Category 1- Helping Students Learn
 
1C1 Common Learning Objectives
 
East Central College (ECC) has followed the general education requirements mandated by
the State of Missouri Department of Higher Education (MDHE) in 1998. These requirements consist
of a general education block that includes state-defined skill areas (Figure 1.2). Upon completion
of the general education block, students can transfer at the junior level to any Missouri public
baccalaureate institution. However, these standards only applied to Associate of Arts (AA) or
Associate of Arts in Teaching (AAT) degree-seeking students. ECC did not have an integrated
list of common learning objectives for all students until its recent creation (Figure 1.1). The ECC
Common Learning Objectives, developed over a two-semester period beginning in January of
2007, reflect the pattern of knowledge and skills expected from all students upon completion of


Figure 1.1

Demographic
Learning Objectives
All
Students
Communicate effectively
Work collaboratively as a participant and/or leader
Apply creative thinking in exploration, discovery and research
Use quantitative data and qualitative information to reason and solve problems
Develop and apply a global perspective
Critically analyze, reason and judge
Manage information and its applications
Understand the importance of personal and professional ethics

1C2 Aligning Expectations

In spring 2008, ECC adopted the Common Learning Objectives (Figure 1.1). These objectives
align to the five general education skill areas approved by the Missouri Department of Higher
Education. Figure 1.2 represents each skill area and the corresponding Common Learning
Objective.

Figure 1.2

Skill Area
Common Learning Objective
Communicating
To develop students’ effective use of the English language and quantitative and other symbolic systems essential to their success in school and in the world. Students should be able to read and listen critically and to write and speak with thoughtfulness, clarity, coherence and persuasiveness.
  • Communicating Effectively
Higher Order Thinking
To develop students’ ability to distinguish among opinions, facts and inferences; to identify underlying or implicit assumptions; to make informed judgments; and to solve problems by applying evaluative standards.
  • Apply creative thinking in exploration, discovery and research
  • Critically analyze, reason and judge
Managing Information
To develop students’ abilities to locate, organize, store, retrieve, evaluate, synthesize and annotate information from print, electronic and other sources in preparation for solving problems and making informed decisions.
  • Use quantitative data and qualitative information to reason and solve problems
  • Manage information and its applications
Valuing
To develop students’ abilities to understand the moral and ethical values of a diverse society and to understand that many courses of action are guided by value judgments about the way things ought to be. Students should be able to make informed decisions through identifying personal
values and the values of others and through understanding how such values develop. They should be able to analyze the ethical implications of choices made on the basis of these values.
  • Work collaboratively as a participant and/or leader
  • Understand the importance of personal and professional ethics
Global
To develop students’ abilities to understand and appreciate diverse cultures and belief systems; to appreciate the contributions of diverse cultures to society and to understand the impact of a global society on individuals.
  • Develop and apply a global perspective

Our mission statement, “East Central College will provide an environment for lifelong learning,”
provides the foundation for student learning. Continuous examination of course work and
objectives, from the student and faculty level to the administrative level, ensures that student
learning expectations, practices and development goals are addressed and that our environment
for lifelong learning is maintained.

The faculty at ECC primarily drives the process to create objectives for each course and presents
these to students via course syllabi. Additionally, peers at the division level review these outcomes
and all divisional work is under the guidance of the Executive Dean of Instruction. Examination
of the Career and Technical Graduate Follow-up report, discussion at programmatic advisory
committee meetings, professional development within academic disciplines at local, regional
and national meetings, and attention to the MDHE general education competencies (which are
currently undergoing review and revision), all provide information for analysis.

1C3 Key Programs, Delivery & Technology

East Central College awards the degrees of Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, Associate
of Applied Science and an Associate of Arts in Teaching. One-Year and Two-Year Certificates,
as well as a Certificate of Completion, are awarded in specific diploma programs. In total, East
Central offers 27 associate degree programs and 23 certificate/diploma programs (Figure 1.3).

Figure 1.3

Degree
Program
Associate of Arts
Biology, Business, Communications, Computer Information Systems, English, Exercise Science, Fine Arts, General Studies, Health Science, History, Hospitality, Mathematics, Medical Science, Physical Science, Psychology and Social Science 
Associate of Science
Pre-Engineering
Associate of Applied Science
Accounting, Accounting Clerk, Apprenticeship Training Communication Trades, Apprenticeship Training Construction Trades, Apprenticeship Training Manufacturing Trades, Automotive Technology, Building Construction Technology, Business Management- Management, Business Management- Marketing, Business Technology- Administrative Assistant, Business Technology- Legal Assistant, Business Technology- Medical Secretary, Computer Information System, Criminal Justice, Culinary Arts, Drafting & Design Technology, Early Childhood Education, Fire Technology, Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration, Industrial Engineering Technology, Multimedia, Multimedia- Graphic Design, Nursing, Nursing 1+1 Bridge Program-Rolla, Nursing- ADN (Pre-Admission), Occupational Education, Para Educator, Paramedic Technology, Precision Machining Technology, Radiologic Technology, Respiratory Care and Welding
Associate of Arts in Teaching
Pre-Teaching
One-Year Certificate
Accounting, Accounting Clerk, Automotive Technology, Building Construction Technology, Business Management, Business Management-Marketing, Business Technology-Administrative Assistant, Business Technology-Legal Assistant, Business Technology-Medical Secretary, Computer Information System, Computer Information System-Network Technician, Culinary Arts, Drafting & Design Technology, Fire Technology, Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration, Industrial Engineering Technology, Multimedia, Multimedia- Graphic Design, Paramedic Technology, Precision Machining Technology, Precision Machining Technology-CNC and Welding
Two-Year Certificate
Business Technology-Administrative Assistant, Business Technology-Legal Assistant, Business Technology-Medical Secretary, Industrial Engineering Technology, Multimedia and Precision Machining Technology.  There are also certificates awarded upon completion of the following programs:  Building Construction Technology, Emergency Medical Technology and Welding

East Central delivers courses in a variety of methods. Traditional classroom instruction is most
prevalent, though nearly all classrooms are equipped with computers, projectors and other
technology such as SmartBoards. Faculty are encouraged to use varieties of technological tools
when teaching, and in-service programs are available to teach or update staff and faculty in
usage. From the 2002 academic year to the present, there has been a 232% increase in online
course enrollment (Figure 1.4), and faculty deliver coursework in a variety of levels of interactivity.
Online courses may be Web-online, Web-blended, or Web-hybrid; traditional courses may be
Web-enhanced or Web-supported.

Because of this tremendous increase in online offerings and enrollment, ECC launched Action
Project #2: Development of a Process for Distance Education Review. The team members prepared
recommendations for processes and suggested measures for assessment. In addition, the team
members produced several key documents for implementation:

  • An application for faculty who wish to create an online course
  • An institutional technology survey to assess overall needs
  • An end-of-semester course evaluation for faculty teaching online courses
  • A student readiness survey for prospective online students
  • A modified online student evaluation form allowing students to provide feedback on their online course, instructor and general experience 

Figure 1.4 is the information provided to students via a link from the course listing in the online
catalog. Interactive television (ITV) is another way courses are available throughout the College’s
service area and beyond. ECC participated in a Title VI-A Grant, awarded to and administered
by the Missouri Consortium for Global Education (MCGE), which conducted training for consortia
delivery of foreign language instruction. Because of this effort, ECC delivers Chinese language
and other courses to participating partners, such as Mineral Area College and Metropolitan
Community College in Kansas City. ECC is now participating in a second Title VI-A Grant, which
will increase such collaboration.

Figure 1.4

Delivery Method
Description
Web-Online
Course is taught entirely online. Other than an optional orientation session held on campus, students will submit all work, including tests and assignments, online. No campus attendance is required for successful completion of this course.
Web-Blended
Course is taught primarily online. Students may be required to be on campus for study sessions, quizzes and/or tests and/or finals, meetings with instructor, etc. Any required class meeting times and required final exam or testing dates will be published in the course syllabus.
Web-Hybrid
Course meeting time is reduced by a maximum of 50%; remainder of course is taught as a Web-blended class. Students will be required to attend class meetings on a regular, scheduled basis; scheduled class meeting times will be published in advance and in the course syllabus.
Web-Enhanced
Course will meet at the regularly scheduled class time. Students may be required to use a learning management system for discussion, access to course support material and for submissions of quizzes and other materials.
Web-Supported
Course materials, reference sources and other support are available via the campus learning management system (online learning system). Students will not be required to submit any course requirement via the Internet.

Finally, ECC also provides local delivery of courses using satellite locations in Sullivan, Rolla,
Washington and Warrenton. Action Project 6: Coordinating Satellite Campus Development at
East Central College is a current effort to address growing enrollment and needs at our other
locations, especially Rolla. The project is also intended to create a process for future expansion
efforts, particularly in Warrenton and align with the HLC policies in off-campus delivery. Each
member on the project was assigned data gathering tasks and asked to assess needs. The
information was analyzed and a matrix was produced providing tentative definitions for these
campus designations: site, center, branch and campus. Estimates were made as to how many
students would be needed to constitute each type of facility, how many classrooms needed,
number of support staff, full/part time instructors and when and/or whether to lease or purchase
property.

1C4 Course Delivery, Learning Styles & Diversity

East Central College has a number of practices aimed at accommodating the variety of student learning styles.

  • The Learning Center and Adaptive Technology Lab provide face-to-face tutoring by appointment or on a walk-in basis. 
  • The Foundation Seminar, a required course for all incoming students, addresses learning styles and helps students understand their particular strengths as learners as well as opportunities for improvement. 
  • Developmental education courses, which are student-centered and generally provide as much individualized instruction as possible as well as employing active learning and best practices to help students succeed. 
  • The Library provides students access to information in various formats as a way to address different learning styles.
  • In support of student learning, faculty and staff have many opportunities for training in a given semester.
  • ECC subscribes to the STARLINK program, which provides seminars delivered via ITV on a wide range of topics, such as learning styles, best practices and student success.
  • Professional development funds for individuals and groups to learn about teaching pedagogies that lend themselves to various learning styles (Title III funding, Perkins, Departmental Budgets, etc.) also are available.
To show our commitment to diversity and global education, and to ensure that students are prepared to live in a diverse world, ECC has developed a number of practices and initiatives.

  • ECC has a standing Global Education Committee, charged with developing definitions, appropriate practices and assessment methods for all courses designated as “G” (or global).
  • Faculty on the Global Education Committee have recently completed a review and revision of the “G” competencies and they have designed a Global Certificate program, which was recently approved by the Academic Council.
  • ECC is currently participating in its second Title VI-A Grant, intended to infuse global education objectives into the curriculum.  One outcome was the creation of World Fiction, an online class devoted to literatures of the Non-Western world.  Other examples can be found in business, nursing and other disciplines.
  • ECC has a dedicated advisor for international students and their particular needs.
  • The most attended event of the year is our International Festival. Started ten years ago by an international student, the festival brings in as many as 2,000 attendees from the community and surrounding areas, and provides an opportunity for students, employees and community members to collaborate and celebrate
    diversity.
1C5 Creating a Climate of Intellectual Freedom & Respect

Since its establishment in 1968, East Central College has created and maintained a climate of intellectual freedom, inquiry and reflection in a number of ways. East Central College Board Policy on Academic Freedom states the following:

East Central College, as an academic community, promotes learning characterized by free inquiry, open discussion and thoughtful communication.  Academic freedom is a tenet of such instruction and essential to the purpose of higher education.  Faculty and students must be free to examine ideas in an environment without institutional censorship. (Approved December 3, 1968; Revised June 23, 2003)

In addition to strong support from the Board of Trustees, ECC addresses intellectual freedom in a number of ways:

  • In the classroom, instructors are free to present information and use examples as they see appropriate and effective for helping students learn, and students are encouraged to speak freely through open discussions, debates and presentations. 
  • Student organizations, such as the Student Senate, Phi Theta Kappa, the ECC Democrats and other groups provide avenues for discovery and inquiry.  
  • The Cornerstone, ECC’s student newspaper, is an important platform from which students may speak freely about issues at ECC and the world beyond. 
  • Each employee group maintains its own governance organization and conducts open meetings. 
  • The New Faculty Seminar provides new teachers a forum for open discussion on student and other institutional issues. 

However, intellectual freedom is tempered by respect for intellectual property:

  • Respect for intellectual property and copyright issues are addressed during in-service weeks and other faculty development sessions, and our Library staff conducts workshops on fair use for students and faculty throughout the academic year, visiting classrooms and faculty meetings.  Furthermore, especially regarding online course development, the Instructional Designer keeps abreast of digital media and works to ensure the highest standards of respect for intellectual property.
1P1 Determining Learning Objectives

In creating the Common Learning Objectives, the Office of Instruction solicited feedback from
the entire ECC community through in-service presentations and exercises. The objectives (Figure
1.1) also were presented to the entire campus for input and discussion through the campus listserv
ECC Announce. Departments and divisions finalized the list, and the College adopted it for the
spring 2008 semester.

Specific learning objectives are determined for transfer and vocational programs as a
collaborative effort between the Executive Dean of Instruction, the Division Chairs and faculty.
The process for determining learning objectives for specific programs results from review of
standardized testing results (i.e. HESI, NCLEX, etc.), the Career and Technical Graduate Follow-up report, Advisory Commitee input, program accrediting or approval groups, work by faculty in
professional development (particularly within industry), and the requirements and expectations of
colleges and universities to which our students transfer.

Currently, under the guidance of the Missouri Department of Higher Education, two-year and
four-year college faculty are establishing entry and exit level competencies for general education
courses that will have applications statewide.


1P2 Designing New Programs & Courses to Facilitate Learning

The faculty are the primary drivers of course design, but staff, students, external agencies, other
colleges and regulatory bodies may also be involved in the process. The Academic Council is
charged with examining the components of a new course or changes to an existing course (1P8).
For a new course to become part of the curriculum, it must pass through several phases. Figure
1.5 displays the process for new course additions. Changes to existing courses, such as adding
prerequisites, also are presented to the Academic Council for review and approval.

New programs follow a similar process for approval, but program development necessarily
requires more research, collaboration with other institutions, and vetting, and it is more likely that
external agencies, such as regulatory bodies and advisory boards, will play a prominent role.
Furthermore, the President and Board of Trustees are integral to the approval process.

East Central College works to be responsive to market issues and student demands. For
example, ECC is adding a new Allied Health and Science building on its Union campus. The
51,800-square-foot facility will house classrooms, labs and equipment to accommodate growth
in our nursing, emergency medical services and science programs. ECC district voters approved
a $15.8 million bond issue to finance construction in August of 2006. The College also established
an additional nursing program in Rolla, by request of and in collaboration with the Phelps County
Regional Medical Center. Another example of ECC’s responsiveness to market issues is its offering
of courses in Warrenton, some 30 miles north of the main campus. Such a move will help serve the
northern tip of the ECC service area, providing access to a new and growing market.

Figure 1.5


1P3 Preparing Students for Their Studies

ECC adopted a program admissions policy to allow certain programs to determine necessary and appropriate admission requirements as prerequisite to the program of study: 

Board Policy 3.2 The faculty, staff and Chief Academic Officer will devise, implement and monitor an objective, timely and nondiscriminatory method for selecting applicants for admission to specific college programs with admissions criteria.  These programs are identified annually and information is publicized in each semester’s schedule of classes.  The selection of process will reflect good practice, and criteria will be made available to interested parties in the departmental offices or academic advisement.  (Adopted May 9, 2005)

Oversight of student preparedness for college-level work and curriculum is the responsibility of
the Office of Instruction and the various Division Chairs and departments. East Central College
has established academic preparation levels for incoming students and requires placement
testing, specifically in the areas of reading, writing and mathematics. All incoming students are
required to enroll in a Freshmen Assessment program to complete their processing. We currently
employ the ASSET to test incoming students for all three of these core areas. Currently, the ASSET
is the primary instrument to determine math placement. However, in the case of reading, the
Nelson-Denny is a secondary instrument to determine whether students should place into College
Content Reading or Reading Comprehension.

ECC also requires all incoming students write a short placement essay (300-500 words) as part
of Freshman Assessment. A team of Learning Center specialists and English faculty, both full-time
and adjunct, scores these essays. On a 6-point scale, a score of 3 or lower places a student in
Introduction to Writing, a pre-college composition course intended to prepare students for college-
level writing. A score of 4-6 places a student in either Composition 1 or Composition 1 Honors. In
the case of Honors English, the ASSET writing scores also provide a more fine-tuned assessment and
placement.

Taken as a whole, our current placement system, while highly accurate, is cumbersome,
expensive and time consuming. Students, for example, do not receive their writing placement
scores for 24-48 hours after testing. In addition, the writing portion of the ASSET is given to all students,
yet that score is only used to determine Honors English Placement. These issues, coupled with the
reality that the currently used ASSET product has been discontinued, led us to examine other
options for placement testing. After careful review of the available systems and technologies, ECC
has decided to change from ASSET to ACCUPLACER, a web-based assessment and placement
program sponsored by the College Board, “a not-for-profit membership association whose mission
is to connect students to college success and opportunity.” We plan to implement the system for
the 2009 fall semester.

Another way ECC determines student preparation is by collaborating with the Missouri
Developmental Education Consortium (MoDEC), a group dedicated to developing consistent
approaches to developmental education in Missouri community colleges. For example, the
MoDEC group compiled all the cut scores for admission to community colleges in an effort to
analyze collective practices and work toward consensus regarding admission requirements.

These admission requirements were averaged and included in MoDEC executive summary
brochure, which was distributed to Missouri high schools in an effort to communicate college entry
expectations to prospective students. The MoDEC website is currently housed and maintained by
East Central College. See site for more information about this important collaboration.
http://www.eastcentral.edu/modec/index.html.


1P4 Communicating Expectations to Students

The ECC College Catalog (both print and Web) communicates program and policy information,
degree requirements, course descriptions, and requirements for course entry, such as pre- and co-
requisites. A Student Handbook, given to all entering students, also provides detailed information
about graduation requirements, transfer of credit, and other important student policy information.
The Learning Center (TLC) is responsible for incoming student assessment and TLC staff regularly attend departmental meetings to discuss placement results and other matters related to incoming student assessment. Students receive information regarding placement testing and other enrollment information upon admission to the College.

Course syllabi express course expectations, requirements and competencies. Program brochures
also are available listing degree requirements, entry requirements, and course sequence. Other
methods for communicating expectations regarding student preparation and learning objectives
include College Nights, recruiter visits to and placement testing at area high schools, high school
counselor luncheons and transcript evaluations. Admissions, Student Support and Registration all
facilitate this communication process.


1P5 Helping Students Make Good Academic Choices

In helping students select programs of study that match their needs, interests and abilities, ECC
employs a multifaceted approach. First, the Freshmen Assessment process (See 1P3) provides
for the evaluation of all incoming students and placement in the appropriate entry-level courses
in writing, mathematics and reading. This process helps the institution to detect and address
discrepancies between necessary and actual preparation for college-level work. Students
receive detailed information regarding their placement based on these test scores. In support of
our placement process, ECC has created a First Semester Schedule for Developmental Students
as part of an AQIP Action Project devoted to retention. All students placing in more than one
developmental course are advised to enroll in particular courses designed to help them succeed.
The Action Project team worked with faculty members to identify courses without pre- or co-
requisites that were appropriate for a student with two or three developmental classes, or that
could be modified to accommodate developmental students’ needs. The following is a list of
courses that represent the results of this collaboration:


 
  • Art Appreciation
  • Music Appreciation
  • Design I
  • World Music
  • American Civilization
  • General Sociology
  • Computer Information Systems
  • Oral Communications



Furthermore, all students are assigned an advisor, either a faculty member or an advisor/
counselor from counseling services. Each semester students must receive advisor approval for
their chosen coursework before enrolling for the term. Advisors have the opportunity to guide
students who are struggling to coursework to improve their skills or courses that might fit better with
their particular learning styles. Additionally, advisors can refer students to the Learning Center,
Access Services, Counseling, or Career Services as needed. All advisors receive notice of each
advisee who receives a deficient grade; however, students are not required to make contact with
their advisors. Current Action Project #5, Redesigning Student Advisement, focuses on improving
advising at ECC. Specifically, the project will review current processes, create a centralized (one-
stop shop) location as part of planning the renovation of the administration building, develop
technological solutions to advising problems, clarify and define roles of faculty, staff and students
in the process and provide for continuous assessment.

ECC’s early alert system, called Academic Improvement Management (or AIM) is available for
faculty to refer students whose performance in class is falling below expectations for a variety of
reasons. This online tool allows a student to be referred to a retention specialist, who in turn can
assess for what intervention strategies will best assist in improving the student’s performance. AIM is
one of the results of our Title III initiatives, and it was related to Action Project #3, Early Intervention
Program Development. Its specific objectives were these:
  • Identify a set of at risk factors that the College community can address.
  • Develop a set of strategies to implement an “early intervention” approach to students’ retention
  • Develop referral services tied to specific notification
  • Integrate the objectives of the College’s Title III efforts with respect to retention
  • Develop/administer surveys intended to identify students’ “at risk” behaviors and characteristics
  • Develop/identify/purchase appropriate and useful communication tools for use by faculty and staff
  • Develop internal assessment tools for use within the program
ECC’s Career Services website outlines a variety of online tools useful in career exploration
activities. Missouri Connections and O Net are particularly useful tools that ECC has available to
all prospective and current students. It provides a variety of employment information and assists
students in a number of exploration tasks, including interest and skill inventories.

1P6 Determine, Document, & Measure the Effectiveness of Teaching/Learning

Effective teaching and learning are determined and documented at ECC in several ways.
Students are encouraged, though not required, to evaluate each of their courses and instructors
every semester through an online evaluation system; instructors are given access to their student
evaluations after the semester is completed. Some programs and instructors distribute more
specific course evaluation instruments. For example, the English department has instituted annual
assessment for its Introduction to Writing and Composition II programs. Furthermore, Division
Chairs and the Dean of Instruction conduct regular teaching observations, the results of which
are discussed with those observed. The New Faculty Seminar provides a forum for determining
effective teaching practices. Faculty members participate in state and national effective teaching
award programs, such as the Governor’s Award and the Emerson Award. Moreover, each full-
time faculty member maintains an evaluation portfolio and the Executive Dean of Instruction
conducts formal evaluations on a regular schedule.


1P7 Building an Effective & Efficient Course Delivery System

East Central College manages an efficient and effective schedule at the main campus and all
satellite locations. The Division Chairs drive the core schedule and each academic unit maintains
a three-year rotation of course offerings that includes day and evening classes and offerings at
satellite locations. Data from the Institutinal Research office regarding enrollments and timelines
is used in determining schedules for course delivery. Interactive TV courses and online offerings
further help to provide access, particularly for satellite locations. Schedule management includes
a process for adding and splitting course sections as demand grows in core areas; the Division
Chairs and Office of Instruction work together to add such sections, called “hidden” sections,
and open them as needed to accommodate enrollment growth. In addition, core classes, such
as English and mathematics, are capped at 20 students rather than the maximum cap of 25; this
allows more even distribution of students and as the classes fill, the caps can be lifted to 22, and
then 25 providing another measure of control.


1P8 Monitoring the Currency & Effectiveness of Curricula

The primary structure to monitor curriculum for currency and effectiveness is the Academic
Council Committee (one of six standing committees). The Academic Council meets several times
(as needed) each semester to evaluate courses and programs, deactivate outdated courses,
revise curricular requirements (such as prerequisites, etc.). All items receive a hearing, a discussion
period and are passed or tabled for further review. All items for review are submitted to the
committee in writing, using the appropriate forms, and kept on file in the Office of Instruction. See
Board Policy 2.6 below regarding discontinuance of programs and program adjustments:

Board Policy 2.6 The Chief Academic Officer will submit to the college President an annual
status report making recommendations with respect to the College’s instructional programs.  Recommendations to enhance, continue, reduce, restructure or discontinue any program(s) may
be based on the results of program review, program consolidation/reorganization, Board staffing
decisions or declared financial exigency. (Adopted June 4, 1979; Revised May 6 2002)

Other methods of monitoring curriculum include the Career and Technical Graduate Follow-
up report, tech-prep articulation review (every three years), Advisory Commitee input, enrollment
trends, transfer articulation agreements and graduating student survey.

1P9 Determining Student & Faculty Needs for Learning Support


Student learning support needs are identified initially through Freshman Assessment (1P3). ECC’s
freshman assessment process is comprehensive; students are evaluated in reading, writing, English
skills and mathematics at several levels. The results are used to place students in academically
appropriate levels of coursework; at these levels, faculty in these core academic areas and the
Foundation Seminar course assist students in assessing their learning needs. Whether using study
groups in the Learning Center, tutoring support, computer-aided tutorials, assistance from a
specialist in the learning center, or other tool, faculty provide the students a direct link to targeted
learning support. See 1P5 for discussion of the AIM system.

Students also self-identify regarding learning support needs. Deans, Division Chairs and other
administrators discuss learning support needs at the division and program levels. Regular meetings
between the Learning Center Director, Title III Director and the Instructional Technology staff
provide an additional forum for identifying student and faculty needs for learning support.

Faculty needs are discussed at the division level, Faculty Association meetings, and informally
through the open-door policy maintained by the Executive Dean of Instruction. The Title III grant
also provided, as part of its goal of student retention, opportunity for faculty to improve their use
of technology to assist in student learning. Faculty in every division at the College participated in
grant activities to introduce and improve the use of instructional technology.

1P10 Aligning Development Goals

ECC uses a variety of course based and informal methods to align co-curricular development goals.  Examples of co-curricular activities include the following:
  • Literacy Tutoring Project:  Funded initially through a grant from Missouri Campus Compact, students in the teacher preparation program provide one-on-one tutoring to grade school students throughout the district. The program introduces potential teachers to student interactions and supports the teacher preparation efforts
  • Literary Review Club:  Students studying in the liberal arts submit, review and prepare a booklet of student submitted literary pieces.
  • Student Nurse Association:  Conducts regular blood drives on campus and assists Red Cross or hospital staff in the effort.
  • Culinary Arts Club:  Students in the culinary program participate in many activities; following Hurricane Katrina, seven students with faculty went to Louisiana and assisted in serving meals at a shelter.
Students at ECC are also provided with a variety of performance and exhibition opportunities; the Fine and Performing Arts division sponsors several choir groups, band groups, theater activities and art shows.  Students at all levels participate in these curricular events.

Through organizations such as Phi Theta Kappa, Student Government and Rotaract, students’ leadership skills are developed.  The College also supports several intercollegiate athletic teams.

Students have these and many other opportunities to participate in activities that are linked
directly or indirectly to academic programs. Through program-based internships, service learning
activities, practicum experiences, clubs and organizations, students are afforded a wide variety
of co-curricular learning opportunities.

Students, faculty and staff actively seek out these co-curricular experiences and activities.
Faculty and staff are active in sponsorship and advisory roles for these groups and activities; many
have become an important part of the culture at the College and are a welcome part of the
community interaction with the College. The list below is just a sample of the many other student
activities:

  • American Marketing Association
  • ECC Art Club
  • ECC Democrats
  • ECC HVAC Club
  • Ecology Club
  • Pre-Engineering Club
  • Literary Review Club
  • Phi Theta Kappa
  • Rotaract Club
  • Sigma Alpha Pi
  • SMSTA
  • Student Nurses Association,
  • Young Socialists
  • Football Lovers Club 
 

1P11 Determining Student Assessment Processes

The Assessment Committee is a standing committee chaired by the chief academic officer.
The committee is responsible for review and oversight of institutional assessment plans and efforts.
It communicates recommendations to divisions and/or programs regarding plans and outcomes,
and maintains the institutional assessment and institutional effectiveness plans. Furthermore, it
gathers and reviews outcome data, produces regular reports regarding assessment efforts and
monitors the use of outcomes data and reports by the appropriate parties, in particular faculty,
academic departments and academic divisions.

East Central College serves a diverse community of learners. It is the mission of the committee
charged with Assessment to improve learning. See the College Assessment and Planning
Statement of Mission and Purpose below, Figure 1.6.

Figure 1.6

Committee
Mission
Assessment Committee
  • Ensure that learning expectations are clearly stated
  • Assess what is important to the learner and institution
  • Use assessment and effectiveness data efficiently and responsibly
  • Be timely in its reporting
  • Inform decision makers
  • Be evaluated and evaluative
  • Improve performance institutionally
  • Be strategic and responsive

ECC’s Office of Instruction and Assessment Committee collaborated with faculty in 2007 to
create campus-wide assessment plans for all classes and programs. These plans are kept on
file in the Office of Instruction. For comprehensive information on the College’s
assessment plans, please visit: http://eastcentral.edu/AQIP/planning_home.html.


1P12 Preparation for Transfer or Employment

Figure 1.7 describes a variety of instruments used to assess the preparation of students completing a program of study at ECC.

Figure 1.7
Instrument
Description
Graduate Exit Assessment
Graduation requirement for all associate degree recipients. Results are tracked for:

  • ACT CAAP is used to assess academic achievement for general education and engineering majors. Results are compared to national user norms.
  • ACT WorkKeys® is used to assess workplace skill levels for career/technical majors.
  • College BASE is used to assess general education for entry into teacher education programs.
Professional Licensure Exams/Certificates
Departments such as Nursing, EMT and Paramedic, track results related to licensure or certification exams.
Transfer Information
Institutional Research office compiles and reports information regarding former students who transfer to some of Missouri’s public baccalaureate institutions.
Industry Standardized Exams
Programs such as HVAC, Industrial Engineering Technology, Culinary Arts and Precision Machining use certified industry exams to verify mastery of skills.
Advisory Boards/Committees
Career and technical programs consult advisory boards to ensure professional standards/criteria are being applied and to verify program effectiveness.
Internships
Utilize feedback from employers and students related to the students’ skills and preparation for employment.
Career and Technical Graduate Follow-Up Survey
Administered to all career and technical graduates to track job placement, educational status, etc.
Portfolios
Students in the education program utilize portfolios for transfer school preparation and for K-12 employment.
Capstone Course
Currently implementing capstone courses in several programs.
Fine Arts Performances
Students in many of our Fine Arts programs use recitals, juried art shows and end-of-year performances to showcase their skills and abilities.

1P13 Measuring Student Performance

Figure 1.8 describes the various ways the College regularly collects, analyzes and reports student performance results.

Figure 1.8

Stakeholder
Description
U.S. Dept. of Education
ECC regularly reports measures such as graduation rates, transfer rates and degree and certificate completions through IPEDS.  The College also complies with the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical education performance accountability.  Results must indicate ECC students are meeting or improving state-established measures in areas such as educational attainment, degree and certificate completion and job placement. 
National
ECC has participated in the National Community College Benchmark Project (NCCBP) for the last two years.  Specific results compare ECC to a national group of peers and include results in areas such as developmental education and core academic skill area retention and success, student persistence, job placement and grades. 
State
The primary mechanism for reporting measures of student performance is through the Missouri Department of Higher Education Performance Indicator’s Survey.  The survey requires the College to report pass rates and normed percentile ranks in general education or major field assessments.   Data is compiled from all Missouri higher education institutions and reported to the state via the Statistical Summary of Missouri Higher Education (http://www.dhe.mo.gov/research.shtml).
Internal
  • The ECC Factbook contains trends in retention (overall and remedial students), remedial student grades, degrees/certificates awarded, graduation/transfer rates, job placement, etc.
  • The Peer Comparison Study contains many of the same performance results as the ECC Factbook, but compares ECC to a select set of Missouri peer institutions. 
  • Regularly produce internal requests from the President, Deans, division chairs and other departments.
  • Due to the strong commitment and focus on developmental education, many requests for measuring student performance deal with developmental students and coursework.  ECC lacks a single comprehensive report that fully analyzes and reports the performance of these students.
  • Placement testing (see 1P3)
  • Exit assessment (see 1P12)
Course
Instructors are primarily responsible for determining a student’s level of performance.  Instructors use a variety of measures to assess a student’s skills, including written and oral exams/assignments, presentations, lab activities, active learning exercises, portfolios, internships, employer evaluation and feedback (from internships), and pre- and post-tests.  Additionally, as part of an AQIP Action Project, ECC regularly reviews and analyzes the results of online course learning vs. traditional course learning. 

1R1 & 1R2 Learning Objectives Results & Evidence to Stakeholders

Results for Common Learning Objectives, as well as program objectives, meet the required
needs of the institution and its stakeholders, as evidenced below.

As discussed in 1C2, the Common Learning Objectives (Figure 1.1) align to the five skill areas
expected of students prior to graduation. ECC courses have been selected and identified as
teaching one or more of the five skill areas. The five areas also have been incorporated into
degree completion requirements.

Figure 1.9 shows the most recent results for students who completed the coursework. Specific
results for each Common Learning Objective will be discussed in more detail in future portfolio
updates.


Figure 1.9

Skill Area
Courses Offered
Course Completers
Successful Completers
Communicating 29 1394 89%
Higher Order Thinking 55 4876 83%
Managing Information 21 1516 78%
Valuing 45 4141 87%
Global 35 2426 88%

At the program level, there are a variety of results gathered (measures identified in 1P12 and
1P13) that provide evidence to the institution and its stakeholders that our students are obtaining
the necessary skills and knowledge required of the institution.


Each year the College complies with the annual Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical
education performance accountability. Through the Missouri Department of Elementary and
Secondary Education (DESE), ECC reports performance measures to the U.S. Department of
Education (USDOE) based on state established measures. ECC must meet or show improvement
in each of the four core indicators. The indicators measure career and technical students:

  • Attainment – who score at or above the 50th percentile on a nationally normed academic assessment (1P1) and who master 80% of identified essential skills (1P2)
  • Completion – who actually complete their course of study and earn a certificate or degree (2P1)
  • Placement – who are placed in employment, military or continuing their education (3P1)
  • Participation In and Completion of Nontraditional – who are enrolled in (4P1) or completing (4P2) a program that is considered nontraditional by the USDOE
Figure 1.10 displays the 2007 results for ECC’s Perkins accountability data.  In all but one category, ECC has achieved a higher performance level than the attainment level set by the state of Missouri, and the overall achievement of all Missouri institutions that participated in Perkins Accountability.

Figure 1.10

Core Indicator
ECC
State Expected
State Overall
1P1 - Academic Attainment
88.89%
80.22%
87.55%
1P2 - Skill Attainment
99.44%
90.43%
94.32%
2P1 – Completion
100.00%
83.80%
85.64%
3P1 – Placement
88.54%
84.75%
87.81%
4P1 - Nontraditional Participation
22.95%
29.67%
32.64%
4P2 - Nontraditional Completion
42.86%
20.33%
20.96%

Additionally, the Career and Technical Graduate Follow-Up Survey provides evidence that graduates have acquired the necessary skills required to gain employment or further their education. 
  • From 1998-2006, 92% of ECC’s career and technical graduates were employed or
    continuing their education
  • Only 4% of the graduates were not employed six months after graduating
  • Results from the most recent survey indicate that 83% of our career and technical
    graduates were either employed or continuing their education in a study-related field.
    These results are higher than they have been in the last five years (Figure 1.11)
  • 2006 career and technical graduates that found employment or continued their education
    in a related field (80%) compared well to the NCCBP peer group, but were behind the
    overall average of all NCCBP participating institutions (Figure 1.12)
  • Since 1998, programs such as Respiratory Care, Radiology, Legal Secretary, Industrial
    Engineering and Nursing have over a 90% job placement rate within their field of study

Figure 1.11

ECC Career & Technical

Graduate Year

% Employed or Continuing Education – Related Field
% Employed or Continuing Education – Any Field
2007
83%
91%
2006
80%
89%
2005
81%
90%
2004
79%
94%
2003
75%
92%

Figure 1.12

2006 Graduates
% Employed or Continuing Education – Related Field
ECC
80%
NCCBP Institutions
89%
Peer Group
79%

ECC offers two options for receiving the Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN). The home campus,
and recently the Rolla campus, offers the full ADN program; the Rolla location offers a bridge
program that allows Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) to obtain their ADN. Each graduate must
pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) for entry into
the practice of Nursing. Pass rates for the NCLEX-RN prove that ECC nursing graduates have
gained the necessary skills demanded by the institution and its stakeholders.

Figure 1.13 demonstrates that ECC Nursing graduates, as well as other Missouri Community
Colleges, have maintained strong pass rates. Additionally, the ADN program that is offered at the
main campus has received a 100% pass rate for graduates in 2005 and in 2008.


Figure 1.13

 

2007
2006
2005
2004
ECC
90%
91%
90%
89%
Crowder
96%
83%
94%
-
Jefferson
84%
88%
91%
88%
Mineral Area
88%
96%
93%
90%
Moberly
91%
92%
86%
97%
North Central
75%
89%
100%
87%
St. Charles
95%
96%
94%
86%
State Fair
83%
87%
85%
79%
Three Rivers
82%
87%
78%
92%

For transfer students, the College receives valuable information regarding former students from
a few of Missouri’s public baccalaureate institutions. Little is known about students after they
leave the College; the information provided from these institutions gauges how well our students’
GPA, retention and graduation rates compare to other transfer students. Results provided from
transfer institutions include the following:
  • 57% of ECC students that entered the University of Missouri – Columbia (Mizzou) during
    fall 2000, fall 2001 or fall 2002 graduated within four years. Only 47% of other community
    college students persist to graduation within four years of entering Mizzou.
  • 69% of ECC students that transferred to Mizzou in fall 2004, fall 2005 and fall 2006, entered
    with a 3.00 or higher GPA; 54% of other Community College students transfer with a 3.00
  • Although ECC has a small number of former students who graduate at the University of Missouri – St. Louis, during FY 2005 and 2006, former ECC students had a slightly higher GPA than the native students (Figure1.14). During FY 2007, average GPAs of former ECC students fell slightly below UMSL natives and other two- year transfers.

Figure 1.14

Another indicator of success is the percent of college-ready students who complete a degree
or certificate or transfer to another institution within three years. Figure 1.15 demonstrates ECC’s
strong commitment to helping students achieve their educational objectives. Approximately
53% of ECC full-time students completed or transferred to another institution within three years
of starting their education. Of the 178 institutions participating in the 2007 NCCBP, this measure
identified ECC as one of the best performers in this area.


Figure 1.15

ECC
NCCBP Median
Peer Group Median
% Completed or Transferred-Full-Time
53%
38%
50%
% Completed or Transferred-Part-Time
21%
16%
18%

1R3 Results for Helping Students Learn

Each fall over half of the first-time students at ECC enroll in a developmental course. While
overall enrollment has seen small increases, enrollment in all developmental education courses
has increased 41% since 2001. Developmental reading has seen over a 150% enrollment increase
since 2001. Math has increased 39% and English 9%.

Because of the great need in developmental education, ECC offers a variety of services,
courses and technology to aid in student learning.

The Learning Center offers free educational assistance for all students. Each year over 1,500
students visit one of the Learning Center’s services. These students log over 15,000 visits and spend
over 13,000 hours with a tutor, taking a test, using the computer lab or working with the adaptive
technology services. Math and English were the most utilized subject areas for the last two years.
Through these services, ECC hopes to retain these students so they can advance and successfully
complete college-level coursework. Results from the 2007 NCCBP gauge how well ECC is retaining
and successfully moving developmental students through their coursework. ECC students who
move from Intro to Writing to English Comp I compare well to similar institutions. ECC students who
move from developmental math to college-level math and successfully complete the course are
struggling compared to their peers (Figure 1.16).

Figure 1.16

Developmental Math to College Math
ECC
NCCBP Median
Peer Group Median
Retention
83%
84%
91%
Completer Success
55%
79%
78%
Developmental Writing to English Comp I
ECC
NCCBP Median
Peer Group Median
Retention
90%
88%
90%
Completer Success
78%
82%
77%

In the early 1990’s, ECC implemented a Foundation Seminar (previously Student Success) to
help transition new students to the College environment. The course has gone from a basic
student orientation to a fully comprehensive course that introduces students to the College’s
support services, curricular activities, and other services designed to help students succeed. As
the course has evolved, the College has noted an increase in student retention from 1995 at 44%
to 2007 at 53%.

Results from the most recent ECC Student Satisfaction survey provide further evidence that
students are satisfied with instruction and processes that aid in student learning.

Figure 1.17 shows the percentages.

Figure 1.17

Extremely Satisfied or Satisfied With
%
The overall quality of their ECC education
89%
The overall quality of their ECC experience
89%
Quality of instruction in most classes
84%
Faculty and staff concern with academic progress and performance
73%
The Learning Center
83%
Library
83%
Testing Center
83%

1R4 Comparing Results

Comparable results are included in section 1R1, 1R2 and 1R3.

1I1 and 1I2 Improving Current Processes & Systems and Targetting Improvements

To improve its processes and systems for helping students learn, East Central College closely
monitors the measures listed above in 1P13, mainly placement scores, enrollment trends, transfer
success, course completion and retention rates, CAAP test results, and employer satisfaction.
However, during the last several years, Title III initiatives and AQIP Action Projects have emerged as
primary tools for targeting and improving student success and helping students learn. In October
2004 the United States Department of Education awarded East Central College a Title III grant
under the Strengthening Institutions Programs Category. East Central College has received $1.7
million dollars over five years (this year is the final year of the grant). The objectives of the grant
were threefold:

  1. Strengthening instructional programs to improve student success rates in the classroom,
    increase student retention, and increase graduation rates.
  2. Improve student support services in the areas of student orientation, advising, and early
    intervention strategies to increase student retention.
  3. Faculty development to support the integration of technology into instruction to improve
    student learning.
For example, the College has improved its Student Success course, now called Foundation
Seminar. See Category 3, (3R2) for details on of how this course was targeted for improvement,
how data was gathered and change was implemented. The AIM Early Alert System is another
example of a recent effort to improve student retention and success. Leadership of both processes
fell to the Title III Retention Specialist and Title III Activities Director. One of the positions, Instructional
Designer, within the grant has become institutionalized to support the increased use of technology
among the faculty.

Furthermore, before admission to AQIP, the primary work groups designated for improving
processes at ECC were the traditional standing committees, the occasional ad-hoc committees
and various task forces. While these groups are still used, the AQIP Action Project is emerging as a
more effective tool to improve processes and systems.
See Figure 1.18 for information regarding current and retired Action Projects. 1.


Figure 1.18

Action Project
Goals and Objectives
Status
Action Project 1: A First Semester Schedule for Developmental Students ECC faculty and staff will design, develop and implement a First Semester Schedule for Developmental Students, taking into consideration the distinct needs this group of students brings to the College. Retired, Implemented, Discussed in 1P5
Action Project 2: Development of a Process for Distance Education Program Review In response to the success of the ECC distance education offerings, the college will develop a process for a review of distance learning coursework, including an objective review of the learning goals and how they are being met.

Retired,

Implemented, Discussed in 1C3

Action Project 3: Early Intervention Program Development In an effort to address retention, ECC will develop a set of strategies to target, identify and react to students at risk in a timely fashion; further, these strategies will include the development of interventions intended to mitigate the at risk factors.

Retired, Implemented,

Discussed in 1P5

Action Project 4: A Comprehensive New Staff and Faculty Development Program Our goal is to create a comprehensive program to orient and develop new employees. The program will be respectful of the different positions and will identify common development and orientation goals and develop more objectives based on classification.

Retired,

Implemented, Discussed in 4C4 and

Action Project 5: Redesigning Student Advising Our goal is to design a system of student advisement that is comprehensive, efficient and effective, and to house it in a centralized location or “one-stop shop.” Current, Discussed in 1P5
Action Project 6: Coordinating Satellite Campus Development at East Central College Our goal is to establish guidelines for a systematic process for identifying, developing, maintaining, and assessing satellite campus services at East Central College. Current, Discussed in 1C3
Action Project 7: Renewing the Campus Image Our goal is to redefine the ECC “brand” to the community. As part of this activity, the College will reestablish its identity, clarify its mission and purpose, and strategically review its marketing practices. Current, Discussed in 9I1

 
   
   
     
East Central College Home | Quality Improvement Portal Home
 
 
©2008 East Central College |1964 Prairie Dell Rd., Union, MO 63084 | Phone: (636) 583-5193