Integrated Educational Master Plan(IEMP)

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Executive Summary

The College of Micronesia-FSM (COM-FSM) has revised the Integrated Educational Master Plan (IEMP) in order to adequately address the 2018-2023 Strategic Plan and to provide an operational plan to move the college forward toward mission fulfillment and vision attainment. The IEMP, which is a living document, integrates all aspects of the college's operations into specific, measurable actions that each area is set to accomplish over the next 5 years.

The narrative below describes the steps taken by the college to create the IEMP, and the integrated resources and capacities to support institutional effectiveness. A diagram illustrating the college's planning processes has been included, along with supporting documents that further explain the IEMP and its contents.

I. Introduction

Brief History

The College of Micronesia-FSM (COM-FSM) is located in the Federated States of Micronesia. This former trust territory is comprised of 607 islands covering almost 2 million square miles of the Western Pacific Ocean and is populated by approximately 104,196 residents from fifteen different and distinct traditional cultures and languages.

The college began in 1963 as the Micronesia Teacher Education Center (MTEC) to provide in-service teacher training opportunities. MTEC changed its focus to pre-service teacher education and the center was renamed Community College of Micronesia (CCM). CCM expanded into additional areas such as business management, liberal arts, and continuing education. CCM was first accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) in 1978. When the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands split into three independent nations, CCM became COM-FSM in 1993.

Current State of the College

COM-FSM is a two-year, English language speaking institution offering 31 programs of study (i.e., certificates and degrees). The college has locations at six sites among the four island states of the Federated States of Micronesia. Certificate programs are offered mainly at the state campuses, with the degree programs offered at the National Campus located in Palikir, Pohnpei.

The condition of the College is sounder than it has ever been. The college President stated in his 2018 White Paper that, "We have sustained the energy displayed in overcoming years of accreditation hurdles and channeled it into an organization-wide transformation. When seen through the lens of 1) a well-defined institutional agenda, 2) sound fiscal stewardship, 3) an outcome-based, student-focused academic program, 4) an expanding organizational culture of participatory governance, and 5) an emergent emphasis on strengthening external relations, today’s College has an embedded culture of continuous quality improvement and a sense of unity, success, and pride across all six (6) campuses of the COM-FSM system." On January 26, 2018, ACCJC granted reaffirmation of accreditation for the remainder of the cycle or until 2023 when the next Self-Evaluation Report is due.

The mission of the college continues to be centered on the students, the nation and the idea of continuous improvement. The mission was revised in 2017 and approved at the March 08, 2017 Board of Regents meeting. It reads as follows:

The College of Micronesia-FSM is a learner-centered institution of higher education that is committed to the success of the Federated States of Micronesia by providing academic and career & technical educational programs characterized by continuous improvement and best practices.

The vision statement was also revised in 2017 to better represent the college mission. The vision statement was approved by the Board of Regents at the May 03, 2017 meeting. The new vision statement reads,

Providing quality education today for a successful tomorrow.

Core Values and principles of best practice were developed and presented to the Board of Regents at the March 08, 2017 meeting. The five core values are commitment, excellence, learnercenteredness, professionalism, and teamwork.

The College continues to be committed to "continuous quality improvement" so the work is never done. The president stated in his 2018 White Paper, that the college continues to face unresolved issues and new challenges are already "on the horizon." He states, "...we need to be every bit as diligent, focused, and hard-working as we prepare to 'confront our challenges and create our future'."

The Future of the College

As a structure to guide their strategic thinking as a board the COM-FSM Regents accepted the Imperatives Model in August 2012 and have since set forth the Board's Two-Year Action Agenda. The 2016-2017 agenda as well as the action improvement plans in the 2015 Self-Evaluation, pp. 316 - 318, and Quality Focus Essay pp. 310-315, provided the framework for strategic planning at the college. The President's 2018 White Paper reiterates the goals of these documents. These goals are: support student success, meet workforce needs and enhance employment opportunities, build capacity, and maintain accreditation. He stated,"

"We re-dedicate ourselves to reaching these goals through the following steps:
  1. Enhancing academic quality and program offerings to ensure student success for the next generation.
    • Becoming a bachelor's degree granting institution - establishing the FSM's first bachelor's degree - a B.S. in Elementary Education as a significant step in meeting important national and state needs.
    • Continuing to expand vocational and technical programs which meet workforce needs.
    • Expanding upon recent progress on college access, student success, and enrollment management.
    • Developing an emphasis on college completion by decreasing the time to completion and increasing student satisfaction, persistence, retention, and graduation rates by innovating academic quality and enhancing student support services.
  2. Building facilities for the next quarter century by funding and implementing the ($68.84 M) Facilities Master Plan.
    • Prioritizing Phase I of the National Infrastructure Development Plan (IDP)
      • Construction of a Chuuk Campus, capitalizing on the $3 million provided by Chuuk State leadership which should assist in facilitating the development and implementation of the campus facility plan.
      • Building a Student Center on the national campus.
      • Creating a Pohnpei Career & Technical Center.
  3. Building endowment to the $10 million goal to support future programs & operations.
    • Expanding institutional advancement efforts by building upon growing institutional fund-raising, grant-writing, and endowment-building capacity, capitalizing on the College’s 25th anniversary celebration, expanding alumni outreach and extending the reach of the Friends of COM-FSM Foundation.
  4. Investing in the College's people to build capacity
    • Focusing on the continuing need to attract and retain qualified personnel through professional development, cultural awareness, and salary equity.
    • Continuing to prioritize participatory governance.
    • Continuing to emphasize and foster high engagement of stakeholders in the planning and assessment process.
  5. Strengthening resources to meet current and future needs.
    • Prioritizing balanced budgets, diversifying revenue, reducing operating costs, aggressively conserving energy, and following fiscal best practices, which strengthen fiscal integrity.
    • Building bridges to government funding sources at all levels.
    • Monitoring the rapidly changing enterprise risk management environment of higher education.
    • Monitoring COM-FSM's comprehensive, integrated master plan that systematically links financial resources with the long term educational goals of the college.
    • Mobilizing the strategic planning process to develop contingency plans, collaboration with the national government, and outreach to the U.S. Departments of State and Interior in anticipation of Compact 2023 expiration.

II. Planning at COM-FSM

College of Micronesia-FSM (COM-FSM) is on a five-year planning cycle (Figure 1) that begins with the review of the mission, vision, and strategic plan, which are then used to lead development of a new Integrated Education Master Plan (IEMP). The process for mission, vision, and strategic plan review and revision were completed in 2017 and ready for implementation fall 2018. Stakeholder input was obtained at the 2016 Visioning Summit.

COM-FSM's Planning Cycle

This planning along with the regents' two-year action plans provided the framework for revising the Integrated Educational Master Plan (IEMP).

In addition, the revision of the IEMP was aided by the following steps:

  1. In 2016, the college completed and evaluation of the 2013-2017 Integrated Educational Master Plan.
  2. Department review and standing committee review of all college plans to determine what is still relevant; what is not relevant; and what should be changed or improved.
  3. Compilation of an IEMP matrix that links the annual program assessment and program review results to the other plans of the college.

Integrated Resources and Capacities to Support Institutional Effectiveness

To support its IEMP, the institution must effectively use its financial, human, physical, and technology resources. The resources and capacities allow the college to achieve its broad educational purposes, including its stated student learning outcomes.

Financial Resources

The College of Micronesia-FSM 2018-2022 Five-Year Financial Plan (5YFP) has been prepared and linked to the programs and services in the IEMP in order to give the institution a better outlook of where the college will be in the next five years. This financial plan includes a five-year look at the finances of the college. Since the IEMP includes all plans for the college, this document helps inform financial planning at the college in the future - - while, in turn, financial projections help drive future operational plans. This is an illustration of how the IEMP is a living document that adjusts to financial resources while informing financial planning at the same time.

The college has prepared its financial assumptions based on the 2018 actual budget as the base reference, delivery of existing programs and services and the current strategic directions, and the current structure of the college. The 5YFP is focused on the primary operations of five of the college's six campuses (National, Career & Technical Education Center [CTEC], Chuuk, Kosrae and Yap) and the five main departments of the college (Office of the President; Instruction; Department of Institutional Effectiveness & Quality Assurance; Enrollment Management & Student Services; and Administration). The Financial Plan for Technology has been completed separately as in previous years because funding is secured under the Technology Plan, where each student pays $100 each semester of attendance. Others, like the college's sixth campus (FSM-Fisheries and Maritime Institute), auxiliary enterprises, and administration of grants and programs were not considered in the plan because all have other secured funding sources.

The college continues to practice "sound fiscal stewardship" and even received a commendation from ACCJC in the 2016 External Evaluation Report. "The team commends the College for fostering a culture of commitment to financial discipline and stability. Savings realized through the effective use of institutional and financial planning integrated with resource allocation have led to increased reserves that enable the College to further invest in student recruitment, success and completion."(p.5)

Human Capital

The human resources office works with departments, campuses, and offices to recruit and retain qualified personnel through:

  • Facilitation of processes;
  • Administration of institutional benefit programs;
  • Training and consultation to ensure equality services;
  • Involvement of internal critical stakeholders in decision making in services such as staff development programs, policy development, hiring processes, etc.;
  • Promoting diversity and high-performance through award recognition programs and salary increments;
  • Alignment of services across campuses through systematic review of programs and services.

Physical Resources

In the college's effort to provide quality education and address financial sustainability, the college has implemented the College of Micronesia-FSM Space Utilization and Facilities Master Plan based on a study by BECA. This plan has been integrated with the FSM Infrastructure Development plan (p.42). The COM-FSM plan is now in phase I as indicated in the IEMP matrix. Current projects include a student center at National Campus, trade & technical workshops at CTEC, and beginning planning for Chuuk Campus.

Technology Resources

In order to enhance the college's physical infrastructure and to support communication, the Information Technology (IT) Office delivers effective technology services to support college services. COM-FSM uses a CentOS 5.4 (which is equivalent to RHEL 5.4) Linux server setup as a gateway to the Internet. This provides email, an Apache web server, the Squid caching web proxy, and a variety of other critical network services. Each location that COMFSM operates has a setup that works in conjunction with this central system.

Single mode fiber optic connectivity is now in use at the National Campus, and ADSL type technologies at all other campuses. Discussions are already on the table with our ISP to see the other campuses connected on fiber lines to the telecom locations in place of ADSL. WiFi access is available, and authenticated network users are able to use mobile devices for connectivity needs for academic, research, and other network purposes. Learning Resource Center (LRC) and Student Information System (SIS) services are available at all campuses in real time. Website services have been expanded to accommodate direct news posting from authorized constituents from all of the college campuses. In addition, bandwidth management is in effect to maximize potential per user usability of the college's network services.

Utilizing Program Assessment and Program Review Results

The IEMP is informed by the results of the college's program assessments, which are completed on an annual basis by all areas of the college. Educational services program assessments (instruction, support services, library and learning resources) are based on student achievement indicators and student learning outcome assessments. Non-academic units conduct annual assessments of programs, which are also incorporated into the planning process for the purpose of supporting student success. Annual institutional assessment reports are prepared for assessment of general education and institutional student learning outcomes.

Program reviews for instruction are completed every two years for one-year certificates, every four years for two-year degrees. Administrative units complete program reviews every four years.

Conclusion

"Charting the Course for the Next Generation" is the title of the President's 2018 White Paper written for the 25th Anniversary Celebration at the college. This is a fitting theme to describe the IEMP and the Board of Regent two-year action plans and integrated planning that were used to develop the matrix of measurable IEMP plans. The college is charting the course by:

  • Enhancing academic quality and program offerings to ensure student success for the next generation.
  • Building facilities for the next quarter century by funding and implementing the ($68.84 M) Facilities Master Plan.
  • Building endowment to the $10 million goal to support future programs & operations.
  • Investing in the College’s people to build capacity.
  • Strengthening resources to meet current and future needs.

Charting the course, using the IEMP as a map, the college will effectively use its financial, human, physical, and technology resources to achieve its broad educational purposes, including its stated student-learning outcomes.

Charting the course, as illustrated in the IEMP, the college appropriately plans and effectively incorporates the results of program reviews.

The college has made great progress in the last six years and is now in a position to move to the next level. President Daisy has reiterated this point when he stated in his 2018 White Paper:

The positive position and image of the College in FSM offers a unique opportunity to take us to the next level. A door has opened wide which invites efforts to build an even stronger relationship between the college and the communities it serves.

This we will do, and in this we will succeed. To succeed, we must all work to ensure that we are upholding the mission of the college and working toward the collective vision that we set for the institution. We must assess and continuously improve our institution's quality and work to achieve greater success of our students. We will undertake this work together. We must all participate. We must communicate well. This is the job that has been entrusted to us by our community and our nation on behalf of the next generation of students and their families.

The college will uphold the principles outlined by its President and fulfill the direction and agenda that the Board of Regents has set through operationally implementing its integrated educational master plan.

References

(2018, April). 2018 White Paper. Retrieved from
http://www.comfsm.fm/dcr/White_Paper_FINAL_2018.pdf
(2018, January). ACCJC Action Letter. Retrieved from
http://www.comfsm.fm/accreditation/archive/College-of-Micronesia-FSM_01_26_2018.pdf
(2016, July) ACCJC External Evaluation Report. Retrieved from
http://www.comfsm.fm/accreditation/2016/Self_Evaluation/COMFSM_External_Eval_Report_2016.pdf
(2017, March) Board of Regent Meeting Minutes, March 8, 2017. Retrieved from
http://www.comfsm.fm/bor/minutes/2017/May-2017-Board-Meeting-Minutes.pdf
(2017, May) Board of Regent Meeting Minutes, May 3, 2017. Retrieved from
http://www.comfsm.fm/bor/minutes/2017/May-2017.pdf
(2015, August) Board of Regents Two-Year Action Agenda (2016-2017). Retrieved from
http://www.comfsm.fm/bor/notebook/08-15/Two-Year-Action-Agenda.2015.final.pdf
(2013, November) College of Micronesia-FSM Space Utilization and Facilities Master Plan Study - Part 2 Detailed Report - Common to all Campuses. Retrieved from
http://www.comfsm.fm/president/plans/All-combined-College-of-Micronesia-FSM-Facilities-Master-Plan-Part-2-Appendix-common.pdf
(2016) Federated States of Micronesia-FSM Infrastructure Development Plan FY 2016-2025. Retrieved from
http://www.ict.fm/documents/infrastructure/IDP/FSM%20IDP%20FY2016-FY2025%20-%20Outline%20(version%20151202).pdf
(2017, September) 2018-2022 Five-Year Financial Plan. Retrieved from
http://www.comfsm.fm/bor/notebook/09-2017/10.a.i_Five-Year_Financial_Plan.pdf
(2016, September) IEMP Evaluation Report 2016. Retrieved from
http://www.comfsm.fm/vpia/misc/IEMP_Eval_Report_2016.pdf
(2015, December) Institutional Self Evaluation Report. Retrieved from
http://www.comfsm.fm/accreditation/2016/Self_Evaluation/COMFSM_SELFEVAL_15DEC2015.pdf
(2016, December) Special Working Group Core Values Report. Retrieved from
http://www.comfsm.fm/dcr/misc/SPWG_CoreValues_Report_19DEC2016%20FINAL.pdf
(2017, February) Special Working Group Mission Report. Retrieved from
http://www.comfsm.fm/dcr/misc/SPWG_MIssion_Report_07FEB2017-1.pdf
(2017, March) Special Working Group Vision Report. Retrieved from
http://www.comfsm.fm/bor/notebook/05-17/10a_SPWG_Vision_Report_15MAR2017.pdf
(2016, September) 2016 Visioning Summit Report. Retrieved from
http://www.comfsm.fm/irpo/visioning-summit/2016/Visioning-Summit-2016-Report_29SEP2016.pdf

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