A Brief History of Palmer College of Chiropractic
Chiropractic history began in 1895, when D.D. Palmer performed the first chiropractic
adjustment on a partially deaf janitor, Harvey Lillard, who mentioned a few days later to
Palmer that his hearing seemed better. The history of Palmer College of Chiropractic,
which began two years later as a proprietary school and developed into a fully accredited
professional institute of higher learning, chronicles the emergence of a new healthcare
profession. Chiropractic is the largest alternative healthcare profession in the world, and
Palmer College of Chiropractic, “the Fountainhead,” is the oldest and most distinguished
college in the profession. Palmer College has always benefitted from the guidance of
strong leaders. The founder of the chiropractic profession, Dr. D.D. Palmer; his son, Dr.
B.J. Palmer; and his grandson, Dr. David Palmer, led the College for the first eight
decades of the twentieth century. Over that period, the College grew in size and
international reputation, began the processes for professional and regional accreditation,
and its graduates became eligible for licensure to practice chiropractic in all 50 states.
Palmer’s leadership has never waivered in its responsibility to the chiropractic profession.
In 1979, Palmer College of Chiropractic received institutional and program accreditation
from the Commission on Accreditation of the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE).
The CCE is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and is a
member of the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors. In 1985, Palmer
College of Chiropractic-West obtained accreditation from the CCE. In 2004, the Florida
Campus was accredited by the CCE as a branch of the main Davenport Campus. In
2006, the CCE reaffirmed accreditation for Palmer’s three campuses under one system
for an eight-year period, which is the maximum length awarded by the CCE.
In 1984, Palmer College of Chiropractic (Davenport Campus) was accredited by the
North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA). In February 2004, the HLC-
NCA extended accreditation to the Florida site as a branch campus of Palmer College of
Response to Issues Identified by Previous Teams: 1999, 2003, and 2007
The following section is a summary of issues identified by previous site teams that
visited Palmer College in 1999, 2003 and 2007, which rose to the level of requiring
the submission of a subsequent Progress Report to the NCA.
1. Corporate and Organizational Structure of the College: The 1999 Site Team
noted that the role and value of the University System should be communicated
to all constituents of the College(s).
Palmer College has improved its system-wide communications methods. The
Marketing Department disseminates print and e-copies of the following
Executive Summary Page 1
publications: Palmer Communications, Palmer Chiropractic News, Tuesday E News,
Executive Summary and Palmer Highlights, to keep the College’s constituencies informed. In 2005, the
Palmer Chiropractic University was reorganized into one Palmer College of
Chiropractic with three campuses. In April 2007, an article on the front page of
Palmer Chiropractic News announced Palmer’s new brand and the revised
organizational structure. The Davenport Campus was announced as the main
campus and the West and Florida campuses as branches. The Chancellor also
assembled a “Futures Group,” a group of staff and administrators on each
campus committed to communicating important news to constituents and to
2. Integrity of Palmer Publications: During the 2003 Site Visit to the new Florida
branch campus, the team found misleading and inconsistent information in
Palmer publications. The Team recommended that the College examine
documents and public statements for consistency and integrity.
In 2004, management and staff were charged with the oversight of integrity and
consistency in all communication mechanisms of the College. The renamed
Marketing and Public Relations Department streamlines efforts to support
Palmer’s one college with a main and branch campuses structure by overseeing
the College’s brochures, student catalogs and handbooks, website, electronic
messages, newsletters, and news releases. The Marketing and Publics Relations
Department ensures the consistency of information within and across
publications. Department heads that originate the content and are responsible
for the integrity of the content review materials for accuracy. The Marketing and
Publics Relations Department reviews the edits made by the specific departments
and provides input to align information for consistency across publications.
In 2007, the Marketing and Publics Relations Department consolidated the three
campuses’ catalogs into one College Catalog. The single-College catalog provides
both College-level information and campus-specific information. Similarly, the
department is currently working to consolidate the student handbooks for each
campus to a single College-wide student handbook.
3. College Finances and Strategic Planning: The 2003 site visit to the newly
established Florida Campus recommended that the subsequent focused site team
review the College’s financial resource base for operational expenditures for the
new Florida Campus. During the 2007 focused site visit, the team recommended
that the College demonstrate strategic budget planning for cyclical physical plant
maintenance and a deferred maintenance schedule to support the College’s goals
to build up its reserves.
In 2007, senior administrators for the College communicated to the Site Team the
College’s goal to increase its reserves from 20 percent to 50 percent of annual gross
revenues. They also informed the Site Team that the College used some of its cash
reserves to construct Pisciottano Hall to avoid incurring debt. In 2007, $10 million
dollars from the $35 million capital campaign was designated for the College’s
reserves. The reserves are being built up with capital campaign pledge payments,
annual giving and alumni support. Recent economic trends and the volatility of
financial markets have had a negative impact on the College’s returns on investments
as well as on those who have pledged to the capital campaign, reducing the collection
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of pledge payments and available funds the College is able to allocate to its reserves
at this time. Executive Summary
The Facilities Department has long utilized a five-year cyclical and deferred
physical plant maintenance schedule with budgets for the Davenport Campus
attending to the needs of the oldest plant and structures owned by the College.
The Facilities Department recently implemented a similar approach for deferred
maintenance for the West Campus for the current fiscal year. The Florida
Campus is only five-years-old and at this time does not require deferred
maintenance budgeting for significant repairs.
4. Title IV Compliance: Policies, procedures and training implemented across the
campuses reduce errors in compliance with the Title IV Requirements.
New corrective processes were instituted and tested by the auditors in 2008.
Some errors were found, and the College continues to evaluate financial aid
procedures and institute corrective actions. In July 2008, a lead accountant with
experience in auditing student financial aid programs was hired on the main
campus. The lead accountant oversees the centralization and adherence to new
standardized procedures. In addition, the College is implementing new
administrative software, SunGard Great Plains, which will allow more financial
and student administrative processes to be centralized on the Davenport
Campus. This software will be available to the Financial Aid office in July 2009.
5. Student Learning Assessment Plan: Palmer will show sufficient progress in the
implementation of the assessment plan currently in place at all locations. The
college will report on results of assessment in addition to the plan that has
already been reported.
In 2004, responding to a concern for not having a viable plan to assess learning,
Palmer College devoted more administrative resources across the campuses to
assessment of learning and restructured its assessment plan, which required
development of assessment targets and measures.
In 2005, the faculty from three campuses, assessment personnel, and academic
administrators, through consensus, drafted the Palmer Chiropractic Abilities to
represent the attributes of graduates from the Doctor of Chiropractic Program. These
Abilities are the focus for curriculum development and program- and course-based
assessment of learning. An assessment model was adopted as a template for program
and course level assessment.
In 2007, a comprehensive five-year plan to assess the Palmer Chiropractic Abilities
was completed and presented to the NCA in a Progress Report. A Progress Report
on assessment was sent to the NCA in spring 2007 and the Commission followed up
with a visit to the Davenport Campus. After the visit, the Commission asked that a
two-year follow-up report, including data collected and analyzed, be submitted at the
same time as the comprehensive Self-Study Report.
In 2007, in response to the Commission’s notation that the level of clinic faculty
awareness of the Hatfield Assessment Model was low at the Florida Campus,
additional in-service sessions were held with clinic faculty to re-familiarize them with
the Model, and their role in helping make assessment successful.
Executive Summary Page 3
To provide the Site Team with a basic impression of the overall scope and nature of
Palmer College of Chiropractic’s operations, data is provided for fall 2008 and fall 2007.
The complete institutional snapshot is appended to the 2009 Self-Study document.
Significant Institutional Changes
2002 Palmer College received a Federal K30 education grant through the National
Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine to establish a Master’s
degree in Clinical Research.
2003 Palmer opened a branch campus in Port Orange, Fla., and attained licensure by
the State of Florida.
All non-research faculty at the Davenport and West campuses unionized.
2004 Larry Patten became the third Chancellor of Palmer College of Chiropractic.
The Master’s degree in Clinical Research was accredited by the NCA.
The Doctor of Chiropractic program in Florida attained professional
accreditation and regional accreditation as a branch of Palmer College
2005 Palmer College severed its strained relationship with the Palmer College of
Chiropractic International Alumni Association.
2006 The College changed its organizational structure from a university with multiple
colleges to one college with three campuses. In 2007, it refined its structure to
one college with a main and branch campuses.
Palmer College completed a $35M capital campaign.
2007 Palmer College received a Federal R25 training grant to advance an evidence-
based practice initiative among faculty and students in the Doctor of
Pisciottano Hall was constructed on the Davenport Campus and contains a
Clinical Learning Resource Center, a Clinical Assessment Center and an
Academic Health Center, complete with digital radiography and expanded
patient rehabilitation capabilities.
2008 The Palmer Center for Business Development was built on the Davenport
Campus with co-curricular programs dedicated to entrepreneurial training.
Vickie Anne Palmer stepped down as Chair of the Board of Trustees after 30
years of dedicated service, 20 years as chairman. Dr. Trevor Ireland, Vice
Chairman of the Board, was appointed Chairman.
Chancellor Patten announced his retirement from Palmer College
The NCA Self Study Process
In fall 2007, Vice Chancellor for Organizational Development, Dr. Clay McDonald,
appointed Dr. Robert Percuoco, Senior Director for Assessment and Jeannette Danner,
Senior Director for Accreditation and Licensure, as co-chairs of the NCA Reaccreditation
Self-Study Steering Committee. Dr. McDonald also selected the nine members of the
Steering Committee, who began meeting in September 2005 to conduct the self-study
and prepare for the spring 2009 site visit. Steering Committee members included the
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co-chairs and Dennis Peterson, MLS, Senior Director of Library Services (Davenport), Andrea
Haan, DC, Director of Clinical Assessment and Integrity (Davenport), Jean Murray, PhD, Dean Executive Summary
of Undergraduate and Graduate Studies (Davenport), Earlye Julien, Senior Director for
Adjudication (Davenport), Dustin Derby, EdD, Senior Director for Institutional Planning and
Research (Davenport), William DuMonthier, DC, Dean of Student Affairs (West), and Chris
Meseke, PhD, Associate Dean of Assessment, Professor (Florida).
The Steering Committee met monthly (and at times weekly) from September 2007
through April 2009. Writing and Review Subcommittees were organized around Criteria
for accreditation delineated by the North Central Association: 1) Mission and Integrity; 2)
Preparing for the Future; 3) Student Learning and Effective Teaching; 4) Acquisition,
Discovery and Application of Knowledge; and 5) Engagement and Service. A separate
subcommittee focused on a Change Request to accredit the West Campus as a branch of
Palmer College of Chiropractic. Key findings from the self-study, organized according to
the five criteria delineated by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central
Association, are provided below.
Organization of Palmer College
One College: Main-Branch Campus System
Over the years, Palmer College has undergone several changes in College structure.
During the 1980s, Palmer College of Chiropractic consisted of Palmer College of
Chiropractic located in Davenport, Iowa, (PCC) and Palmer College of Chiropractic-
West, located in San Jose, Calif. Each college was a separate corporation, governed by
separate boards of trustees. In 1991, the Palmer Chiropractic University System was
formed and the two boards for Davenport and West were united to form the Palmer
Chiropractic University System Board of Trustees. In 2002, Palmer College of
Chiropractic, Florida, opened and was integrated into the Palmer University System. In
2005, the Palmer University System was reorganized into one college with three
campuses; in 2007, the three campus system was restructured into a main-branch campus
system with the Davenport Campus recognized as the main campus.
Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees, which consists of at least 9, but not more than 18 persons, is the
sole policy-making body for Palmer College. The Board of Trustees behaves according to
the revised bylaws of the Palmer College Foundation. Among the many authorized
powers of the Board of Trustees is the power to appoint a chief executive officer who is
responsible for faithfully carrying out the policies and mandates of the Board. The Board
also appoints the presidents and vice chancellors.
The Chancellor is the designated chief executive officer responsible for the main campus
in Davenport, Iowa, and two branch campuses in San Jose, Calif., and in Port Orange,
Fla. Three campus presidents and nine vice-chancellors make up an Executive
Administration Team reporting directly to the Chancellor and responsible for day-to-day
operations on the campuses. All vice chancellors have offices on the main campus with
administrative extension to the branch campuses.
Executive Summary Page 5
It is the responsibility of the campus presidents to assure day-to-day operations of the
campuses are consistent with the systems and rules that have been established by the
Executive Administration Team. Presidents assist with campus and community relations
and make judgments in the case of any campus emergency to act in the best interest of all
affected. In their role, presidents cannot modify, ignore, or eliminate systems of
operations, curriculum direction, or administrative rules, but rather they ensure their
coordination and communication to campus constituents.
The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academics provides administrative oversight and
leadership to all academic operations across three campuses. The local deans, directors,
and department chairs create, administer, revise, and review all existing academic
programs, academic policies and procedures, and standards for students as well as the
nearly 200 faculty employed by the College. The collaboration of students, faculty, and
administrators is essential to promote a safe, effective, and diverse environment of
academic achievement in learning and professional development.
Clinic Affairs, a department under Academic Affairs, oversees the education of clinical
interns and patient care. Clinic Affairs operates sixteen faculty-staffed teaching clinics in
the geographic areas of its three campuses: campus health center facilities for students,
student families, and employees on each of the three campuses; four fee-for-service
outpatient clinics (two in the Quad Cities area and one each at the West and Florida
campuses); and nine outreach facilities (three in the Davenport, one in the Florida and
five in the West area communities)
The David D. Palmer Health Science Library system is a three-campus network of
human and information resources providing the programs and services that support the
teaching, patient care, research, and service goals of the Palmer College community. The
campus libraries employ 25 full-time library staff members, including one PhD, and six
Masters in Library and Information Science or Librarianship. A Center for Teaching and
Learning supports and serves the needs of the educational programs by providing faculty
with the resources and training to improve teaching and student learning.
Palmer College is highly committed to a strong and ongoing research program. The
Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR) combines the dedicated research
resources of Palmer’s three campuses. The PCCR is staffed with 14 full-time and 8
associate faculty members in addition to 19 technical and administrative staff members.
The PCCR is the largest college-based chiropractic effort in the world, and is currently
supported by grants from the U.S. National Institutes of Health through the National
Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, the U.S. Health Resources and
Services Administration, the Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research, and
The Office of Student Success supports and enhances students’ academic experiences
through the traditional areas of student life including financial planning, registrar services,
counseling services, student advising, intramurals, campus clubs, student housing, and
career advising. The Office also oversees the new Palmer Center for Business Develop-
ment and its programs. A Vice Chancellor for Student Success oversees the Office.
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A new Office of Strategic Development (OSD) oversees the functions of strategic
planning, institutional research, organizational development, accreditation and licensure,
and data gathering and reporting on institutional effectiveness. Several new administrative
positions were added into the OSD: a Vice Chancellor for Organizational Development,
an Executive Director for Strategic Development, Senior Director of Quality Assurance
and Systems Organization, and a Senior Director of Accreditation and Licensure. The
OSD is also staffed with the existing Senior Director for Institutional Planning and
Research (IPR). Support staff is located on each of the campuses.
Enrollment Management functions consist of centralized transcript evaluation, admission
outreach, and data analysis in the Office of College Enrollment in Davenport. A Senior
Director of Financial Planning and a Senior Director of Admissions are located in
Davenport, while the branch campuses in California and Florida have campus enrollment
directors and financial planning directors. Collectively these areas comprise Enrollment
Management and are structured to support one college with three campuses in the
recruitment process. The Vice Chancellor for Enrollment oversees the Office.
Finance and Business Affairs
The services of the Finance and Business Affairs office include accounting, bursar,
payroll, purchasing, human resources, cash management, debt management, investment
management, risk management, financial aid processing, and the budgeting process. Most
of these functions and associated personnel are centrally located on the Davenport
Campus; however, it is necessary to maintain personnel on the branch campuses for local
revenue transactions and budget management. Those individuals have a direct reporting
relationship to a supervisor in Davenport. The Vice Chancellor for Administration
oversees the Office.
The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Support Services oversees the maintenance,
security, and safety services of all facilities across the three campuses. The Support
Services department provides oversight of the media and technology needs on each
Marketing and Public Relations
Marketing and public relations efforts for Palmer College are coordinated from the main
campus in Davenport through the Executive Director for Marketing and Public
Relations. The Executive Director oversees personnel who coordinate all marketing,
branding, and public relationship programs and activities for the College, including the
overall public image, recruitment of students and clinic patients, communications
vehicles, and other related areas.
The Office of Institutional Advancement combines the functions of a Development
Office, an Alumni Office and a Continuing Education department to promote and
support Palmer College’s mission and programs.
Executive Summary Page 7
Mission and Integrity
The organization operates with integrity to ensure the fulfillment of its
mission through structures and processes that involve the board,
administration, faculty, staff, and students.
Core Component 1A
The organization’s mission documents are clear and articulate publicly the organization’s
Evidence that the Core Component is met:
1. The Palmer College of Chiropractic Mission Statement, reaffirmed by the Board of
Trustees in 2004, clearly articulates the expectations of the College in the delivery of
its educational programs. (p. 3.2)
2. The College Mission statement was developed into a more detailed Purpose
Statement by the Senior Administration Team, and approved by the Board in 2007.
3. A five-year vision focusing on the mission-related work of the four program-related
divisions of the College, Academic Affairs, Clinic Affairs, Research and Student
Affairs, was developed through processes that involved all constituencies of the
College and was approved by the Board in 2008. (p. 3.3)
4. Additional mission-related guiding documents of the College include the Palmer
Tenets, the Educational Principles, the Palmer Chiropractic Abilities, and the Palmer
Philosophy Statement. (p. 3. 4)
5. The College’s Mission, Purpose, Vision and other guiding documents are readily
accessible to internal and external constituencies by virtue of their prominence in
College-related publications and on its website. (p. 3.5)
Core Component 1A Summary and Evaluation
The Palmer College of Chiropractic Mission, Purpose and Vision Statements clearly
define the overarching commitment of the College to academic excellence, service to
humanity, continuous development of its people, and the pursuit, creation and utilization
of new knowledge. Additionally, the Palmer Tenets, Educational Principles, Chiropractic
Abilities, and Philosophy Statement make evident the commitment of the institution to
high academic standards in its educational programs. These documents are widely
displayed on each campus, in College publications and on its website, and disseminated
to various College constituencies, such as prospective students, matriculating students
Page 8 Executive Summary
Core Component 1B
In its mission documents, the organization recognizes the diversity of its learners, other
constituencies, and the greater society it serves.
Evidence that the Core Component is met:
1. Palmer College recognizes that its graduates must prepare to practice in and
contribute to an increasingly culturally diverse world; this is reflected in the College’s
Mission and guiding documents and in the programs and services offered to its
students, the community, and the greater society it serves. (p. 3.5)
2. The second (“Palmer College is a Learning Community”) and third (“Palmer College
Encourages Students to Become Lifelong Learners”) Palmer Educational Principles clearly
state the College’s attitude toward diverse learning. (p. 3.5)
3. The Palmer Chiropractic Abilities stress the prudence of personal integrity, and the
responsibilities that accompany the privileges of being a healthcare professional and
serve as programmatic outcome standards for the Doctor of Chiropractic program.
In keeping with the best interests of the patient, the graduate acknowledges the
existence and nature of different value systems, and recognizes the ethical dimensions
of clinical practice. (p. 3.6)
4. The Palmer College Student Services departments provide services to students with
documented disabilities to enhance and encourage their educational experience.
5. During the clinical component of the DCP, students on each campus can participate
in Clinic Abroad and community outreach patient care opportunities. Both capstone
programs focus on underserved, culturally diverse, lower socioeconomic populations.
Data show that nearly half of the College’s student interns participate in Clinic
Abroad, and the vast majority of student interns participate in community outreach.
6. The College’s three campuses located on both coasts and mid-continent naturally
lend to ethnic and gender diversity. Data show that Palmer’s ethnic minority and
female census among faculty, staff, and students resembles or exceeds that of the
respective geographic regions and in the profession at large. (p. 3.7)
7. The Board of Trustees adopted a diversity policy in 2008 and has plans to establish a
taskforce to advise on diversity issues. (p 3.9)
Core Component 1B Summary and Evaluation
In its Mission Statement, Palmer College directly acknowledges its commitment to
“serving humanity through patient care and community education.” Palmer explicitly
supports diversity through its policies contained in the College’s policies and procedures
manual, and reproduced in Human Resources, Student Affairs and other publications.
Moderate to high satisfaction data exemplify the College’s respect for individual
differences. Ongoing employee training reinforces the value and strengths provided in a
culturally diverse society and emphasizes respect for the individual. Current levels of
diversity among students, staff, and faculty have evolved from department level tactical
strategies, i.e., enrollment management and human resources. However, the College may
benefit from a more purposeful diversity plan.
Executive Summary Page 9
Core Component 1C
Understanding of and support for the mission pervade the organization.
Evidence that the Core Component is met:
1. Data collected from the 2008 self-study survey of staff, faculty, administrators, and
students demonstrated considerable awareness of and support for the College
Mission Statement. (p. 3.11)
2. Understanding of and support for the mission by the Board, the administration, and
the Palmer constituents are evident in the daily activities and strategic directions of
the College, which are distinctly focused on chiropractic healthcare through its
educational programs, patient care, research and service to the profession and to the
communities the College serves. (p. 3.12)
3. The College is undertaking the development and implementation of strategies for
each of its educational and support divisions that involve individual initiatives aimed
at accomplishing the milestones established for the respective division. These
strategies will inform and guide the allocation of financial resources during
subsequent budgeting cycles. (p. 3.12)
4. Examples offered as evidence of the College’s commitment to applying these
inclusive, mission-related processes include the recent opening of the Davenport
Campus Academic Health Center, the development of the co-curricular Palmer
Center for Business Development and the College-wide expansion of the Center for
Teaching and Learning. (p. 3.13)
5. The June 2007 approval by the Board of Trustees of the Palmer Purpose Statement
provided the foundation for the constituent-wide development of a guiding Vision,
approved by the Board in 2008. The Vision documents the institution’s planned
advancement during the next five years by defining the milestones by which progress
toward fulfillment of the vision will be judged. (p. 3.14)
Core Component 1C Summary and Evaluation
The governance of Palmer College of Chiropractic by the Board of Trustees is well
defined in the Board’s Charter, Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation, and policies, and in
its respective committee charters, each describing the duties, responsibilities, and
boundaries of the governing units of the College. The collective wisdom of the Board of
Trustees serves the best interests of the organization by ensuring that the College’s
Mission is carried out through the development and application of broad policies consis-
tent with the Charter and Bylaws, and by ensuring that resources are allocated consistently
with those policies. By way of the distribution of oversight responsibilities through its
committee structure, the Board provides policy and strategic programmatic direction with
regard to the strengths, weaknesses, and needed improvements at the College.
The administrative structure promotes effective leadership and fosters collaboration
among the Board, administration, staff, faculty, and students. Perceptions of constituent
communication indicate low to moderate satisfaction with room for improvement.
Examples of constituent collaborations validate the College’s dedication to participatory
Page 10 Executive Summary
Core Component 1D
The organization’s governance and administrative structures promote effective leadership
and support collaborative processes that enable the organization to fulfill its mission.
Evidence that the Core Component is met:
1. The Palmer College Board of Trustees membership is a balance of professional and
lay individuals, each providing unique perspective toward a collective Board wisdom
focused on the organizational mission, particularly the development and
implementation of policy and allocation of institutional resources. The Board Bylaws,
Policies and charters of its various committees explicitly define the duties,
responsibilities, and functions of the Trustees and the Board committees. (p. 3.15)
2. The College’s chief executive officer, the Chancellor, has ultimate oversight
responsibility of all Palmer campuses and administration of the Corporation. The
Chancellor is charged with promulgating rules, processes, procedures and regulations
to ensure proper operation of the College. (p. 3.16)
3. In 2008, the Board reorganized its committee structure to better reflect its monitoring
needs and to enhance the communication between the Trustees and the College
administration. (p. 3.16)
4. The Chancellor delegates administrative authority to the vice chancellors, and to
executive and senior directors, each overseeing certain divisions of the College. Also
reporting to the Chancellor, the campus presidents are delegated the responsibility for
day-to-day operational oversight of the respective campuses. The vice chancellors, in
cooperation with the campus presidents, assign authority and responsibility to
respective deans, directors and department heads within their division. (p. 3.14)
5. Collegial communication processes between the main campus, in Davenport, and the
branch campuses in Port Orange and San Jose continues to mature. Various
committee structures involving administrative and faculty personnel from each
campus, as well as reporting structures and methods of communication (whether in
person, by telephone conference, or video conference) ensure involvement,
participation, and contribution of personnel. Despite these efforts, data obtained in
surveys of administrators, staff, and faculty suggest that there may be room for
improvement in some communication areas. (p. 3.17)
6. In 2007, the College launched the Strategic Organizational Development Program
that will provide the mechanisms for all divisions to employ data-driven decision-
making processes and facilitate quality improvements throughout the College.
Core Component 1D Summary and Evaluation
Through the use of survey instruments, Palmer College systematically evaluates its
internal constituencies’ understanding of, and support for, the institutional mission. The
most recent data suggest that the vast majority of staff, faculty, administrators, and
students indicated a thorough understanding of, and support for, the College mission.
The College actively promotes mission awareness and is prominently engaged in mission-
relevant work; recent examples include the Davenport Campus Academic Health Center
and the Palmer Center for Business Development. College constituencies were engaged
Executive Summary Page 11
by administrators and the Board in the development of the guiding vision for
Executive Summary the institution.
Core Component 1E
The organization upholds and protects its integrity.
Evidence that the Core Component is met:
1. The Palmer College of Chiropractic Board of Trustees exercises its responsibility to
the public to ensure that the organization operates legally, responsibly, and with fiscal
integrity. Ethical emphases pervade the actions and the ongoing review of the policies
of the Board. The Board has developed a written Code of Ethics and a policy
covering Compliance with Regulations/Laws. Legal counsel provides ongoing
guidance on all legal matters involving the Board or the College. Board Bylaws
contain explicit policies governing Trustee conflict of interest, Board membership,
and expense reimbursement. (p. 3.19)
2. The College recognizes and takes great care to abide by the various local, state, and
federal laws and regulations applicable to its operational, educational, and patient care
functions. The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research complies with relevant
regulations and reporting requirements for both animal and human subject research.
The Human Resources Department and Safety Officer coordinate the College’s
required annual training in HIPAA, FERPA, and harassment/discrimination. Palmer
has a long history of compliance with higher education standards of both program
and regional accreditation bodies. (p. 3.20)
3. The College consistently implements fair policies and rules regarding the rights and
responsibilities of its students and employees, and clearly articulates them in electronic
and hard copy formats. Data from related staff, faculty, and student satisfaction
surveys are consistently favorable. (p. 3.21)
4. Palmer maintains a Student Code of Conduct that outlines expected behaviors of
students, both in the classroom and during their clinical experiences. The College
devotes considerable resources to a systematic process of adjudication, responding in
a fair and timely fashion to student or faculty complaints or grievances. Data collected
from post-adjudication surveys show that the vast majority of respondents agreed
that they were treated fairly in the adjudication process. (p. 3.22)
5. Palmer College of Chiropractic recently developed an identifiable institutional brand –
“Because Palmer is Chiropractic®” – for use in all marketing efforts. This brand is
utilized in all College communication implements to consistently portray the identity
of Palmer College to both internal and external constituents. Survey data suggest that
there is considerable agreement that the College depicts itself accurately and
truthfully. (p. 3.24)
Core Component 1E Summary and Evaluation
The College prides itself in the manner in which it conducts business and operations in
the communities it serves and its relationships. Palmer employs systematic practices
intended to clearly delineate its roles and responsibilities, as well as the roles and
responsibilities of all its constituents. In doing so, emphasis is placed on protecting the
College’s best interest and the integrity of the Palmer name. Palmer takes care to publicly
portray the institution and its academic programs accurately and honestly. By doing so,
Page 12 Executive Summary
it has earned and maintained a positive reputation among its constituents and within the
communities it serves. Executive Summary
Mission and Integrity Summary
The Palmer College of Chiropractic Mission, Purpose, and Vision statements clearly
define the overarching commitments of the College to academic excellence, service to
humanity, and utilization of new knowledge. Understanding of, and support for, the
mission by the Board and all internal constituents are evident. Palmer’s mission focuses
upon chiropractic healthcare through the College’s educational programs, research
activities, patient care activities, and service to the profession and communities it serves.
The Mission documents acknowledge the diversity of learners and communicate the
intent of the College to prepare its graduates to practice in and contribute to an
increasingly culturally diverse world.
The College operates with integrity to ensure the fulfillment of its mission through
structures and processes that involve the Board, administration, faculty, staff, and
students. The governance and administrative structures are well defined and
communicated across Palmer’s campuses. Collaboration between administrators, faculty,
staff, and students is ongoing and supported through effective policies and structures.
In accordance with the Board of Trustees’ policies, the College delineates faculty, staff,
and students’ rights and responsibilities and fair procedures for complaints and
grievances, accessible in the respective handbooks and collective bargaining agreements.
Palmer takes care to publicly portray the institution and its academic programs accurately
Trend data from faculty and support staff satisfaction surveys indicate low to moderate
satisfaction with communication efforts related to committee input and information
sharing. Communication seems appropriate at the institutional level concerning job
responsibilities, roles, and expectations; however, greater attention may be needed to
ensure appropriate channels of communication and information sharing to nurture
feelings of individual inclusion.
1. The Mission, Purpose, Vision, and other guiding documents are well-defined,
articulated, disseminated, and supported throughout the College.
2. Mission-related documents communicate Palmer’s commitment to preparing
graduates to practice in and contribute to an increasingly culturally diverse world.
3. All academic programs clearly support advancement of the chiropractic
profession in line with the College’s mission documents.
4. The administrative structure of the College with vice chancellors having system
responsibilities over main and branch campus operations has resulted in financial
and operational efficiencies.
Executive Summary Page 13
1. While the current levels of diversity among employees and students may have
been influenced by local departmental efforts (Human Resources Department
and Enrollment Management Department), Palmer College could benefit from
development and implementation of a purposeful diversity plan.
In 2008, the Board of Trustees enacted a policy on diversity. A task
force, recently commissioned by the Chancellor, will convene over
the next 12 months to look at current trends, review past diversity
initiatives, and make recommendations on diversity goals and
strategies to meet those goals.
2. Efforts by the administration to increase communication and information sharing
with faculty and support staff is needed to nurture feelings of individual inclusion.
Over the next nine months, focus groups among faculty and staff will
be conducted by the Office of Institutional Planning and Research to
help identify key issues related to low satisfaction with
communication. Data from the focus groups will be used to inform
appropriate tactical responses.
Preparing for the Future
The organization’s allocation of resources and its processes for evaluation
and planning demonstrate its capacity to fulfill its mission, improve the
quality of its education, and respond to future challenges and opportunities.
Core Component 2A
The organization realistically prepares for a future shaped by multiple societal and
Evidence that the Core Component is met:
1. Realignment of College identity with its mission led to the development of a Purpose
Statement which further clarifies the College’s mission and provides additional
guidance and direction. (p. 4.4)
2. A Strategic Organization Development Program combines elements of strategic
planning with organizational development. (p. 4.4)
3. Palmer College has identified social and economic factors that influence enrollment
trends at the main and branch campuses and has employed campus-specific strategies
to address unique enrollment challenges. (p. 4.4)
4. Palmer’s Davenport Campus has established numerous collaborative agreements with
colleges and universities nationwide to increase its marketability to students wishing
to complete a Bachelor’s of science degree and attain a Doctor of Chiropractic degree
at Palmer College. (p. 4.5)
Page 14 Executive Summary
5. The Office of Clinical Affairs, after having worked with the Office of Strategic
Development, has developed a departmental five-year strategic plan comprised of Executive Summary
three milestones focused on the College’s Vision Statement of 2013. (p. 4.7)
6. Palmer College’s ability to assess the changing needs of its students and the
profession has resulted in numerous innovative changes to both educational and
healthcare opportunities such as the establishment of the Florida Campus, the
construction of Pisciottano Hall, the development of the Palmer Center for Business
Development, and the expansion of the Center for Teaching and Learning. (p. 4.7)
7. In support of Palmer’s commitment to preserve its heritage as the founding
chiropractic institution, all educational programs focus upon the advancement of
chiropractic. (p. 4.11)
Core Component 2A Summary and Evaluation
Palmer College of Chiropractic has shown success in its ability to meet the challenges of
today’s very competitive professional educational environment. Several tactical and
strategic planning processes have been attempted over the past 10 years with varying
results. Some simply produced a list of tactical strategies, while others generated ambitious
plans that were difficult to manage and sustain. Palmer College has demonstrated a clear
capacity to respond to societal and economic factors through tactical planning. The
College is working toward a meaningful, manageable, and sustainable strategic planning
process that will result in a forward-looking plan that aims to map out the means to
achieve longer-term goals and to prepare for unforeseen problems and opportunities. In
support of innovative change, the College’s successes have included establishment of a
fully-accredited campus and educational program in Florida; successful conclusion of a
5-year, $35 million capital campaign, the largest pledged capital campaign in its history;
construction of a state-of-the-art Academic Health Center; construction of the Palmer
Center for Business Development including introduction of a new co-curricular business
program; and implementation of the Office of Strategic Development to coordinate the
College’s planning processes.
Stabilization and growth of enrollments remain a constant challenge. Despite strong
enrollment at the Florida Campus, there is a concurrent need to ensure enrollment
stability at the Davenport and West campuses. A benefit of attaining NCA regional
accreditation of the West Campus would be the option to investigate 3+1 agreements
thereby increasing collaborative efforts with other higher education institutions and
assisting recruitment efforts.
Core Component 2B
The organization’s resource base supports its educational programs and its plans for
maintaining and strengthening their quality in the future.
Evidence that the Core Component is met:
1. A revised organizational structure and successful tactical planning and budgeting has
allowed Palmer College to take advantage of economies of scale and to utilize
revenues in the most efficient and effective manner. (p. 4.12)
2. Recognizing itself as a tuition-dependent institution, Palmer College has instituted
planning and budgeting processes and procedures that enable it to make the most
Executive Summary Page 15
effective use of its financial resources, to prepare for the future while still remaining
Executive Summary flexible in the present. (p. 4.14)
3. Despite the impact of economic trends on investment income, Palmer College
continues to receive support from public and private research grants. (p. 4.15)
4. The College has successfully supported its education programs through the
construction of new facilities and the modernization of existing facilities. This was
possible through long-term planning and effective facility utilization. (p. 4.19)
Core Component 2B Summary and Evaluation
Palmer College of Chiropractic is successful in managing its financial, human, and
physical resources to maintain and enhance its educational programs. The main and
branch campus model allows for operational efficiencies by reducing redundancies in
personnel while effectively maintaining the human resource needs of the College.
Campus master plans and five-year facilities maintenance plans demonstrate responsible
planning for the aging Davenport Campus. Financial management of all three campuses
is maintained in several ways. First, tuition income is shifted between campuses to offset
enrollment imbalances. Second, funding from eliminating unnecessary expenses is shifted
to areas with identified needs. Finally, the acquisition of public and private grant and
capital campaign dollars shores revenue gaps for educational improvement processes.
Although the budget process and resource allocation have successfully addressed both
emergent and visionary goals, Palmer would benefit from more transparent, consistent,
and inclusive processes for budgeting, resource allocation, and prioritization of
Core Component 2C
The organization’s ongoing evaluation and assessment processes provide reliable evidence of
institutional effectiveness that clearly informs strategies for continuous improvement.
Evidence that the Core Component is met:
1. The restructuring of strategic planning, institutional research, organizational
development, accreditation and licensure, and data gathering and reporting under the
Office of Strategic Development strengthens Palmer College’s commitment to, and
capabilities for, continuous improvement through evaluation and assessment.
2. A variety of data are collected for internal use and have resulted in improved
compliance processes in the clinics, responsible budget auditing, competitive salary
adjustments, and customized enrollment strategies. (p. 4.23)
Core Component 2C Summary and Evaluation
Palmer College’s commitment to ongoing evaluation and continuous improvement is
evidenced by the resources it allocates to this effort. The College has successful ongoing
evaluation and assessment processes that create opportunities for continuous
improvements throughout all divisions of the College. Utilizing both internal and external
data gathering and evaluation methods allows the College to identify the needs of its
internal constituents while compiling objective information to remain current with
external trends, especially in such areas as enrollment, human resources, and financial
analysis. In some cases, departments, or divisions may benefit from more formalized
institutional effectiveness data gathering strategies and regular evaluation of the data.
Page 16 Executive Summary
Core Component 2D
All levels of planning align with the organization’s mission, thereby enhancing its capacity
to fulfill that mission.
Evidence that the Core Component is met:
1. Current planning processes, under the guidance of the Office of Strategic
Development, purposefully connect College milestones and initiatives to the College’s
mission and vision documents. (p. 4.27)
2. The Strategic Organizational Development Program uses an ongoing cycle of activity
to identify strengths, opportunities, and outcomes, to establish milestones, initiatives
and action steps, and to identify gaps in organizational structure, processes, or skills.
As the College’s Vision Statement is reviewed and revised (every five years) the Office
of Strategic Development will assist departments and divisions in revising and/or
developing new milestones and initiatives that link to mission documents. (p. 4.28)
Core Component 2D Summary and Evaluation
Palmer’s mission documents are at the core of its planning processes. The newly created
Office of Strategic Development works with Palmer divisions to ensure that milestones
and corresponding initiatives link directly to the institution’s guiding documents.
Although Palmer has enjoyed successful tactical budget planning over the years, the
College would benefit from increased linkage between budget and planning processes and
decision-making transparency about budgetary and resource allocation.
Mission and Integrity Summary
Palmer College of Chiropractic illustrates its successful ability to meet the challenges of
today’s very competitive professional educational environment. Several tactical and
strategic planning processes have been attempted over the past 10 years with varying
results. Most institutional effectiveness data, aside from survey data, is decentralized to
those departments or divisions most likely to generate and consult the data. Some
institutional data is inconsistent across departments because of differences in data
collection methods, analyses, and utilization, which makes institutional data reporting
difficult. Installation of new administrative software is scheduled for completion in fall
2009 and is expected to greatly change and improve data gathering and dissemination to
all constituencies. The College has successful ongoing evaluation and assessment
processes that create opportunities for continuous improvements throughout all divisions
of the College. However, in some cases, departments or divisions may benefit from more
formalized institutional effectiveness data gathering strategies and regular evaluation of
the data. A newly created Office of Strategic Development works with Palmer divisions
to ensure that milestones and corresponding initiatives link directly to mission documents
and are evaluated for appropriate quality assurance. The College is successful in managing
its financial, human, and physical resources to maintain and enhance its educational
programs. Although the budget process and resource allocation have successfully
addressed both emergent and visionary goals, Palmer would benefit from increased
linkage between budget and college planning processes, as well as more transparent,
consistent and inclusive processes for budgeting, resource allocation, and prioritization of
Executive Summary Page 17
1. The College’s planning and allocation of resources for improvements in its
Executive Summary administrative software has potential to improve data management across
2. The College recognizes that the West branch campus is vital to the advancement
of Palmer’s mission and is committed to its continued success.
3. The establishment of a branch campus in Florida enables the College to increase
its reach and influence to the southeast region of the United States.
4. Construction of new educational and clinical facilities and ongoing improvements
for main and branch campuses resulted from deliberate facilities planning and
5. Adding personnel and refocusing system-wide enrollment management processes
at the West Campus has resulted in an upturn in enrollment with predicted
increases over the next five years.
1. The College would benefit from more transparent, consistent, and inclusive
processes for budgeting, allocating resources, and prioritizing institutional needs.
Middle- and upper-level administrators report being unclear as to how final
budgets are determined, the process for resource allocation, and the process
whereby decisions are made on institutional priorities.
Over the next six months, the Office of Strategic Development will
conduct focus groups of middle- and upper-level administrators to
help identify key issues that affect budgeting transparency,
consistency and inclusiveness. Data from the focus groups will be
used to inform improvements in the budgeting processes.
2. Over 40 percent of faculty system-wide will reach retirement age in the next 10
years. While discussions have occurred over faculty retirements, a strategic plan to
renew vital human capital in academic affairs has not yet been written.
An analysis of faculty attrition and a written plan to address renewal
of vital human capital in Academic Affairs will be drafted over the
next year. The plan will consider a review of student-faculty ratios,
faculty workload, economic conditions, and program needs.
3. An institution-wide strategic plan is incomplete.
Planning processes will be better understood beyond the
administrative level as each division is engaged in planning and
administrators commit to engagement of, and communication with,
their constituents. Each division will be engaged in planning
processes that link their milestones and corresponding initiatives,
action steps, and key indicators back to Palmer’s five-year vision
statement. Once this planning foundation and vision linkage within
each of Palmer’s nine divisions is in place, a comprehensive strategic
plan will be complete. This process will create a strategic link
between division milestones and vision statements, such that, as the
Page 18 Executive Summary
vision evolves every five years, division milestones will evolve in
lockstep. The timeline for completion of a comprehensive College Executive Summary
strategic plan is fall 2009.
4. The language of strategic planning is cumbersome to the community (Milestones,
Initiatives, and Action Plans).
At this time, the College is committed to the planning language used
in its planning model. However, to the extent the language inhibits an
effective planning process, the College will review its use.
5. Accuracy of some institutional data is inconsistent across departments because of
differences in data collection methods, analyses, and utilization, which makes
institutional data reporting difficult.
With the implementation of the SunGard software system, the
College will have a centralized database to expedite gathering,
analysis, utilization, and reporting of institutional effectiveness data.
Implementation of the software will be complete by November 2009.
6. The College would benefit from gathering key indicators of success from all
major divisions and departments into a central data management location and
generating an annual or biannual report for all constituencies to see and use in
managing their respective areas.
Tracking and reporting of College planning will be augmented by the
development of an annual Institutional Effectiveness report. The
timeline for completion of an annual or biannual institutional
effectiveness report is fall 2010.
Student Learning and Effective Teaching
The organization provides evidence of student learning and teaching
effectiveness that demonstrates it is fulfilling its educational mission.
Core Component 3A
The organization’s goals for student learning outcomes are clearly stated for each
educational program and make effective assessment possible.
Evidence that the Core Component is met:
1. The College’s mission, purpose, and vision documents provide effective guidance and
support of program learning goals and outcomes for its different educational
offerings. Each educational program has a clear purpose statement. Faculty and
administrators work cooperatively to determine learning outcomes and assessment
plans for each program (p. 5.2).
2. The assessment plan for the Doctor of Chiropractic Program (DCP) is well-
developed and is used as a model for assessment of the College’s other academic
programs. The annual assessment cycle follows a fiscal year (July to June) in
Executive Summary Page 19
consideration of the budgeting cycle. Each program goal (i.e., Palmer Ability) has
Executive Summary been matched to corresponding CCE and PCC competencies with the competencies
being the measurable targets. The Abilities, with corresponding competencies, are
distributed across a five-year assessment plan with the first-year target being Patient
Evaluation and the second-year target being Patient Management (p. 5.3)
3. Specific assessment activities related to the DCP have been centered on creating and
advancing an assessment plan to include training faculty in assessment practices,
developing outcomes language, identifying/developing student and program
assessment instruments, establishing success thresholds, and determining the
structure and nature of report dissemination, collecting data, and creating
improvement plans based upon assessment data (p. 5.4).
4. Efforts on learning assessment are coordinated with institutional effectiveness
reporting using balanced scorecards at the division level. As an early effort that
continues to evolve, the Office of Strategic Development coordinates with each
division on the main campus to develop quality measures. Academic Affairs has taken
the lead on the process by developing an Academic Affairs Balanced Scorecard as an
overall Academic Affairs effectiveness on an annual basis. Measures of learning
assessment from the Program Effectiveness Report and other academic outcomes,
such as peer-reviewed publication rates, percentage of faculty who publish and
student-to-faculty ratio, are included in the balanced scorecard and shared with the
Board of Trustees, administration, and faculty on an annual basis (p. 5.10).
Core Component 3A Summary and Evaluation
Over the past four years, significant progress has been made in outcomes development
and assessment of learning at Palmer College. A set of Palmer Chiropractic Abilities
comprise clear program outcomes and assessment targets for the DCP across all
campuses. Assessment planning has advanced the measurement of program effectiveness
and learning, which is communicated to academic administration and faculties through
annual Program Effectiveness and Educational Outcomes reports. Internal quality
benchmarks have been set for measures captured by these two reports.
An assessment model has been adopted and refined into a five-year plan to assess the ten
Palmer Chiropractic Abilities. Data collection for Year One of the plan has been
completed and analyzed; Year Two is in the data collection phase.
While most programs have well-defined learning outcomes, the graduate and
undergraduate faculties have yet to define outcomes for the Master’s in Anatomy
program and the third year of the Bachelor’s of Science degree program. Defining such
outcomes will provide appropriate targets for assessment of learning at the program level.
Core Component 3B
The organization values and supports effective teaching.
Evidence that the Core Component is met:
1. Palmer has a large, qualified faculty across three campuses dedicated to advancing the
educational mission of the College. All faculty are credentialed to meet the
prescriptive CCE program qualifications required of their specific department
assignments. In additional to formal academic training signified by degrees and other
credentials, ongoing faculty development is offered by the Center for Teaching and
Page 20 Executive Summary
Learning related to teaching and learning and by the Human Resources Department
on topics related to workplace environment, interpersonal conduct, and high risk Executive Summary
behavior avoidance. In addition, faculty assigned to the teaching clinics have
mandatory training sessions on topics of compulsory reporting, patient
confidentiality, and documentation. (p. 5.17).
2. According to the 2007 Alumni Survey of DCP alumni, 85 percent of respondents
expressed that the education they received at Palmer provided them to a high degree
with the skills needed to provide chiropractic care. Palmer’s dedication to providing
the highest quality education is significantly informed by student and alumni feedback
on their learning experience (p. 5.19).
3. Routine formative and summative performance evaluations of faculty are performed
to advance and align the individual contribution of faculty members with the larger
communities of the discipline department, teaching clinics, divisions, campuses, and
College. Well-defined processes and criteria for faculty performance evaluation are
contained in the work rules of the Davenport Campus CBA, the West Campus CBA,
and the Florida Campus Faculty Handbook (p. 5.20).
4. Rank promotion, retention, and incentive bonuses have been identified as motivators
to engage faculty. Significant administrative and faculty efforts have been applied in
recent years to developing these important processes to advance faculty commitment,
effective teaching, and scholarly productivity (p. 5.21).
5. Palmer College recognizes and rewards the work and contributions of its faculty in a
variety of ways. Efforts are made to recognize employee accomplishments
throughout the College community, involving faculty, staff, administrators, and others
when possible (p. 5.21).
Core Component 3B Summary and Evaluation
The College has a large, qualified faculty, whose credentials satisfy program accreditation
standards. Significant faculty longevity at the Davenport Campus is a positive testament
to instructor experience, but conversely offers an intermediate future challenge related to
the significant cohort retirement expected to occur over the next 10 years. Well-
developed policies and procedures exist related to student evaluation of instructors,
academic policies, and faculty hiring, evaluation, promotion, retention, and reward. The
College continues to review and amend its policies and procedures to establish
consistency from the main to branch campuses. The lack of required scholarship
negotiated into the campus collective bargaining agreements and handbook is contrary to
higher education norms. However, counteracting efforts are in place to ensure faculty
involvement in this important activity, namely scholarship tied to rank promotion and
monetary incentives for publications. Also, retention decisions of probationary faculty
members include evidence of scholarly potential and productivity. The College continues
to direct significant resources to acquire and develop talented faculty to help fulfill its
mission. A teacher-scholar model has become the target for faculty training and
development into the future.
Executive Summary Page 21
Core Component 3C
The organization creates effective learning environments.
Evidence that the Core Component is met:
1. Students are surveyed through multiple instruments at various points in their
education regarding their perception of their educational experience at Palmer, i.e.,
Noel Levitz Survey, Graduating Survey, and Student Satisfaction Survey. Since 2005,
a minimum of 72 percent and a maximum of 87 percent of students have reported a
positive educational experience. Palmer’s attention to an effective learning
environment has contributed to moderately high student satisfaction (p. 5.24)
2. Traditionally, the classroom and teaching clinic venues have been the focus of faculty
teaching and student learning. However, driven by several developing factors
including educator sensitivity, student expectations, and advances in technology,
Palmer has moved to expand the diversity and number of learning opportunities
within its educational programs. Outside of typical classroom activities, Palmer
provides an array of learning experiences to augment student achievement including
on- and off-campus clinical facilities, laboratories, internships, study abroad programs,
seminars, and practicum projects (p. 5.24).
3. Palmer College offers various advising systems to support student learning that
include academic, social, and professional services. (p. 5.26).
4. Support for specific needs of diverse learners is available on each campus through the
Office of Student Affairs. The academic support programs emphasize personal help
directed to a diverse population of learners. Specialized accommodations for students
with disabilities include a quiet, minimum-distraction environment for exams, time-
and-a-half or double time on exams, a reader and/or scribe for exams, a private
testing room, assistive listening devices, sign language interpreters, a test enlarger,
note-takers, large monitors in classrooms and computer labs, and modification of
college policies, practices, and procedures as needed under extenuating circumstances
Core Component 3C Summary and Evaluation
The College recognizes that student achievement is dependent on diverse learning
experiences in a supportive environment. Beyond the rich experience offered through
required coursework and clinical rotation, students may elect to participate in off-campus
internships, study abroad programs, seminars, and practicum projects. Valued academic
advising programs are well-developed on each campus to guide students through their
programs. Academic support programs are available on each campus to address the
diverse needs of multiple learners. An assessment of the scope and impact of current
advising and learning support services on each campus is needed.
Core Component 3D
The organization’s learning resources support student learning and effective teaching.
Evidence that the Core Component is met:
1. The Center for Teaching and Learning is a significant College resource devoted to
advancing teaching excellence and faculty contribution through development
programs and available resources. Specific faculty training is offered on hardware,
software, and assessment techniques at faculty in-services and other posted times
Page 22 Executive Summary
throughout each term. Programs are offered for full- and part-time Palmer faculty,
teaching staff, and residents assigned to the chiropractic, undergraduate and graduate Executive Summary
programs. Survey data confirms faculty are generally satisfied with the development
and supported offered by the Center (p. 5.28).
2. The College has available, substantial, and developed library resources and services to
support faculty and student achievement. The David D. Palmer Health Science
Library system is a three-campus network of human and information resources
providing the programs and services that support the teaching, patient care, research,
and service goals of the Palmer College community. The Palmer Libraries provide
books, periodicals, video tapes, and audio tapes. Other learning resources include
historical artifacts and documents, anatomical and skeletal models, histology slides,
student workstations, computer access to reference databases, and 16,000 current
electronic journals (p. 5.29).
3. Each Palmer campus has on- and off-campus clinical facilities providing both fee-for-
service and no-cost services to the surrounding community through outreach clinics,
thereby exposing students to a diverse patient base. The Palmer clinics support a dual
mission of patient care and clinical education based on the Palmer Tenets and the
Palmer Mission Statement, which are actualized through the delivery of chiropractic
care and closely monitored by a faculty clinician mentor. Specifically, the new Clinical
Learning Resource and Academic Health centers on the Davenport Campus provide
students with access to digital radiography, significantly expanded areas and resources
for patient rehabilitation, clinical assessment with standardized patients, and
additional clinical learning software programs (p. 5.32).
4. The Palmer Center for Business Development offers planned co-curricular programs
specifically designed to augment the formal business curriculum of the Doctor of
Chiropractic Program. The Center’s business training program serves as a resource
for students and alumni. Chiropractors, business professionals, and business school
presenters create and teach training modules in patient management technology,
starting a practice, writing a business plan, professional development, and self
discovery. As a resource for current students and alumni, the Center maintains lists of
practice purchase and employment opportunities, and equipment for sale (p. 5.33).
5. The Information Services (IS) Department is centralized on the Davenport Campus
with local offices on each campus to directly serve the needs of the students, staff,
faculty, and administration. The IS Department facilitates recent improvements in
technology on the campus, including those of digital radiography and electronic
patient records introduced in the teaching clinics. Also, the purchase of new
administrative software, SunGard PowerCAMPUS, will help foster uniform
administrative processes system-wide and give faculty access to new technologies for
course management and assessment (p. 5.34).
Core Component 3D Summary and Evaluation
Palmer College provides and maintains significant library and technology resources and
services to effectively support learning and learning environments across three campuses.
The Center for Teaching and Learning has recently been enlarged in its services and reach
to the branch campuses with new foci of effective teaching and faculty scholarship as the
basis for directed faculty development. New Clinical Learning Resource and Academic
Health centers on the Davenport Campus provide students with access to digital
Executive Summary Page 23
radiography, significantly expanded areas and resources for patient rehabilitation, clinical
Executive Summary assessment with standardized patients, and additional clinical learning software programs.
Digital X-ray equipment has also been installed on the branch campuses. The new Palmer
Center for Business Development meets a long-time need for supplemental, market-
focused business education. The co-curricular and elective nature of the program allows
students to freely pick and choose training to suit their perceived needs. Modules are
made available in electronic format to students on the branch campuses. Laboratories that
augment basic and clinical science instruction are appropriately resourced and available to
students during and after class hours.
The purchase of new administrative software, SunGard PowerCAMPUS, will help foster
uniform administrative processes system-wide and give faculty access to new technologies
for course management and assessment. Satisfaction with learning resources is relatively
high. As new facilities, programs and technologies on three campuses mature, measures
of effectiveness and satisfaction are expected to increase. Such measures should be
incorporated into metrics of institutional effectiveness into the future.
Student Learning and Effective Teaching Summary
Palmer is proud of the talent and creativity of faculty, staff, and administrators and their
collaborative commitment to promote student learning in preparation for licensure,
successful careers, and personal fulfillment. The quality of Palmer’s academic programs is
evidenced by the institution’s commitment to student assessment, effective teaching,
learning environments, and supportive facilities. Specific strengths of the academic
programs and institution are listed below, followed by several challenges that should be
addressed to ensure continued realization of its educational mission.
1. Palmer is a leading institution within the chiropractic profession in light of its rich
history, intellectual and physical resources, success in research, service to the
profession, and alumni base.
2. The College has clearly defined outcomes for its Doctor of Chiropractic Program
and a five-year plan to assess learning. The plan employs triangulated measures
with internal benchmarks to determine program success. System-wide reports
communicate areas of strength and weakness.
3. Focused efforts to address key areas of faculty development, teaching
effectiveness, assessment of student learning and program effectiveness have
resulted in expansion of existing opportunities.
4. New facilities and related programs on the Davenport Campus, specifically the
Academic Health Center, Palmer Center for Business Development, and the
Clinical Learning Resource Center provide state-of-the-art learning environments
and opportunities for students.
5. Learning is enhanced through diverse off-campus clinical preceptorship
opportunities like the Intern Preceptorship Program, the Military Healthcare
Internship Program, the Post-Graduate Preceptor Program, and the Clinic
Page 24 Executive Summary
6. There is a significant investment in advanced technology to maintain modern
approaches to teaching and learning, evidenced by digital radiography, electronic Executive Summary
patient records, digital classrooms, and upgraded administrative software.
1. Scholarship is not a required faculty activity to maintain employment among non-
research faculty on all campuses.
Current administrative tactics to encourage scholarship include direct
monetary awards for publications and requiring increasing levels of
scholarship for rank promotion as faculty progress through the ranks.
The effectiveness of these tactics on scholarly productivity as
measured in total publications/presentations per year and total
number of faculty publishing/presenting per year have yet to be
determined and will be closely monitored.
2. The reliability of the clinical Qualitative Evaluation (QE) data for assessing
clinical competency should be addressed to increase confidence in its use for
student and program assessment.
Restructuring of the clinical assessment plan, particularly the
administration of the Qualitative Evaluations in the clinical education
environment, has been underway for several months. The College is
refocusing its faculty training efforts to improve its QE outcomes,
which is a long-term commitment to increase intra- and inter-rater
3. Outcomes for the Master’s of Anatomy program and the third year of the
Bachelor’s of Science degree program should be written and assessed.
Outcomes and program assessment plans for the Master’s of
Anatomy and the Bachelor’s of Science degree programs will be
written over the next six months.
4. The scope and impact of current advising and learning support services on each
campus should be assessed for effectiveness.
The Division of Student Success will begin a comprehensive self-
evaluation of the current academic advising program on all three
campuses, including the Office of Student Learning and
Development, utilizing the Self-Assessment Guide developed by the
Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education. The
anticipated date of implementation is June of 2009.
Executive Summary Page 25
Acquisition, Discovery, and Application of Knowledge
The organization promotes a life of learning for its faculty, administration, staff,
and students by fostering and supporting inquiry, creativity, practice, and social
responsibility in ways consistent with its mission.
Core Component 4A
The organization demonstrates, through the actions of its board, administrators, students,
faculty, and staff, that it values a life of learning.
Evidence that the Core Component is met:
1. Palmer College of Chiropractic’s mission-related documents demonstrate that Palmer
values and is committed to freedom of inquiry and academic freedom. (p. 6.2)
2. Palmer has committed significant resources to the Palmer Center for Chiropractic
Research, the Center for Teaching and Learning, the Master’s in Clinical Research
program, the Center for Business Development, and the Palmer libraries to support a
life of learning and scholarship. (p. 6.3)
3. Numerous professional development opportunities are available to faculty and
administrators with limited opportunities for staff development. Financial support is
available for presentation and conference attendance and advanced education
degrees. (p. 6.4)
4. Palmer College proudly and publicly recognizes the research, scholarship, and
professional achievements of faculty staff, and students. (p. 6.5)
5. The notable success of the Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research in obtaining
external grant funding has provided for additional research, education, and
mentorship opportunities through the Master’s in Clinical Research and Research
Honors programs, and contributed to the goal of expanding evidence-based practice
and research across Palmer College. (p. 6.3)
6. Faculty promotion on all three campuses is based on scholarship as defined in the
Davenport and West campuses faculty bargaining agreements and the Florida
Campus Faculty Handbook. (p. 6.9)
Core Component 4A Summary and Evaluation
The value of lifelong learning is embodied in Palmer College’s Mission Statement, Vision,
Purpose, and Educational Principles. This commitment is evidenced in the allocation of
significant resources to support the development and enhancement of services and
infrastructure. Palmer supports numerous professional development opportunities for
faculty and proudly recognizes their scholarly accomplishments. Admittedly, few formal
opportunities exist for staff development. The PCCR continues its successful acquisition
of research funding thereby allowing it to make important contributions to both the
College and the chiropractic profession. This grant funding and resultant training
supports the College’s initiative to increase educational and research opportunities to
faculty. However, efforts should be made to assess whether the necessary infrastructure is
in place to support increased research activities outside the PCCR.
Page 26 Executive Summary
Core Component 4B
The organization demonstrates that acquisition of a breadth of knowledge and skills and
the exercise of intellectual inquiry are integral to its educational programs.
Evidence that the Core Component is met:
1. The College’s mission-related documents are written to reflect the College’s value in
ensuring that its students possess the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for a
life of success and continual learning. (p. 6.10)
2. The Doctor of Chiropractic Program and Associate’s of Science in Chiropractic
Technology program goals translate into two general areas: 1) Specific program-
related knowledge, skills, and abilities; and 2) general education goals in the areas of:
effective communications, professional growth and lifelong learning, moral reasoning
and professional ethics, critical thinking, and problem solving. (p. 6.10)
3. The goals of the Master’s in Clinical Research program outline basic clinical research
competencies common to most master’s programs in this discipline and also include
the specific competency of being able to apply these to important issues and research
questions in chiropractic. (p. 6.12)
4. Administrators have focused their attention on creating common program outcomes
that have manifested in the development and approval of the common Palmer
Abilities and Palmer Competencies. These guides inform the DCP instruction on
each of the three campuses and ensure consistency in the learning content of each
campus program in light of differences in curricular delivery and academic calendars.
5. Palmer recognizes the varied needs of its constituents in the chiropractic profession
and responds by providing chiropractic supportive programs: the Bachelor’s of
Science degree, the Associate’s of science in Chiropractic Technology degree, and two
Master’s degrees. (p. 6.12)
Core Component 4B Summary and Evaluation
Clear and concise mission-related documents and specialized accreditation requirements
help determine the goals for each academic program and course and direct curricular
improvements. Significant advances to identifying and aligning the learning outcomes of
the Doctor of Chiropractic Program (DCP), as the primary program of the College, have
been made. The Master’s in Clinical Research and ASCT programs have established
program goals and future progress is expected with the Bachelor’s of Science and
Master’s in Anatomy programs. The DCP on each campus began as independent
programs from each of the other two campuses, which explains structural differences in
program length, academic calendar, and course structure. In recent years, significant
administrative attention has been devoted to creating consistency across the campuses in
program content. The alignment of campus programs is done through the lens of
program assessment to ensure the common result is most effective for the College and
directly derived from the Palmer Abilities. Alignment of structural attributes of the DCP
curricula across campuses may be considered in the future as assessment processes
mature and more data becomes available.
Executive Summary Page 27
Core Component 4C
The organization assesses the usefulness of its curricula to students who will live and work
in a global, diverse, and technological society.
Evidence that the Core Component is met:
1. Palmer College’s main and branch campuses have a longstanding history of
successfully meeting specialized external accreditation standards that address the
ability of training chiropractors to practice within a global, diverse, and technological
society. (p. 6.15)
2. Using a system-wide, comprehensive, student assessment program based on the
Palmer Abilities, evidence of student learning in the DCP is compiled from multiple
internal and external sources, assessed for relevance and mastery, and then reported
to administrators and faculty. (p. 6.15)
3. Curricular changes are informed by external influences, such as CCE mandates,
Chiropractic Licensing Board changes, and NBCE exam scores and by internal
influences, such as faculty, student, or administrative input. (p. 6.17)
4. Additional measures of curricular success for supportive programs are obtained
through specialized practical exams, licensing exam pass rates, graduate placement
rates, and research activities. (p. 6.17)
Core Component 4C Summary and Evaluation
While Palmer is engaged is numerous activities related to lifelong learning for students,
faculty, and staff, the cornerstone of our educational program is the Doctor of
Chiropractic Program. Educational outcomes and program effectiveness measures and
reports for the DCP provide vital information that informs program improvements. The
relevance of the DCP curriculum is measured in the ability of Palmer graduates to attain
licensure to practice chiropractic as healthcare providers. Outcomes for the ASCT and
Master’s in Clinical Research programs demonstrate acceptable levels of success in
students’ learning and adequately support and enhance the DCP curriculum. The
anatomy program would benefit from establishing and maintaining curricular assessments
that demonstrate students’ learning success.
Core Component 4D
The organization provides support to ensure that faculty, students, and staff acquire,
discover, and apply knowledge responsibly.
Evidence that the Core Component is met:
1. Palmer has both articulated and integrated professional codes and behavioral
standards within the undergraduate, graduate, and DCP curriculums regarding the
ethical and responsible acquisition and application of knowledge. These expectations
are disseminated to faculty, staff, and students in publicly available documents, during
specific courses, and during mandatory training sessions. (p. 6.20)
2. A PCCR research manual, a system-wide Institutional Review Board, an Institutional
Animal Care and Use Committee, and an independent Data and Safety Monitoring
Committee provide guidelines and oversight for prevention and detection of
misconduct, assessing the risk versus benefit of all human subject research proposals,
and to oversee the safety of research participants and project progress. (p. 6.21)
Page 28 Executive Summary
3. All students demonstrate understanding of and competency in the knowledge, skills,
and attitudes related to patient wellness, ethics, and integrity as related to program Executive Summary
learning goals. (p. 6.22)
4. Specifically described intellectual property rights of faculty members are contained
within collective bargaining agreements and Florida’s Faculty Handbook. (p. 6.22)
Core Component 4D Summary and Evaluation
The College demonstrates a commitment towards social responsibility, which is core to
all Palmer activities. The Palmer Code of Ethics includes statements relating to ethical
principles of academic inquiry, and delineates faculty responsibilities related to students,
colleagues, the College, and the community. Various policies, procedures, and course
offerings promote ethical and professional behavior of internal constituents. All
non-exempt research is reviewed for compliance with appropriate federal guidelines
and ethical conduct of research, and by the appropriate committee (Institutional
Review Board or Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee) depending upon the
research subjects. The rights to intellectual property are made explicit in the faculty’s
Acquisition, Discovery, and Application of Knowledge Summary
Palmer’s allocation of fiscal, infrastructure, and other resources demonstrates its
commitment to a life of learning, as outlined by the College’s Mission and other guiding
documents. Although Palmer actively supports professional development for faculty, few
formal opportunities for staff development exist. While the Palmer Center for
Chiropractic Research continues in its successful acquisition of research funding, thereby
allowing it to make important contributions to both the College and the chiropractic
profession, the College would benefit from increased resource allocation for educationally
based research and training activities.
The cornerstone of Palmer’s educational programs is the Doctor of Chiropractic Program
(DCP). Palmer’s curricula, directed by clear and concise standards and guidelines,
continue to meet or exceed accreditation requirements and other external measures of
students’ successful learning. Significant advances to identifying, aligning and measuring
the learning outcomes of the DCP on the three campuses have been made. Similar
advancements in defining learning outcomes and aligning curricula are in progress in the
undergraduate and graduate programs. Outcomes for the ASCT and Master’s in Clinical
Research Programs demonstrate acceptable levels of students’ successful learning and
adequately support the DCP curriculum.
Ethical and responsible use of knowledge is paramount to academic life at Palmer
College. Various policies, procedures and course offerings promote ethical and
professional behavior and regulate issues of intellectual property rights of faculty.
Institutional Review Board or Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee govern
federal, state, and/or College guidelines of appropriate ethical research conduct. The
College engages in socially responsible activities with the constituencies it serves.
1. Highly successful efforts in obtaining external funding in excess of $25 million
from the National Institutes of Health and the Health Resources Services
Administration have provided for increases in staff, faculty, clinical and basic
Executive Summary Page 29
science research productivity, and training opportunities, as well as established the
Executive Summary Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR) as the premier chiropractic
2. The development and implementation of the Master’s of Science in Clinical
Research program, supported by a K30 grant award from the NIH, directly
advances the Mission of the College. The scientific expertise and research
infrastructure of Palmer College and the chiropractic profession are strengthened
by preparing chiropractors for careers as clinical scientists and faculty.
3. A recent award of a $750 thousand R25 grant testifies to Palmer College’s
commitment to lifelong learning and scholarship. The collaboration of the PCCR
with the Center for Teaching and Learning will provide opportunities to enhance
faculty members’ knowledge of research methodology and prepare them to
engage in scholarly work.
4. Educational outcomes and program effectiveness measures and reports for the
DCP provide vital information that informs program improvements.
5. Clear policies related to responsible use of knowledge and ethical conduct are
clearly articulated in the Chiropractor’s Oath, College Catalog, faculty contracts,
staff, student and clinic handbooks, the PCCR Research Manual, and Palmer’s
Institutional Review Board website.
1. As more faculty become involved with scholarly research, the College should
review its infrastructure support for education- and teaching-based research
(research methodology, data analysis, and scholarly writing).
Formulating strategies to address this challenge will be a cooperative
effort between Academic Affairs and the Research Center. Discus-
sions are ongoing to address many aspects of support and facilitation
of faculty scholarship. Planned and current efforts will become more
visible to the College community over the next two years.
2. Professional development opportunities for staff are not governed by institutional
policy. Development opportunities are based upon available departmental
funding; however, opportunities for funding are not widely communicated and
are uneven both within and across the campuses.
Over the next year, the College will look to better target the use of its
limited resources for staff development through consortial training
opportunities with area colleges, programs from the Center for
Teaching and Learning offered to staff members, and prioritized
funding of advanced degrees and other college-wide training
Page 30 Executive Summary
CHAPTER SEVEN Executive Summary
Engagement and Service
As called for by its mission, the organization identifies its constituencies
and serves them in ways both value.
Core Component 5A
The organization learns from the constituencies it serves and analyzes its capacity to serve
their needs and expectations.
Evidence that the Core Component is met:
1. Palmer College has nine departments that directly and consistently interface with
external constituents in mutually beneficial ways. (p. 7.2)
2. Commitment to engagement and service is explicit not only in Palmer’s Mission
Statement, but is incorporated in other guiding principles of the institution, including
its Purpose Statement, Educational Principles, and Chiropractic Abilities. (p. 7.2)
3. Palmer College actively participates in more than 30 community outreach programs
per year. Through participation in these projects, the College is able to learn more
about the communities it serves. Categories include Research and Discovery;
Teaching and Learning; and Citizenship Service. (p. 7.3)
4. The high percentage of faculty, staff and students engaged in community and
professional service activities exemplifies Palmer’s Mission to engage and serve.
Core Component 5A Summary and Evaluation
Direct connections to our internal and external constituencies facilitate our ongoing
understanding of the diversity of their needs. This ongoing exchange between the College
and its constituencies produces many meaningful opportunities to enhance existing
services and programs, and to develop new ones. The percentages of faculty, staff, and
students who participate in community and professional service activities exemplify
Palmer’s mission to engage and serve.
Core Component 5B
The organization has the capacity and the commitment to engage with its identified
constituencies and communities.
Evidence that the Core Component is met:
1. The College’s Marketing and Public Relations Department produces and distributes a
series of coordinated publications and other communications vehicles throughout the
year to reach alumni, students, patients, employees, prospective students, and friends
of the institution. (p. 7.7)
2. The College engages with both internal and external constituencies in many ways
including the Center for Teaching and Learning; the Palmer Center for Business
Development; Palmer Chiropractic Clinics, Clinic Abroad programs, and through the
Intern Preceptorship Program. (p. 7.8)
Executive Summary Page 31
3. In 2008, Palmer Chiropractic Clinics reported total billable services of nearly $4
Executive Summary million. Of this total, $2.3 million in pro bono services were provided to the local
community. (p. 7.10)
4. Since 2005, through the SPEAK program, more than 150 students and 40 faculty
have participated in over 250 community events on all campuses. (p. 7.11)
Core Component 5B Summary and Evaluation
As evidenced in the above section, Palmer College has long demonstrated its dedication
and commitment to the support of its constituencies, both internal and external, through
a wide variety of service programs and functions designed to build and maintain valuable
relationships. Donating nearly $2.3 million in services and care in FY2008 attests to
Palmer’s commitment to its mission to advance chiropractic and engage and support its
local communities. Successful planning and execution of service efforts requires a
centralized approach and regular communication between College-level personnel on the
main campus in Davenport and campus-specific personnel located on the branch
campuses. Positive results from these service-based engagements are evident by the
participation of a wide assortment of those constituents the College pledges to serve.
Core Component 5C
The organization demonstrates its responsiveness to those constituencies that depend on it
Evidence that the Core Component is met:
1. Palmer College has embarked upon a number of collaborative ventures within the
educational arena. One example is the newly formed relationship between the Florida
Campus and Bethune-Cookman University, a historically black college. Through this
relationship, Palmer College provides information and seminars about careers in
chiropractic. (p. 7.13)
2. The Palmer Connection Program is another example of the College’s responsiveness
to the constituents it serves. Through this program, healthcare advisors receive
valuable information about both Palmer College and the chiropractic profession in
general. This information is designed to inform advisors who in turn assist
undergraduates in making important career decisions. (p. 7.13)
3. Palmer College, through service provided by the Palmer Chiropractic Clinics, received
the Salvation Army’s “Others” award in 2007, for providing care to residents in the
Davenport, Iowa, Salvation Army Rehabilitation Center and to patients in Palmer’s
Community Outreach Clinic in Davenport. (p. 7.15)
Core Component 5C Summary and Evaluation
Palmer College demonstrates its responsiveness to internal and external constituencies by
connecting its educational and service programs to constituency needs. Collaborative
efforts that span across local, national, and international borders, along with the valuation
of community leaders and international dignitaries, evidences Palmers commitment and
worth. Programs, partnerships, services, and contractual agreements abide by solid
standards and procedures that ensure unwavering integrity.
Page 32 Executive Summary
Core Component 5D
Internal and external constituencies value the services the organization provides.
Evidence that the Core Component is met:
1. With strong support from both internal and external constituents, Palmer College
successfully completed its five-year, $35 million capital campaign in 2007. This effort
represents the largest capital campaign in chiropractic education history. (p. 7.19)
2. Palmer College has received numerous awards and letters of recognition including the
prestigious Kresge Foundation grant of $750 thousand. Palmer College is the first
and only chiropractic college to receive this grant. (p. 7.19)
3. Palmer College was recognized by the Quad-City Times (2/27/07) for its investments
in strengthening and supporting the Brady and Harrison Streets (U.S. Hwy. 61)
corridor that runs through the heart of Davenport. (p. 7.19)
Core Component 5D Summary and Evaluation
Palmer College enjoys a reputation in its local communities and in the chiropractic
profession as a leader in chiropractic education and health care. Ongoing efforts to learn
from the constituencies it serves allows the College to respond to changing needs, desires,
and trends thus enabling the College to maintain its mission focus on education, patient
care, and community service. The value and appreciation of those served is evident in
their continued support of the College through gift-giving and attendance and
participation in college-sponsored events. The current value of programs and services
evaluations is commendable but could be improved by introducing more formal
assessment measures as resources and staffing allow.
Engagement and Service Summary
Palmer College of Chiropractic is a socially conscious institution that connects with its
diverse and numerous constituents in a variety of ways and on a number of different
levels. Through a variety of venues, the College develops and strengthens its relationships
with its constituents. Reinforcing Palmer’s long-held tradition of providing quality
community and professional services are the percentages of internal constituents that
voluntarily participate in various engagement activities. One commitment to community
service means donating over half of its billable services for the healthcare needs of the
disadvantaged. Reinforcement of local, national, and international community leaders
through awards, written accolades, and monetary gifting strengthens the Colleges’
commitment to serve diverse constituents.
Palmer College has a number of co-curricular programs for the purposes of educational
and professional development of diverse constituencies. Although some of these
programs have established assessment plans, Palmer College would benefit from
establishing and maintaining assessment plans for those programs where current efforts
are lacking or do not exist.
1. As evidenced by the percentages of administrators, faculty, staff, and students
who participate in community and professional service, Palmer College embraces
and supports its Mission to engage its constituencies.
Executive Summary Page 33
2. Palmer College, through its Clinics, provides value and service, donating more
Executive Summary than one-half of its billable healthcare services to its communities.
3. Awards, testimonials, letters of recognition, and levels of annual gifting to the
College exemplify Palmer’s value to internal and external constituencies.
4. Receipt of a $750 thousand Kresge Foundation grant to Palmer College of
Chiropractic’s capital campaign is commendable. This was the first Kresge
challenge grant awarded to a chiropractic college.
5. The number and variety of the West Campus’s engagement activities is
noteworthy, given its smaller size and resources as compared to the other
1. Palmer College would benefit from more developed co-curricular assessment
plans. Such plans could establish data gathering techniques where needed, and
assist departments with the tabulation and interpretation of existing and new
A comprehensive self-evaluation of the Student Success Division will
be conducted using generally accepted standards of practice
developed by the Council for the Advancement of Standards in
Higher Education (CAS). This is a two-tiered (individual and group)
judgment approach for determining the extent to which our
programs meet the CAS Standards. After the College draws
conclusions from this self-evaluation and implements purposeful,
systematic, and incremental alignment of co-curricular activities with
the CAS Standards, the Student Success Division will work with the
Office of Institutional Planning and Research to establish and
maintain a comprehensive assessment plan for gathering, analyzing
and utilizing appropriate data concerning key indicators of success.
Anticipated date of implementation is September 2009.
Page 34 Executive Summary
CHAPTER EIGHT Executive Summary
The specific purposes to be accomplished through this substantive Change Request are
two-fold. The first purpose is to present evidence attesting to the fact that the Palmer
College of Chiropractic West Campus is established as a branch campus of Palmer
College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa, and is not a separately accreditable entity.
The second purpose is to formally request a substantive change in the accreditation of
Palmer College of Chiropractic in the form of extending NCA regional accreditation to
the Palmer College of Chiropractic West Campus, located in San Jose, Calif.
Palmer College of Chiropractic’s West Campus has been operating as a branch campus
for many years and the issue of main/branch campus functions is not a current issue. All
constituencies recognize and accept the strengths and efficiencies that come with such an
organized approach to delivering a Palmer education. The West Campus is dependent
upon the main campus in Davenport for financial, administrative, and curricular support.
Current planning processes already consider main and branch campuses’ structure and
functions. Degrees are conferred by Palmer College of Chiropractic and not by the West
Campus. Regional accreditation of the West Campus is expected to result in several
positive outcomes, among which are the ability to offer a completion Bachelor’s of
Science degree as the Davenport Campus does, and to enter into 3+1 articulation
agreements with other colleges and universities. The proposed change will also result in
conservation of resources, greater efficiency of administrative operations and use of
human resources, efficiencies in managing programmatic and institutional accreditation,
and an opportunity for institutional growth. Because the main and branch campuses are
overseen by a common Board, have common mission and vision documents, and share
resources, the Commission on Accreditation of the Council on Chiropractic Education
has granted professional accreditation to Palmer’s main and branch campuses as a system.
Palmer College desires this same recognition through NCA regional accreditation.
Executive Summary Page 35
The past decade has been a time of exceptional growth for Palmer College of
Chiropractic. The College evolved its organizational structure from a university system of
multiple colleges to one of main and branch campuses. In 2002, the College expanded
into the southeastern United States by establishing a new branch campus in Port Orange,
Fla. The Doctor of Chiropractic Program (DCP) at the Florida Campus and the new
Master’s of Science in Clinical Research on the Davenport Campus, made possible by
through federal funding (K30), were both accredited in 2004.
Additional federal funding (R25) in 2007 initiated the introduction of evidence-based
practice into the DCP curriculum on the Davenport Campus. In the same year, with the
completion of a $35 million capital campaign, Palmer College built an Academic Heath
Center, Chiropractic Learning Resource Center, and Clinical Assessment Center, all
housed in Pisciottano Hall on the Davenport Campus. These centers have had an impact
on the delivery, assessment, and resourcing of the DCP on the Davenport Campus, and
support a new mentorship model of clinical education across the Palmer system.
In 2008, a new co-curricular Palmer Center for Business Development was built in
Davenport to augment entrepreneurial training, with programs made available
electronically to students on the branch campuses. The scope and reach of Palmer
College’s Center for Teaching and Learning was expanded to the branch campuses with a
charge to further develop the teaching and scholarship skills of the faculty. Assessment
and planning initiatives, new system-wide administrative software, and program
enhancements have all increased Palmer’s potential to effectively improve
teaching/learning and institutional functioning.
Having its three campuses accredited under the banner of one regional agency is a unique
opportunity in the history of Palmer College. The Davenport and Florida campuses
currently hold regional accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission of the
North Central Association of Schools and Colleges (NCA). Toward this end, this Self-
Study Report includes a change request to the NCA to consider regional accreditation of
the Palmer College of Chiropractic West Campus as a branch.
Palmer College, recognizing its strengths and the challenges it faces, seeks to continually
improve and build upon its rich history and positive reputation, thereby continuing as an
integral part of the chiropractic and larger healthcare communities. The evidence and
analysis reported in this self-study show that Palmer College of Chiropractic has a
distinctive mission, provides learning-focused excellence in chiropractic education,
connects to its constituents by providing distinctive and valuable services, and provides
resources and vision to respond to the challenges of the future.
Page 36 Executive Summary