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AQIP Application Century College


									AQIP Application – Century College
June 2005
Part 2

2.   Answer both parts of this question candidly and substantively.

     2A. Through what specific actions has your organization demonstrated its
     responsiveness to the Commission in addressing specific accreditation
     concerns or challenges identified by the Commission’s last comprehensive

Question 2A.

The Higher Learning Commission/North Central Association (NCA) evaluation team,
chaired by Dr. Joyce Elsner of Glendale Community College, visited Century College on
November 13-15, 2000. Century College is a community and technical college. The
team’s recommendation was stated as follows:

         By March 31, 2004, the College will file a report that:
            1. Documents that the College has met the characteristics of Level Two stage
               of implementation (as defined by the Addendum to the Higher Learning
               Commission/ NCA Handbook) to assess student academic achievement,
            2. Documents an integrated planning process with clear links to the budget
               development and that includes the following components:
                         Assessment of Student Academic Achievement Plan
                         Operational Plan
                         Enrollment Management Plan
                         Marketing Plan
                         Technology Plan
                         Academic Plan
                         Facilities Plan, and
                         Institutional Effectiveness Plan.

In addition to these specific requirements, the Higher Learning Commission/NCA Year
2000 report made a number of critical comments about the state of affairs in planning and
in the assessment of student academic achievement.

In response to the requirement, Century College submitted a report by the March 2004
deadline. The report was accepted as fulfilling the requirements. Century College currently
is accredited to year 2010.


Here are the concerns cited in the March 2004 report to the Higher Learning

The Higher Learning Commission/ NCA report has several comments on Century’s need to
improve its assessment of student academic achievement. Here is one citation:
         The College is in the early stages of a coherent, college-wide assessment program.
         Expected learning outcomes are included in individual course syllabi throughout
         academic departments, but there is no one document that displays program or
         course-cluster expected outcomes, measurement instruments, measurement data
         and analysis, and action resulting from the data analysis, which closes the loop.
         Assessment should be a continuous activity that involves consecutive cycles; the
         College is working to develop them.

Throughout the report the College is asked to consider a number of questions relative to its
        What are the learner outcomes of the teaching?
        How will those outcomes be manifest or measured?
        What was learned from the data gathered?
        What action will result from the data?

     Assessment of Student Academic Achievement: Century College Responses

To measure criteria identified by the Student Academic Achievement Committee, an
assessment database was developed to document participation. By the end of the 2002-
03 Academic Year, the fifty-eight disciplines/programs of the Academic Affairs Unit had the
following overall participation rates (This data was drawn from the Century College
assessment database).

1.       Identified the Learning Goals/Objectives/Courses/Operational Goals Assessed

2.       Provided a Description of the Assessment Tool(s) and Process

3.       Provided the Results of the Assessment

4.       Indicated a Plan to Share the Results with Students

5.       Indicated Future Plans for Improvements (Closed the Loop)

        Faculty members are taking responsibility in increasing numbers for ensuring
         that direct and indirect measures of student learning are aligned with the
         discipline/programs’ educational goals and measurable objectives.

Assessment projects are defined by the faculty member(s) of the disciplines/programs.
Each year, more instructors are becoming involved in the definition, and the
implementation, of discipline/program assessment projects using follow-up data for
improvement of student learning.
The College-developed academic assessment database is being expanded to allow
instructors to individually assess one section of a course, rather than a discipline/program-
wide assessment of the course.

      The Faculty Association, Assessment Committee, Curriculum Committee,
       other faculty bodies, and individual faculty leaders accept responsibility for
       becoming knowledgeable and remaining current in the field of assessment.

The College’s active learning advocate helps coordinate many of the College’s initiatives.
Examples of some of the activities in which the active learning advocate is involved are
shown in Attachment 10. Of particular interest is the faculty-led peer consultation initiative.
This initiative provides feedback to instructors, from a peer instructor, which is used for self
evaluation and for subsequent improvement of teaching methods. This initiative grew from
a Teaching Circle topic and is gaining momentum within the faculty ranks.

All new and revised course proposals brought to the Academic Affairs and Standards
Council must include a description of the methodology that will be used to assess student
learning. Assessment is being integrated into the ―fabric‖ of the College. Faculty members
have assumed the roles of leadership in the former Student Academic Achievement
Committee and new General Assessment Committee, and the Center for Teaching and
Learning (CTL). Additionally, some faculty members have been given release time to
support and promote assessment development and implementation through the positions
of assessment coordinator and active learning advocate.

Each year, key faculty members attend the Higher Learning Commission/North Central
Association (HLC/NCA) conference to keep current with assessment strategies and
activities. Faculty members also attend various other assessment conferences and
workshops throughout the year, such as local HLC sponsored workshops; ITEACH is an
on-line professional development center sponsored developed through the CTL at
Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Office of the Chancellor. Faculty participated in
an ITEACH day-long statewide Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) -sponsored
Realizing Student Potential conference; and other statewide CTL workshops, discipline
faculty workshops, etc. The College, through its CTL and with administrative support, has
offered many workshops focused on the topic of assessment. Additionally, a collection of
assessment resources is in the CTL library.

In 2004/05, the College’s assessment coordinator was selected by the Collaboration of
College Teaching and Learning to be a member of its Regional Colloquium on Assessment.

      Faculty members are becoming knowledgeable about the assessment
       program, its structures, components, and timetable.

At the beginning of the 2002 fall semester, an entire faculty development day (Duty Days)
focused on the topic of assessment of student learning. The faculty members continue to
become knowledgeable about assessment through a variety of opportunities including
campus workshops, faculty development day presentations, articles in the former Student
Academic Achievement Committee newsletter, reports and updates from the assessment
coordinator, Teaching Circle activities, initiatives coordinated by the active learning
advocate and departmental discussions and minutes from the General Education
Assessment Committee. Additionally, the administrators working on assessment
demonstrate strong support for assessment plans and activities throughout the College
community. Exemplary assessment projects are provided to faculty members to use as

      Faculty members are learning the vocabulary and practices used in effective
       assessment activities and are increasingly contributing to assessment
       discussions and activities.

Since the College’s continuing accreditation visit in November 2000, acceptance of the
assessment of student learning by the faculty has been a major goal of the administration
at Century College. A continually growing number of instructors also believe in, and are
working toward, this goal. Through many of the initiatives previously mentioned,
assessment, both of student learning and institutional effectiveness, is becoming part of the
culture of Century College. Instructors are talking about it and doing it.

      After receiving assessment data, faculty members are working to “close the
       feedback loop” by reviewing assessment information and identifying areas of
       strength and areas for possible improvement of student learning.

Knowing that the assessment database can be read, and may be helpful to, other faculty
members, instructors have become more willing to share needed information in the
College’s assessment database. They are also becoming more comfortable providing data
and results relative to assessment activities and take pride in the changes they make as a
result of assessment projects. Sharing results has also become a goal of each semester’s
CTL-sponsored ―Show and Tell‖ Sessions.

      Groups of faculty identified by the institution receive assessment reports and
       provide suggestions and recommendations to appropriate constituencies.

Copies of the executive summaries from major student learning assessment projects were
reviewed by the members of the former Student Academic Achievement Committee. These
projects are now reviewed at the discipline/program level. A summary is used to provide
feedback to the members of the discipline/program in order to improve student learning.
The summaries are also made available to the total College constituency.

SHARED RESPONSIBILTY: Administration and Board

      The Board, the CEO, and the executive officers of the institution express their
       understanding of the meaning, goals, characteristics, and value of the
       assessment program, verbally and in written communication.

The College’s President, the Vice Presidents of Academic Affairs and Student Services
believe in and advocate for assessment at Century College. Support statements appear
regularly in the College Bulletin; the Student Newsletter; the former Student Academic
Achievement Committee newsletter; reports from the assessment coordinator, the Co-
chairs of the Center for Teaching and Learning and the active learning advocate, minutes
of the General Education Assessment Committee and other College information
documents. Statements of support for assessment are also made at All-College meetings,
Student Senate meetings, program advisory committee meetings, Century College
Foundation meetings and at other events.

      The Chief Academic Officer (CAO) has oversight responsibility for the
       ongoing operation of the assessment program and for promoting the use of
       assessment results to effect desired improvements in student learning,
       performance, development, and achievement,

During the years following the 2000 NCA continuation of accreditation visit, two faculty
were given responsibility for assessment activities. These positions included the chair of
the General Assessment Committee (formerly the Student Academic Achievement
Committee) and the assessment coordinator. Both positions reported directly to the CAO
for the part of their assignment related to assessment. Quarterly newsletter articles were
written about the importance of assessment, possible methodology, and successful
assessment activities at Century College and colleges throughout the country. The
assessment coordinator and the academic deans, interact directly with
disciplines/programs as they design assessment projects and implement actions based on
assessment findings.

      The CAO arranges for awards and public recognition to individuals, groups,
       and academic units making noteworthy progress in assessing and improving
       student learning.

Awards for noteworthy progress in assessing and improving student learning have been
primarily in the form of stipends related to extra work faculty members perform for
assessment. The College also annually recognizes students and faculty members through
the following awards:
    - Outstanding Advisory Committee Award
    - Outstanding Faculty Member Award
    - Outstanding Student Award in each discipline/program
    - Exemplary Graduate Award.

Public recognition also takes place through department meetings, College Bulletin articles
and All-College meetings, as well as at faculty development functions. During the first Duty
Day of the 2003 fall semester, three faculty members from different disciplines/programs
shared examples of assessment projects to the total faculty. Each gave a description of
the project and methodology and shared changes that came as a result of finding. It is
expected that the yearly Duty Day agenda will provide presentation time highlighting
collaborative and innovation initiatives at Century College.

Additionally, the Student Academic Achievement Assessment Committee had an
information table at the 2004 spring Student Success Day. The table provided information
about assessment and summaries of assessment projects that have been done at the
College. Members of the committee were available at the table to discuss information
about assessment at the College with students, faculty and staff members, and

      Deans, directors, and other academic officers demonstrate their commitment
       to the assessment program by informing senior administrators about
       assessment results in order to make improvements in instruction, staffing,
       curriculum, and student and academic services.
Department chairs/program directors and other faculty members work with their academic
deans on assessment projects. Upon completion of an assessment project, an executive
summary is submitted to the appropriate Dean. Once approved, summaries are presented
to the vice president of academic affairs (the CAO). Disciplines and programs update their
part of the assessment database annually. As a result of project results and feedback,
appropriate actions are planned in terms of instruction, curriculum, staffing, and/or
academic/student services. All faculty members, academic administrators and the
president have ―Read‖ access to the College’s assessment database. Other members of
the College community may request such access.

      Unit heads devise strategies to ensure that their academic
       departments/programs implement the assessment plans they developed or
       they develop them more fully.

Currently, the assessment coordinator provides feedback to disciplines/programs
concerning their assessment projects and project results. The Academic Vice President
and the academic deans are available to help with design, methodology and follow-up.

The responsibility of overseeing the assessment activities within the department/program is
assigned to the department chairs/program directors in their position description.


      Students are becoming knowledgeable about the institution’s assessment

Articles about assessment have appeared in the student newspaper. Faculty members are
encouraged to discuss with students and other faculty members department/program
assessment projects, findings and changes that will be made as a result of the findings.
Students also are provided assessment information through their course outlines and in

      There is student representation (undergraduate and graduate, as appropriate)
       on the assessment committees organized within the institution.

There are two student members of the Student Success Day Committee. Their input and
assistance have been invaluable. Additionally, the Student Senate members have
participated in the assessment of Student Success Day each semester since fall 2003.
Additionally, the former Student Academic Achievement Committee had one student
member. The General Education Assessment will continue to have at least one student

Century College has many initiatives that are running in parallel making it difficult for
students to participate. Many students have jobs and/or families putting severe constraints
on time. The College appreciates the efforts put forth by students who participate in the
College’s committees.
      The institution effectively communicates with students about the purposes of
       assessment at the institution and their roles in the assessment program.

On Student Success Day in the 2004 spring semester, the assessment coordinator and
members of the Student Academic Achievement Assessment Committee set up an
information booth in the Main Commons area on the west campus. A handout explaining
the assessment program and the involvement of students was available for students. The
handout described the iterative nature of assessment projects, changes that have occurred
since the previous academic year and the current year’s project.

The College’s database contains a field called ―Shared.‖ Each discipline/program uses this
field to describe how it did, or will, share the results of the yearly assessment project with
students. As an example, the results of the English Department’s ongoing assessment
project that investigates the connection between reading ability and success in college-
level composition courses is included (Attachment 1).


      The CEO and CAO annually negotiate a budget for the assessment program
       sufficient to provide the technological support, physical facilities, and space
       needed to sustain a viable assessment program and to make professional
       development opportunities available.

Century College has long supported assessment through both faculty release time and
non-personnel budget funds. The chairs of the former Student Academic Achievement
Committee and the current General Education Assessment Committee received three
credits of release time each term for over the past six years. The chair of the former
Student Academic Achievement Committee and a faculty leader in the advancement of
discipline/program assessment at the College also coordinated the administration of the
Community College Student Experiences Questionnaire (CCSEQ) for three years (since
2002/03). The College is now using the Noel Levitz in semester (beginning fall 2004) and
the CCSSE in the spring semester (spring 2005).

College research (e.g. surveys, focus groups) is now under the jurisdiction of the
Continuous Quality Improvement Task Force (CQITF), Survey Subcommittee. The chair of
this committee (former chair of the Student Academic Achievement Assessment
Committee) provides analysis of research results to the members of the College’s
Executive Committee, College Cabinet, and the Academic Affairs Unit and the Student
Services Unit with the goal of developing strategies that may improve the learning
environment and college experience for students.

The assessment coordinator received four credits of release time each term for the last
three years. She and another faculty member at Century College developed a database for
the English Department’s assessment project during the 2001-02 Academic Year. This
model became the basis for the College’s computerized assessment database that was
developed at, and used by, Century College. The College’s Information Technology Unit
greatly enhanced the capability of the original concept to provide the current assessment
database. The database has just recently received a major revision and an increase in its
functionality. The release time allows the assessment coordinator to be a resource person
for faculty members as they work on assessment projects. She also collects data on, and
reports on, the progress of the various disciplines/programs in their assessment efforts.

Century College has a strong professional development program for faculty members. The
leading force is the College’s Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL). Two faculty
members each receive three credits of release time each semester to coordinate the
activities of the CTL. One of the major activities of the CTL is the Teaching Circles
initiative. The Teaching Circle is a faculty development opportunity where six-to-ten faculty
members meet at least ten hours (usually five two-hours session, plus outside research
time) during a semester to address a specific topic.

Each group develops goals, implement projects, and assess the results. Outcomes are
documented in on-line portfolios and are available to other faculty members as a resource.
Since the initiative began in the 2002 spring semester, there have been 5 or 6 Teaching
Circles each semester. Two of the Teaching Circles have chosen to focus on assessment
practices and issues. In fall 2003, faculty (9) participated in the Classroom Assessment
Teaching Circle. In fall 2004, faculty (6) participated in the Grading/Assessment Teaching
Circle. The Teaching Circle leader receives 3 credits of release time to be a facilitator for
the group, while the members of the Teaching Circle each receive a stipend of $500 for
their participation.

      In institutions without an Office of Institutional Research (OIR),
       knowledgeable staff and/or faculty members are given release time or
       additional compensation to provide these services.

Century College has had one position assigned to institutional research for 7 years (director
of institutional research position - 1.0 FTE). This position is responsible for managing
database information and developing reports. She also chairs the Century College Student
Data Integrity Committee, serves on the CQITF committee, and assists the academic
administrators in program review, faculty load analysis, assessment initiatives, and ad hoc
requests as specific inquiries arise. The Information Technology unit also provided
research support on a part-time basis by developing databases for institutional research

In 2004, a director of planning, institutional research and resource development was hired.
In addition, a new position (database manager) was funded in Information Technology.
Two responsibilities of this new position includes the development of a database
warehouse and reports for the institutional research unit.

These additional resources have been allocated to institutional research because the
College is committed to assigning performance measures to action steps in the Biennial
Work plan and providing data to support institutional decision-making and planning.

      Unit heads endorse the use of departmental funds for professional
       development in assessment, for faculty release time, and other expenses
       associated with the department’s assessment activities and initiatives based
       on assessment findings intended to improve student learning.

The budget of the vice president of academic affairs has a cost center dedicated to
assessment-related activities and personnel. This cost center provides funding for faculty
release time, and faculty and administrative participation in workshops and conferences
related to assessment. The College has taken the position that the design of assessment
activities is the professional responsibility of a faculty member; however, the efforts to carry
out such an activity may be beyond the normal work assignment. If faculty members of a
discipline/program is planning a major assessment project, the involved faculty members
submit a proposal to their academic dean for the current academic year. Once the dean is
satisfied with the proposal, it is forwarded to the vice president. If the project is approved,
the faculty member(s) will receive a stipend of $35 per hour for their efforts in carrying out
the assessment project. The stipends are paid after an executive report is submitted to the
vice president of academic affairs.

      Resources are made available to support assessment committees seeking to
       develop skills in assessing student learning.

Previous responses have described the College’s level of support for assessment-related
activities; however, the exact amount of funding has not been discussed. The ―College
Accreditation – NCA‖ cost center has been allocated $50,000 for personnel costs and
$9,000 for non-personnel costs. Personnel dollars provide the funding for the faculty
release time the assessment committee chair, the survey committee chair and the
assessment coordinator as well as the faculty assessment stipends. Non-personnel funds
are primarily used for sending faculty members and administrators to HLC/NCA
conferences and workshops; however, they are also used to pay for the administration of
student surveys.

The personnel costs for the initial development of the College’s database, and subsequent
updates and revisions are provided by the Information Technology Unit.

      Resources are made available to departments seeking to implement their
       assessment programs and to test changes intended to improve student

The level of faculty involvement in assessment has been described in previous responses.
The personnel costs for major assessment projects comes from the ―College Assessment –
NCA‖ cost center of the College’s budget.

      The institution provides resources to support an annual assessment
       reporting cycle and its feedback processes.

Institutional assessment is the purview of the Continuous Quality Improvement Task Force
(CQITF). This group has identified an initial list of quality indicators. Currently, the
College’s Institutional Research Office is exploring the methodology needed to provide
measurements for the indicators.

Assessment information sources such as an assessment newsletter and/or an assessment
resource manual are made available to faculty to provide them with key assessment
principles, concepts, models, and procedures. A series of documents that can assist
faculty members with their assessment projects have been developed for Century College
faculty. In addition, the assessment coordinator is available to assist faculty members with
assessment activities and the use of the College’s assessment database. This information
is maintained in committee minutes. Additionally, there exists a collection of books and
other resources in the Center for Teaching and Learning’s library that are available for
faculty members.


      An organizational chart and an annual calendar of the implementation of the
       assessment program is available and maintained.

Leadership related to assessment consists of the CAO, the chair of the General Education
Assessment Committee and the assessment coordinator. The assessment coordinator
establishes the overall annual assessment calendar; however, faculty members involved in
the specific assessment projects propose their own timelines as part of the projects. All
timelines must be approved by the CAO and must fit within the overall calendar for
academic assessment.

The CQITF is developing a description of the College’s process and timelines for assessing
institutional effectiveness.

      The assessment program is provided with a Coordinator/Director who reports
       to the CAO.

The assessment coordinator receives four credits of release time each semester (for
assessment activities) and reports directly to the CAO.

      The CEO or CAO has established a standing General Education Assessment
       Committee, typically comprised of faculty, academic administrators, and
       representatives of the Office of Institutional Research (OIR) and student

The Student Academic Achievement Committee (former General Education Assessment
Committee) consists of the CAO, one academic dean, six faculty members and one

The committee chair receives three credits of release time each semester and reports
directly to the CAO.

      The administration has enlarged the responsibility of the OIR to include
       instruction and support to the General Education Assessment Committee,
       academic unit heads, and academic departmental or program faculty.

The OIR reports to the director of planning and institutional research; however, a large
portion of the work is for academic purposes. The OIR provides program review data
(Attachment 4 provides examples of the report), data for research and assessment
projects, data analysis, etc. Any discipline/program within the Academic Affairs Unit, as
well as any academic administrator, can request assistance from the OIR. Due to the
sensitivity of some of the data requested, many requests have to be cleared by the CAO.
The deans also screen faculty requests.
      The CAO delegates unit heads sufficient authority and resources to conduct
       an effective assessment program.

The CAO works directly with the academic deans for assessment activities. The academic
deans are the immediate supervisors of the faculty members. Resources include
appropriate release time, faculty stipends for extra work above the normal expectations and
non-personnel funds for supplies, services, and conferences and travel expenses (as
previously described).

      Unit leaders (department heads) have responsibility for maintaining
       successful assessment programs as a part of their formal position

The development of, and continuance of, assessment projects is specified in the position
descriptions for department chair/program directors. Per the faculty contract, no faculty
member has supervisory authority over another member of the bargaining unit. Therefore,
department chairs/program directors cannot require faculty members to participate in an
assessment project. Supervisory authority resides with the academic deans.

      Many academic units and the Curriculum Committee are requiring that faculty
       members indicate in the syllabi of previously approved courses, and for new
       or revised programs, the measurable objectives for student learning and how
       student learning will be assessed.

The Century College’s 2005-06 Faculty Handbook continues to include a section describing
course syllabus development. Beginning in the 2004-05 academic year, a list of the course
objectives and learner outcomes will be required in each course syllabus. Descriptions and
outlines of courses that are currently in, or proposed for inclusion in, the Minnesota General
Education Transfer Curriculum must include examples of assessment techniques. In
general, the Academic Affairs and Standards Council (AASC) chooses not to be too
prescriptive regarding the type of assessment methods described in the course outline.
Since all faculty members teaching a section of a course must follow the approved course
outline, the AASC feels that specific assessment is the right of the faculty; therefore,
assessment methodology is determined by each individual faculty member for their

      Members of the Assessment Committee serve as coaches and facilitators to
       individuals and departments working to develop or improve their assessment

In addition to working on discipline/program assessment, members of the General
Education Assessment Committee address issues related to student satisfaction, retention,
etc. The SAAC members review and provide feedback on the executive summaries of
major assessment projects. Department chairs/program directors, the academic deans,
members of SAAC, the chair of the General Education Assessment Committee and the
assessment coordinator hold the unique roles of coach and facilitator for
individuals/disciplines/programs working on assessment projects.

      The General Education Assessment Committee is working with unit heads
       and with faculty and student government leaders to develop effective
       feedback loops so that information (about assessment results and the
       changes tried where those results suggest improvement is needed) can be
       shared with all institutional constituencies and used to improve student

The assessment coordinator works with individual faculty members, disciplines, programs,
departments, faculty and academic administrators to develop feedback loops so that the
data gathered by the assessment projects is used to drive change. The primary
information source is the College’s assessment database where the results and
recommendations of the assessment projects are stored. All faculty members, academic
administrators and the president have ―Read‖ access to the database. Additionally, other
institutional personnel may request ―Read‖ access to the database. Previously described
newsletters, public presentations, Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) workshops, the
CTL website, information and initiative follow-up are also used to disseminate information
about assessment activities. The College president, the four vice presidents, three deans
(one from Academic Affairs), the director of human resources and the director of
institutional research (OIR), the General Assessment Committee chair are members of, and
provide information on assessment activities to, the CQITF. In addition to the positions
named above, the CQITF also has students (2), faculty (4) and staff (1) as members.


      Considerable program-level data about student and program performance are
       available, but individual units vary widely in the degree to which they are
       using this information to improve the quality of educational experiences.

The OIR produces a report each summer that documents the measurement of key
indicators for each discipline/program for the preceding fiscal year. These reports provide
administrators with quantitative measures. Individual reports are provided to faculty in each
discipline/program to determine the ―health‖ of disciplines and programs and assist in
developing staffing projections. . These individual reports are provided to all disciplines
and programs so that the faculty members know what type of data the administration uses
for decision-making.

Meetings are held with program/discipline faculty to determine appropriate curricular,
scheduling, and/or staffing changes. Similar meetings are held with faculty members
experiencing declining enrollment to determine what action should be taken: revise some or
all of the program courses; revise the total program; or discontinue the program.

Data relative to student satisfaction was gathered in the 2000 spring semester and 2002 fall
semester through the Community College Student Experiences Questionnaire (CCSEQ)
instrument. The results of the questionnaire and the inferences drawn are distributed by
the survey committee chair to the members of the president’s cabinet, the OIR and faculty
members. At this time, it is not known to what extent the different disciplines/programs use
this data as a change agent. The CCSEQ was administered again in 2004 spring
semester. Noel-Levitz was administered in 2004 fall semester and the Community College
Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) in 2005 spring semester. The College is in the
process of developing a three-year survey schedule for gathering student information.

      Assessment data are inconsistently used as the basis for making changes
       across the institution.
After the assessment projects are finished for the year, the academic deans work with the
disciplines/programs and faculty to utilize the findings to improve teaching and learning.
Some areas enthusiastically embrace the assessment process and have made many
positive changes in the content and the delivery of courses. Others areas are still waiting
for assessment to ―go away.‖ There are contractual issues relative to how much the
administration can direct faculty members to participate in assessment activities. Effective
changes are anticipated when the ―naysayers‖ see the positive results that come through
the College’s assessment process. In fact, new faculty who are supportive of assessment
have had a significant influence on more reticent faculty. The increase in the use of the
assessment data base is documented in (Attachments 12 and 13).

      The data the assessment program collects are not useful in guiding effective

The data collected provide guidance for effective change. In many cases, it is difficult to
persuade faculty members to believe in the data and act upon it to propose or make

      Assessment data are being collected and reported but not being used to
       improve student learning.

As previously discussed, this is a discipline-by-discipline and program-by-program problem.
Most of the disciplines/programs are using the data to enact changes; however, some
faculty members are holding back or are not sure what to do with the data. Some of those
in the latter group are hoping that the whole assessment movement will be forgotten and
replaced with some other new initiative that they can ignore, while others have personal

      Faculty members are increasingly engaged in interpreting assessment
       results, discussing their implications, and recommending changes in
       academic programs and other areas in order to improve student learning.

The majority of the faculty members are embracing the assessment philosophy and are
excited with the changes they are seeing in student learning and in their own teaching
(Attachments 12 and 13). Again, there is a ―naysayer group‖ who repeats the same
unproven arguments and continues to resist the movement. However, the latter group is
beginning to see the value in assessment activities.

      Many academic units or programs are collecting, interpreting, and using the
       results obtained from assessing student learning in general education, in
       undergraduate majors, and in graduate and professional programs.

As stated earlier, 52 of 58 disciplines are actively engaged in assessment of student
learning. Many practices have been validated and changes introduced as a result of
assessment projects.
      Assessment findings about the state of student learning are beginning to be
       incorporated into reviews of the academic program and into the self-study of
       institutional effectiveness.

The members of the Academic Affairs and Standards Council use assessment criteria as
they review new course proposals and course revisions. Faculty proposing new or revised
courses must provide the Council with a Century College Course Outline form that requires
a statement of methods that will be used to assess student learning. Documentation for
each course recommended for inclusion in the Minnesota General Education Transfer
Curriculum must state general education goals that will be met and the competencies the
student will demonstrate after successfully completing that course. At this time, the
assessment statements are not very specific since each individual instructor has the
contractual right to perform student and course assessment and evaluation in the manner
he/she feels is appropriate.

The academic administrators query faculty members about indicated change
implementation as they review executive summaries of discipline/program assessment

      The conclusions faculty reach after reviewing the assessment results and the
       recommendations that they make regarding proposed changes in teaching
       methods, curriculum, course content, instructional resources, and in
       academic support services are beginning to be incorporated into regular
       departmental and/or institutional planning and budgeting processes and
       included in the determination of the priorities for funding and implementation.

A new chair (2004-05) was appointed to the General Education Assessment Committee,
which has been planning, developing capacity and expertise and creating an operating
framework during the 2004-05 academic year. An operating document that outlines the
proposed 2005-06 actions and a mission statement to guide the committee have been
developed. Members of the committee have attended a number of national and regional
conferences and workshops to build the knowledge base needed to develop an effective
system of general education assessment. This summer, a working group will develop a
draft proposal for assessing writing skills. While students in the composition classes are
assessed through courses and discipline assessment projects, the committee’s goal is to
develop a process through which students are assessed as they near matriculation or

Over the next academic year, the committee will implement a pilot version of the writing
assessment proposal in the fall, with an eye toward a full-scale implementation in the
spring. This will require recruitment and training of scorers, active communication with
faculty, and finalization of the rubric and scoring techniques. Also, the committee will
choose another area to begin piloting assessment techniques in the spring of 2006
(perhaps critical thinking, mathematics or oral communication skills.)

The assessment database continues to be enhanced to meet user’s requests. Century
College disciplines and programs record, analyze, store, and share annual planning and
assessment reports, due on June 30 of each academic year. By facilitating a uniform
procedure the database streamlines the process of documenting, examining, measuring,
and interpreting assessment data and of closing the assessment loop. It was designed
to accomplish the following objectives:
      promote ongoing assessment
      share best practices
      accommodate multiple delivery systems
      generate uniform reports
      build understanding, acceptance, and commitment
      involve all elements of the learning community: administration, faculty, staff, and

The database records and is capable of creating the reports in the following areas:

Discipline/Program Planning

      mission statement
       philosophy
      description
      learning goals
      learning objectives
      courses
      official course outlines
      operational goals
      markets
      partners
      unique attributes
      strengths
      weaknesses
      benchmark

Discipline/Program Yearly Assessment Projects

      learning goals
      learning objectives
      operational goals
      course assessed
      description of the assessment
      results
      how results were shared with students
      date assessment will be repeated
      follow-up plans for improvement in any or all of these areas: teaching strategies,
       assessment tools, curriculum, department, other faculty, instructional support
       services scheduling and delivery, marketing, administration, technical support
       systems, equipment, space, advisory-committee or transfer-institution

Individual Classroom Assessment Projects

Within Minnesota, Century College is at the forefront of providing resources to faculty
members for carrying out assessment projects and implementing indicated changes. A
portion of the College’s budget is allocated for assessment oversight and coordination,
project implementation, faculty stipends and related non-personnel expenditures.
Additionally, the Information Technology Unit of the College, through its budget, continues
to support the assessment database, allowing faculty members to document the
assessment process at Century College.

The goal of assessment at Century College continues to be improved teaching and
learning. As a result of the College’s commitment to assessment, major changes in
courses, methods of presentation and methods of assessing student learning have taken
place at Century College. There are high expectations that the current framework will
provide continuous improvement in assessment and improving student learning.


Note: This item refers to item #2 in NCA required report document.

The Higher Learning Commission/NCA recommendation identified the need for an
integrated planning process with clear links to budget development and eight types of
planning. They are as follows:
         Student Academic Achievement Assessment Plan
         Operational Plan
         Enrollment Management Plan
         Marketing Plan
         Technology Plan
         Academic Plan
         Facilities Plan, and
         Institutional Effectiveness Assessment Plan.

The challenge for the College involves three aspects. First, the College needs to insure
that it has the breadth of planning that covers all eight plans. Second, in doing all eight
plans, the College must maintain coherence and integration. Fragmentation is a danger if
the component parts are not treated with appropriate proportion. Third, the planning must
have clear links to the budget development.


In looking at the eight types of planning, six items emerged as easily identifiable in the
context of the College’s previous planning:
         Operational Plan
         Enrollment Management Plan
         Marketing Plan
         Technology Plan
         Academic Plan, and
         Facilities Plan.

The operational plan has historically been synonymous with the College’s annual strategic
plan. During spring semester 2001 the college developed a biennial plan for operations.
This plan identified nine areas of activity and tied them to the College’s strategic goals.
The biennial operation plan also specified clear budget amounts to insure resources for
goal achievement. In preparation for the College’s operational plan, each unit of the
College engaged in unit planning. Initially, the following units developed individual
operating plans:
        Academic Affairs
        Student Services
        Continuing Education/Customized Training
        Finance, Facilities, Human Resources, Information Technology
        College Advancement, Marketing, Public Relations

Enrollment management planning was closely tied to operational activity involving
academic affairs (staffing, hiring, program development, scheduling), student services
(recruiting, advising) and facilities/finance (budget capacity, facilities capability, web
registration/IT). Resources have been central in planning for enrollment management.
Century College, as part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, has a great deal
of available fiscal information. Throughout the year, documents are generated to assist in
monitoring and planning.

Enrollment management has retention planning as a portion of it. Century College
developed a retention plan in spring semester 2001. It will be reviewed in this academic
year 2006.

The College’s administration set an enrollment growth target of 2% for FY2002. This
followed 21.2% growth over the previous year in FY00 and FY01. The 2% projection also
occurred in the midst of a great deal of legislative chaos relative to the FY02-03 biennial

The College’s marketing plan was completed in spring semester 2001. The College had a
much more visible presence in all facets of marketing in FY01. A new director in the area
has brought a fresh perspective to press releases and stories in the local media, as well as
to internal College communication. Innovative public relations and marketing in billboard
and print advertising has occurred. The College also embarked on a ―friendraising‖ initiative
that set up meetings with community, governmental, educational and business leaders and
the president to learn more about the College and how individuals and organization could
partner with the college. In the past three years, over 500 individuals have attended a
meeting or event. The meetings have led to increased donations and volunteer support for
the College. In addition, College advancement has grown in terms of foundation activity.
The College received a gift of $720,000 from one donor in FY01 – the largest gift in the
College’s history. It is expected that the college will generate $1.0 million in grants and
over $300,000 in donations (both general awards and scholarships) in academic year

In terms of a technology plan, the College was in the process of creating a new plan. The
last plan was done under a different Information Technology director in 1999. The College
decided in FY01 to make new computers available to all faculty and staff on a rotating
three-year basis. Wireless technology has been under exploration. Incentives have been
in place for faculty to use the internet and web-enhancement in their teaching. More and
more registration occurred over the web. Assessment of student reading, writing and
mathematics skills at admission moved to computerization.
The College’s Master Academic Plan was completed in spring semester, 2001. Much of the
groundwork for the academic plan occurred in 1998 to 1999 when the CLARUS group
conducted an academic audit of the College. Following the legislatively mandated switch to
semesters, the academic audit information assisted academic administration and faculty in
completing the unfinished business of semester conversion during the FY01 academic
year. Three programs were closed in FY01. This also involved clarifying issues between
the technical college faculty and the community college faculty. The statewide merger of
the state faculty bargaining units in 2001 assisted in clarifying future academic issues. With
much of this re-alignment completed, the College moved forward with nine new programs
and a comprehensive service learning initiative. A major review of the Master Academic
Plan will be completed in academic year 2005-06.

The recent growth of 21.2% over the FY00 and FY01 has stretched the facilities usage at
Century to its limits. In February 2001, the Paulien Group conducted a space utilization
study of all institutions in Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU). This study,
using national norms, found Century to be the most lacking in space of any of the 28
MnSCU two-year institutions. Century College has a 40% deficit in classroom space
(143,000 square feet). With this as background, the College completed its Master Facility
Plan in summer 2001. This plan was closely tied to Century’s capital bonding request in
FY2002 which was awarded in 2005. The new master facilities plan will be developed in


While these six plans historically have been a feature of Century’s planning even though
they were lacking a clear link to budget development, the other two types of plans in the
HLC/ NCA list have been non-existent. These two plans are as follows:
        Student Academic Achievement Assessment Plan
        Institutional Effectiveness Assessment Plan.

A major similarity unites both of these much-needed plans. This is the characteristic of
evidence which describes effectiveness of student learning and institutional functioning.
(Specific details on the assessment of student academic achievement plan can be found in
the earlier sections on this topic.)

While part of the reason for the lack of an institutional effectiveness plan can be traced to
the lack of an information management system at MnSCU following the 1995 merger,
Century College must develop its institutional effectiveness plan.

In spring semester 2001, the core elements of an institutional effectiveness assessment
plan were proposed to the college community. The six goal areas provide a context for
benchmarking Century College related to its own past behavior, related to other MnSCU
institutions and against best practices at any other institution.

Related to the development of an institutional effectiveness assessment plan, College
administration worked on slogans during two retreats in summer, 2001 to describe the
mission, vision and values statements. The following three slogans were identified:

       ―Learning is Central‖
       ―We Want You Here‖
       ―Nothing But the Best‖

These slogans provided a backdrop for the College to do its institutional effectiveness

In November 2001, the president established a Continuous Quality Improvement Task
Force (CQITF). This task force was charged with giving substance and detail to the
proposed six indicator goal areas. The task force worked with the five units of the College
(academic affairs, student services, finance/facilities/human resources/information
technology, continuing education/customized training, and College
advancement/marketing/public relations) to help units to select the key indicators for
inclusion in the continuous improvement/institutional effectiveness plan for the College.

As the CQITF began its work, the Board of Trustees of Minnesota State Colleges and
Universities (MnSCU) in fall 2001, directed its newly hired chancellor, Dr. James
McCormick, to develop strategic goals and a work plan for the system and its 33 colleges
and universities. This direction was to try to align the diversity of campus planning
initiatives with overall system-wide priorities. This alignment between campus and system-
wide priorities has had a major impact (overwhelmingly positive) on Century College. The
impact has occurred from spring 2002 through spring 2005. Century’s alignment of its
planning with that of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) has improved its
strategic priorities, work plan and the continuous quality improvement/institutional
effectiveness assessment plan.

In spring, 2002, the Office of the Chancellor prioritized five strategic directions for
Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. They were as follows:

   Priority One: Increase Access and Opportunity
   Priority Two: Expand High Quality Learning Programs and Services
   Priority Three: Strengthen Community Development and Economic vitality
   Priority Four: Fully Integrate the System
   Across the Board Priority: Implement Accountability Measures

In response to the newly established strategic directions, Century began its attempt to align
the College’s biennial plan with that of the system in the 2002-03 biennial goals document.

In summer, 2002, the Office of the Chancellor continued to develop the format of the
system’s strategic plan. The MnSCU system’s work plan identified strategic goals and
related action steps within the work plan. The central phenomenon in the alignment was
the production of a system-wide plan that included action steps and a work plan. The work
plan created accountability by designating a deadline date and an administrator responsible
for the action step.

In fall 2002 and winter 2003, Century College moved to more clearly align its biennial goals
with the planning elements of the Office of the Chancellor. This involved a decision to
discontinue work on ―Century College’s Educational Vision and Master Plan: Indicators of
Institutional Effectiveness and Quality.‖ To do this, Century overtly adopted the five priority
directions of MnSCU as its own. This was achieved through a series of meetings from
November 2002-February 2003. Century then refined the priority directions with the
following seven action steps:
   Priority Direction: Increase Access and Opportunity
            1) Expand enrollment through improved recruitment and retention.
            2) Create partnerships with K-12 schools and with underserved groups to
                 increase collegiate participation.

   Priority Direction: Expand High Quality Learning Programs and Services
            3) Renew the curriculum and ensure excellence in teaching and learning.
            4) Expand and integrate electronic learning options.

   Priority Direction: Strengthen Community Development and Economic Vitality
            5) Provide enhanced capacity and flexibility in key workforce areas (e.g.
                 teaching and healthcare careers), as well as improve response

   Priority: Strengthen the College’s Infrastructure
             6) Enhance the College’s ability to meet unmet needs by continuously
             improving all College units, by serving as a good steward of the facilities, by
             expanding the operating resources through advocacy, and by recruiting and
             investing in excellent faculty, staff and administration.

   Across the Board Priority: Implement Accountability Measures
           7) Develop an accountability measurement system of performance indicators,
           baseline measures, benchmarks and performance targets.

After the College re-structured its strategic and biennial goals to align with these seven
action steps and five priority directions, the 2002-03 specific goals were classified into the
new planning framework.

From February 2003 to April 2003, the College engaged in its annual planning activity to
update the biennial plan. On this occasion, a new structural activity dictated the planning.
Into the context of five priority directions and seven action steps, the College developed a
work plan. The biennial work plan for 2003-04 went through a series of eight College
meetings before finalization. This work plan specified the accountable administrator and
the timeframe for implementation. In addition, the planning process identified nearly $1.0
million for the new initiatives in the work plan.

It bears mention that the work plan drove the re-allocation of over $2.1 million to fund the
College’s priorities. From FY 1999 to FY 2003, Century College grew by 45.1% by adding
over 1,800 FYE and over 3,500 headcount. In this environment, the Minnesota Legislature
cut 14.8% of the appropriation to public higher education. Despite tuition increases of 12%
in FY04 and 13% in FY05, the budget is tight. Reallocation was needed to fund the
College’s priorities. The work plan was very helpful in this climate.

As the Office of the Chancellor developed its strategic priorities for the system and its
institutions in 2002-03, the structural model for implementing accountability measures
became more clear. Accountability indicators and measurements were to be developed in
each of the four priority areas. As a result, Century dropped its earlier model from 2001 for
indicators and measurements. In its place, the College developed a list of 16 indicators
against which to measure improvement. These indicators were categorized in the four
strategic, priority directions.
In summer 2003, the Office of the Chancellor continued to drive campus planning. In June
the MnSCU trustees approved an implementation plan for accountability indicators and
measurements. The Office of the Chancellor also refined its work plan for Minnesota State
Colleges and Universities. A work plan for 2003-04 emerged. While the timing leaves
something to be desired, this work plan will have some impact on creating focal points for
the College in 2003-04.

In July 2003, Century College had its annual administrative retreat. This retreat focused on
connecting the five unit plans of the College to the College’s biennial work plan. This
administrative retreat set a process which includes an annual administrative retreat,
preparation of a work plan activity report on each item that is submitted to MnSCU and to
Century College cabinet and college stakeholders.

Obviously, managing the planning in all eight categories has been the major challenge.
However, a substantial additional challenge is the integration of the eight elements into
one, coherent Century College plan. This has involved many meetings and much
communication, as well as a focus on cross-unit work. The major intellectual construct
used to achieve this integration has been to focus on Century as a ―Learning College.‖
This idea has enabled us to combine the historic planning tied to units (marketing,
technology, enrollment management, academic, facilities and operational) to the new
learning paradigm (assessment of student academic achievement and institutional
effectiveness) in planning. Finally, each planning session includes the issue of budget
planning. Since the College continues to grow, new resources can be infused into the base
financing to assist in the implementation of the plan.

In responding to Higher Learning Commission/NCA’s report requirements, Century College
has had the opportunity to focus on key improvements. In terms of the assessment of
student academic achievement, much progress has been made. It seems a fair appraisal
to say that Century is now a ―level two‖ assessment institution. Concerning planning, a
great deal of activity has occurred. The creation of an institutional effectiveness plan and
an assessment of student academic achievement plan has added more depth and breadth
to the College’s planning. In tandem with the operational plan and plans in various units,
there is definitely more integration in planning. Linking the budget to all of the planning also
has helped to improve the College.

To assist with the several new initiatives in the area of planning and assessment, a Director
of Planning, Institutional Effectiveness and Resource Development was hired in fall 2004.
This position had been vacant for several years due to budget reductions. One of the
responsibilities of this position will be to ensure that that the system for developing a
Century College Work plan is linked to the MnSCU Strategic Plan and Work plan, and
linked internally to budget and facilities initiatives. To ensure that these linkages are
strengthened, the 2005-06 planning process was communicated thoughout the institution at
All College meetings, unit and department meetings, Shared Governance meetings and
Student Senate Meetings.

Updates and requests for input into developing the 2005-06 Work plan were also
communicated through email information and the College Bulletin, the official
communication publication for the college. In addition, through the ―Critical Conversation
Day‖ and the completion of the Examiner Survey, several new action items were identified
from faculty, staff and administrators. Input into the development and finalizing of the Work
plan was truly institution-wide. A major enhancement of the 2004/05 Work plan
(Attachment 2) is the inclusion of performance measurements for each action item in the
plan. These measurements are tied to quality indicators.
In addition, a new planning schedule for developing a Biennial Work plan, Unit Plans and a
budget is under development. One goal in developing this planning schedule is to ensure
that there is institution-wide input by developing unit plans which then drive the
development of the college plan.

Employee Development activities this year identified issues that needed to be addressed
by the college. There were strong interests in developing a long-term campus facilities plan
that would also include ―beautification‖ of the campus and improved input into the process.
A design committee was developed to work with the facilities committee. A new process for
developing facility plans was also put into place that would increase input across the
College (Attachment 5).

Communication was also identified as a major concern. Staff and faculty (both through the
Examiner Survey and discussions on the ―Critical Conversation Day‖) identified three major
concerns; 1) their level of understanding of decision-making policies and procedures
needed to be improved, 2) college information needed to be communicated more efficiently
and effectively, and, 3) institution-wide input should be requested and valued. A
communication task force was set up to address these concerns and to put in place new
methods for better communication by the beginning of 2005-06 academic year.

Finally, it was determined that a comprehensive Vision 2010 plan would be completed
during the upcoming year. The Work plan Action item is stated as follows:

       6.1    Produce a comprehensive Vision 2010 plan for Century College (master
              academic plan, enrollment management plan, marketing plan, master
              facilities plan, technology plan and financial plan): April, 2006 (Godderz,
              O’Brien, Bruner, McKee, Livingston, Dillemuth, Matson). *

              Accountability Indicator/Performance Measurement: Finalize a Vision
              2010 plan by April, 2006.

2B. What specific actions or activities are you planning to take in order to address
any accreditation concerns or challenges from the Commission’s last
comprehensive evaluation that are still active issues?

By submission to and the acceptance of the March 2004 to the HLC, Century College
has addressed the issues of documenting that:

   1. the College has met the characteristics of Level Two stage of implementation (as
   defined by the Addendum to the Higher Learning Commission/ NCA Handbook) to
   assess student academic achievement,

   2. an integrated planning process with clear links to the budget development and eight
   components identified by the HLC has been developed at Century College,
The Visit Report of the 2000 Site Team also raised additional challenges:
       a. cramped, crowded and poorly designed library facilities,
       b. lack of facilities necessary to physically units its two separate campuses.

In addition, the Site Team included additional observations and suggestions to improve the
        a. consolidation of student tutorial, support and study skills centers,
        b. development of systematic methods for collecting and analyzing data,
        c. expansion and strengthening of community connections,
        d. improved technical advisory committees,
        e. a commitment to expanding services to the underserved populations,
        f. further development of a one-college vision post merger.

Below is a list of some of the accomplishments that have been achieved since the 2000

   1. facilities issues

              cramped, crowded and poorly designed library space

                           a new building housing the library was included in the
                            master facilities plan. In the 2004/05 Minnesota State
                            Legislature bonding bill, planning money was awarded to
                            Century College to complete the final building design
                            (80,000 sq. feet). Funding for building construction is in
                            the next Capital Budget. If approved, construction could
                            begin fall 2006.

              that lack of facilities to physically unify two separate campuses and to
               accommodate growing enrollments

                           major renovation of several areas has been completed,
                            providing more efficient use of current space. In addition,
                            Century College purchased a building on campus that was
                            contiguous to other campus facilities. This building will
                            provide an additional 23,000 square feet. Renovation is in
                            process and the building should be available in academic
                            year 2006/07, providing classroom space and technology

                           A new master facilities plan is being developed during
                            academic year 2005-06 to identify projects for future
                            bonding initiatives. Classroom space will be a high priority.

                           ESOL programs have been developed through a
                            partnership with Metropolitan State University. Classroom,
                            lab and office space have been provided at Metropolitan
                            State College.
2. Below were additional recommendations of the site team. The College has
   made significant improvements in these areas:

         Consolidation of various student support centers

          A student resource coordinator position was established in May 2003.
          The Resource Coordinator is responsible for connecting and referring
          students to resources/services on campus. Typical referrals include:
          counseling and Career Services, East Campus Support Center, English
          As a Second Language Lab, Mathematics Resource Center, Reading and
          Study Skills Lab, and Writing Center.

          The resource coordinator is located in the Academic Support Center. The
          center, which was established in 2002, is designed to be a one-stop shop
          for students. In addition to the resource coordinator, Academic Support
          Center Services include: peer tutoring, access services, and TRIO
          student support services.

          Services are advertised in college publications, on-line, at student
          orientations (mandatory for new students), and through classroom visits
          by the resource coordinator.

          Plans for the future include testing a virtual tour of the Academic Support
          Center with students. See After it
          is tested and revised, it will be added to the Century College web site.

         Development of a more systematic collection and analysis of data

                       The president appointed a Continuous Quality
                        Improvement Task Force (CQITF) charged with the
                        responsibility for the management of continuous
                        improvement in the college. The task force works with the
                        five units of the college (academic affairs, student services,
                        finance/facilities/human resources/information technology,
                        continuing education/customized training, and college
                        advancement/marketing/public relations) to enable the
                        units to select the key indicators for inclusion in the
                        continuous improvement/institutional effectiveness plan of
                        the college.

                        The College is now conducting both Noel-Levitz and
                         CCSSEQ surveys.

                        A director of planning, institutional effectiveness and
                         resource development was hired fall 2004. A database
                         manager will be hired by fall 2005.

                        Performance measurements have been included in the
                         Biennial Work Plan (2005-06)
   Expansion and strengthening of community connections

                 ―Friendraising‖ initiatives and ―Breakfast with the President‖
                  events have been used as a format for meetings with
                  community, business and governmental leaders and
                  elected officials. Over the past two years, over 500
                  individuals have attended these meetings to learn more
                  about the college and many attendees have become
                  involved in volunteer activities (e.g. Alumni Association,
                  Foundation events, Program Advisory Committees).

                Other well-attended events have brought the community to
                 the college and increased awareness of Century College
                 as a community resource::

                      o   an speaker series

                      o   political debates, information forums, and public
                          affairs programming

                      o   public hearings on higher education issues

                      o   art exhibits, musical and theater events

                The Century College Alumni Association was started. This
                 association has an active meeting and project schedule
                 and over 1000 alumni now receive a newsletter and are on
                 a listserv.

                The Fetzer Institute hosted a series of discussions with
                 Century College and community members on important
                 public affairs issues. Participants have requested that
                 these ―community conversations‖ continue to be provided
                 by Century College and a committee has been assigned to
                 develop a structure for on-going conversations, including
                 inter-generational opportunities with Century College

   Broader representation of advisory committees

                Most of the 27 Program Advisory Committees have
                 reviewed and enhanced committee membership assuring
                 that the members reflect current trends in the workplace.
                 There is a plan to renew all committees and revise their
                 mission statements, goals and objectives of the committee
                 and to set a yearly schedule of meetings and activities will
                 be developed/

                There is a year-end event for Program Advisory
                 Committees that includes a dinner, awards and a regional
                 speaker (usually in the area of workforce development or
                   economics) to recognize the work of committee members.
                   This has been an excellent community-building event.

                A President’s Technology Committee was developed with
                 representation from major technology businesses (e.g.
                 Medtronics, 3M) to develop initiatives to meet workplace
                 technology needs. This committee is also involved in the
                 development of the new Kopp Technology Center which is
                 currently under renovation.

   Access for underserved populations

                A Century College Multicultural Center was developed in
                 the college in 2002. A director was hired in 2003/04 with
                 the primary responsibility of recruiting and retaining

                The president served as a co-chair of ―The Serving the
                 Underserved‖ committee which is a Minnesota State
                 Colleges and Universities Metropolitan Alliance committee
                 to develop goals and objectives and performance
                 measurements to improve recruitment and retention of
                 underserved students.

                Student services in both the unit and college plans have
                 identified recruitment of underserved students within the
                 community and at feeder high schools as a high priority.

                   Students of color have increased to over 21%, including
                   international students at Century College. This has more
                   than doubled since 1994-05.

                The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Institutional
                 Research Committee is further defining underserved and
                 first generation students and developing a data collection
                 and analysis system that is common to all MnSCU
                 institutions. Recruitment and retention are primary goals.
                 The major hurdle for gathering this information is the lack
                 of a common definition and collection criteria. This should
                 be in place by 2006/07.

   Development and sustainability of its one-college vision

                The building of the College bridge linking both campuses in
                 2000 has been a major improvement. The walk between
                 the two ―campuses‖ is enjoyable and pedestrians look
                 forward to the opportunity to ―walk the bridge‖ to attend
                 classes, meetings or use the cafeterias, coffee shop and
                           The new Science/Learning Resource Center building
                            located between the two campuses and enclosing a major
                            portion of the bridge will provide a common gathering
                            space for students, providing enhanced linkage of the two

                           Programs, classes and offices associated with the former
                            Lakewood Community College and Northeast Metro
                            Technical College prior to the merger have been moved to
                            different campuses so the distinction between a technology
                            campus and a liberal arts campus is eroding. Events and
                            meetings are rotated between east and west campus. A
                            one-campus perception is growing.

                           Marketing and in-house information materials are designed
                            to reinforce the one-college vision.

Major accomplishments have been made in each of these areas, but additional
improvements remain as action items in the 2005-06 Work plan or in unit plans
(Attachment 3). Century College leadership has embraced a commitment to continuous
improvement, ensuring that this commitment can be documented throughout the
institution. As priorities, Century College has engaged in activities that will improve
assessment strategies within the College, identify and integrate performance
measurement within the institutional work plan to assess to what extent our goals and
objectives have been achieved. In addition, Century College will ensure that a planning
process is developed involving administrators, faculty, staff, students and the wider
community in meaningful shared activities and in supporting a common evaluation
structure. In academic year 2005-06 major planning initiatives are included in the work
plan and will culminate in the development of an institutional Vision for 2010.

To answer questions 3 - 8, present information that will allow the AQIP Review
Panel on Admissions to evaluate your organization’s understanding of academic
quality improvement and its ability to benefit from participation in AQIP.

3.     Why does your institution wish to participate in AQIP? What benefits do
       you hope to gain as a consequence of participating?
Century College expects substantial benefits as a consequence of participation in AQIP.
The AQIP process by its cyclical nature provides a process for ensuring that there is
continuous evaluation, movement, development of new and supporting activities and
evaluation again. It is an on-going process as compared to the self-study and Program
to Evaluate and Advance Quality (PEAQ) Process. Institutional activities are continually
evaluated and improved and will translate into improving our institution. This cyclical
nature can be easily integrated into the process of developing the Century College
Biennial Work Plan in alignment with the MnSCU Strategic Plan and Biennial Work plan
and evaluating our accomplishments through a process of identifying and assessing
performance measures.
MnSCU is also embracing AQIP through the development of an advisory group
(MNQIP), providing a supportive network of institutions at various stages within the AQIP
process. In addition, the system office will offer computer software support through the
development of an on-line institutional profile (currently under development at Century
College) and a systems portfolio site for system appraisal.
Century College has system-wide support through participating MnSCU institutions and
the system office. There are currently 14 MnSCU AQIP institutions with several more in
the application process. Century College also has strong relationships with MnSCU
Institutions that are currently AQIP institutions (i.e.Inver Hills Community College and
Lake Superior College). Administrators from these institutions have assisted Century
College through the decision-making process of applying to AQIP. Their successes as
AQIP institutions are models that Century College wishes to emulate.
Century College values the common principles that underlie AQIP—Focus, Involvement,
Leadership, Learning, People, Collaboration, Agility, Foresight, Information and Integrity
and is supportive of each of the categories and related processes. The Century College
community is convinced that these processes not only allow but engage institutions in
analyzing, understanding and exploring opportunities, ensuring that Century College
stakeholders can study their own institution using the principles and perspectives of
continuous improvement. These values are incorporated into our mission, vision, and
value statements and into our Biennial Work Plan Action Items. They also will be
incorporated into our employee evaluation process.
The timing of our application is appropriate. Our self-study under PEAQ would begin in
the 2007-08 academic year. It is our plan to attend a strategy forum in 2005-06, identify
action projects with input across the institution and to enter the Action-Strategy-
Reaffirmation of Accreditation cycle no later than July 2006. Century College
understands the value of the AQIP process as compared to the PEAQ Process and has
established a Work Plan action item to ensure that our next accreditation process will be
through AQIP.
    The AQIP process fosters an environment of continuous learning and continuous
     progress in improving a higher education institution. Measuring effectiveness
     and using information to analyze program value to improve programs were not
     strengths at Century College in the past. The College has significantly improved
     the planning process to bring coherence and integration to the planning process
     using the eight types of planning at the college. Planning initiatives are clearly
     tied to the budget. AQIP Program Categories, with the underlying focus of
     measuring effectiveness provides a beneficial structure to Century College in
     developing a planning and institutional effectiveness framework. At this point,
     Century College does not have a planning web site or an institutional profile. The
     AQIP framework will be used to develop and present this information.
    AQIP provides both quality improvement and quality assurance. The tools
     provided by AQIP provides a clear system to ascertain if a project has
     contributed to improving student learning and the effectiveness of the institution.
    System appraisal provides a vehicle for identifying broader institutional
     improvement strategies and the use of action projects to implement these
     strategies. Century College has several major projects that could develop into
     action projects. We believe that the designation of an action project and the
     framework associated with the process, will ensure that we can accomplish these
     projects in a timely fashion. Securing institutional-wide support for an action
     project appears to a key factor in successfully accomplishing these goals.
    AQIP and the institutional and system portfolios provide a system for
     documenting the history of the institution in terms of governance, management
     and achievements.
    The categories provide a framework for analyzing, understanding and exploring
     opportunities for improvement of related groups of processes. The AQIP criteria
     check list provides a focus for what areas are important within our institution, in
     prioritizing workload and setting timelines, and developing methods for evaluating
     our programs in terms of effectiveness.

 4. Since broad understanding of, support for, and commitment to a continuous
improvement approach and AQIP are essential for their success, what is the
current level and extent of these elements in your organization? What is the
evidence that key groups in your organization (e.g. Board, CEO, senior leaders,
faculty, and staff) understand the nature of continuous improvement efforts and
the demands of AQIP?
Five years ago, with the leadership of a new president, Century College began the
process of integrating the principles and benefits of continuous improvement into the
culture of the institution. The Century College March 2004 report to the Higher Learning
Commission documents initiatives that have been accomplished by Century College or
are in process (Attachment 6). The work of the College to develop a systematic
approach to continuous quality improvement has continued through the 2004-05
academic year. The College engaged in additional AQIP centered activities:
                a. educated all employees about the AQIP process in order to make
                   an informed decision about participation in this process. The
                   College Cabinet in spring semester 2005 supported the application
                b. evaluated Century College’s needs in improving quality systems and
                   identifying areas for improvement through the execution of the
                   Examiner Survey. Over 85% of Century College employees
                   completed the survey and participated in an employee development
                   day (―Critical Conversation Day‖) to review Examiner Survey results.
                c. began planning processes to identify major projects, ―quick fixes‖
                   and potential action projects to move forward to a strategy forum.
                   Several ―mini conversations‖ were offered during the academic year
                   at various campus and unit meetings, culminating in the ―Critical
                   Conversation Day‖ that helped employees to understand the AQIP
                   process and to apply it to Century College planning. Many of the
                   projects identified during this planning day were incorporated in
                   some way in the College Biennial Work Plan (Attachment 2) and
                   may develop further into action projects. In addition, for the first
                   time, performance measurements (tied to quality indicators) were
                   identified and integrated into the College Work Plan.
Century College entered the AQIP exploratory process over a year ago beginning with a
presentation and discussion with Dr. Cheryl Frank, the president of Inver Hills
Community College. Dr. Frank met with an administrative team at Century College that
included cabinet members, providing information about the AQIP process at Inver Hills
Community College and the successes achieved through their new planning committee
structure and the development and implementation of action projects. A team of Century
College’s administrators and faculty leaders attended the HLC Annual Meeting in 2004
(six) and again in 2005 (nine). In addition, Century College developed an AQIP
exploratory team that participated in monthly MnQIP meetings, and several other AQIP
events including a presentation on system portfolios by Stephen Spangehl and MnSCU
Through Century College ―All College Meetings‖, unit and department meetings,
constituency group meetings (e.g. Student Senate, All College Council, Faculty Shared
Governance and AFSCME Shared Governance), AQIP was presented and discussed.
Articles and information about the Higher Learning Commission, the AQIP process and
the process for determining whether or not an application process to AQIP would be
engaged were disseminated through articles in the College Bulletin (the official
communication vehicle for the College) employee emails, and additional information was
distributed through paper documentation. All information was posted on the college
server and accessible to each college employee.
The AQIP committee and the Continuous Quality Improvement Task Force also
reviewed AQIP information and Lynette Olson, Assessment & Effectiveness Director,
Academic Innovations, from the MnSCU Office of the Chancellor, presented information
on the development and cyclical nature of action projects.
Two Century College academic deans are also AQIP reviewers.
Century College employees took the Examiner Survey in February 2005. A report of the
results is provided (Attachment 7). Relative to peer colleges around the country,
Century College did very well on the survey analysis. 537 of Century’s full and part time
employees or 86.5% answered the survey.

The Examiner Survey was scored on a 5-point scale with 5 = a very effective process
and a 1 = a very ineffective process. These mean scores were bundled into the
following nine AQIP criteria areas:

Criteria Area                          Century           Other
                                       College           Institutions

Helping Students Learn                 3.29              3.18
Accomplishing Other                    3.21              3.05
Distinctive Objectives
Understanding students’                3.20              3.06
And other stakeholders needs
Valuing People                         2.95              2.88
Leading and Communicating              2.96              2.88
Supporting Institutional Operations    3.13              3.03
Measuring Effectiveness                2.89              2.92
Planning Continuous Improvement        3.18              3.05
Building Collaborative Relationships   3.25              3.23

Item were considered to be statistically significant if they were +/- .20 from the mean
comparison number. Relative to the individual 72 items in the survey, 64 were
considered statistically insignificant. Of those 64, 43 were +.01 to +.019 above our peer
institutions while three were the same score as our peers. Eighteen were -.01 to -.019
below our peer institutions. So, while these 64 items were ranked at a statistically
insignificant level, Century received more than twice as many positive scores than
negative ones relative to our peer institutions.

In terms of statistically significant items, six items were on the positive side while two
were on the negative side. The following six items were statistically significant and
reveal high performance at Century College:

              Ensuring that our faculty members have the skills and resources they
               need to teach well. (Helping students learn items)
              Communicating the goals of our distinctive strategic initiatives to our
               internal and external constituencies. (Accomplishing other distinctive
               objectives item)
              Providing our people with the training and development they need to be
               successful in their jobs. (Valuing people item).
              Motivating faculty, staff and administrators to improve their own
               performance. (Valuing people item)
              Creating opportunities for faculty and staff to learn and practice
               leadership skills. (Leading and communicating item)
              Communicating our strategies and action plans throughout the
               organization. (Building collaborative relationships item)

The following two items were statistically significant on the negative side:

              Process never or rarely fails to accomplish its intended purpose.
               (Effective Processes item)
              Process is widely used throughout the organization. (Effective Processes
A ―critical conversation‖ day was built around the Examiner Survey with participation by
Drs. Stephen Spangehl, Kathy Nelson and Sue Stenerson. Through several activities
during this day, over 400 Century College employees were exposed to AQIP processes,
and also, identified 38 major projects and over 230 ―quick fixes‖ that would bring
immediate improvement to key areas of the college. Employees identified what valued
most to our employees. There was a strong commitment to the AQIP process and to
continue conversations such as this within the Institution and within Century’s wider
community as well. It is our intent to either conduct the Examiner Survey a second
time a year from now or participate in the Constellation Survey and another
―Conversation Day‖ as we enhance our strengths and also continue to work on
weaknesses identified during our first conversation day. A final report of the Examiner
Survey and March 30 ―Critical Conversation Day‖ is included (Attachment 8).
An AQIP Exploratory Committee was developed in academic year 2004-05. The
committee includes faculty, administrators, students and staff. This group is meeting
through summer 2005 to submit this application as well as planning AQIP activities for
the 2005-06 academic year, identifying a list of potential action projects, bringing the
projects to a strategic forum and back to the college community for final review and
An AQIP website accessible to the College community (deadline date July 1) includes an
on-going report to our employees as to the outcomes of the college conversations, as
well as the progress of continuing activities. In addition, the president of Century
College has initiated several projects to improve areas of weakness identified through
the Examiner Survey and ―Critical Conversation Day‖.
The president will meet with each college constituency group through the summer term
to further improve communications within the institution and to involve the entire college
in decision-making processes in important planning and administrative initiatives:
           a. Biennial Work Plan
           b. College budget
           c. Development of a master academic plan, enrollment management plan,
              marketing plan, master facilities plan, technology plan and financial plan.
A Communication Task Force is also meeting this summer to present recommendations
to the president as to how information and decision-making can be integrated within the
college community through a system that is easily accessible and provides
documentation of achievements. The goal of the communication process is to ensure
that every employee and student has access to information they need to be a full and
valued participant in the decision-making process at Century College.
AQIP processes have been integrated into our college Biennial Work Plan. Because of
this integration, employees will be evaluated in terms of how they met the goals and
objectives of AQIP as a quality improvement program and a quality assurance program.
Each college unit will be asked to address AQIP Categories through linking Work Plan
objectives and action steps to AQIP criteria. An example of current work plan initiatives
that resulted from the 2004/05 planning processes, including AQIP initiatives are:

PRIORITY: Strengthen the College’s Infrastructure
6. Enhance the College’s ability to meet unmet needs by continuously
improving all college units, by serving as a good steward of the facilities and by
expanding the operating resources through advocacy.

           6.1 Produce a comprehensive Vision 2010 plan for Century College (master
               academic plan, enrollment management plan, marketing plan, master
               facilities plan, technology plan and financial plan): April, 2006 (Godderz,
               O’Brien, Bruner, McKee, Livingston, Dillemuth, Matson).

               Performance Measurement: Finalize a Vision 2010 plan by April, 2006.

           6.2 With the new facilities committee structure and institution-wide
               involvement, develop a campus beautification plan, and improve signage
               and directory information for new students and campus visitors. Develop
               a 10-year maintenance cycle including renovation of common areas.
               Invest $650,000 yearly in renovation and maintenance: May, 2006
               (Godderz, Bruner).

               Performance Measurement: Implement new committee structure,
               upgrade signage and directory information and complete 10-year
               maintenance plan.
           6.8 Hold a series of unit-based focus groups for classified staff to improve
              communication and to identify and solve issues that impede
              organizational efficiency and/or innovation: August, 2005 (Litecky)

              Performance Measurement: Issues are identified and included in the
              work plan or in unit plans and evaluated in spring 2006 with the second
              Examiner or other survey instrument.

           6.9 Create a communication task force to inventory current practices, analyze
               the nature of communication challenges and make recommendation for
               improvement. Hold focus groups and team-building events with all
               Century College classified staff through employee and unit meetings:
               May, 2006 (Litecky, Matson). +

              Performance Measurement: Communication improvement verified
              through focus groups and second Examiner Survey.

7. Create and sustain talented faculty, staff and administration and recognize
excellent performance.
           7.4 Implement a college-wide staff development plan with training
           opportunities, mandatory supervisory training and two development days
           annually for all employees. Choose a topic each year as a training focus (e.g.
           customer services) and provide training on that topic to each unit: April,
           2006 (Litecky, Mayer, Nicholson).

           Performance Measurement: Implement, communicate and assess
           programs, and provide quality all-employee development days that integrate
           AQIP into the institution.

           7.5    Sustain a faculty teaching and learning plan for faculty each semester
           using ―Teaching Circles‖ on topics such as formation and learning styles:
           February, 2005 (O’Brien).

           Performance Measurement:
           Involve over 50 faculty each semester in Teaching Circles.

           7.8     Create and implement ―showcase‖ opportunities for departments,
           programs and units to present their outstanding practices, including
           collaborative initiatives: May, 2006 (Litecky, Dillemuth, Bruner, McKee,
           Livingston, O’Brien).

           Performance Measurement: Identify systems for communicating successful
           collaborative efforts and opportunities to showcase collaborative initiatives by
           May 2006.

Across-the-Board Priority: Implement Accountability Measures

8.     Manage an accountability measurement system of performance indicators,
         baseline measures, benchmarks and performance targets.
8.1    Enter the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) Academic Quality
Improvement Program (AQIP) for re-accreditation, complete the Strategy
Forum and identify three AQIP action projects: May, 2006 (Godderz, O’Brien,
Litecky, Matson).

Performance Measurement: Century College is accepted as an AQIP
Program, and three action projects are developed and approved by the

8.2 Implement an institutional effectiveness plan with accountability
measures, baseline standards and benchmarks. Develop materials and/or
web sites to effectively communicate information internally to imbed
continuous quality improvement and learning within the culture of the
institution, and externally within the community to communicate College
accomplishments: May, 2006 (Litecky, Matson. Dillemuth).

Performance Measurement: Identify systems to track all required
accountability indicators, use an electronic folio site to communicate
information, integrate information into all work plans, master plans and new
projects to ensure that programs are assessed. Continuous quality
improvement is imbedded at a high level with the institution and documented
through second Examiner Survey.

8.3   Identify and implement a process for improving the utility of the ISRS
system and database information for assessing continuous quality
improvement: May, 2006 (Dillemuth, Matson).

Performance Measurement: Implement system to enhance the utility of the
ISRS system.

8.4 Implement institutional assessment of student learning through a general
education assessment project: August, 2006 (O’Brien).

Performance Measurement: Develop and implement project by August
2006, including a rubrical grading project.

8.5 Initiate a productivity and effectiveness activity process to identify ways to
improve academic quality and institutional effectiveness by removing
unnecessary bottlenecks and logjams: December, 2005 (Litecky).

Performance Measurement: Develop an initiative, identify bottlenecks and
logjams and implement new policies and procedures to improve institutional
effectiveness by December 2005.

8.6 Survey students after the first two weeks of each semester on the
satisfaction of their experience. Facilitate five focus group sessions with students
each semester to ascertain what is going well and what needs improvement.
Assess student overall satisfaction of curriculum, services and programs:
March, 2006 (Litecky, Matson).
           Performance Measurement: Set 2005-06 fall and spring semester as a
           baseline. Survey 10% of students enrolled in their first semester.

           8.7 Initiate steps to improve the gathering and analysis of student data
           relative to enrollment management: December, 2006 (Matson).

           Performance Measurement: Identify quality indicators and develop a
           system for collecting data by December, 2006.

   5. What are your plans for integrating participation in AQIP into your
      organization’s current agenda? Are there major events on the horizon (e.g.,
      a change in leadership, a major contract negotiation, budget cuts), and how
      are you planning to address them or integrate them into your quality
Century College will integrate AQIP into the culture of the institution by disseminating
AQIP information and accomplishments in clear and accessible electronic and written
materials. In addition, the language of AQIP will be integrated into planning documents
and the Biennial Work Plan.
Materials on AQIP will be included in the orientation packets for all new employees. A
web site will include an Institutional Profile, AQIP information and updated information on
AQIP events, information and reports. The AQIP Action Project portfolio information
also will be available on a web site. The Student Senate and community partners (e.g.
advisory committees, community and governmental leaders) will also be provided
information about AQIP and its contribution to providing quality services to Century
College students and the college community.
In response to AQIP processes, the College cabinet is developing a new planning
schedule and activities that embrace the cyclical nature of AQIP within our strategic
planning, biennial Work Plan, and budget process. The College cabinet is the main
planning and administrative body for the college. The executive cabinet, consisting of
the president, vice presidents and the director of college advancement is the final
decision-making committee. This new planning schedule will be developed through input
from units and departments, constituency groups (e.g. Faculty Shared Governance, All-
College Council), and there will be a time period for review and response by all college
employees prior to final passage by the executive cabinet.
Specific AQIP activities will become part of our Biennial Work Plan and there will be one
yearly major all-college AQIP activity (e.g. conversation day). In addition, small
―conversations‖ will occur during the year at unit and departmental meetings and
retreats, employee development activities and All-College Meetings. Achieving
Professional Excellence (APEX), the committee charged with identifying and providing
employee development, will develop a schedule for development opportunities centered
around AQIP.
In terms of performance evaluations, evaluations for administrators and supervisors
currently include these items (in addition to six other performance areas):
           a. commitment to the college mission
           b. support of innovation, creativity, collaboration and critical thinking
           c. employs the principles of continuous quality improvement
           d. accomplishes goals
           e. demonstrates integrity and professionalism.
The performance evaluation will include AQIP items in the 2005-06 performance
In 2002-03 and 2003-04, Century College experienced two years of serious budget
reductions due to a state budget deficit. Century College, because of prior planning
anticipating possible revenue shortfalls, and annual planning initiatives to meet these
challenges, managed these deficits and emerged a stronger and more efficient
institution. The higher education biennial budget has been passed by the Minnesota
State Legislature (May 2005). Funding remains a challenge because of a significant
space shortage due to growth.
Century College currently has a seasoned administrative team and there has been little
turnover of positions in recent years. One major event has been the retirement of the
CAO, who served as the academic vice president for over seven years and in
administration for over 14 years. The new vice president of academic affairs has served
both as a member of the MnSCU faculty and as an administrator in the MnSCU Office of
the Chancellor. He is very supportive of Century College’s plan to apply to AQIP and
will become a member of the AQIP Committee in addition to his other duties as a
member of the college cabinet and executive cabinet.
The former CAO will remain at Century College. One of his assignments at Century
College during this next academic year is to provide mentorship in the accreditation and
AQIP processes to the vice president of academic affairs, director of planning and
institutional effectiveness and AQIP Committee. He also will continue to serve on the
AQIP and CQITF committees, providing his expertise through this transition period.
There are no other major personnel changes anticipated in the administrative team.
Finally, the president of Century College has three years remaining on his current
   6. How are you planning to organize your quality effort? Explain which
      current or new structures (committees, systems, etc.) you will use to
      organize and run your improvement efforts? What organizational systems,
      structures, and other resources (e.g., a quality council, quality
      “champions,” task forces, training programs, etc.) currently exist or are
      planned that will sustain your continuous improvement efforts?
Century College’s committee structure (Attachment 9) has been successful in managing
change and new initiatives during the past five years. A short-term AQIP Exploratory
team was identified to manage the first two years of the exploratory and application
process. A decision will be made during Academic Year 2005-06 to blend and expand
the Continuous Quality and Improvement Task Force (CQITF) to include the AQIP team.
A proposal to rename the CQITF to the Continuous Quality Improvement Committee
with the additional responsibilities of reaffirming accreditation and managing the AQIP
system is currently under consideration. The College will review and revise major
planning documents as well, tying these planning processes to AQIP categories and
Faculty and staff development programs have been initiated and will providing training in
areas relevant to AQIP (see Action Step items 7.3 and 7.5 in Attachment 3). In addition,
the new communication task force and unit meetings with classified staff will provide new
policies and procedures to improve communication, decision-making and processes for
enhancing input at all levels of the college. In addition, there are new initiatives in the
work plan to improve and highlight collaborative efforts within the college (see Action
Step item 7.8). Finally, processes to identify and reward new and innovative initiatives
are also in development.
Century College hopes to identify additional organizational systems and structures that
will sustain continuous improvement through best practice visits and sending Century
College personnel to additional conferences and forums through the HLC. There is a
commitment however, to include AQIP and continuous improvement at every College
meeting and event and in each publication. For example, Duty Days is a three-day
development meeting in advance of the start of fall semester that in addition to
welcoming back faculty and staff, presents new initiatives and new strategies for the
upcoming academic year. AQIP will be part of Duty Days in many formats (e.g.
discussions, hand-outs, employee development). AQIP will be integrated into a spring
semester employee development day focused on the discussion of AQIP action projects.
Either the Examiner or Constellation survey will be used to evaluate Century’s progress
over the 2005-06 academic year and another ―conversation day‖ will further develop
Century College’s first action projects. Currently, Century College has several initiatives
that foster innovation and continuous improvement:
                     1. Presidential Innovation Grants (PIGS) – A faculty member who
                        wishes to receive a Presidential Innovation Grant, applies through
                        the Center for Teaching and Learning. A committee evaluates the
                        applications and forwards recommendations to the vice president
                        of academic affairs for approval. All of these grants require the
                        faculty member to develop an assessment component for their
                        project. After completion of the project, the faculty member
                        presents an overview of the project during a CTL ―Show and Tell‖

                         These are financial awards for faculty to develop new initiatives
                         to improve student learning. In 2004-05, 15 awards were made
                         for a total of $11,500.
                     1. Curriculum Revision Grants – These are grants for curriculum
                        revision proposals that could include existing course content, a
                        revision of teaching methodology, the creation of a new course
                        or the revision/creation of a group of courses. In 2004-05, 35
                        awards were made for a total of $35,415. $77,777 has been
                        committed for unfinished projects – they have until August 12 to
                     2. Best Practices Funds – These are awards for travel to other
                        institutions to improve Century College’s efforts to benchmark
                        indicators or academic/business processes that will help identify
                        how our College performs when compared to other institutions.
                        Funds also may be used to observe and study a new program.
                        In 2004-05, 15 proposals were awarded a total of $27,500.
                     3. Faculty Development Funds – These are awards to faculty to
                        attend conferences, educational programs, technology training
                        and other programs to identify and learn innovative teaching
                        methods and to assess and improve student learning. In 2004-
                        05 over $84,396 was awarded to faculty.
   7. Prior to attending a Strategy Forum, how are you planning to meet AQIP’s
      requirement to conduct a preliminary self-assessment from a systems- or
      process-focused perspective, one that includes input from perspectives
      external to the organization?
Major initiatives of the preliminary self-assessment process have already begun. An
AQIP Exploratory committee was established in fall 2004 and began a process of
disseminating AQIP information to all college employees and the Student Senate. The
Examiner Survey was executed in February 2005 and results announced at the spring
semester ―Critical Conversation Day‖. Employees began a process of identifying major
projects that could be developed into action projects.
The projects identified at the development day and through a Title III and Biennial Work
plan process will be reviewed and used to develop potential action projects for
consideration at either an October 2005 or February 2006 Strategy Forum. The AQIP
Exploratory Committee will be responsible for further discussion, review and
identification of these projects with college-wide input.
In spring 2006, College employees will either retake the Examiner Survey or take the
Constellation Survey to determine Century College’s accomplishments in embracing
continuous quality improvement within the institution. A spring ―Conversation Day‖
involving all employees will include a process to review and prioritize the work brought
forward from the Strategy Forum.
   8.   Prior to attending a Strategy Forum (within the 12 months following
        admission), how will your organization identify issues, challenges,
        problems, or opportunities that might become action projects?
Century College was awarded Title III planning funds (2004-05) for submission of a grant
proposal in February 2005. That deadline was delayed by the Department of Education
to February 2006. However, in tandem with the AQIP efforts, the Title III Planning
Committee began to look at major action projects that would address the grant proposal.
Below are examples of two projects under consideration:
                  1. Establish a coordinated and effective retention program
                  2. Develop a management information system that will improve
                     academic success and student support.
In addition, over 30 potential major projects were identified at the March 30 Employee
Development Day. The AQIP Exploratory Committee reviewed the many projects and
through a process of interpretation, definition and consolidation developed a list of
potential initiatives. This information was disseminated through the College Bulletin,
email and at college meetings. A survey was sent out to all employees to comment on
the project areas and to prioritize these requests. Several items were identified as
potential action projects. Initial work may begin in academic year 2005-06 as some
objectives of major projects were included in the Biennial Work Plan. However, these
are projects that will require several years to implement and evaluate successfully. They
remain candidates for action projects. Here are examples:
   1. Strengthen assessment and evaluation processes to improve student learning.
   2. Develop a campus facility plan to meet student, employee and community needs
      including a beautification design.
   3. Improve information analysis and data-based decision-making.
   4. Develop, implement and evaluate a student retention plan.
Through summer and fall semester, the AQIP Exploratory Committee will continue to
revise and prioritize these projects with significant input from Century College employees
and students. This list of projects will be moved forward to the strategy forum.

Since the self-study and site evaluation in 2000, Century College has continued to
further improve its planning and assessment processes, ensuring that there is a planning
loop that incorporates planning, assessment, and continuous improvement. There is still
much room for improvement of our processes at Century College. Foremost is the need
to ensure that all employees and students receive the information they need to be full
participants in the planning and continuous improvement process and that governance is
in place to ensure this participation. If we are to move quickly toward improving these
systems, Century College, as an AQIP institution, is more likely to be successful with the
assistance of the AQIP process than if our activities culminate in a self study and site
visit near the end of this decade.

Century College committed resources in the 2004-05 academic year to educate its
student leaders and employees about the continuation of accreditation, the AQIP
process and the impact that AQIP can have on improving the environment for both
students and employees. The culminating ―all employee event‖ and the follow up
reports and activities have clearly demonstrated to college administration that there is
institution-wide support for the AQIP participation application.

In the next few months, Century College will develop a more comprehensive Institutional
Profile and continue to work on further identifying and defining projects to take to a
strategy forum. It is a Century College goal to identify action projects by the end of the
2005-06 Academic Year. We are learning how to use the system portfolio model offered
by the MnQIP Advisory Group of which we are already active members. Century
College is prepared to become an AQIP institution.
When you submit this application, please name a formal AQIP Liaison for your
organization — someone who is centrally involved in your quality initiative. (It need not
be the CEO or chief academic officer. We intend to continue to communicate closely
with your CEO, CAO, and other members of your leadership, but having someone we
can call or email directly and regarding details of your relationship with AQIP will make
our communications more efficient. You should inform AQIP whenever you change your
AQIP Liaison.)
Contact Information for Organization’s AQIP Liaison
       Ms. Jo Matson

Salutation, Name

       Director of Planning, Institutional Effectiveness and Resource Development

Job Title of Liaison

       Century College

Organization Name

        President’s Office, 3300 Century Avenue N,
Office address
White Bear Lake, MN 55110
City, State, Zip

       651.779.3934       651.779.3470

Office phone(s) and extension(s)             Office fax                    Email address
Name and address to which AQIP should send invoice for application fee of $275:

       Same as above.

Salutation, Name, Title

Organization Name

Office address
City, State, Zip

Before you email your AQIP Participation Application to, make
certain it has been reviewed and approved by your organization’s CEO. Then have the
CEO sign the separate Application Affirmation form and fax it to AQIP at 312-263-7462.
Questions? Call 800-621-7440 and ask for AQIP.

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