EDUCATION REVIEW STUDENT FLOW TASK FORCE

RECOMMENDATION

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

Section Title Page

 

Table of Contents.................................................................................................    i

Executive Summary and Suggested Implementation Process...........................   iii



I.     Background...................................................................................................... 1

II.   Challenge.......................................................................................................... 1

III.  Organization of Report................................................................................... 1

IV.   Summary of Student Flow Goals................................................................... 2

V.    Recommendations........................................................................................... 3

Intake....................................................................................................................... 3

Advisement/Registration........................................................................................ 6

Retention................................................................................................................. 9

Transition.............................................................................................................. 10

Overall................................................................................................................... 12

VI. Procedure........................................................................................................ 14

VII. Environmental Influences............................................................................. 14

VIII. Guiding Principles........................................................................................ 16

IX. Membership of Task Force and Response Teams........................................ 18

X. Student Flow Charts and Personnel Reviewing Charts..................................19

XI. DACUM Analysis Description........................................................................ 37

XII. Selected DACUM Analyses.......................................................................... 38

Section Title Page

XIII. Selected Student Focus Groups.................................................................. 65

XIV. Criteria for Accreditation-Southern Association of Colleges and Schools................................................................................................................... 94

XV. Summary of Policies and Procedures Relating to Student Services................................................................................................................. 97

XVI. Surveys to Validate Collected Data.......................................................... 104

Results of Surveys..............................................................................................  112

XVII. Crosswalk of All DACUM, Focus Group, and Staff 
Recommendations to Student Services Staff DACUM
Identifying the Duties of Successful Students................................................... 137

XVIII. Memoranda of Participation in Student Services
Response Team................................................................................................... 174

XIX. Student Services Response Team Objectives,
Overview, and Charge........................................................................................ 178

XX. Student Services Response Team Reports................................................ 190

Intake.................................................................................................................. 190

Advisement/Registration.................................................................................... 205

Retention............................................................................................................. 223

Transition............................................................................................................ 240

XXI. Student Retention and Flow are Everyone's Responsibility................... 263

XXII. Marketing Miami Dade Community College.......................................... 264

XXIII. Preliminary Student Flow Task Force Recommendations.................... 267

XXIV. Revised Student Flow Task Force Recommendations.........................  269

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

AND SUGGESTED IMPLEMENTATION PROCESS

As the result of the 1995 Miami Dade Community College Self-Study, a new mission statement was formulated: The mission of Miami Dade Community College is to provide accessible, affordable, high quality education by keeping the learner's needs at the center of decision-making and working in partnership with its dynamic, multi-cultural community. In February 1996, a vision statement was adopted for the desired state of Miami Dade Community College (MDC) in three to five years in which Miami Dade Community College would be "renowned for its:

In May 1996, the College Education Review: Planning for Student Success was initiated to refashion the curriculum and the student flow process to fulfill the mission and vision statements of the College and to respond to changing external and internal forces. From May 1996 through January 1997, the Task Force gathered information through DACUMs, focus groups, town meetings, the literature, and surveys of staff and students. Guiding Principles emerged and were distributed to all College personnel. Student Services Response Teams, consisting of faculty and staff, worked in January and February 1997 to draft models and recommendations that were woven throughout preliminary recommendations presented in March 1997 at Conference Day, campus Town Meetings, the College Executive Committee, the Education Review Steering Committee, the Student Services Committee and a Student Services Retreat. Feedback from these and from individual faculty and staff was incorporated and distributed to all College personnel, Faculty Senates, the Education Review Steering Committee, the Academic Affairs Committee, and for adoption to the Student Services Committee and the President's Council.

The Task Force has recommended the following implementation process in the report: "Once the College and Board of Trustees have approved the goals, the goals with related recommendations can be turned over to appropriate groups to prioritize and delineate implementation strategies with time lines, budget implications, responsibility, measurable outcomes and processes that provide increased accountability." At the suggestion of the Education Review Steering Committee, the Task Force further suggests:

Through this process, the outcomes of the Student Flow Task Force can serve as a collaborative blueprint for ongoing appraisal and revision of student flow that results in continuous student success at the College.

EDUCATION REVIEW STUDENT FLOW TASK FORCE

RECOMMENDATIONS

"...empowering students for success has little to do with instituting gimmicky programs, lowering standards, or manipulating students into staying; it has everything to do with providing experiences that engage student minds and energies. The effective institution commits itself to student advancement; it realizes market and holding power as a result."

                                                                                               Theodore J. Marchese, Vice-President
                                                                                    
American Association for Higher Education

Background

A new definition of institutional effectiveness is being imposed upon Miami Dade Community College. Dictated by a changing student population, the changing nature of work, technological advances, competitive educational alternatives, and national and state initiatives, the College is being forced to examine and transform its fundamental philosophy, policies, and procedures to attract and empower students for success in today's environment.

The diversity of our population has shifted: over 80% are minorities, over 50% are non-native speakers, and 40% are resident aliens, refugees, or international students. The nature of work has changed, focusing on life-long learning, information and human relations skills. Our advantage of access, cost, and convenience is being challenged by competitors in adult education institutions, universities, and corporations who are expanding their markets through advanced technology. In addition, national and state calls for accountability are mandating student and institutional measures of success. Our clients and community no longer respect traditional paradigms and structure.

Challenge

Given this environment, Miami Dade Community College must redesign its student services and programs in keeping with its new mission and vision and based upon the following specifications and guiding principles distributed to the College in January 1997:

Organization of Report

Against this background, the following goals are recommended. The primary sources for each goal and set of strategies are included after the goal statement and are listed at the end of the report. The recommendations focus on new directions. The Task Force recognizes that there are current practices in areas across the College that are noteworthy and should be continued; these practices have not been identified in the report. However, we encourage identification and greater communication of these exemplary practices so that they might receive wider adoption.

Recommendations are grouped under one area of student flow - Intake, Advisement/Registration, Retention, or Transition - but may overlap and should be considered in other applicable areas. Only major goals and selected recommendations which have received wide affirmation are listed. Additional suggestions and implementation strategies are contained in the full report. (See Procedures at end of report.) While some recommendations can be implemented with minimum difficulty, the Task Force acknowledges that resources are critical to many of the recommendations. The Task Force suggests that once the College and the Board of Trustees have approved the goals, the goals with related recommendations can be turned over to appropriate groups to prioritize and delineate implementation strategies with time lines, budget implications, responsibility, measurable outcomes, and processes that provide increased accountability.

 

Summary of Student Flow Goals


Goal I: Develop a comprehensive, coordinated recruitment/marketing and follow up plan using current technology and alternate methods targeted to specific MDC audiences.

Goal II: Develop a customer-friendly climate on campuses to serve new and potential students.

Goal III: Provide coordinated pre-admission information and guidance about all educational paths at MDC (AA, AS, Vocational Credit Certificate, Credit Certificate) to assist students to make an early, informed initial decision about their education at MDC.

Goal IV: Improve the financial aid process through uniform procedures, expanded student education, technology, and user-friendly procedures and staff.

Goal V: Improve the initial placement of students by providing an orientation to placement tests, by providing career assessment, by determining the correlation of entrance tests with course placement/success, and by conducting more precise ESL screening.

Goal VI: Create a coordinated advisement system including all educational paths at MDC (AA, AS, Vocational Credit Certificate, Credit Certificate ) which involves more faculty and students across the curriculum and is supported by accurate information, technology and training.

Goal VII: Establish accessible, uniform, electronic enrollment management procedures that incorporate deadlines, current technology, and improved policies regarding cancelled classes, purging of class rolls, and processing of grades to promote individual responsibility, early advisement and registration.

Goal VIII: Coordinate student retention efforts through college-wide coordination, coordination at each campus, and the development of alternate standards of success that recognize the needs and accomplishments of our diverse student body.
Goal IX: Develop student retention plans in all College departments which include alternate delivery/ intervention strategies and student support systems as student life programming integrated with the instructional process.

Goal X: Collect systematic data that determine the effectiveness of existing retention programs, Facilitate the design and evaluation of new retention programs, and monitor students from pre-Admission to goal completion.

Goal XI: Provide a coordinated process which facilitates the transition of students throughopportunities such as career planning, job placement, cooperative work-education, internships, service learning and university transfer-preparation from intake to their desired academic and career goals.
Goal XII: Develop processes which facilitate the coordination, leadership, accountability, and organization of student services through communication, review, annual college-wide/campus goals, implementation of priorities, systematic data collection, and evaluation by constituents with change based upon findings.

Goal XIII: Recognize the value of student services personnel and provide for their professional growth and development.

Goal XIV: Develop student services delivery systems with on-line, accessible, accurate, integrated information for students and College staff.


RECOMMENDATIONS

INTAKE*

 

Recruitment/Marketing

Goal I: Develop a comprehensive, coordinated recruitment/marketing and follow up plan using current technology and alternate methods targeted to specific MDC audiences (D, DL, FG, MPT, PBIF, SSRT, T).
  1. Establish coordination through an active recruitment/marketing committee with representatives from each campus working with the College marketing office.

  1. Develop delivery systems based upon identified characteristics and needs of current and potential College populations.

  1. Develop delivery systems using current technology.

  1. Systematically evaluate recruitment efforts and modify them based on the evaluation.

----------------------
**Recommendation also included in College Master Plan for Technology (1996-97).

 

Rationale: As competition from other institutions and organizations increases, the College needs to clarify its niche, understand its populations - current and potential, and use its staff and technology optimally. A college-wide, comprehensive, coordinated recruitment/marketing plan is needed. Multiple options from which to learn about MDC in a convenient, accessible format is essential.

Initial Contact On Campus

Goal II: Develop a customer-friendly climate on campuses to serve new and potential students (D, FG, S, SSRT).
  1. Develop a coordinated system that serves all students, e.g., disabled and international, and that utilizes improved signage in multiple languages, one access telephone number, and a clearly marked location to begin inquiry, including these in all printed/electronic information, directories, and information booths.

  2. Staff initial contact locations with knowledgeable, friendly personnel, involving department secretaries and staff, using "Ask Me" buttons or other identifying name plates and referring students only after attempting to answer the student's question and identifying a referral name; establish a user-friendly telephone reception system using technology and staff supported with accurate information.

Rationale: Our initial contact with potential students on campuses is confusing and frustrating. Retention should be a MDC goal from initial contact.

Pre-Admission Services

Goal III: Provide coordinated pre-admission information and guidance about all educational paths at MDC (AA, AS, Vocational Credit Certificate, Credit Certificate) to assist students to make an early, informed initial decision about their education at MDC (D, DL, FG, PBB, S, SSRT, SSTF).
 
  1. Provide coordination by establishing uniform, mandatory orientation and a visible New Student (Reception, Information and Intake) Center at each campus which use teams of staff and students from advisement, career counseling, financial aid and program; these centers should be incorporated into "one-stop" centers as they are developed at the College.

  2. Unify procedures through a single admission application (after thorough review), one student number (social security number), and an admission deadline prior to the registration deadline.

  3. Employ current technology in:

Financial Aid
Goal IV: Improve the financial aid process through uniform procedures, expanded student education, technology, and user-friendly procedures and staff (D, DL, FG, S, SSTF, SSRT).
 

  1. Revise and unify financial aid practices including, but not limited to, short-term loans, book vouchers, and scholarship distribution.

  2. Use current technology to electronically and more efficiently process all financial aid related information including applications, to provide on-line capability for students to learn level of financial aid available as well as to facilitate response time in awarding and fee payment.

  3. Expand communication to potential and current students that includes an alert system to inform students of changes in their financial aid award and that tells students about procedures, financial aid obligations, and the necessity for applying for financial aid in a timely, prescribed manner.

Rationale: Students are not provided necessary information and time before receiving a student number to clearly understand the intake and financial aid process, to make appropriate academic decisions, and to have needed documents adequately processed. Staff need sufficient time, coordination and training to respond to student's needs.

ADVISEMENT/REGISTRATION*

 

Assessment

Goal V: Improve the initial placement of students by providing an orientation to placement tests, by providing career assessment, by determining the correlation of entrance tests with course placement/success, and by conducting more precise ESL screening (D, DL, FG, MPT, S, SSRT, SSTF).

 

  1. Advise students of the importance of placement tests and avenues for preparation prior to taking the test.

  2. Provide career assessment in multiple, convenient formats (Internet, in high schools) which is stored on College network for authorized college-wide retrieval prior to and after admission.

  3. Use high school transcripts and orientation sessions in addition to testing for accurate ESL placement.

  4. Identify diagnostic assessment software to screen for disabilities and academic skills/competencies.**

  5. Provide computer adaptive assessment for the EPT and TABE and evaluate the extent to which placement scores correspond to successful class performance.

----------------
**Recommendation also included in College Master Plan for Technology (1996-97).


Rationale: In Fall 1995, 53% of all students had changed their majors at least once. In Fall 1996, 26% or 13,219 students declared themselves as undecided. State and federal regulations are limiting the number of credits a student can take before suffering academic and/or financial penalties. In addition, mandated higher CPT placement scores will be instituted in Fall 1997 and will result in greater numbers of students in college preparatory course work. A realistic career/job/educational plan will encourage student persistence and success. A study of the correlation of placement tests and course placement success was last conducted prior to the implementation of the CPT and TABE.

----------------
*See full report for a more comprehensive discussion.

Advisement

Goal VI: Create a coordinated advisement system including all educational paths at MDC (AA, AS, Vocational Credit Certificate, Credit Certificate) which involves more faculty and students across the curriculum and is supported by accurate information, technology, training, and evaluation (D, DL, FG, MPT, S, SSRT).
 
  1. Develop a coordinated staff, student, and faculty advisement system employing continuous training, a student/peer facilitator program, and a faculty advisement support team (FAST) supported with technology in each program/department that will provide coverage when classes are offered and during non-duty periods when the College is open for registration.

  2. Provide technological support by:
  1. Coordinate and monitor the success of advisement through a campus Advisement Coordinating Board and an accountability system for all advisors; evaluate and establish appropriate student: advisor ratios and consider mentoring and assignment of students to specific advisors based upon an agreed student: advisor ratio; and clearly define expectations of faculty/staff advisors with input from those faculty and staff.

Rationale: Much of the current advisement system is not effective as policies change and become more complex and resources decline. Advisement needs to be carried out with the support of student facilitators and by more faculty who have contact with students daily and often develop a trusting and familiar relationship. Advisement staff, faculty and students need continual training and support with accurate, current information through technology that focuses on the success and retention of students. Procedures should encourage students to grow in self-reliance and responsibility.

Records/Registration

Goal VII: Establish accessible, uniform, electronic enrollment management procedures that incorporate deadlines, current technology, and improved policies regarding cancelled classes, purging of class rolls, and processing of grades to promote individual responsibility, early advisement and registration (D, DL, FG, MPT, S, SSRT, SSTF, V).
  1. Unify and standardize enrollment management procedures by

  1. Unify records and registration procedures through use of technology by:

Rationale: Almost one-quarter (23%) of all students and 21% of first-time-in-college students have still not registered five business days before the start of classes. Students registering at least one week before the start of classes earn a C or higher in 72% of all college level courses compared to 63% for those who register after the first day of classes. College Prep students registering at least one week prior to the start of classes earn satisfactory grades (an "S") in 60% of their college prep courses compared to only 49% for those registering later. Earlier registration would assist both students and the College to be more effective and would permit instruction to begin the first day of classes without the interruption of dropping and adding students. An early established schedule of classes would promote early registration. Students on visa, financial aid, some types of insurance and attempting to complete in a timely manner would not be affected by late cancelled classes and late processing of grades. Finally, the standardization of core procedures and record systems would facilitate student advisement and movement across the College.

RETENTION*

Goal VIII: Coordinate student retention efforts through college-wide coordination, coordination at each campus, and the development of alternate standards of success that recognize the needs and accomplishments of our diverse student body (D, FG, SSRT).

 

Rationale: Administrative leadership has been cited as the most important factor in the successful design of retention programs. A common feature of successful programs for at-risk students is institutional commitment (Rouche & Rouche, 1993, Between a Rock and a Hard Place). A coordinated, comprehensive effort is a necessity.

Goal IX: Develop student retention plans in all College departments which include alternate delivery/ intervention strategies and student support systems as student life programming integrated with the instructional process (D, FG, PBB, PBIF, S, SSRT, SSTF).
 
  1. Develop alternate delivery systems in each academic unit for courses with consistently high student attrition.

  2. Provide greater uniformity of content, outcomes, training and evaluation of SLS courses as well as alternate formats for appropriate first-time-in-college and continuing students.

  3. Design a retention plan in each department/area tailored to that area with faculty/staff input where faculty and staff select activities for which they are held accountable in self-assessments and performance reviews; communicate exemplary retention plans/activities, e.g., successful strategies for SOAP students, mentoring, orientation, advisement, success centers, customer service programs, and student life workshops so that the activities can become adopted and available for all students across the College.

  4. Involve more faculty and staff in student flow processes, e.g., in recruiting new students, marketing their programs, advising their students, assisting their students in career choices, and taking an active role in job development and placement for their students.

    ----------------
    *See full report for a more comprehensive discussion.

  5. Establish an advisement and career planning monitoring and intervention system based upon a "Credit Benchmark Rule" through faculty and academic advisors which develop an educational plan at the first credit benchmark, a prescriptive plan of action at the second credit benchmark and a review of progress related to the plan of action and referral for employment and/or transfer services at the third credit benchmark. The student's plan of action and name of advisor should be available through the network.

  6. Provide student support systems as a personal counseling program, a system for counseling students prior to their withdrawal, and student life programming that develops a sense of community, belonging to the College, retention, and is integrated with the instructional process.

  7. Provide training that supports student retention, e.g., mentor and advisement training, for all personnel.

Rationale: MDC Institutional Research Information Capsules (see latest, No. 96-06C) indicate a high attrition rate in ESL, college preparatory, certain core and some program courses. One means of ameliorating this problem is to design alternate strategies college-wide. Student Life Skills courses have evolved significantly to provide at-risk students an organized approach to needed intervention and should be continued. Limited resources require substantial involvement of faculty, staff, and selected students in advisement/retention programs.

 
Goal X: Collect systematic data that determine the effectiveness of existing retention programs, facilitate the design and evaluation of new retention programs, and monitor students from pre-admission to goal completion (D, FG, SSRT).
 

Rationale: Baseline information on student performance and regular evaluation will assist in determining the effectiveness and adoption of retention programs.

 

TRANSITION*


Goal XI: Provide a coordinated process that facilitates the transition of students through opportunities such as career planning, job placement, cooperative work-education, internships, service learning and university transfer-preparation from intake to their desired academic and career goals (BP, D, DL, FG, PBB, PBIF, SSRT, T).
 
  1. Coordinate efforts within the College and to the community to provide all students with consistent, equitable and multiple services pertaining to career planning, internships, cooperative work-education, service learning, employment, and transfer services.
  • Establish a College Coordinating Unit (CCU) and a Center for Career Planning, Employment and Service Opportunities at each campus incorporating technology and supportive personnel.
  • Coordinate contacts with businesses, industry, and universities.
  • Develop, update and coordinate training and cross training for staff related to career development, job placement and work force development.
  • Coordinate the College's local, state and national organizational memberships and participation related to career development, job placement and work force development.
  • Provide a Center Advisory Committee composed of Center directors, faculty, business and industry employers, program coordinators and students.
  1. Assist students in the early and appropriate selection of their programs for transition to other educational paths, transition to immediate employment, and/or transfer to upper division universities.

  • Provide research on employment trends and job market demand, current software and computer stations for student use in making realistic, informed career choices for any educational path offered at MDC (AA, AS, Vocational Certificate, Credit Certificate) to students before admission and through graduation or completion of educational goals.
  •  
  • Provide assistance in selecting and transferring to upper-division schools including faculty mentoring, prescriptive plans for graduation, and scholarship and financial aid information.
  1. Provide information and software in job search and employability skills and place students in work opportunities and, as they progress and complete their program of study, place them in career-related employment including job placement services for them as alumni.

  2. Develop alliances and partnerships with business and industry to serve their employment and training needs and create job-related opportunities for MDC students.

  • Work with occupational program cluster directors.
  •  
  • Create agreements to develop new programs, update existing curriculum, and provide placement opportunities.
  •  
  • Provide internships and utilize alumni for networking and contacts.
  • Provide software and information for specialized programs offered only at one campus as Allied Health, Nursing, and Criminal Justice.
  1. Create a database accessible to all students which includes, but is not limited to, employers, a job bank, an alumni network, student placement, student inquiries, internships, cooperative work-education, service learning, employment, scholarships, career planning, and transfer college information.
  • Coordinate, maintain, and provide reports pertaining to data base.
  •  
  • Provide updating, tracking and follow-up of job/service openings and closings, student placement and performance, employer satisfaction surveys, and evaluation of the program.

Rationale: Change in funding to PBB and PBIF necessitate a increased focus on student completion and placement as well as a matching of the needs of business/industry to the needs of students and the College mission and vision. A comprehensive, coordinated system is needed to integrate student flow with business/industry and the instructional process.


OVERALL

 

Coordination/Organization/Evaluation

Goal XII: Develop processes which facilitate the coordination, leadership, accountability, and organization of student services through communication, review, annual college-wide/campus goals, implementation of priorities, systematic data collection, and evaluation by constituents with change based upon findings (D, DL, FG, SACS, SS, SSTF).
 
  1. Develop annual goals, priorities, related implementation strategies and adequate staffing, as well as regular, systematic data collection, and evaluation of student services by its staff and constituents.

  2. Review student services practices and staffing levels to determine the best organization for coordinating and integrating equitable, accessible services across the College, for cross-training, and to support the clustering of educational programs.

  3. Review college-wide student policies and establish policies in needed areas as meeting health emergencies and grievance procedures.

  4. Increase communication among all personnel by creating an intranet to communicate program/service changes, events, and projects; by establishing periodic meetings of personnel who perform like or related tasks; by providing all staff with an E-mail account; and by providing resources to produce attractive information materials.

  5. Include student services support staff from each campus as voting members on the College Student Services Committee.

  6. Review procedures to assure accountability, data gathering and monitoring that supports Performance Based Budgeting and Performance Based Incentive Funding.

    Rationale: There is no systematic, on-going process of communication or a method to establish College-wide student services goals, to implement them, and to solicit and incorporate feedback to make needed changes. In addition, within the last twenty years, MDC has shifted in the diversity of its student population. Simultaneously, declining resources have resulted in deteriorating services and support. Over 75% of full-time Student Services staff are concentrated in admissions, testing, registration, financial aid and generic administration, leaving minimal developmental support for our diverse population. Performance Based Budgeting and Incentive Funding require monitoring of our efforts to meet new standards of success.

     

     
    Goal XIII: Recognize the value of student services personnel and provide for their professional growth and development (D, DL, FG, S, SS, SSTF, V).

 

  1. Provide regular training, retraining, and cross-training including areas as customer service, new systems/programs/procedures, leadership, and changes due to technology, for all student services personnel with each other and with other College faculty and staff.
  2. Develop a career ladder for student services staff as outlined in the Report of the Student Services Task Force (pages 18 - 23; May, 1989) and a reward system which includes information from students, peers and immediate supervisors and that recognizes exemplary performance, retains valuable employees, and serves as an incentive for professional growth.
  3. Support the exchange and growth of ideas through active participation in associations and organizations and the systematic sharing of ideas with others at the College.
  4. Rationale: With minimal financial resources, the student services area is often reliant upon intra-campus competition for available monies and little professional growth is provided for the dwindling number of staff. These staff are important for student success and should be encouraged to remain in student services rather than leave in order to advance.


    Technology

    Goal XIV: Develop student services delivery systems with on-line, accessible, accurate, integrated information for students and College staff (BP, D, DL, FG, MPT, SSTF).

 

  1. Develop a user-friendly technology system available 24 hours a day everyday that provides accurate information, resources, and an E-mail account to students and staff, that considers new initiatives as distance education and that permits updating of information directly.**

  2. Implement a student identification and automatic debit card to be used in multiple ways.**

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**Recommendation also included in College Master Plan for Technology (1996-97).


    Rationale: External changes and mandates coupled with limited staff and the enormous size and complexity of MDC make the use of technology critical in effectively performing student services functions. Accurate information is a key to empowering students and staff.

    SOURCES:

    D = DACUM Results PBIF = Performance Based Incentive Funding

    DL = Student Deans List of Issues S = Survey of Student Flow Task Force

    BP = Best Practices SACS = SACS Criteria

    FG = Focus Groups SP = Strategic Plan of College

    L = Literature SS = Self Study of College

    M = Mission of College SSRT = Student Services Response Teams

    MPT = Master Plan for Technology SSTF = Student Services Task Force (1989)

    N = NACADA T = External and Internal Trends

    PBB = Performance Based Budgeting V = Vision Statement of College


    Procedure

    In May 1996, the College Education Review: Planning for Student Success was initiated to refashion the curriculum and the student flow process to fulfill the mission and vision statements of the College and to respond to changing external and internal forces. The Student Flow Task Force was charged with determining what and how student services should be provided for student success.

    The Task Force began its work by reviewing and developing sixteen flow charts of student services at the College. The charts were distributed to over 60 College staff members and were revised based upon their feedback.

    From June to November 1996, the Task Force independently and jointly with the Transfer and Occupational Task Forces conducted DACUMs (one-day sessions) and Focus Groups (half-day sessions) to brainstorm the knowledge, skills, attitudes and tasks of successful students. Current and former students, MDC faculty, university faculty, and business and industry participated. In the DACUMs and Focus Groups held by the Student Flow Task Force, participants were also requested to cite recommendations for how the College should improve its student services. All of these recommendations were placed under each essential, chronological student services step of the successful MDC student identified in a November DACUM by student services personnel.

    In January 1997, this information was incorporated in a survey and distributed to all student services personnel, 30% of other personnel, and a representative 5.6% sample of classes. Thirty-three percent (233 of 707) of the staff sampled and 20% (667 of 3,304) of the students sampled returned the survey. There was remarkable consistency among the students and staff with 66 of the 69 steps receiving over 70% agreement and 54 steps receiving 80 - 90% agreement as essential for the successful MDC student.

    The Task Force attended Town Hall and committee meetings to provide progress reports and obtain feedback. Members also reviewed considerable data, different studies, best practices, association guidelines, policies and procedures, and federal/state rules and regulations. An analysis of the data revealed several prominent themes which were incorporated into Guiding Principles and distributed in January 1997 to all College personnel for feedback.

    Student Services Response Teams, consisting of faculty and staff, worked in January and February to draft models and recommendations in four areas: Intake, Advisement/Registration, Retention, and Transition. The results of the response teams are woven throughout the major recommendations and are included in their entirety in the full report which was made available in campus libraries. These reports contain additional recommendations and implementation considerations.

    Environmental Influences

    Numerous influences impact MDC student services and the recommendations of the Task Force:

    • National Legislation such as the Welfare Reform Act and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act may greatly influence current and potential students.
    •  
    • The 150% financial aid regulation permits students in good academic standing to receive federal/state financial aid for 150% of the number of credits required to complete the degree/certificate and applies to all credits registered at all institutions (attempted and withdrawn except "I," audit, ESL/ENS, and 30 credits of college preparatory).
    •  
    • Competition to MDC is increasing from national, state, and local adult education, proprietary, university and organization delivery systems that provide greater accessibility, convenience, cost and quality.
    •  
    • SACS criteria specify standards for the organization, personnel, resources, records and programs of student services.
    •  
    • Performance Based Budgeting and Performance Based Incentive Funding is beginning to supplant FTE funding and is based upon student completion and placement rather than just enrollment.
    •  
    • State raised minimum CPT scores in Rule 6A-10.0315 could place as many as 85% of MDC students who test, into college preparatory courses.
    •  
    • State required exit testing from ENS and college preparatory course work may block student flow.
    • Students requiring remediation are prohibited by State House Bill 2489 from enrolling in Gordon Rule courses or courses that require skills beyond the skill level of the student.
    •  
    • The State-wide Community College Withdrawal and Forgiveness Policy permits students to repeat only D and F grades and to have three attempts for a course with the grade of the third attempt being the final grade. A petition process for a fourth attempt must be established. In addition, students must withdraw from college prep courses by the 100% refund date for it not to count as an attempt.
    •  
    • The State "Time to Degree" Bill (SB 2330) stipulates that the AA degree and baccalaureate degrees be limited to 60 and 120 credits, respectively.
    • State Board of Education Rule 6A-14.030 standardizes program lengths for Associate in Science degrees and has required a reduction of credits for most programs.
    •  
    • State changes have caused the leveling of courses originally offered at both the community college and the university, the development of common prerequisites for all baccalaureate degree programs, and internal policies that have changed the status of various courses such as ENC 1130, REA 1105 and ENS courses which must be counted as excess credits instead of electives.
    •  
    • The State of Florida has authorized and funded the creation of a State Advisement System that is accessible through the Internet and Project Narwhale, an electronic advisement system developed at MDC, has been chosen as a model for this system.
    •  
    • The Software AG Consortium of eight community colleges is developing a comprehensive new software system that will replace all mainframe applications, changing the student services screens currently used.

    EDUCATION REVIEW - STUDENT FLOW TASK FORCE

    GUIDING PRINCIPLES

    JANUARY 1997

    As the result of the 1995 Miami Dade Community College Self-Study, a new mission statement was formulated: The mission of Miami - Dade Community College is to provide accessible, affordable, high quality education by keeping the learner's needs at the center of decision-making and working in partnership with its dynamic, multi-cultural community. In February 1996, a vision statement was adopted for the desired state of Miami Dade Community College (MDC) in three to five years in which Miami Dade Community College would be "renowned for its:

    • Satisfied, well-prepared students who, through their extraordinarily positive experience at MDC, have acquired the needed knowledge and skills to be successful in their ongoing academic and career pursuits;
    • Empowered employees, working within an environment that encourages creativity, risk-taking and accountability, who apply their individual and collective talents to fulfill the college's  mission;
    • Highly supportive community that recognizes the significant impact of MDC's educational and training programs; and
    • Effective use of adequate resources to enable programs to flourish and the talents of people to emerge (SP)."


    In August 1996, the College Education Review: Planning for Student Success was initiated to refashion the curriculum and the student flow process to fulfill the mission of MDC and respond to changing external and internal forces. The Student Flow Task Force of the Education Review was charged with determining how student services can best be provided for each of the areas of curriculum emphasis. From May through December 1996, the Assessment Phase, the Task Force gathered information through DACUMs, focus groups, town meetings, and the literature to determine essential/desired outcomes of successful students and recommendations for change that would assist students as they proceed through MDC from initial contact to completion of their goals.

    From this information, the following guiding principles have emerged. They are general in nature and are intended to serve as a guide for future recommendations. The primary sources for each guiding principle follow the statement.

    1. Student Services should be learner-centered (M).

    • By including systematic evaluation and improvement of services based upon this evaluation (SS).
    • By coordinating recruitment and follow-up based on the needs and goals of targeted audiences and the College's capacity to fulfill those needs (D,FG).
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    2. Student Services should encourage student self-reliance, responsibility and leadership (N).

    • By providing mandatory orientation to MDC programs, services, policies and procedures for new students through a variety of delivery systems that meet the needs of differing populations (D,FG).
    • By providing accurate, accessible, timely information through state-of-the-art technology to facilitate students to reach their educational goals (D,FG).
    • By encouraging creativity, risk taking and accountability of students and staff (V).
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    3. Student Services should encourage student retention and goal completion by minimizing internal and external barriers to student success (PBB,PBIF,SP).

    • By early educational planning based upon the identification of career goals and course advisement for multiple terms (D, FG).
    • By providing proactive intervention and support activities that are consistent with instruction and that encourage a "sense of belonging" (D,FG).
    • By promoting career development through increased opportunities for internships, cooperative work-education, service learning and paid employment (DL).
    • By providing activities that enhance and increase the number of students effectively transitioning to work and further education (D,FG).
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    4. Student Services should be consistent and integrated with each other and with the instructional process (D,FG).

    • By providing a "seamless system" for students with multiple entry and exit points without department and campus boundaries (D).
    • By encouraging and promoting greater collaboration of faculty and student services staff as well as the integration of student services policies, procedures and activities with the instructional process (D,FG).

    5. Student Services must adapt to internal and external environmental changes (SP,PBB,PBIF, D).

    • By providing educational planning, information and services that facilitate student completion of goals in a timely manner (D, FG).
    • By recruitment that recognizes changing demographic patterns and legislative actions (SP, BF,PBIF).
    • By incorporating state and legislative initiatives as reduced time to degree, budgeting based on outcome measures, federal financial aid restrictions as well as software consortium and state advisement technology (SP).
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    6. Student Services should have the resources and sufficient, qualified personnel to enable students, staff and programs to flourish (D,FG,SS,V).

    • By using state-of-the-art technology to train staff and to provide services (D,FG,DL).
    • By integrating instructional faculty into the provision of student services (D,FG).
    • By providing services and personnel that are up-to-date and "user-friendly" (D,FG).

    Sources:

    D = DACUM Results PBB =Performance Based Budgeting

    DL = Student Deans List of Issues PBIF =Performance Based Incentive Funding

    FG = Focus Groups SP =Strategic Plan of College

    M = Mission of College SS =Self Study of College

    N = NACADA Publication V =Vision Statement of College

    Revised 1/22/97