Criterion Four Summary
The Self-Study process gauges the success of the students, the programs and the processes at Miller College while concomitantly recognizing the possibilities for improvement. The Miller College Mission, the School’s Mission, Philosophies and Learning Outcomes for each School comprise the guiding principles and impetus for all change. The processes for data collection, analysis and evaluation and the resulting plans for improvement are congruent with these principles. Therefore Miller College meets the components of Criterion 4 with the following strengths, areas for improvement and future plans as evidence of the scrutiny of current practices and the resultant commitment to continual self-evaluation and self-improvement.
- Since its inception, Miller College adopted the philosophy of kaizen or continuous improvement. The collection, analysis and sharing of multiple sources of data are the basis for the process of improvement across the College.
- Broad representation from all Schools, the administration, and Students Services on the Assessment Committee and Academic Affairs ensures a wider understanding of and participation in the assessment and improvement processes.
- Assessment plans are in place for the General Administration and each School across the College.
- Assessment results are evaluated and the data is used for continuous improvement processes.
- The use of WIDS template in course design assures consistency in instruction.
- The faculty members are highly qualified and experienced in their fields.
- Miller College provides an array of excellent resources to assist students’ learning.
- Experts committed to the Mission of Miller College teach as adjuncts.
- Active Program Advisory Committees provide a strong connection between the College and the community stakeholders. Members participate in assessing program success and in providing input for continuous improvement.
- The School of Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The Binda School of Education maintains candidate membership in the Teacher Accreditation Council (TEAC) and is pursuing initial accreditation.
- Graduates are competent and use their skills to gain employment and to pursue advanced degrees.
- The College’s small size allows for personal relationships with students to meet their needs.
- Data collection is easily customizable and distributed directly to the President, Director of Enrollment Management, Vice President and Deans.
- Students are encouraged to complete surveys every semester.
- Changes can be implemented quickly to meet student needs.
- Enrollment Management and Retention Committee has the entire College represented and involved in discussions for the future.
- Information/data collected to date is discussed by appropriate committees and is communicated to the entire College as needed.
- All departments have input (i.e. Administration, Instruction, Finance, Marketing, Student Services).
- There is a crucial need to employ and retain qualified faculty and staff to meet the needs of students and for the increasing demands of the College's infrastructure.
- The processes and procedures to increase the student persistence rate needs improvement.
- A better tool to assess the General Education Outcomes is needed.
- The Assessment Committee will continue to take steps to collect assessment data and represent it in a consistent way across the College to facilitate evaluative discussion and continuous improvement.
- The number of respondents for the Exit and Alumni Surveys needs to increase to support the validity of conclusions reached from the data collected.
- An external challenge that the Binda School of Education faces is the political climate surrounding educational issues in the state government, which has produced multiple rounds of legislation and regulatory revision that affect the process of teacher education in Michigan. Most germane to Miller College’s activities are recent changes to Michigan’s Teacher Certification Code (also known as the Administrative Rules for Teacher Certification; see http://www7.dleg.state.mi.us/orr/Files/AdminCode/980_2011-018ED_AdminCode.pdf), which were officially implemented on May 18, 2012. The new administrative rules allow for the development of alternative teacher preparation programs, which could affect future enrollments in Miller’s traditional undergraduate teacher education program. The new administrative rules also significantly reduce both the continuing education obligations for in-service teachers to upgrade and maintain their certification and the opportunities for higher education to service this need. Although continuing education coursework for in-service teachers has historically represented a minor share of Miller College’s overall credit hour distribution, making Miller College a professional development destination for local schools is part of the College’s Strategic Plan. This change in the administrative rules makes it more difficult to develop and market sustainable programs of study for continuing education, but does provide an opportunity to develop continuing education offerings on a smaller scale, at the level of individual courses or workshops as opposed to multi-course programs of study or advanced degrees.
- The College needs to work on the following concerning enrollment management
- College-wide knowledge of persistence, retention and completion rates,
- Better knowledge of stop-out students (Nurse Applicant, Joint Program, Law Enforcement) and
- Increasing stop-out response rates (graduate phone numbers, email, and acknowledgement).
- The evaluation, re-structuring and/or further development of new programs and existing programs will continue.
- New ways of collecting, representing, evaluating and reporting assessment data across the College will be developed to inform the continuous improvement process.
- The plan for the addition of full and percent-time faculty and staff will be revised as the College grows and needs change.
- The process for the access to and funding for professional development opportunities will be reviewed and revised as the requests increase in the coming years due to growth in the numbers of College faculty and staff.
- True definitions for retention, persistence, and completion rates with attainable goals as defined by the entire college; (starting with Enrollment Management and Retention Committee)
- With only one 6-year cohort completed, begin to examine and analyze the longitudinal data as it becomes available.