STANDARD ONE: INSTITUTIONAL INTEGRITY
1A.1 Institutional policy regarding the safeguarding of academic freedom and responsibility is published and readily available.
1A.2 Governing boards and administrators protect and support faculty in their exercise of academic freedom. The faculty protects the academic freedom of its members.
DESCRIPTION: Article IV of the Agreement between the Los Angeles Community College District and the American Federation of Teachers College Guild, Local 1521, CFT/AFT, AFL/CIO affirms that "the faculty shall have the Academic Freedom to seek the truth and guarantee freedom of learning to the students" (CD.1). This guarantee obligates the Los Angles Community College Board of Trustees, the administrators of the Los Angeles Community College District, the administrators of Los Angeles Mission College, the Mission College Academic Senate, and every individual faculty member to defend and preserve this freedom. This Agreement is the legal assurance of and the professional commitment to academic freedom for instructor and student to mutually gather and examine data, to question assertions and assumptions, to be guided by established evidence, and from this to learn and to teach and to grow.
EVALUATION: This freedom has not been legally questioned or challenged in over twenty years. However, there is a darkening cloud of concern, generated by the ubiquitous, negatively charged sexual harassment climate, shadowing this campus and this district. The perception is that the federal laws governing this issue invite irresponsible and even false accusations that can be used by anyone to avenge a personal grudge. The possibilities of such charges by student against teacher are limited only by imagination. It matters little that the vast majority of our students are ethically beyond this level; as long as the opportunity exists to do so much damage to a defendant with so little consequence to the complainant, for that long, academic freedom is at risk of being compromised.
PLAN: To further assure faculty that their freedom and responsibility in the classroom are fully protected, the college Academic Senate and the administration will adopt ethic codes, probably those developed by AAUP, AACC, or AAUA, that will incorporate provisions to enforce violations of academic dishonesty (1.1). Additionally, the college will urge the district to examine and rewrite its requirements to pursue complaints even after the refusal of the complainant to file formal charges. This in itself will most likely reduce if not eliminate false charges.
Finally, the college will urge the district to sponsor thorough workshops for affirmative action officers to apprise them of the intricate legal ramifications of their activities.
1A.3 The institution fosters the integrity of the teaching-learning process. Faculty and other college staff distinguish between personal conviction and proven conclusions and present relevant data fairly and objectively to students and others.
DESCRIPTION: The college fosters the integrity of the teaching-learning process in several ways. First, it enforces board rules 9803.15, 17, 18, and 20, covering student conduct in the classroom and on campus (CD.2, p. D-10). Beyond this conventional measure, the president, in his message to students (inside Catalog cover; CD.3) and in communications with the entire staff (1.2), continuously reminds the college community that the fundamental activity of helping students learn is our sole purpose. And in the peer evaluation process, faculty members help one another by observing instruction and by reviewing student evaluations of each instructor.
EVALUATION: Because of the college commitment to academic freedom, the institution has always assumed that certificated faculty, by virtue of their education and profession, are able to distinguish between personal conviction and proven conclusions. It is further assumed that were there any notable infringement of integrity, students would indicate as much in the evaluation of instructors or by complaint, and corrective action would begin immediately as defined in Article 19 of the Agreement. No such action is known to have happened.
PLAN: The faculty and the administration of this college will continue to foster the integrity of the teaching-learning process.
1A.4: Institutions which strive to instill specific beliefs or world views or to impose codes of conduct on faculty, staff or students give clear prior notice of such policies.
DESCRIPTION: Not applicable. The college does not try to instill specific beliefs or world views or impose codes of conduct other than those embraced by civility.
1A.5: The institution fosters an affirmative environment in which diversity is embraced and every person is treated with respect.
DESCRIPTION: Diversity is a dominant characteristic of Mission college, in its mission statement, its goals, its student body, its programs, and its staff.
The mission of Los Angeles Mission College is to improve the quality of life in a diverse society by providing educational opportunities and services, promoting educational excellence, and increasing access and success for every member of our community able to benefit from higher education. To this end, we will promote an understanding of diversity in order to create unity in a safe, inviting, and supportive environment (emphasis added).
EVALUATION: The diversity of the student body is seen in the unduplicated enrollment of spring 1993: Hispanics 65.4 percent, Caucasians 19.5 percent, African-Americans 6.1 percent, Others 9.0 percent. This diversity is more or less a given from our service area. That we embrace this diversity, however, is reflected in our mission to increase the access and success of historically underrepresented members of society. It is reflected also by a primary student equity goal to do just the same.
Diversity of programs is apparent to anyone skimming our Catalog, from trigonometry to torts and tortes. Recently the English department developed a course, new in the district, Latin American Authors.
The board of trustees manifests its commitment to diversity through passage of resolutions supporting participation in special conferences, observations, and celebrations; to name a few: Black History Month, Cinco de Mayo, Womens History Month, and Multicultural/Ethnic Week Celebration. Additionally our own Staff Development Committee develops workshops and forums covering all these topics(1.3).
To diversify the staff to the greatest extent possible is a continuous goal of the district and the college. The district employs a full-time director of affirmative action, and the college as well has its own affirmative action officer who is included in all hiring processes to ensure that affirmative action policies and procedures are followed. The officer provides current information with regard to areas in which minorities are underutilized according to district and college hiring goals. This officer also chairs the Staff Diversity Committee which is responsible for developing and implementing a calendar of diversity events throughout the year.
Included in the college Catalog and Schedule of Classes are the policy position of nondiscrimination in admission, access, treatment in college programs, and employment, as well as in compliance issues and the responsibilities of the Affirmative Action Officer (CD.1; CD.4).
PLAN: The college will send each member of the Staff Diversity Committee to at least one conference or seminar per year to expand their understanding. To develop general awareness, the college will conduct at least two programs on campus. A compliance officer who will be responsible for all aspects of discrimination, harassment, diversity, and affirmative action will be hired.
Our first goal in the new master plan will be to plan, provide, and evaluate comprehensive courses, programs, and services responsive to the needs of the culturally diverse community that we serve. The Curriculum Committee is developing a plan to address the issue of multiculturalism within the curricula offerings. Consideration is being given to requiring a multicultural component for graduation.
The college will expand the representation of the Student Equity Plan Committee and develop strategies to address each of the recommendations.
1A6: The institution provides faculty and students with clear expectations concerning the principles of academic honesty and the sanctions for violations.
DESCRIPTION: The board of trustees has adopted policies concerning the principles of academic honesty and the sanctions for violations of those principles. These board policies are published in the college Catalog and the Schedule of Classes and clearly describe the issues and sanctions applicable for such occurrences. Many faculty members customarily include the issue in their course syllabi.
EVALUATION: Although these issues are addressed in the Catalog and Schedule of Classes, the sanctions for violations are not clear. Fortunately, the dean of Student Services, the president of the Academic Senate, and the chair of the ICAN council have recently begun dialogue on this topic.
PLAN: The college will incorporate the policies concerning the principles of academic honesty and the sanctions for violations in the faculty and student handbooks. Concerned faculty and administrators will continue to meet on this topic to consider what changes in policy or sanctions might be in order.
1A.7 Representations about the institution to prospective students and to the general public are accurate and consistent with institutional practices.
DESCRIPTION: Mission College publishes a catalog yearly and a schedule of classes three times a year. The Schedule of Classes contains information about registration, enrollment, course offerings, services, and other general information that facilitates student awareness of college rules and regulations. The Catalog has a complete overview of the educational degrees, certificates, and programs of the college as well as their procedures, policies, services, and staff.
Both published documents are developed and collated in the Office of Academic Affairs. The Schedule of Classes, and the preprint of the Schedule are routinely mailed to continuing students and community residents. Additionally, each new student receives a copy of the Catalog and Schedule.
EVALUATION: Both the Schedule of Classes and the Catalog are prepared with great care to be sure that all information is accurate and relevant to the needs of the students. Since these documents are the primary marketing and recruitment tool of the college, staff responsible for these activities need to become thoroughly aware of the contents.
PLAN: The college, in cooperation with the district, will begin training recruiters and any one representing the college, such as the public information office, about the institutional policies, procedures, and programs necessary for a more cohesive and accurate reflection of the college.
1A.8 Precise, accurate, and current information is provided in the institutional catalog concerning (a) educational purposes; (b) degrees, curricular offerings, educational resources, and course offerings; (c) student fees and other financial obligations, student financial aid and fee refund policies; (d) requirements for admission and for achievement of degrees; and (e) the names of the administration, faculty, and governing board.
DESCRIPTION: To provide precise, accurate, and current information concerning educational purposes, degrees, certificates, curricular offerings, educational resources, course offerings, student fees, financial obligations, refund policies, registration, enrollment, graduation requirements, names of faculty, staff, administration, and the board of trustees is a constant college standard.
Information to be included is provided by the Educational Services Division of the district office based on policies adopted by the board of trustees. Updates and corrections are provided by various departments, programs, and committees at the local level. Presently, there is a general education subcommittee of the Curriculum Committee which addresses all curricular issues. Outcomes of this committee are funneled through the Office of Academic Affairs for inclusion in the Catalog. All information is compiled and edited by Academic Affairs.
EVALUATION: Preciseness and accuracy of the information included in the Catalog is adequate; however, the accuracy of the editing process needs to be improved.
PLAN: To improve the editing of the Catalog and to achieve more concord among district colleges, the college and the district will rewrite the boiler plate for college catalogs. Also planned is the identification of the General Education Subcommittee as final editor.
1A.9 Degrees held by contract faculty and administrators are listed in the institution's primary catalog. All U.S. degrees listed are from accredited institutions. Degrees from non-U.S. institutions are recognized only if equivalence has been established.
DESCRIPTION: The Catalog does list degrees from accredited United States institutions of all contract faculty and administrators. Degrees from non-United States institutions are included only if equivalency has been established by the Human Resources Division of the district office. It is not a college function. Academic rank is also included and is annually updated by the Academic Rank subcommittee of the Academic Senate.
EVALUATION: The college is satisfied with the listing and equivalence procedures.
PLAN: We will continue to maintain updates and accuracy of the Catalog information on degrees.
1A.10 The institution demonstrates honesty and integrity in its athletic programs.
DESCRIPTION: The Commission on Athletics regulates athletic programs at the community college level through rules and regulations set forth in the state Athletic Code. The instructors of physical education and the coaches demonstrate honesty and integrity in their programs by demanding of the athletes and professional staff strict adherence to state rules and regulations. The dean of student services and the athletic director receive copies of commission documents and updates annually. These documents are made available to all coaches. Workshops are conducted for coaches and athletes to review requirements and regulations concerning competition and eligibility. Verification of the eligibility check of athletes is conducted weekly by the athletic director. An academic counselor is specifically assigned to work with the athletes by guiding them in the development of their educational goals and plans.
EVALUATION: The standards as set forth by the Commission on Athletics are clearly maintained and upheld by the athletic director, the dean of student services, coaches, and the athletes themselves. All athletes are required to maintain the necessary unit requirement. Increasing awareness of discrimination, drugs, and other societal pressures which may affect the student athletes is needed.
PLAN: The college will continue to support the assignment of one of the academic counselors to the athletic program as well as increasing student support services to assist the athlete. Workshops will be conducted on the issues surrounding eligibility including such topics as drugs, discrimination, and sexual awareness.
1A.11 In its relationship with the Commission, the institution demonstrates honesty, and integrity, and agrees to comply with Commission standards, policies, guidelines, and self study requirements.
DESCRIPTION: As near as it knows, it does.
EVALUATION: Mission College is committed to the value of institutional self-evaluation as a method for improving and validating institutional effectiveness. Compliance with commission policies, therefore, is viewed as advantageous. The best evidence of the colleges efforts to comply with the commission is found in the accreditation memo file which renders in detail the colleges attitude toward concerns of the commission with our goals and objectives, our planning process, and the cluster system, to name a few. Broad participation by all segments of the campus contributes to comprehensive reporting and also to learning by participants.
PLAN: The college will continue to maintain its standards of honesty and integrity and to comply with the commission standards, policies, guidelines, and self-study requirements.
Standard 1B Institutional Purposes (Mission)
The institution is guided by clearly stated purposes that define its character, which are appropriate for higher education, and are consistent with Commission standards.
1B.1 The statement of purposes identifies the broad-based educational objectives the institution seeks to fulfill, is adopted by the governing board, and is periodically reexamined with the participation of the campus community.
DESCRIPTION: The policy and practice of Mission College have always been to frame mission statements that identify broad educational objectives that the board will adopt and support. Typically, these objectives have been revised periodically by the college at large as need dictates.
In December of 1993, a collegewide committee was convened to begin a major revision of the master plan. During that two-and-a-half-day retreat, the committee developed a new mission statement and new goals and objectives, focusing the college on new compliance issues and a changing student body. However, for a number of reasons, this new mission statement and accompanying goals and objectives have not been ratified. They have, however, been approved by the new master planning council, ICAN, to stand for the duration of the current Master Plan.
The statement of institutional purposes is as follows:
The mission of Los Angeles Mission College is to improve the quality of life in a diverse society by providing educational opportunities and services, promoting educational excellence, and increasing access and success for every member of our community able to benefit from higher education. To this end, we will promote an understanding of diversity in order to foster unity in a safe, inviting, and supportive environment.
EVALUATION: It is believed by more than a few that the new master plan council, referred to as the ICAN Council--Improvement: Continuous and Neverending, will sharpen the vision and the focus of the college in its fulfillment of educational objectives.
PLAN: The ICAN Council will convene its first meeting in December of 1994 to begin developing institutional purposes and objectives for the next five-year, master plan.
1B.2 In implementing its purposes, the institution has defined the constituencies it intends to serve as well as the parameters under which educational programs can be offered and resources allocated.
1B.3 Institutional purposes delimit educational programs and services and guide the development of physical resources and allocation of fiscal resources.
DESCRIPTION: The board of this district has always followed the principles of California Code 76000 in regard to admission of students. From its founding, Mission College has developed purposes to fulfill the given needs and aspirations of its service area, its constituency. The college periodically reevaluates the constituency for signs of change that might dictate a corresponding change in educational programs. However, fiscal and spatial limitations are now requiring us to develop a new approach and policy. We currently are unable to serve all applicants. An extensive study of the constituencies that the college serves was made in December 1993, resulting in the Student Equity Plan (CD.5). In this document, the community served is described in terms of
EVALUATION: The research data on hand point clearly in the directions the college could go. It will be the responsibility of ICAN to develop obtainable goals, the objectives, and the means of arriving there. We know, for example, that hundreds of students are reading below tenth grade level, some as low as third grade, others lower than that. Determining what we should do, can do, and will do about this will be a challenge of the first order, especially in view of student equity goals.
Moreover, we know that approximately 2,700 applicants were unable to attend in fall of 1994 for our want of funds to hire faculty and rent classrooms. More important, approximately two thirds of those students have accumulated college-level credits, while on the other hand, several thousand students enrolled without having any college-level credit. Incongruities of this magnitude must be addressed.
PLAN: The college will further study the characteristics of its constituency and develop specific parameters within which courses and programs will be instituted or modified. The chair of the Budget Subcommittee as a member of the ICAN Council will recommend that fiscal resources be allocated according to the priorities of educational programs.
STANDARD 1C: INSTITUTIONAL PLANNING
The institution is engaged in ongoing planning to achieve its avowed purposes. Through the planning process, the institution frames questions, seeks answers, analyzes itself, and revises its goals, objectives, programs and services.
1C.1. An established planning process involves all segments of the campus community and the governing board.
DESCRIPTION: Historically most planning originated with various offices and committees that were assigned responsibility for achieving certain goals or satisfying various compliance directives. Then in 1983 a twelve-member executive council was formed to be a central planning body. This evolved into a thirty-member Mission Planning and Advisory Council (MPAC) about four years ago. The council membership is representative of all segments of the college. Five college subcommittees, Governmental Relations, Budget Committee, Campus Development, Educational Master Plan (ICAN), and Information Technology make recommendations to this body (MPAC).
EVALUATION: In its advisory role, MPAC has served the president and the college well, but the council as a whole has never functioned as a planning body. Consequently, the college has been wanting a unifying assembly of faculty, staff, and administration that can see clearly the broad range of needs, plans, and obligations and by careful planning synthesize idea, plan, and action. Seeing this need, the college ratified in November 1994 a newly constituted planning council, Improvement: Continuous and Neverending (ICAN). It comprises representatives from major committees and offices: the president, Academic Affairs, Academic Senate, Accreditation, Administrative Services, Associated Students Organization, Budget, Campus Development, Classified Senate, Curriculum, Information Technology, Staff Development, Student Equity, and Student Services (CD.6).
In the face of increasing accountability and decreasing fiscal support, the challenge before us approaches formidability, yet the current membership is eager to begin its work.
PLAN: ICAN will be meeting 11 January 1995 to begin scheduling program reviews and assigning responsibility to develop better review forms and a better process. The council will review the purposes, goals, and objectives of the college with an eye toward determining whether or not they are aligned with compliance issues, the proposed accreditation standards, and other institutional needs; it will promote more comprehensive study of student characteristics in order to help develop a student equity plan; and it will develop measurement methods for institutional effectiveness.
1C.2 The planning process uses the results of institutional research on subjects such as institutional effectiveness, student outcomes, and demographics.
1C.3 The planning process assists in identifying institutional priorities.
1C.4 The planning process identifies the need for human, financial, and physical, resources of the institution. Planning influences the acquisition and allocation of resources.
DESCRIPTION: Mission College has never had its own researcher or research office. Generally, colleges in this district have been dependent on the district office for research. In the late eighties, however, a strong movement toward decentralization resulted in less involvement of the district office in institutional functions. To date, that void has not been filled, although the district has recently installed a new computer program that enables campus personnel to obtain information heretofore directly unavailable to them.
Temporarily, the college is fortunate to have Title III funding to develop a comprehensive system of institutional research. This system has been used for research on
The identification of needs of the college has typically been the responsibility of subcommittees and offices that ultimately report back to MPAC. The budget, information technology, and campus development subcommittees, for example, have developed plans independent of one another which are then reported, discussed, and voted upon by MPAC.
EVALUATION: Prior to January 1993, the college had no real institutional research capacity. Since then, as part of Title III, a permanent institutional research system is being developed and is being put to use. Moreover, the college has begun the program review process which will include a close analysis of student outcomes and institutional effectiveness for all specially funded programs and services. To date, there is no systematic and institutionalized system of procedures for evaluating institutional effectiveness. Nevertheless, ad hoc evaluations have been conducted for special programs as well as for academic and vocational program areas such as Project for Adult College Education (PACE), Amnesty, and Transfer Center. These evaluations have been carried out using the system described in the following section. Clearly, in the opinion of these outside review agencies, the college is performing adequately to at least maintain funding and operations of these programs.
What was lacking in the previous planning process was a coordinating force that arises from close communication among participating representatives who, knowing the needs and plans of the diverse college community and working as a unit, could merge those individual plans into an integrated whole. The new ICAN Council will do this.
PLAN: Institutional research for program review will become the basis of evaluation of all college planning and programs within two years. We will continue to refine the review forms and the process in order to continually improve student outcomes and institutional effectiveness. Within Title III, a comprehensive student tracking and information system is being developed that will enable the assessment of institutional effectiveness for all academic and vocational program areas as well as all special populations and programs at the college. From the assessment, the ICAN Council will develop institutional priorities for recommendation to MPAC.
Standard 1D: Institutional Effectiveness
The institution has developed the means for evaluating how well, and in what ways, it is accomplishing its purposes and uses results of these evaluations as the basis for broad-based continuous planning and improvement.
1D.1 Institutional research and program review are conducted as essential elements in planning and evaluating institutional effectiveness.
DESCRIPTION: Institutional research has not been conducted regularly. We know, however, that we cannot satisfy future state, federal, and accreditation mandates, not to mention our additional institutional aspirations, without more and thorough research. Currently we are searching the student data base to compile information that will be made available to faculty in regard to such things as the number of degrees awarded, certificates awarded, classes taken toward uncompleted certificates, and student grade performance in order to put a system in place that will enable counselors to advise students about requirements and classes for programs that interest them. These changes are important because they will supply an internal evaluation of existing degree and certificate programs that will help counselors and instructors encourage students to complete those programs that they have begun.
An institutional-effectiveness evaluation system is being developed as part of our Title III grant. The components will be a Student Information System (SIS) and a Tracking and Assessment system, designed to provide indicators of institutional effectiveness, such as retention, persistence, and student outcome indicators by demographic categories. Preliminary parts of these systems are already in use, even though their development continues.
EVALUATION: It has not been possible to make evaluating institutional effectiveness a priority at this point because there is only a half-time researcher. However, the matriculation coordinator and the matriculation researcher have done preliminary work toward prioritizing the standards under the research component of matriculation. They have been working for the past year validating assessment instruments.
Staff development workshops have explained in detail collaborative and cooperative instruction. The nationally recognized program for underprepared students at UCLA has been explained to instructors and staff in depth and is on videotape. A learning assistance team will be working to implement these ideas at Mission College.
The social and intellectual environment of the college are evaluated. One of the methods of evaluation is the Human Resources Climate Survey that reviews the learning climate on campus and also the social environment that students live in. There are also other less formal, clinical surveys.
Program review of educational programs has been instituted at the college. The process includes an evaluation of the following: program function in accordance with the Master Plan; vitality; grading; curriculum; prerequisite validation; staff; student outcomes; academic standards; and professional growth on the part of staff. Program review was recently expanded to include Student Services which completed reviews of seven components.
PLAN: The college will complete its information and tracking system that will provide the technological capability to assess institutional effectiveness. In concert, it will also develop the needed measurement methods. For program review, we envision several years work in refining the review forms, in training faculty and staff how to conduct the review most effectively, and in developing productive evaluations of the reviews. That is, the review process itself can provide data and answer questions, but without an authentic evaluation and implementation process, the results of the review would lead nowhere. ICAN will develop the evaluation and implementation process.
1.1 Donahoe Higher Education Act, Div. 5, 66300
1.2 Fujimoto, Jack. Open Letter with Thoughts on the Twentieth Anniversary of Los Angeles Mission College.
1.3 Various Diversity Flyers