Dr. Conrad described the format of the reporting, dictated by Commission procedures. The recommendations were presented to the College community verbally. Questions could not be entertained. The recommendations will be given to the commission, and forwarded to our President for factual correction in approximately a month. After the corrections process the Commission will carefully review
the recommendations from the previous accreditation six years ago
the self study and
the recommendations of the team
The commission will meet in June and decide what the outcome is for the College. We will receive this information approximately two weeks later.
The Exit report combining exit meeting and exit assembly notes:
1. The college shows a willingness to use student learning outcomes and student learning outcomes are broadly accepted by faculty and staff. The new standards with their focus on student learning outcomes were approached honestly. The college's efforts are pioneering. The initial effort is impressive.
2. The college has made significant gains in computer hardware and access to computing technologies. Impressive gains have been made with up to date technology.
3. The mission of the COM-FSM is well articulated and widely known. Even students were aware of the mission of the college. There is a focus on students and a dedication to the mission, national needs, and island sustainability. The effort to develop Micronesian capacity is good.
The college has been uneven in addressing prior recommendations. The college has addressed the need for a strategic plan, has attained audit compliance, improved the learning resources of the college, developed a personnel manual, filled faculty positions, and improved the dormitory, recreation, and maintenance.
However, the college is not in compliance in the following areas that are part of pre-existing recommendations:
· A Board of Regents policies manual must be put into writing and disseminated to every member of the six site system. This is a significant issue that must be addressed immediately.
· The research program must be formalized. Vacant positions are not an excuse for not getting these things done.
· The technology plan must be expanded and updated.
· The faculty evaluation instrument in current use is not in compliance with the standards.
There are very serious issues that need to be addressed, these issues were organized under four themes: improving communication, integrated planning, identification and assessment of student learning outcomes, and creating continuity.
Details of the recommendations:
1. Improve communication. An
a. Collaborative decision making processes must include faculty, staff, and students at all six facilities. We created a six campus system and have not taken that seriously enough. Committees tend to ignore the existence of the six facility system. [Participation is limited to those on the national campus.] Faculty, staff, and students, at all six facilities need to know their role and participate in decision making. The scope of decision making, including the scope of standing committees, must be clearly communicated. There should be widely disseminated decision making flow charts. Informal processes are insufficient.
Every member of all six sites must know how to move things through the system. Once decisions are made, there must be a protocol to send information back out. There is no current feedback loop. Recommendations go in, changes are made, but the changes made are not fed back to those who recommended the changes. The dialog on implementing assessment plans must include formal pathways for communication linked across all six sites.
b. Improving communication includes having an organizational chart of responsibilities. No assurance of quality instruction can occur without clear lines of authority. And that authority cannot be the President. The same level of instruction and services must occur at all campuses. Not just at one campus, but all campuses. Not having the same level of quality at all campuses threatens accreditation.
All monitoring and mentoring is on the national campus. We are one college with six sites. We decided to have a six campus system, this was our choice. We must now bear whatever costs are required, including travel, to ensure that the same level and quality of instruction, student services, and facilities exists across the system. Every new faculty member should be approved by the vice president for instructional affairs. The state campus directors should function as deans, or division chairs of their facility. Issues like text books begin available earlier are a problem that should be corrected, but the instructional piece is the heart of the issue and must flow from the VPIA.
All instructional units must report to the vice president for instructional affairs. All student services units must report to the vice president for student services. All learning resources units must report to the director for learning resources. We must develop a college wide organization chart of administrative responsibilities for student services and instructional affairs. We must improve communication, collaborative decision making and delineate the structure of administrative responsibilities. We must change our organizational structure. The division chairs must have system wide responsibility and they need not necessarily be based at the national site.
2. We must integrate planning. Plans
tend to sit on a shelf. We must develop and implement a college wide
- includes all six sites
- integrates planning, evaluation, resource allocation.
- includes a technology plan to replace the present dated and very brief plan.
- includes a technology plan that supports and evaluates instruction across all six sites
- is driven by the college mission
- involves faculty and staff at all six sites
- uses data to guide decisions and is used on a daily basis
- is updated annually and is measurable
- is distributed to everyone, found everywhere, and used by everyone
3. The college must continue their effort to identify and assess student learning outcomes. Assessment should be linked to resource allocation. Implement student learning outcomes at all levels including program and course levels. There must be links between student learning outcomes and planning. There must be mechanisms to measure, improve, and regularly evaluate both the student learning outcomes and the linked plans.
4. We must have continuity that
includes all six sites. We must standardize instruction, student
services, learning environments, and the quality of instruction.
- There must be a written Board of Regents policy manual.
- We must have written and readily available policy manuals covering instruction, student services and administration.
- There must be a cycle of improvement over time.
- All full time and part time hires must meet the same standards.
- Assignments must be appropriate to qualifications.
- performance evaluations must be to a uniform standard and uniformly implemented at all six sites.
- there must be comprehensive, consistent and equal student services offerings at all six sites.
- We must provide adequate facilities at all six sites.
- At this time the college must immediately provide adequate facilities for students learning at the Chuuk site.