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Vanguard Learning College

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Vanguard Learning College



Institutional Profile

Outstanding Features of Learning College

Project Plans

Solutions to Problems and Issues

Advice to Our Colleagues




Solutions to Problems and Issues—Compiled Spring, 2002

VI. Funding

For further information, contact Patricia Bauhs at bauhs@morainevalley.edu

1. What are the key strategies your college has used to keep plans focused and to link resources to student and organizational learning?
Moraine Valley Community College had identified priorities (1 - 2 years) through its annual planning process, which is guided by the following published statement: 

"We promise to provide a student-centered environment and to focus all college staff and resources in support of student learning, student development and student success."

This statement assures that the implementation of corresponding goals and objectives link the resources of the institution to organizational learning and to the improvement of the learning environment and the learning culture at all levels. 

The planning process is as follows:

  • Annual priorities are identified, reviewed collegewide, revised and/or affirmed.

  • Goals and objectives are established by each college division.

  • All necessary resources are identified for established objectives (human, physical, financial, technology, etc.)

  • Resources (reallocation of existing resources, state funds, grant funding, etc.) for objectives are determined.

  • Project objectives (immediate, incremental, long range), along with action plans, timelines and evaluation/effectiveness measures are established and approved.

  • Projects are implemented

2. What reward structures have been created at your college to motivate faculty and staff to place learning first in their work?
  • Lane advancement (per faculty contract) includes recognition of professional development activity.

  • Release time (per contract) is awarded.

  • Sabbatical leave (for faculty and administrators) is available based on approved proposal.

  • Professional development funding is supported through a transfer of 10% of the net revenues of one of the college's enterprise subdivisions. (Workforce Development and Community Services)

3. What strategies are being used to secure alternative funding for strengthening your college's focus on learning?
  • The Resource Development and Institutional Effectiveness Office was established and professional staff were charged with seeking grant funding to support specific college priorities.

  • Annually, staff identify priorities for grant development

  • matrix project teams develop the grant narrative

  • communication of project priorities occurs through formal (staff newsletter) and informal means.

  • Professional college staff work with state agency leadership to aggressively lobby for increased State of Illinois funding to community colleges, including Moraine Valley.  Examples of current issues being addressed are:

  • Increased annual funding to community colleges (by 5.6% or $17.9 million)

  • Increased annual funding for adult education (by $9 million)

  • Supporting passage of a $250 million capital improvement program for community colleges.

  • Consideration for maximizing existing revenue sources, such as bond extension authority.

  • College staff aggressively work with state agencies and legislators to gain support for identified college projects, including capital projects.

  • Finally, the college works with performance funding indicators (enrollments, student success and comparison with peer institutions) to maximize this funding stream to the college.*

*For additional information, see State Funding for Community Colleges: A 50-State Survey, Education Commission of the States, 2000.

4. What successful mechanisms have been used at your college to eliminate policies, programs, practices, and positions that are low priority, off target, outdated, or inefficient.
  • The Program Accountability Standards System (PASS) process (available upon request) guides program and course review revision, revitalization and/or removal. Information on this Illinois award-winning program is available upon request.

  • Action Steps, as developed through the strategic planning process.

5. What has your college done to keep faculty and staff from expending energy in blaming external conditions, such as funding by FTA or ADA, as the reasons they cannot make changes to become more learning centered?  What has your college done to concentrate efforts on what can be changed within the institution.  
  • Administrators work outside of traditional relationships to motivate faculty and staff to be more learner centered.

  • Communicate collegewide through formal vehicles such as staff newsletter, divisional news updates and other information exchanges.

  • Efforts to consolidate and reduce the number of goals and objectives to a manageable, achievable  but ambitious set of new and continuing initiatives are being undertaken.

  • Faculty and staff recruitment, hiring, orientation and retention activities have been formalized to consistently include the following:

  • Criteria for selection includes commitment to continuous professional and program renewal.

  • An outstanding two-year faculty orientation program assures faculty commitment to learning- centeredness.  (Available upon request.)

In addition, the college is engaged in a strategic planning process involving a 12-member oversight council and six focused teams with ten members each.  Efforts are concentrated on internal conditions and the college's ability to respond to external needs.  The study is objective and research- based in nature, and lends itself to problem resolution based on recommendations to be made by the Strategic  Planning Council.