Criterion Five Summary
Miller College possesses sufficient fiscal and human resources, governance structures, and administrative processes to fulfill its mission, continuously improve its educational offerings, and anticipate and prepare graduates to meet future challenges. Miller College plans for the future with a Strategic Plan, firmly anchored in its Mission and realistically informed by continuous assessment of its strengths and capacity. Miller College fulfills Criterion 5 of the Higher Learning Commissions Criteria for Accreditation with the following strengths, challenges and future focus areas.
- Miller College’s careful budget management has allowed the College to operate successfully while incurring a minimum of debt.
- Miller College is fortunate to have attracted a diverse and multi-talented staff and faculty. Individuals across departments possess extensive knowledge of the policies and procedures of all areas of College operations, enabling faculty and staff to perform multiple roles effectively.
- Miller College has cultivated strong partnerships with key educational institutions and local organizations that allow it access to additional markets and facilities for delivering on its Mission.
- Miller College’s dedication to inclusive governance at all levels, from academic planning to budgeting, strengthens the organization by incorporating the perspectives of a diverse array of stakeholders – from students to Board members and beyond to strategic partners – fostering high levels of collaboration and allowing it to be responsive to new challenges that may arise in any area of College operations.
- Miller College is committed to making assessment-informed decisions about its educational endeavors, and utilizes strong assessment plans and coordinated feedback cycles across all areas of College operations to gather, analyze and act upon student performance and College effectiveness data.
- A heavy reliance on adjunct faculty to teach Miller College’s coursework provides a challenge in maintaining consistency of instructional quality and learning outcomes across semesters and multiple sections of core courses. Use of WIDS to align course goals, competencies and learning objectives in standardized syllabi provides a strong base for achieving this goal, however.
- As student enrollments increase, the limitations of Miller College’s current physical and technological infrastructure pose a challenge for providing the quality and flexibility of instructional offerings that will allow the College to continue to fulfill its Mission in the future. Strategic partnerships with local organizations will allow Miller College to branch out beyond its main campus.
- High levels of multi-tasking in a relatively small core organization raise the institutional value of each individual employee of Miller College, which in turn makes replacement of key personnel difficult in the event of retirement or sudden departure.
- Developing more efficient and effective orientation tools to acculturate new adjunct faculty and Miller College employees is a short-term goal, especially as online offerings increase. This is essential for ensuring consistency of instructional quality and organizational knowledge.
- Piloting and refining instruments to assess adjunct faculty performance will be essential for maintaining consistent quality of delivery of instruction and learning outcomes across a broad population of adjunct instructors.
- Transition plans for key positions in the organization must be developed to ensure continuity of best practices and organizational knowledge in the event of retirements or sudden departures.