SUMMARY OF EVALUATION REPORT
INSTITUTION: Los Angeles Mission College
DATES OF VISIT: April 4-6, 1995
TEAM CHAIR: Louis C. Murillo, President, Miramar College
Los Angeles Mission College is one of nine community colleges in the Los Angeles Community College District. Mission College was established in 1975 and has recently moved into a new campus that is not yet completely built. Although the current campus has some short-comings such as inadequate parking and facilities that may not afford the college to accommodate the kind of seating capacity it needs, it appears as if the new campus holds much promise for the future of the college. The college provides instruction in a number of off campus locations but these facilities are all within close proximity to the campus.
The demographic profile of Los Angeles Mission College is a very diverse one. There have been significant changes in the ethnic and racial composition of the college in the last ten years. This change will continue to manifest itself in the service area as this area still has affordable housing to offer compared to other areas of the Los Angeles basin. The college enrollment trends mirrors that of the community it serves.
The last accreditation visit took place from October 23-25, 1990. Mission College had to accelerate its visitation schedule by a full year to accommodate the LACCD accreditation schedule for three of its colleges. In spite of this change, the college did a thorough job of addressing the accreditation standards and involved the various constituent groups on .the campus in the development of the self-study report. All recommendations submitted by the previous visiting team have been satisfied by the college. A key weakness in the report was the lack of data in the evaluation segments which supported the recommended plan.
The 1995 visiting team members included ten members formally appointed by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, and one assistant who accompanied the team chair. One team member had to drop from the team because he had taken a new job out of state, and he was not replaced. The team prepared for the visit by attending the Accrediting Commission Leadership Workshop, and reading the college self-study and related materials. Also, each member prepared a written evaluation of the self-study and a list of questions that would be asked of college constituent groups during the visit.
The visiting team arrived in Sylmar on Monday, April 3, 1995 for a team meeting and a thorough review of the self-study. Standard teams were formed and individual and standard team meetings took place to focus on the visit schedule and key questions that would be used during the visit. Preparation for the district visit also took place with those representatives that would make the trip to the district office in coordination with other visitation teams in the district.
The visitation team visited all constituent groups on the campus including administrators, faculty, staff, students, and members of the community. Classrooms on- and off-campus were visited both during the day and evening. Members of the team met with the representatives of the standard committees, the Academic Senate, the Classified Senate, the district chancellor and selected members of the board of trustees.
The college made significant efforts to prepare to make the move to the new campus. This move created a sense of purpose, synergy, and dedicated effort to a cause that pulled the campus together. Now that the college is in new quarters, it appears that it has difficulty focusing on how to address its next phase of college planning and development. A vast amount of data such as goals and objectives have been compiled but with no distinct process to synthesize and organize this information to address college priorities and to sustain college activities within established budget parameters. College planning has been slow to take effect because the process and structure has not been clearly understood by the college community. All of the key issues that have plaguing the planning and development process have been given over to the newly established ICAN group which may burden this group with too many issues that it can adequately address in a timely manner.
Overall, there is a culture on the campus that wants to succeed and to better meet the needs of students. Morale seems to be positive and most staff are happy to be located at the Mission College. The visitation team made the following commendations:
The team made several key recommendations that are included at the end of the standards. These recommendations should be given careful consideration by all college constituents.
LOS ANGELES MISSION COLLEGE
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
A Confidential Report Prepared for
the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges
This report represents the findings of the evaluation team Is
Los Angeles Mission College from April 4 through 6, 1995.
Louis C. Murillo, Chair
ACCREDITATION EVALUATION TEAM
Dr. Louis C. Murillo
President, San Diego Miramar College
Dr. John Baker
Vice President of Student Services
San Diego Mesa College
Ms. Harriett Robles
Assistant Dean of Instruction/Matriculation
West Valley College
Dr. Curtis Groninga
Dean, Administrative Services
Santa Rosa Junior College
Dr. Vic Willits
Instructor, History / Political Science
Las Positas College
Dr. Rose Marie Joyce
Dean of Instruction
Ms. Harriett Walthur
Member, Board of Trustees
Saddleback Community College District
Mr. Raghu Mathur
Chair, Physical Sciences and Technologies
Irvine Valley College
Ms. Sandi Trevisan,
Ms. Carol Patrick
San Diego Mesa College
Los Angeles Mission College is a comprehensive community college in the Los Angeles Community College District. One of nine colleges in the district, Mission College was established in 1975 and occupied a number of storefront buildings and temporary structures before moving to their new campus in Sylmar in 1991. The new campus hold much promise in better meeting the educational needs of the community. Several new buildings have been erected and construction is currently underway for the Library and Learning Resource Center which is due to be completed in the fall, 1996. Negotiations are currently underway to acquire adjoining properties which will permit further expansion of the campus. Unless additional properties are added to the campus, it is unlikely that the existing land will be able to meet the building and parking space needs of the college. Parking space for students appears to be a particularly serious problem.
The Los Angeles Community College District is a large system of higher education. The district spans 882 square miles and serves a population of 4.8 million residents. The district serves an excess of 100,000 students on an annual basis which includes a very diverse student body. The service area for Los Angeles Mission College is one of the most rapidly growing areas in the Los Angeles basin. For example, forty-four percent more people now live in the college service area than were there ten years ago. Between 1980 and 1990 there has been a very significant population shift along ethnic and racial distribution. The Hispanic population has increased over 100 percent, the Asian population by 144 percent, while the Anglo population has decreased by 20 percent. The unemployment rate in the Mission College service area is higher than in the rest of the county yet housing costs are 25 to 30 percent lower than in neighboring communities.
The student enrollment at Los Angeles Mission College has wavered in the last several years fluctuating from 5,400 to 7,000 students. This unsteady enrollment trend is attributed to the fact that the district has not been able to ensure a stable funding allocation to the college to support a consistent level of class sections offered. Also, curriculum offerings are affected when full-time faculty who retire or leave are not replaced. The college has a very disproportionate full-time to part-time faculty ratio. The college has increasingly become dependent on outside sources of funding to support its spending level which raised some serious concerns with the members of the Accrediting Team.
The Los Angeles Community College District has undergone many changes since Mission College's last accreditation visit in 1990. Not only has the college moved to a new location but there have been many changes in the administrative structure of the college and the district. For example, the chancellor was appointed in October, 1994 and the college's former president has been reassigned to the district office for at least one year. The acting president has been in his position since January, 1995. He came from Pierce College. The chief instructional officer has been assigned to the college from the district office and the chief business officer has been in an acting capacity for three years. The unsettled nature of administrative positions is of concern to the faculty and staff as it perpetuates a lack of consistent leadership to address long-range goals of the college.
Prior to the team visit, the chair of the team visited Los Angeles Mission College as is required. This visit occurred on February 15, 1995. Also, the team prepared for the visit by carefully reviewing the Self-Study for Reaffirmation of Accreditation, the college's response to the last accreditation visit, the college catalog, and the class schedule. The team chair and the team assistant attended to all of the arrangements for the team members.
Accreditation teams from Pierce and Valley Colleges also visited their respective schools during the same time. A joint meeting of representatives of these teams was convened in the district office on Tuesday, April 4, 1995 and included members of Standards 4, 7, and 8. The joint meeting included a meeting with the chancellor, general counsel, vice chancellor, educational services, and vice chancellor of human resources. Later, all members of the district administration left with the exception of the chancellor, and the team members were joined by selected board members.
The joint meeting was very informative and served to provide the background to many of the issues surfaced in the self-study report for Mission College. Chief among the issues that are considered to be paramount to the district is continuance of decentralization of decisions, stabilizing the budget process, increasing attention to securing outside sources of funding to support district initiatives, and a number of issues related to governance within the district. Clearly, the critical issues and problems facing Los Angeles Mission College cannot be addressed in isolation. These issues must include the collaboration of the district and the other colleges to create lasting and effective solutions which reinforced the importance of the joint meeting.
The team respected the seriousness with which the Los Angeles Mission College community undertook its task to write the self-study. The team was especially aware of the fact that the study was produced one year ahead of the time that Mission College was supposed to be evaluated. This schedule was determined in an effort to have clusters of the LACCD colleges evaluated at the same time. This schedule placed a burden on the college since there are so few full-time faculty at this college. In spite of this limitation, the self-study reflected campus-wide participation by all segments of the college community.
While much of the self-study was useful in the team's task of validation, it was seriously lacking in data in the evaluation segments of the report. Many of the plans, therefore, were not sufficiently based in research and caused the team to search for the information source for many of suggested plans in the self-study.
STANDARD ONE: INSTITUTIONAL INTEGRITY
RESPONSE TO RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE PREVIOUS TEAM
Recommendation 1: That the administration and staff of LAMC review the statement of goals and realistically revise timelines to achieve stated objectives.
The college responded to this recommendation by substantially reducing the number of objectives and revising the timelines. These revisions were incorporated into the Comprehensive Master Plan: 1990-95" and reported to the commission in the college's midterm report in 1993. Subsequently, the president held a retreat during which the objectives and timelines were again reviewed, along with a draft for a long-range educational and facilities plan that was developed by a consulting firm. As a result, additional objectives were added to the plan. These revisions were never ratified by the college. In August of 1994, several staff members reviewed and again reduced the number of objectives and produced a revised draft of the college's five-year plan. However, other planning activities have actually increased the total number of objectives.
Although the college did respond to the recommendation of the previous team, its efforts do not appear to have resulted in a viable master plan that has been incorporated into the college's planning and decision-making processes. There is no apparent mechanism by which the college is able to systematically evaluate its progress in achieving its numerous objectives within the time lines it has established. The latest revisions to the plan have occurred outside the shared governance system and have not been ratified by the college.
ANALYSIS, EVALUATION AND VALIDATION OF THE SELF-STUDY
Several members of Standard 1 confirmed that the self-study accurately reflects the status of institutional integrity at LAMC based on the data they were provided. It was noted that there were difficulties in locating accurate data and obtaining full participation from all members. Only one member of the Standard was able to attend a week-end session that was held to finalize the self study.
The self-study indicated that the college community is concerned about the issue of sexual harassment. This concern was verified by the team. Specifically, faculty are concerned about elements of the district's recently adopted policy, as well as the lack of training in the handling of sexual harassment issues. Training sessions on both the issue of harassment and the new policy would be of benefit.
Standard 1B asks that the institution have a statement that identifies the broad-based educational objectives, is adopted by the governing board, and is periodically reexamined by the campus community. As indicated in the self- study, the college revised its mission statement, goals, and objectives in 1993. The mission statement has not been approved by the board.
Standard 1C calls for an ongoing planning process which involves all segments of the college and board and which uses institutional research to identify needs and priorities, as well as to acquire and allocate resources. As indicated above, the college has revisited its master plans several times since the last accreditation visit in a genuine effort to respond to the recommendation that the plan be reduced to a manageable number of objectives with reasonable time lines. The current document, which was revised in 1994 and has not been ratified by the college, contains a mission statement, 4 educational program goals, 11 strategies, and 64 objectives. It is not clear whether or to what extent this document incorporates approximately 30 pages of goals and objectives generated in 1993 by the consulting firm hired to develop an educational and facilities plan. In addition, there are over 175 specific plans articulated in the self-study which some faculty and staff anticipate will be merged with the master plan. In all, the college appears to have over several hundred possible goals and objectives with no discernible process by which to organize, prioritize and implement them or to measure their outcomes. Moreover, it is not clear how many of the goals and objectives were developed on the basis of data and analysis.
The college is not unaware of its need to develop a realistic and effective planning process. It has been hampered in its efforts by a lack of consistent administrative support and the fact that its research capabilities are only in the early stages of development. The college has a 32-member planning and advisory group (MPAC) which was designed to serve as its primary master planning committee in an advisory capacity to the president. MPAC is chaired by the president, includes representatives from all campus constituencies, and meets monthly. There are several standing sub- committees: budget, government relations, campus development, and information technology. In 1994, the college added a fifth subcommittee called ICAN, which stands for "Improvement: Continuous and Never- ending." ICAN, a 13-member committee, was established as the college's principal planning group when it was determined that MPAC was not designed to function effectively as a planning entity. At the time of this visit, ICAN had met only a few times and the means by which it would fulfill its function have not been clarified. The college community has great hopes for the ability of this group to develop a viable master plan and planning process which will assist the institution in establishing priorities, allocating resources, and measuring effectiveness.
A key element in the planning process cited throughout the self-study is the college's student equity plan. The college submitted a plan to the State in 1993; however, the State did not feel that the plan was fully developed. To date, the college has not revised the plan. The college has plans to reconfigure and reconvene the committee under the direction of two co-chairs, one from instruction and one from student services. Given the importance of student equity to the students of this college and the key role it is anticipated it will play in the planning process, this effort should be considered a high priority.
Perhaps most critical for the success of the college's planning efforts is institutional research. The district's research office is not able to provide the college with the level of assistance necessary to meet all its planning and evaluation needs. Although the matriculation office has a half-time researcher, his efforts have been directed toward assessment validation. As a result of a Title III grant, however, the college was able to obtain a full-time researcher to develop a system of institutional research. One of the goals of this office is to develop a student tracking and information system which will provide data to programs and services for planning and evaluation purposes. This tracking system is nearly completed. Given the number of areas in which research will be vital to effective planning -- student equity, program review, master planning, student success, prerequisite validation -- it is important to ensure that the college's research function continues beyond the life of the Title III grant. Equally important is the active participation of the institutional researcher in key planning groups such as ICAN to help ensure that research efforts are coordinated and that mechanisms for evaluation are built into new activities.
1.1 That administration, faculty, and staff review the current draft of the master plan to prioritize college goals and objectives and develop a comprehensive planning process to implement those goals and objectives within realistic time lines.
1.2 That the college determine an approach to ensure that institutional research be fully integrated into the college's comprehensive planning processes.
STANDARD TWO: EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS
RESPONSE TO RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE PREVIOUS TEAM
Recommendation 2: That Mission College reexamine and develop a position statement regarding the cluster concept.
In response to the previous team IS recommendation, the college reexamined the cluster concept. In 1992, jt renamed clusters A (now Arts and Letters) and B (now Math and Science) and added a third cluster, Professional and Interdisciplinary Studies. The concept was revisited again in 1994. The Academic Senate held two forums to discuss the concept and voted in favor of keeping the clusters.
Recommendation 3: That the college implement the academic program evaluation process that was developed.
The college attempted to implement program review in the spring of 1993; however, the process proved to be unworkable and it was halted. The process and procedures were revised again and the process was reinstated in spring of 1994. Reviews for 11 academic disciplines were completed. However, this version was also considered problematic and has been referred to ICAN, the new planning group, for revision and better integration into other planning activities.
ANALYSIS, EVALUATION AND VALIDATION OF THE SELF-STUDY
The team was impressed with the quality of the educational programs at Mission College. Faculty, staff, and administrators are committed to the success of their students and are eager to explore innovative ways to meet the needs of a diverse and growing population. The college is justifiably proud of its new, permanent campus and anticipates the completion of a state-of-the- art Library and Learning Resources Center in the fall of 1996.
The team noted that in spite of its size, the college offers a comprehensive transfer, vocational, and basic skills curriculum, with approximately 25 associate of arts degrees, 3 associate of science degrees, and 25 certificate programs. Articulation agreements with baccalaureate institutions are established and articulation appears satisfactory. Non-credit courses are also available. Contract and community education offerings have grown steadily in response to local needs and appear to be well coordinated with credit programs. The community education program continues to move toward self-sufficiency to decrease its reliance on the general fund. Especially noteworthy is the expansion of vocational programs to include administration of justice, interior design, and culinary arts. The college is actively pursuing outside sources of funding to support and enhance these and other programs. In addition, the college is developing articulation agreements through Tech Prep and 2 + 2 programs to facilitate students' access to the programs. Advisory committees appear to be established and in most cases meeting sufficiently regularly to assist in the development and monitoring of occupational programs.
Also noteworthy are the college's efforts to explore interdisciplinary approaches to instruction as demonstrated by the collaboration between Interior Design, Engineering, and Drafting. The college is commended for the willingness exhibited by its vocational and academic areas to work collaboratively to improve the teaching and learning processes. The team recognizes that the college is in the process of developing a student tracking system which will greatly enhance its ability to conduct follow-up studies of transfer and occupational students and which will, in turn, help the college continuously revise its programs to meet student needs and improve success.
In addition to the traditional academic and vocational offerings, the college has instituted a number of programs to meet the needs of nontraditional students. These programs include the Bilingual Professional Expressway Project, Amnesty, and PACE. The PACE program is unique in that it tailors the delivery of instruction to meet the needs of working adults. As the college develops its new Library and Learning Resources Center and expands its technological capabilities, it is anticipated that faculty will continue to explore other innovative means of delivering instruction to its diverse student body. Concerns were expressed to the team about the planning for the new Library and Learning Resource Center and the team strongly encourages the college to fully support that planning process to ensure that the center is adequately staffed and equipped to meet instructional needs. Also of concern to the team was the need to begin the development of curriculum for the new technology, especially given the relatively lengthy curriculum approval process and scarce resources.
Standard 2.A.2 calls for sufficient resources to meet the educational needs of students. The team is cognizant of the fact that the district and the college are struggling with funding and allocation issues, as is the rest of the California community college system. While the cutbacks anticipated in the self-study for 1994-95 did not occur on the scale that the college feared, in fact there were some reductions and the college is operating on a deficit that it has so far managed to offset with outside funds. Aside from financial resources, the college has insufficient full-time faculty to adequately support many of its programs. While the district has met the 75:25 ratio requirements for full to part-time faculty, the college's ratio is significantly under this ratio. The lack of full-time faculty impedes the college's ability to develop programs and services for students. Finally, the team noted that the size of many classrooms on the new campus seriously limits the college's flexibility to manage its enrollment efficiently and effectively. Were the college to have additional resources, it would be better able to meet the documented demand for its programs and services. Lacking those additional resources, however, the team is concerned that continued reliance on outside funds to deliver basic educational services coupled with a failure to bring expenditures in line with available resources may result in the need to drastically reduce or eliminate classes or programs at some future point. The college could find itself in a reactive rather than a proactive situation in terms of enrollment management.
The college demonstrates its commitment to high standards of teaching by regularly evaluating the performance of its instructors according to well defined procedures that include peer and student evaluations. The team noted some concern that the cluster system might cause a faculty member to be inadequately evaluated by a cluster chair outside the discipline. It appears, however, that evaluation by the chair is optional and the team suggests that the college explore whether it is contractually possible to use faculty from similar programs in other colleges in the district to assist in the evaluation process.
Standard 2A.4 calls for educational programs to be consistent with institutional purposes and the college's service area. The self-study refers to several educational planning objectives in the current master plan which it considers to be nearly completed. These include the development of a pilot, computer assisted multimedia lab; the adoption of graduation requirements in American cultures and computer literacy; the expansion of community extension courses; assessment and placement for basic skills; and validation of pre- and corequisites. In most cases, these objectives appear to have been accomplished or will be within the next academic year, although it does not appear that the American cultures requirement has been approved as indicated in the self-study. The team commends the college for its accomplishments and urges the continued development of educational planning in a systematic and measurable fashion. The college has demonstrated that it has completed some assessments of the needs of the community it serves, and it has identified a substantial number of students who require basic skills instruction to prepare them for college level work. The team urges the college to explore all possible means including the development of additional curriculum below the developmental communications level to ensure that sufficient and appropriate basic skills instruction is available. Pivotal to the success of these efforts is the development of a viable student equity plan which will provide the data necessary to plan programs and services. The team strongly recommends that the college revise its student equity plan as necessary and incorporate it into its planning process.
The curriculum development process appears to be well defined and addresses recent changes in Title 5 regarding prerequisite validation. Faculty, including Curriculum Committee members, have received training in the establishment and validation of prerequisites and a 6-semester time line has been established to complete content review of all courses. The Curriculum Committee has also received training in general education requirements. The team noted concerns about the length of time necessary to move a course through the college and district curriculum approval process. The district has recently revised its forms to streamline the process. The self-study indicates that the Curriculum Committee is examining its role in the initiation of new programs and in the strengthening of academic standards with the aim of increasing its leadership in these areas. It may be that the college will benefit from having the Curriculum Committee Chair represented on ICAN..
It is expected that the institution engage in periodic review of its programs and services. As discussed above, the college's program review process has been difficult to implement and sustain. The self-study accurately describes it as an evolving process which has been met with varying degrees of understanding and support on the part of faculty. Implementation has been hampered by the lack of available data. It has also been hampered by the lack of a well defined planning process. It is not dear to faculty what purpose program review serves, whether or how the reports are used in any planning activities, or even whether they are read. Still to be developed are procedures for the review of non-instructional and special programs and services. In terms of research, the completion of the Student Information and Tracking System should help provide the kind of data which would assist faculty in evaluating their programs and services. In respect to planning, it is anticipated that ICAN, the new planning group, will incorporate program review into an overall planning process and will be able to develop a review process and procedures that will prove useful to faculty and staff.
2.1 That the college review, revise, and implement program review as an integral part of its planning process.
2.2 That the college broaden instructional methodologies to include nontraditional modes of instruction so as to minimize the need for new physical classroom space for instruction and maximize the potential for FTES generation.
STANDARD THREE: STUDENT SERVICES AND THE CO-CURRICULAR LEARNING ENVIRONMENT
RESPONSES TO RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE PREVIOUS TEAM
Recommendation 5: That the college review the need for additional athletics, especially programs for women
Compliance with Title IX is being addressed. The college has added women's golf. Plans to add three women's sports (soccer, basketball, softball) have been presented to the budget committee for consideration. A proposal to join the Western State Conference is contingent on the college adding the above three sports for women. Cost will be $75,000 for all three sports.
Recommendation 6: That the college clarify the role of counseling in relation to the student services functions within the organizational structure
The college has clarified the role. In February 1993, a position paper developed by the counseling department was presented to the academic senate for approval, which was endorsed. Given the culture and cooperative relationship and location of counseling in student services, the present relationship seems to be working well for students and service providers.
Recommendation 7: That a formal process of program review and evaluation of all student services be instituted and progress monitored on an annual basis
Program review has not been developed. The student services dean is now working on such a process and is a member of the new planning council called Improvement: Continuous and Neverending (ICAN). The assistant dean of students position remains vacant and duties assigned to this position have been given to the student services dean. This added set of responsibilities may make it difficult for program review and evaluation to occur in a timely manner.
ANALYSIS, EVALUATION AND VALIDATION OF THE SELF-STUDY
Standard Three was thoughtfully written and seemed to analyze well the particular climate at this college. Limitations and areas needing improvement were accurately perceived. Sections under Standard Three, however, appeared to omit programs and services that are already in place in the student service area. During on campus interviews with student services staff the visiting team was able to uncover many worthy efforts that were not mentioned in the self-study.
The counseling faculty, admissions, matriculation, assessment, orientation, financial aid, EOP&S, DSP&S, Transfer and Career Centers make significant efforts toward cooperation and communication in order to meet matriculation guidelines and provide quality services to Mission College students. A new computer system is available to develop student education plans (SEP's), although technical difficulties make it impossible for most counselors to currently access this specific screen. We observed the college's efforts to implement a magnetic bar code "student identification" program in order to capture student contact data needed for tracking. Coordination with the computer technology providers should allow for easier access and utilization of these programs. Student services are located in a common area that facilitates student use, although there may be space availability and work load issues that present added burdens to the staff. For example, the team observed the financial aid records need to be maintained in a more confidential manner. Also observed was the need for more privacy and confidentiality in student-counselor contacts, in the Transfer Center and EOP&S. Several key areas require additional support and leadership such as student activities, DSP&S and EOP&S. The college is encouraged to address these issues in its planning process and also in program review.
The team reviewed the organization chart and found that four different deans manage various pieces of student support services: academic affairs vice president course curriculum dean, articulation/admissions records dean and student services dean. This organizational structure may look to be unusual based on traditional organizational models, but it appears to adequately function; however, it may be an appropriate subject for program review.
Student brochures, college catalog and class schedules appear to adequately inform students of the variety of services available to them, including descriptions of student rights/responsibilities and grievance procedures. Many of the college publications are in English and Spanish. The team observed the current efforts to more clearly define the roles of the student services dean, the ombudsman, the student advocate, the affirmative action and sexual harassment officers in disciplinary issues. The self-study and visit affirmed that students are involved in and encouraged to participate in college planning, governance, development and delivery of student services. Members of the team recognized that many bulletin boards appeared cluttered and could detract from their mission of disseminating crucial information to students. Due to the intervention of ASO (Associated Student Organization), health services will be available to students on campus. An interview with the current ASO president, suggested that limited understanding exists of how the college is run and what roles students might play. The elimination of the assistant dean of students position may seriously compromise the support and development of student leadership.
3.1. Evaluate the needs of and plan for adequate training of counseling faculty on developing student education plans on the new SEP screens.
STANDARD FOUR: FACULTY AND STAFF
RESPONSE TO RECOMMENDATION OF THE PREVIOUS TEAM
Recommendation 4: That criteria for faculty selection, including minimum qualifications and Faculty Service Areas (FSAS), be clearly stated and available at the college for information and review purposes.
It appears that much progress has been made in response to this recommendation. A new faculty hiring policy has been developed, published, and made available for review at the office of the vice president of academic affairs, the cluster chair's offices, and in the library. Additionally, it seems that the Academic Senate employs a viable process which, in concert with the administration, includes consideration of essential criteria in the identification and prioritization of faculty positions to be filled.
ANALYSIS, EVALUATION AND VALIDATION OF THE SELF-STUDY
In light of the community and institutional student demographics, the college has made significant progress in the implementation of affirmative action guidelines, goals, and timetables in the hiring of faculty and staff. It is suggested that the college continue to update its affirmative action goals and timetables so that they can be taken into consideration in filling new positions as they become available in the future. The college affirmative action officer would need to continue to facilitate and monitor hiring processes in efforts to achieve institutional goals.
Even though the district has a policy against sexual harassment, there seems to be a concern in this regard within the college community. This issue needs to be discussed and addressed with the focus on the maintenance of a high quality and safe environment for all students and staff on the campus. The college is encouraged to continue to provide necessary training programs and/or workshops to students and staff to help ensure the maintenance of such an environment.
Many faculty and staff clearly perceive the existence of nepotism within the college community. Apparently, the district has a policy against nepotism for classified staff; however, no such policy exists for the certificated staff. The district should consider adopting such a policy for certificated staff. Even though such situations have occurred within the legal bounds, such practices are generally viewed with questionable professional and ethical values.
The college is commended for its efforts in encouraging faculty and staff to participate in a variety of professional development activities, including such activities at the other district colleges. However, the college needs to carefully plan and seek resources to ensure adequate staffing and staff development opportunities for the effective and efficient opening and usage of the Library and Learning Resource Center.
Even though the district is in compliance with the AB 1725 requirement in the area of full-time to part-time faculty ratio of 75:25, the college has a full-time to part-time faculty ratio of significantly under this ratio. It appears that the college is in great need of additional full-time faculty members to accommodate program growth and development (for example, librarian replacement) and student needs in addition to their availability to assist with the institutional governance through representation on various college and district committees.
Many faculty and staff members have expressed concerns about the interim nature of several upper level administrative appointments because turnovers in these positions do not tend to provide the college necessary opportunities for continuity in the leadership and strengthening faculty and staff morale.
4.1 It is recommended that the college collaborate with the district and other colleges to find resources and develop mechanisms that will increase the full-time faculty in order to meet the expanding educational needs of the college's students and community.
4.2 It is recommended that the district stabilize the college leadership in order to provide continuity in planning, implementation, evaluation, and enhancement of the educational programs and services for the students and the community.
STANDARD FIVE: LIBRARY AND LEARNING RESOURCES
RESPONSES TO RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE PREVIOUS TEAM
Recommendation 9: That specific activities be developed and implemented to actively encourage faculty participation in acquisition and collection development of learning resources.
The librarians have developed strategies to get faculty recommendations for library acquisitions. Since general fund monies for library materials are limited, library materials and learning resource materials are also purchased with special project monies; i.e., VATEA, Title III funds.
ANALYSIS, EVALUATION AND VALIDATION OF SELF-STUDY
The library is now housed in its interim facility on campus. A permanent facility is expected to be completed in fall, 1996. The move from the storefront location has significantly increased the student and faculty use of the library. The standard did not address the planning, development and implementation process of the new Library and Learning Resources Center, a 56,000 sq. ft. addition. The team did observe the college had established a broad-based committee to plan how it will address the needs required to successfully operationalize the Library and Learning Resources Center. College staff are very concerned about lack of plans for staffing of the new facility and the training in new technologies for the current and new staff. Also, concerns were expressed in various forums about the need for technological expertise.
Cataloging is performed with the Bibliofile System. The librarians report that Mission College is part of a district-wide retrospective conversion system for the catalog system. While the district will fund the initial project, staff was not clear if the Mission College budget could absorb the hardware and software funding needs in the 1995/1996 budget.
The library service hours were eliminated on Fridays as of October, 1993. The self-study reports in a campus survey that both faculty and students desire extended evening and week-end hours. Currently, hours of operation are Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. through 9:00 p.m. A 1994 survey indicates that 33 percent of the student respondents felt that the Monday through Thursday hours were not meeting their needs. About 50 percent of the respondents wanted the library open on Saturdays. Three hundred students responded to this survey.
Learning resource equipment as well as computing and data communications equipment and services are minimal. The state funding for equipment and materials for the new facility is expected to minimally meet the Library and Learning Resources Center needs. However, the staff has been recently notified by the State that equipment monies for the new building are not currently budgeted by the State as previously planned.
The Learning Resources Assistance Center offers CAI and tutorial services with an emphasis on improving basic skills. The Title III project has developed a high technology computer laboratory which includes a video toaster that will enable faculty to develop interactive media of the highest quality, including full animation, video interaction, sound, and closed captioning. While the potential exists for faculty use of this laboratory to learn about and evaluate all forms of computer-assisted instruction, it is still not fully operational.
The new Library and Learning Resources Center will have a comprehensive electronic media services and delivery system, which will feature distance learning, and telecommunications. Approximately 20,000 sq. ft. will be dedicated to these systems. There was no reference in the standard that relates this new technology to instructional programs that are on line or being developed.
5.1 That the library support services for students be studied to maximize library service hours for students;
5.2 That a comprehensive plan for technological support be established for the Library and Learning Resources Center with the following components: the use of expert consultation for construction, equipment selection and installation, staff training, and organizational management and staffing.
STANDARD SIX: PHYSICAL RESOURCES
RESPONSES TO RECOMMENDATIONS OF PREVIOUS TEAM
Recommendation 10: That the college develop a facilities plan which is consistent with its master plan to become a fully comprehensive college.
The college partially responded to this recommendation in 1993 by organizing a draft long-term educational facilities plan. This plan addresses the facilities and acreage required to provide Los Angeles Mission College with a balanced campus.
Recommendation 11: That the college address the proper use, handling, and storage, and disposal of hazardous materials.
The college has adequately responded to this recommendation. The college has purchased and installed Haz-Mat storage cabinets for its science laboratories and its buildings and grounds operation. Metal drum containers and spill control units have been installed in appropriate locations. Periodic hazardous materials training has been provided for campus police and buildings and grounds personnel.
ANALYSIS, EVALUATION AND VALIDATION OF THE SELF-STUDY
This evaluation does validate that the facilities are clean and in generally good repair and there exists demonstrated concern for safety, security, energy management and disaster preparedness. The campus is accessible to disabled students and the college is addressing some existing architectural barriers. Equipment is generally adequate and in good repair. There is a need to improve computer technology planning, support and repair functions. This will be important when the high technology oriented Library and Learning Resources Center is occupied in fall, 1996. Interactive telecommunications and distance learning equipment is planned into this new facility and may impact future building needs and alleviate some current space deficits as well as influence support staffing requirements.
Given current and projected enrollments, the college needs a substantial increase in acreage to accommodate future student populations in the facilities required to develop a balanced campus. The college lacks sufficient physical education and athletic program space. There is no health service nor permanent cafeteria facility. Given the campus day and evening populations, the lack of an existing health services facility for students and staff is of concern. Parking is inadequate given the nature of the student body and the lack of sufficient public transportation servicing the campus. Storage has improved somewhat with the move of the buildings and grounds operation into their permanent quarters.
Locally, the structure of the facilities planning process functions relatively well. Faculty, program administrators and necessary buildings and grounds personnel are involved in project planning and development. The college's Campus Development Committee interacts with ICAN and MPAC when coordinating facilities planning and project development. Facilities planning recommendations are made to the president and the district. The district and the college seem to lack a process which accounts for the melding of facilities planning and operational budget planning together when developing new projects.
The planning stages between completion of final project design and occupancy may require strengthening. Myriad operational decisions are typically required well in advance of facility occupancy. This appears especially important for the Library and Learning Resources Center which will be substantially impacted by a major infusion of high technology influencing program operations, staffing, equipment support and repair. This facility will increase the net assignable square footage of the campus by 50%.
The college and the district need to make major operational budget planning decisions well in advance of the occupancy of the facility.
Though relatively few in number, the facilities are in good physical condition. With the addition of the Library and Learning Resources Center, the college will begin to achieve a better balance in its facilities. The district and the college need to analyze impacts stemming from the planned. occupancy of the Library and Learning Resources Center upon the college's operational budget and plan accordingly. The college may wish to consider making a concerted effort in acquiring additional acreage to accommodate future facilities and to provide improved parking services. The lack of a sufficient number of instructional and support facilities undercuts the college's ability to service its constituent population.
6.1. That the college complete its educational master plan including the long-term educational facilities component.
6.2. That the college make a concerted effort to acquire additional property allowing for the development of future instructional facilities and parking to adequately serve its constituent population.
6.3. That the district and the college, in order to anticipate the impact of new facilities on college programs and operations, meld facilities planning and operational budget planning together when developing new projects.
STANDARD SEVEN: FINANCIAL RESOURCES
RESPONSES TO RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE PREVIOUS TEAM
Recommendation 12: That Mission College aggressively pursue alternative sources of revenue to broaden its funding base to effectively support and maintain its programs.
The college has made an effort to pursue alternative funding for several programs with some success. Special funded programs have provided significant funds for such projects as a Title III grant, VATEA and the Amnesty program. However, these are all external sources of funding, on which the college has become dependent. As these funds "dry up" or impose increasing matching requirements, the college may be hard pressed to fill the shortfall.
Recommendation 13: That the college analyze and define its committee structure and clarify committee functions, more directly linking evaluation, planning and budgeting processes.
It would appear that in the recent past, efforts have been made to improve the linkage between institutional planning and budget however this team was unable to confirm that the budget documents for the college were related to actual institutional goals, programs and services.
During the current year, the college created a new planning council known as ICAN. It is too early to know if this effort will be productive.
In an attempt to "fit" within the district allocation and the constraints that no layoffs would be permitted, during the current year, some 35 positions were unfunded within the budget. The college hopes it will a) obtain additional "soft" money or b) have account savings sufficient to cover these expenditures. For 1995-96, plans include partial funding for all full-time positions at about 2/3 of salary, in the effort to fit the college's budget within the district allocation for the campus
ANALYSIS, EVALUATION, AND VALIDATION OF THE SELF STUDY
Generally, the descriptive statements within the self-study presents an accurate picture of the fiscal condition of the college. The evaluative statements appear to be honest assessments of the problems. However, the plan statements are not very specific with respect to timelines, responsibilities or alternatives. In certain sub-sets of the standard, the following concerns were noted.
The plan portion of 7.A.1 is somewhat vague as to how the college will achieve success in developing an adequate income stream to maintain the programs and services of the college over time.
Continued reliance on external sources of revenue for the instructional program support will not develop long term stability for the college.
The Plan portion of 7A.3 calls for "a review system for all units of the college." However, the district instructions on the development of the college budget directs the college that it may not consider reductions in staff either in positions or hours. Thus, the results of such review may not be implemented, as the college seeks to provide for fiscal stability into the future.
The district allocation process does not factor adequately colleges, such as Mission, with potential for growth.
Although the self-study reports that "the budget policies, guidelines and processes for developing the budget are clearly defined and followed," the resulting budget is somewhat unrelated to the programs and services provided by the college. It is understood by the college that personnel accounts may be 'overdrawn' without severe penalty, and that the college has four years to repay any net deficit (which occurred in the 1993-94 fiscal year). It is unclear how the college will integrate long-range projections into their budget planning.
Plans for the Los Angeles Mission College Foundation suggest a more vibrant support organization than appears realistic from the team's visit.
7.1. The college should re-examine its budgeting process to provide for a published budget that is related to its educational programs and services and which informs the college community of the serious fiscal problems confronting the college and district.
7.2. The college, working with the other colleges and the district, should develop a long-term fiscal plan to properly provide for an appropriate level of college and district reserves.
7.3. The college may wish to explore alternative funding sources, in light of the current state funding levels, as part of its overall educational master plan. Additional financial support for the many worthwhile programs and services will be needed as the college expands in the future.
STANDARD EIGHT: GOVERNANCE
RESPONSE TO RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE PREVIOUS TEAM
Recommendation 14: That the district-college communication be strengthened, especially through active participation of Mission College staff 011 district committees and district staff members' participation in Mission College's activities.
The self-stud y surfaced com plaints about the imposition of district decisions Without consideration of Mission College's needs or desires; e.g., administrative reassignments. The team learned that before assigning the interim president to Mission College, the chancellor personally visited the college to consult widely about the college's preference in this assignment. Also, the chancellor has indicated a desire to decentralize authority for instruction and student services and reserve authority over personnel, procurement and payroll at the district.
ANALYSIS, EVALUATION, AND VALIDATION OF SELF-STUDY
There are many notations in the report that suggest that the board of trustees and the college have a different understanding of the board's roles. The college wants more direct attention, more on-campus visits by board members "so they will understand our needs." On the other hand, it was noted that board members, although receptive to making campus visits, are reluctant to appear too enthusiastic about campus issues and concerns lest they be criticized for delving into operational areas or interfering with pedagogical prerogatives.
There were several references to the cumbersome and time-consuming procedures in dealing with the district. There is concern with the differences between what money the college generates through FTES and what it is allocated by the district. Yet, it is understood that Mission College is too small to function without district support and services. The self-study had reported difficulty in tracking purchase orders because all records were maintained at the district. There is evidence that the college now has improved controls over purchases.
Mission College has serious concerns about the turnover of executive staff, appointment of acting and interim administrators. Such changes -- especially without consultation at the college -- create a sense of instability. As one classified person said, "We need permanent people here so they will be committed to Mission College."
After years of being scattered at multiple sites in a former campus location, the entire college staff has been brought together for the first time on the college's new, permanent campus. Faculty and staff are working with increased success as a community now that they have new challenges before them, such as developing a strategic plan for the college which links research, planning, and resource allocation. Senate and AFT appear to have a cordial working relationship.
Classified senate members are proud of their role as professionals and participants in the governance of the college. The college administration appears to have been supportive of the creation of the classified senate and in general encourages its participation in shared governance but senators sometimes have difficulty leaving their work stations to attend meetings.
There are numerous committees on campus and it is difficult to find clear definitions of the groups' functions and their relationships to one another.
8.1. That the college define its governance groups and clearly describe their functions, purposes, and scope of authority, their interrelations and their goals and widely disseminate that information.
8.2. That the college and district develop more meaningful communication channels in order to build mutual trust. The district should make greater efforts to communicate its plans for the college in advance of implementation and in consultation with college representatives by: a) addressing the high number of administrative "acting" and "interim" positions which affects the stability, morale, and orderly development of Mission College; and b) clarifying centralized vs. decentralized functions within the district.