Category 4 – Valuing People


4C1 Organizing the Institution: Focus on Student Learning and Development

A locally elected, six-member Board of Trustees governs East Central College. The Board employs a Chief Executive Officer (President), who oversees the direct administration and day-to-day operations of the College. Deans, who report directly to the President, head the four functional divisions of the College: Executive Dean of Instruction, Executive Dean of Finance and Administration, Dean of Student Development and Dean of Career, Technical and Outreach Education. (See attached Organizational Chart.)

Student Learning and Development

The College focuses its workforce on student learning by employing staff to support learning efforts in the following areas:

• The Learning Center: Led by a staff coordinator, the Learning Center employs full-time instructional support staff as well as student peer tutors.
• The Library: Led by a full-time director, the Library employs both full-time and part-time staff as well as student workers.
• Advisement/Counseling: Organized within Student Development and led by a full-time staff member, the Counseling and Advising staff support meet regularly with students and provide both academic advising and counseling.
• Financial Aid: Also within Student Development, the Financial Aid staff provides scholarship, financial aid and loan information to students.
• Registration/Admissions: Part of the Student Development division, these full-time and part-time staff provide admissions and registration assistance to students.
• Instructional Support: Each academic unit is headed by a faculty division chair and supported by appropriate staff. These division chairs are available to students and faculty to support learning efforts.
• Title III E
fforts: With a full-time Activities Director and various staff, the Title III grant supports retention efforts campus wide. The grant also provides opportunity for faculty to develop technology-based skills to enhance and support student learning.
• Foundation Seminar Course: Required for incoming freshmen, the course assists students in their transition to College and provides a wide spectrum of skill-based assistance.
• Pre-semester Week: Each semester, the College provides a full week of development opportunities for faculty and staff to strengthen and build skills in supporting the students.

4C2 Work Environment and Job Classification

ECC is located in a semi-rural region of Missouri, approximately 50 miles west of St. Louis. The area surrounding the College has recently experienced a boom in commercial development. The College is one of the largest employers in the area and considered a desirable place to work. The proximity to St. Louis, with its many colleges and universities, is an advantage in providing a pool of potential faculty and a disadvantage in competition for these same faculty.

Adjunct faculty comprise approximately 70% of total faculty (by head count) and teach around 40% of credit hours each semester. In addition to adjunct faculty, part-time support staff work instructional and student services areas of the College. Student workers also add to the workforce at ECC, and recent pay increases have allowed us to be more competitive in attracting reliable student workers.

The College administration has redesigned the employee classification structure with the help of an outside consultant. The study included a review of professional staff and classified staff positions, development of a new classification system for these positions, and a market study that compared salary and benefits to similar positions in the region, including the St. Louis area. The results of the study have been incorporated in the FY2009 budget and staffing plan (results addressed in 4R1 and 4R2).

4C3 Demographic Trends

A study of trends in high school graduation rates across the country shows that in Missouri the number of high school graduates will decline between 2008 and 2010. Recent high school graduates (ages 18 – 21) account for nearly half (46% in fall 2008) of our student enrollment; this trend could affect future enrollment at ECC and will need to be a consideration in future planning. The College looks at community employment trends and hires faculty in areas where enrollment is anticipated to increase. Trends in remediation needs of incoming students are also assessed and drive hiring decisions for faculty on both the main campus and satellite locations.

The Franklin County Economic Development Group conducted a recent survey entitled “Workforce Strategies for Community and Employer Competitivenes.” This survey of businesses and industries located throughout Franklin County will provide useful information to the College as we plan programming and support services for the next ten years.

Over the past five years, years of service at the College among full-time employees has changed drastically; two retirement incentives have created vacancies and the College has increased full-time faculty and staff by 22%. In 2002-2003, fewer than 2% of full-time faculty had fewer than two years of service at the College; compared to 19% in 2007-2008. The charts below demonstrate the change in years of service in full-time faculty.



4C4 Work Environment and Job Classification

In response to the trend in retirements and new positions, new employee training and orientation became AQIP Action Project #4: A Comprehensive New Staff and Faculty Development Program. A New Employee Development Manual, a module-based training system, was compiled and presented to the College President and the Director of Human Resources as a proposed training tool for new employees. The Director of Human Resources completed the manual and all new faculty and staff received a copy in fall 2008.

Training efforts are ongoing at the College. Annual funding is provided for faculty and staff to participate in a wide variety of training and professional development activities, such as conferences and seminars. Channels are also available for faculty and staff to make recommendations for other training and development opportunities. Additionally, all employees can complete their undergraduate or graduate degree using the tuition reimbursement program, which is reimbursed at 100% of the graduate rate of the University of Missouri St. Louis.

Figure 4C4 lists current training initiatives and those planned in the near future.

Employee Group
Training, Development and Continuing Education
All Employees
  • Continuous quality improvement training
  • Technology training
  • Miscellaneous in-service trainings (Fall and Spring semesters)
  • Sexual harassment training
  • Customer service training
Faculty, full time
  • Assessment of student learning
  • New Faculty Orientation
  • Workshops, meetings in the academic discipline
  • AIM Initiatives
  • Moodle (Learning Management System) training Fridays
  • Planning in the academic discipline
  • Instructional Technology training
  • Use of Faculty Evaluation Portfolio and website
  • Teaching and learning efforts
  • ADA/Access services training
  • Degree advancement education
  • Personal interest
Faculty, adjunct
  • Adjunct Orientation
  • Instructional Technology training
  • Moodle training
  • eCentral functionality training
  • Teaching and learning efforts
  • ADA/Access services training
Administrators
  • Accreditation meetings and workshops
  • Meetings related to state or local initiatives
  • Supervisor training
Professional Staff
  • Use of Datatel/Colleague products and tools
  • ADA/Access services training
  • Supervisor training
Support Staff
  • Relevant technology training
  • ADA/Access services training
  • Student Worker Supervisor Training
  • OSHA Safety training
Targeted Faculty and Staff
  • Training and/or meetings related to specific initiatives (i.e. global education)
Specific Committees
  • Training and development related to committee’s charge (i.e. AQIP)

In response to the trend in retirements and new positions, new employee training and orientation became AQIP Action Project #4: A Comprehensive New Staff and Faculty Development Program. A New Employee Development Manual, a module-based training system, was compiled and presented to the College President and the Director of Human Resources as a proposed training tool for new employees. The Director of Human Resources completed the manual and all new faculty and staff received a copy in fall 2008.

Training efforts are ongoing at the College. Annual funding is provided for faculty and staff to participate in a wide variety of training and professional development activities, such as conferences and seminars. Channels are also available for faculty and staff to make recommendations for other training and development opportunities. Additionally, all employees can complete their undergraduate or graduate degree using the tuition reimbursement program, which is reimbursed at 100% of the graduate rate of the University of Missouri St. Louis.


4P1 Employee Classification and Hiring

All positions at ECC have a detailed and approved job description. Each job description is reviewed annually as part of the evaluation process. The evaluation process is detailed in 4P6. Job descriptions detail the credentials, skills and work conditions for each position. The hiring process is detailed in 4P2.

Once hired, employees participate in New Employee Orientation. Orientation activities are both global (human resources, technology) and specific (teaching strategies, business office procedures) as identified by the supervisor.

For new faculty, the New Faculty Seminar provides a year-long series of meetings and activities intended to orient new faculty to the students, culture and College.

All new employees are evaluated throughout their first year. As part of that evaluation, development plans and goals are created to assist these new employees in their acclimation to the College. New faculty are probationary for their first five years of employment.

4P2 Employee Hiring, Retention and Orientation

Upon receipt of an approved Personnel Requisition form, Human Resources prepare a position announcement. Position announcements must agree with the job description on file in the Office of Human Resources. If not in agreement, revisions of the job description are made before the search commences. All new positions require a written job description to be finalized by the Office of Human Resources and approved by the College President.

The Office of Human Resources places advertisements for all positions. Job openings are posted for a minimum of ten calendar days. Employment opportunities are posted on the Human Resources page of the College website, and a notice of new or vacant positions is made at the earliest possible opportunity to provide sufficient time to secure qualified applicants.

Full-time faculty, administrative and professional positions are selected via search committee. For full-time support staff positions, the Divsion Chair serves as the hiring supervisor and may select a search committee if desired.

The Director of Human Resources requires submission of a list of interview questions before interviews take place to ensure no inappropriate questions will be asked.

After the search committee and hiring supervisor have interviewed all candidates, a recommendation is made to the Director of Human Resources/EEO/AA Coordinator. Upon satisfactory completion of the background verification, the Director forwards the recommendation to the College President. The offer of employment is contingent upon the President’s and Board’s approval.

In an effort to attract and retain well-qualified faculty and staff, generous salary increases have been awarded to all full-time faculty and staff. Part-time staff and adjunct faculty have also received pay increases (salary increases are detailed in 4R1). Additionally, all salary caps were removed, and salary guidelines were revised to boost initial hire rates for faculty, professional and support staff. Tuition reimbursement was also increased as an incentive for professional and support staff to pursue additional degrees that are relevant to their assignments and in support of College goals.

In order to be assigned to a primary discipline or career field, both full-time and adjunct faculty must meet one of the following minimum qualifications:

  • a master’s degree with a major in the subject field or a master’s degree with 18 graduate credit hours in the subject field.
  • Thirty semester hours of graduate work in the subject field.
  • Directly related work experience in the career field and/or eligibility for vocational education certification requirements.

Administrators are classified as the President and four Deans. Professional staff includes exempt personnel at the director level and below. Support staff includes non-exempt, at-will personnel who are necessary to the day-to-day functions of the College. The Human Resources Department is responsible for maintaining job descriptions for all positions. The Director of Human Resources, in conjunction with department supervisors and the President of the College, is responsible for creating, reviewing and updating these descriptions to ensure that they accurately describe the duties of the position. Employment applicants not meeting the minimum requirements for a position will not be considered.

4P3 Communication, High Performance and Ethics

Work processes and activities that contribute to communication, cooperation, high performance, innovation, empowerment, organizational learning and skill sharing occur daily and in a variety of ways, including:

• ECC Announce (internal email of daily events)
• Campus website
• College publications and materials
• The student newspaper
• Public Board meetings and agendas
• Employee association meetings (faculty, professional and support staff)
• Listservs for employee associations
• College committees
• Departmental and staff meetings
• Advisory councils
• In-service activities
• Professional development opportunities
• AQIP Action Projects
• Community activities
• Satisfaction rates

East Central College expects ethical behaviors from all of its employees. The College complies with all applicable local, state and federal regulations and implements fair and equal policies for all of its constituents. Board policies related to ethical practices include:

Policy Description Board Policy Reference
Legal Authority Policy 1.1
Accounting System Policy 4.1
Equal Employment Opportunities and Affirmative Action 5.2
Sexual Harassment Policy 5.5
Student Protection Against Discrimination 3.25
Student Information Policy (FERPA) 3.20
Student Right-to-Know and Campus Security Act Policy 3.21

4P4 Training and Development

The College conducts training and provides development opportunities in a variety of ways:

• Pre-semester activities: At the beginning of each semester, a full schedule of development opportunities is scheduled. Faculty and staff participate in a variety of specific training and workshop opportunities.
• Development funding: Each faculty and staff member has access to development funding for targeted meetings, workshops or seminars.
• Degree advancement: Faculty and staff are encouraged to advance their education with financial assistance from the College (4C4). Additionally, full-time professional and support staff who obtain a degree that exceeds the established degree requirements for the position in which they are employed will receive a salary increase. Salary increases range from $300 for an associate’s degree to $1,500 for a doctoral degree.
• Technology training: A product of an AQIP Action Project, the technology survey helps identify technology training needs for faculty and staff.
• New Faculty Seminar: All new faculty participate in a full year New Faculty Seminar program to assist in their work with students.
• Adjunct Faculty Orientation: Conducted at the beginning of each semester, orientation provides adjunct faculty with all the information needed in their work at ECC.
• Sabbatical Leave: Full-time faculty and staff have the opportunity to request a leave of absence to further enhance their position through advanced study, research, writing and/or a similar purpose that is related to their field of study or discipline.
• Wellness opportunities: faculty and staff provided a wealth of information and opportunities regarding health and well-being (details in 4P9).

All faculty and staff develop training goals as part of their annual evaluations. Division Chairs also can make recommendations for larger scale training and workshops, as needed. New technologies are introduced via training opportunities.

4P5 Training and Student Learning

Short-term and long-term training needs are continually being identified and inherently become part of the planning (budget, staffing, and strategic) process (Category 8). Below are some of the ways training needs are determined:

• AQIP Action Projects: Surveys developed in several of the Action Projects identify specific training needs.
• Performance reviews: As part of employee evaluation, patterns of needed training often emerge and result in training opportunities.
• Assessment data: The needs of certain student populations, as identified by assessment tools, result in targeted training for faculty.
• Committee work: As committees make certain recommendations, training recommendations result (i.e. emergency planning).
• Accrediting bodies: Ongoing work on assessment of student learning has created development opportunities for faculty and staff. In addition, the College has recently included an AQIP and strategic planning activity during each pre-semester week.

Once indentified, training needs such as those listed above, provide faculty and staff the necessary skills to improve the College’s focus on helping students learn and accomplishing other distinct objectives.

4P6 Employee Evaluation

Faculty
• Students conduct an online evaluation of faculty; this anonymous system allows students to evaluate both faculty and the class/curriculum. Results are cumulative, comparative and available to the faculty at the end of the grade submission period.
• Observations of faculty teaching are conducted each semester; faculty are observed by the Division Chair and the Executive Dean of Instruction. Full-time faculty reappointments are based upon satisfactory evaluation and recommendation of the Executive Dean of Instruction and agreement of the President and Board.
• Faculty maintain a portfolio used to record their other faculty activities such as committee work, student advisement, community service, assessment activities, etc.

Staff

• All non-faculty employees are evaluated using the College’s personnel evaluation system. Performance evaluations are conducted annually. Typically evaluations are conducted in a meeting between the employee and the supervisor. Evaluation forms become part of the employee personnel file.

The President

• The Board of Trustees evaluates the President of the College annually, pursuant to Board Policy.

4P7 Employee Recognition

All employees are recognized for years of service to the College; recognition includes a gift and dinner, depending on length of service.

After determining the need to improve employee classification and compensation (Category 2, Accomplishing Distinct Objectives, 2P3), the College recently engaged in a study of all staff positions. The results of the study align the College compensation plan with comparable work in the region.

All full-time employees have access to a full package of benefits, including health insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, retirement and education opportunities.

Faculty may be recognized by their peers at the College by selection to receive the Governor's Award for Teaching and the Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award, sponsored by St. Louis-based Emerson, Inc. Additionally, the College maintains a faculty rank system. Although not directly tied to compensation, faculty on annual or continuous contracts may be recommended for rank promotions by the President and Executive Dean of Instruction if they meet all of the following:

• Eligible years of service
• Display a pattern of commitment to the College
• Above average evaluations by students, peers and the Executive Dean of Instruction
• Participate in development activities related to growth in their profession
• Are involved in community, state or national activities

The recognition of faculty and opportunities for rank promotion align with the objectives in Category 1, Helping Students Learn, as these processes revolve around excellence in teaching and commitment to students.

4P8 Employee Motivation

Faculty and staff are motivated in the following ways:

• Hiring practices that ensure a good fit of employee to position
• Training and development as needed
• Fair compensation and work load

These issues are analyzed informally and addressed as needed. The recently completed and implemented classification and compensation study was conducted because of such an assessment.

4P9 Employee Satisfaction

While no formal process is in place to measure employee satisfaction, the College takes action regarding employee health in the following ways:

• Free annual health screenings
• Employee health fair, introduced this year and now an annual event
• Employee fitness classes are available free of charge
• Fitness Center, also is available for faculty and staff use
• Fitness walking trail, located on campus
• Weekly health and wellness e-mail from HR

Employee safety and well-being also are addressed through the implementation of College policies and processes as follows:

• Smoke-Free Buildings Policy
• Safety Policy
• Employee Conduct and Discipline Policy
• Drugs and Alcohol Policy
• Communicable Disease Policy
• Prohibition of Concealed Weapons
• Employee Grievance Policy
• Ethical standards for employees (policies are detailed in 4P3)
• Annual tornado and fire drills and fire inspections

The campus also employs a security firm to monitor and assist faculty, staff and students on campus. For at least the last three years, the College has had no reportable offenses or crimes, as defined by the Clery Act, which have occurred on any of its campuses (http://www.eastcentral.edu/ir/reports.html).

4P10 Valuing People

While the College has no unions, each employee group (faculty, professional staff, and support staff) has its own organized body that communicates concerns and requests to the President and District Board of Trustess on a monthly basis.

Additionally, the College regularly collects and analyzes the following measures of valuing people:

• Performance evaluations
• Funds allocated for professional development activities
• Number of staff utilizing tuition waivers or tuition reimbursement
• Benefits and compensation data
• Shared sick leave donations, hours accumulated and hours used
• Health fair attendance
• Health/well-being evaluation incentives
• Information technology needs
• Faculty evaluations conducted by students
• Faculty teaching observations conducted by division chairs and administrators
• Faculty portfolios
• Faculty compensation, as compared to other institutions
• New employee survey

4R1 Valuing People Results

Evidence that the College values its employees includes its commitment to provide compensation that is equal to or better than that found in the wider public and private sector. Over the past three years, across the board salaries have increased 17%. Over the last four years, salary increases have outpaced inflation (table 4R1-A). In FY09, nearly $210, 000 in market adjustments was applied to almost one-half of the full-time staff, in addition to a 6% salary increase. To remain competitive, the College has also increased adjunct faculty 9% in the last four years (table 4R1-B).

Figure 4.4 Salary Increases

Fiscal Year % Salary Increase % Change in July CPI-U
2006 6% 4.2%
2007 6%(support staff), 5%(all others) 2.4%
2008 6% 5.6%
2009 6% Not Available


Figure 4.5

Fall Term Adjunct Pay (per credit hour)
2006 $550
2007 $560
2008 $575
2009 $600

Presently, the College has not implemented a survey to measure all faculty and staff satisfaction. It has been included in discussion for future plans and is being incorporated in the revised strategic plan. Due to the large increase in new employees and changes in employee development (AQIP Action Project #4), the College has created a new employee survey. The survey is designed to assist the College in providing effective employee transitions and to improve or offer new training opportunities. Survey participants were asked questions related to the hiring process, potential topics and training areas, employee development and employee support services. Results show that the majority of new employees found the hiring process effective, and most new employees were interested in ongoing workshops on select topics, college support of ongoing education/degree attainment, and developing an individual performance plan. Table 4R1-C displays the results regarding the effectiveness of the new employee hiring process.

Figure 4.6

Survey Item
Most Effective......Least Effective
User-friendly nature of the process and relevant forms 69% 31% 0% 0%
Communications with College Human Resources or other staff 77% 19% 4% 0%
Overall process for gaining employment at the College 62% 38% 0% 0%

The College has recently made a strong commitment to focusing on employee health and well-being. The College has brought a mobile mammogram to campus and also started the ECC Employee Health Fair in 2008. The Health Fair included: a health screening for all interested employees, 28 exhibitors and 12 workshops with topics such as: smoking cessation, stress and nutrition. Surveys were administered to participants (ECC employees) and exhibitors. Feedback from all constituents was very positive:

Participant feedback
• 92% stated that the Employee Health Fair was “Excellent” or “Good”
• 80% plan to make a lifestyle change as a result of the health fair
• 75% rated the quality of the exhibitors as “Excellent” or “Good”
• 100% were satisfied with the workshops they attended
• 96% stated the workshop presenters had an “Excellent” knowledge of their subject matter

Exhibitor feedback

• 100% of exhibitors were satisfied with the health fair
• 100% of exhibitors stated they would participate in another ECC Health Fair

The College’s commitment to providing these services has made a significant impact on ECC employees. To date, at least three employees have discovered major life-threatening illnesses because of screening and services provided by the College. Employees, and now students, have also started a weight loss program, called the “ECC Biggest Loser”. Employees pay a small fee to enter the contest and are provided monetary awards or gifts for losing the most weight. To date, over 350 pounds have been lost by ECC faculty and staff.

4R2 Results for Processes Associated with Valuing People

One process which resulted in evidence of valuing people was the recently completed classification and market study (4C2). With the direction of the consulting firm, the College increased the number of salary grades from 6 to 9 in the support and professional staff. Administrators are defined in a separate category. The new system allows the College to better differentiate and classify positions. In addition, to remain a competitive employer, ECC increased the salaries of many full-time staff members through market salary adjustments (4R1).

In 2007, as a result of an employees need, the College created the Shared Sick Leave Policy (Board Policy 5.35), “the College will maintain a shared sick leave program for employees who become disabled due to serious illness or injury and who have exhausted all of their paid leave.” Once an employee has accumulated a minimum of 240 sick leave hours, they are allowed to donate up to five days to the sick leave bank each fiscal year. Employees may request a maximum of 60 days from the sick leave bank. Since 2007, 3,271 hours have been donated to the shared sick leave bank and several employees have been able to draw from the leave bank.

Other results related to processes associated to valuing people include:

• Employee Grievances - the College has had no employee grievances filed for the past five years.
• New Employee Development Program (4C4) – new employee manual produced; new training opportunities introduced; new employee survey created.
• Retirement Incentives (4C3) – in the last three years the College has offered two valuable incentives to employees eligible for retirement. Through two incentive options, 21 full-time employees have retired from the institution.
• Employee Recognition (4P7) – recently the College reinstated years of service awards for College employees.
• Employee Evaluation System (4P6) – each employee at the College receives valuable feedback from a supervisor regarding past performance and future goals and objectives.
• Grant activities – College personnel have actively sought out and obtained grant money to provide resources to train in and develop technology, improve retention and globalize the College’s curriculum.

4R3 Evidence of Productivity and Effectiveness

In fiscal year 2009, the College increased professional development funds to $750 per full-time faculty member, with the opportunity to accrue up to $1500. This change resulted in a 50% increase over the previous fiscal years faculty development allocated amount. For the past few years, the Faculty Association has hosted a Professional Development Day in which faculty and staff members are able to share best practice information, the latest technology and a variety of other topics with the entire College.

Other evidence indicative of productivity and effectiveness of faculty and staff includes:

• Technology enhancements – the College has invested significant amounts of money in providing improvements in technology. One example was the purchase of the document imaging software ImageNow. By electronically capturing the vast amount of paperwork and documents maintained for students and staff, the College has reduced staff time and efforts for collecting, managing and retrieving these documents.
• Tuition reimbursement – the College increased employee tuition reimbursement (4C4). To date, close to 20% of full-time employees have utilized tuition reimbursement provided by the College to their qualifications.
• Retention rates – the College monitors student retention rates, which can be an indicator of productivity of faculty, staff and support services. Over at least the last five years, the College has maintained over a 70% fall to spring retention rate.

4R4 Comparing Results

Over the last three fiscal years, East Central College has provided salary increases equal to or greater than any other college or university in Missouri. Table 4R4-A displays the average equated nine-month faculty salary for ECC full-time faculty. For at least the last four years, ECC full-time faculty has had the third highest average salary compared to Missouri peer institutions. Since 2004, ECC faculty salaries have increase by 9%. The peer group average salary has increased 7%. Due to ECC’s commitment to provide improved compensation (4R1), the salary gap between ECC and the top paying institution (Jefferson College) has decreased over 30% in the last three years.

Figure 4R4-A – Average Equated Nine-Month Faculty Salaries (IPEDS)


Table 4R4-A


East Central College has also joined the National Community College Benchmark Project (NCCBP). Results show that ECC spends significantly more for faculty and staff development than the NCCBP and peer group median. Figure 4R4-B displays the NCCBP performance indicators related to valuing people.

Performance Indicator
ECC Reported Value
NCCBP Median
Peer Group Median
FY2006 Expenditures per FTE Employee $511 $260 $218
AY2006 Retirement Rate .6% 1.8% 2%
AY2006 Departure Rate 8.3% 6% 7%
AY2006 Grievance Rate 0% .07% 0%
AY2006 Harassment Rate 0% 0% 0%

4I1 Improving Process Related to Valuing People

Current processes for valuing people are limited in nature; procsses are developed on an “as needed” basis. Information collected in faculty, professional and classified staff association meetings, and from division chairs provides valuable feedback as processes are created and improved.
No system currently exists for measuring employee satisfaction, and until the recent New Employee Survey, little has been known about the effectiveness of employee resources on campus. Portfolio development has identified this area as one in need of improvement.

4I2 Setting Targets for Improvement

Although the valuing of people can be measured in many different ways, the institution has placed a priority on tangible salary and benefit increases. The administration’s and Board’s goal is to continue to provide salary increases that exceed inflation.


 
   
   
     
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