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									M. Pearl                                                                      DRAFT
Notes on Assessment and Mission Statement
Date: 11/14/10

                   Notes on LAMC Mission Statement and Goals

1. Is a statement designed to inform the public of the purpose of the
2. Distinguishes the community college from other kinds of educational
3. Defines the population to be served (see Accreditation standards).
4. Is reflective of the college philosophy.
5. Outlines the primary focus of the college as outlined in Title 5, such as
    offering: lower division transfer courses in arts and sciences, vocational and
    technical courses, general or liberal arts courses, community services
    classes, economic development, basic skills instruction, support services.
6. May be stated with a set of goals that reflect the above categories and that
    may function as the organizational outline for college plans.
7. Is congruent with the California Community College mission defined in Title
8. Is to be reviewed regularly (accreditation standards), but is relatively stable
    over time.
9. Is published in the college catalog and other publications aimed at students
    and the public.

College Goals
1. Are relatively permanent statements of the major accomplishments that
    the college will achieve.
2. Reflect the entire scope of college activities.
3. Are reviewed annually but not changed frequently.
4. Can be listed in the college catalog with brief mission statement and together
   are labeled “Mission and Goals”.
5. Are very useful in organizing the objectives in all levels of plans (e.g.,
   institution level, department level, unit level). Examples of goals
   include: increase student access, increase student success, increase
   institutional effectiveness.

ACCJC/WASC Accreditation Standard 1.2:
“The mission statement defines the students the institution intends to serve as
well as the parameters under which programs can be offered and resources

(Taken from Planning Resource Guide, RP Group of the California Community
Colleges, Sept. 1997).

                                                                          Page 1 of 5
M. Pearl                                                                       DRAFT
Notes on Assessment and Mission Statement
Date: 11/14/10

1. Mission College Goals Statement
The goal is a most generic statement of a problem or an ideal. The goals should
relate to either (1) a perceived problem or (2) an ideal which the college is
attempting to promote. The goals developed for the college are institutional level
goals, but goals can also be departmental, program, and course specific.
Specific, concrete objectives should be established for each goal, the attainment
of which would lead to achievement of the goal. In addition, the college can
identify specific strategies which provide guidance as to how objectives can be
approached. Outcome measures and assessment methods can be attached to
each of these objectives.

An example of this is LAMC Goal #5: The college will increase and integrate the
use of technology to better serve and educate students. The next step, which is
a large part of the planning process, is to formulate one or more objectives--
specific, concrete, actions--which would lead to the attainment of this goal.
Moreover, the technology area is so broad that this goal can be approached in
different ways. Strategies (e.g., incorporate technology into classroom) need to
be considered. Each objective would then have an associated outcome measure
and assessment technique. These objectives could be established at the
discipline or program level.

Goal #2, Increase student access, retention, and success, while sufficiently
generic, states the goal in terms of the outcome measures. I think that it says
that if the desired outcome is attained (e.g., increased access) then goal is
attained. I think it would be more effective to state the goal in terms of a
perceived problem or ideal.

For example goal two is to “increase access, retention, and success”. It can be
inferred that the institution has some problems, the symptoms of which are low
access, retention, and success (the outcome measures). What is the underlying
problem? As an example, let’s say that it’s our perception that incoming students
possess low basic skills and therefore tend to drop courses, get poor grades, or
leave the college. I think it would be better to state the goal in terms of the
problem (low basic skills) instead of the symptom (measures of outcome).
“Recognizing that lack of basic skills is an impediment to student retention and
success, the college will ensure that under-prepared students will attain the
necessary basic skills to advance to higher levels of study.” Now, acquisition of
basic skills for under-prepared students is the goal. Disciplines can then devise
concrete objectives, measures and assessment methods to attain this goal. The
goal of attaining basic skills for the institution can then be translated into program
and course goals.

Goal #1: Inferred problem is that the college is not adapting programs and
services to meet student needs.

                                                                          Page 2 of 5
M. Pearl                                                                                      DRAFT
Notes on Assessment and Mission Statement
Date: 11/14/10

What are student needs for educational programs? This could be assessed at
the institutional or discipline level. For example, using LMI information, transfer,
basic skills, and other educational goals. Objectives (and accompanying outcome
measures and assessment techniques) for each discipline could be designed to
meet student needs.

What services do students need to facilitate their educational experience? A
similar process applies to student services. The need for services can be derived
from the students’ needs for educational programs.

Finally, the evaluation can take place. What is the current state of alignment of
college provision of educational programs and student services relative to
student needs? This may occur at the discipline, program, and institutional levels.

2. Related Assessment Issues
Goals statement doesn’t reflect an “output” goal. E.g. “Mission College will
produce a student who can … (exercise critical thinking and reasoning skills).
Our mission is to “provide the highest quality education for each student who
comes to us”. It doesn’t state an institutional commitment to produce a “quality
product” or ensure a certain level of competency. The mission statement also
doesn’t say anything about efficiency, growth.

3. Mission College and PFE Goals
Although I think that some of the goals below are not really goals (they’re
measures), and that outcome measures really relate to specific objectives (not
generic goals), below is a schema for looking at PFE and Mission College goals.
I do not think that there is a problem in defining appropriate measures or
indicators and have suggested some in the table below. Reading across the
columns, what is apparent is that (1) there is some overlap between PFE and
LAMC institutional goals and (2) no institution level goals have been redefined as
program or course objectives.

                         Schema for PFE and College Goals

     Goals                          Measures or           Partnership for            Mission College
                                     Indicators          Excellence (PFE)
                                                                            Institution   Program      Course

     Transfer                    Transfers to 4-year            X           ? (Goal #1)

                                                                                     Page 3 of 5
M. Pearl                                                                                            DRAFT
Notes on Assessment and Mission Statement
Date: 11/14/10
     Goals                                Measures or           Partnership for            Mission College
                                           Indicators          Excellence (PFE)
                                                                                  Institution   Program      Course

                                       Transfer readiness
     Awards (Degrees and               Degrees and                    X           ? (Goal #1)
     Certificates)                     certificates

     Successful Course                 (operational                   X               X
     Completion                        definition needed)
     Workforce Development
               Successful Course       (operational                   X               ?
                      Completion:      definition needed)
               Successful Course       (operational                   X               ?
           Completion: Advanced        definition needed)
              Vocational Courses
               Successful Course       (operational                   X               ?
         Completion: Introductory      definition needed)
              Vocational Courses
              Increase number of       (operational                   X               ?
      Businesses benefiting from       definition needed)
        training through Contract
              Increase number of       Satisfaction with              X               ?
       employees benefiting from       CE training;
        training through Contract      enrollment in CE
                       Education.      courses.

               Increase number of      Count of                       X               ?
         individuals receiving fee-    participants
                based job training.
        Basic Skills Improvement       (operational                                   ?
             ("number of students      definition needed)
        completing coursework at
       least one level above their
     prior basic skills enrollment.”

     Access                            Enrollment from                                X
                                       groups (ethnic,
                                       language, income,
                                       etc.) areas, high
                                       recruitment visits;
                                       locations; distance
                                       education; internet
                                       courses offered
                                       and enrollment.

                                       definition needed)
     Evaluate and adapt                Probably qualitative                           X
     educational programs and          at this level. (Need
     services to meet students         to assess student
     needs.                            needs for

                                                                                           Page 4 of 5
M. Pearl                                                                                           DRAFT
Notes on Assessment and Mission Statement
Date: 11/14/10
     Goals                              Measures or            Partnership for            Mission College
                                         Indicators           Excellence (PFE)
                                                                                 Institution   Program      Course

                                     programs and
                                     services, e.g., basic
                                     skills, employment,
                                     transfer, general
     Diversify Environment           Recruitment of                                  X
                                     students, faculty,
                                     staff; College or
                                     program course
     Strengthen Relationship with    Cooperative                                     X
     Community.                      ventures (meetings,
                                     forums; number of
                                     attendance); use of
                                     college facilities
                                     (requests, numbers
                                     Community service
                                     activities (number
                                     of events or
     Increase and integrate use      Computers used;                                 X
     of technology.                  contact hours spent
                                     by student/faculty
                                     in instructional
                                     having computer
                                     content or
                                     definition needed)
     Develop a facilities plan       Qualitative:                                    X
     based upon educational and      Develop, utilize and
     community needs.                revise plan. Utilize
                                     planning process.
     Maintain fiscal stability and   Grant applications                              X
     seek alternative sources of     ($ received);
     revenue to enrich and           Foundation
     expand educational              activities ($ raised);
     programs.                       specially funded
                                     program awards;
                                     contract education
                                     course enrollment
                                     or revenue.

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