Standard 3: Institutional Effectiveness
Las Positas College incorporates research, evaluation and planning into all decision-making processes. This research has been coordinated by a professional researcher, but has always included college-wide input and participation. In 1998, LPC created the full-time position of Director of Research and Planning. Under the supervision of the President, the Director works with the College Vice Presidents to create, coordinate and implement comprehensive institutional research and planning.
Since the Director's office is relatively new, research instruments are designed from the ground up in coordination with the Institutional Planning Commission, Title III, Student Services, Student Success Committee, the President, and other members of administration and staff. Feedback from each task is incorporated into subsequent research modes. So far, however, there is little direct evaluation of how well the research has been done, or how well the research itself has led to the achievement of specific goals set forth in the Strategic Plan and Master Plan. Las Positas College plans to develop a more defined role for the Director including implementation of follow-up procedures and integration of the Director's work more fully into the planning processes of the College.
Las Positas College has effectively implemented systematic institutional research and program review, providing information essential to planning and measuring institutional effectiveness. Planning is carried on at the College by a variety of entities, with some overlap in personnel and functions. The major campus-wide entity for planning is the Institutional Planning Commission. In response to the recommendations of the previous Accreditation Team, Las Positas College has formalized the Institutional Planning Commission's process for considering research findings within personnel and budgeting decisions. As the College continues to grow, such formalization of processes is essential to the smooth functioning of the institution.
Program review for the entire college is systematically done by academic discipline in five-year cycles and in three-year cycles for Student Services. Based upon ongoing research, LPC evaluates changes in course offerings, scheduling, student services, planning activities and campus operation. The College plans to develop a consistent process for integrating the results of program review into planning and decision-making processes, and to tie budget appropriations for various departments to that department's creation of goals and its work in trying to achieve those goals. Planning at LPC currently functions well, as evidenced by College flexibility and adaptability to changing community conditions and needs.
The last Accreditation Team recommended that the Institutional Planning Commission expand its role to planning and formalization of College organization, including roles and responsibilities, and lines of communication and decision making. The creation of the Strategic Planning Team and its subsequent report suggest that Las Positas College continues to search for workable formal organization and procedures.