Excerpts from the 1994 Visit Report
Section III. Strengths and Concerns
This section contains the major strengths of Heartland Community College as the Team saw them and the concerns which must be addressed as part of the College's development as an accredited institution.
- Heartland Community College is a very dynamic institution.
- A well accepted set of organizational values guides the decision-making and policy/ procedures development of the College.
- The shared governance structure truly provides a system of input for shared decision-making among all employee groups.
- A spirit of collaboration pervades the College both within and without organized structures.
- A supportive and appropriate working relationship has been developed between the Board of Trustees and the College administration and faculty.
- The Heartland Community College priority of professional growth for all employees is one of the major institutional strengths identified by the Team and the faculty and staff.
- The Assessment Plan meets the North Central Association "necessary conditions" for assessment and has potential to serve as a model plan for other community colleges.
- The Plan demonstrates an understanding of the role of assessment in measuring institutional effectiveness and student learning courses.
- The Team hopes it will serve as a driving force in the continuing evaluation of the College.
- Faculty, administration and staff are not only highly qualified in terms of experience but are at Heartland Community College to break with tradition, develop new programs and explore alternative delivery systems.
- The college is being managed in a fiscally prudent manner.
- A comprehensive developmental education and academic support program is rapidly expanding and needs only adequate space to flourish.
- The College's vocational programs were developed as a result of a comprehensive community needs assessment.
- The nursing program is being used as a state model.
- The Team commends the administration and staff on the speed with which they were able to develop a comprehensive student services program.
- The students are vocal supporters of Heartland Community College and praise faculty for their caring attitudes.
- Heartland Community College needs to complete a strategic planning document. Work on the Planning Framework has been completed and is contained in the Master Plan, Final Draft. Missing is the remainder of a strategic plan which would include the major initiatives to be undertaken, methods to accomplish the initiatives, assignment of responsibility and time frames.
- Even in, or maybe especially in, a non-traditional institution, the availability of library resources must be addressed. The Team recommends the College develop an information resources plan to be used as a guide to the development of this essential support service for students and faculty.
Section IV. Advice
Advice and Suggestions
In their role as consultants to Heartland Community College, the Team offers the following advice. We hope it will be useful to the College.
- Quality is very important to the College, yet is not mentioned in the Mission Statement. Amend the Mission to include that concept.
- General education should be added to the goals of the College.
- Incorporate a general education component into all certificate programs.
- A systematic process needs to be developed to track program majors.
- Despite gains in the number of full-time faculty and the plan to be at 45 % full-time by 1999, the percentage of classes taught by part-time faculty is high and needs continuing attention to insure the integrity of the curriculum and the quality of the courses.
- A process for evaluating corporate training is needed.
- The College should continue to follow up on the results of the Climate Survey.
- Clarify the relationship between the work of the Curriculum and Academic Standards Committee and the Learning Outcomes Departments.
- Consider incorporating academic advising into the regular duties of full-time faculty.
- Continue to monitor closely the College's relationship with the software development firm and make decisions as appropriate to protect the interests and needs of the College.
- Begin to address the staff development/training needs of part-time faculty in the learning outcomes and assessment effort.
- Due to space limitations and the low number of declared majors in vocational programs, it is recommended that the college move slowly in adding new programs.
- Cooperative programming may be more effective if Community Education and Customized Training were part of the same unit.
- A strategic plan for expansion of Customized Training needs to be developed.