Metropolitan Community College is Missouri’s oldest community college and has more than 20,000 students walking across its 5 campuses annually. They are so passionate about their students’ success that every year they dream up more ways to be innovative and successful as a college.
They don’t just dream up ways to improve – they act on and measure it, too. The College’s institutional effectiveness process is one that they’ve focused on with continuous improvement. The College’s original process was time-consuming for their team, and they recognized the need for change. With ClearPoint now assisting their institutional effectiveness program, the College has reduced the time it takes to get updates, improved collaboration, energized their team, and enhanced visualizations at the College.
Institutional Effectiveness at the College
Continuous improvement is vital for higher education. By focusing on improving every year, organizations like Metropolitan Community College can find new efficiencies and better help students. Metropolitan Community College tracks this process of continuous improvement annually through their Institutional Effectiveness Plans (IEPs).
Every June, 60 leaders of the College’s planning units complete IEPs and determine 3 strategic goals they want to impact. They identify tactics and set performance measures with targets to showcase how they will impact those goals. Then, in May of the following year, these leaders close the loop and report back on the progress of the goals and outline their learnings.
Initially, this process was managed through PDF forms. If a change needed to happen to a PDF form, the team would need to make the change to the PDF form and send it back out to the whole group. As planning unit managers completed the forms, they would be tucked away within a SharePoint folder. Administrators would have to read every form to understand how many goals were met and document learnings. Although the process took a lot of time, the College managed through it.
Continuously Improving Their Own Processes
Passionate about continuous improvement, the College decided to explore alternative ways to manage this process. The Enterprise Project Management, Planning and Institutional Effectiveness team at the College understood that without an easy way to digest the information in these IEPs, the College was missing out on knowledge sharing.
In November 2020, Metropolitan Community College partnered with ClearPoint to strengthen their institutional effectiveness process. Together, the team at the College and their Customer Success Account Manager reimagined the IEP forms the planning unit managers completed yearly. They thought through how to setup the form in ClearPoint and make it more user-friendly for their managers to make updates. Now, all managers need to do is login to ClearPoint where they are automatically redirected to their specific pages and add analysis– made easy with color-coded fields based on when the updates need to be made!
From there, the team at the College worked with their Customer Success Account Manager to develop aggregate-level analysis dashboards, bringing in the updates managers made throughout the account into one report for administrators.
Energized Team Ready to Meet Goals
The planning unit managers no longer fill out PDF forms. Now, all updates on the IEPs are made in ClearPoint within an hour. From there, the dashboards within ClearPoint aggregate up all the information so leadership can quickly see how many goals were met, how many are in progress, and how the IEPs are impacting their strategic plan. They can also see how many IEPs are linked to each strategic theme. This allows them to make sure efforts are not too focused on one strategic theme!
"Our managers feel more connected to the process and are more energized to make updates. ClearPoint has rejuvenated the whole process here at the College. We’ve received nothing but positive feedback." – Amie Young
Not only has the College decreased the time it takes to complete the reports for their planning unit managers, but they also improved collaboration and knowledge sharing within their organization. With all information in one centralized location, leaders from other planning units can now collaborate with each other. Leaders across campuses and departments can find each other and work together to meet their similar goals. The College’s ‘Launch Page’ is the page in ClearPoint dedicated to helping managers do just that!
This seamless process also supports accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) for the College. All higher education institutions must meet HLC’s requirements. By tracking all information in ClearPoint, it’s easy for the College to prepare reports needed for the accreditation process.
ClearPoint allows the College to run institutional effectiveness seamlessly, has enhanced the College’s culture of assessment, and allows employees at all levels to better track and engage in MCC’s continuous improvement efforts.