1. D.1 Actions and decisions reflect an understanding that in its educational role the institution serves the public, not solely the institution, and thus entails a public obligation.
Commitment shown by Miller College to address the needs of its constituencies is not only reflected in community linkage and course development, but through responsible resource allocation. Miller College has developed and administered a budget that allows for appropriate instruction through hiring faculty and purchasing modern technology to meet the needs of the students. Budget allocation is geared to meeting the needs of a non-profit business. College and University Personnel Association (CUPA) information is used as the compensation guide in determining Miller College faculty and staff salaries. Board members, who are representative of the community, are engaged in the development of the College budget (See Board of Trustees Roster (79 KB, PDF)).
The Miller College Schools of Business, Arts and Sciences, Education and Nursing utilize area leaders on their Program Advisory Committees to assist with program review and development for the College. They serve as a guide for those who are charged with the responsibility of developing and maintaining programs. Each Program Advisory Committee is a source of specialized information with a community perspective. The Program Advisory Committees assist their respective School Dean in developing and maintaining programs in a viable and relevant manner. Future program development and planning is also an integral part of the Program Advisory Committee function. It provides a link between the College and current practitioners in business and industry, education, and health care to assist the College in keeping pace with changing needs for preparation of students for the workforce and community service.
The Program Advisory Committees bring approximately 35 professionals from Calhoun, Kalamazoo, Barry, Branch, Eaton, Kent, and St. Joseph Counties together to provide support and recommendations to the program. The Program Advisory Committee members were chosen based on professional experience and educational credentials (See Program Advisory Committee Rosters).
Miller College is closely related to the community and area. The College offers curricula which fulfill the needs of those seeking a foundation in general education and majors tailored to areas such as the business and industry, education and health care sectors in their communities. This is in harmony with the College’s Mission. Miller College looks to its Program Advisory Committees as representatives from the community who assist in providing programs that are attuned to contemporary needs and designed to serve their respective communities’ needs. Students serve on some College committees and may expand their leadership skills by participating in the student governance. This plan of shared governance serves as evidence of Miller College’s commitment to engaging its constituents (See Student Alumni minutes and SNA minutes). Miller College has identified seven distinct constituents that we serve:
Constituency #1: The Students and Miller College Alumni
The Admissions Representative routinely visits local organizations and businesses, attends education fairs sponsored by area community colleges and makes classroom visits. Miller College serves the community in Calhoun County, specifically the Battle Creek area; however, recruiting efforts are also present in Coldwater, Hastings, Albion, Jackson, Dowagiac, Sturgis, and Centreville. Demographic enrollment data reflective of these areas demonstrates that Miller College is serving local constituency educational needs (See enrollment data).
The Mission statement indicates that Miller College allows students “…to complete their educational programs in a variety of learning formats.” For example, students may take classes in 3 hour blocks during the daytime or in the evening, attending once a week. Some classes may be taken online, and some classes are occasionally offered on Saturdays. Small class sizes (approximately 8-25 students) provide maximum opportunity for in-class engagement of the students in a traditional setting while using today’s technology via multi-media presentation systems available in every seminar classroom. In addition, there are three computer labs providing a total of 63 computers for student use within the Mawby Center, and other computers are available to students on the KCC campus.
Constituency #2: K-12 Education
In order to integrate what the education students learn in Miller College coursework with actual K-12 classrooms, there are requirements for observation and interaction outside of the traditional College classroom setting. Most education courses require each student to have experiences in local schools with 10 to 40 hours of field placement within the semester. The Binda School of Education has a Field Placement Coordinator who is responsible for maintaining the contacts with the local school principals and teachers. Mentoring teachers and principals commend the Field Placement Coordinator for her dedication and dependability in placing students and following up on any individual problems. The Dean of the Binda School of Education accompanies the Field Placement Coordinator when establishing contact and initial meetings with administrators and teachers at mentoring institutions. The Program Advisory Committee for Education is laudatory in regard to the extensive field placement experiences that Binda School of Education students receive. Local K-12 school districts have embraced the concept of Miller College and participate in the implementation of the Miller College elementary teacher education program.
Constituency #3: Health Care Community
Integrating nursing leadership skills learned in the classroom at Miller College with the community is accomplished through a leadership practicum. Each BSN student is required to participate in BSRN 410: Nurse Leadership/Management II which includes as part of the course a practicum experience in the community in a nursing leadership mentorship consisting of 16 hours within the semester. The Dean of the School of Nursing at Miller College is responsible for maintaining contacts with local health care providers to facilitate this. There are an increasing number of formal invitations to the Dean to participate in local health care institutional meetings.
The Dean of the School of Nursing at Miller College is working in a dual role, also serving as Director of Nursing Education at Kellogg Community College. This provides the opportunity to further coordinate the health education programs, linking them to a local institution of higher education.
Area Health Care providers have been instrumental in implementation and further development of the BSN degree completion program (See Nursing Advisory Board).
Constituency #4: Business and Industry
Interaction with business and industry is primarily via the Program Advisory Committee for Business and in contacts of faculty and staff with key leaders in the community. Upon inception officials from DENSO Manufacturing Michigan, Inc. (DENSO) discussed local educational opportunities for management trainees who needed to obtain bachelor’s degrees in business. DENSO supported Miller College with donations to equip computer labs in the Mawby Center, and Miller College began offering classes at DENSO and at the nearby Kellogg Community College Regional Manufacturing Technology Center (RMTC).
Area Business and Industry leaders have been instrumental in implementation and further development of various business degrees.
Constituency #5: Institutions of Higher Education
Miller College considers regional accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools of paramount importance. This designation identifies Miller College’s commitment to its Mission, ensuring a quality learning experience for students. It will provide Miller College with opportunities for interaction with others who pursue quality higher learning. The faculty and staff of Miller College participate in a variety of activities and organizations that keep the College engaged with the higher education community. The annual meetings of the Higher Learning Commission are viewed as especially valuable in advancing overall institutional improvement and learning. Miller College has sent College staff to the meeting over the past years.
Additionally, student services staff maintains memberships in the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) and the Michigan Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (MACRAO). The Dean of Student Services/Director of Financial Aid has attended the US Department of Education Fundamentals of Title IV Administration training seminar for new institutions. Miller College maintains an institutional membership in the National Association of Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), and the Dean of Student Services/Director of Financial Aid is a member of the Michigan Student Financial Aid Association (MSFAA) and regularly attends MSFAA workshops. The Director of Enrollment Management is a member of the Southwest Area Higher Education Network (SWAHEN).
The Dean of the Binda School of Education, Field Placement Coordinator, and Teacher Certification Officer regularly attend the State Board of Education meetings and the Directors and Representatives of Teacher Education Programs (DARTEP) in Michigan (See DARTEP Membership Information). Representatives of the business office and student services department of the College regularly attend Datatel training on the management information system.
The President of the College meets regularly with representatives of those colleges with which Miller College has formal articulation agreements and seeks to continually improve the relationships. The area community colleges have large numbers of their students transferring to public and private institutions of higher education. Miller College has reached out to work with others through articulation agreements with Glen Oaks Community College, Kalamazoo Valley Community College, Kellogg Community College, Jackson Community College, Grand Rapids Community College, Montcalm Community College, Lansing Community College, Northwestern Michigan Community College, Muskegon Community College and Southwestern Michigan Community College.
Constituency #6: Founders, Area Residents, and Non-profit Organizations
The College Mission Statement requires service to the community, indicating a sixth constituency exemplified by its founders, the Miller Foundation, the Binda Foundation, the Kellogg Community College Board of Trustees, and the non-profit organizations that serve the community at large.
Constituency #7: Faculty and Staff
An integral part of the organization is Miller College Faculty and Staff. They contribute to the College by participating in various committees and are dedicated to the service of students and the community.
The Miller College faculty and staff engage constituencies and communities by taking part in local events and organizations. A recent survey completed by all full time Miller College faculty and staff demonstrated a strong commitment to the Miller College Mission of service to the community (See Faculty/Staff Service Learning Survey and Results). Examples of such commitment consist of Board involvement in local organizations and businesses, volunteer work at non-profit organizations. This expectation for participation in service learning and belief in its importance is a shared characteristic in current employees and an expectation for future employees at Miller College, tied directly to the College Mission.
As Miller College continues to mature, it will remain in close touch with the various constituencies so that the College can respond effectively to the broad community it was founded to serve. The following details of these efforts relate to the College Mission as Miller College engages and serves the community and the surrounding area.
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