Category 9 – Building Collaborative Relationships

9C1 Key Collaborative Relationships

East Central College creates, fosters and maintains key collaborative relationships with
educational, community, civic, governmental and other external organizations. Figure 9.1 below
lists the College’s key collaborative relationships and the nature and purpose of the relationship.

While not an exhaustive list, the information below provides insight into the importance of the
College’s relationships within the educational community, the business community and the larger
community it serves.

Figure 9.1

Collaborative Relationship

Higher Learning Commission

  • Ongoing accreditation
  • AQIP action projects
  • Faculty and staff development/educational opportunities and programs

Missouri Department of Higher Education

  • Regular meetings of the Coordinating Board of Higher Education
  • MOBIUS (statewide library services)
  • Meetings with DHE staff and college staff

Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

  • Ongoing faculty development opportunities
  • Regular meetings

U.S. Department of Education

  • Grant opportunities

Local K-12 School Districts

  • Regular meetings among administrators, faculty and counselors/recruiters
  • Annual counselors luncheon
  • Annual superintendents luncheon
  • Student visits to campus
  • Outreach efforts by the Fine and Performing Arts departments
  • Open House and other student-related activities

Four Rivers Career Center

  • Program development
  • Advisory committee service

Baccalaureate institutions

  • Developing partnerships
  • Formalized articulation agreements
  • Cooperative program development

Other Missouri Community Colleges

  • Membership and representation among Missouri Community College Association committees
  • Annual meeting
  • Faculty and staff development programs

Local business and industry

  • Customized training program
  • Advisory committees
  • New Jobs Training Program

Local government entities

  • Building projects
  • Street and road projects
  • Grant opportunities

The members of the community

  • Developing continuing education classes
  • Dynamic schedule of Fine and Performing Arts events
  • Community use of the Fitness Trail
  • Open House attendance
  • Senior Health Fair
  • International Day
  • Foundation activities

The ECC Foundation

  • The Patrons program and fundraising
  • Community outreach
  • Scholarship program

9C2 Institutional Mission

Our institutional mission is to “provide an environment for lifelong learning,” and our vision
statement states, “East Central College will connect its community to its future.” By its very nature,
a comprehensive community college is strengthened by the collaborative relationships it develops
and sustains. East Central College has maintained long-term collaborations while continuing to
develop new relationships. Each of these collaborations has provided returns for the College and
the community.

Some examples of collaborations and their relation to the mission of East Central College are

  • Local and Regional Healthcare Providers
    Hospitals, nursing homes and ambulance districts in the region provide student
    clinical opportunities. The College provides programming in nursing, emergency medical
    technology, and paramedic technology; students in the region can receive local training
    and education and serve the community by staying in the local workforce.
  • K-12 Districts
    Local K-12 districts provide early field experience opportunities to students enrolled
    in the College’s teacher preparation program (the AAT). The College added a literacy
    service learning project to the curriculum in teacher preparation which places students
    in local schools to provide one-on-one literacy training to students in need of additional
    help. The local school districts are able to meet and observe prospective teachers from
    the region.
  • Business and Industry
    Local business and industry turns to the College’s customized training program
    to provide specialized, non-credit training. In delivering this training, the College often
    recognizes opportunity for credit coursework and programming. In addition, students
    receiving the training can learn about other programming at the College.

While the College relies on these collaborations to deliver its mission, it also recognizes that the
internal collaborations among faculty, staff and students are also an important part of the mission
of the institution. Without collaborative work between divisions, departments and other units of
the College, the College would not meet the needs of the students and community it serves.

9P1 The Collaborative Relationship

East Central College develops collaborative relationships in many of ways, all intended to meet
the needs of the various stakeholder groups served by the College. The mechanisms that drive
the creation and development of such relationships include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Planning
  • Student benefit
  • Legislative activity
  • Requirements or recommendations of accrediting or other regulatory bodies
  • Compliance with local, state or federal regulations
  • Opportunity for growth or program enhancement

Relationships with Educational Institutions and Other Organizations Sending Students
Figure 9.2 details key collaborative relationships with educational institutions and other
organizations sending students to ECC. The primary relationship in this category is with the K-12
districts; these partner educational organizations are collaborative and supportive of the efforts
at ECC. The input we receive and the feedback we seek in strengthening these relationships
provide benefit to our students.

Relationships with Educational Institutions and Employers Accepting Graduates

Figure 9.3 details key collaborative relationships with educational institutions and employers to
whom we send students and graduates of ECC. The primary relationship in this category is with
the many baccalaureate institutions that receive our students in transfer. These relationships are
strengthened by the success of our students in transfer and degree completion. ECC continually
seeks to strengthen and grow such collaborations and recognizes that these 2+2 relationships are
key to our students’ success.

Relationships Providing Services to our Students
Figure 9.4 details key collaborative relationships with organizations and community members
that provide services to our students. While the majority of student services are accomplished by
staff and divisions at ECC (including counseling services, the Learning Center, tutoring support,
etc.) the College recognizes that external organizations provide a less visible and yet important
stream of support for our students.

Figure 9.2

Create, Prioritize and Build by:
Local K-12 School Districts
  • Dual credit/dual enrollment opportunities for students
  • Invitations to campus for counselors, principals, superintendents to inform and update on college activities
  • Student career and program exploration; visits to campus to learn about degrees, courses, programs and careers (College Night, Math Science Career Night, Career Fair, etc.)
  • Fine and Performing Arts outreach (Art Portfolio review day, Band director visits, etc.)
  • Open House for prospective students and their parents
  • Tech Prep articulations for dual technical credit coursework
  • Senior Options programming at the local career center
  • WYSE Scholastic Competition
The members of the community
  • A diverse program of continuing education coursework and opportunities for participation in same
  • Fine and Performing Arts events and International Day plus all other events intended to entertain and educate the community; in a typical year, these combined activities bring over 8,000 community members to campus activities.
  • The Fitness Trail
  • Participation by college faculty and staff on local boards and other community based organizations
Four Rivers Career Center
  • Joint program offerings and development
  • Shared and leased facilities for off site course offerings
  • Tech Prep articulations for dual technical credit coursework

Figure 9.3

Create, Prioritize and Build by:
Baccalaureate institutions
  • Transfer and articulation agreements to enhance and insure the transfer process for students
  • Faculty meetings and visits regarding programming and curriculum.
  • Presentations and campus visits by partner institutions
  • Transfer conferences and other meetings to enhance the 2+2 partnerships
  • Providing space on campus for partner institutions to offer completer programs
Other Missouri Community Colleges
  • Membership and representation among Missouri Community College Association committees
Local business and industry
  • Customized training program
  • Work and membership on the local career technical program advisory committees

Figure 9.4

Collaborative Relationship
Create, Prioritize and Build by:
Higher Learning Commission
  • Accreditation process (AQIP) to insure quality in the program offerings and transferability of coursework
  • Ongoing professional development for faculty and staff
The members of the community
  • Participation on and support for the advisory committees in the career technical programs, education programs and fine and performing arts programs.
  • Business and industry opportunities for student internships, practicum experiences, clinical and other programmatic arrangement
  • The locally elected Board of Trustees; volunteer community members who govern the College
U.S. Department of Education
  • Title III Grant activities including programs to improve student retention and success rates (AIM program development, etc.)
  • Financial aid provisions to increase access to higher education for eligible students and to support student worker grants
The ECC Foundation
  • The foundation scholarship program which provides over 100 annual scholarship awards to students attending ECC
  • The Alumni Association provides fundraising and other activities to raise money to purchase signage, donate to scholarship fund, etc.; in addition, the association recognizes an alumnus of the year.
The State of Missouri
  • The A+ Scholarship program, providing access opportunities through paid tuition for students from participating school districts (546 students in Fall 2008)

Figure 9.5

Collaborative Relationship
Create, Prioritize and Build by:
Higher Learning Commission
  • Accreditation via AQIP
  • AQIP action projects to improve campus processes
State of Missouri Legislative Activities
  • Various legislative activities related to community colleges and higher education (i.e. SB 389, etc.)
  • Funding legislation
Missouri Department of Higher Education/CBHE
  • Regular meetings of the Coordinating Board of Higher Education to review and formulate higher education policy in the state
  • MOBIUS (statewide library services)
  • College academic and career program approval and oversight
Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
  • Perkins funding distribution
  • Funding and oversight of career technical programs
Missouri Community College Association
  • Regular meetings and development opportunities for community college faculty and staff
  • Missouri Consortium for Global Education activities
Local news media
  • Promotion and public relations associated with college activities and programs
Local government entities
  • Regulatory activities (i.e. Fire marshall inspections, etc)
  • Cooperative activities (i.e. street widening, etc.)
Various consortia arrangements
  • Joint project to offer Occupational Therapy Assistant Program
  • Distance learning projects including technical support and training
  • Athletic program oversight and regulation; review of student eligibility

9P2 Ensuring Needs Within the Relationship

ECC has a Board policy that encourages employees to join and participate in professional
associations. Employees serve on local school district, library, Chamber of Commerce and United
Way boards and regularly attend Rotary Club meetings in the surrounding communities. This
involvement provides knowledge of community needs and ensures that the College is meeting
these needs.

Certain academic units at the College, among them the Fine and Performing Arts and Nursing
departments, have created survey instruments to gain feedback from their Advisory Boards and
community members. Advisory committees, made up of local industry leaders, also provide
advice and feedback to programs such as Emergency Medical Technology, Heating and Air
Conditioning, Graphic Arts, Culinary Arts, Drafting, Fire Technology, and Industrial Engineering

Involving community leaders on ECC committees such as the Citizens’ Advisory Committee
(2001), Master Planning Committee (2005) and Bond Campaign Steering Committee (2006) has
provided valuable insight and culminated in the currently ongoing construction of a new Nursing,
Health, and Science Building.

While no formal process exists to ensure the varying needs within the many collaborative
relationships are being met, the longevity, growth and success of many of the relationships speaks
for itself.

9P3 Building Internal Relationships

The faculty, professional staff and support staff organizations have regular meetings to discuss
various topics. In addition, the respective presidents of these organizations are regular attendees
and have a place on the agenda at monthly Board meetings.

Pre-semester week offers full-campus involvement and relationship building. The week is
packed with opportunities for communication among employees with at least two or three all-
campus meetings, plus departmental meetings and training opportunities. These activities provide
opportunity for a full range of conversation and interaction.

Various committees build relationships as faculty and staff work on common cause within the
institution. In particular, depending upon the committee charge, the goals of the committee
require both integration across campus employee groups and communication among these
entities. The various AQIP committees and Action Projects have provided such opportunities.

ECC Announce is an e-mail form of communication for all College employees. The Director of
Public Relations issues news releases via ECC Announce. News releases are always distributed
following Board of Trustee’s meetings to communicate to all employees any decisions or policy
changes that were approved by the Board.

The Director of Human Resources and staff communicate health and wellness information via

Student Senate, PTK, All Campus Day, athletic contests, and other student events provide
opportunities for College employees to connect with students.

9P4 Measures of Building Collaborative Relationships

Measures of building key collaborative relationships that are collected and analyzed regularly

  • Student enrollment from area high schools and technical schools
  • Counselor and superintendent representation at the Annual High School Counselors
  • Transfer student demographics and performance
  • Institutional destination of ECC transfer students provided by Missouri Department of Higher
    Education or the National Student Clearinghouse
  • Articulation/transfer agreements with four-year institutions – number of agreements and
    student participation
  • Agreements with other educational and professional entities (e.g. collaboration with four-
    year institutions to offer courses on the ECC campus and nursing clinicals held at local
  • Career and technical graduate placement rates
  • Continuing education enrollment
  • Number of training contracts and dollars through the Missouri Customized Training Program
    and the Missouri New Jobs Training Program
  • Program advisory committee participation (number and variety of businesses/industries)
  • Program and curriculum improvements
  • Positive public relations
  • Community survey results
  • Funding received from the community (scholarships, donations and sponsorships), state,
    local and federal government
  • Community support through attendance and underwriting of events (athletics, fine and
    performing arts, and other community events)
  • Alumni membership and participation
9R1 Measures of Building Collaborative Relationships

The College has articulation agreements with four universities in Missouri, allowing ECC students
the possibility of transferring credits to over 50 programs.

The College has an agreement with Central Methodist University (CMU), a four-year liberal arts
college based in Missouri, to use part of its main campus to host courses. Five degree programs,
including a Master of Education, are offered through CMU at the ECC main campus. From fall
2003 to spring 2008, nearly 500 CMU students have enrolled at the ECC main campus.

To assist ECC students in their transition from college to their career, over 20 ECC programs use
Advisory Comittees. Programs with Advisory Comittees range from Biotechnology to Precision

Since 1991, 14 high schools have participated in ECC’s Dual Credit program. Nearly 6,000
students have received ECC college credit while still in high school. Figure 9.6 shows an unduplicated
headcount of the students enrolled in dual credit coursework.

Figure 9.6


The ECC Foundation enjoys generous support from the community. Presently, its assets stand
at $3 million. Figure 9.7 shows the involvement and profits from two of the Foundations programs
offered to the public:

Figure 9.7

Golf Tournament


Patron of the Arts


Patron Members

Results for other collaborative relationships, such as Customized Training, Continuing Education,
and additional information on the ECC Foundation, are detailed in Category 2.

9R2 Comparing Results

Through the strong support and efforts of the ECC Foundation, the College maintains one of
the largest endowments compared to Missouri peer institutions. Figure 9.8 represents 2007 year-
end gross investments of endowment funds, term endowment funds, and funds functioning as
endowment for the institution and any of its foundations and other affiliated organizations.

Figure 9.8

9I1 Improving Collaborative Relationships

Improvement occurs most often through informal one-on-one conversations between
representatives of the College and its partners. College administrators and staff are well
represented in community activities, local agencies, school boards and other venues where
relationships are often formed. While this informal process for building collaborative relationships
has been successful for the institution, the College is looking to intensify efforts to promote the
institution. One effort is to redesign the College website to better promote the College and share
information with the community, students and staff about its collaborative relationships.

Action Project 7, Renewing the Campus Image, specifically addresses the goal of improved
collaborative relationships, including not just current but increasing the number and scope of such
collaborations. In describing the intent of the Action Project, the committee said “East Central
College intends to redefine to the community its “brand”. As part of this activity, the College
will reestablish its identity, clarify its mission and purpose, and strategically review its marketing
practices. The importance of a community understanding the role, purpose and ability of its local
community college is immeasurable. The College has experienced significant turnover in faculty
and staff as the community has grown as families discover the area. All of this “newness” requires
a retooling of the campus image.”

When complete, the project will have created new collaborations and strengthened existing
relations. The College recognized, in its development of this project, that in its 40th year of serving
the community, both the community and the College have changed. By renewing its image, the
College and the greater community will have improved collaborations in all contexts.

9I2 Current Results and Targets for Improvement

The College sets targets for improvement based on feedback from its collaborative partners in
business and industry, education, and the community. This feedback is acquired through advisory
group meetings and informal meetings and conversations. Regularly scheduled advisory committee
meetings and annual meetings with public school personnel provide an opportunity for frank
conversation and suggestions for improvement. Additional targets for improvement are
detailed below.

Addressing Specific Priorities

  • Retention through Title III educational grant
  • Licensing/certification scores based on individual program evaluations. Each individual
    program uses current information available to find methods to improve or maintain current
    licensing scores or pass rates (as some program scores are only recorded as pass/fail). This
    information includes assessment scores. Each program, with its own unique guidelines,
    works to address improvement in a variety of ways. This includes recruitment strategies,
    program revision, and ensuring that students are prepared to enter the program through
    pre-requisite requirements or entrance exams.
  • Job placement through the Career and Technical Graduate Follow-up.
  • The Office of Instruction and the Assessment Committee are working with all divisions
    to update academic unit and program assessment plans and to formalize a reporting
    mechanism to the campus at large.

Communicating Current Results and Improvements

ECC communicates to its collaborators and stakeholders through a variety of print media,
meetings, newsletters (the Fine and Performing Arts newsletter, the Alumni newsletter, etc.), the
campus newspaper, news articles, radio interviews, advertisements, the website, e-mail forums,
reports to various entities, and other forums as the opportunity presents itself. The non-exhaustive
list is as follows:

  • News releases
  • Work with the various Chambers of Commerce
  • Visits/speeches to service organizations (Speakers Bureau)
  • Website improvement
  • Foundation year-end letter to donors and annual appeal brochure
  • Institutional Research Fact Book
  • Recruitment
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