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Probation Area 3.D: Resources at Centers

Task: As stated in the HLC action letter, Highlands must provide evidence that the institution has ameliorated the findings of non-compliance identified in this action that resulted in the imposition of Probation, Core Component 3.D:

With regard to the additional locations:

  1. adequate budget allocations for effective operations, teaching and learning;
  2. adequate physical facilities for teaching and learning; and
  3. appropriate attention to student concerns about these matters.

More information was provided in the HLC action letter:

The University is out of compliance with Criterion Three, Core Component 3.D, “the institution provides support for student learning and effective teaching,” for the following reasons:

  • The University has not demonstrated that it provides appropriate support for student learning and effective teaching across the institution as required by this Core Component because:
    • despite the extensive services available to students at the main Las Vegas campus, there are concerns about the additional locations (Centers) including: availability, extent and effectiveness of services and support for student learning (e.g., advisement, registration and financial aid support); the limitations of the physical facilities (e.g., classrooms, office space, reading/meeting areas, and the ITV system for synchronous learning); and inadequacy of library and learning resources, and academic support (e.g., electronic resources available from the main campus library website, tutoring and related academic support);
    • the significant enrollment growth at the Centers has not been supported by greater financial investment to ensure that facilities and services are appropriately supporting student learning; and
    • students and faculty at the Centers have expressed dissatisfaction with the facilities, services and support at the Centers, but the institution has not taken appropriate, timely corrective action; and
  • While the University in its August 2016 response explained its efforts to begin discussion about addressing the issues at the additional locations and appears to be committed to improvement there, there is not yet evidence of an improved infrastructure supporting the additional locations or that the improvements now being discussed will support the goal of ensuring appropriate quality services at the locations.

Resolution: Highlands needs to accomplish things to resolve Probation Area:

  1. Create comprehensive and accurate lists of the services we offer at the Centers that lead to effective operations, teaching, and learning, including data about student and faculty perception of those services.
  2. Prove that we offer adequate budget allocations for effective operations, teaching, and learning at the Centers, and, where necessary, increase those allocations.
  3. Prove that we offer adequate physical facilities for teaching and learning at the Centers.
  4. Effectively promote and communicate to Center students and faculty the services we offer at the Centers.
  5. Strengthen our system to catalog and respond to student and faculty concerns about Center services, including any necessary enhancements.

Background: Currently, Highlands has four main statewide Centers: Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Farmington, Santa Fe, and a single cohort of Social Work students at Roswell. While these 5 Centers serve over 1,000 students (by headcount; FTE is much lower), Highlands was unable in the Fall 2015 assurance visit to provide adequate evidence that Center students and faculty were properly supported, including concerns raised by students themselves. While some of these are perception issues—students thinking that services were not available which, in fact were—others are substantive. Both issues must be solved by offering more responsive services at the Centers, better communicating what services we offer, and show proper attentiveness to student and faculty concerns. 

Table of Student Services at the Centers

  Milestone Completion Responsibility Evidence
Center Retreat Held to Identify Potential Issues July 26-28, 2016 President, Provost-VPAA Center Retreat Agenda
Action Plan of Center Issues Created, with Farmington and Santa Fe identified as of particular concern to students and the HLC as a result of the Fall 2015 visit August 1, 2016 Members of Center Retreat Farmington Action Plan and Santa Fe Action Plan
Faculty Senate Visit to Albuquerque Center and Rio Rancho Center to Discuss Faculty Concerns, with Faculty Senate/General Faculty Meeting Held from Albuquerque September 28, 2016; October 27, 2016 Faculty Senate Chair Faculty Senate Minutes: September 28, 2016; October 26, 2016
Survey of all Center Students to Assess Satisfaction with Services with the Adult Services Priority Survey (ASPS) September 2016 VP-SEM Survey Results
Implementation of Farming and Santa Fe Action Plans Fall 2016-Spring 2017 VPAA-Provost, Center Directors Farmington Action Plan and Santa Fe Action Plan
Design of Customer Service Initiative (Power of Service) Spring 2017 HR Director Power of Service Launch 
Creation of Student Services Table for all Centers and online; redesign of center websites to highlight services; creation of student services brochures to highlight student services at centers Summer 2017 Executive Management Team; Director of University Relations Center Services Table, Albuquerque web page and brochure, Farmington web page and brochure, Rio Rancho web page and brochure, Santa Fe web page and brochure 
Design Contact Log to Improve Responsiveness Summer 2017 Responsiveness Team Responsiveness Agenda, Contact Log
Second Center Retreat to discuss Reoraginzation of Center Resources to Improve Services Summer 2017 Provost/VPAA Second Center Retreat Agenda, Charge
Creation of Customer Relations Coordinator Position to Answer Calls and Improve Services Summer 2017 VP-SEM Position Description
Creating of Business Office Help Line Fall 2017 Comptroller Global e-mail
Thorough documentation of faculty resources, staff resources, physical resources, and budgets at centers Fall 2017 HLC Steering Committee

 

Assurance Argument 3.D.

 

Hire Customer Relations Coordinator Fall 2017 VP-SEM Hire completed
Implementation of Contact Logs Fall 2017-ongoing Student Services Contact Logs