Sample Site Visit Reflection Letter

Reflections from December 13-14, 2012 Site Visit
Dear Dr. ____:
Thank you for hosting us during our recent site visit. Your recognition as a Leader College is so well-deserved. As
promised, Charlotte and I are following up with the information we discussed during our exit interview with you.
Add an IT rep on core and/or data team
Encourage IT rep to attend EDUCAUSE (regional or national) to stay abreast of how technology will
impact higher ed, including the Predictive Analytics Reporting (PAR) Framework and Learner
Relationship Management (LRM) solutions
Add a rep from Public Relations to the core team to help with messaging of student success agenda and
the development of a communication plan, including adding the “placemat” to your website.
Since two of the ATD success measures involve completion of developmental math, Reading and Writing
and successful completion of gateway English and Math, ensure faculty in those areas are represented
on the data team.
Pose some questions to the Data Team and have them use the new business intelligence tool to try to
answer the questions so they can pilot the BI system and start training others how to use. For instance, a
recent student found that 54% of community colleges’ educational costs are spent on “non productive”
credits: courses taken by non-completers (33%), excess credits taken by completers beyond graduation
requirements (14%); and failed/withdrawn courses taken by completers (7%). What are the percentages
at DCCC?
Conduct a curriculum architecture study to ensure that the class schedule aligns with your academic
programs to facilitate student completion, e.g. for DCCC’s associate programs, is the schedule aligned so
that a FT student can graduate in two years?
Revisit the logic models and evaluation plans developed by the previous data team as you will be asked
to report on the evaluation of your student success initiatives in your annual report and you will want to
conduct evaluations before you scale your interventions.
Consider investing in the $5200 Center for Applied Research (CFAR) JumpStart IR solution (SAS based) to
build a data mart, IR capacity and to handle compliance reporting, ATD/JBL reporting and a host of other
reporting needs such faculty/load studies. (see attachments for more information).
Complete the AIR Data and Decision Academy online course, “Student Success Through the Lens of
Data” which your team started.
Continue to monitor the national and state higher ed agenda
Promised Resources/Examples:
New Community College at CUNY article:
College website:
Texas Southmost College statement on every job description/position announcement: “ The incumbent
in this job is expected to assist the College in achieving its vision and mission of student success
and service to the community. A commitment to excellence, service, and a willingness to assist as
needed are expectations for all employees.” See example here:
Leader College recertification templates so you can see the data you will be required to report on:
Exessive credit chart with the
goal being to reduce the gap
between the credits students
should take and the credits
students do take. Many states
are capping associate degrees
at 60 credits so another
metric would be to reduce the
gap between number of
credits a program should have
(60) and the number of credits
it actually requires.
Student Completion Pledges: Many colleges are having students sign a commitment pledge to help
build momentum on campus and help ensure students commit to complete their individual graduation
agenda. Phi Theta Kappa has developed a pledge you can use: Some
colleges have pledge signing days, others offer incentives for students to complete, e.g. PGCC gives
students an Envision Success t-shirt when they turn in their pledge.
Others, like the University at Buffalo have students complete a pledge at orientation and the pledge
lists what a FT student has to do to graduate on time and what the college pledges to do
The ATD Knowledge Center is a searchable database containing videos, articles, and reports from
Achieving the Dream Founding Partners, Partner Organizations, and other experts entrenched in the
work of community colleges and student success. These aids shall serve as support to Achieving the
Dream Institutions throughout the process of institutional reform, and aid in creating a culture of
continuous improvement. You can search by step in the five step process or filter by topic, type, or
keyword. To access visit:
Equity Balanced Scorecard:
Leader College grant opportunities will be announced to you via email from ATD.
Developmental Ed Policy Inventory and Best Practices (attached)
LRM info from ATD/CBD gathering at Educause (attached)
We still owe you information on:
faculty mentoring
the assessment of academic advising
suggestions on how to tackle the ACA090 for high school students since they cannot take zero level
what defines a new student in terms of scaling ACA090
how to prioritize Starfish retention flags and will get that information to you after the holiday break.
We will share this information with you after the holidays.
As always, it was a pleasure to meet with your talented team. We look forward to seeing you at DREAM!
Wishing you the best of the season,
Laurie Heacock, Data Coach
Charlotte Biggerstaff, Leadership Coach