STEP 1: Agree on Goals and Principles
This step requires a college to think about what outcomes it is trying to improve, and how they will go about doing so. If your college is focused on improving completion, how does you operationally define completion? Do you include certificates of 1+ years? Less than a year? What about transfers without a degree? How do we consider the outcomes of part-time students? How will you scaffold down from a longitudinal / 30,000-ft. metric into its component parts? At its heart, this question asks a college to consider what they would like the ideal future state to look like for its entering students – both collectively and for students with differing starting points and goals.
The college also needs to consider what guiding principles will govern the organizational change processes needed to meet the stated goals. Will all changes be completed without any full-time employees losing their jobs? Will there be professional development for faculty & staff to meet the challenges of structural changes that are made? How will communication be prioritized?
Goals for planning processes may be very different. Different goals and principles will define the nature of the work and imply different activities and analysis within the four steps. Step 1 sets the stage for Steps 2 through 5.
STEP 1: Agree on Goals and Principles has a set of activities which will be tailored given the goal:
- Outline your ideal future state
- Identify critical gaps or areas for improvement to reach that state
- Prioritize which areas to address
- Set overarching and specific goals
- Outline your planning year principles
- Applied Inquiry Framework for Student Completion: Nuances of Completion
Examines the hidden complexity of completion outcome data and offers an approach to teasing out the complex factors that affect student completion in order to boost student success.
- NCII Inquiry Guide - Nuances of Completion: Improving Student Outcomes by Unpacking the Numbers
- Step 1: Agreement on Goals and Principles