Institutional Self Study
Reaffirmation of Accreditation
Application for Candidacy
Institutional Self Study for Reaffirmation of Accreditation and Application for Candidacy March 2004
the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges
the Accrediting Commission for Senior College and Universities
Western Association of Schools and Colleges
College of Micronesia-FSM
Post Office Box 159
Pohnpei FM 96941
Federated States of Micronesia
Board of Regents
Podis Pedrus, Chairman
01 November 2003
This self study addresses Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) standards of both the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) and the Accrediting Commission for Senior College and Universities (the senior commission).
The self study has been organized according to the ACCJC standards. The senior standard elements are included in a fifth section.
In 1963 the United States Strategic Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands and the University of Hawaii created the Micronesian Teacher Education Center (MTEC) to provide in-service teacher training. This enabled teachers to remain in Micronesia for in-service training rather than having to travel to places such as Hawaii. This beginning is especially important as over the forty years since there has been an ongoing dialog over centralization of resources in better equipped, centrally located institutions of higher learning versus delivering education where the student lives, even though this might mean having fewer resources. The issue of where education should occur, and what programs should be delivered where, continues to this day.
In 1969 MTEC began offering a pre-service associate of science degree in teacher education. The first degree program of the future college was in education and education remains a core program at the heart of the college and its mission.
In 1970 MTEC became the Community College of Micronesia (CCM). In 1974 an associate degree in business management was added, beginning the role of the college in manpower development. In 1975 an associate of arts degree program began in liberal arts to enable students to transfer to four-year institutions abroad. This remains a major program of the college and a personal goal for many students.
In 1978 the college gained accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
In 1982 the college expanded its role in teacher education with the addition of a third year certificate in teacher education. In 1983 and 1986 the college added associate of science degrees in agriculture and marine science respectively. This marked the beginning of the diversification of the offerings of the college.
In 1993 the Community College of Micronesia became independent from a three nation College of Micronesia system. The college gained autonomy under a five member Board of Regents and the name College of Micronesia-FSM.
In 1996 the National campus moved from Kolonia to a new campus in Palikir on Pohnpei. Although the Pohnpei state campus existed prior to the move, the Pohnpei state campus had been relegated to offering classes in the evenings only. The departure of the National campus freed the Pohnpei campus to expand their services and programs.
In 1997 the college continued to respond to national mandates and needs with the addition of an associate of art degree in Micronesian Studies and an associate of science degree in hotel and restaurant management. In 1998 the college added a degree in computer information systems that has proved very popular with students.
The college also began expansion in vocational programs in 1998. Originally Micronesians had to travel to Palau and the Micronesian Occupational College for vocational education. In this year the college also signed an agreement to work with the University of Guam (UOG) on offering fourth-year courses in elementary education to enable students to earn their bachelor's degree from UOG without having to travel to Guam. The history of the college system has been one of finding ways, wherever possible, to deploy programs where the students live.
A Memorandum of Understanding with the FSM National Government was signed in 1999 to re-open the Micronesian Maritime and Fisheries Academy as the FSM Fisheries and Maritime Institute on Yap.
Third-year certificates of achievement in accounting and business were approved for implementation in 2001.
The Federated States of Micronesia consists of 607 islands spread through approximately a million square miles in the western Pacific Ocean lying between 1 degree south and 14 degrees north latitude, and between 135 and 166 degrees east longitude. Although the area encompassing the FSM, including its Economic Exclusive Zone (EEZ) is very large, the total land area is only 271 square miles with an additional 2,776 square miles of lagoon area. The 607 islands vary from large, high mountainous islands of volcanic origin to small atolls.
The FSM consists of four states: Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Kosrae. Yap is the westernmost state and has a total land area of 46 square miles including 12 inhabited island units. In addition to Yap's land area, the lagoon makes up 405 square miles. Chuuk consists of 7 major island groups. The largest is Chuuk Lagoon, which is a complex group of islands. It includes 98 islands, of which 14 are mountainous islands of volcanic origin, surrounded by a coral ring forming a lagoon of over 800 square miles. The total land area in Chuuk is 49 square miles with a lagoon area of 823 square miles. Pohnpei consists of 6 major island groups, and the largest is Pohnpei island. The land area of Pohnpei is 132.2 square miles and lagoon areas make up 297 square miles. Kosrae has 43 square miles of land and no lagoon. The average temperature in the FSM is about 80 degrees Fahrenheit with little yearly variation. The FSM has some of the wettest places in the Pacific.
The distribution of FSM population by state in 2000 is given in the following table:
|State||Population||Land Area (sq. miles)||Density|
The four states of the FSM are unequal in both land area and population. The largest population is not found on the island with the most land area. The extreme population density of Chuuk coupled with its lack of land and other resources presents a unique challenge for the nation and the College of Micronesia-FSM.
The following table provides a glance at the basic statistics primarily from the 2000 Census for the Federated States of Micronesia.
|Average Household Size||2000||6.70|
|Median household income||2000||$4,618|
|Per Capita Income||2000||$3,943|
|Nominal GDP (millions)||2000||$230.6|
|Gross business receipts (millions)||1998||$300.4|
|Inflation rate (annual average)||N/A||N/A|
|Civilian labor force||2000||37,414|
|Visitor Arrivals (thousands, all categories)||2000||15.7|
Of note is the high unemployment rate and extreme trade imbalance. The later is an indicator of the nation's financial dependence on the Compact of Free Association. The nation is also young, with half the nation under 18.9 years old and family sizes are still large compared to developed nations. Per capita income is very low compared to developed nations.
The National campus has the highest enrollment of any site in the College of Micronesia-FSM system. Chuuk state campus has the next highest enrollment, a reflection in part of their share of the national population. Yap state campus has the lowest enrollment. The Yap state campus faces competition from Palau Community College, a single hop by air to the west, and from the schools on Guam, a single hop by air to the east. Students in Yap who choose to enroll at the National campus have to fly through Guam to reach Pohnpei. There are no direct flights from Yap to the national capital on Pohnpei. Enrollment at the National campus and the four state campuses for fall 2002 is shown in the chart below.
The National campus experiences its largest enrollment during the fall term, with a drop in enrollment each spring term. During the summer term some students choose not to attend classes, while others choose to attend classes in their home state campus. Despite the shift of some students from the National campus to their home campus in the summer, all campuses see drops in enrollment during the summer term. The following chart depicts National campus enrollment only.
The Chuuk, Kosrae, and Yap state campuses are, for all intents and purposes, attended only by students from the state in which the campus is located. Although Pohnpei state campus has students from other states enrolled, the campus enrollment was 95% Pohnpei state students in the fall of 2002. The state campuses primarily serve the citizens of their own states.
The College of Micronesia-FSM National campus offers unique programs not found on other campuses and most directly serves the national unity mission statement for the college. The diversity of the National campus is critical to maintaining its identity as a national college.
|State||Fall 01||Spring 02||Fall 02||Spring 03|
The data for fall 2002 depicted as a chart more clearly shows the difference from the FSM state population distribution above:
Dividing the share of enrollment by the FSM state population share generates a ratio that reflects equity of access to the National campus by state. If the ratio is one, then students from that state are present on the National campus at the same proportion as their state's share of the national population based on the 2000 Census. If the ratio is more than one, then the students from that state are over represented on the National campus in relation to their state's share of the national population. If the ratio is less than one, then the students are under represented on the National campus. The following chart graphs the value of the ratio over time, depicting time trends in National campus diversity and equity.
While students from Yap state have reached parity in their share of the National campus with respect to their state population in spring 2003, Kosrae state students are slightly above parity at the National campus. Pohnpei state students are present on the National campus at twice their share of the national population. The National campus is on Pohnpei and offers the option for students from Pohnpei of staying home while earning a degree. Chuuk state campus students are present at one third of their share of the national population. A significant contributing factor to the low numbers of Chuukese students on the National campus are the low entrance test scores for Chuukese students. While strict parity may not be an attainable goal, the differentials could have serious consequences for the nation.
The college is the only regionally accredited institution of higher education in the FSM. The college plays a key role in the development of future leaders, entrepreneurs, professionals, and managers for the FSM. Wherein the college, even unintentionally, statistically differs from equity, the college may inadvertently affect the future composition of the work force and provide an advantage to the citizens of some states. Determining the actual impact of differences from parity is more difficult. Students in Chuuk state also have the option of attending schools in Guam, virtually equidistant from Pohnpei.
Systemwide the college is a strong force for the employment of local talent. Sixty-five percent of the college's workforce is FSM Micronesian.
At the interface between students and the college, in the classrooms, the diversity of the faculty is important. The state campuses have small faculties. Measurements of diversity are plagued by the effect of the small sample size. In a state campus where the change in the ethnicity of a single faculty member can shift the diversity by 25%, measurements of diversity that are stable over time do not necessarily exist. The National campus, however, with the largest faculty, widest range of programs, and most diverse student body does generate meaningful diversity numbers. The National campus reflects a diversity of backgrounds. Although the number of FSM citizens with higher degrees is small, the college has been aggressive in its recruiting efforts and the National campus faculty is nearly one-third FSM Micronesian citizens.
The following data examines student to faculty (S:F) ratios based on faculty with full-time responsibility to the institution. Three different numbers were generated to better capture the diversity in the types of students the different campuses serve. A head count student to faculty ratio, a full-time equivalent student to faculty ratio based on a 12 credit full load, and a full-time student to faculty ratio. The average credit load is also reported.
|State||Full-time Faculty||Headcount Enrollment||Headcount S:F||Credits||FTE Enrollment||FTE S:F||Full-time enrollment||Full-time S:F||Average Credit Load*|
|Sums & Avgs:||80||2669||46||32486||2707||42||2000||28||12.17|
|* Credits/Headcount enrollment|
The higher student loads faced by faculty in the state campuses is the subject of an ongoing internal dialog at the college.
Enrollment at the campuses has been fairly stable over the past few years. The state campuses have expanded some of their offerings and this has led to some growth at some campuses. Both Yap state campus and Kosrae state campus have seen small increases in enrollment. On a fall to fall basis, Pohnpei state campus is also growing. Pohnpei state campus, like the National campus, has decreased enrollment in the spring term. Chuuk state campus has experienced a small decline in enrollment. This may be random or due to facility issues, it is not likely a reflection of underlying population dynamics.
The visiting team recommends that COM-FSM immediately identify, collect, and disseminate all policies and procedures which includes all general campus operations. Existing Board of Regents and administrative policies are to be put in writing and disseminated to all members of the campus community, including the state campuses.
In 2000 the college reported that policies were being collected and organized in the following areas: instruction, student services, business/finance, community, and facilities and maintenance.
The personnel manual was completed by the personnel officer. The personnel officer continues to review and update the manual. Workshops were held at all state campuses and the Fisheries and Maritime Institute in the fall of 2001. In the spring of 2002 three workshops were held at the National campus on the personnel policies and procedures. During fall 2003 an update to the manual was being prepared.
The instructional policies manual was completed as of August, 2002. Two copies were produced, one with supporting documentation. The following recommendations were made at that time:
The student services policy manual was completed in November, 2002. The same set of recommendations as were made for the instructional policies was made upon submission of this manual to the president. Neither the instructional policies manual nor the student services manual have been widely distributed or updated since their creation.
Work was completed on the business/finance policy manual and the manual was distributed. The technology policy manual has been approved and is available online.
In addition, the Board of Regents approved a policy development policy at its September 1998 meeting. The policy development policy sets the guidelines for new policy development.
A manual of preventive maintenance has been developed by the maintenance unit.
While systematic progress has been made in the development, recording, and dissemination of all college policies and procedures, there remain outstanding recommendations.
The president will delegate to the appropriate personnel the remaining tasks of review, distribution, and ongoing updating of the manuals. All members of the college cabinet will continue to update policies relevant to their areas each year as part of the college policy development plan. Over the next three years all policy manuals will be made accessible from the college web site.
The visiting team recommends that the staff at the National campus make every effort to improve communications, regularly seek advice and opinion from the state campus staff relating to decisions directly affecting them; i.e., fiscal reports, the granting of more local authority on fiscal decision, improvement of the purchasing process.
Attempts in 1998 and 1999 to improve communication between the campuses through the use of the PEACESAT satellite radio communication system effectively collapsed by the end of 2000. Although the equipment is still in place, the system is rarely used and is not a part of the normal communication channels at the college. Use of instant messenger services (ICQ chat) in 1999 to try to include state campus personnel in meetings at the National campus failed. Use of Microsoft Netmeeting conferencing software also never proceeded beyond experiments.
All of the state campuses and the National campus were included in the college wide area network (WAN) by 2001. Kosrae, Pohnpei, and Yap campuses remain connected to the WAN via fractional T1 lines. This connectivity has caused email to become the dominant mode of communication between the campuses. The college spans a thousand miles and two time zones. Telephone calls and facsimiles cost a dollar a minute during the business day. Conference calls are considerably more expensive and must be arranged by FSM Telecom. Thus communication is becoming defined as "being in email contact." During the fall of 2003 the college upgraded the bandwidth of the connections to the state campuses.
At the Chuuk campus on Weno the wide area network is connected to a single building that the college leases. The site the college is presently occupying is seen as a temporary site and has not been completely connected to the wide area network. Although the computer laboratory and learning resource center are connected to the wide area network, the faculty offices remain disconnected. Only those members of the faculty who have dial-up accounts and a computer with a modem can receive email. The director is also using a dial-up account to access the Internet. Although the power situation has improved recently on Weno, loss of power can still impact the campus. Island power grids do not have the redundancy of their mainland counterparts.
Pohnpei is likely to gain ocean floor fiber optic Internet and international telephone connectivity sometime in the next decade. Surveying of the ocean floor has already begun, funded in part by the need the United States military has for ocean floor fiber optic communication with Kwajalein missile range. Kwajalein will be linked back to existing ocean floor fiber optic cables that land on Guam. The cable from Guam to Kwajalein will also land on Pohnpei.
Meetings of the state campus directors continue to be scheduled in synchronization with meetings of the board of regents, facilitating administrative communications.
The college finance committee continues to consider the development of fiscal autonomy for the state campuses as indicated in minutes of the meetings of August 30 and September 14, 2000, where increases in imprest fund accounts for state campuses were considered. Minutes of meetings with the campus directors also reflect discussion of ways to improve the purchasing process through the college business office.
The existence of the wide area network and the availability of email has greatly improved communications from what they once were. During the summer of 2003 a spontaneous intercampus dialog occurred involved faculty, staff, and administrators on multiple campuses. The dialog was centered on proposed changes to the extended benefits policy. The intercampus nature of the discussions, and that the discussions involved rank and file employees and not just administrators, was a superb example of intercampus communication of type that was not possible at the college prior to the existence of the network and email.
As a result the greatest barrier to communication is now perceived to be the lack of a system wide directory of email addresses. Although the college maintains an online directory, in many of the state campuses faculty prefer to use non-college online email services such as Yahoo or Hotmail accounts. The online directory does not catalog those addresses. A further complication is the dependence on part-time faculty in some state campuses. Part-time faculty are often completely outside of the communication loop.
From the perspective of the users in the state campus, bandwidth is seen as the most critical component of the college's communication infrastructure. Saturated communication pipelines during the school day cause slow response times, especially for faculty choosing to use online email services. The ability to quickly access and read email is important to productivity. The demand for bandwidth outstrips supply. Each bandwidth upgrade is followed by an immediate rise to bandwidth saturation at the new level. The college will have to continue to fund and support bandwidth upgrades.
During fall 203, the college is increasing the bandwidth on both the links to the state campuses and from the college to the Internet. Experiments with wireless connectivity are underway on the National campus.
The visiting team recommends that COM-FSM make a concerted effort to finish the strategic plan and the current long range planning and evaluation document We Make a Difference as soon as possible. As a part of this process, the COM-FSM should take the necessary steps to eliminate audit compliance issues necessary to protect the resources of the institution and to meet the requirements of the granting agencies.
The We Make a Difference report evolved to become the report entitled The College of Micronesia-FSM/Community College of Micronesia: Progress and Programs During the Compact Years. This report was submitted to the FSM leadership and the joint negotiating committee representing the FSM in negotiations concerning the new compact in July 1998. The College of Micronesia-FSM Strategic Plan 2001-2006 was approved in 2001. In May 2003, a modified version of the strategic plan formed the foundation for the College of Micronesia-FSM Performance-Based Budget Institution-Level and Program Outcomes and Outcomes Measures Fiscal Year 2004 document. The ongoing evolution of the strategic plan is covered under standard IB.
Regarding the audit, the college achieved an "unqualified" opinion for the fiscal year 1999 audit for the first time in its history. There was only one immaterial audit finding recently. This finding was addressed prior to the time the report was finalized. The college has since had a single issue related to indirect costs. This issue was resolved.
The institutional planning process has produced an evolving and dynamic strategic plan. Between the strategic plan 2001-2006 and the performance based budget for fiscal year 2004, the plan has been modified to reflect program level outcomes. These outcomes are often indicator measured outcomes. The college hopes to eventually use student learning outcomes as program and institutional outcomes.
The Institutional Research and Planning Office (IRPO) will be tasked with continuing to track the evolution of the strategic plan. Further evolution toward the use of student learning outcomes to achieve strategic goals is foreseen as being driven by the division chairs and heads of units. Given the differences between the strategic plan 2001-2006 and the performance based budget for fiscal year 2004, the approval of the latter by the Board of Regents constitutes a de facto rewrite of the strategic plan. As noted in standard IB, the performance based budget was not reviewed as carefully as it should have been. Further modification of the plans that guide the college will have to occur as a result.
The college will continue to strive for clean audits. The college has also been asked to produce a document for the national government detailing the college's expected financial needs over the next twenty years. This is the duration of the second Compact of Free Association between the Federated States of Micronesia and the United States of America.
The We Make a Difference report evolved to become the report entitled The college of Micronesia-FSM/Community College of Micronesia: Progress and Programs During the Compact Years, which was submitted to the FSM leadership and the Joint Negotiating Committee in July 1998. The College of Micronesia-FSM Strategic Plan 2001-2006 was approved in 2001. In May 2003 a modified version of the strategic plan formed the foundation for the College of Micronesia-FSM Performance-Based Budget Institution-Level and Program Outcomes and Outcomes Measures Fiscal Year 2004 document. The ongoing evolution of the strategic plan is covered under standard IB.
Regarding the audit, the college achieved an "unqualified" opinion for the fiscal year 1999 audit for the first time in its history. There was only one immaterial audit finding recently which was addressed prior to the time the report was finalized. The college has since had a single issue related to indirect costs which was resolved.
The institutional planning process has produced an evolving and dynamic strategic plan. Between the strategic plan 2001-2006 and the performance based budget for fiscal year 2004 the plan has been modified to reflect program level outcomes. These outcomes are often indicator measured outcomes, the college plans to eventually use student learning outcomes as program and institutional outcomes.
The Institutional Research and Planning Office (IRPO) will be tasked with continuing to track the evolution of the strategic plan. Further evolution toward the use of student learning outcomes to achieve strategic goals is foreseen as being driven by the division chairs and heads of units. Given the differences between the strategic plan 2001-2006 and the performance based budget for fiscal year 2004, the approval of the later by the Board of Regents constitutes a de facto rewrite of the strategic plan. As noted in standard IB, the performance based budget was not reviewed as carefully as it should have been. As a result, further modification of the plans that guide the college will have to occur.
The college will continue to strive for clean audits. The college has also been asked to produce a document for the national government detailing the college's expected financial needs over the next twenty years. This is the duration of the second Compact of Free Association between the Federated States of Micronesia and the United States of America.
The visiting team recommends that COM-FSM formalize its institutional research process utilizing surveys and other research methods to measure student outcomes, assess institutional effectiveness, and deliver quality instruction and student support services. In addition, institutional research should be used to finalize a technology plan and assist in the acquisition of equipment to support instructional and student services programs.
Although turn-over has continued to impact the institutional research and planning office, even in the absence of a director of research and planning the administrative assistant to the office continues to oversee the implementation of the Institutional Research and Planning Office (IRPO) Schedules of Surveys and Reports. The administrative assistant, in coordination with other units, implements surveys and gathers results. Details of the types of data collected are available from the schedule.
Meanwhile, academic assessment is undergoing a transition from student achievement data gathered by an institutional research office to measurement of student learning by the academic divisions. This shift moves research away from a central office and out into the academic divisions. Each unit is expected to eventually produce their own annual assessment of their program. These assessments will be reported into the committee which oversees the area in which the unit works. This transition is discussed in standard IB.
The technology plan was included in the Strategic Plan 2001 - 2006. The information technology department assists in the acquisition of equipment to support both instructional and student services programs. All purchases are to be made by or vetted by the information technology department. The department also provides post-purchase technical and maintenance support. The department has not expanded into the training role called for by the technology plan.
The 2000 midterm focused self study noted, "While data has been collected more frequently and comprehensively through manual methods, the collection, sharing, and dissemination of this data has been hampered by lack of a uniform institutional database within the COM-FSM system." This statement remains true in 2003, although the strategic plan 2001-2006 called for the implementation of such an integrated system by December 15, 2001.
Information critical to research remains in isolated systems. Entrance test information remains in spreadsheets with the administrative assistant to the vice president for support and student affairs (VPSSA). Enrollment status, grades, and other course related data is in a database in the office of admissions and records (OAR). Some data, such as the number of graduates, are still tallied manually. Financials are isolated in a proprietary system used by the business office. Financial aid information is contained in a couple different disparate systems in the financial aid office (FAO). Longitudinal data is maintained in word processing documents held with the vice president for instructional affairs (VPIA). Other data is kept in other separate systems and software. Data at the state campuses is as fragmented and all the more inaccessible.
There is essentially no way to run studies that require matching data across systems. Studies such as whether there is any linkage between student performance and financial aid status are difficult to impossible to perform. Determining whether the entrance test is predictive of student success requires custom building spreadsheets that pull together data from the VPSSA and OAR. Performing ad hoc research in OAR requires the ability to write Microsoft Access queries. The staff specializes only in data entry and retrieval.
The complications presented by disconnected systems is compounded by the lack of data. For example, whether older students perform differently from younger students would require that date of birth data be consistently entered. Students, however, are generally entered from class lists. Demographic data is not always entered. Former directors of research and planning have been frustrated by the disconnected systems, absence of desired data categories, and the need to perform much of the work personally.
The college, however, is small and located on an isolated island. Attracting staff with a talent for systems integration and database query writing is generally problematic. Faculty who have worked with the various offices have always found them to be cooperative and willing to share what data they do have.
Systems for collecting and making available program student learning outcomes evaluation data have yet to be determined.
A study was done of the technology plan and estimated that 35% of the implementable outcomes had not been implemented. The study noted that the plan was not widely read or known and that parts of it had become irrelevant.
Although the college could obviously benefit from integrated systems to assist with research, the costs of obtaining the software and hardware, along with the steep training curves, have completely stymied any move toward integrated systems. Systems that would handle the complexity of the six campus college system have been estimated to cost in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Extensive customization would likely be needed due to the special needs of the business office. The business office has to report under two different accounting systems, one to fit United States categories, one to fit Federated States of Micronesia categories.
The college can make modest gains in integration and productivity by connecting the administrative assistants for the vice presidents into the OAR database. With training the entrance test data could be entered into the OAR database directly. A double entry of the National campus schedules by the assistant to the VPIA and OAR could be also be eliminated by this connection. Experimental work done in 1995 showed that the college could potentially develop and deploy a module to handle financial aid historical data that would provide partial integration with OAR and FAO.
The technology advisory committee in conjunction with the information technology department will review the technology plan. The plan will be revised into an actionable format and new time lines will be developed.
The visiting team recommends that COM-FSM act as a system to share library resources among the National and state campuses. This would include placing a high priority on addressing the facility needs at the state campuses and exploring the feasibility of using telecommunications technologies more effectively among all campus library resources.
The new library plan, included within the overall strategic plan, stresses the accessibility of library resources for the system. The Ariel document delivery system that was funded by a grant from the Australian embassy has been implemented. All of the campuses with learning resources have access to the Internet in their learning resource centers. The college obtained an EBSCO subscription for all campuses. EBSCO is being promoted at all campuses and is being used with varying frequencies due to course assignments.
All of the campuses with a learning resource center as of fall 2003 were connected to the college's wide area network. The college leases fractional T1 lines to connect together the campuses of the college.
The IMLS/NLG Model Digitization project acquired additional software and hardware in addition to Adobe Capture Software for the conversion and indexing of materials from the archives and Pacific collection into portable document format files. Finereader pro has been used to scan a number of documents. Not all materials that have been scanned are available at this point on the college web site. Decisions have yet to be made on how to index the materials and on the structure of the digital library web site.
The online catalog is being retroconverted and cleaned up for access via the Internet. Work on the retroconversion is anticipated to be complete in January 2004. This will provide access to the OPAC system via the Internet.
Regarding facilities needs, the new multi-purpose building at the Pohnpei campus was dedicated on September 30, 1998, and includes a modest learning resource center. Kosrae campus has entered into an agreement to share library facilities with the adjacent high school. Yap campus's administrative building was completed in 2000 and also includes a modest learning resource center.
Although plans called for the construction of a new campus for Chuuk, this was plan was put on indefinite hold when a site survey contra-indicated construction. The campus lost its original small and inadequate learning resource center when the lease for rooms in the building containing the learning resource center was not renewed. The collection had been moved into containers until fall 2003 when a new learning resource center was set up in another leased building. After weeding and sorting the collection is estimated at 3000 volumes. The director of the learning resource center and the director of Chuuk campus were working on expanding the collection at the time this document was written. The resource center has eight computers with Internet and EBSCO access. The college intends for this learning resource center to be a temporary location until an alternate permanent site for the Chuuk campus can be secured.
Staff development has been assisted over the past four years with three IMLS grant sponsored training institutes. The recent PIALA conference held on Pohnpei also provided a unique training and professional development opportunity for the staff of the National and Pohnpei state campuses.
Progress is being made, especially under the leadership of the National campus. While the untimely loss in November, 2002, of the college's long serving first director of the learning resources center was a tragic loss for the institution and its members, the new director is overseeing a strong plan for the development of the learning resources on all campuses of the college. The plans include expansion in both the quantity and diversity of holdings as well as an investment in staff development and training. While much progress has been made, the plans the library is putting into place will strengthen the institution in the years to come.
During the next two years the National campus will build an online web based catalog. The catalog will contain the records of the National campus holdings and at least 500 holdings from each of the state campus learning resource centers. The college will subscribe to an online major references provider. This will expand the reference resources for all learning resource centers. The National campus will continue to expand the holdings of the online digital library. Material in the Pacific collection that can legally be made available online will be scanned and placed on the college web site.
The Chuuk campus resource center will expand the number of computers available to students in the next six months. Within six months the Chuuk resource center should have up to twenty computers. The director of the National campus learning resource center will assist in selecting books to expand the Chuuk campus collection. The director will also determine the training and staff development needs of the personnel at the Chuuk campus learning resource center.
The visiting team recommends that COM-FSM place a high priority on filling full-time faculty positions at all state campuses. Positions in English and Computer Sciences are especially sensitive and critical as building blocks for the state campus educational programs.
Advertisements for all positions are placed semi-annually in the Chronicle of Higher Education. In addition, all positions are posted on the college web site and updated on a regular basis. Supervisors utilize web sites of professional organizations to advertise positions. An internal distribution list within the FSM of all major educational and government institutions receives all college job vacancy notices and position descriptions.
The factors of location, time, distance, and level of compensation continue to challenge the college recruitment and employment process. Turn-over essentially guarantees that at any one time one or more campuses is engaged in a search for faculty.
The college will continue to proactively advertise all positions through the Chronicle of Higher Education, our institutional web site, professional organization web sites, and through an internal FSM distribution process. A salary survey will be conducted, although any adjustment in salaries appears problematic at this point. The budget has been effectively frozen for the past two years and there is no indication that the budget situation will improve in the next twenty years.
The visiting team recommends that COM-FSM immediately update the existing personnel manual and include it in the institution-wide policy and procedures manual. The manual should ensure that the new employee improvement plan is complete and that the evaluation instrument used have as its primary focus the improvement of job performance based on work-related criteria.
Action letter 3. The institution needs to review and update personnel policies, procedures, and manuals to insure institution-wide understanding and implementation. (Standards 7D.I, 7D.3)
In February 1999 a revised and updated Personnel Policies and Procedures Manual was developed and distributed to all components of the college. Further revisions and inclusions were approved by the Board of Regents on May 30, 2000.
The Personnel Policies and Procedures Manual was subsequently updated and distributed to all full-time employees. Meetings were held at all state campuses and Fisheries and Maritime Institute in the fall of 2001. The purpose of the workshops was to familiarize all employees with all the personnel policies and procedures of the college. These workshops were reported to the board during the December 2001 board meeting.
In the spring of 2002 three workshops were held at the National campus to educate them on personnel policies and procedures of the college. These workshops were reported to the board in May 2002.
In fall 2003 new updates were being prepared for the personnel manual.
At the October, 2003, meeting of the Board of Regents the extended benefits policy was approved. As of late fall 2003, the policy is posted on the college web site but has yet to be published in print.
Work on an new evaluation instrument for faculty began in spring 2001. An initial proposal based on the evaluation system used at Northern Marianas College was prepared, discussed, modified, but never approved. With the process stagnating by the fall of 2002, a new evaluation system was proposed. The new system, consisting primarily of a two page form, was approved by the curriculum committee with modifications in December 2002. Although the curriculum committee thought the form had been passed to personnel committee, the personnel committee had apparently held off consideration of the form pending a determination that all faculty had seen the modified document curriculum committee approved. The curriculum committee was unaware that the onus had returned to curriculum and no further progress was made in adopting the proposed evaluation form during spring and summer 2003.
During the fall of 2003 the effort to consider adoption of the new faculty evaluation system and associated form was restarted. This effort is ongoing.
A new evaluation system for professional staff at the college was adopted in 2001 and was implemented November 1, 2003. Workshops were held for supervisors of professional staff on the new evaluation system.
An intellectual property policy was developed by an ad hoc committee. The policy was referred to the personnel committee. The personnel committee apparently asked for clarification of the policy, but the chair of ad hoc committee did not respond prior to his departure from the college. Turn-over at the college frequently takes away key personnel who are, in effect, the "champion" for a particular policy or procedure change. With the departure of the ad hoc chair, the committee never reconvened.
The personnel manual is the single most actively maintained and widely distributed of the policy manuals. The manual is being kept up to date, and recurring workshops have provided opportunities for employees to become familiar with the manual. When appropriate, the personnel committee seeks input on proposed changes to the manual from all segments of the college system. Implementation of the new classified and professional evaluation form for classified and professional employees is occurring. Implementation of the proposed faculty evaluation system is pending approval by personnel committee and final approvals by the cabinet and president. This process may be delayed if the decision is made to take the modified form back to all faculty for comment.
Negotiating and approving a new faculty evaluation system has had unexpected twists, turns, and delays. There are indications that the process might finally reach a successful conclusion in this academic year. If approved, then the new system could be implemented for academic year 2004-2005. The personnel committee will also be working during this academic year on a professional code of ethics, salary surveys with regional institutions, and issues pertaining notice of resignation or non-renewal. The personnel office hopes to acquire human resources management software during fiscal year 2004.
The visiting team recommends that the National campus give immediate attention to the management of the dormitory facilities. A program which increases students' sensitivity to a more appropriate study, as well as social, environment, should be put into place as soon as possible. It is further recommended that an immediate priority be given to making available existing facilities for student recreation use, until such time as recreational facilities can be constructed.
Action letter 2. The college should address concerns about the quality of student life and the serious concerns raised by the team regarding management of the college dormitories and appropriate supervision of students (Standard 5.6, 5.8)
Although in June 1998 the college secured the services of a dormitory manager with a professional background in managing dormitories at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, this manager subsequently departed the college. Maintenance and repair of the dormitories is ongoing, with the residents currently most concerned about repairs to bathroom fixtures. Difficulties with securing a twenty-four hour a day water supply were alleviated in 2003 with the addition of a well on the campus property. The dormitories now have a twenty-four a day water and that water is potable. Both the residents assistants program and the janitorial services for the dormitory are ongoing. Both the women's and men's dormitory each have a dormitory manager. A new dormitory manager was selected for the men's dormitory in the fall of 2003.
Beginning in fall 2003, as part of reorganization of the dormitory management structure, eight dormitory advisors each were being selected, with four assigned to each dormitory. The advisors are under special contract and the college envisions a work schedule wherein the dormitories have supervision in place day and night in addition to the existing student resident assistants. The advisors must have an associate's degree and experience with youth.
The student union was established in 1999. The television and table games were subsequently removed to the FSM-China Friendship Sport Center. The center has more space for the table games, and freed up the student union for quiet study and relaxation.
Local cultural huts adjacent to the main parking lot continue to be used for relaxation and as a place to "hang out" by the students. The cultural huts are the only location on campus at which betel nut chewing is permitted. Unfortunately the betel nut and the associated spitting have degraded the cleanliness of the area around the huts. Betel nut is a part of the traditions and culture of Yap, although the habit of chewing is now practiced by Micronesians from all four states.
Efforts have been made to improve the recreational options for all students, but most directly the dormitory students. The single most significant improvement has been the construction of the friendship center replete with two basketball courts. These twin gyms are also used for volleyball, and the locker rooms provide a place to shower and change after exercise or sport activities. The most recent addition to the center has been outdoor basketball hoops for pick-up games of one-on-one and three-on-three. The center has become a sports showpiece for not just the college but the nation.
The biennial dormitory survey was conducted from September 4, 2003 to September 17, 2003. There were seven core questions followed by space for comments. The seven core questions were numbered four to ten (the first three questions were demographic: name, gender, and class).
The mean response for each question was in the negative - for six of the seven questions dormitory students, on average, responded in disagreement with the statement. The only question that yielded agreement on average was question eight on the effectiveness of students as residence hall assistants.
The following chart depicts the mean for each question and the boundaries of the 95% confidence interval for that question.
Dormitory students most strongly disagreed with question five. Question five stated that the dormitory is well maintained, painted, cleaned, repaired, and has adequate facilities. Comments written by the students echoed this concern, with a focus on the condition of the bathrooms.
After question five, questions six, seven and nine had the highest frequency of strong disagreement. The dormitory students have strong concerns about maintenance of the dormitories, provision of adequate living space, supervision by staff, and sufficiency of social activities.
The focused self study in 2000 noted that residence hall maintenance was evaluated negatively by 63.5% of the students surveyed. This negative rating has increased to 78% of the students surveyed. Sixty percent of students thought that there were not enough good social activities happening in the residence halls, this has climbed to 63%. Fifty-five percent of the students indicated that residence hall supervision was not good, this has risen to a 59% negative rating. On key metrics the college is doing worse than three years ago.
The student comments could be categorized by a limited number of themes, with the need to repair and maintain the bathrooms leading the list.
|Bathroom: clean, repair, fix faucets, etc.||20|
|TV VCR movies: Buy new VCR, allow TV every night.||19|
|More bus trips especially to the river, weekend overnights.||11|
|General ongoing clean up.||9|
|Control noise, enforce quiet hours, keep halls quiet.||8|
|Bring in new management, change dormitory supervision.||7|
|Fix and improve the laundry, make the machines free.||5|
|Prevent drunk students and outsiders from coming in dormitories.||4|
|Install air conditioning.||3|
|Provide a store in the dormitory.||2|
|Abolish quiet hours.||2|
The frequency refers to the number of times the item was mentioned by different students. Statistically indistinguishable from the concern over the state of repair of the bathrooms was the desire for a new VCR and television along with extended viewing hours. The third most frequent comment category focused on increasing the number of bus trips, both to town in the evenings and to rivers on the island. This category also included comments favoring more overnight trips to lagoon islands.
Of concern, but on a lower tier than the earlier items, is the need for general clean up, repainting, noise control, and a change in the supervision of the dormitories. Among these comments three specifically critiqued management of the women's dormitory.
The survey suggests the college needs to reinvigorate its efforts to improve the dormitories. The survey itself could also use improvement. Students have expressed concerns to faculty that the selection of resident hall assistants is not without bias. Understanding subtler issues in the dormitory would require a better instrument.
While the survey queried security in the residence hall, the survey did not also query perception of safety on campus nor security on campus. The survey also did not seek to gather information on health related problems the students might have had, whether these were resolved, and by who the problem was resolved. The survey also did not specifically seek information that might reveal unreported incidents of violence against women and men.
The survey also did not seek to determine what recreational and social activities the students would like to see implemented. No questions sought to determine the order in which the college might pursue construction of further sports recreational facilities. Informal, unpublished surveys have suggested that the students would prefer a track and ball field be pursued next by the college. Improving the equipment in the weight room was also mentioned by some students.
In this day and age understanding the sexual habits of young people is critical to predicting the potential impact of HIV/AIDS. Other indicators including rates of gonorrhea and pregnancy suggest that the student population remains at risk from HIV/AIDS. Any such study should be carefully designed in consultation with external experts from other parts of the Pacific which are experiencing the AIDS crisis and who have experience in constructing survey questions targeting Pacific Island youth. Due to the unique relationship of the college to the dormitory students, the dormitory students should be a first priority in any such survey. Anecdotal evidence suggests that multiple-partnering, serial monogamy with multiple partners over time, and unsafe sex are not uncommon in the dormitory. Understanding the actual rates will be critical to developing educational and intervention programs.
Concerns arose in the spring of 2002 over the level of knowledge the college possesses regarding the health of the students in the dormitory. Although privacy policies protect some of the information, the death of female dormitory student in December 2001, appears to have been linked to a chronic illness that the student chose to conceal. The cause of the unfortunate death of another dormitory student in the summer of 2003 was never confirmed by autopsy, but an aneurism was suspected. Both cases have prompted the college to examine its health safety net for the dormitory students.
Although at one time the state of Pohnpei provided assistance in the form of a visiting medical doctor once a month, this service was terminated by the state. Community members have suggested that the college find ways and means of providing medical support beyond that provided by the college nurse including an annual physical each fall for the dormitory students.
At present medical support for the dormitory students is also limited by the lack of affordable student health insurance. Health insurance would permit students to access the private care system on Pohnpei, but no viable plan for implementing health care has been found.
The student union has not seen any significant change since its inception. The departure of the games tables and television to the friendship center provided space for more seating and possibly coffee tables and end tables.
The cultural huts are cultural in name only, and the natural divisions of the states are well displayed by the students choosing to "hang out" only at their own "state hut." Other than to rebuild storm-damaged huts, little more has been done with the huts since their inception.
During September 2003 an online email discussion of parking issues noted that students utilize their cars as lockers for books and as a place to sit and relax. Anecdotal evidence suggests this is in part a result of a lack of space for students to sit and relax between classes. At peak hours the library, the student union, and the cultural huts can all be relatively full.
For a time from 1998 to 2001 one of the academic computer laboratories was student run on both week nights and weekends. The laboratory was the only computer facility that remained open after the library closed. On weekends, with a dormitory curfew of 2:00 A.M., the laboratory was often open until 1:30 A.M. and later. The computers and their internet connection provided recreational email and chat access to the students who were in contact with their home islands and with friends and relatives abroad. With friends and siblings often living in the United States, the time difference made late night chatting an ideal time to reach those friends while they were on their campus stateside. Unfortunately the heavy usage and long hours created too much wear and tear on the computers, shortening their life. Supervision was also problematic, and problems with viruses and inappropriate material led to an end to the experiment. The dormitory students remain without significant computer access after hours.
By December 2003 maintenance is planning to repaint the interior of the dormitories. The shower valves will be replaced as soon as pipes necessary to the operation are received. A security service manager was added to the fiscal year 2004 budget. Hiring for this position, however, is on hold as of November 2003 due to budget issues. The college has renovation and repair schedule for the dormitories. The dormitory lounges will be modified and improved. A sofa, television, and VCR will be in each lounge. There are plans to build a separate, upgraded laundry facility. When the laundry area moves out of the dormitory the space freed up will be utilized to provide additional computer laboratory space in the dormitory. A student body association office was built in the student union area in the fall of 2003. New furniture, a television, and VCR will be placed in the student union area.
The visiting team recommends that COM-FSM address the grounds/maintenance staffing needs necessary to care for and improve the condition of the new facility at Palikir and particularly at the state campuses.
In 1995 the FSM Congress appropriated the sum of $400,000 to landscape the National campus. After considerable delay for various reasons, landscaping designs were completed by Mark Peterson Architects and bids for the project were announced in 1998. The project was organized into four major contracts: propagation, planting, drainage system, and site grading. When it was learned that all of the bids submitted far exceeded the funding available, it was decided that the college would enter into a contract with the FSM Department of Transportation, Communication, and Infrastructure to do the work. This contract was finalized and signed in September 1999 and work began shortly thereafter. Landscaping and grading of the areas adjacent the buildings at the National campus was completed. Storm drain pipes and drainage system were installed throughout the National campus. Plants, including trees, were chosen with input from a two member faculty team. The plants chosen were collected on island and transplanted to the campus.
In terms of personnel, one maintenance staff member is employed at Yap and Kosrae campuses while Pohnpei and Chuuk campuses have two maintenance workers. In fiscal year 2001 maintenance added three grounds maintenance positions. The National campus has one landscaper position to care specifically for the plants on campus.
Though janitorial services have been subcontracted to other service providers, the extensive nature of the new building and landscaping activities at National, Pohnpei, Kosrae and Yap Campuses has created increased time demands upon the maintenance personnel. The subcontractee for security services was suspended during fall 2003. This subcontract will be put out again for bid. Maintenance added a clerical position.
Over a twelve month time frame, maintenance plans to increase lighting on the National campus. Improvements in the recreation and lobby areas of the dormitories are also planned. The south side of the new National campus faculty building will be paved to expand parking capacity at the college. Policies will be developed to handle the parking problems that have developed at the National campus. The new faculty building will add 37 parking spots once completed.
Work on improving living conditions at the current Chuuk campus are occurring. This campus is seen as temporary and there are plans to move to a new facility by summer 2004. Negotiations are ongoing and a history of negotiations hitting unexpected delays in Chuuk leaves the final outcome uncertain.
During the next twenty-four months, there are plans to improve air conditioning in the learning resource center and faculty buildings. Where appropriate, window air conditioning units in laboratories will be replaced by split units. An elevator is planned for the learning resource center.
On a thirty-six month time frame, the college hopes to cover some of the walkways at the National campus and expand the building in which the bookstore is located in order to allow the bookstore to expand.
There is also a capital improvement plan (CIP) with long term facilities plans. Search for funding for this plan is ongoing. The CIP plan details a four year expansion of facilities at the National and state campuses. This plan includes an additional dormitory for the National campus.
The vice president for instructional affairs has been gathering longitudinal data for the institution. The unique location and circumstances of the college complicate some of the longitudinal data collection. These complications are noted below.
Overall mean course completion rates in recent terms have ranged from a low of 84% to a high of 95%.
High course completion rates, however, do not lead to high rates of graduation. Although many factors are involved in why students do not complete degrees, one factor may be that course completion rates in certain critical sequences are below the overall mean.
Many students place into developmental math where the rate of promotion to the next course was only 68.1% for fall 2002, spring 2003, and summer 2003. As this is a sequence of up to three courses, the low rate of student success has a cumulative effect. A five year effort to improve success rates in developmental mathematics under a Title III grant between 1995 and 2000 had a modest positive impact. Rates of promotion as low as 40% were recorded in some developmental math courses in the early 1990s. Pass rates in college level mathematics courses for fall 2002, spring 2003, and summer 2003 were 73.8%, although only 58.6% passed with a grade of "C" or above.
Developmental English courses have a completion rate of 80.1% for the same three terms. The large number of students who pass through the developmental English courses results in a significant impact on final graduation rates. Other subject areas with low rates of success include multimedia courses (72.7%), accounting courses (73.8%), science courses (76.0%), and business courses (76.5%). The highest rates of success are experienced in agriculture courses (94.1%), education courses (93.3%), information systems courses (90.4%), and social science courses (89.2%).
Transfer rates are not well known. About 47% of the graduates are estimated to have sought additional education according to the office of instructional affairs. An estimated 8% achieve a bachelor's degree. The University of Hawaii at Hilo tracked College of Micronesia-FSM students and found that their grade point averages were higher than other Micronesian students at UH Hilo.
Students who transfer abroad depart the island and travel thousands of miles away to foreign nations including the United States. While some students transfer after graduation, others leave prior to graduation. Transcript requests are anecdotally considered to be poor indicators of actual attendance. Students often travel abroad with the initial intent of going to school and therefore make a transcript request. The college is aware, however, that the lure of employment and a biweekly paycheck often causes students to opt to work rather than attend school. Citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) are free to live and work in the United States without a visa due to the habitual residency clauses of the Compact of Free Association.
The college completed a survey of education alumni within the FSM in July 2002. This study, limited to the FSM and to education majors only, determined training needs and sought to gauge the need for a bachelor's of education degree.
In the fall of 2003 the college made a first effort at conducting an alumni survey beyond the Federated States of Micronesia. The college has known that many students choose to continue their studies at the University of Hawaii at Hilo and other four-year institutions in Hawaii. An administrative assistant for the institutional research and planning office was sent to Hilo and Honolulu to attempt to directly contact alumni and conduct a survey. The report from this effort is still under preparation.
Between December 1999 and spring 2003, four hundred and thirty-one students graduated with associate's degrees in fourteen programs over a four year period. Thus the college graduates on the order of 108 students with associate's degrees per year. Details on third year certificates and one year certificate programs are in standard IIA.
|AS/Comp Info Sys||19||7||29||10||0||65||15.1%|
|AS/Teacher Ed Ele||2||3||5||0||0||10||2.3%|
|AS/Early Child Ed||0||0||9||0||0||9||2.1%|
The computer information systems, media studies, and Micronesian studies programs are newer programs.
To understand equity and diversity at graduation, enrollment data for fall 2002, cited above, was compared to each state's share of the graduates. Although these two pieces of data span different time frames, the percentages are still informative.
|State||Fall 02 Enrollment||Graduates 99 to 03||Fall share||Grad share||Change|
Anecdotal evidence suggested that Pohnpeian students, who live and home and commute to work, are more likely that students from the other states to leave college prior to graduation. The data above indicates that this is likely to be the case. This is a selection effect. Students from the other islands have to leave home and decide to pursue a college degree in a culture foreign to them. This selects for a slightly more motivated student. Even with the higher drop out rate, the Pohnpeian student's share of the graduates far exceeds their share of the National population. The result is that the National campus preferentially benefits Pohnpei island residents. With the national center of population in Chuuk, there is the potential for the development of educational inequality over a long time frame. Complicating this overly simplistic look at national higher education resources is the easier access to Guam enjoyed by residents of Chuuk state.
The college does not have systematic data on job placement. Anecdotally the college is the lead supplier of employees in the work force with higher education degrees. Many sectors appear to value the college's students. Programs such as accounting, computer information systems, media studies, and hotel and restaurant management all were designed to provide skills needed in the local community. Graduates of the college are often valued for their basic skills in mathematics and English by employers ranging from banks to the local newspaper.
The office of instructional affairs has some estimates related to employment. Of local alumni surveyed, 66% indicated that they were employed in education. Many alumni who choose to remain in the FSM become elementary and secondary school teachers. On the order of 50% of the college's graduates seek additional education. Local employers express satisfaction with the college graduates as employees.
As noted in a later section, information held at the Micronesian Seminar suggests that over a ten year period in the late nineties, ten of eleven new jobs taken by Micronesians were found abroad. This estimation was for all Micronesians, not specifically graduates of the college. With their skills, collegiate knowledge, and often a desire to transfer into four-year degree programs abroad, the graduates of the college may be even more likely to depart the nation. Employment opportunities in the islands remain limited at best. Any local survey risks neglecting at least 91% of the employment picture and quite likely more than this.
Anecdotal evidence gathered from chance encounters with employers abroad suggests that the graduates are valued for their dependability, trustworthiness, reliability, and skills. The only fault mentioned was the habit of spitting.
Details on programs that lead to licensure are covered in standard IIA.
The college is the only regional accredited institution of higher education in the FSM. The uniquely isolated environment of the islands of the FSM coupled with cultural factors complicate defining persistence from the point of view of the students. Based on conversations with students both within the FSM and outside the FSM, the college's Micronesian students consider themselves to be students until they graduate.
In rare instances students have been attending on and off over a period of a decade and consider themselves still a student in school pursuing a degree. Students frequently take a term, a year, or more off from college yet still consider themselves to be active students attending the college. A faculty once met a former student who had been working for a year at a large discount store on Guam. The faculty member asked if the student was planning to return to school. The student answered that she was still in school, just taking a break to work. The student had left the country and was working abroad and still considered herself an active student of the college.
The vice president for instructional affairs did research on persistence rates following cohorts of new freshmen in 1996, 1997, and 1998. This data showed that students required a mean of 5.5 terms to graduate with a two year degree. Graduation peaks at five terms after entry.
The office of instructional affairs reported the following persistence data based on the cohorts cited above:
The office of instructional affairs has noted that the first year retention rate, that is the percentage of first time, full-time students that start in the fall and enroll the following fall, indicates how well an institution retains students from the fall of their first year to the the fall of their second year. Traditionally this has been called freshman-to-sophomore retention, however those terms refer to specific numbers of credit hours earned and this may be misleading. First year student retention is probably more accurate.
Based on data where cohorts of freshmen were tracked from 1996 to 1999, 299 students graduated of the 1069 students in the cohorts as of spring 2002. This represents a graduation rate of twenty-eight percent after eight terms.
The following table shows the average graduation rate after eight terms for the three cohorts above in select programs.
|Program||Percent of Intake that Graduated|
The high graduation rate seen in one of the college's most academically challenging programs is due to a number of factors. Students are pre-selected by a coordinator, although the program is open to any student who wishes to join the program. The coordinator asks that students in this major attend a three-day a week study, advising, and career counseling session during their two years with the college. The success of this model has depended on the efforts and sacrifice of the coordinator and the willingness of the students to participate in the program. The success of this program has been noted, but replication of those features that are thought to make it successful has never been accomplished by any other program to date.
Students presently enter the college's two-year degree program through two different entry points. Those students whose skills in English are the weakest have been entering through a state campus based intensive English program (IEP). Although the intensive English program included the word "program," the students were actually admitted to degree granting programs by major. Course completion rates for the IEP courses were 81.2% for fall 2002, spring 2003, and summer 2003.
Students with slightly stronger English skills entered through developmental English courses labeled with an English as a second language (ESL) prefix. In some instances students who completed the one year IEP were then placed into developmental English courses. The developmental English courses are offered at the national and state campuses. Course completion rates for the ESL courses were 80.1% for fall 2002, spring 2003, and summer 2003, although only 69.6% attained a grade of "C" or better.
Developmental mathematics courses, where a student must attain a grade of "C" or better to be promoted, had a promotion rate of 68.1% for fall 2002, spring 2003, and summer 2003.
No systematic data exists on success after transfer. The only information the college has is anecdotal evidence gleaned from chance conversations and occasional email contacts. Locating alumni abroad is difficult. Even once located, survey return rates are low. Anecdotally students feel that the college does a good job of preparing them for success in their new schools. Students often mention that the College of Micronesia-FSM was their first school that really required homework and serious studying. Students, especially those who were in the LA/Health Careers program, have noted that the college taught them self-discipline.
The average occupancy rate of the classrooms at the National campus for the two semesters and summer session of school year 2001 to 2002 was 82%.
Within classrooms, instructors are to be utilizing course outlines based on student learning outcomes. A review of outlines reported on in IIA1c indicates that there are still some outlines that need to rewritten in student learning outcomes format. The extent to which instructors actually use college outlines is addressed in standard IIA.
The College is still developing the capacity to conduct formal program level assessment of student learning outcomes. College-wide assessment beyond the course level remains embryonic. As the result of an ongoing dialog primarily among division chairs, the academic divisions appear to be adopting a model wherein some form of measurement or standards that are external to the classroom are used to validate the grades in a given program. This model is detailed in standard IB, although system-wide implementation of these evaluation systems remains to be worked out.
The college sent representatives to conferences on assessment on Guam in May 1998, and in California in April 1999. A memorandum issued by the office of the vice president for instructional affairs on May 2, 2001, ordered that all outlines be reviewed to ensure that the specific objectives are stated in terms of measurable student learning outcomes. A plenary presentation on student learning outcomes and accreditation was presented at the staff development day on February 22, 2002. A member of faculty began working with the chairs on developing student learning outcomes in October 2002. The same member of faculty met with the state campus directors and held a workshop on student learning outcomes on December 5, 2002. On August 5, 2003, the director of the learning resource center and a faculty member led a faculty workshop on student learning outcomes. In October 2003 the vice president for instructional affairs held workshops on student learning outcomes at the Chuuk and Yap state campuses. During November 2003 the vice president for instructional affairs held a workshop at Kosrae state campus on student learning outcomes.
The mission statement is relevant and remains a guiding force for the college. The mission statement was forged out of an intense and inclusive process. The college establishes learning programs and services in alignment with the mission statement. The mission statement is central to planning.
The process by which the mission statement was forged and general agreement that the mission statement is familiar, clear, direct, realistic, and successfully implemented, has led to a reticence to review the mission statement. Since the mission statement was adopted in 1999 there has been no significant review of the mission statement. Any review process will have to be as inclusive as the original creation process in order for the result to be accepted.
There are now at least four dialogs that should occur as part of a review of the mission statement. The first dialog should center on the meaning and measurability of the phrases, "a breadth of vision, and the habit of reflection."
The second dialog should tackle whether the mission statement lacks a clear commitment to national manpower and development needs. This second dialog is complex as there is an argument that can be made based on high national emigration rates that a major mission of the college from the perspective of the students is to prepare them for work abroad. The demographics of the nation, national income issues, and the lack of resources argues that the nation cannot, in general, hire the manpower being produced by the college.
The third dialog concerns whether the college provides an opportunity to learn or guarantees that specified learning will occur. The current mission statement refers to an opportunity to learn. Preliminary discussion indicated deep divisions within the faculty on whether learning can be an assured outcome.
The fourth dialog is a dialog on whether the institution is "uniquely Micronesian" and does enough to support local language and culture.
The college is in a period of transition and introspection. Measures of institutional effectiveness are shifting from student achievement data to measurements of program level student learning outcomes. Led by the academic chairs and the faculty, the college has been engaged in a lively and, at times, a bruising discussion of student learning and how to measure and report that learning. The college is not of a single mind. The discussions occurring in the cubicles, on the sidewalks, and over cafeteria tables are real.
Although not formally adopted, the college has developed a model wherein evaluation of program level student learning outcomes is argued to provide validation to course grades. In a sentence, the model evaluates institutional effectiveness via qualified faculty who implement course outlines comprised of student learning outcomes producing trusted grades which are validated by a program student learning outcomes instrument external to any one course. The program level validation external to the classroom is seen as a critical and unique component of the model.
The model also drives assessment away from a central institutional research office and out into the academic divisions. The center of gravity for assessment is seen as shifting from administrative offices to division, unit, and department chairs and heads. This process should bring assessment closer to where learning is occurring, critical to effectively measuring learning. The institutional research office would still be responsible for generating student achievement data, demographic data, and longitudinal data for the college.
Coeval to the above changes, the recommendation has been made to terminate the assessment committee and integrate its functionality into other committees. Academic assessment will be reported into the Curriculum committee. New efforts must be made to find ways to include the active participation of state campus personnel on other islands who are assigned to committees at the National campus on Pohnpei.
The college is conducting a review of course outlines to determine whether there are courses using out of date outlines or outlines that do not utilize measurable student learning outcomes. The college is continuing to develop program level student learning outcomes and assessment instruments. The college will have to find ways to effectively communicate the results of these new assessments to the appropriate constituencies.
The College of Micronesia - FSM offers the following programs to meet its mission: six associate of arts degrees, seven associate of science degrees, five third-year certificates of achievement, and 18 certificates of achievement. Other short-term certificate programs are offered primarily at the state campuses in response to expressed local needs. The college also offers certificate programs at the FSM Fisheries and Maritime Institute (FSM FMI). With respect to the mission statement, there is a need to shift from an emphasis on learning opportunities to one on learning outcomes. There is also a need to establish mechanisms to ensure that state campus faculty are provided adequate resources to deliver programs in support of the college's mission.
Students' educational needs are primarily determined through administration of entrance and placement tests in the areas of English and mathematics. The college is still developing the capacity to conduct formal program level assessment of student learning outcomes. The president's cabinet will develop a plan for the establishment and assessment of student learning outcomes at the course and program levels. The cabinet will also be responsible for the overall coordination of the implementation of this plan. Responsibility for the actual development of instructional student learning outcomes at the course and program levels is to be delegated to the vice president for instructional affairs, the division chairs, and faculty in partnership with their counterparts at the state campuses.
The college uses a wide variety of modes of instruction and delivery systems that are compatible with the student learning outcomes of the curriculum. Concerns were expressed by faculty and staff at Chuuk campus regarding the tendency to downgrade instructional activities that are required in the course outline to fit the academic levels of the students. There were also concerns at Chuuk campus concerning the frequent power outages, lack of textbooks, and inadequate classroom space. These limitations provide barriers to the minimum delivery of instruction. To address these concerns and others expressed in the self study, the vice president for instructional affairs has implemented a monitoring system whereby division chairpersons from the National campus visit state campuses to observe instruction in the classrooms and determine whether or not instructors are adhering to the course outlines and using appropriate textbooks. Since the possibility of compromised courses at Chuuk campus has been reported by a faculty member at the Chuuk campus, the vice president for instructional affairs will discuss the matter with the director of Chuuk campus and the campus will be placed on warning. The vice president will also review with the Chuuk campus director the operations of the bookstore there to determine why instructors have not been able to secure adequate textbooks for their use the use of their students.
Through its Curriculum Committee, the college has established a policy of converting its course outlines to a student learning outcome format and developing mechanisms in individual classes, courses, and programs to assess student achievement of learning outcomes. The Board of Regents passed a resolution in March 2003 assigning the college the responsibility of refining, monitoring, and strengthening the college-wide assessment plan and schedule. Although much has been accomplished by faculty in the development of student learning outcomes, much remains to be done. There is a need for the National and state campus faculty to share responsibility for the development and revision of course outlines for courses that are taught at two or more campuses. There is also a need to ensure that all faculty who are teaching the same course are achieving the same student learning outcomes with their classes no matter where they are being taught. The vice president for instructional affairs and the division chairpersons will develop and implement mechanisms to improve communication within the system as a whole and ensure the involvement of state campus faculty in the development and revision of course and program outcomes.
All of the college's courses, whether they are offered for credit or non-credit, are reviewed and approved by the Curriculum Committee. The Curriculum Committee also reviews pertinent studies that have been conducted on the college's programs. In that regard, concerns have repeatedly surfaced regarding the data on the Intensive English Program (IEP). The vice president for instructional affairs, the state campus directors, the chair of the Division of Languages and Literature, and IEP faculty met in September 2003 to review IEP instructional issues and to make recommendations regarding the implementation of this program. These changes may be implemented at the beginning of the spring 2004 semester, pending Curriculum Committee review. Concerns have also surfaced regarding the grades being awarded at the various campuses. There is currently a lack of clear lines of responsibility and authority for instructional programs at the state campuses. There is a need for a review of the college's organizational structure to ensure that the VPIA has authority for overall program quality and integrity throughout the system, including all of the campuses.
Procedures for approval of new degree and certificate programs, new courses, non-credit courses, and non-credit programs are outlined in the COM-FSM Curriculum Handbook. The Curriculum Committee is charged with reviewing, assessing, and advising the president on all matters pertaining to programs, curricula, and academic policies and procedures. Faculty are central to the curriculum development process in that they develop, redevelop, revise, and rewrite course outlines for approval of the Curriculum Committee. As stated earlier, there remains a need to develop mechanisms to provide for greater involvement of state campus faculty in the process.
Competency levels and measurable student learning outcomes are determined by faculty with assistance provided in some instances by an advisory committee. The college has taken the position that if student learning outcomes are determined and the instructor includes authentic assessment which is then graded, then the direct evidence results in a piece of indirect evidence, the course grade. The course grade may be further corroborated through the use of external assessment measures. With the exception of the program health indicators program review process implemented several years ago and then recently abandoned, little progress has been made in evaluation of student learning outcomes at the program and degree levels.
The college purports to offer high-quality programs because highly qualified faculty are offering courses based on student learning outcomes that are referenced against like courses at similar institutions. Textbooks also provide a referent to whether a course is at a collegiate or pre-collegiate level. The qualities of appropriate breadth, depth, rigor, sequencing, time to completion, and synthesis of learning are determined by the faculty for their own courses.
The majority of faculty at the college use multiple means of delivering content and orchestrating student engagement with the subject matter. A variety of classroom assessment methods were also reported on a faculty survey. However, the development of authentic assessment methods based on measurable learning outcomes is still in a rather early stage at the college. Also, although some of the faculty are formally using learning styles inventories, the vice president for instructional affairs indicated that determining the diversity of learning needs of the students is an issue that the college has not addressed well in a formal manner. In that regard, workshops on student learning styles and methods of instructional delivery will be arranged by the VPIA and delivered system wide on a regular basis.
The college's Policy on Instructional Program Evaluation was recently revised to include measurement of student learning outcomes at the course and program levels. A proposed action plan for the program evaluation for school year 2003-2004 was also disseminated by the VPIA. There is a plan for the cabinet to put in place mechanisms to ensure links between the performance-based budget, the strategic plan, program review, and resource allocation for the purpose of continuous instructional improvement of programs and services to the students.
The notion of ongoing planning has been embraced by many at the college. However, there is no mechanism in place to ensure that the institution engages in ongoing, systematic evaluation and integrated planning and makes improvements based on the outcomes of this process.
Only initial attempts have been made towards the development and implementation of binding exit examinations for courses and programs. There is a need for expertise in the area of testing and evaluation of exit tests as they are being selected and/or developed.
Student learning outcomes stated in the course outlines form the basis for student evaluation and the award of credit. The unit credit at the college is the semester credit. The definition of credit used by the college is perceived to be in line with that typically used by institutions of higher education as evidenced by the course-by-course and program articulation agreements between COM-FSM and other colleges and universities.
Dialog on the awarding of degrees and certificates based on student learning outcomes resulted in general agreement among the division chairpersons that if measurable student learning outcomes that are clearly related to the established program outcomes are the basis for awarding course grades, then passing course grades could be used as evidence that students have achieved the outcomes of the course. There appears to also be agreement on the need for external measures of outcomes.
The general education program for academic programs is comprised of 29 credits in the following areas: English Communication Skills (9 credits); Mathematics (3 credits); Natural Sciences (7 credits); Social Sciences (3 credits); Computer Applications (3 credits); Physical Education (1 credit); and Humanities (3 credits). The general education program for vocational programs ranges from 12-29 credits. The general education philosophy is found on page 34 of the catalog. A mechanism for collection of follow-up data on students who have graduated from and/or left the college will be included in the overall assessment plan to be developed by the president's cabinet.
All of the program structures of the college's degree program include focused study in at least one area of inquiry with the exception of the AA in Liberal Arts which, by design, provides an interdisciplinary core.
The college relies on the vocational faculty to assess the students' ability to meet licensure or certification requirements. Students who complete the vocational certificate programs seek jobs both inside and outside of the FSM. However, students who complete the certificate programs face stiff competition with expatriate skilled laborers who are ready to work long hours and expect a lower wage. There is also a need for the FSM to establish licensing and/or certification requirements for the vocational and trade areas.
The college's policy regarding transfer students and transfer credit is found in INS 4.2 of the instructional policies and procedures manual. The college has entered into a number of articulation agreements with other two-year and four-year institutions. The college's database does not include a mechanism to track students who transfer to other institutions nor does it include a mechanism that allows for easy identification of students who have transferred credits to the college.
The college's Board of Regents adopted a policy on program deletion at its September 2001 meeting which can be found in the instruction policies and procedures manual. Although there is the perception that the college has provided assistance to students who were partially through a program when the requirements for that program were modified, there is a need to review the college's course substitution policy to provide greater discretion to the VPIA in substituting courses with similar learning outcomes.
While some divisions are attempting to ensure that faculty are adhering to course learning objectives, there is a need to develop and implement a mechanism to ensure e that all faculty, no matter where they are teaching, adhere to the approved outlines. There is also a need to review the college's organizational structure to ensure that the VPIA has authority for overall program quality and integrity throughout the system, including the state campuses. A review of the college's website revealed a need to update institutional publications and policies.
Academic freedom is protected through Section 5 of Public Law 7-79, the law that established the college. The board-approved policy on academic freedom and responsibility appears in several publications. There is a need for greater understanding of this policy among those affected by it.
The college has published an academic honesty policy that includes consequences for dishonesty. However, the results of an informal survey among faculty, both at the national and state campuses, show that not all faculty interpret and implement the policy in the same way. There is a need to foster a more consistent understanding and implementation of the policy.
The college currently does not have a code of conduct for faculty and staff. The VPIA has indicated his intention to develop such a code for consideration of the faculty, staff, and eventually the Board of Regents.
The college does not offer curriculum outside of the FSM.
The National campus provides residence halls and cafeteria, a dispensary with a nurse in attendance, support for a limited number of students who are the first in their families, counseling and sports and recreation for students. While there are some problems at the National campus, (e.g. there are not enough rooms in the dormitories for all those who would like to live there as well as some social problems there; there is no health insurance for students, more students need and want to participate in the Student Support Service Program (SSSP) than can be accommodated) most support needs are being addressed. Pohnpei state campus, also has at least the minimal needs of its students being met, partly because programs can be planned to include both National campus and Pohnpei campus students (Career Day, Health Fair, use of each other's recreation facilities). However Yap, Chuuk and Kosrae state Campuses and the Fisheries and Maritime Institute (FMI) have few services. There are admissions and financial aid Offices on each state campus that forward documents to the National campus office and assist students in completing forms, etc. Peer Counseling services are available at each state campus and Chuuk campus has two full time counselors. FMI has dormitories while the state campuses are considered commuter campuses.
Kosrae campus is located near the state gymnasium, tennis courts, and track. Pohnpei campus has a gymnasium and is located adjacent to a state ball field. The Fisheries and Maritime Institute is located near a gymnasium and track facility constructed for the FSM games in 2001. Chuuk campus, and Weno as a whole, lacks the range of facilities found on the other main islands of the FSM.
While there are support needs to be met at National campus, more planning needs to be focused on support services for the state campuses and FMI.
Among the six campuses of the College of Micronesia-FSM, the quality and sufficiency of the library and learning support services varies greatly in size, resources, and staffing.
The National campus Learning Resources Center provides facilities, collection resources, and services that are in general sufficient to support the learning needs of the students, the reference needs of faculty, and support the mission of the college. State campus libraries in Kosrae, Pohnpei, and Yap provide students and faculty with suitable library facilities and a minimum of basic references and resources and services to support student learning. Chuuk Campus and FMI libraries require plans, effort, and funding to address inadequate facilities, insufficient materials, and limited technology resources to meet student and faculty information needs. Chuuk campus library needs additional staff to address the increased student enrollment.
Attention to developing and enhancing state campus library collections and resources requires separate budget funding for collection development on a yearly basis for each state campus combined with efforts to seek grants and targeted donations.
Electronic information resources and Internet are available at all campuses but they can be enhanced with shared electronic subscriptions to selected reference works. The National campus LRC should continue efforts to increase state campus access through electronic meant to materials held in the special collections.
All campus libraries provide services in reference assistance, bibliographic instruction, and training to support student learning. There is a need to develop in collaboration with faculty a well-designed and comprehensive plan to identify student-learning outcomes for information literacy, provide instruction, and assess student-learning outcomes.
The evaluation of library services is conducted sporadically. All campus libraries will benefit from a plan to include a cycle of regular assessment, evaluation, and planning activities to assure the libraries adequacy in meeting student learning needs and as a basis for improvement.
All library staff members need opportunities to develop their understanding and skills for their roles in teaching and assessing student learning outcomes and to obtain appropriate credentials in library and information studies.
Human resources assists the college in evaluating whether or not the college effectively uses its human resources to achieve its broad educational purposes. The college employs diverse personnel who are qualified to support the college's programs and services. However, the question as to whether there is a sufficient number of qualified faculty and staff to support the college's mission and purposes varies from campus to campus.
Personnel policies and procedures are systematically developed and are available for information and review. The policies are written to ensure fairness and are generally adhered to. Currently, the faculty evaluation and code of ethics policy are being reviewed by the personnel committee.
All personnel are evaluated systematically and at stated intervals. Provisions exist for keeping personnel files and providing employees access to their files.
The college provides safe and sufficient facilities for the size and nature of the program offerings at five of the six campuses. The exception is the Chuuk campus which is presently located in facilities that are considered a temporary location. Efforts are under way to acquire a permanent facility for the Chuuk campus.
The National campus is the lead facility. The National campus is the largest and most diverse facility in the system. The state campus facilities, with the one exception noted above, are appropriate to the number of students served and programs offered. The instition maintains its facilities and plans for improvement. The National campus has issues to be resolved in regards access for the physically challenged. Plans are being made to resolve some of these issues.
The college has long range capital improvement plans, although funding remains uncertain. Resource planning is integrated with institutional planning. The planning process includes both national and state campus needs.
In 1992 the Community College fo Micronesia had on the order of two dozen computers including fifteen in a business class computer laboratory. No campus network existed at that time and the college had no technical support personnel. In 1996 the College of Micronesia-FSM acquired 1600 computers and outfitted three academic computer laboratories, the learning resource center, and an Intensive English Program laboratory with computers. Under the auspices of a Title III grant local area networks within buildings went into place and a single technical support person was hired and trained. By 1997 the college had a single computer laboratory connected to the Internet by a single dial-up connection. Only a few members of faculty and staff had dial-up connectivity to the Internet.
By 2003 the six campus system was interconnected by a wide area network (WAN) using fractional T1 lines for continuous connectivity via TCP/IP protocol. All of the learning resource centers computers and many of the academic laboratories are connected to the WAN and through that to the Internet. The Information Technology Department (ITD) is led by a director and has employees at four of the six campuses. On many campuses each member of faculty has a computer connected to the WAN and the Internet on their desk. The critical exception is the Chuuk campus where only the building with the library is currently connected to the WAN.
The college's technology resources and capabilities have made quantum leaps over the past decade. The college is the national leader in technology and computer resources. When the national Internet Service Provider (ISP) sought advice on handling crippling email viruses, worms, and trojan horses, the provider turned to the college for assistance.
The college faces unique challenges due to exreme distances, high communication costs, and limited satellite bandwidth.
The college is experimenting with wireless technologies and is discussing ways to move beyond the computer laboratory paradigm.
Areas of concern include finding a way to integrate business office, financial aid, and admissions and records computer systems and software. Another area of concern is adequate representation on the Technical Advisory Committee by non-technical and faculty members. A need exists to study and update the strategic plan for technology. The Chuuk campus lacks sufficient technological resources for their current enrollment. Issues of a potential future transistion to a permanent facility have caused the college to be reluctant to invest heavily in infrastructure that might be abandoned in the next twelve to twenty-four months. The information technology department should continue to find ways to move beyond operating primarily in a response mode and into a proactive systems management mode for security, stability, anti-virus, and product life cycle management. During a major virus or worm outbreak the department is swamped by work involved in cleaning client systems, bringing all other work to a halt. This will require additional funding for hardware and software to manage college computer resources.
Financial planning is integrated via the strategic plan with all programs and services of the college. The Finance Committeee, and hearings held by that committee, ensure a participative budget process. The college makes realistic assessments of financial resource availability. Teh college continues to week ways to stabilize the financial foundations of the institution. The college faces unique challenges and opportunities as the national college of a small, developing nation. Low per capita incomes and a dependence on foreign sources of financial aid (United States Pell Grant) add to the financial challenges for the college. Uncertainties surrounding the new Compact of Free Association between the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and the United States of America add to the planning challenges.
The FSM has requested that the college produce a financial needs statement for the next ten to twenty years.
The global economic downturn has had a negative impact on growth of the college endowment fund.
The college faces the possibility of its first significant long-term financial liability in its plans to seek a load to cover the cost of a proposed acquisition of a permanent home for the Chuuk campus. Questions have arisen as to whether it is appropriate to create indebtedness for the whole system in order to serve the needs of a single state.
The financial management systems of the college have appropriate control mechanisms. The college has had only minor audit compliance issues and these have all been resolved.
The college is transitioning to a performance based budget. Budget guidelines, however, are often still stated in percentage terms. Aligning budget management with the new performance based budget remains to be done.
Financial information should be more broadly shared and disseminated by the unit heads, whether division chairs or campus directors.
As this document went to press, the college learned that the college would be losing eligibility for Federal Work-Study and Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant as a result of a compromise between the US Senate and the US House on the Compact of Free Association. The college will have twelve to twenty-four months to assess the impact of this change.
The institution recognizes and utilizes the contributions of leadership throughout the organization for continuous improvement of the institution. Governance roles are designed to facilitate decisions that support student learning programs and services and improve institutional effectiveness, while acknowledging the designated responsibilities of the governing board and the chief administrator.
Governance at the College of Micronesia-FSM is shared amongst administration, faculty, support staff, and students. The president's cabinet serves as the president's management team and acts as an advisory body to the president on all matters relating to the welfare of the college. Faculty members are involved in institutional governance within their departments and within the greater College of Micronesia-FSM community. At least one faculty member is assigned to each major committee. The Staff Senate president at the National campus, who may be a faculty member, is part of the president's cabinet. The Student Body Association exists as a body organized to present student concerns to the administrators of the college. It is difficult to encourage faculty participation in the community life of the college when many faculty members do not feel that the college is making a permanent or long-term commitment to faculty. The college does not have a system of permanent tenure, but instead relies on three to four year contracts. The contracts can be non-renewed without cause being given.
The Board of Regents establishes the broad institutional policies of the college. It then delegates the day-to-day operations of the college under these policies to the president. The Board of Regents reviews policies and practices that the president calls to its attention. The Board of Regents ensures the educational programs of College of Micronesia-FSM are of high quality through reviewing the periodical reports from the president, listening to oral presentations from department heads, and requiring Board of Regent's approval of all major policies and curricula.
The decisions of the board are made to maximize the quality of the programs offered at College of Micronesia-FSM. The board spends most of its time on policy issues and leaves the day-to-day operations of the college to the president.
The Board of Regents oversees the financial health and integrity of College of Micronesia-FSM through approval of the annual budget, in-person presentation of the budget to the FSM Congressional appropriation committee, review of the quarterly reports on operational and capital funds prepared by the comptroller, and review of the annual audit. The Board of Regents confirms that institutional practices are consistent with the mission statement and policies it has approved through reviewing quarterly reports by the president and evaluation reports by the office of research and planning.
The board recognizes the need for board development and new member orientation in order to maintain a high level of functioning for the public and the students served by the college.
Members of the board may serve beyond the expiration date of their terms until their successors have been appointed. The initial terms of members of the board shall be counted towards the aforementioned limitation of terms. This act assures both continuity and staggered terms of office.
The board is fully informed about the accreditation process taking place at the college. The board is highly supportive of the college's efforts to evaluate itself. It takes the accreditation process very seriously.
The board members are aware of the ethical expectations placed on them.
The results of the survey indicate a general satisfaction among employees with the president's leadership role. The highest indication of his abilities comes from his administrative staff, but there appears to be room for improvement. The president should foster stronger communication between all levels of the college community.
This section is unique and is the result of a recommendation on the structure of the self study made by the Executive Director of the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges at a meeting in Honolulu on September 11, 2003. This section demonstrates that the Bachelor's of education meets both the extant junior commission standards and the standards of the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities.
The section notes the background in which the degree was developed, the national need for a degree, and the unique needs and challenges of Micronesia that the college feels can be best met by an indigenous institution. The degree is uniquely tailored in terms of content focus, professional development, and the Micronesian context in which the degree will occur. The program is based on measurable student learning outcomes at the course and program level. The program will assess and report on the accomplishment of the student learning outcomes. The program is unique in that the program asserts that if student graduates, the program will effectively guarantee the specific knowledge, capabilities, and capacities of the graduate. The program asserts that through measured and specific student learning outcomes, the program will be able to ensure the production of content and knowledge competent teachers.
The application for four-year status in education reflects the origins of the college and an ongoing mission of the college. The college was born out of a need to train teachers. Improving education within the Federated States of Micronesia requires that the college take the lead in teacher education. The current two year program is not producing a teacher capable of educating the students of this nation to twenty-first century standards. This program is critical to the college and the nation.
|Spensin James||Vice President for Instructional Affairs|
|Jonathan Gourlay||Chair Division of Languages and Literature, Editor self study report|
|Dana Lee Ling||Chair Division Natural Science and Mathematics, Accreditation Liaison Officer, Standard I Chair|
|Patricia Kelly||Faculty, Division of Languages and Literature, Standard IA|
|Susan R. Moses||Faculty, Division of Education, Standard IIA Co-Chair|
|Mariana Ben-Dereas||Faculty, Division of Social Sciences, Standard IIA Co-Chair|
|Eddie Haleyalig||Financial Aid Coordinator, Standard IIB Co-Chair|
|Arlene Dumantay||Admissions and Records, Standard IIB Co-Chair|
|Jenise Nicholson||Counselor, Standard IIB Lead Writer|
|Jean Thoulag||Director Learning Resource Center, Standard IIC Chair|
|Howard Rice||Chair Hospitality and Tourism, Standard III Chair|
|Faustino Yarofaisug||Work Study Coordinator, Standard IIIA|
|Linda Maradol||Director of Personnel|
|Jeff Steel||Faculty, Vocational Education, Pohnpei state campus, Standard IIIB|
|W. Gregg Longanecker||Faculty, Division of Natural Science and Mathematics, Standard IIIC|
|Charles Musana-Manyindo||Chair Division of Business, Standard IIID|
|Dale Griffith||Chair English Division, Pohnpei state campus, Standard IV Chair|
|Richard Womack||Chair Education, Senior Standards Chair|
|Norma Edwin||Executive Assistant to President|
|Dayle Dannis||Administrative Assistant to Institutional Research and Planning Director|
|Other Key Personnel|
|William Greg Myers||Institutional Research and Planning Director, Accreditation Liaison Officer 1999 - 2002|
|Glen Snider||Acting Institutional Research and Planning Director, Accreditation Liaison Officer 2002 - 2003|
The College of Micronesia-FSM was invited to pilot the new standards in a September 4, 2001 letter from the associate director of ACCJC. Subsequently, the president's cabinet recommended participation as a pilot institution to the Board of Regents who approved such participation at a March 7, 2002 teleconference meeting.
The college's self study process can be best described as a series of "fits and starts" as can be seen in the following chronology of events leading to the publication of the self study:
Although the members of the steering committee were aware that the development of the self study was to be a truly collaborative and cooperative effort by as many members of the college's community as possible, in actuality the bulk of the work was completed in the last two months by the steering committee members. As can be seen from the above time line of events, although the college was able to produce a self study document, for various reasons it lost an opportunity to conduct a "study of self" in the process of developing the report. The new coordinator of the self study and the members of the steering committee feel this loss deeply and have committed themselves to the implementation of an on-going "study of self" after the self study report has been submitted.
See manual for extended details.
Podis Pedrus, Chair Board of Regents, State of Pohnpei
Henry Robert, Vice Chair, State of Kosrae
Dr. Bryan Isaac, FSM Government
Joe Habuchmai, State of Yap
Tiser Lipwe, State of Chuuk
Michael Tatum, President
Spensin James, Vice President for Instructional Affairs
Ringlen Ringlen, Vice President for Support and Student Affairs
Yasuo I. Yamada, Vice President for Cooperative Research and Extension
Joakim Peter, Chuuk campus
Kalwin Kephas, Kosrae campus
Phiengphen (Penny) Weilbacher, Pohnpei campus
Lourdes Roboman, Yap campus
Matthias Ewarmai, Fisheries and Maritime Institution
Jean C. Thoulag, Learning Resource Center
Francisco Mendiola, Maintenance
Danilo Dumantay, Comptroller
Linda Maradol, Personnel
Anwar Jahan, Vocational Education
Gordon Segal, Information Technology
(Vacant), Research and Planning
(Vacant), Recreation and Sports Activities
(Vacant), Academic Programs
(Vacant), Student Services
All but four directors report through a vice president. The state campus directors report directly to the president. This structure has engendered questions as to the authority of the vice presidents over academic and student affairs in the state campuses. As presently interpreted, the vice presidents have no direct command or control over the state campuses.
Eddie Haleyalig, Financial Aid Coordinator
Arlene Dumantay, Admissions and Records Coordinator
Damian Sohl, National Language and Culture Institute
Iris Falcam, Pacific Collection Librarian
Patricio Ramirez, Men's Dormitory
Nancy Simor, Women's Dormitory
Alvin Ong, Food Services Manager
Castro Joab, Recreation
Certification of Compliance with 21 Eligibility Requirements.
Eligibility Requirements for Accreditation
(Adopted June, 1995; Revised January 1996)
In order to apply for eligibility, the institution must meet completely all Eligibility Requirements. Compliance with the criteria is expected to be continuous and will be validated periodically, normally as part of every institutional self study and comprehensive evaluation. Institutions that have achieved accreditation are expected to include in their self study reports information demonstrating that they continue to meet the eligibility requirements.
The institution is authorized or licensed to operate as an educational institution and to award degrees by an appropriate governmental organization or agency as required by each of the jurisdictions or regions in which it operates.
Private institutions, if required by the appropriate statutory regulatory body, must submit evidence of authorization, licensure, or approval by that body. If incorporated, the institution shall submit a copy of its articles of incorporation.
The institution's educational mission is clearly defined, adopted, and published by its governing board consistent with its legal authorization, and is appropriate to a degree-granting institution of higher education and the constituency it seeks to serve. The mission statement defines institutional commitment to achieving student learning.
3. GOVERNING BOARD
The institution has a functioning governing board responsible for the quality, and integrity, and financial stability of the institution and for ensuring that the institution's mission is being carried out. This board is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the financial resources of the institution are used to provide a sound educational program. Its membership is sufficient in size and composition to fulfill all board responsibilities.
The governing board is an independent policy-making body capable of reflecting constituent and public interest in board activities and decisions. A majority of the board members have no employment, family, ownership, or other personal financial interest in the institution. The board adheres to a conflict of interest policy which assures that those interests are disclosed and that they do not interfere with the impartiality of governing body members or outweigh the greater duty to secure and ensure the academic and fiscal integrity of the institution.
4. CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
The institution has a chief executive officer appointed by the governing board, whose full-time responsibility is to the institution, and who possesses the requisite authority to administer board policies. Neither the district/system chief administrator nor the college chief administrator may serve as the chair of the governing board.
5. ADMINISTRATIVE CAPACITY
The institution has sufficient staff, with appropriate preparation and experience to provide the administrative services necessary to support its mission and purpose.
6. OPERATIONAL STATUS
The institution is operational, with students actively pursuing its degree programs.
A substantial portion of the institution's educational offerings are programs that lead to degrees, and a significant proportion of its students are enrolled in them.
8. EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS
The institution's principal degree programs are congruent with its mission, are based on recognized higher education field(s) of study, are of sufficient content and length, are conducted at levels of quality and rigor appropriate to the degrees offered, and culminate in identified student outcomes. At least one degree program must be of two academic years in length.
9. ACADEMIC CREDIT
The institution awards academic credits based on generally accepted practices in degree-granting institutions of higher education. Public institutions governed by statutory or system regulatory requirements must provide appropriate information about the awarding of academic credit.
10. EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES STUDENT LEARNING AND ACHIEVEMENT
The institution defines and publishes for each program the program's expected student learning and achievement outcomes. Through regular and systematic assessment, it demonstrates that students who complete programs, no matter where or how they are offered, achieve these outcomes.
11. GENERAL EDUCATION
The institution defines and incorporates into all of its degree programs a substantial component of general education designed to ensure breadth of knowledge and promote intellectual inquiry. The general education component includes demonstrated competence in writing and computational skills and an introduction to some of the major areas of knowledge. General education has comprehensive learning outcomes for the students who complete it. Degree credit for general education programs must be consistent with levels of quality and rigor appropriate to higher education. See the Accreditation Standards, II.A.3, for areas of study for general education.
12. ACADEMIC FREEDOM
The institution's faculty and students are free to examine and test all knowledge appropriate to their discipline or area of major study as judged by the academic/educational community in general. Regardless of institutional affiliation or sponsorship, the institution maintains an atmosphere in which intellectual freedom and independence exist.
The institution has a substantial core of qualified faculty with full-time responsibility to the institution. The core is sufficient in size and experience to support all of the institution's educational programs. A clear statement of faculty responsibilities must include development and review of curriculum as well as assessment of learning.
14. STUDENT SERVICES
The institution provides for all of its students appropriate student services with student characteristics that support student learning and development and the institutional mission within the context of the institutional mission.
The institution has adopted and adheres to admission policies consistent with its mission that specify the qualifications of students appropriate for its programs.
16. INFORMATION & LEARNING RESOURCES
The institution provides, through ownership or contractual agreement, specific long-term access to sufficient information and learning resources and services to support its mission and instructional programs in whatever format and wherever they are offered.
17. FINANCIAL RESOURCES
The institution documents a funding base, financial resources, and plans for financial development adequate to support student learning programs and services, to improve institutional effectiveness, and to assure financial stability.
18. FINANCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY
The institution annually undergoes and makes available an external financial audit by a certified public accountant or an audit by an appropriate public agency. The institution shall submit with its eligibility application a copy of the budget and institutional financial audits and management letters prepared by an outside certified public accountant who has no other relationship to the institution for its two most recent fiscal years, including the fiscal year ending immediately prior to the date of the submission of the application. The audits must be certified and any exceptions explained. It is recommended that the auditor employ as a guide Audits of Colleges and Universities, published by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. An applicant institution must not show an annual or cumulative operating deficit at any time during the eligibility application process.
19. INSTITUTIONAL PLANNING AND EVALUATION
The institution systematically evaluates and makes public how well and in what ways it is accomplishing its purposes, including assessment of student learning outcomes.
The institution provides evidence of planning for improvement of institutional structures and processes, student achievement of educational goals, and student learning. The institution assesses progress toward achieving its stated goals and makes decisions regarding improvement through an ongoing and systematic cycle of evaluation, integrated planning, resource allocation, implementation, and re-evaluation.
20. PUBLIC INFORMATION
The institution provides a catalog for its constituencies with precise, accurate, and current information concerning the following:
· Official Name, Address(es), Telephone Number(s), and Web Site Address of the Institution · Educational Mission · Course, Program, and Degree Offerings · Academic Calendar and Program Length · Academic Freedom Statement · Available Student Financial Aid · Available Learning Resources · Names and Degrees of Administrators and Faculty · Names of Governing Board Members
· Admissions · Student Fees and Other Financial Obligations · Degree, Certificates, Graduation and Transfer
Major Policies Affecting Students
· Academic Regulations, including Academic Honesty · Nondiscrimination · Acceptance of Transfer Credits · Grievance and Complaint Procedures · Sexual Harassment · Refund of Fees
Locations or publications where other policies may be found
21. RELATIONS WITH THE ACCREDITING COMMISSION
The governing board provides assurance that it adheres to the eligibility requirements and accreditation standards and policies of the Commission, describes itself in identical terms to all its accrediting agencies, communicates any changes in its accredited status, and agrees to disclose information required by the Commission to carry out its accrediting responsibilities. The institution will comply with Commission requests, directives, decisions and policies, and will make complete, accurate, and honest disclosure. Failure to do so is sufficient reason, in and of itself, for the Commission to impose a sanction, or to deny or revoke candidacy or accreditation.
Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges and
Accrediting Commission for Senior College and Universities,
Western Association of Schools and Colleges
College of Micronesia-FSM
Post Office Box 159
Pohnpei FM 96941
Federated States of Micronesia
This institutional self study report is submitted for the purpose of assisting in the determination of the institution's accreditation status.
We certify that there was broad participation by the campus community, and we believe the self study report accurately reflects the nature and substance of this institution.
____________________ Chairman, Board of Regents
____________________ Vice President for Instructional Affairs
____________________ Vice President for Support and Student Affairs
____________________ Director Chuuk campus
____________________ Director Kosrae campus
____________________ Director Pohnpei campus
Phiengphen (Penny) Weilbacher
____________________ Director Yap campus
____________________ Director Fisheries and Maritime Institute
____________________ Staff Senate President
____________________ Student Body Association President
____________________ Accreditation Liaison Officer
Dana Lee Ling