Task Force on Planning/Institutional Effectiveness
August 29, 1996
Dr. John Cormier
Dr. Willie Heggins
Dr. Ronald R. Ingle
Ms. Patricia M. McAbee
Ms. Gloria Caldwell Sims
Ms. Joan Williams
Mr. W.D. Workman, III, Chairman
Technical Advisers Present
Ms. Dorcas Kitchings
Dr. David Underwood
Ms. Katherine Fanning, Governor's Office
Dr. Charles Gould, Florence-Darlington Technical College
Dr. Sally Horner, Coastal Carolina University
Dr. Reid Johnson, Winthrop University
Dr. Harry Matthews, USC Columbia
Ms. El Nault, Clemson University
Ms. Saundra Carr
Mr. Alan Krech
Mr. Nelson Lindsay
Mr. Russell Long
Dr. Mike Smith
Dr. Lovely Ulmer-Sottong
Mr. Workman brought the Task Force on Planning/Institutional Effectiveness to order at
I. The committee set future meeting dates:
Meeting Two Thursday, September 5, 1996 9:00 a.m. - noon
Meeting Three Wednesday, September 11, 1996 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Meeting Four Monday, September 16, 1996 9:00 a.m. - noon
II. Mr. Workman stated that the committee would discuss all assigned indicators at today's
meeting. He presented this as the best approach to gain an understanding of what additional
research is needed. "Polishing" will occur in future meetings.
III. Mr. Workman led discussion of each of the assigned indicators:
(1) Mission Focus
( C ) Approval of a mission statement
Mr. Workman began the discussion by asking, "approval by whom?" He stated the process was
easily measured. Either there was approval or disapproval of an institution's mission statement
by CHE. Dr. Matthews disagreed. He pointed out that varying opinions exist regarding CHE's
authority to approve or disapprove mission statements. He stated the purpose of approval is to
ensure congruence with the overall mission of the State. Dr. Horner added that the current SACS
guidelines have built-in checks already in place to determine what is a good mission statement.
Mr. Workman said that the best interests of South Carolina may not be to meet the minimum
requirements set By SACS' "pass/fail" method. Dr. Heggins added that approval should require
the inclusion of faculty, Board of Trustees, and CHE. Mr. Workman defined "approval of a
mission statement" as: 1. an institution has an approved mission statement, and 2. the mission
statement references a geographical mission that SACS does not include in its criteria. Mr.
Krech clarified CHE'S authority with respect to mission statements by pointing out pertinent
section of Act 359. Dr. Underwood stated that relevant criteria should be used to define indicator
1(c). Ms. McAbee reminded the Task Force that the mission statement is essential throughout all
Task Force indicators. It must be specific, not broad.
(1) Mission Focus
(D) Adoption of a strategic plan to support the mission statement
(E) Attainment of goals of the strategic plan
Mr. Workman asked if the usefulness of a strategic plan can be measured. He wondered if the
strategic plan is always congruent with the mission statement. Are all parts of the mission
statement included in the strategic plan? Ms. Simms stated that in business the strategic plan
comes first. The mission statement evolves from the strategic plan. To be successful,
institutions must use a scientific process to evaluate if a strategic plan is working. Mr. Workman
said that required SACS self-evaluation is good for a period of time. Self-analysis of a strategic
plan should be made in a timely manner. CHE does not have approval of strategic plans. Mr.
Workman added that if CHE notes that an institution has not revisited its strategic plan in X?
Years, CHE should have the authority to request a review of the plan. Ms. McAbee warned the
committee to be careful of what they are instituting. Institutions should not be required to merely
rearrange words to meet a requirement. Some goals of strategic plans may take longer than the
specific time in which it was originally thought they could be completed. Dr. Horner stated that
the SACS guidelines have an on-going planning process. Assessment must include the cycle of
using assessment to rebuild the strategic plan. Dr. Johnson explained that missions and
strategic plans have historically gone through various processes: intentions, resources, processes,
and outcomes. Mr. Workman stated that goals are important. He requested CHE staff to define:
strategic plan, goal, strategy, mission statement, and frequency of review.
(3) Instructional Quality
(A) Class size and student/teacher ratios
Mr. Workman warned against the use o averages to determine class size. The committee should
use the actual number of classes taught with the actual number of students in each class. Ms.
McAbee stated that technology can multiply faculty presence. Dr. Smith explained that several
task forces were struggling with the definition of who is a teacher. Dr. Matthews stated the Task
Force must define terms. Ms. McAbee was concerned that distance learning and technology are
related to types of students and not just numbers. Mr. Workman stated that class sizes can be
measured by existing data reported to CHE. Dr. Gould said that definition of class size should
reference the discipline -what is accepted or not accepted in a particular discipline. The staff of
CHE should define: class, credit hour, faculty, and class ratios.
(3) Instructional Quality
(B) Number of credit hours taught by
Dr. Johnson questioned if definition of faculty was determined by status or function. Dr.
Underwood explained that various levels of faculty exist: tenured vs. untenured, permanent vs.
Temporary. Mr. Krech pointed out the way that faculty is counted in the 1996 Higher Education
Statistical Abstracts. Dr. Heggins asked if teaching assistants are considered faculty. Mr. Krech
explained that only three institutions of higher education in South Carolina use teaching
assistants who have primary responsibility for classes. The staff of CHE should define the term
(7) Graduates' Achievements
(A) Graduation rate
Mr. Workman stated that graduation rates used to be based on a four year cycle. There now
needs to be a way to measure graduation rates that recognize stop-outs, changes in life-long
learning processes, and change of major. He felt the best way to assess life-long education is
through participant satisfaction. Ms. McAbee said graduation rates should be based on those
who enter with intent to graduate. She wonders about those who intend not to graduate. Mr.
Workman asked if students automatically take a degree if they complete coursework at a
two-year branch of USC. What if they finish the first two years of a four-year program at the
Columbia campus? Do they automatically get an associate degree in the area studied. Dr.
Matthews stated that students are encouraged to take a degree at the two-year regional campuses
if they finish the work. Students can only be granted associate degrees from USC where USC
offers that degree. Dr. Johnson notedthat group graduation rates are based on a poor sample:
first-time, first-year, freshmen. Dr. Gould stated that the group studied causes result that are
radically distorted. The numbers should be tied to student goals. Dr. Johnson pointed out that
goals change. Mr. Krech explained that the big problem facing the determination of graduation
rates lies in the Federal government's definition of a full-time student in the Students' Right
To Know Act. The Federal government has established that a student who graduates with 150%
of the catalogue time is considered a normal graduate. Mr. Workman stated that the Task Force
should use the Fed definition as a starting point. CHE staff should define: graduation rate,
full-time student, and part-time student.
(7) Graduate achievements
(B) Employment rate for graduates
Mr. Workman said the employment rate for graduates is easily determined: survey the graduates
and ask them if they have a job. Ms. McAbee noted that a "healthy" percentage of students that
attend college use their degrees to better the community questioned how much the State should
pay and state. However, they do not draw a paycheck. If surveyed, these students would
self-identify that they are making life in South Carolina better. Mr. Workman questioned how
much the State should pay for self-satisfaction. The responsibility with checking "customer
satisfaction" lies with Alumni Offices. Mr. Krech noted that survey return rates are low and
survey costs are high. Perhaps the South Carolina Employment Security Commission could
provide the data. Data is now available across state lines - but not for all fifty states.
Dr. Johnson added that non-traditional students are coming back to college to get more
education. Rarely does this newn education prompt changing job or career. Ms. McAbee
suggested those not holding a traditional waging earning job need to be included in the
definition. Mr. Workman added that a liberal arts education is not specifically job related, but
adds to the economic betterment of the State. Ms. Simms warned that including non-wage
earning workers would cause the mixing of data. A survey should ask: Do you work for a
paycheck? Do you pay taxes? We can include those not holding traditional wage earning jobs,
but each must be placed in its proper category. Ms. Simms' experience indicated that surveys are
the least effective way to capture information.
(7) Graduates' achievements
( C ) Employer feedback on graduates who were employed or not employed
Mr. Workman felt employers are willing to respond to the State's request to provide this
information. Human Resources departments would be required to respond. How this
would work needs to be evaluated.
(7) Graduates' achievements
(D) Scores of graduates on post-undergraduate professional,graduates, or employment- related
examinations and certification tests
Mr. Workman wondered how we can gather scores for life pursuits that do not require exams.
Indicators 7 (b)(c)(d) need to go together. A survey should ask what the employer has to say -
ask who is employed usefully. Dr. Heggins commented that graduation rates are affected by the
economy and the employment level. Many South Carolina graduates move out-of-state for
work. Mr. Workman responded that being employed out-of-state is better than being
unemployed in South Carolina. When times are hard and jobs are scarce, retention is high. Dr.
Johnson noted that all test scores can not be obtained - especially the CPA exam. Mr. Krech
explained that CHE does not require the yearly reporting of results of CPA and engineering
exams because of the special characteristics of these examinations. Reporting of these exams is
not currently possible. Mr. Workman pressed for the reporting of all appropriate scores.
(7) Graduates' achievements
(E) Number of graduates who continue their education
Mr. Workman sought a definition for continuing education. Dr. Matthews suggested continuing
education is another piece of the employment rate. Graduation rates should equal employment
plus continuing education. Mr. Krech asked if the Task Force felt it should count students who
hold a four-year degree and return to matriculate at a two-year college. It must be clear what
happens to graduates by institution. Dr. Cormier asked if continuing education necessary to
continue licensing should be counted. Ms. Simms inquired if there is a specific time frame for
reporting. Ms. Kitchings added that the time frame becomes important to the institution. The
longer the time, the harder it is to track students. The definition should use a specific time by
type of degree and from the point of graduation. Mr Krech noted that Act 255 already requests
much of the necessary data. Act 255 surveys biennially three years out. Dr. Underwood noted
that Act 255 reports available data. CHE staff needs to define continuing education.
(7) Graduates' achievements
(F) Credit hours earned of graduates
Mr. Workman asked if a degree requires X hours, how many hours can you take to get it? Dr.
Horner brought to the attention of the Task Force the surcharge, currently used in North Carolina,
to students who take more hours than the State is willing to pay for.
(8) User-Friendliness of Institution
(B) Continuing education programs for graduates and others
Mr. Workman stated that continuing education plays a community-based role. How can it be
defined? How can it be measured? Can it be measured by counting the number of programs?
Dr. Heggins asked if public service and community activities are also included. Mr. Krech
responded one way to define continuing education would be to limit it to community interest
activities for which credit hours are awarded. Mr. Workman added, that continuing education
is a subset of life-long learning. Life-long education covers the gamut of experiences. Ms.
McAbee noted that continuing education directly relates to services of the Clemson Extension
service. There are faculty teaching continuing education to farmers in the field. This instruction
goes outside the "box" of what is being measured today. The Task Force needs to end up with a
product that truly measures uses of continuing education. Currently, nontraditional occupations
and public service are not addressed. Mr. Workman said Clemson Extension Services could be a
part of the Tech System. Dr. Horner asked that the population and area served to be
percentage of use of the population of the considered. Dr. Heggins noted that, because of the
1890 Rural Development Project, S.C. State faculty go to communities and aid in economic
development. Ms. Simms stated that business and industry are looking for special requests to
meet special needs. Employers are "paying for skill" in a competency-based market. When
business and industry look to education, they look to the technical colleges. Dr. Matthews noted
that some programs at the land-grant institutions are outside the purvey of the CHE. These
programs are financed by the Federal government.
IV. Mr. Workman encouraged the Task Force members to do outside reading and explore the
Internet for information.
V. Dr. Gould announced that the Tech committee will complete its report on August 30,
1996. Copies will be transmitted to the Task Force.
Mr. Workman adjourned the meting at 4:36 p.m.