Weekly Update – October 10, 2010

on October 10, 2010 in Weekly Update

Hello San Jacinto College Community –

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I sure found it hard to be indoors during this past week – the weather was so beautiful that I wanted to move all my meetings outside!!  That wasn’t possible, but I did try to find a few extra minutes each day to enjoy the outdoors. I hope you did too!

The Board held their workshop and meeting on Monday evening. At the workshop, we reviewed the Access and Outreach Report which addresses the progress that San Jacinto College has made in increasing student access to instruction and college services and in providing community outreach. The four Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) used to measure performance and success in these areas are recruitment, enrollment, student access to services, and financial aid. The report and presentation were quite informative and illustrated interesting trends. Here are a few highlights:

  1. The ethnicity percentages for the 2009 first-time-in-college (FTIC) students reflect that African American, Caucasian, and Hispanic populations are now at 13%, 37%, and 44%, respectively, compared to 11%, 46%, and 32% in 2003.  The percentage of our Asian FTIC students ranged from 3.8% to 5.2% over the same seven-year period.
  2. The ethnicity of our entire credit student population is African American 11%, Caucasian 41%, and Hispanic 38%. The estimated ethnicity for our service area is African American 12%, Caucasian 32%, and Hispanic 51%. The difference in representation indicates that we need to continue to work on outreach efforts to our Hispanic populations.
  3. From fall 2006 to fall 2009, distance learning enrollments have increased 63% from 6,244 enrollments to 10,192. During the same period, contact hours from fully online courses have increased from 7.1% to 9.1% of our total contact hours, and hybrid courses account for 3.5% of total contact hours.
  4. Our student population continues to get younger with the average age at 24. Nearly half of the students at San Jacinto College are ages 18 to 21 and more than half are ages 21 or younger, but each age group through age 55+ has increased over the past three years.
  5. Our penetration rates for San Jacinto College students, ages 15 to 64 as a percentage of the geographic population ages 15 to 64, have shown an upward trend from 5.9% to 6.3%. This means that we are capturing a slightly greater percentage of the people living in our service area.
  6. Of the 10,338 students who graduated in May 2009 from our service area high schools, 2,643 attended San Jacinto College in fall 2010. This means that we captured 25.6% of the students who graduated, which is consistent with the prior three years.   
  7. Since 2004-2005, our dual credit enrollment has more than doubled with 2,345 and 2,096 students enrolled last fall and spring, respectively. The dual credit contact hours have more than doubled from fiscal year 2004-2006 compared to fiscal year 2009-2010, and they now represent more than 5% of our total contact hours.

Each of these trends is important as we continue to determine our strategic positioning for the future (i.e. marketing campaigns, recruitment efforts, instructional offerings by modality, increased focus on dual credit, etc.).

Additionally, at the Board workshop, we reviewed the current enrollment for fall 2010, which will be reported to the State. Our headcount is up 5.8%, while our contact hours are up 4.7%. This indicates more students are enrolled, but they are taking fewer credit hours on average than the prior fall.

Finally, we discussed persistence rates from fall 2009 to spring 2010 and from fall 2009 to fall 2010 (see the table below). From fall to spring, the persistence rate was 75.3%, which is .8% higher than the prior year. This means that of the 5,358 FTIC who started in fall 2009, 4,034 returned in the spring (this is 465 more students than the year before). While the move in the persistence rate (percentage) is important, what is more important is that we pulled 465 more people through! In other words, 465 more students progressed from the fall semester to the spring semester than the year before. The percentage of students who persisted from fall 2009 to fall 2010 went down from 53.3% to 52%. But 231 more students made it through and returned from the year before (2,786 returned fall 2010 versus 2,555 in fall 2009).

I know these are a lot of numbers, but the data points are important metrics for us, and these metrics translate into real people – real students in our classrooms who have returned and are on their way to accomplishing their goals. The challenge is how to continue to increase the percentages and the numbers so that more of our students are achieving their goals!

This same information (and more) was reviewed at the Achieving the Dream Core Team meeting Tuesday. If you are interested in learning more about Achieving the Dream, our student success agenda, and the data we are reviewing, let me know. We intend to engage more people throughout the College in this important work this year as we expand our “San Jac Data and You” initiative. 

On Friday, I participated in a meeting with the Faculty Performance Management Design Team. We discussed the successes and challenges from the pilot year, along with the Individual Performance Plans (IPP) that are currently in progress. A white paper is being developed and will be distributed next week to explain how the goals and strategies of the strategic plan and the annual priorities relate to IPPs for faculty members. We all agreed that the annual priorities must cascade from the Chancellor and Strategic Leadership Team through the department chairs, but that cascade is not always appropriate from department chairs to faculty. Rather, faculty members and their department chairs need to create the IPP together based on agreed-upon KPIs which reflect the particular needs of the department and faculty member. There should also be consideration for the annual priorities of the College that impact teaching and learning. Here are a few examples of specific annual priorities directly related to faculty: engaging more people in the “San Jac Data and You” initiative, increasing the number of faculty participating in the Quality Enhancement Plan from the current 98 to 170 by the end of the year, or continuing the college prep redesign. Again, watch for the white paper that will be distributed this week; it will provide additional guidance as department chairs and faculty members develop, negotiate, and agree on appropriate KPIs for the IPP process.

In addition, members of the Faculty Performance Management Design Team agreed to conduct faculty focus groups during the first two weeks of November in order to gather feedback on last year’s process and the current year’s IPP development process. These sessions will be facilitated by faculty, and the feedback and input will be used to help with system improvements moving forward. The dates and times will be set soon, so watch for updates from the Human Resource Department.

For staff and administrators, your leader should be working on his or her IPP. No later than this week, your IPP should be triggered in the system for you to begin working on your IPP. The cascade and alignment does apply to your KPIs so it is important that you and your leader begin conversations soon.

I indicated a few weeks ago that we will be addressing the nomenclature of the performance management system. The Human Resources Department is gathering feedback on nomenclature  through October 22nd. If you have ideas or suggestions on what to call certain terms used in the performance management system, email your suggestions to Sandra.Ramirez@sjcd.edu. For example, we are looking to rename IPP, KPI, Meets Requirements, Exceeds, Exceptional, Room for Improvement, etc. Once the suggestions are compiled, the Strategic Leadership Team will determine the “new and improved” nomenclature.    

For the next four weeks, I will be addressing the four strategic goals, strategies, and annual priorities in my weekly updates.  It is important that each of us has a clear understanding of what we are trying to achieve and how we intend to accomplish our goals this year. So on that note, plan to hear about our Student Success goal next week!

Finally, I want to thank everyone who came out to the Pasadena Rodeo Wednesday night for the San Jac Night at the Rodeo. We had a great time, and we were well represented in the opening ceremonies with our Board of Trustees, Marie Flickinger, Larry Wilson, Dan Mims and Wayne Slovacek representing us. I am anxious to hear the final numbers for the ticket sales which will translate into scholarship dollars for our students. The Pasadena Rodeo Association is excited to continue to expand on this partnership so let’s plan on increasing our attendance next year. 

By the way, today is 10-10-10.  It is supposed to be the biggest day this year for weddings, so if any of you got married today, be sure to let us know!!

Have a great week!


2 Responses to “Weekly Update – October 10, 2010”

  1. Larry Gainor says:

    I find it interesting that this blog was created to “foster open communication,” yet there haven’t been any comments since February. There are many possible explanations for this dearth of feedback, however the one that concerns me is the possibility that SJC is an organization whose employees do not feel that they can safely express their opinions – especially if their opinions differ from those of the college administration.

  2. Larry, thank you for your response on this blog. As I have mentioned in the past and have demonstrated, I take the input of our college community into account as we consider initiatives and projects. It is my intention to create open communications throughout the College. You bring up a point that concerns me, and I want to assure you and any others who share your concern that I want to dispel this type of thing and foster open communication, even when we don’t agree.

    I look at the blog as one of several avenues where employees can openly communicate and provide input. Quite possibly, the blog is not being used as frequently for input because there are other avenues providing that outlet. At this time, our blog statistics show that we are not fully engaging our college community on the blog and perhaps that has a bearing on the lack of comments. Additionally, during this past year I began posting my weekly updates on the blog versus emailing them, and I was asked by employees to post the weekly update to the blog along with emailing them. Several employees indicated that they preferred email to the blog so I accommodated that preference which may have impacted the traffic on the blog. I welcome your suggestions as to how we can engage more of our staff, faculty, and administrators on the blog.