Category 6 –Supporting Institutional Operations

East Central College’s vision and mission statement speak to the institution’s commitment to
community and lifelong learning. ECC’s institutional operations support learning for all, whether
they are prospective students, currently enrolled students or community members seeking
enrichment opportunities.

6C1 Key Student and Administrative Support Processes

East Central College’s primary purpose is student learning. From the time a potential student
learns of ECC, becomes enrolled, attends, graduates and beyond, ECC provides services that
enable and encourage the learning experience. Figure 6.1 lists key student and administrative
support services, user needs, and the measures associated with the areas. Key processes and
their associated potential for improvement are found in 6I2.

Figure 6.1

Key Student Service Processes
User Need
Student Access to College

  • Adult Education Literacy (AEL) program access and information
  • Recruitment information
  • Campus tours and visits
  • Customized Training opportunities
  • K-12 preparation/Tech Prep articulations
  • Workforce preparation programs
  • Dislocated worker programs
  • AEL completers
  • AEL matriculation to ECC
  • High school visits
  • College Night attendance
  • Job fair representation
  • Customized training enrollment
  • Tech Prep enrollment
Student Admission and Enrollment
  • College/enrollment information
  • Access to admissions/ financial aid staff
  • Convenient admissions opportunities
  • Assessment and placement testing
  • Accessible schedule
  • Campus Orientation
  • Advising and career counseling
  • Number of new students
  • Number of students participating in FA
  • Number of scholarships awarded
  • Number of new students participating in Campus Orientation
  • Schedule capacity
  • Campus Orientation survey
  • Reliable placement and testing results
  • Advisor visits
Student Retention/ Graduation
  • Access to faculty
  • Academic Improvement Management (AIM) services
  • Counseling services
  • Developmental education programs
  • Foundation Seminars
  • Student activities
  • Faculty office hours
  • AIM interventions
  • Counselor visits
  • Developmental course success rates
  • Foundation Seminar survey
  • Number of student activities and participants
Academic Support Services
  • Academic Support Services
  • Learning Center access
  • Library Services
  • Tutoring programs
  • Computer access
  • External access to tutoring
  • Instructional Technology support
  • Number of visits to library and Learning Center
  • Tutoring sessions
  • Learning Center Web site visits
Student Activities and Engagement
  • Student activities
  • Student newspaper
  • Athletics
  • Participation in student activities
  • Intercollegiate sports offered
  • Athletic scholarships awarded
Community Education and Engagement
  • Continuing education programs
  • Customized training programs
  • Fine and performing arts programs
  • Cultural activities
  • Career Services and counseling
  • Number and variety of Community Education offerings
  • Community participation at events
  • Number and variety of events held
Key Adminstrative Processes


User Need
Financial Operations/ Budget Development
  • Support for academic and student programs
  • Budget planning and analysis
  • Payroll
  • Contract management
  • Audit reports
  • Annual budget cycle
  • Fiscal Stability
  • Budget reserves
Information Technology Functions
  • Access to and reliability of info
  • Network stability and security
  • Currency of IT services and support (e.g. HelpDesk)
  • Internet and Intranet
  • Satisfaction with access and reliability of info
  • Network down time
  • Upgrades to IT systems and servers
  • Response and resolution to user issues
  • Purchase and replacement budget
Facilities Usage and Support
  • Clean, accessible campus environment
  • Facilities master plan
  • New construction and remodeling
  • Building and grounds maintenance
  • Satisfaction with campus, buildings and learning spaces
  • Master plan projects implemented/completed
Institutional Research, Assessment & Planning (IRAP)
  • Reliable, transparent and accessible information
  • Strategic planning
  • Student assessment results
  • Satisfaction with timeliness, relevance and user-friendliness of data
  • Strategic Plan measures and targets progress
  • Student assessment performance
Fundraising Effects of the ECC Foundation
  • Access to scholarships
  • Alumni relations and support
  • Endowment support
  • Annual giving, new scholarships and scholarships awarded
  • Number of alumni and alumni financial support
Official Communications from the Public Relations Office
  • Timely and accurate public information
  • Advertising materials/proposals
  • News and press releases/media inquiries
  • Amount of information being produced about ECC
    • Print materials
    • News/press releases
    • Advertisements
Human Resource Management
  • Employee support
  • Employment information
  • EEOC compliance information
  • Employee benefits
  • Employee health and wellness
  • Employee satisfaction
  • Employee retention, rewards and recognition
  • Benefit improvements and costs
  • Health and wellness events, participation and satisfaction
College Administration
  • Community relations
  • Fiscal management
  • Relations with other institutions
  • Community support and feedback
  • Fiscal stability

6C2 Reinforcing Student Learning and Other Objectives

The purpose of all key student service and administrative processes is to reinforce, support and
sustain the student learning processes and objectives described in Category 1, Helping Students
Learn, and Category 2, Accomplishing Other Distinctive Objectives.

Some examples of Key Student Support Processes Reinforcing Student Learning and Other
Distinctive Objectives are:

  • 2006 implementation of online student registration and other student enrollment services
  • Success of ECC’s AEL (GED) program
  • Reorganized admissions office (2008) to best identify and recruit potential students
  • Growth in Web-based instructional offerings
  • Growth in statellite campus offerings and sites
  • Revitalized Foundation Seminar course (Fall 2008)
  • Hiring of Student Activities Director and subsequent increased activity opportunity for
    students (2006)
  • Reorganized career center to promote key relationships with community business and
    industry and support displaced workers
  • The Library’s purchase and management of online databases to provide students long
    distance access to library resource materials
  • Customized training partnerships with business and industry
  • Creation of an Adaptive Technology Lab (2004) to support learning for students in need
    of assistance
  • Use of community-based Advisory Committees to support and maintain the effectiveness
    of Career-Technical and other programs of instruction

Examples of Key Administrative Processes Reinforcing Student Learning and Other Distinctive

  • 2005 Master Planning: Identified key facility need of new space for science and Allied
    Health students to learn.
  • Instructional Technology department growth to support faculty and students in online
    and other distance learning opportunities
  • “Legacy of Hope” scholarship campaign and net increase in the ECC Foundation
  • Grant from the Dierberg Foundation to offer a program of art and music in a local
  • Fiscal management which has resulted in an increased hiring of full-time faculty
  • Informative and functional college website
  • College funding initiative approved by voters in 2006 to support the construction of the
    new Allied Health and Science facility
  • Flat organization chart which promotes administrator interactions with faculty, staff and
    students and shortens the decision making cycle
  • HelpDesk creation within the Information Technology Department to support student and
    staff computer operations
  • Installation and maintenance of classroom instructional technology in 100% of the main
    campus classroom spaces
6P1 Identifying Student Process Needs

East Central College uses a variety of formal and informal methods to identify student support
service needs.

Beginning at enrollment in the College, staff administer a survey to all students participating
in Campus Orientation. The survey asks students to assess the orientation experience and its
usefulness to their beginning college experience. The information gleaned from the survey has
resulted in ongoing improvements and modifications to the Orientation experience. Beginning
in Summer 2008, for example, the orientation included required sessions for all students in the use
of and access to the campus online services, including Web-based learning, and student e-mail system.

All new students participate in a Foundation Seminar course; recently, college staff conducted
a survey of students who had completed the course. The survey results were incorporated in a
major course redesign (3R2).

At graduation students complete an extensive student satisfaction survey that is administered
by Institutional Research, Assessment and Planning titled The East Central Student Satisfaction
Survey. It includes 43 items that are designed to provide student feedback regarding the students’
satisfaction with the quality of their education, coursework, student experience and services at
ECC. The survey also asks students to provide advice they would give faculty and staff on improving
the College’s educational programs, services and facilities. The survey was locally developed
and based on input from staff in the Learning Center and Student Services.

In addition, students complete an online course and faculty evaluation of each course, each
semester. Information from these evaluations is part of the division level review of courses.

Staff conducted an assessment of student academic advising recently; the results of the survey
helped to guide the development of the objectives of an Action Project related to improving
overall academic advising.

Student/staff interactions often identify student services needs. ECC employees are encouraged
to listen to students and bring concerns or issues to the attention of pertinent departments. Often
the person sitting at the Registration or Business Office window is the one to note a student services
need that is not being met. This person, too, often discovers ways to streamline or consolidate the
services offered to the student. Visits by staff to other campuses, workshops or training sessions,
and annual conferences also stimulate ideas about new or improved services.

Division and departmental meetings, college-wide planning sessions (held at the beginning of
each semester) and informal conversation between faculty and staff also identify student support

Committees are another avenue by which the campus hears recommendations related to
student support services. In 2000, it was a committee meeting about developmental students
that made recommendation for the facility that is today the College’s comprehensive Learning

Students, Faculty, Staff and Administrators

  • Each employee group at the College has an association with elected representatives
    and a governing constitution. The Board of Trustees allows each group to speak as an
    ongoing agenda item at monthly meetings. Groups also meet regularly with the College
    President and other administrators, as needed. The regularly scheduled meetings of these
    associations often produce useful and timely recommendations for support services (for
    example, the employee fitness program)
  • Each registration cycle concludes with a campus-wide debriefing session to assist staff in
    planning for future enrollment cycles. These informal sessions produce tangible changes
    in how each student registration occurs
  • Committees, both standing and ad hoc, often produce recommendations related to
    administrative support needs
  • Campus-wide, division and/or department brainstorming and planning meetings often
    uncover both student and administrative support services needs
  • The New Employee Survey, part of an Action Project, identifies training and other support
    needs for new employees
  • Participation in visits by regulatory groups and accrediting bodies is another method by
    which the College identifies administrative support needs
  • Visits to other campuses, memberships in professional associations and professional
    readings also serve to generate ideas and recommendations

Other Stakeholders

  • Staff participation in external community-based organizations provides a voice to
    members of the community to college operations
  • Advisory committees provide input to the College and are the voice of local business and
    industry into college operations
  • The College Foundation is made up of local citizens, their regular meetings are another
    avenue for external feedback into college operations
  • Community participation in the many cultural, arts and educational activities on campus
    provide a rich source of citizen-staff interaction which benefits the College in a wide
    variety of ways

6P3 Managing Support Service Processes

The campus administrative team, made up of the President, the Executive Deans and Deans is
responsible for the management of the daily operations of the student and administrative support
processes. The flat nature of the organizational structure of the College makes this oversight direct
and efficient.

The processes are documented in a variety of ways:

  • Board Policies and Procedures
  • Employee Handbooks
  • Student Handbook and Planner
  • College Catalog

ECC is a small institution with an informal organizational culture which facilitates the type of
discussion that promotes process improvement. Support processes are managed very effectively
and efficiently.

6P4 Using Information and Results

Both student and administrative support areas at ECC use a variety of information and results
to improve services (see Figure 6.7, 6.8). Information in the Figure 6.1 includes the large number of
measures reviewed institutionally that are used to improve the student support and administrative
support processes. Information gathered as reported in the tables includes both external reporting
requirements (IPEDS, EMSAS, etc.) and internal data (local surveys, retention data, etc.).

Some specific examples of information being gathered and used regularly to improve services

  • Registration period debriefs - ECC conducts a registration cycle debrief following each
    period of registration. Information is used to improve the next registration cycle.
  • Technology Surveys of Employees - Conducted periodically, these surveys allow
    employees to identify specific training and development needs related to technology
    initiatives on campus.
  • Student surveys (various) - Academic Advising, the Learning Center, and Fine and
    Performing Arts are just a few of the areas that have surveyed students regarding specific
    services and areas for improvement.
  • Schedule cycle - Division chairs gather information informally and formally following each
    enrollment cycle to assist in the development of the next semester’s schedule. Such
    information has led to schedule changes, at both the main campus and statellite campus,
    to serve the students best.
  • Committee work - While committees at ECC may have a dubious reputation, their work
    often leads to specific changes (for example, the recent creation of designated smoking
    areas) to improve both student and administrative support areas.
  • Action Projects - By their very name and nature, the projects have created a culture of
    improvement based on specific goals and measurable results.
6P5 Measures

Measures of student and support services are listed in Figure 6.1.

6R1 & 6R2 Results for Student Support Services & Administrative Processes

Results related to student and administrative support service processes are detailed in Figure 6.2.

Figure 6.2

Key Student Service Processes

Student Access to College
  • Over the last three years, over 80% of students in the AEL program successfully complete the battery of tests to receive a GED.
  • Between 7% and 9% of the first time, full time degree seeking students enrolling annually received a GED.
  • Annually, recruiters visit 24 high schools and visit and place materials in approximately 200 area businesses to promote ECC programs, coursework, continuing education, and provide information to local businesses about potential customized training opportunities.
  • The College has offered dual credit in 14 high schools and dual technical credit in 19 high schools and two area vocational/technical schools. Around 1,200 students take advantage of these opportunities each year, as indicated below.
Dual Credit Students
Dual Technical Credit Students
Student Admission and Enrollment
  • Total enrollment at the College has increased steadily (Figure 0.1) and for the last five years, the College averages close to 600 first-time, full-time, degree-seeking students (FTFTDS).
Average FTFTDS Students


  • The College makes every attempt to give students the opportunity to attend
    • For the last three consecutive academic years, the College has maintained the lowest tuition in the state.
    • Since fiscal year 2003, over 1,000 students receive need-based financial assistance each year (approximately one out of four students each year).
    • In 2007, the College (through the work of the ECC Foundation) provided close to $80,000 in student scholarships.
Student Retention/ Graduation
  • The College maintains over a 70% fall-spring and over a 50% fall-fall retention rate.
  • While the most recent graduation rate for FTFTDS students was only 22% (at the 150% of the degree program), the rate was slightly higher than the average of all Missouri public degree and certificate granting institutions.

    2005 Graduation Rate

    2006 Graduation Rate
    2007 Graduation Rate





  • Results from the most recent ECC Student Satisfaction Survey indicate that 73% of students surveyed would attend ECC again.
  • Additional results related to student retention and graduation includes involvement in student activities (details in Category 3), developmental course success (details in Category 1) and Foundation Seminar revisions (details in Category 3).
Academic Support Services

The College offers a full range of services to assist students to accomplish their educational goals.

  • The ECC Learning Center has over 1,500 visitors who log over 15,000 visits and spend over 13,000 hours with tutors, taking tests, using the computer lab or the Adaptive Technology services.
  • Faculty and staff can refer students to seek additional assistance and resources through the Academic Improvement Management (AIM) referral system. Each semester, over 200 students are referred through the AIM system.
  • The ECC Library staffs two professional librarians plus additional support staff who offer 25 group presentations to over 400 participants and log over 3,575 reference interactions.
  • The Library contains over 45,000 collections in the form of books, periodicals, audio CDs, DVDs and microfilm; over 15 online databases; and is a member of a consortium made up of 62 academic and public libraries throughout Missouri.
  • Counseling and Advising staff will log over 600 student visits per semester. During the peak enrollment period in the summer, staff see over 200 students per week .
Student Activities and Engagement
  • Results for student activities and engagement are detailed in Category 3.
Community Education and Engagement
  • While continuing education course enrollment has fluctuated, the variety and number of continuing education courses that are held each year has increased
  • Community engagement through the ECC Foundation and Fine and Performing Arts are detailed in Category 2.
Key Administrative Processes
Financial Operations/ Budget Development
  • Audit reports - the College and the ECC Foundation have received unqualified opinions for fiscal years 2005, 2006 and 2007. Fiscal year 2008 audits are currently being conducted.
  • Budget Cycle
    • Budget development begins in January each year and typically concludes with adoption by the Board of Trustees in May. Fiscal years 2006, 2007 and 2008 adopted budgets included increased staff, across the board raises for existing staff, and significant investments in information technology and other capital projects.
    • Fiscal year 2008 included funding for a retirement incentive while the College maintained the current level of tuition and general fees. With these circumstances the College completed fiscal years 2006-08 with net revenue over expenses in the general fund, as illustrated below:

Fiscal Year

Revenue over Expenses






  • Fiscal Stability – The College annually reports financial data to the Higher Learning Commission, for purposes of assessing the institution’s financial viability. Several ratios make up the Composite Financial Ratio (CFI) which the HLC uses to measure the total financial health of the institution. Analysis provided by HLC indicates a CFI of 5 or higher is indicative of an institution that can focus resources to compete in a future state; a CFI of 7 or higher is indicative of an institution that can allow experimentation with new initiatives. East Central’s CFI for the past three years is illustrated below (note: the significant factor affecting the ratio between fiscal years 2006 and 2007 was the institution’s issuance of general obligation bonds. These bonds were approved by voters to fund construction of a $15.4 million nursing, health and science facility).


Information Technology Functions
  • In 2005, the Board of Trustees approved a proposal to conduct an IT audit. Since the audit, the College has made significant investments in hardware, software, staff and training (details in Category 7).
  • The College recently engaged in a comprehensive study of the ECC Web site. The study was conducted by an outside consultant and recommendations from the study will be implemented by an outside firm in 2009.
Facilities Usage and Support
  • The last administration of the ECC Student Satisfaction Survey showed that 88% and 81% of students are “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with their ease of finding their way around campus and the campus appearance, respectively.
  • The College Master Plan has resulted in completed projects (i.e. the new nursing, health and science facility) and additional projects are scheduled for implementation.
Institutional Research, Assessment and Planning (IRAP)
  • Improved data integrity through the implementation of data standards and data audit checks.
  • The College’s and community’s reliance on data is greatly increasing. In 2007, the IRAP department completed 63 documented requests (not including the undocumented daily requests). As of October 2008, the IRAP department has completed 68 documented requests.
Fundraising Effects on the ECC Foundation
  • See results listed in “Student Admissions and Enrollment” and also Category 2.
Official Conmmunication of the Public Relations Office
  • The College has increased its publicity through print (a new college catalog), news and radio.
Human Resource Management
  • The College has experienced major turnover due mostly to several recent retirement incentives. In Fall 2008, HR conducted over 40 searches resulting in approximately 200 interviews and 36 new hires.
  • Through an AQIP Action Project, human resources produced a New Employee Manual and also improved new employee orientation (results from New Employee survey in 4R1).
College Administrators
  • College administrators have been the driving force behind many current and future enhancements to the main campus as well as the College’s other sites.
  • Community support has been strong for the College, as indicated in the Community Opinion Survey (See 5R1).
  • College administrators, including the Board of Trustees, have sustained a fiscally responsible institution that has allowed for salary increases and salary market adjustments.

6R3 Comparative Data

Providing affordable education and financial assistance are among the ways the College
demonstrates its commitment to helping students achieve their educational goals. By offering
the lowest in-district, and out-of-district, tuition and fees for the last three years, ECC has remained
the most affordable institution in the state.Figure 6.3 compares the 2008-09 Missouri public two-year
community college tuition and fees charged to a student taking 30 credit hours.

Figure 6.3

Missouri Public Two-Year Community Colleges





Moberly Area Community College


Crowder College


St. Charles Community College


Three Rivers Community College


State Fair Community College


Mineral Area College


St. Louis Community College


Metropolitan Community Colleges


Jefferson College


North Central Missouri College


Ozarks Technical Community College


Missouri State University – West Plains

Source: Missouri Department of Higher Education, Comprehensive Fees Schedule

The College also maintains one of the lowest cost per credit hour and cost per FTE (Figure 6.4)
compared to the 178 institutions participating in the National Community College Benchmark
Project (NCCBP).

Figure 6.4

Peer Median
ECC % Rank

Cost per Credit Hour (FY 2006)


Cost per FTE Student (FY 2006)

Source: 2007 NCCBP

One out of every four students is receiving need-based financial aid each year. Figure 6.5
represents total financial aid awarded in fiscal year 2007 by ECC and its Missouri peer institutions.

Figure 6.5

Missouri Peers

Total Awards
Need-Based Awards
% Need-Based Awards

North Central Missouri College




St. Charles Community College


Crowder College


Moberly Area Community College


Mineral Area College


Three Rivers Community College


Jefferson College


State Fair Community College


Ozarks Technical Community College

Source DHE 14-1, Financial Aid Awarded

Figures 6.6 represents the most recent expenses per FTE for Missouri peer institutions.

Figure 6.6

Expenses per FTE


Public Service
Academic Support
Student Service
Institutional Support
All Other Core

Three Rivers




Mineral Area








State Fair




St. Charles


North Central

Source: IPEDS

Comparable retention rates are detailed in Category 3 (3R2) and graduation rates are compared
in Category 6 (6R1/ 6R2).

6I1 Using Information and Results

At ECC, processes are in place to evaluate and review results in some core student service
support and administrative support areas. These include:

Student Enrollment and Retention

  • Two of the first Action Projects address student retention and student enrollment for
    developmental students. The College has implemented several improvements (AIM
    referral services, Tutor Trac in the Learning Center, new coursework) as a direct result of
    the objectives of these action projects. Ongoing evaluation of the data associated with
    these projects will continue to produce results and improvements.
  • Student Services staff are investigating the development of a “One Stop Shop” for
    enrollment. The staff has visited several campuses and is using an action project for

Student Placement Testing

  • A comprehensive review of the enrollment process has resulted in the College undertaking
    implementation of an improved student placement testing process. The implementation
    (2008) will involve student enrollment and student services staff as well as the faculty in
    core academic disciplines.


  • Upon completion of the current building project, staff will develop plans for a comprehensive
    remodel of existing spaces based on feedback from students, faculty and staff.
  • Stakeholder observations, including the complaints of students, faculty, staff, job applicants
    and community members play a significant role in developing and adopting strategies to
    improve internal operations. Recent examples include changes in the College’s student
    application and registration forms, adoption of a more student friendly refund policy, and
    modifications in hiring procedures. External consultants have recommended changes in
    the College’s technology operations and its website.
6I2 Targeting Improvements and Communicating with Stakeholders

Within certain departments and areas of the College, improvement targets are set based on
the information gathered in the measures cited in 6C1. While the College does not have a fixed
or strategic method for setting such targets across the institution, it does rely on the wide variety of
measures listed as well as faculty, staff and community feedback, advisory committee meetings
and staff participation at various local, regional and statewide meetings to guide faculty and staff in
targeting improvments

Often the College targets are based on statewide initiatives. These efforts guide the College in
designing reporting mechanisms and assessment strategies for reporting purposes.

Figure 6.7 - targeted areas of improvement associated with key student service

Key Student Service Processes and Improvement Goals

Potential for Improvement

Student Access to College
  • Finding access to non-traditional students
  • Improving access to AEL/GED services for community members
Student Admission and Enrollment
  • Improved placement testing processes and availability
  • Development of one-stop services for admissions and enrollment
Student Retention/Graduation
  • Improving retention amongst developmental students
  • Improving services and support for developmental students
Academic Support Services
  • Improved communication amongst staff and faculty in targeted student support areas
Student Activities and Engagement
  • Increasing student activities and service learning opportunities
Community Education and Engagement
  • Improving scope of offerings in theater, music and art
  • Increasing number of and strength of collaborations with community arts organizations

Figure 6.8 - targeted areas of improvement associated with key administrative processes

Key Administrative Processes and Improvement Goals

Potential for Improvement

Financial Operations/Budget Development

  • Comprehensive review of fee schedule
  • Expanded use of budget projections
  • Alternative financing for off-campus facilities
Information Technology Functions
  • Purchase and replacement planning
  • Finding, testing, previewing current and applicable teaching and learning technologies
Facilities Usage and Support
  • Remodeling/renovation of CC and AD buildings for improved functionality
  • Acquire/construct facility for Rolla campus
Institutional Research, Assessment & Planning
  • Finalize Strategic Plan
  • Develop strategic targets and annual performance report
  • Improve data transparency, data sharing and data-driven decision-making
Fundraising Effects of the ECC Foundation
  • Increased membership amongst the Patrons
  • Increase alumni membership
Official Communications from the Public Relations Office
  • New markets and new marketing strategies
Human Resource Management
  • New Employee Training programs
  • Improved recruitment of new employees
  • Maintenance of current and relevant job descriptions
College Administration
  • Improved communication

East Central uses several means to communicate its current results and improvement priorities
to students, faulty, staff, administrators and appropriate stakeholders: ECC Announce, Board
meetings, local community and campus newspapers, talks with local organizations, division and
departmental meetings, staff and faculty association meetings and in-service as well as other
campus-wide meetings.

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