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TRACS Annual Conference October 28-30 , 2015 PowerPoint Presentation
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TRACS Annual Conference October 28-30 , 2015

TRACS Annual Conference October 28-30 , 2015

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TRACS Annual Conference October 28-30 , 2015

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  1. TRACS Annual ConferenceOctober 28-30, 2015 “Developing an Exemplary Self-Study”

  2. Workshop Content • 1. Effective organization and implementation • 2. Comprehensive Assessment • 3. Documenting Compliance • 4. Compilation and Writing • 5. Creating a Self-Study Website

  3. Steps to Complete the Process • Planning • Preparation • Production • Presentation

  4. Point of Clarification The terms self-study and compliance document are used interchangeably in this presentation!

  5. Sample Website

  6. Effective Organization and Implementation

  7. Effective organization and implementation • Begin the self-study process early enough so as to avoid a last minute process and crisis mentality. • Give the institution and its participants plenty of time to complete the process and produce a compliance document. • The length of time to produce a compliance document is usually 18-24 months. • A last minute process is unfair to your institution.

  8. Effective organization and implementation continued • Develop a timetable that is continually revisited. • Include widespread participation: Administration, Faculty, Staff, and Board. • Organize into Committees – have some of each on each Committee. • Base the number of Committees on the size of the institution. • The ideal Committee structure is as follows: Governance, Academic, Faculty, Financial, Library, Institutional Effectiveness, Student Services

  9. Effective organization and implementation continued • Combine Committees where appropriate in smaller institutions. • Appoint a chairman of each Committee. • Communicate to each Committee expectations. • Decide on issues that require uniformity. • Allow 12 months for the Committees to write their responses to the Standards and Evaluative Criteria. • The responses include documentation.

  10. Effective organization and implementation continued • Schedule regular meetings for each Committee. • Schedule a monthly meeting. • At intervals require each Committee to give a progress report. • Appoint a person in charge who is responsible for the project. • The person in charge should have a team that assists in finalizing the project: a team member who is responsible for the creation of the website and a team member who is responsible for creating a hard copy and proofing.

  11. Effective organization and implementation continued • The team will take over the project at the 13th month and will be responsible for finalizing the project. • Identify some competent proofreaders. • English majors are good proofreaders. • The project will need to be proofread multiple times. • Involve IT in the project. • Get good advice from IT on the logistics of the project. • Good communication is the key to success!

  12. Self-Study Preparation Guidelines • We are trying to achieve conformity from each group on formatting and specific standards we’d like everyone to follow when completing/preparing your “Response” or “Narrative” for the TRACS Self-Study. Therefore, these guidelines are designed to assist students in accomplishing this goal. • Formatting your “Responses” or “Narrative”: • 1. Font – Arial 11 • 2. Bold – • 3. Underline • 4. Italicize necessary for the following types of documents: names of institutional manuals or handbooks, e.g. Board of Trustees Manual, Faculty Handbook, Staff Handbook.

  13. Guidelines continued • Naming your “Responses” or “Narratives”: name your submissions as • TRACS_Section # or #s_Last name • Place your submissions in the appropriate folder in the Shared site. • The following information must be created for each Standard: response, evidence of compliance, and compliance level.

  14. Guidelines continued • We have decided on the final self-study format. We will create a website for the document. It will be submitted electronically to TRACS; however, TRACS requires one hard copy. The template identifies the areas to be addressed. The TRACS template has merged the Self-Study Guidelines and Accreditation Standards. In entering your responses, you can enter them in Word, as plain as possible using the formatting standards noted above.

  15. Guidelines continued • The Chair should assign areas within the committee purview. • The Committee should meet regularly. • The Committee should review and approve all submissions.

  16. TRACS Self-Study Timeline Sample A. August 1, 2012 -- Submit the Self-Study Proposal to TRACS B. August 1, 2012 -- Organize the Committees and Make Assignments C. September 1, 2012 – December 1, 2012 -- Committees conduct their work D. July 10, 2013 – Reorganize the Committees and Assignments with revised TRACS Accreditation Standards E. September 1, 2013 – December 20, 2013 – Committees conduct their work F. December 20, 2013 – Committees complete and submit self-study work G. January 2, 2014 - June 30, 2014 – Prepare the TRACS Self-Study Website and Self-Study Document H. September 1, 2014 – Self-Study with Documentation mailed to the Evaluation Team/TRACS Office I. December 1-5, 2014 – Evaluation Team Visit (tentative) J. January 1, 2015 – Response due to the Evaluation Team

  17. Important Information: • The first key date is December 20, 2013 with the submission of the Committee Work due to the IE Dept. All committee participants responses must be complete and final and saved to the SelfStudy2014 site in the appropriate committee folder. The second key date is June 30, 2014 for the preparation of the Self-Study website and Self-Study Document to be complete. • The third key date is September 1, 2014 for the submission of the Self-Study to TRACS. The Self-Study with documentation should be submitted to TRACS about 90 days before the visit. • The Team Visit was scheduled for December 2-5, 2014. Self-Study Timeline Sample Continued

  18. Comprehensive Assessment

  19. Assessment is key to the process! • Gather assessment data annually! • Assessment must begin immediately. Start now! • The compliance document is built on assessment data. • Implement Standards 19.1 – 19.15

  20. Standard H, Institutional Effectiveness, 19.1 – 19.15 “One of the most crucial responsibilities of any institution is to determine how well it is accomplishing its mission. While there are many ways of assessing such way is the institution’s Comprehensive Assessment Plan, which would involve the identification of outcomes, assessment to determine the extent to which they are achieved, and evidence of institutional improvement based on an analysis of the results in each of the following areas:

  21. Assessment continued • Administration • Academics and Student Learning • Student Services • Finances • Facilities and Equipment Section H 19.1 – 19.15

  22. Develop and implement a comprehensive assessment plan • Have a plan. • Implement it. • Annually collect data. • Analyze the data. • Feed the data into the decision-making of the institution • Make changes based on the data. • Incorporate the data into strategic planning. • Prepare an annual assessment report. • Make the data and changes available for the compliance document.

  23. Components of a comprehensive assessment plan • Some key assessment pieces: • All programs should be assessed on a cycle (every 3-5 years). • Institutional, program, and course learning outcomes should be assessed. • An institution must demonstrate student learning. • Administration • Academics and Student Learning • Student Services • Finances • Facilities and Equipment

  24. Components continued • Key financial ratios generated by the auditor is a crucial measure of financial health. • Direct and indirect measures of student learning must be used. • Course-embedded assessments, capstone courses, practica, portfolios, and standardized testing are some key direct measures of student learning.

  25. Documenting Compliance

  26. Document! Document! Document! • Every claim must be supported with documentation. • Address each standard and component parts. • Answer the question or address the issue. • Be comprehensive and thorough. • Use internal citation. • In the narrative link the support to the exact spot in the documentation. • Provide a trail of support and argument in your narrative.

  27. Documentation continued • You must create a Documents’ Directory. • Contents of your documents’ directory should be any document that you reference in your compliance document. • Examples: • Manuals • Catalog • Minutes (Board, President’s Council, Faculty, Committees) • Foundational or Governance Documents • Budgets • External Financial Audits • Strategic Plan • Key Documents • Policies • Administration, Staff, and Faculty Rosters • Job Descriptions • Sample Syllabi • Permits and Inspections • Fact Books • Assessment Reports

  28. Compilation and Writing

  29. Second Major Step • At the 12 month point, all of the Committees should submit their products to the key person. • Someone should be in charge and responsible for the final product. • The person in charge should be the person who is responsible for institutional effectiveness. • All the work products should proceed to the person in charge.

  30. Second Major Step Continued • The self-study project now moves to a crucial second phase. • The more consistency there is in the writing of the Committees the easier the production of the final product will be. • The Director now systematically proofs the work products of the Committees. • The Director should set himself/herself on a schedule to complete each Standard. • The Director must read for clarity, consistency, grammar, and punctuation.

  31. Second Major Step Continued • The Director must ensure that the issue in the Standard is addressed and addressed fully. • Every claim must have support. • The Director must check that the format is consistent. • This is a work intensive project and probably will take about 6 months. • As sections are completed, the sections should go to the proofer and creation of a hard copy.

  32. Second Major Step Continued • The Document should go back to the Director for a second major proofing. • Once the sections meet the Director’s approval, engage an independent proofreading. • It is better to do this in sections and spread-out the proofing. • The Director reviews the changes recommended by the proofer and those changes are sent to the on-site proofer. • As the sections are cleared, they go to the creator of the website.

  33. Second Major Step Continued • The website must be proofed! • A final check of the website must be conducted. • Multiple Proofing! Multiple Proofing! Multiple Proofing! is in order.

  34. Suggested Outline for Self-StudyDocument • I. Introduction • A. Purpose • B. History • C. Relationship with TRACS • D. Self-Study Proposal • II. Standards (Foundational and Operational) • A. Description of Standard • B. Institutional Self-Study Analysis and Compliance Narrative • C. List of Supporting Documents • D. Plan for Coming into Compliance with Timeline • III. Conclusion

  35. Creating a Self-Study Website

  36. Suggestions for Creating a Website • Create a website as soon as you have a definite template to follow. • Items can be changed and moved around. • It is easier if the website is created before you begin to upload content. • Plan the website according to ABHE’s template for ease. • Create a page on the website for each Standard. • By creating a page for each Standard, you know in fact that you are answering all of the questions. • Responses are easy to find.

  37. Suggestions continued • Start collecting documents immediately. • Shared file system must be created and should be set-up at the beginning. • People responsible can begin organizing the files. • Create a file within a file within a file. • This makes the files organized and easy to find items. • Name the files what they actually are. • Create a documents’ directory.

  38. Suggestions continued • Identify the documents, minutes, manuals, reports, policies that will be revised and included in the self-study. • You can plan for the appropriate space in the documents’ directory. • Have a clear plan between team members regarding when to expect documents, who is doing what, and the timeline. • Have a meeting with Faculty, Staff, and Administration to “train” them on the guidelines/naming conventions, etc. • Get everyone in the habit of sending documents to the Team.

  39. Luther Rice Website • Let’s Investigate - • Page of Introduction • Self-Study Document • Assessment Plan • Strategic Plan • Documents’ Directory

  40. TRACS Resources for Assistance • Accreditation Manual • Benchmarks for Excellence • Self-Study Guidelines • Steps Toward Accreditation