Responses to Recommendations
from the Most Recent Evaluation
General Recommendation #1
that the Board of Trustees, students, faculty, and staff support the Superintendent/President in his efforts to facilitate participation and promote communication, and that the administration and leadership of all constituent groups cooperate responsibly to involve their constituents in College planning and decision-making and to communicate in a timely manner, information and decisions that impact them.
The strengthening of communication, participation, and cooperation between all constituent groups; the involvement in College planning and decision-making; and the communication of decisions that impact them are interdependent and being enhanced as follows:
Beginning in December, 1993, an ongoing planning process that involved all segments of the College community including students, faculty, staff, management, and the community was initiated at Victor Valley College. The development of the Strategic Plan is an example of the progress made in involving all constituent groups in College planning and decision-making. As a result of the Strategic Plan, goals and objectives have been adopted, along with action plans with time lines for implementation. As part of the campus-wide strategic planning process, improvement of communications, participation and cooperation is also addressed in the Strategic Plan in the section, "Organizational Culture."
Shared governance at Victor Valley College includes both formal governance processes and informal processes which provide employees and students with an opportunity to participate in district policy formulation and provide advice and judgment on policy matters. The College Assembly consists of representatives from the five major College constituencies: faculty, classified employees, students, management, and administration. Each of these constituencies provides two representatives to the College Assembly. The College Assembly receives suggestions from committees such as the Faculty Senate and the Associated Student Body, discusses campus issues, and makes recommendations to the Superintendent/President, who in turn recommends to the Board. The members of the College Assembly share information with their constituency groups. To avoid duplication, the College Assembly recommended the Strategy Development Team be combined with the College Assembly. The highlights of the meetings are distributed campus-wide through e-mail so that staff can discuss information from the meetings.
The internal communications are being enhanced through the leadership of the Superintendent/President. The Superintendent/President meets weekly with the President�s Cabinet in order to strengthen communication, cooperation, planning and decision-making. The President�s Cabinet is composed of the vice presidents, deans and the internal auditor. Some of the discussion has included the following: retrieval of information and accountability data to enhance decision-making, automation of student records and transcripts, parking issues, and the overall meeting of student needs. The administrators share and discuss information and decisions from these meetings with their respective departments.
The Superintendent/President meets monthly with the Leadership Team which is composed of all management staff and includes the vice presidents, deans, directors, and administrative assistants. These monthly meetings are well attended and have improved the communication, cooperation, participation, planning, and decision-making on campus.
Town Hall Meetings
The Superintendent/President and Vice Presidents have conducted campus-wide Town Hall meetings and individual meetings with department chairs to gain firsthand information and input regarding program needs. Two identical presentations of the Town Hall meetings are planned at different times to encourage participation from faculty and staff.
Department Chair Meetings
The Vice-President of Student Learning has conducted monthly breakfasts or luncheon meetings with the department chairs and other staff to enhance communication, participation, planning and decision-making. Subsequent to these meetings, individual departmental meetings occur monthly to filter data and set agenda and future goals. The participation has been high and has increased cooperation, communication, and the involvement of faculty and staff in planning and decision-making.
The Superintendent/President and Vice Presidents meet with the several work unit teams to share information through informal meetings. These include all classified employees and the department chairs. In addition, the Management Group, Associated Student Body, Faculty Senate and the California School Employee Association have enhanced communication through periodic meetings with their respective constituent groups.
Under reengineering efforts to strengthen communication, participation, and cooperation between constituent groups, staff development training has been provided to employees to incorporate the Zenger Miller Basic Principles into their daily work. Although those who have received training have incorporated it into their daily work, the training needs to be offered to those groups who have not been trained.
In the Fall semester, 1995, the Roles and Role Aid Training for classified employees was conducted on how to deal with change and how to take on new roles in the work environment.
In Spring 1998, the Staff Development Office conducted climate surveys on both employees and students. The surveys were analyzed and tabulated by National Initiative for Leadership and Institutional Effectiveness (NILIE). The report of the surveys stated that at Victor Valley College, the overall results from the Personal Assessment of the College Environment (PACE) and the Student Assessment of the College Environment (SACE) indicate a healthy campus climate, yielding a 3.52 and a 3.71 mean score respectively which represent a mid-to-high range System 3 or consultative system.
On Flex Day, August 11,1998, the College enjoyed a record participation rate of over 90%. Many of the presentations were conducted by members of the College. The day�s activities promoted and reflected healthy communication among many groups of the College.
On Flex Day, January, 1999 staff development is planning for additional workshops to enhance communication skills, such as True Colors, and Assertiveness Training.
Campus communication has been significantly increased through the use of voice and e-mail systems. Approximately 95% of campus staff have immediate access to e-mail and Internet, and 99% of all student systems have Internet access. Many employees have received beginning and advanced training in GroupWise, the College�s e-mail software, web browser fundamentals and web based e-mail.
The Superintendent/President, President�s Cabinet, and the College Assembly had the overall responsibility for implementing General Recommendation #1.
General Recommendation #2
that the College develop a strong program by which diversity becomes part of the institutional fabric: in its attitudes, beliefs and actions; in its student body and employee make-up; and in its curricula and support services. That the program have many dimensions and be included as a key element in long range planning; that efforts be expanded to ensure diversity in staffing, committee membership, staff development opportunities and curriculum development. That leadership for these activities come from the Superintendent/President and the administration and include the cooperation and commitment of the leadership and representatives of all college constituencies.
Since the 1993 accreditation visit, the College has continued to develop strategies to address diversity. The College�s mission statement includes a commitment to serving a diverse student population as follows:
We at Victor Valley College are committed to excellence in educational programs and services that are accessible to a diverse student population. We will continue to be an educational leader by striving for instructional excellence, being responsive to the needs of the community, and providing a nurturing, learning environment.
The College understands the changes in population and demographic characteristics of its service area. The population is becoming increasingly ethnically diverse and bi-modal in its age mix. Progress regarding diversity includes the following:
Diversity is a goal that is addressed in the Strategic Plan. The goal in the Strategic Plan is as follows: To consistently and systematically employ all viable means to accommodate the diverse population that is characteristic of our ever-changing High Desert community. The six objectives focus on: increasing retention and persistence rates, increasing percentage of students reaching goals, improving employment in job categories to conform to AB1725, assuring that the student population, curriculum and College activities reflect diverse needs of the community, and increasing awareness of staff and students regarding legal and ethical responsibilities and discrimination issues. Action Plans have been completed with time lines for implementation.
In 1997-98, the College received a Student Support Services Program grant for $720,000 ($180,000 a year for four years) to provide support services to low-income, first generation, or disabled college students who show an academic need, especially in the areas of mathematics and English. The support services focus on increasing the retention and graduation rates, facilitating transfer from two-year to four-year colleges, and fostering an institutional climate supportive of the success of students.
In 1998-99, the College received an allocation for $1,083,381 for the CalWORKs and Transitional Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) programs. The CalWORKs and Transitional Assistance to Needy Families programs were developed to provide vocational training, employment services, child care and other support services to welfare participants.
In 1996-98, the College received grant funds from the Chancellor�s Office, and NASA to recruit and encourage high school minority students to attend college in the Summer Science Academy. The Summer Science Academy is funded by the College for the 1998-99 school year.
The College has an ESL Program which involves over 900 students annually in credit and non-credit courses. This program is also the sole focus of the Non-Credit Matriculation grant which offers counseling and assistance with application/registration, assessment, orientation, counseling and follow up.
The EOPS/CARE Program offers 700+ financial and educationally disadvantaged students counseling, early registration, tutoring, and other support services, and assistance with child care. The new Partnership in Excellence program is focused primarily on establishing a thorough research program to determine retention and success rates, broken down into various subgroups such as ethnicity, gender, and age. It may also provide additional assistance in follow up areas such as probation/dismissal, basic skills, and undeclared majors.
Various portions of the catalog, schedule and student handbook have been translated into Spanish, and bilingual counselors and clerical staff are available in the Counseling Office. The ACCESS program offers extensive assessment, counseling and other support services to over 400 physically and learning disabled students. The ADA/504 Coordinator role has now been centralized and complaint procedures widely distributed. Fourteen computer labs are being equipped with adaptive equipment. The New Horizons Program has provided counseling and a Leadership Academy for single parents, single pregnant women and displaced homemakers.
For the past 12 years, Victor Valley College has held a celebration for Martin Luther King Jr. On January 19, 1998, nearly 600 people attended the event in the Victor Valley College Performing Arts Center. The event was sponsored by the High Desert Black Heritage Committee in conjunction with Victor Valley College Black Student Union and the Associated Student Body. People of all races and ages paid their respects in remembrance of Dr. King.
On May 4, 1997, the M.E.C.H.A Club held a Cinco de Mayo day of festivity with live music and dancers for over 100 students, their families, schools, and community leaders. In addition, on September 16, 1997, M.E.C.H.A celebrated Diesiseis de Septiembre with a pot luck.
The Human Resources Department has updated the Faculty and Staff Diversity Plan. The Faculty and Staff Diversity Plan has been approved by the Board of Trustees and accepted by the Chancellor�s Office. This plan has been updated to ensure the Title V revisions are in accordance with the time lines established by the Chancellor�s Office. Revisions include language, terminology, and procedures throughout the existing plan, as well as a full review and update of our written hiring procedures, all forms involved in the process of handling discrimination complaints, and other publications distributed by the Human Resources Department.
Committees seek a broad diversity of members and, where possible, avoid overlaps, membership, and service of the same individuals. Constituent groups elect or replace committee members as needed. In initial stages of the committee formation, constituent groups and committees develop plans to provide for ongoing representation and for the staggering of terms. The College has many campus-wide committees. All faculty, staff and students are encouraged to participate on committees in which they have an interest. The diverse committees and the participation guidelines are included in the Victor Valley College Shared Governance document. For example, the Accreditation Self-Study Steering Team and the standard teams include active participants from diverse ethnic groups.
An increasing awareness to address issues of diversity has been undertaken and is reflected through a strengthening of the outreach and communication processes for faculty and staff at Victor Valley College. Diversity training is included in all adjunct faculty training workshops. Additionally, in the strengthening of communications and outreach, the course catalog includes information on equal opportunity and non-discrimination policies, and provides contacts for obtaining assistance for non-English speaking populations. Staff development activities that have focused on diversity are as follows:
On the August 15, 1994, Flex Day, the College conducted a Strategic Planning Goal Workshop that included a discussion about the goal of diversity.
On January 17, 1995, Flex Day, the College provided a workshop, Windmills: A Staff Diversity Program. This was an interactive workshop to enhance awareness and improve perceptions and attitudes regarding working with disabled co-workers.
On August 14,1995, Flex Day, the College provided a sexual harassment presentation, Live Action Edutainment.
On September 3, 1996, Flex Day, the College provided a workshop, Discrimination/Diversity Interactive Presentation, for all administration, faculty, and classified staff. The topics covered the following: discriminatory conduct, the consequences, managing prejudice, protecting ourselves, and understanding our attitudes.
On September 3, 1996, Donna Mertens, Director of Fiscal Services, conducted a second workshop, The Power Dead-Even Rule and Other Gender Differences in the Workplace. The second workshop covered communication between men and women. The third workshop, Invisible Rules, included a video, leadership strategies, team player discussions, different meeting behaviors, linguistic behavior and non-verbal communication strategies.
On January 7, 1997, diversity was discussed as a part of the Educational Master Plan during a flex day workshop. On February 19, 1999, A Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity, is scheduled by Monica Molina-Bustos, Non-credit Matriculation Counselor. This workshop will offer an effective intercultural diversity training for developing individual, interpersonal organizational and professional cultural competence that would be applicable to students, faculty and staff.
In accordance with recommendations made by the prior accreditation team, department chairs conducted a review of textbooks, reference books, and CDROM materials to strengthen cultural diversity throughout the course and curriculum process. In addition, library holdings have been expanded to include a wider variety of materials addressing issues of diversity. These materials include not only works representing multiculturally diverse viewpoints, but more importantly address topics such as promoting intercultural awareness and developing a climate of respect both in the classroom and workplace. Beginning in the Fall of 1998, library staff has circulated a list of holdings representing issues of diversity to all faculty to increase their awareness of available materials. Faculty are being encouraged to consult this list as they plan their assignments, and choose materials from the list to include in classroom presentations. This printout will continue to be updated and faculty will be supplied with this information on an annual basis.
New courses have been designed and adopted; the most recent is the addition of a Multicultural Communication Speech class for a Spring, 1999, starting date and "Conversational Spanish for Child Care Professionals" is under development for Summer, 1999. Courses highlighting Hispanic American authors as a foundation for literature studies are under development for inclusion in the English department offerings beginning Fall, 1999. The courses offered at Victor Valley College that address diversity and multicultural awareness are indicated in Recommendation 2.3.
The President�s Cabinet, and the College Assembly were responsible for implementing General Recommendation #2.
General Recommendation #3
that the College continue to build upon its existing planning efforts and develop a long range planning process and plan that includes all aspects of the College�s activities and all constituencies; that the plan establish concrete goals, both short and long-term; that effectiveness measures be integrated into the plan; that the plan be widely disseminated and used to guide college decision-making, including the budgetary process.
Since the last accreditation visit, the College has implemented strategic planning. The Strategic Plan is the overall umbrella for planning at the College. The Strategic Plan was developed by a work group that included members from segments of the campus as well as the Board of Trustees and community. The plan was approved by the Board of Trustees in February, 1995. The action plans were developed in conjunction with the strategic plan which was written by cross-functional teams.
A Board of Trustees workshop was devoted to a review of the Strategic Plan. The objectives, time lines and responsibilities were revised in the Fall of 1996 and revised again in Spring 1997. The Strategic Plan, along with the Board of Governor�s Basic Agenda, is the foundation upon which the allocation of resources is made.
Under the leadership of the Vice President of Student Learning, the College hired the Resource Group, a consulting firm, to facilitate the development of the Educational Master Plan. The Educational Master Plan, guided by the Strategic Plan, drew upon a number of essential existing documents, including the District�s Mission and Goal Statements, Facilities Plan, Technology Plan, Accreditation Self-Study Recommendations, Economic Development Study, and the output of the District�s Academic Program Review Process. The Educational Master Plan includes a section on Facilities Requirements and a section on Technology/Equipment Requirements.
Under the leadership of the Vice President of Institutional Infrastructure, the College hired P2S Engineering, a consulting firm, to assist in producing the Telecommunications Technology Plan. The Strategic Plan, the Educational Master Plan, and the Telecommunications Technology Plan will be updated periodically to reflect changes for the future. The Vice-President of Student Learning and the Vice-President of Institutional Infrastructure were responsible for implementing General Recommendation #3.
Recommendation One: Institutional Integrity
1.1. that the College consider ways to publicize and disseminate, in appropriate college publications, a statement emphasizing the academic freedom policy of the College.
The College publishes the academic freedom policy in our College catalog as well as our semester class schedules. We will continue to publish it in every appropriate publication. The Director of Public Information was responsible for implementing this recommendation.
1.2 that the College take steps to ensure that all staff understand and follow college affirmative action policies and guidelines in the hiring process, and that the Director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action be supported in implementing affirmative action policies and goals. The team also recommends that the College, particularly the administration and Academic Senate, give high priority to emphasize diversity in college programs and services.
The recommendation for this standard involves a continuous process of educating involved persons in the policies, procedures and philosophies of affirmative action and faculty and staff diversity goals. Action that has been taken to date includes the complete revision and updating of our Faculty and Staff Diversity Affirmative Action Plan. This plan has been revised to include the most recent revisions in Title V and is in accordance with the time lines established by the Chancellor�s Office. Revisions include language, terminology, and procedures throughout the existing "plan," as well as a full review and update (where appropriate) of our written hiring procedures, all forms involved in the process of handling discrimination complaints, and other publications overseen by our office, including a brochure on "Guidelines, Policies and Procedures" that is available to all staff, students and the public. The plan was submitted to the Chancellor�s Office. Copies of the plan are currently being printed and will soon be circulated on campus and made available to all employees.
New procedures, in accordance with affirmative action guidelines, were established and approved by both bargaining units and the District for the employment of individuals in short-term classified and adjunct faculty positions. These procedures are also incorporated in the Plan. The Faculty and Staff Diversity Affirmative Action Committee took action in September to assist in the purchase of the necessary technology to put these procedures into action. The Office of Human Resources should have the scanning system in place soon to track and process applications for all positions on campus in accordance with these new procedures.
The education of employees in understanding and complying with affirmative action guidelines is a continuing process. Currently the Office of Human Resources is updating the Affirmative Action Handbook which is used by all hiring committee members during recruitment efforts. The Faculty and Staff Diversity Committee is also involved in researching additional educational mediums such as video, several of which have been made available to employees and hiring committees, to increase awareness. The Director of Human Resources was responsible for implementing this recommendation.
1.3 that the College respond to the growing number of Spanish-speaking community residents and students by making portions of select college forms and publications available in Spanish, such as the Student�s Rights and Responsibility Handbook.
Selected information in the catalog, student handbook and the class schedule are updated in Spanish. The College has identified staff to work with the Spanish community as well as Spanish speaking students to interpret the information contained in these forms and publications. The ESL Program has been expanded through the non-credit matriculation grant and bilingual counseling staff is available. The Dean of Student Services was responsible for implementing this recommendation.
1.4 that the College consider ways to bring together all planning efforts and integrate them into one College Master Plan which is widely disseminated and used as a framework for decision-making, including decisions associated with the budget process; and that the College establish a formal planning process, including wide participation and time lines for developing and implementing such a plan.
As indicated in General Recommendation #3, Victor Valley College has developed a process to draw together all members of the College community in developing the Strategic Plan, Educational Master Plan, and the Telecommunications Technology Plan. It is the view of the District that the Educational Master Plan should be the primary document that drives the facilities master planning activities. The Educational Master Plan includes a major section on the technology needs of the district and plans for newly emerging telecommunications initiatives.
The District has engaged a consulting firm to work with a team of people to validate our current space usage and to identify programs that will be in need of expanded facilities. The new initiatives in the area of program review and development have been designed to link program review with the budget allocation process. This linkage is being modified at the present time. The President�s Cabinet was responsible for implementing this recommendation.
1.5 that the College define the responsibilities of the Institutional Research Office, review the institutional effectiveness/student outcomes model and establish and disseminate a plan for using the model. The plan should delineate how institutional research and effectiveness data will support all college planning efforts.
Efforts are being made to redefine the responsibilities of the Research Office, develop the institutional effectiveness model, and delineate how research and effectiveness data will support College planning efforts. Through the Partnership in Excellence resources, the College is in the process of developing and improving its institutional research capacity and institutional effectiveness. A contract employee was hired in September 1998 to create a research data base.
Through the Partnership In Excellence Program, the College will be hiring a full time research analyst, and a data processing technician. In addition, the College is looking at hiring an institutional researcher. This should result in usable information regarding student assessment, orientation, counseling, student persistence, graduation and transfer for district decision-making. We have also identified a series of research studies which meet Matriculation and Partnership In Excellence requirements that include the following:
- Enrollment in and successful completion of initial and follow up basic skills classes. Determine which credit and noncredit students are assessed, oriented and counseled.
- Determine AA/AS and certificate recipients by ethnicity, age, sex, and disability.
- Determine enrollment and course completion for transfer, vocational, and basic skills classes by ethnicity, sex, age, and disability.
- Determine number of businesses and employees in Contract Education and number of people in fee-based vocational training.
The President�s Cabinet was responsible for implementing this recommendation.
Recommendation Two: Educational Programs
2.1 that the College reexamine its program review process, particularly the recommendation criteria and the qualitative and quantitative data used to formulate a recommendation, and that the results of program review become an integral consideration in the planning and budgeting process.
Findings and recommendations from the program review process are expected to be included where appropriate. In the budget process, requests for additional resources, consideration in the form of personnel, equipment, technology and/or other additions to the program�s budget base are considered the same as other budget requests in the budget development process. The program review process is ongoing.
The program review instrument will continually be fine-tuned while it is in place. A Program Development and Review Process Team was assembled with faculty, administration and student counseling representatives with a mission to "serve as a college planning, development and review resource to facilitate and continuously promote program integrity."
By March 1996, the team published the Program Development and Review Guide as a tool to assist individual departments with developing a strategic planning model for program review. Incorporated into this planning tool are worksheets for each department to identify:
Objectives and Evaluation Measures
What are the stated objectives of the program? Are existing objectives still relevant?
Have new objectives been identified?
How will each objective be evaluated?
WSCH, FTES, FTEF analysis for each individual course in the program.
Does the sequencing of courses enable students to fulfill prerequisite requirements in a timely fashion?
Uniformity of Grading Practices
Analyzes and compares instructors assigned to different sections of the same course to ensure equitable grading practices across the curriculum and meet standards as set forth in the Course Record of Outline.
Capital Outlay Needs
Instructional Materials Needs
Revenues and Costs
During the 1996-97 Program Review Cycle, seventeen programs were reviewed under the model developed by the Review Process Team. Currently, the committee is conducting an analysis of how data from the new "RAM Talk" automated registration system (implemented in 1998) can be most effectively incorporated into the existing model for those programs up for review in the 1998-99 academic year. The Vice-President of Student Learning and deans were responsible for implementing this recommendation.
2.2 that the College establish advisory committees for those vocational programs operating without them.
Through the collaborative leadership of the Vice President of Student Learning, the department chairs and the Dean of Vocational Education Programs, the College has established advisory committees for all vocational programs. The vocational advisory committees meet on a periodic basis. The College is very pleased with the active participation and support from members of the community. The representation of the vocational advisory committees consists of members from the College, business and industries, high schools, and the general community. Some of the activities of the vocational advisory committees have included the following:
Bob Greiner, president of Greiner Pontiac-Buick, received the Corporate Benefactor Award from the National Council for Resource Development Region IX in 1996. Greiner was presented this award for his generous support of the College through scholarships, equipment, and financial donations.
General Motors, a member of the Automotive Advisory Committee, has donated five vehicles for Automotive classroom and lab training.
The Electronics Advisory Committee has maintained an active role in assisting with job placement for students, provided input into curriculum, and contributed to overall program direction as it relates to industry.
The Child Development Advisory Committee has provided input into the new Child Development Certificate Program that integrates academic and vocational education.
The General Manager of the High Desert Regional Economic Development Authority, a member of the Computer Information Systems Advisory Committee, has assisted in grant development activities.
The Fire Technology Advisory Committee has included the Fire Department Training Officers on the committee, approved the academy curriculum, discussed the delivery method and have provided support for apparatus and equipment.
The Restaurant Management Advisory Committee has assisted in curriculum review, and participated in the strategic planning and Educational Master Plan processes.
Some of the members of the Welding Advisory Committee have hired students from the College, facilitated and promoted the 2+2 high school articulation agreements, and provided materials for the Welding Program.
The Vice-President of Student Learning, Dean of Vocational Education Programs, and the vocational department chairpersons were responsible for implementing this recommendation.
2.3 that the College begin to take appropriate steps to ensure that cultural diversity is considered in the curriculum development process and that educational programs provide opportunities for students to develop an understanding of the value of diversity.
An increasing awareness in the College for the need to address issues of diversity has been undertaken across-the-board and is reflected not only in the hiring practices of the College, but through a strengthening of the outreach and communication processes for bilingual student populations. An increased sensitivity to cultural diversity in the curriculum review process is evidenced not only by additional course offerings, but through increased diversity in required readings and library holdings.
In addition, diversity training is included as a part of adjunct orientations and Staff Development workshops. In the strengthening of communications and outreach, the course catalog includes information on equal opportunity and non-discrimination policies, and provides contacts for obtaining assistance for non-English speaking populations. In accordance with recommendations made by the prior accreditation team, department chairs conducted a review of various materials including textbooks, reference books, and CDROM materials to strengthen cultural diversity throughout the course and curriculum process. As a direct result, many courses (especially in the areas of history, sociology, poetry and literature) were expanded to include culturally representative materials in their syllabi. For example, works by authors such as Maya Angelou, Sandra Cisneros, Barbara Kingsolver, and Momaday Norton deal with contemporary issues of diversity and culture and are standard assignments across the curriculum.
New courses have been designed and adopted, the most recent being the addition of a Multicultural Communication Speech class for a Spring, 1999, starting date, and a "Conversational Spanish for Child Care Professionals" is under development for Summer, 1999. Currently, the following courses are offered at Victor Valley College that address diversity, multicultural awareness, and the needs of our diverse community:
ADMJST 74: Multicultural issues in Public Safety
ANTHRO 2: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
GEOG 2: Introduction to Cultural Geography
HIST 13: Black American History
HIST 14: History of Women in the United States
HIST 16: Native American History
RELSTD 15: Religion in America
SOC 7: The Ethnic Experience in American Society
SPAN #TBA: Conversational Spanish for Child Care Professionals
SPEECH TBA: Multicultural Communication
ACOMED 30: Citizenship
ESL: Victor Valley College offers 14 sections of English Language Instruction to serve the diverse needs of our community.
The library�s holdings addressing issues of diversity have increased since the last accreditation review. In the last two years alone, over 200 books written by authors with multicultural perspectives have been purchased due to increased requests by instructors and by increased staff. Additionally, library staff is currently developing on-line access to catalog holdings. The Dean of Academic Programs was responsible for implementing this recommendation.
2.4 that the College continue to explore a variety of instructional delivery systems, especially new technologies, to address the varied learning styles of its students.
Since the previous accreditation cycle, Victor Valley College has conducted an in-depth assessment of its telecommunications infrastructure and has developed a technology master plan to meet the needs of the College, its students, and the community as we move into the 21st century. However, in addition to an examination of the physical infrastructure needs, Victor Valley College has clearly defined technology not as an end in-and-of itself, but as a tool to promote student learning across a variety of learning styles and to support an increasingly diverse, non-traditional student population. Two distinct areas of technological growth have emerged to support students in both the on-campus and off-campus settings. The on-campus use of technology has increased exponentially. Students now have access to over 100 computers in the Academic Commons that support placement assessment, basic skills, Internet research, interactive multimedia instruction, and course-based mastery assessment. In addition, the Academic Commons now hosts a full-fledged language lab for students enrolled in French, Spanish, and ESL programs.
Other campus-wide program support initiatives have also included an upgrading of the computers used in the Business Education Technology and Computer Information Systems labs, the establishment of a digital art course in the existing Arts and Photography department, and an expansion of the music department to include digital MIDI support for the music theory courses, providing students additional independent practice in mastery of transposition and music-writing skills.
In all, technology has become a comfortable companion to many of our offerings and instructors and students alike are using technology to further enhance the educational experience at Victor Valley College. To meet the needs of a growing population of students with limited access to a traditional campus-based educational experience, a Distance Learning Task Force Committee was established and continues to work in establishing criteria for expanding our distance learning offerings. To date, procedures have been established whereby courses offered in a distance learning format are subject to the curriculum review process and a memorandum of understanding was negotiated with the Faculty Senate to provide release time for development of courses. As of the Fall 1998 semester, Victor Valley College has developed an official web presence (see http://www.vvcconline.com) and is piloting the delivery of six Internet courses through this site.
The work of the Distance Learning Committee continues in areas of establishing strategies to ensure student success and developing measures to assess learning outcomes. In addition, the committee is also exploring the use of other delivery systems (compressed video, ITFS, cable delivery, and telecourses), as well as other learner-based models (mastery-based assessment, individualized instruction, and competency cores) as a part of the overall plan for developing alternative teaching/learning strategies to address and meet the varied learning styles and life circumstances of our student population. The College has a consulting firm preparing recommendations regarding the state of the communications infrastructure, new equipment options, and new technologies which can be utilized to provide a variety of new delivery systems.
Finally, to promote regional cooperation, in October, 1998, Victor Valley hosted a forum for Cerro Coso College to discuss partnerships and models in developing the Small College/ Rural Regional Curriculum Support Center RFA. Representatives from Victor Valley, Cerro Coso, College of the Desert, Palo Verde, and Santa Barbara were present at this forum. The vice-presidents, deans, and Director of Management Information Systems worked collaboratively to implement this recommendation.
Recommendation Three: Student Services And The Co-Curricular Learning Environment
3.1 that the College give high priority developing, within their institutional research unit, a component that will meet the research requirements of matriculation.
The Campus Matriculating Committee revised the matriculation plan including research components. As indicated in Recommendation 1.5, the College is in the process of developing and improving its institutional research capacity and institutional effectiveness. A contract employee was hired in September 1998 to create a research data base. Through the Partnership In Excellence program, the College will be hiring a full-time research analyst, and a data processing technician. This should result in usable information regarding student assessment, orientation, counseling, student persistence, graduation and transfer for district decision-making. We have also identified a series of research studies which meet Matriculation and Partnership In Excellence requirements including the following:
- Enrollment in and successful completion of initial and follow up basic skills classes.
- Determine which credit and noncredit students are assessed, oriented and counseled.
- Determine AA/AS and certificate recipients by ethnicity, age, sex, and disability.
- Determine enrollment and course completion for transfer, vocational and basic skills classes by ethnicity, sex, age, and disability.
- Determine number of businesses and employees in Contract Education and number of people in fee-based vocational training.
The Dean of Student Services was responsible for implementing this recommendation.
3.2 that the College develop a plan and time lines for updating the current MIS system, and that the College MIS staff consider ways to provide more support and training for the student services operation.
Funds have been put into the fiber optics and network plan for the campus. A plan to upgrade the Information System for data, audio, and visual transmission has been developed and an Initial Planning Project and Final Planning Project have been submitted to the state for funding. The district currently has in place a fiber optic backbone reaching all classrooms, faculty offices, and services. The backbone connects to the 4C Network and Internet. The district has established some 700 student computer learning stations and 200 faculty and staff stations through the use of state and local resources. A web site has been established with long-term uses yet to be determined.
A new classroom facility has been planned using computer-assisted learning technology: a 260-station open student computer lab, 5 dedicated computer labs, and 15 classrooms wired for student laptop PCs. The facility includes upwards of 900 student computer stations. An Initial Planning Project and Final Planning Project have been submitted to the state for funding. Planning is continuing as to how to best employ technology in student learning. Representatives from companies such as Hewlett Packard, Xerox, and IKON are assisting in this planning. The admissions office has also added a scanner to provide easier access to records by counselors and other staff. The Vice President of Institutional Infrastructure was responsible for implementing this recommendation.
3.3 that leadership in student services and instruction coordinate their planning efforts and promote greater collaboration between their respective staffs to ensure that their programs and services complement and support the total student.
The current College organizational structure has a Vice President of Student Learning who has overall responsibility for both student services and instruction. Directly under him are three Deans, (Dean of Student Services, Dean of Vocational Education Programs, and Dean of Academic Programs) who have responsibilities that cross over and blend student services and instructional lines. They meet as a team and plan jointly for programs and services that support the total learning community. Some examples of this are as follows: schedule and catalog development, meetings with department chairs, shared responsibility for the faculty evaluation process, orientation, enrollment management, program development and review, cross representation on the Curriculum Committee, and the Calendar Committee. The Vice President of Student Learning conducts monthly department chair meetings and meets individually with employees in order to share information, enhance participatory management, coordinate planning efforts, and promote greater collaboration among departments. The Vice-President of Student Learning and deans were responsible for implementing this recommendation.
Recommendation Four: Faculty and Staff
4.1 that the administration and faculty hiring committees adhere to established procedures for hiring contract faculty and that a process for allocating new positions be formalized.
The faculty makes their recommendations on faculty developed criteria. The administration creates a list of new faculty position needs based on its projections of growth. To the extent possible, the faculty recommendations are followed. During the last two years, the College and the faculty priorities were similar and the hires were made accordingly. The Vice President of Student Learning and Director of Human Resources were responsible for implementing this recommendation.
4.2 that the College review existing evaluation procedures, develop a process for evaluating part-time and tenured faculty, and consider establishing Board policies to cover all staff evaluation.
All new adjunct faculty are evaluated during their first semester of teaching using the College�s student evaluation form. Student evaluations, peer reviews, and often classroom observations are conducted. In addition, one third of the tenured faculty are evaluated each year according to standards and procedures as set forth in the Victor Valley College District Agreement. An orientation program has been developed for new adjunct faculty.
Adjunct faculty participate in workshops on teaching and learning process, including curriculum development, classroom management, and necessary College protocols and procedures. Faculty who are on tenure track are evaluated extensively. The Vice President of Student Learning, Dean of Academic Programs and Dean of Vocational Education Programs were responsible for implementing this recommendation.
Recommendation Five: Library and Learning Resources
5.1 that the College evaluate its information technology needs and develop a comprehensive technology plan outlining the personnel, hardware, and software required to support current and future telecommunications needs of the College.
Victor Valley Community College District is in the process of evaluating information and technology needs within the context of the Educational Master Plan. There have been a number of changes since the last accreditation report with regard to the installation of telecommunications infrastructure. A fiber optic backbone linking all campus buildings is in the final stages of completion. It is expected that nearly all faculty will have computers on their desks that are linked to the fiber optic network. The District has retained a consulting firm to work with the facilities and instructional components of the College to ensure that there is a process in place that enables input from all College users of technology.
Further initiatives have been developed with Hi-Desert Cablevision and plans are underway to begin Hi-Desert Cablevision broadcast of college-related activities. Included in these will be offerings of telecourses in a variety of subject areas and at times that are more suitable to the community. Meetings are currently underway that include the Lewis Center, Victor Valley Union School District and Victor Valley College to explore more efficient ways of linking the Technology Center and the College with the studio facilities at Victor Valley Union High School District. The Vice President of Student Learning and the Vice President of Institutional Infrastructure were responsible for implementing this recommendation.
5.2 that the College, in planning the new library facility, carefully examine the staffing requirements, the currency of the library collection and the level of audio-visual support needed to accommodate the projected increases in use and instructional programs.
The library staff has carefully examined the staffing requirements of the library and made recommendations to the College administration for one additional academic librarian and one library technical assistant. The recommendations were based on current Standards for Community, Junior and Technical College Learning Resources Programs and library statistical data for the last five years. In Fall 1997, two library technical assistants were hired, replacing short-term staff. Beginning Fall 1998, a third librarian was added as a result of a District reorganization.
The College has received an allocation from the State of $573,000 for the acquisition of library materials for the new Learning Resources facility. A comprehensive plan for reviewing and updating the collection is being developed by the librarians. Participation by faculty in all curriculum areas is expected to be a vital part of the process.
The Instructional Media Services Department is continuously monitoring the use and needs of the faculty for media equipment and instructional material support. The College has instituted a regular budget for replacing worn and obsolete equipment. Instructional Media staff continues to work with faculty to purchase support material appropriate for their curriculum and to provide support in the newer media format. The Dean of Academic Programs and the Department Chair of the Library was responsible for implementing this recommendation.
Recommendation Six: Physical Resources
6.1 that the College continue its efforts to eliminate any real and/or perceived barriers between the upper campus and the lower campus.
The elevator connecting the upper and lower campus was completed in 1994-95 and is in full operation. There now exists a paved street which circles the campus for full ease of vehicle transportation between the upper and lower campus. Student parking has been expanded on the lower campus by the addition of 500 parking spaces, with an increasing number of students accessing parking on lower campus and using the elevator to access the upper campus.
Facilities Master Planning for the campus includes planning for all future buildings to be constructed on the upper campus around the lake, for ease of communication and accessing facilities and services once students are into the core of the campus. Future plans for the lower campus are for athletic/physical education/recreation specialty facilities and plans. The Vice President of Institutional Infrastructure was responsible for implementing this recommendation.
6.2 that an adequate budget be provided to support maintenance, custodial, and other operational costs for the new buildings when they are completed, and that an adequate budget be provided for preventative maintenance on existing facilities and equipment.
An adequate budget is planned and will be provided for the support--maintenance, custodial, and other operational costs--for new buildings when they are completed within the fiscal capacity of current budget allocations to the College by the state. The College will be able to provide quality maintenance, custodial, and operational support for new buildings when the state funds growth for new facilities. It is not feasible for the College to take resources from its instructional and student service programs to provide operational support for new facilities.
The College already provides preventive maintenance for existing facilities, i.e., on a five-year rotating basis, every classroom, office, and facility on campus is refurbished. Parking lots are refurbished on a five-year cycle as well. The air conditioning/heating units, boilers, and electric power boxes are maintained on a scheduled basis. The College has also planned and obtained $3 million to upgrade the Central Plant for the College. This work has been completed.
The College was also the first in the state to access Energy Commission funds to upgrade electrical and gas equipment throughout the campus for energy conservation. Of necessity, this has involved replacing older electrical and gas mechanical apparatuses with new ones. The College submits--on an annual basis--the larger maintenance projects, to obtain state deferred maintenance monies to maintain facilities.
The College has been successful in obtaining deferred maintenance monies on an ongoing basis. The grounds are kept in excellent condition as well as the facilities and parking lots. The College also is committed to continuous quality improvement to increase work efficiency and effectiveness with the belief that, as in the private sector, public institutions such as Victor Valley College can produce high quality work at a lower cost, which means with fewer personnel.
This also includes teams working together, and they are empowered to make decisions which directly impact their work effectiveness. We have also made a concerted effort to provide them with the best tools, equipment, and technology to get their work done. The College does not agree, as implied by the recommendation, that the answer is to simply throw more money into the Maintenance and Operations budget.
The College will be able to provide quality maintenance, custodial, and operational costs for new buildings only if the state funds growth of facilities. The College will not take resources from the instructional or student services programs to operate new facilities; that is the responsibility of the state to provide those resources. The Vice-President of Institutional Infrastructure was responsible for implementing this recommendation.
6.3 that separate budget line items be established and adequately funded to allow compliance with the Employee Injury and Illness Prevention Program and the Hazard Communication Program.
A separate budget has been set up for safety, including hazardous materials and injury prevention. Adequate funding is hard to pinpoint. It is not an exact figure, but requests are prioritized and funded. The budget was initially set at $10,000 in 1994-95 to fund hazardous waste removal. The budget increased in 98-99 to $37,250 to cover additional safety and injury prevention issues. The Director, Fiscal Services was responsible for implementing this recommendation.
Recommendation Seven: Financial Resources
7.1 that the College coordinate budget development with planning and ensure that budget decisions are consistent with the Educational Master Plan.
The College budget development planning process ensures that budget decisions are consistent with the Strategic Plan, Educational Master Plan, and Telecommunications Technology Plan of the College as well as the mission and goals of the district. The process provides an opportunity for everyone to participate in the budget development process.
The process includes the opportunity to request additions to the service/department�s base budget on an annual basis. This includes personnel, equipment, facility remodeling, computer hardware/software, and organizational membership considerations and needs. These needs are compiled for priority ranking for funding by the Vice President�s Team, and are funded to the level which the budget permits. The final budget, after a review by the President�s Cabinet, is submitted to the Board of Trustees for approval. The President�s Cabinet was responsible for implementing this recommendation.
7.2 that the College develop a thorough written description of the budget policies, guidelines, and processes, and distribute this information to the entire college community.
Budget policies and procedures are in place for the district and are distributed the same as other policies and procedures through the College community. Periodically, persons are reminded of the budget processes via written memorandums, electronic mail, and electronic voice mail systems of the district. The Vice President of Institutional Infrastructure was responsible for implementing this recommendation.
7.3 that the College support the revitalization of the Victor Valley College Foundation and work with the Foundation Board to identify needs that are suitable for fund-raising activities.
The Superintendent/President of the College serves on the Foundation�s Executive Board and provides the liaison that is necessary to the continuing success and revitalization of the Foundation. Several other College staff serve on various committees for the Foundation. Throughout the year the College provides information, such as a "Needs List." The College representatives serving on the Foundation and the other Foundation board members then determine which campaigns will be directed toward that particular need. The Foundation launched a $1 Million Dollar Millennium Campaign in June, 1997, to provide the equipment for the new Student Activity Center, to update the computer technology for the campus, and to provide "naming opportunities" for major givers.
The College and the Foundation work closely to identify major givers, provide a big "kick-off" event and complete all aspects of making the Millennium Campaign successful. The College has secured the services of a consultant and an expert in charitable giving, who will serve the Foundation to provide the essential elements of leadership in fund development and planned giving. The Superintendent/President was responsible for implementing this recommendation.
Recommendation Eight: Governance
8.1 that the College prepare an annual description of the purposes, responsibilities and membership of all college committees and groups, and that summaries of their recommendations and actions be widely distributed to all staff.
The Shared Governance Task Force this past year reviewed thoroughly the shared governance processes of the district and are in the process of recommending substantive changes in the shared governance processes. This includes identification of all College committees including defining their purpose and membership as indicated in the shared governance processes. The Shared Governance Task Force consists of representatives from Faculty Senate, classified employees, management council, students, and the district administration. Everyone within the district has had an opportunity to have a voice in the review and recommendations for improving the shared governance processes. The Vice President of Institutional Infrastructure was responsible for implementing this recommendation.
8.2 that the Faculty Senate encourage broader faculty participation in the Senate and assume more responsibility for soliciting input from their colleagues and communicating with their constituency.
The Faculty Senate continues to encourage broader participation and solicit views from the faculty to maximize campus communications. The Faculty Senate and the Faculty Association meet every two weeks to continually enhance bilateral communication and substantive faculty input. Faculty are frequently invited to express their views to the Executive Board and subsequently directly to the faculty. Reorganization of the Faculty Senate Representatives has focused on internal demographic fluxes to integrate emerging and established talents to improve both communication and timely faculty input. The intent is to obtain broader and diverse views and opinions of all faculty.
The Faculty Senate and the Faculty Association regularly distributes entire minutes of meetings as well as the news letter, Faculty Forum which provides up-to-date campus information; i.e., currents issues, news, announcements, employment openings, upcoming workshops and reports from past workshops, accreditation and matriculation information. Two important new vehicles enabling these goals are the wide spread use of voice mail and intra-collegiate e-mail to enhance communication with faculty. Additionally, the Faculty Senate has made concerted efforts to involve the growing ranks of new faculty members and to address the concerns of adjunct faculty. The President of the Faculty Senate was responsible for implementing this recommendation.
8.3 that the College consider the formation of a classified organization, such as a Classified Senate, which would represent the interests of the classified staff in the governance process.
The interest of the classified staff is represented in the governance process by active participation in the College Assembly. From this participation, classified representation in other campus functions evolves. These functions include representation on the following committees: the Campus Calendar, Scholarships, Accreditation, Matriculation, Staff Development, Awards and Recognition, Policy and Procedures, Insurance, Safety, Hiring committees, and Job Evaluation Advisory Group (JEAG).
Lines of communication among classified are open. E-mail has become the primary conduit for information sharing. Additionally, memos are sent to those areas on campus with no E-mail access. Reports from committee members to their diverse work areas keep classified staff informed and up-to-date on current campus issues. Communication from the District is conveyed by E-mail, memo, newsletter, voice mail, department, town hall and mandatory flex-day meetings. However, changes within the departments and campus-wide procedures often occur without the classified being notified prior to the implementation process. The president of the College�s local chapter of California School Employees Classified Association (CSEA) was responsible for this recommendation.
8.4 that the College explore ways to facilitate greater student participation in the governance process.
The College governance model includes all constituent groups in the decision making body, the College Assembly. Students participate in the governance of Victor Valley College through the ASB, representation on various College committees, and through a student trustee (ASB President) on the Board of Trustees. Students are appointed by ASB to serve on College committees, including the Faculty Senate and College Assembly as well as the Graduation, Policy and Procedures, Curriculum, Budget, Diversity, Accreditation, and Affirmative Action Committees. The Director of Auxiliary Services and Associated Student Body were responsible for implementing this recommendation.