Program Assessment: The SIMPLE Plan
The Office of Grants, Research and Institutional Effectiveness develops and implements The SIMPLE Plan — a tool for assessing and increasing institutional effectiveness. The Construction Management Department’s activities are studied as a part of The SIMPLE Plan.
The results and benefits of The SIMPLE Plan at the unit and department level include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Use of the results of the process to enhance student learning and services provided for students;
- Unit and department goals and plans that are aligned with college-wide goals and contribute to accomplishment of the institution’s mission and its core themes;
- Regular self-evaluation of unit, department, and committee performance to ensure duties and responsibilities are fulfilled in an effective and efficient manner;
- Documentation of the adequacy of unit and department resources and capacity;
- Demonstration that units and departments are sufficiently flexible to address unexpected circumstances and to seek opportunities;
- Documented achievement of stated goals or intended outcomes of college operational units, instructional departments, and committees;
- Compilation of information over time for decision-making and compliance with external requirements;
- Plans that reflect both the independent and interdependent nature of the institution’s operations, functions, and resources;
- Ongoing, participatory planning that provides direction;
- Planning that is communicated across the college; and
- Linkage of planning and goal-setting to the board-level key performance indicators.
Quality Improvement Plan
In addition to The SIMPLE Plan, the construction unit follows an internal quality plan focusing on curriculum and student learning. The plan consists of four broad action areas and its implementation is continuous. The four action areas are:
- Identify and update program outcomes — Our industry advisory board maintains and annually reviews a list of program outcomes.
- Ensure that program structure and course content address program outcomes — Course syllabi are reviewed regularly to ensure that course content aligns with our outcomes and that all of the outcomes are addressed within required classes.
- Verify that courses effectively teach to program objectives — Each course and each instructor is evaluated regularly by our students. The department also conducts a survey of graduates. Details can be found below.
- Modify curriculum and program procedures based on objective criteria — Outcomes and course content are modified as needed to ensure that the department focuses on skill sets that are valued by construction employers and that we are doing an effective job of preparing students in those areas.
The department conducts a graduate survey every two years. The most recent survey was conducted in Fall 2011. The survey poses two questions for each of 42 program outcomes:
- How important is the skill in your job?
- Did we prepare you at the level necessary to meet job requirements?
The survey helps ensure that faculty and student efforts are well aligned with industry needs and expectations. It also helps to ensure that our graduates are well prepared in areas that are valued by industry. The survey tracks starting salaries and benefits.
The department tracks graduation rates, employment rates, and staring salaries through Career Bridge, a site maintained by the Washington State Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board. Details can be found under Student Achievement.