New division tracks performance excellence

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Frank Solis, dean of performance excellence, launches T-shirts before the start of convocation Aug. 21 in McAllister auditorium. Brianna Rodrigue

IPPE records improvement efforts at all levels.

By Kathya Anguiano

sac-ranger@alamo.edu

Two years ago as the college worked toward keeping accreditation, Dr. Robert Vela, college president, started a division that would centralize the data.

The division of integrated planning and performing excellence is where things like accreditation, institutional effectiveness, data by units and all information needed for student assessment can be found.

Some four-year institutions, such as the University of Texas at San Antonio and the University of Texas at Austin, have already implemented such a division into their data gathering but not a lot of two-year institutions have, making San Antonio College more like a four-year institution, Dr. Francisco Solis, dean of performance excellence, said.

“Rather than to have all the data in different areas, what we’ve done is created an area where the specific answers are centralized in one office,” Solis said.

According to IPPE’s mission statement, not only does this division prevent duplicate reports, it ensures that all data is gathered to help the on-going process that prepares the college for reaffirmation of accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and positions the college for other expectations regarding local, state or national accountability.

“Prior to this office, those processes all existed; they just weren’t integrated and people didn’t make sense of them on campus,” Solis said. “I think that as we are going through this process, with the Baldrige Award, our SACS accreditation and the ASPEN Award, it validates what (President Robert) Vela has created in our division.”

For the college to continue its Baldrige journey, keeping certain metrics helps design, coordinate and monitor the processes and strategies to be able to respond to opportunities for improvement that come from data-based evidence.

For example, at the end of a course, an instructor must record each student’s performance on a three-point scale of failed to meet expectations, met expectations and surpassed expectations for each of the course learning outcomes.

From that material, each class’s rating is devised. The benchmark is 70 percent passing. Students who withdraw from a class are counted as not having passed.

Faculty whose classes fall below 70 percent must design a plan for how they will attempt to improve the course score, addressing the results of each learning outcome.

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