Accreditation update - Recommendation 2

President's Message

September 9, 2009

President’s Note: Because of the background concerning this recommendation in the 2008 visiting team’s Evaluation Report of DVC, there were two responsibilities given to Work Group Two: the first one concerned including the language “student learning” in our mission statement and the second one was focused on college-wide planning. Following are the results of those two areas. I need to also add the note that the October 15, 2009 report is being edited to fit a specific format for ACCJC and as such there may be some changes to this excerpt currently being provided to the college community.

Work Group Leads are: Mohamed Eisa and Keith Mikolavich

Recommendation 2: College-wide Planning

The team recommends that the college develop and implement college-wide planning that is tied to the Strategic Plan, mission, and resource allocation that

Integrates all aspects of planning, evaluation, and resource allocation (Standards: IB3, IB4, IIA1, IIA2, IIB1, IIB4, IIC2, IIIA6, IIIC2, IIID1a, IIID2g, IIID3, IVA5, IV2b)

Is well defined, widely disseminated, and discussed through reflective college- wide dialogue (Standards: IB4, IB5, IIID4, IVA2a)

Includes faculty, staff, students, and administration from Diablo Valley College’s main campus and its San Ramon Valley Center (Standards: IB4, IIA1, IIB1, IIC1c, IIIA, IIIB, IIIC, IIID, IVA1, IVA2, IVA3)

Results

Two outcomes resulted from the activities of the Work Group in regards to the College Mission: revision of the mission statement to include wording related to student learning and dissemination of the revised statement campus wide among all constituents.

The revised paragraph reads: Diablo Valley College is passionately committed to student learning through the intellectual, scientific, artistic, psychological, and ethical development of its diverse student body. Diablo Valley College prepares students for transfer to four-year universities; provides career and technical education; supports the economic development of the region; offers pre-collegiate programs; and promotes personal growth and lifelong learning (DVC Mission Statement 2009). The CCCCD Governing Board approved the revised mission statement on April 29, 2009. (IA21)

The revised paragraph was printed and published in different formats ranging from small pocket cards to large posters to be hung on the walls in different meeting rooms. A catalog addendum was also printed to include the revised mission statement. The new mission also appears on the college’s website and in other official publications. (IA2)

Results

Three outcomes resulted from the activities regarding planning: revision of the college’s integrated planning model (Evidence 2.34); dissemination of the planning model; and implementation of the planning model.

Revision of DVC’s Integrated Planning Model

The chart below describes the revised integrated planning model at DVC, followed by a narrative that explains, in general terms, how the planning process will operate. More specific details of the plan can be found in DVC’s Integrated Planning document 2009 (Evidence 2.23).

Click to view pdf of Planning, Evaluation and Resource Allocation

Click here to view pdf
 

Integrated planning at DVC refers to an ongoing and systematic cycle of evaluation, planning, resource allocation, implementation and re-evaluation that is intended to enhance institutional effectiveness, the specific emphasis of Standard I. The broad integrated planning model is made up of three crucial components: planning, implementation and evaluation. Driving the planning process and central to it are the college’s Strategic Plan (2006-2011) (Evidence 2.24) and the program review process. The college’s revised mission statement provides the overarching principles that guide the development of college-wide plans, satisfying Standard IA4, which requires that the “institutional mission is central to institutional planning and decision making.”

The planning and evaluation process consists of two interrelated components -- the college-wide planning and evaluation process and program review process. Both of these processes follow a similar path by linking action plans to college resources and then evaluating the results to ensure continuous improvement

College-Wide Action Plans: Since college-wide plans span multiple years, the college annually selects a limited number of strategic directions for emphasis and implementation. Action items within individual college-wide plans specify the needed resources and the timelines for implementation.

Program Review is a mechanism for assessment of performance that recognizes and acknowledges excellence, improves the quality of programs and services and fosters self-renewal. Program review constitutes a link between planning, budgeting, assessment of student learning outcomes and curriculum review. The program review process begins with the preparation of a data-driven self study report. The college has approximately 77 program reviews that are carried out periodically based on a cycle determined by the functional areas of the college (instruction, student services, and administration) – additional information is included in the response to Recommendation 3.

Validation/Ranking: Completed self-study reports are then reviewed and validated by three validation teams (instruction, student services and administration) for accuracy and completeness. Each program review may identify the needed resources necessary to accomplish its goals. College-wide prioritization of program needs will be carried out by the Integration Council (additional information concerning the Integration Council is included in the response to Recommendation 1).

Resource Allocation: The Budget Committee will develop an annual budget plan for resource allocation. The plan will be guided by the overarching principles within the College’s Statement of Values and Mission Statement in the Strategic Plan. (III) The first step in the process is to develop a list of major funding categories -- these categories are based on needs identified in program reviews, approved college-wide plans and initiatives, District/State mandates and requests from college-wide committees. The Budget Committee will seek college-wide input on the list of major funding categories. A primary venue for college-wide input will be the Integration Council. Once the list of major funding categories is developed, the Budget Committee will develop a plan that allocates monies to the major funding categories and indicates the processes that will be used to distribute the funds in that category. For any categories that will use the program review college-wide processes to distribute the funds, the Integration Council will be used to administer the process.

College Council: The Budget Committee takes its recommended budget plan to the College Council, which then recommends the approved budget plan to the President.

College President: The final decision on resource allocation will be made by the college president.

Implementation of Plans, Annual Reports and Evaluation: Each program/unit prepares an annual report that evaluates the outcomes of the actions taken to implement its plans for improvement. (IB) These reports will provide a brief update on program review/ items within individual college-wide plans and will be used to request resources in the subsequent budget cycle.

Standard IIID emphasizes that “financial resource planning” should be “integrated with institutional planning.” Planning is linked to resource allocation to ensure that the allocation is driven by the college’s strategic goals and that the process results in data-driven decision making. The college governance process (as presented in Recommendation 1) has been redesigned to utilize expertise from all constituencies and to be open and transparent, which will result in promoting increased participation and trust between classified staff, faculty, management and students.

Dissemination of DVC’s Revised Planning Model

The college’s revised planning model was developed through spirited dialog in Work Group 2 and in collaboration with other the other work groups during Accreditation Oversight Taskforce meetings. (Evidence 2.25) Throughout the process, the 70 or so college members dedicated to the accreditation effort became intimately familiar with the planning process and shared it with constituents for continuous feedback that informed subsequent revisions. The completed model was presented to the entire college community on May 12. (Evidence 2.6)

Implementation of DVC’s Revised Planning Model

The college’s revised planning model is being implemented in fall 2009. To implement the resource allocation portion of this model, we need to coordinate the following variables:

Declining state budget The college will probably be facing annual and mid-year budget reductions from the state for the next two to three years.

Changing district allocation formulas – The district has adopted new “interim” allocation formulas for the colleges. The district intends to develop a new revenue based allocation formula which is tentatively scheduled to be implemented for the 2010-2011 fiscal year – see also District Recommendation 8.

Implementing new college resource allocation model – The new college resource allocation model may bring challenges that are not anticipated at this point.

To give the college time to assimilate and smoothly work with the new college and district resource allocation models and to accommodate budget reductions from the state, the resource allocation portion of the planning model will be phased in as follows:

Phase 1 (2009-2010) - The amount available for prioritization and resource allocation will be earned ongoing operating funds plus one time monies from carryover balances and State block grant funds. The College took action in the spring 2009 to roll over approximately $160,000 in ongoing funds and $300,000 in one-time funds to be used in the prioritization and resource allocation in ‘09-10 which will be based on needs identified in program reviews, approved college-wide plans and initiatives, district/state mandates and requests from college-wide committees. Note: because of the state/district/ college financial situation, these amounts may have to be adjusted.

Phase 2 (2010-2011) – The Budget Committee will review all the budgets and allocations related to DVC. The Budget Committee will evaluate the new district allocation formulas to determine how they might affect the college’s resource allocation processes. The Budget Committee will also review allocations for categorical funds, trust accounts, capital outlay funds, and Foundation accounts. The committee will make a recommendation on how these resources will be linked to program review and college-wide planning. The results of this review may lead to a larger pool of funds within the purview of the Budget Committee than earned ongoing operating funds, plus one time monies from carryover balances and State block grant funds noted in phase 1.

Phase 3 (2011-2012) – The Budget Committee will review the current operating allocations for the college units. The Committee will develop a data driven template to analyze the units’ base allocations. The template will have a rubric that allows the college to compare and contrast operation allocations that have diverse service outcomes and workload measures based on the college mission and strategic directives. Using the rubric, the committee will make recommendations to the College Council for redistribution of the base allocations for units. These recommendations will be based on the results of the review using the template, needs identified in program review, and approved college-wide plans. The recommendations need to be compatible with the new revenue based budget model being developed by the district.

To ensure that the college meets Standard IIID -- “The institution plans and manages its financial affairs with integrity and in a manner that ensures financial stability” -- allocation of resources will be based on funds appropriated or received in the current year, not funds anticipated to be received in the future. This allocation approach will enable various units and programs to have the needed resources available at the beginning of the fall term. Accordingly, the allocation decisions will be completed by April 15 in order to allow for review and approval by the president and for completing purchase requisitions by the May 1 deadline, if necessary.

The budgeting in arrears concept will ensure that DVC allocates funds that have already been earned, not funds based on future Full-Time Equivalent Student (FTES) goals. When the college augments an ongoing base allocation for a unit, this process is designed to make sure that the base allocation will not need adjustment due to future minor fluctuations in the college’s FTES. For ongoing budget allocations based on college FTES, the amount available for distribution will be based on the FTES earned in the previous fiscal year, not the FTES goal for the current fiscal year. The exact amount distributed will be based on a FTES level that the college feels it can reasonably maintain over the next several years. Also, college carryover funds are used only for one-time purposes in the subsequent fiscal year. Other ongoing or one-time funds from federal, state or grant sources will be allocated and spent with the guidelines and timeframes established for these funds.

In order to enhance the college’s ability to respond to impending cut backs in community college funding, the college will need to include plans for the possibility of reductions in area program reviews; that way, organizational units can evaluate where they will cut back, taking greater responsibility for their planning, understanding that the whole community will have to share the burden. By identifying and acting on college-wide priorities in funding, the college will continue to improve its effectiveness. The college will annually assess the effective us of financial resources and use the results of this assessment as a basis for continuous improvement (IIID3).

Plan of Action

The College Council will initiate a review of the college’s mission statement in 2011. The Integration Council will be established and through a transparent process involving college-wide dialogue, will integrate the results of all program reviews into institution-wide planning for improvement and informed decision-making.

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