In spring 2013, the Accreditation Steering Committee established a sub-committee, chaired by the Dean of Institutional Effectiveness, called the Research and Evaluation Theme Team (RETT), to help address the Collegeâ€™s research and evaluation needs by promoting sustainable practices and systems that support an evidence-based collegial culture. At its October 8, 2013 meeting, the group recommended that it become a short-term task force, called the Research Advisory Task Force (RATF), that would report directly to College Council (the primary shared governance body on campus). This change was approved by both College Council and the President. The major tasks accomplished by RETT/RATF from summer 2013 through spring 2014 include:
- Formulation of the charter and membership of the Program Review Oversight Committee, which received College Council approval on July 18, 2013.
- Development and initiation of the process to establish institution-set standards for student achievement outcomes, as required by the US Department of Education and the College's accrediting body, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges (ACCJC), and a process for annually evaluating and improving the standards and student achievement.
- Development of a system by which the Office of Institutional Effectiveness assigns priorities to research requests and projects, approved by College Council and the President.
- Identification of campus training needs, and a plan for addressing and reassessing those needs, in the development, application, and interpretation of data, particularly though not exclusively for participants in the program review and outcomes assessment processes.
- Development and implementation of specific improvements in the data that the Office of Institutional Effectiveness collects and provides for program review and other major planning and evaluation processes, in light of the increasing need for data disaggregated in multiple ways to illuminate diverse student needs, and development of a process to annually identify and implement further improvements.
- Formulation of a recommendation concerning additional concrete improvements in Office of Institutional Effectiveness support of ongoing, robust, and pervasive dialogue about the continuous improvement of student learning and institutional processes.
Having accomplished all of the tasks it was charged with, the Research Advisory Task Force held its final meeting on March 25, 2014.