planning on a whiteboard with post it notes

Our Mission

The mission of the Institutional Effectiveness (IE) Department is to assist the college in embracing excellence by facilitating a college-wide comprehensive planning, assessment, and evaluation process; assisting the college in maintaining good standing with its institutional and program accreditation agencies; and coordinating college-wide committee membership and evaluation.

person writing plans on whiteboard

Process & Framework

Through the IE process, the college aligns organizational activities with the college’s mission. The IE process involves four integrated dimensions: Planning, Assessment, Evaluation and Budgeting.

The IE Framework starts with the DSC mission followed by the DSC Strategic Plan (goals and strategic priorities to support the mission). Within the framework, there is an eight-stage model of Outcome Assessment for academic and non-academic units, and a five-step model, SHINE, that documents outcomes assessment.IE framework

The IE Framework supports compliance with the standards and requirements of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). 

Planning at DSC

Planning at DSC involves strategic and tactical planning to determine the priorities and initiatives that best support the College’s mission.

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  • Strategic Plan

    To accomplish its mission, the college is guided by a three-year strategic plan that identifies goals and strategic priorities to support the mission. Led by Planning Council, the plan is developed by anticipating key external trends, opportunities, and threats (Environmental Scan) that may be driving forces in shaping the college’s future and responding more effectively to the community it serves.

  • Unit Plans

    The college’s academic and non-academic areas develop, implement, and measure unit plans to determine the priorities and initiative that best support the College’s Strategic Plan and student success.

  • Planning Council

    Planning Council acts as a point of consensus in a participatory process that supports the planning and assessment processes of the College through coordinating planning and assessment activities, identifying and evaluating issues significant to the planning process, and recommending outcomes and strategies which improve student success, embrace excellence and diversity, foster innovation, and enhance teaching and learning.

    To ensure the effectiveness of the college’s educational programs, the Planning Council oversees the instructional program review process and the academic assessment process.

    Academic Success Committee: Evaluates strengths and challenges, identifies opportunities, and provides recommendations for improving outcomes at the course, program, and institutional level.

    Instructional Program Review Committee: Evaluates academic programs by reviewing their strengths and challenges, identifying opportunities, and providing recommendations for improvements spanning a three‐year period.

    To ensure the effectiveness of the college’s functional units, the Planning Council oversees the administrative unit review process and the non-academic assessment process.

    Institutional Success Committee: Assesses the planning efficacy of non-academic units.

    Administrative Unit Review Committee: Provides an opportunity to evaluate administrative unit productivity, staffing, and cost effectiveness and make recommendations for improvements.

Assessment at DSC

Assessment at DSC is the regular and consistent review of academic and non-academic outcomes at the institutional, program, course, and unit levels. It is a formative, cyclical process.

DSC has defined three type of learning outcomes for all educational programs:     

  • Institutional Outcomes - Results of overall student experience
  • Program - Result of finishing a program
  • Course - Result of completing a course learning outcome types

Assessment Days

  1. Provide an opportunity for faculty from each academic program to engage in a facilitated annual review and discussion of academic program data and
  2. Generate intentional strategies and measurable targets for improving learning at the course and program levels.

Continuous Improvement

Continuous improvement at DSC is an on-going process of enhancing products, services, and processes. DSC’s model is used to evaluate effectiveness at all levels within the institution. DSC strives for continuous improvement and innovation in institutional programs, academic and institutional services, and activities.

College-Wide Committees

Committees that provide opportunities for broad-based input into the formulation of solutions to challenges and issues facing the College. Committees’ input enables DSC’s commitment to institutional effectiveness and continuous improvement.

Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Compliance