Board of Trustees – 2014, Analysis for the Board of Trustees 2013) The MCC Foundation’s “MCC Works” major-gift campaign was developed knowing that the college needs to supplement its three main sources of revenue.

As the budget is built each year, the institution reviews needs and how these can be realized with the given resources. Throughout the year, the financials are reviewed by the officer group. As conditions change, various scenarios are evaluated to determine how any necessary improvements or projects could be realized. An example of this is the IT audit, which brought a number of recommendations that exceeded the available funding. (MCC IT Roadmap 140211, Printer Exec Summary,Officer Update Media_Draft). Various models were reviewed and the chosen model allocated the projects across five years.

MCC maintains a sufficient unexpended plant fund to react to internal and external changes. Funds were used from the unexpended plant fund in 2012 and 2013 when the institution chose to “sunset” the early retirement program. A plan was in place to replenish this fund, which was accomplished ahead of schedule. MCC regularly reviews the unexpended fund balance to ensure it remains within HLC’s guidelines and even includes the two driving recommendations in MCC’s annual budget book. (2013 Budget Fund Transfers, 2014 Financial Analysisv5, FYE14 MCC CFI Score or HLC Ratios With History, 2015-16 Budget Book B12)

Enrollment projections are based on market studies by the college’s Institutional Research and Assessment department. This reviews current capacity and opportunities for growth in existing or the need for new programs. Feasibility studies help determine if a program will have a projected growth or decline, which affects enrollment revenue. (Enrollment Forecasting Modeling Session, Metropolitan Main Report_1213_Final, MCC Market Analysis 2013) These studies also drive new program creation and changes between credit and non-credit. Beginning with the Summer 2014 term, a committee was established to develop a district-wide two year course schedule to maximize retention and completion. (Class utilizationCredit Hours By Time Classifications, District Schedule Plan, District Schedule Analysis and Recommendations,Shared Classes by Campus-SEMRev2014)

MCC has historically incorporated emerging trends, such as technology, demographic shifts, and market needs into the various planning processes. The ZBB process specifically requested how the programs anticipate changes over three years. This review led to feasibility studies on programs in the lower two quintiles, which included archiving some programs as described above, in large part due to projected changes in the workforce. (ZBB Feasibility Master List)

The Strategic Enrollment Management initiative reviewed enrollment trends and shifting demographics of MCC’s district to identify areas of focus. These activities have led to benchmarks and key performance indicators (KPIs) and activities to reach set goals. The Metro Market Profile (MCC Market Analysis 2013) is run each year, and the college recently contracted with Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI) to produce the Metropolitan Main Report (Metropolitan Main Report_1213_Final). The IT audit recommended changes in both structure and infrastructure based on current state revenue and projected enrollment goals and student needs. Program reviews are conducted for each general education discipline and include a strengths/weaknesses/opportunities/threats (SWOT) analysis as a major driver (ENGR Discipline SWOT Analysis, Physics Discipline Demographics, Physics Discipline Review for April 2014, Physics Program Financials).

In 2012, approximately 20 percent of MCC’s enrollment was online.  The college’s online program developed from an organic initiative with inconsistent scheduling and course offerings.  Recognizing the need for a comprehensive schedule, MCC undertook a review of online course offerings, policies and procedures through the 2013-14 academic year. A task force created a report outlining several models for a centralized distance education program, which was delivered to the officers. MCC currently has a centralized schedule for online courses and a renewed budget perspective.  In 2015, MCC hired individuals to standardize shells and evaluate instructors for history, English, business and math courses. (Distance Education Taskforce, Distance Education Next Steps 03_25_13, Distance Education Expansion, Blackboard Usage).

The budget modeling process also reviews demographic and environmental factors in planning for future needs. For example, campus master plans have been created for three of the five campuses, which incorporate future plans as well as deferred maintenance needs (13087MN001-PV). The Board of Trustees recently accepted a bond refunding plan to equalize bond payments for the next 12 years. The savings from this refinancing have been designated for a deferred maintenance fund for facilities and to fund IT initiatives. (8_14_2014 Advance Refunding of Outstanding Bond Certificates, 5 year deferred maintenance budget cycle 2013 -2018)

Sources

5.D – Core Component 5.D

The institution works systematically to improve its performance.

  1. The institution develops and documents evidence of performance in its operations.
  2. The institution learns from its operational experience and applies that learning to improve its institutional effectiveness, capabilities, and sustainability, overall and in its component parts.

Argument

MCC is committed to process improvement activities in an effort to enhance institutional effectiveness. As part of this process, MCC administers a variety of activities to document its performance.

Over the past few years, MCC has been working to create a scorecard and key performance indicators used to evaluate institutional performance. Fall 2014_Scorecard_1205012.  These KPIs have been aligned with the strategic plan to ensure the college monitors activities associated with the strategic plan. The officers review these indicators and use the outcomes to inform their decisions. (Fall 2014 Factbook District2, Analysis for the Board of Trustees 2013, Analysis for the Board of Trustees – 2014, Analysis for the Board of Trustees – 2015)

MCC has a history of monitoring student success in the developmental course sequences. Historically, success rates have not been at a level that the college felt was acceptable. MCC formed a developmental task force in 2005 that was a driving force for pursuing a Title III grant, now called FOCUS (2005 Dev Ed Taskforce Final Report). MCC plans to use this grant to improve student success and retention in developmental and gateway courses.  To achieve these goals, critical technology areas were strengthened. The first year of the grant has been completed and the success measures were documented. (Title III)

The District Assessment Coordinating Committee (DACC) developed a plan to administer Noel-Levitz and CCSSE in a rotating cycle. In the past five years each assessment has been conducted twice. This has created a baseline and allowed the college to benchmark improvements. (Noel Levitz 2014 Website, Noel Levitz Student Satisfaction Inventory,CCSSE Assessment Plan 2015, 2014 SENSE Overall Report)

The initial CTE assessment model was the precursor to a revised discipline review process. Findings based on the general education assessments are being addressed by each individual program. These assessments have led to a number of improvements that are described in the final Academy Report and PowerPoint presentation. Academy for the Assessment of Student Learning (June 16 2014), Outcomes and Student Learning-HLC June 2014.

The National Community College Benchmarking Project (NCCBP) was created as a way for community colleges to compare themselves with peer institutions. MCC has participated since the NCCBP’s inception in 2003.  (NCCBP Explanation, NCCBP_Report_Metropolitan Community College_2014) A number of the community colleges involved were not of a similar size and demographic. As a result of this, the research department created a list of peer institutions (Peer Institution Selection) across the country to use as benchmarks for how MCC was performing. Institutions on this list have been used to compare a wide variety of MCC initiatives — including reinvigorating the honors program, the Associate in Arts degree revision, and Strategic Enrollment Management, and to evaluate ratios related to financials and HR. (IPEDS_DFR_2014_MCCfinancial peer comparisonwithaddition, Final AA Summary Report_September_2013SEM Consol Matrix_Stud LifeCycle, SEM Consolidated Matrix)

The deans of instruction, director of distance education, and vice chancellor of academic affairs participate in a systematic process to address budget and instructional effectiveness while maintaining a schedule that supports student degree completion.  One of the tools used in this process is an enrollment efficiency report that evaluates the efficiency of programs, courses, and disciplines (Summer 2015 PV Enrollment Efficiency Rpt State Aid 6-12-2015).

Community college state aid has a funding component based on five performance criteria. Each year the college tracks and monitors performance measures. In recent years, MCC has met all the measures with one exception.  In 2014, the college did not meet one of the criteria: the math developmental education goal.  As mentioned above, MCC now has a Title III grant that is directly related to developmental improvements. MCC continues to monitor all of the KPIs to ensure these measures are met. PF – MCC, Performance Funding Report

HLC has developed ratios and benchmarks to model financially healthy institutions. MCC has consistently been above the recommended total composite financial indicator recommendations. MCC evaluates its ratios each year and compares them with other local institutions as a way of monitoring the institutions financial health. Projected ratios have been used to drive monetary decisions. (FYE14 MCC CFI Score or HLC Ratios With History)

Each of the endeavors described above has guided MCC in its efforts to improve institutional effectiveness, capabilities, and sustainability.

Additionally, MCC has engaged in several process reviews, including IT, Student Services, Financial Aid, and Student Finance areas, which resulted in significant changes to district processes. IT Process Review ,Enrollment Svs Process Review. This led to the overall SEM and ZBB processes and a more in-depth IT audit (2013) resulting in continuing improvements in all areas.  SEM defined MCC’s strategic plan to move forward with enrollment and retention initiatives. The ZBB process documented staff, financials, program effectiveness/efficiency for a three-year period, how the program could be affected by environmental changes, and how they aligned to the mission.  The 2013 IT audit provided a comprehensive look at processes, infrastructure, and overall IT planning.

Examples of improved efficiency include:

  • An inventory was made of all equipment and computer labs across the district.
  • The equipment inventory has driven a project to consolidate printers and copiers and move to standard models and configurations. This was also the case with desktop/laptop configuration and is driving a future project to define a replacement plan for the equipment (Printer Exec Summary).
  • Analyzed computer lab usage and consolidated labs as appropriate.
  • Implemented document imaging for Accounting, Student Financials, Financial Aid, Student Records, etc.
  • Centralized financial aid loan processing and PELL mass packaging.
  • Created campus-based Student Enrollment Centers for combining all enrollment functions in a centralized location.
  • Create a fulfillment center for centralized distribution of marketing materials and mailings
  • Implemented Papercut software to manage student printing levels and encourage electronic submissions of assignments.
  • Administered program feasibility studies and sun-setting of programs that are no longer sustainable.
  • Changed agribusiness from credit to non-credit to meet industry needs and maintain sustainability.
  • Implemented paying via electronic deposits to improve efficiency in the accounts payable process.
  • Implemented online time sheets to increase efficiency in payroll processing.
  • Implemented asset management software to manage the college’s fixed assets.
  • Converted to online benefits administration to reduce paper processing.

5.S – Criterion 5 – Summary

The institution’s resources, structures, and processes are sufficient to fulfill its mission, improve the quality of its educational offerings, and respond to future challenges and opportunities. The institution plans for the future.

Summary

Metropolitan Community College’s mission of “Preparing students, serving communities, creating opportunities” is strongly supported by its strategic priorities, which serve as the primary guidelines for the allocation of resources and planning. MCC is committed to providing high quality educational programming that is relevant to our students and community.  As “one MCC,” the district’s Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, and administrators work collaboratively to create a foundation to engage all constituents. This shared governance foundation and strategic plan enables the college to continually review its processes, plan for the future, and ensure alignment of resources.

 

 

Sources

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