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Weeklong Professional Development Sessions Boost NMC’s Accreditation Efforts (August 18, 2008)

To further channel efforts toward addressing its show cause status, the Northern Marianas College””in an unprecedented move””dedicated its entire week (Aug. 11 -15) of professional development days (PDD) to topics and sessions that dealt directly with meeting accreditation requirements.

A workshop featuring a presentation about academic advising kicked off the week and was followed by a PowerCAMPUS training conducted by the Office of Admissions and Records. PowerCAMPUS is the comprehensive student information software that better enables the College to track and report student achievement data which is required for accreditation purposes. The software also streamlines the registration process, accelerates the billing portion of registration, simplifies the preparation of lengthy financial reports, and shortens the turnaround time for the processing of transcripts.

Students, staff, and faculty assembled later on the first day for a presentation by NMC’s Program Review and Outcomes Assessment Committee (PROAC) members who provided an overview of the upcoming PDD sessions for the remainder of the week. They also gave an update of the activities and accomplishments that occurred over the last several months and some preliminary feedback on the PROAC composite reports.

The first day concluded with a presentation from the Human Resources Office, whose staff elaborated on instructions for the timely preparation and submission of faculty and staff evaluations. The evaluations are critical to assessing staff and faculty performance as well as institutional capacity.

On Tuesday, August 12, 2008, staff members from individual programs met their respective dyads (peer reviewers) to discuss the feedback they received from PROAC regarding their Form 1 and 2 documents. The Form 1 document explains how a program’s mission statement, intended program/service outcomes, means of assessment and success criteria, summary of data collected, and the use of results to improve delivery of services are linked. The Form 2 document provides information and analysis of a program’s history, specific services/activities, data/evidence used for planning and assessment purposes, human, physical, and technology resources, and recommendations for improvement.

Wednesday and Thursday were set aside to provide program staff with additional assistance and guidance with their Forms 1 and 2 in preparation for the next assessment and program review cycle, which begins in September 2008. Customized mini-workshops were designed and made available to address the following topics, which correspond to the different sections that comprise Forms 1 and 2:

  • History of Program and Program Advisory Council
  • Program Mission
  • Program Student Learning Outcomes (SLO) / Administrative Unit Outcome (AUO) and Human Resources
  • Student Achievement Data
  • Physical Resources
  • Technological Resources
  • Mapping (General Education, Program, and Course)
  • Program Recommendations

Later that Thursday evening, faculty and staff members met with Donna Lewis of Key Trio to discuss student learning outcomes (SLOs) to program courses using the Introduce, Reinforce, and Emphasize (IRE) exercise. Lewis had also met with various staff earlier in the day to discuss program review matters.

  • The last day of NMC’s professional development week culminated with an assembly of students, faculty and staff to wrap up the week and discuss the PROA Strategic Plan schedule and the Compliance Action Plan (CAP). In her remarks, Donna Lewis commended the College for accomplishing a tremendous amount of work in such a short timeframe.

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