Strategy and Institutional Effectiveness

Miami Dade College's academic disciplines, professional schools and programs, student support services, and administrative support services submit Annual Effectiveness Reports (AERs) to document their quality enhancement efforts.

Units in the four service areas described above engage in annual planning and assessment at the unit level, identifying multi-year commitments to the College Strategic Plan and articulating annual goals they will pursue in order to operationalize their commitments and/or improve the service quality and operational effectiveness of their units.

Units also use the AER to document the results of their assessment of expected outcomes, which represent key performance metrics central to the purpose of their unit. Academic disciplines and professional schools and programs engage in assessment of student learning at the program or discipline level, as their purpose is the academic success of our students. Administrative and student support services identify key performance indicators for their operations, the tracking of which helps them to know if they are performing on target and to identify performance gaps in need of improvement.

Annual goals and expected outcomes have a symbiotic relationship, which should be reflected in the AER. Since annual goals are intended to improve the effectiveness of the unit, you might expect that outcomes would improve as a direct or indirect result of planning efforts. In turn, when analysis of your outcomes evidence gaps in performance, you should develop an annual goal aimed at improvement.

AERs are the backbone of the College's institutional effectiveness practice, which uses an annual cycle of planning, assessment, and evaluation for continuous improvement. This model supports data-driven decision-making, identifies opportunities for course corrections, and sustains the College's culture of inquiry and evidence.

This annual exercise of developing unit-level annual goals that support or align with the College Strategic Plan and assessing expected outcomes is a best practice and demonstrates institutional compliance with SACSCOC institutional effectiveness standards and core requirements:

Core Requirement 7.1 Institutional Planning: The institution engages in ongoing comprehensive, and integrated research-based planning and evaluation processes that (a) focus on institutional quality and effectiveness and (b) incorporate a systematic review of institutional goals and outcomes consistent with its mission.

Standard 7.3 Administrative Effectiveness: The institution identifies expected outcomes of its administrative support services and demonstrates the extent to which the outcomes are achieved.

Standard 8.2.a Student Outcomes: Educational Programs: The institution identifies expected outcomes, assesses the extent to which it achieves these outcomes, and provides evidence of seeking improvement based on analysis of the results for student learning outcomes for each of its educational programs.

Standard 8.2.c Student Outcomes: Academic and Student Services: The institution identifies expected outcomes, assesses the extent to which it achieves these outcomes, and provides evidence of seeking improvement based on analysis of the results for academic and student services that support student success.

The AER templates are distributed each summer by the Division of Strategy and Institutional Effectiveness, along with evaluation rubrics, technical instructions, and other supports, such as AER exemplars. Annual AER training is provided to units by the DSIE, both scheduled and on-demand. DSIE also offers one-on-one consultation sessions with units to review their AERs, offer suggestions on how to strengthen the unit’s institutional effectiveness process, and to answer any questions the unit might have.

SPOL (Strategic Planning Online) is MDC’s online planning tool. SPOL allows users to record unit progress through a live, comprehensive platform. Units are able to align actions with the College’s Strategic Plan, identify action steps, reflect on lead and lag measures, and provide status reports on unit goals and objectives.

To access SPOL, visit If you are in need of a username, or are unable to access SPOL, please contact Dr. Rina Bass at

For additional SPOL resources and training guides, please see below:

For questions or assistance relating to the AER, please contact the Office of Accreditation

Erin Bell, Director of Accreditation

Dr. Rina Bass, Senior Accreditation Associate