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Criterion Two: Preparing For The Future

Criterion Two Statement

The organization’s allocation of resources and its processes for evaluation and planning demonstrate its capacity to fulfill its mission, improve the quality of its education, and respond to future challenges and opportunities.

Criterion Two Components

  1. The organization realistically prepares for a future shaped by multiple societal and economic trends.
  2. The organization’s resource base supports its educational programs and its plans for maintaining and strengthening their quality in the future.
  3. The organization’s ongoing evaluation and assessment processes provide reliable evidence of institutional effectiveness that clearly informs strategies for continuous improvement.
  4. All levels of planning align with the organization’s mission, thereby enhancing its capacity to fulfill that mission.

Planning at DACC

DACC was the fastest growing higher education institution in New Mexico from fall 2003 to fall 2004.  DACC has averaged fall FTE growth of nearly six percent since 1996; planning is critical to success. 

DACC was awarded a Title V (HSI) grant in 2000.   Since that time DACC has developed a comprehensive program review and institutional planning (PRIP) process, which runs on a two-year cycle.  All academic and non-academic units complete PRIP forms that document unit strengths, concerns, and improvement action plans during the fall of the first year.  One year later progress reports are completed that document progress towards completing each improvement objective described on the unit improvement action plan.  A final progress report is completed at the end of the two-year cycle.   This is used to assist in planning for the future and  to more effectively allocate scarce resources.  Program performance indicators have been developed for all academic units.  The process results in annual program review binders where metrics are calculated and reported for academic programs and departments.  The planning process consists of a five-year strategic plan for the entire institution and the development of two-year operational action plans for each unit.  The two-year operational plans include annual assessment plans and reports for academic units.

Program Review and Institutional Planning (PRIP) Committee

The planning process relies on the PRIP Committee.  The PRIP committee consists of the following representatives from the college community. 

Campus Executive Officer, Campus Academic Officer, Campus Student Services Officer, Campus Finance Officer, Campus Community and Workforce Development Officer, Campus Institutional Effectiveness and Planning Officer (serves as PRIP Committee Chair), Student Development Coordinator, Coordinator of Counseling, all Division Deans, Library Services Director, Community Education Director, Customized Training Director, Coordinator of Marketing and Communications, Computer Support Director, Business Manager, Faculty Council President, a Student Representative, Faculty Budget Committee Chair and Faculty Facilities/Space Utilization Committee Chair.

Five-Year Strategic Plan (2003 Revision)

DACC faculty, staff, and administration finished its third five-year strategic plan in spring 2003.  It should be noted that we will transition to a four-year strategic planning cycle beginning the 2007.  The plan identifies seven strategic issues:

  1. Workforce and Communities
  2. Quality Education
  3. Comprehensive, Articulated College Curriculum
  4. Supportive Learning Environment
  5. Use of Technology
  6. Community Relations
  7. Facilities Development

Goals were established for each issue and an action plan to achieve the goals was created.  The new plan was built on strategic plans that were developed in 1994 and 1998.  DACC also has a separate Facilities Master Plan that was developed in fall 2004.  DACC’s new strategic plan also calls for the development of a Master Instructional Plan that addresses

  • the future growth needs of credit and noncredit programs
  • a Technology Master Plan that will be subject to periodic review, at which time adjustments and revisions may be made as necessary
  • a Comprehensive Marketing Plan that takes into consideration publications, public relations, and recruitment activities for both credit and noncredit programs
  • an Enrollment Management Plan for both credit and noncredit programs
  • a Fund-Raising Plan and process to solicit private funding and other resources

Another major activity will be the development of a community satisfaction and perception survey to determine how DACC’s image is perceived by the community at large, as well as by those on the NMSU campus.

Program Review and Action Plan

The most recent planning cycle of the two-year planning process resulted in the development of action plans for academic, student services, and other support units in fall 2004.  Action plans require the reporting of strengths, concerns, and specific improvement objectives.  This two-year process will be renewed in fall 2006.  Each program review and action plan asks for responses to the following questions:

Program Strengths:

  • What is the strength? 
  • Why is it a strength?
  • Program Concerns:
  • What is the concern? 
  • What are possible improvement activities?

Program Improvement Objectives:

  • What is the program improvement objective? 
  • What are the program actions planned to achieve the improvement objective? 
  • Does the completion of this objective require additional fiscal and/or human resources? If yes, please describe needed resources.
  • List numeric performance targets.
  • What assessment techniques will be used to determine the success of the program improvement actions

Institutional Planning and Priorities

The following principles, goals, and timelines are used to develop a two-year institutional priorities and action plans.

Guiding Principle 

As a learning-centered community college, DACC

  • makes learning its central focus
  • makes students active partners in the learning process
  • assumes responsibility for producing student learning
  • focuses on learning outcomes to assess student learning and success
  • creates a holistic environment that supports student learning
  • focuses on two questions to guide institutional decisions

How does this action improve and expand student learning?

How do we know this action improves and expands student learning?   (A Learning College for the 21st Century, Terry O’Banion)

Goals

  • Evaluate and determine our effectiveness in meeting our mission.
  • Emphasize culture of evidence and use data to analyze and evaluate our progress towards established goals and establish priorities appropriately based on data.
  • Invite college-wide participation in planning cycle and determine priorities to achieve desired outcomes.
  • Integrate priorities with existing college-wide planning, including resource allocation.

Process and Timelines

  • PRIP Committee established and recommended priorities which were presented to CEO (February 2005)
  • Priorities presented college-wide at Division and Department meetings (March 2005)
  • Priorities presented to Administrative Council for input and recommendations  (April 2005)
  • Executive Team reviewed, and CEO finalized priorities (April 2005)
  • Task Force formed for each priority charged with developing an action plan, complete with strategies, goals, objectives, timelines, budget and facility impact, personnel and others as deemed appropriate and relevant (May 2005)
  • Implement approved strategies (September 2005)

Program Action Plan Progress Reports

Program Action Plan Progress Reports will be prepared in fall 2005 for every Program Improvement Objective developed in fall 2004.  Program Action Plan Progress Reports were last developed in fall 2003.  At that time 72% instructional units and 88% non-instructional units completed reports.

Each Program Action Plan Progress Report asks for responses to the following questions for each improvement objective developed in the Program Action Plan:

Has the program improvement objective:

  • Not changed
  • Been Revised
  • New Objective created
  • What is the progress level:
  • No progress attempted
  • No progress
  • Limited progress
  • Significant progress
  • Nearly Complete
  • Complete
  • Describe actions taken to achieve this objective.
  • Describe obstacles that have hindered progress in achieving this objective.
  • If the objective is not achieved, describe planned actions that will be taken to achieve this objective.
  • If not achieved, when do you expect to achieve this objective?

Final Program Action Plan Progress Reports

Final Program Action Plan Progress Reports will be completed in fall 2006 for each unit improvement objective.  Units will identify the final status of the objectives and evaluate the final progress level by selecting one of the following: 

  • No progress attempted
  • No progress
  • Limited progress
  • Significant progress
  • Nearly Complete
  • Completed

The Facilities Master Plan identifies capital needs to be met over a period of eight years through a combination of the issuance of local general obligation bonds and state funding.  The plan identifies the need for about $35.0 million in funding to construct about 200,000 gross square feet between 2005 and 2012. The overall concept for accommodating current and future growth through the development of satellite locations throughout Doña Ana County, along with the development of a large East Mesa campus in Las Cruces, remains as the primary strategy of the plan.  Satellite facility development will respond to service area growth and demographics.  The DACC Central Campus adjacent to NMSU is at capacity.  This location will continue to provide services with a focus on Technical Studies and Health and Public Services programs.