Link to Kirkwood Community College

Learner Success Agenda Complete Plan

College-wide credential attainment success measure:  By 2016, increase first-time, full-time degree seeking graduation and certificate completion rate (within the 150% time frame) from 29% to 38%.

Individually and collectively through their daily work, all employees will develop and implement improvement goals aligned with the “Learner Success Agenda” to reach annual academic year measures. (July 1, 2012)

Instructional Innovation  |  Program Effectiveness  |  Educational Delivery
Regional Leadership  |  Market Intelligence  |  Operational Excellence  |   Information Excellence

Program Effectiveness
(Al Rowe) 

Implement an improved evaluation process for aligning existing credit/non-credit programs to address workforce needs, new opportunities, and resource allocation.

Objective #1
Use program/course and pathway design, assessment, and evaluation standards to improve learner academic outcome performance and program efficiencies. 

icon 1.1 Develop a comprehensive program effectiveness and efficiency policy focused on learner success--college transfer and/or workforce preparation. (John Henik)09/01/2011 - 12/31/2011
July 2012:Completion Report:
View/download Report
July 2012:

The team developed and finalized a program effectiveness policy. On March 12, 2012, the policy was uploaded to Policy Manager and is still in the review process and pending approval. 

The PEER policy was presented on May 8, 2012, at a college-wide town hall meeting. No major concerns were noted. 

The PEER policy is be ready to be moved to approved status in policy manager.

July 2012:

The team developed and finalized a program effectiveness policy. On March 12, 2012 the policy was uploaded to Policy Manager and is still in the review process and pending approval.


The PEER policy was presented on May 8, 2012 at a college-wide town hall meeting. No major concerns were noted.


The PEER policy is be ready to be moved to approved status in policy manager.

December 2011:

A first draft of the "Program Efficiency and Effectiveness" Policy has been created and will be finalized by the end of December.  It will be presented to the Presidents' Cabinet in January, 2012 for further direction.  Procedural guidelines and materials will be developed as part of tactic 1.3.

September 2011:Submitted 9-30-11
See all Updates
Full Tactic Team:
Al Rowe
Eliot Blake
Jim Off
Linda Abernathy
Michael McLaughlin, Ph.D.
Mike Penrod
Nicky Cline
Scott Ermer
icon 1.2 Establish a curriculum design process model (i.e. syllabi, outcome-assessment plans, etc.) to support collaboration among stakeholders to improve student learning. (Maggie Thomas)01/13/2012 - 02/28/2013
February 2013:Completion Report:

Tactic 1.2 was presented at the Town Hall meeting on 2/21/13 and questions were answered related to the intent.  Will await communication from the Cabinet to see if additional work is needed on the part of this tactic team.

February 2013:

Tactic Team presented to the President's Cabinet on Monday, February 4, 2013.  Our recommendations were:

1.  Employ a Curriculum/Assessment Specialist (new FTE)

2.  Ensure each program area has a lead faculty contact.

3.  Provide release time or added contract days to support faculty in this work.

4.  Provide support from Institutional Research to compile data

5.  Provide professional development support for all Deans, program coordinators, and lead   faculty related to curriculum design, review, and revision.

6.  Establish a mentoring program for new coordinators and lead faculty.

7.  Conduct annual faculty development days with expert consultant focused upon outcomes and assessment.

8.  Require separate professional development for all adjuncts related to course assessment expectations.

Per Cabinet process, we will present at the February 21, 2013 Town Hall meeting seeking faculty and staff feedback and questions.  At this point we believe our tactic work is 100% complete.

December 2011:

Team leaders are defining the preliminary scope of this tactic to align with "Program Effectiveness and Efficiency Review" policy, the American Association of Community Colleges' "Voluntary Framework for Accountability" initial directions for student learning outcomes-assessment practices, and the work of Tactic 1.3/1.4.  Team leaders are also identifying and seeking interested faculty and staff to serve on this team. First meeting will be held in late January, 2012.

October 2011:Tactic Team leaders, Professional Development Fellows, and IE/KCELT staff are engaged in preparatory work related to this tactic. Each is enrolled in a course design certification course from the University of Oklahoma. Completion is targeted for early December. In December Tactic Team members will be finalized and a scope of work identified that aligns with draft of Tactic 2.1 policy.
Full Tactic Team:
Brooke Dr. Strahn-Koller
Jim Glasgow
John Henik
John Weglarz
Keith Reins
Mike Penrod
icon 1.3 Implement a program evaluation and research model. (John Henik)01/15/2012 - 06/30/2012
January 2013:

The tactic team met through the Fall 2012 semester, and the PEER policy was discussed and affirmed. Existing program evaluation models were also reviewed. The Career and Technical (CTE) programs currently have a program review process that is based on the requirements set forth by Iowa’s Department of Education. The committee determined that the existing breakdown of the Associate of Applied Science CTE degree programs are currently aligned systematically in a way that allows for the full development of the PEER policy. A detailed spreadsheet was updated containing the hierarchy of these programs. 

The team reviewed Continuing Education’s Outcome Scorecard for their certificate programs. It was agreed that they have defined their program areas in a way that will allow for full development of the PEER policy. 

Less definable are the Associate of Art and Associate of Science Liberal Arts degree. The tactic team concurred that a clearer and more holistic program structure for the Liberal Arts degree would facilitate the program process as outlined in the PEER process. The question unanswered was:  Is the Liberal Arts degree a program or a grouping of transferable courses? It was recommended that John and Bill meet with the Arts and Science deans to discuss how the degree could be better defined. 

As a result of the committee’s recommendation, the liberal arts and sciences faculty and deans have been asked to think about how to frame the Associate of Arts degree more intentionally as a specific program.  Using the other programs on campus as a model, the Arts and Science division’s deans and faculty have begun the process of framing the Associate of Arts degree as a program. They have identified three clear concepts to help begin the process. 

  1. A set of objectives that are met through completion of the degree
  2. A vision statement
  3. A mission statement

The Arts and Science deans have proposed the following plan to establish the objectives, vision, and mission of the Associate of Arts: Liberal Arts program. 

  • A steering committee made up of one or two representatives from each of the distribution areas on the Arts and Sciences Degree Requirements document (golden rod sheet) and the deans will meet for a one day retreat in February to draft a mission statement, vision statement, and specific objectives. 
  • The steering committee members will present a document summarizing the results from that retreat to their respective departments at a March department meeting for feedback.
  • The steering committee will meet for a two hour session in March to consider feedback and make any revisions.

In summary, the tactic team is unanimously recommending retirement of this tactic. The team has reaffirmed the PEER process and has identified next steps to fully implement the policy for all programs. The following active initiatives will continue in support of the full implementation of the PEER policy.

  • Associate of Arts: Liberal Arts steering committee
  • IT is working with IE to develop program profiles.

Once the above initiatives are completed, major next steps can be taking toward full implementation of the PEER process.

July 2012:

This committee had an initial meeting on March 21, 2012 and held subsequent meetings on April 12, 23 and May 9, 2012. The committee has developed an annual program review process. The document is currently in the early draft stage. The committee will resume meeting on August 30, 2012. Subsequent meetings have been scheduled through the end of the year.

Full Tactic Team:
Cort Iverson
Eliot Blake
Florencia Pecile
Jim Off
Linda Abernathy
Lori Merlak
Michael McLaughlin, Ph.D.
Sandra Kotowske
Scott Ermer
icon 1.4 Use an outcome information tracking, reporting, and feedback system to support instructional leadership and decision making. (Dr. David Keller)10/01/2013 - 06/30/2014
June 2013:

Resources for a software solution to track PEER policy rich curriculum and quality programs criteria were not allocated through the LSA PARK process for FY2014. Without allocated resources, other means will be sought to fulfill the objective of this team in incremental ways. The new Curriculum/Learning Outcome-Assessment Specialist will likely play a role in the effort when hired. 

January 2013:

Jeremy Ralph presented to the tactic team on the use of ANGEL in Hospitality Arts to capture course outcome and program standard information.  Kirkwood’s general education goals are currently present within Angel.  The process of entering objectives and standards into ANGEL is ad hoc at this point.  Objectives and standards capability in ANGEL have implications for other tactics and initiatives; such as, efforts related to Kirkwood’s general education goals and course outcome standardization across sections.

PEER policy rich curriculum and quality programs criteria that need to be addressed by a software solution were discussed in conjunction with software solution primary and secondary attributes needed to address the criteria.  These attributes were:


  • Student level documentation of learning outcomes
  • Flexibility in student assessment formats, including a method of off-line test and quiz taking that will allow information to be incorporated into the system (perhaps through scanning and importation)
  • Assessment items connected with course level outcomes
  • Course level outcomes connected with program level outcomes
  • Program level outcomes connected with institution level outcomes, including general education goals
  • Data exportable to tables for importation into databases for analysis


  • Integration into daily activities
  • Support institutional hierarchy
  • Built in analysis of outcome coverage
  • Built in analysis of assessment items

The software must also be trainable and maintainable from an IT perspective.  The tactic team concurred on the central importance of significant professional development related to any solution for tracking PEER policy rich curriculum and quality programs criteria.

October 2012:

The first benchmark for the tactic team is to identify one or more information solutions that will manage transactional and reporting functions related to the rich curriculum criteria for program effectiveness and efficiency, as well as estimated budgetary requirements, by December 20, 2012.  The tactic team will investigate information solutions currently used or being implemented at Kirkwood before looking at other options.  CurricUNET will be the first system considered; followed by eLumen.

September 2012:

Established definitions and measurements are being identified for potential use to address Program Effectiveness and Efficiency Review (PEER) Policy information requirements.  Potential sources of these definitions and measurements include the Iowa Community College Management Information System (MIS) Reporting Manual (Iowa Department of Education), the integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS, National Center for Education Statistics), Core Indicators of Effectiveness for Community Colleges, (American Association of Community Colleges), the Voluntary Framework for Accountability (VFA, American Association of Community Colleges),   the Complete to Compete Common College Completion Metrics Technical Guide (National Governors Association), and the newly developed Iowa Community College Completion Agenda Metrics as well as applicable state and federal regulations; such as the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act.

Full Tactic Team:
Cort Iverson
Cydney Lovell
Greg Petersen
Mary Rhiner
Matt Kempf
Mike Drennon
Pam Hanson
Patrick Clemence
Samantha Hench

Academic Progress Measures: (target to be determined)
All departments/programs will use program effectiveness data and information to inform their design of their department-based professional development model.