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About VWCC

Institutional Effectiveness

Assessment

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> Assessment Quick Links:

> Institutional Effectiveness Framework

Virginia Western follows a cyclical planning and assessment process wherein areas set objectives, determine measures for success, gather and analyze data, make changes based on the results, and document improvements as they begin the cycle again.

Virginia Western’s Institutional Effectiveness Framework forms the structure for overall assessment.

IE Framework

Institutional Assessment

At the core of these processes are the College mission and Institutional Goals (PDF) established in the college’s strategic plan. Virginia Western’s strategic plan, Success 2021, is constructed to be in alignment with the overlying strategic plan of the Virginia Community College System (VCCS), Complete 2021.

Progress toward accomplishment of Virginia Western’s strategic goals is measured in a variety of ways. Multiple measures from different sources allows for a stronger assessment of the achievement of institutional goals. Results are compiled as they become available throughout the year and reviewed by the Executive Team. The assessments and results are available to College personnel through the college intranet, VW Connect.

Results are also presented to representatives from across the campus at an annual Strategic Planning Summit. Summit attendees assist in developing plans for changes based on the assessment results and other factors from the educational and community environment.

Strategic Plan Assessment Schedule
Spring Throughout the year
Executive Team reviews assessments and establishes targets for the coming year. Assessment results are gathered, analyzed, and discussed by the Executive Team, which makes plans for or assigns responsibility for changes based on analysis of the results.
Division Assessment

Many of the key measures for achievement of institutional goals come from the division assessment process.

Each division of Virginia Western, such as Academic & Student Affairs or Institutional Advancement, establishes an Institutional Effectiveness (IE) Plan annually. The IE Plan articulates goals for that division which support the college’s overall goals. In addition, the IE Plan establishes assessment measures and standards for success for each division goal. The division later expands on this IE Plan by analyzing data gathered for these measures. The division then makes changes based on the results, and documents improvements as they begin the cycle again the next year. All IE Plans and Assessment Reports are archived and accessible to college employees through VW Connect.

Particular assessments from these division IE Plans are also used to measure progress toward the accomplishment of the college’s overall goals.

The division planning and assessment schedule is designed to fit the fiscal year, to facilitate development of college budgets.

Division Planning & Assessment Schedule
Summer Following Spring (late)
Division IE Plans for the coming fiscal year are developed and submitted to the Institutional Effectiveness Office (IEO).
Documentation of improvements from the prior year is provided to the IEO.
Assessments and analysis sections are completed.
Academic Assessment

Program Assessment
Each academic program (AA, AS, AAS, CERT or CSC) has Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) that state what students will know, understand or be able to do upon course completion and/or graduation. SLOs are developed by the program heads with input from faculty. SLOs are assessed annually through the Program Assessment process.

Process:

  1. Program Heads complete the IE Plan Template for the upcoming year.
  2. Program Heads email the IE Plan Template to their academic dean prior to the first day of classes each fall.
  3. Deans review IE Plans and email to by the end of the first week of classes each fall.
  4. Program Heads add Assessment Results to the IE Plan and email to their academic dean by May 15th each year.
  5. Deans review Assessment Results and email to by June 1st each year.

Forms: IE Plan Template

General Education Assessment
The General Education Competencies, defined by the VCCS, are Civic Engagement, Critical Thinking, Professional Readiness, Quantitative Literacy, Scientific Literacy and Written Communication. Two competencies are assessed each year according to the guideline below.

Process:

  1. Program Heads complete and submit the Gen Ed Course Template to by first day of classes each spring.
  2. Faculty who teach the courses listed on the Gen Ed Course Template submit artifacts from their class to the IEO when the assignment is completed, but before it is graded. All artifacts should include the student’s names or EMPLIDs. All student and faculty identification information is redacted from artifacts prior to scoring, but is needed on the original documents for demographic analysis.
    • Complete the General Education Assessment Cover Sheet.
    • Hard Copies of Assignments: Print the completed General Education Assessment Cover Sheet, the instructions for the assignment and the key for grading the assignment.
      • The faculty member uses the school copier to scan the hard copies of the artifacts, instructions, key and the General Education Assessment Cover Sheet into the IE folder.
      • If this is not possible, the faculty member can schedule a time with the IEO to collect the artifacts. An IEO staff member will come to the faculty member’s office or school office to collect the artifacts, instructions for the assignment, key for the assignment, and a copy of the completed General Education Assessment Cover Sheet. The IEO staff member will scan the documents and will return the originals to the faculty member to grade.
    • Electronic Copies of Assignments: Complete the General Education Assessment Cover Sheet and save it along with electronic copies of the instructions for the assignment, the grading key and the artifacts to a thumb drive or email the information to . DO NOT SEND THROUGH CAMPUS MAIL.

Forms:

Gen Ed Course Template
2019-20 Gen Ed Assessments 2020-21 Gen Ed Assessments
  • Gen Ed Cover Sheet
  • Professional Readiness Rubric
  • Scientific Literacy Rubric
2021-22 Gen Ed Assessments
  • Gen Ed Cover Sheet
  • Civic Engagement Rubric
  • Critical Thinking Rubric

Program Reviews
The academic program review process exists to

  • Provide a mechanism to assess program effectiveness in achieving learning outcomes related to degree completion, employment, or transfer;
  • Ensure that the quality of the program meets the standards of Virginia Western Community College and the Virginia Community College System.

Program reviews are completed for every degree, certificate and career studies certificate every three years, with approximately one-third of all programs offered at the College being evaluated each year.

Process:

  1. Data is compiled by the IEO and a Program Review Template is created for each program that will be reviewed.
  2. The IEO emails the program review template to the appropriate academic dean and program head in September.
  3. Program Heads complete the discussion items on the Program Review Template and email the information to their academic dean and .
  4. The academic dean schedules a SWOT Analysis meeting with the Program Review Team for October/November. Team members must include the Program Head, Academic Dean, Program Advisor and IE Representative. All full-time program faculty are encouraged to attend. Faculty from outside the program’s department, members of the community, or other disinterested parties may be invited to be part of the program review team.
  5. Program Review Teams meet in October/November to discuss each program up for review and develop a SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats).
  6. The program head compiles and submits a formal, finalized SWOT analysis to his/her academic dean within a week of the meeting. The finalized SWOT analysis shall include:
    • List of Academic Program Review Team Committee Members
    • Analysis of results based on measures of program quality and effectiveness:
      • Strengths
      • Weaknesses
      • Opportunities
      • Threats
    • Committee Recommendations
      • The team must choose from the following.  The college will
        • Continue the program with no recommendations;
        • Continue program with the following recommendations (list recommendations);
        • Review the program again in the next academic year;
        • Terminate the program.
  7. The academic dean reviews the SWOT analysis and forwards to the VP of Academic and Student Affairs and .
  8. The IEO shares the final page of the Program Review pertaining to budget analysis as well as the SWOT analysis for each program reviewed with the President and the Executive Team.
  9. Recommendations made by the Program Review Team should be addressed when revising IE Plans and SLOs for the next academic year.
  10. The Program Head is responsible for discussing the results of the program review with the curriculum advisory committee. Committee notes should reflect this discussion and any further recommendations or actions.
  11. If the program review team recommends terminating the program and the Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs concurs, the discontinuation of the program will be heard at the first Curriculum Committee meeting the following spring. Final documents will be stored on the Institutional Effectiveness – Program Review site on VWConnect.

Forms:

Program Review Template
SWOT Analysis Template

Support Area Assessment

Likewise, support area (departmental) assessment processes are designed to identify expected outcomes, assess the achievement of these outcomes, and implement and document change based on the results.

Each department establishes an Institutional Effectiveness (IE) Plan annually. The IE Plan articulates outcomes for that department which support the corresponding division goals. In addition, the IE Plan establishes assessment measures and standards for success for each support area outcome. The department later expands on this IE Plan by analyzing data gathered for these measures. The department then makes changes based on the results, and documents improvements as they begin the cycle again the next year. All IE Plans and Assessment Reports are archived and accessible to college employees through VW Connect.

Support area planning and assessment schedules are designed to fit the business processes for each department. Due dates for IE Plans and assessment results for each department are maintained by the Institutional Effectiveness Office and are available on VW Connect.

Department Planning & Assessment - Regular Schedule
Early Fall Following Summer
Division IE Plans for the coming fiscal year developed and submitted to the Institutional Effectiveness Office (IEO).
Documentation of improvements from the prior year is provided to the IEO.
Assessment Reports completed.
Department Planning & Assessment - Late Schedule
Late Fall Mid Fall
Division IE Plans for the coming fiscal year developed and submitted to the Institutional Effectiveness Office (IEO).
Documentation of improvements from the prior year is provided to the IEO.
Assessment Reports completed.

> Planning and Assessment – How the Pieces Fit Together

Planning and assessment impacts a variety of processes throughout the College.

IE Framework 2

1. Strategic Planning is the primary planning process, and is facilitated by a College-wide steering team. The strategic plan has five-year goals, with assessments conducted annually. Virginia Western’s mission and strategic goals are reviewed and approved by the Local Board annually.
2. Budgeting is aligned with institutional priorities each year to ensure the most efficient allocation of financial resources.
3. Division IE Plans and assessments each year align with the mission and strategic plan.
4. Department IE Plans and assessments for each support area each year align with the Division IE Plans. Program IE Plans set the student learning objectives and assessments each year for each academic program.
5. All areas implement their IE Plans and conduct assessments annually.
6. Feedback from other stakeholders is included in planning and assessment processes. These stakeholders include students, faculty and staff, graduates, employers, transfer institutions, and the community.
7. Evaluation and improvements include the analysis and interpretation of assessment data and feedback.
8. Adjustments and resource requests may be made based on interim assessments and feedback.
9. The next cycle begins with the review of the mission and institutional goals by the Executive Team.

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3093 Colonial Ave., SW
Roanoke, VA 24015

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