At its meeting on January 11-12, 1993, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges reviewed Irvine Valley College's institutional self-study report and the report of the evaluation team which visited the college on October 13-15, 1992. Based upon the review, the college was granted accreditation reaffirmation.
The Commission requested a Midterm Report due November 1, 1995. The Midterm Report was accepted by the Board of Trustees of the then Saddleback Community College District on October 9, 1995.
Standard 1: Institutional Integrity, Purposes, Planning and Effectiveness
1. The team recommends that Irvine Valley College take steps to assess and ensure the effectiveness and the quality of its programs and services.
The college has implemented a program review process, which was developed through cooperation of the Academic Senate and the administration. During 1996-97, the college scheduled program review for the following areas on a pilot basis: the Writing program (Office of Instruction); Health and Wellness Center (Student Services); Foundation (Office of the President); and parking (Business Services). Three of the four program reviews were completed. During 1997-98, the college has chosen to complete program review through a strengthened process for the following areas: community and contract education (Office of Instruction); parking (Office of Business Services); public information (Office of the President) and grants and special projects (Office of Instruction). The college plans to continue program review in a comprehensive and cyclical manner.
2. The team recommends that the college develop and implement a systematic measurement of institutional effectiveness and report these results to its various stakeholders.
The college has begun the process of developing and implementing a comprehensive program review. The college plans to continue to strengthen this review process based on recommendations of the participants. The college conducted a campus climate survey on July 6, 1995 and its results were widely disseminated.
Standard 2: Educational Programs
1. The team recommends that the college develop and implement a comprehensive program review policy
Noted above in our response to Standard 1.
Standard 3: Student Services
1. The team restates the recommendation of the prior accreditation team that the college make every effort to establish a financial aid office independent from Saddleback College. The team further recommends that the college request, if appropriate, from the Board of Trustees, one-time start-up funds as was done for the athletics program and the admissions and records function.
The college hired a financial aid director in the fall of 1994. On July 1, 1995, the Financial Aid Office at Irvine Valley College became a separate entity from that of Saddleback College.
2. The team recommends that adequate information support services and training be given to support student service functions in a more comprehensive manner than has been given to the college to this point.
The Technology Initiative, undertaken in spring 1996, resulted in a commitment by the college and the district to improve technology accessibility districtwide. COPS funds, state block grant funds (which now include student services), and some matriculation funds have allowed the entire student services staff to have the latest equipment. The Technology Training Center regularly offers training workshops in the use of the new technology for faculty, staff and administrators. The college and district are still waiting for the Buzzeo Company to deliver software to support research activities.
3. The team recommends that a comprehensive program review of student services be done in order to provide for long-range planning of both services to be delivered and for adequate administrative, certificated, and classified staff to support these functions.
In response to the recommendation by the Accreditation Team in their 1995 mid-term report, the college established a Program Review committee under the authority of the Academic Senate. This committee produced a Program Review Handbook in February 1997 and three programs were pilot-tested using this handbook, including one student services program, the Health and Wellness Center. As a result, it was determined that the program review instrument, geared towards instructional programs, could not be used to evaluate effectively the Health and Wellness Center or other student services programs. The Program Review Committee reviewed and revised the handbook in February 1998 to broaden the handbook's applicability to all college programs. When the Academic Senate approves this revised Program Review Handbook, the student services program review calendar will be updated and all services will be reviewed on schedule.
Standard 4: Faculty and Staff
1. The team recommends that the college develop a staffing plan for classified staff and faculty, with clear written criteria for prioritization, linkage to college goals and regular follow-up on the plan.
The college formed a classified staff hiring committee that developed a procedure for identifying and prioritizing classified staffing needs. This procedure allocates positions, based on ratios, to the offices of Instruction, Student Services, Business Services, and the President. Vacant positions are filled as funding permits.
The Academic Senate and the Instructional Council have jointly developed a faculty-staffing plan. This plan is directly linked to, and to a large extent dependent upon, certain provisions of the districtwide allocation model, which credits each college with a number of full-time and part-time faculty appointments relative to the size of the respective student populations and the approved student/faculty ratios at each institution. Appointment of these positions to specific schools and departments is determined by a set of ranked recommendations developed by the Academic Senate and negotiated with the college president. Senate recommendations are derived from a procedure that assigns to the academic department full-time positions as a function of existing full-time/part-time staffing ratios. The academic department furthest away from the college standard is assigned the top-ranked position, and the process is repeated until each department achieves minimum staffing standards.
Standard 5: Library and Learning Resources
1. The team again recommends that the college establish as a major priority increasing learning resources holdings to bring the library collection closer to accepted standards for two-year comprehensive colleges.
The college has maintained its annual budget commitment to learning resources holdings. In August of 1997, the college opened a new 38,000-square-foot library facility. The new library budget and state equipment funds have allowed for the acquisition of new books, which will help bring the library standards up to those currently suggested for two-year institutions.
Standard 6: Physical Resources
1. It is recommended that Irvine Valley College review the effectiveness of its current maintenance arrangements and consider the establishment of a separate maintenance department.
Effective July 1, 1993, the district Maintenance and Operations Department was decentralized to the two colleges. Irvine Valley College currently has an independent maintenance and operations department staffed by a director and supported by a full range of craftspersons.
On February 17, 1998, the Board of Trustees of the South Orange County Community College District took formal action to recentralize the college maintenance and operations departments at the district level. This action will be effective January 1, 1999.
2. The team recommends that Irvine Valley College review and evaluate the establishment of a single reporting structure for the assistant director of safety and security. This will assist in the progress that Irvine Valley College has made in assumption of an identity separate from Saddleback College.
Effective August 1, 1993, the Saddleback Community College District Board of Trustees created an independent safety and security department at the college. This department is staffed by a director/chief of police, who reports to the college's vice president of business services, and safety officers who provide continuous safety and security coverage at the college.
Standard 7: Financial Resources
1. The team recommends that the district and the college develop and implement a plan to provide adequate resources for the unfunded liability of committed district retiree benefits.
The district and Board of Trustees assume responsibility for retiree benefits. The Board has directed the district to establish an account with an annual "set-aside" of funds to meet the long-term obligation. To date, the district has established a reserve and plans to increase the reserve as funds become available.
Standard 8: Governance and Administration
1. The team recommends that the college seek a workable delineation of function between the faculty bargaining unit and Academic Senates.
The relative functions of the Academic Senate and the faculty's exclusive representation are clearly delineated in law and in local policy, a delineation generally understood and widely observed in practice. The adoption by the governing board (May 1995) of Board Policy 2101.1, Delegation of Authority to the Academic Senate, further clarifies the relationship and relative responsibilities of the two faculty groups. Items included within the master agreement are understood to fall within the scope of collective bargaining and exclusive representation. On these matters, senate recommendations are advanced to the bargaining agent (District faculty association). In addition, the senate provides counsel and assistance to the bargaining agent either as required by law or as requested by the faculty association. Similarly, on other professional and academic matters not within the scope of collective bargaining, the bargaining agent provides counsel to the senate as requested by the senate or as proffered by the faculty association. The governing board has entered into a bilateral agreement (Board Policy 2100.1) with the senates whereby the board relies primarily upon the recommendations of the senates on an itemized list of academic and professional matters. The senates attend to an additional set of responsibilities assigned either by statute, by local policy, by practice, or at the request of administrative offices. When these matters overlap responsibilities of the exclusive agent - or are joint responsibilities - the senate consults with the faculty association.