NWCCU Year One Report
Lewis-Clark State College (LCSC) is one of eight institutions of higher education governed by the Idaho State Board of Education. It is joined by Boise State University, the College of Southern Idaho, the College of Western Idaho, Eastern Idaho Technical College, Idaho State University, North Idaho College, and the University of Idaho. Lewis-Clark State College is unique among these institutions in that it is the only regional state college in the state of Idaho. The three-part mission of the institution is also distinctive. It encompasses traditional academic programs, professional-technical education programs, and community college and community service programs, providing unparalleled opportunities to the citizens of Idaho.
The State Board of Education is responsible for the governance and oversight of all levels of public education in Idaho. As stated in the State Board of Education’s Strategic Plan:
The Idaho Constitution provides that the general supervision of the state educational institutions and public school system of the State of Idaho shall be vested in a state board of education. Pursuant to Idaho Code, the State Board of Education is charged to provide for the general supervision, governance and control of all state educational institutions, and for the general supervision, governance and control of the public school systems, including public community colleges.
Lewis-Clark State College was established by the Idaho State Legislature in 1893. It originally was designated Lewiston State Normal School, reflecting its early mission as a teacher training institution. In the ensuing years its name was changed to North Idaho College of Education (1947), Lewis-Clark Normal School (1956) and finally Lewis-Clark State College (1971). The State legislature and the State Board of Education authorized the latest name change in recognition of the college’s expanded role as 4-year undergraduate institution with programs in select professional areas, professional-technical education, and the liberal arts.
The college occupies 46 acres on historic Normal Hill in an attractive residential area of Lewiston, Idaho, a city of approximately 35,000 located at the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater rivers. Across the Snake River in Washington is Clarkston, with a population of 8,000. The cities of Lewiston and Clarkston, as well as the college, are named for explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, who led the historic 1804-06 expedition into the newly acquired Louisiana Purchase. The beautiful campus enjoys the mildest winters in Idaho—a unique climate that is matched by a warm and friendly educational environment.
In addition to its on-campus educational opportunities, LCSC offers instructional programs in Coeur d’Alene and a number of outreach centers located throughout the region. A variety of alternative learning formats is available, making higher education accessible throughout northern Idaho and eastern Washington.
For fall 2010, there were 172 full-time faculty members and 4,542 students were enrolled in the institution’s undergraduate programs. LCSC offers 53 academic and professional technical programs (associate’s and bachelor’s degrees and professional certificates). In accordance with its role and mission statement, LCSC’s primary emphasis areas are basic strengths in the liberal arts and sciences, business, justice studies, nursing, social work, teacher preparation, and professional-technical education. Other assigned emphasis areas are the provision of select programs offered on and off campus, at non-traditional times, using non-traditional means of delivery, to serve a diverse student body. The institution also conducts selected research studies and provides a variety of life-long learning opportunities through its continuing education programs. LCSC works in collaboration with other State and regional postsecondary institutions to serve its diverse constituencies: students, business and industry, the professions, public sector groups, and special constituencies within the region and throughout the State.
Brief Update on Institutional Changes Since the Institution's Last Report
LCSC underwent its decennial accreditation review in the fall of 2009 and its accreditation was reaffirmed in January 2010 by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
In March 2010, Dr. Dene K. Thomas resigned as president of LCSC (effective July, 2010) to accept the presidency at Fort Lewis College, Durango, Colorado. At that time, Provost J. Anthony Fernandez was named interim president of Lewis-Clark State College by the Idaho State Board of Education and in March 2011, after a national search, he was named president.
In July 2010, Dr. Rob Lohrmeyer, Dean of Professional-Technical Programs, was named Interim Provost and Vice-President for Academic Affairs. In August 2011, after a national search, Dr. Carmen M. Simone, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Casper College in Wyoming, was appointed as LCSC’s Provost and Vice-President for Academic Affairs.
Reponse to Topics Previously Requested by the Commission
The Fall 2009 Comprehensive Evaluation Report, written by the visiting team for the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, listed six commendations and one recommendation for Lewis-Clark State College. The sole recommendation listed was:
The evaluation committee recommends that Lewis-Clark State College continue to develop measurable learning objectives and appropriate measurements consistently across the curriculum and use the results to improve teaching and learning at the College. At the same time, we recommend that it does so as part of the ongoing review of the General Education Curriculum (Standard 2.B.3).
Lewis-Clark State College is committed to continuous improvement and, in that vein, continues to develop methods to utilize measurable outcomes of learning as indicators of success in meeting its mission. As an example, the ETS® Proficiency Profile is completed by graduating seniors every 3 years. This test measures performance in key areas such as critical thinking, reading, writing, mathematics, humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Scores of LCSC students are compared with students at peer institutions across the nation, providing nationally-normed benchmarks and valuable feedback for the institution. In addition, students in most professional programs take appropriate national exams. LCSC closely monitors student performance on entrance examinations for professional and graduate schools, in addition to measuring pass rates on national licensure exams such as the NCLEX.
Besides using the ETS® Proficiency Profile as a barometer for the general education program, the Dean of Academic Programs and the General Education Committee have worked with Division Chairs and faculty to identify other measurable learning outcomes for the General Education core. For example, the Division of Natural Sciences has utilized the College BASE examinations in science and mathematics on a regular basis, along with the ETS Major Field Tests in biology, chemistry, and mathematics. Through this collaborative process, both direct and indirect measurement tools and strategies have been identified, and each will be implemented on either a semester or annual basis. Course faculty and Divisions will work with the General Education Committee and the Office of Assessment to monitor the assessment process. Evidence to the implementation of the results as a part of the continuous learning model is included in the annual assessment documents maintained by the Office of Institutional Planning, Research, and Assessment.
Chapter One: Mission, Core Themes, and Expectations
Executive Summary of Eligibility Requirements 2 and 3
Requirement #2 AUTHORITY. The institution is authorized to operate and award degrees as a higher education institution by the appropriate governmental organization, agency, or governing board as required by the jurisdiction in which it operates.
LCSC’s authority to operate as a higher education institution and to grant degrees is established by Idaho statute. This authority is documented in Idaho Code, Title 33, “EDUCATION, CHAPTER 31, LEWIS-CLARK STATE COLLEGE,” which states:
33-3101. ESTABLISHMENT OF SCHOOL. An institute of higher education for the state of Idaho is hereby established in the city of Lewiston, in the county of Nez Perce, to be called the Lewis-Clark State College, heretofore called the Lewis-Clark Normal School, the purposes of which shall be the offering and the giving of instruction in four (4) year college courses in science, arts and literature, and such courses or programs as are usually included in liberal arts colleges leading to the granting of the degree of Bachelor, upon completion of such courses or programs as have been approved by the state board of education. The board of trustees may also establish educational, professional-technical and other courses or programs of less than four (4) years, as it may deem necessary, and such courses or programs may be given or conducted on or off campus, or in night school, summer schools, or by extension courses.
As indicated previously, the Idaho State Board of Education has the statutory authority to operate as the board of trustees for LCSC. Idaho law also gives the State Board of Education governing authority over LCSC’s sister public 4-year colleges in the state.
Requirement #3 MISSION AND CORE THEMES. The institution's mission and core themes are clearly defined and adopted by its governing board(s) consistent with its legal authorization, and are appropriate to a degree-granting institution of higher education. The institution's purpose is to serve the educational interests of its students and its principal programs lead to recognized degrees. The institution devotes all, or substantially all, of its resources to support its educational mission and core themes.
LCSC’s mission statement, derived from the legislature’s statutory mandate in Idaho code (cited above), was further detailed in 1998 in the “Institutional Role and Mission” policy established by the State Board of Education. The State Board assigned role and mission statement for LCSC is the foundation for all institutional operations, planning, assessment, and budgeting. The college reports annually to the State Board of Education and to the State legislature on its progress in attaining its assigned mission. LCSC’s role and mission statement are recapitulated in the college’s annual Strategic Plan submission to the State Board of Education and in the statutorily-mandated strategic planning reports submitted to the Governor’s budget office (Division of Financial Management) and the legislature. LCSC’s current Roles and Mission statement, most recently reviewed and approved by the State Board of Education on September 9, 2011, has not substantially changed since the promulgation of the 1998 version, which was the basis of the college’s decennial accreditation self-study and visit by the Northwest Commission in October 2009.
LCSC’s three core themes—delivery of academic, professional-technical, and community programs—map directly with the institution’s state-assigned mission areas. These themes represent the core components of the college’s overall operations designed to meet the needs and interests of LCSC’s students through the delivery of programs leading to the granting of technical certificates, associate-level, and baccalaureate degrees. LCSC’s integrated strategic planning, budgeting, and assessment system provides a practical mechanism for faculty, staff, and students to engage in a process which aligns actions and resources to support the three core theme areas and ensures that all available resources are devoted to the college’s assigned educational mission.
Standard 1.A: Mission
Lewis-Clark State College is a regional state college offering instruction in the liberal arts and sciences, professional areas tailored to the educational needs of Idaho, applied technical programs which support the state and local economy and other educational programs designed to meet the needs of Idahoans.
1. Type of Institution:
Lewis-Clark State College will formulate its academic plan and generate programs with primary emphasis in the areas of business, criminal justice, nursing, social work, teacher preparation, and professional-technical education. The College will give continuing emphasis to select programs offered on and off campus at non-traditional times, using non-traditional means of delivery and serving a diverse student body. Lewis-Clark State College will maintain basic strengths in the liberal arts and sciences, which provide the core curriculum or general education portion of the curriculum.
2. Programs and Services (listed in order of emphasis):
- Baccalaureate Education: Offers a wide range of baccalaureate degrees and some qualified professional programs.
- Associate Education: Offers a wide range of associate degrees and some qualified professional programs.
- Certificates/Diplomas: Offers a wide range of certificates and diplomas.
- Distance Learning: Uses a variety of delivery methods to meet the needs of diverse constituencies.
- Technical and Workforce Training: Offers a wide range of professional, technical and outreach programs.
- Research: Conducts select coordinated and externally funded research studies.
3. Constituencies Served:
The institution serves students, business and industry, the professions, and public sector groups primarily within the region and throughout the state, as well as diverse and special constituencies. Lewis-Clark State College works in collaboration with other state and regional postsecondary institutions in serving these constituencies.
Interpretation of Mission Fulfillment
As is the case with LCSC’s state-assigned mission, the institution also looks to state law and State Board of Education policy in reporting on fulfillment of that mission. The Idaho state code (Title 67, Chapter 19) establishes the annual process through which all state agencies, including institutions of higher education, report on the outcomes of program delivery within their strategic planning processes to demonstrate that budgeted resources are being used effectively and efficiently to achieve agency goals. In accordance with the statute [section 67-904], LCSC submits an annual performance report to the legislature (via the State Board of Education and the Governor’s Division of Financial Management) consisting of two parts. Part 1 consists of an “agency profile” of the past four years’ revenues and expenditures (sources and uses of funds) for institution programs, along with a profile on the number and types of “cases and key services” provided. For example, LCSC reports enrollment (headcount and FTE), credit hour production, credit hours taught per faculty FTE, and certificates/degrees awarded each year. Part 2 of the annual strategic planning report to the legislature consists of a “performance measure” report containing [no more than 10, per statute] key performance indicators, along with the benchmarks for those indicators. These performance measures, chosen by the institution and approved by the State Board of Education, include parameters which demonstrate fulfillment of LCSC’s assigned mission, for example: first-time, full-time, degree-seeking freshman retention rates; graduation rates (using IPEDS cohorts); first-time licensing/certification examination pass rates (nurses, teachers); scholarship dollars provided per student FTE; and employment rates for LCSC’s previous year’s graduates.
The legally-mandated strategic planning reports on mission accomplishment and resource allocation are necessarily limited to higher level, aggregated performance measures. Underlying this state-level accountability process is a year-long, continuous, detailed institutional assessment, planning, and budgeting process which engages all functional elements of the college. All LCSC activities—whether instructional delivery activities or support activities—are organized into “programs” which form the common denominator of the assessment-planning-budgeting process. Instructional programs include, for example, the Nursing BSN major, Secondary Education teacher preparation, Workforce Training, General Education, Collision Repair, Business, and Chemistry. Examples of non-instructional support programs include Financial Aid, Security, Controller operations, College Advancement, Grants and Contracts, and so on. All programs, whether instructional or support, are the subject of LCSC’s integrated strategic planning, budgeting, and assessment process. Each program is organized under a designated Program Manager who is also the Program Assessment Monitor. Each program has program objectives and assessment measures which tie directly to institutional objectives, which, in turn, support the objectives articulated in the State Board of Education’s strategic plan. The direct linkages among LCSC’s Institutional Assessment Plan, Strategic Plan, and Budget enable the personnel directly responsible for delivery of college programs to establish practical assessment tools and establish appropriate benchmarks (in cases where benchmarks/thresholds have not been established by an outside agency) to ensure mission fulfillment and facilitate continuous process improvement.
Articulation of an Acceptable Threshold, Extent, or Degree of Mission Fulfillment
As described above, LCSC’s mission and list of authorized programs and services have been established by the Idaho legislature and the State Board of Education. The institution maintains an up-to-date list of instructional program offerings which is vetted on a regular basis by the State Board of Education and the Northwest Commission, demonstrating that LCSC offers certificate and degree-granting programs in each of its assigned mission areas. With few exceptions, mission fulfillment within the State is not determined through the establishment of minimum performance levels or discrete thresholds, and, much like the approach traditionally used by the Northwest Commission in determining whether its standards are being met, there are few hard numerical “minima” imposed by higher authorities. Nevertheless, in accordance with Idaho code, LCSC has established “benchmarks or performance targets” [per Title 67-1904 (b)(iii)] for its annual performance measures report submitted as part of the Governor’s annual budget to the legislature. Beyond the 10 parameters allowed in the statute-mandated performance measure report, the college has established benchmarks and/or aspirational targets for each of the objectives in LCSC’s strategic plan. These benchmarks typically represent a goal for the delivery of programs and services that already fulfill the basic mission requirements established by higher authorities for the institution, but which, once attained, will represent a measurable improvement in the effectiveness and efficiency of program delivery.
Below are examples of benchmarks developed by LCSC within its Strategic Plan for FY2012-2016. These accompany the performance measures established to support the objectives listed in the State Board of Education’s current strategic plan and illustrate the approach used by the college to articulate levels of attainment in mission fulfillment.
State Board Goal 1: Well-educated citizenry (provide opportunities for individual advancement)
Objective B: Increase the state’s post-secondary education completion rate
- LCSC Performance Measure: number of degrees and certificates awarded annually
- Benchmark: Increase degrees/certificates awarded by 8% (to total of 652 per year)
- LCSC Performance Measure: First-year/full-time IPEDS cohort retention rate
- Benchmark: Increase LCSC cohort retention rate to 60%
Objective D: Improve state’s ability to allow students to transition into the workforce
- LCSC Performance Measure: NCLEX (nursing) first-time license exam pass rate
- LCSC Benchmark: Meet or exceed 88% pass rate
- LCSC Performance Measure: % of graduates employed or continuing their education
- LCSC Benchmark: At least 90% of LCSC graduates with positive placement
The State Board of Education’s approach to strategic planning appears to be evolving toward a greater emphasis on numerical benchmarks and performance targets. For example, it has adopted a goal for 60% of Idaho’s 24-35 year old cohort of citizens to have a college certificate or degree by 2020. The presidents of the state’s public higher education institutions are currently in the process of defining the goals that will be assigned to each institution in order to attain the State Board of Education’s overall goal. As this trend within the state (and specialized accreditation agencies) continues, we would expect a greater number of external minimum thresholds and targets to be added to the large number of internally-developed benchmarks already in place at LCSC.
Thus, LCSC uses a combination of (rare) externally-mandated minimum thresholds along with (numerous) internally-generated benchmarks as aspirational targets to improve the quality, quantity, effectiveness, and/or efficiency of delivered programs and services in fulfillment of the institutions assigned mission.
Standard 1.B: Core Themes
A basic conceptual model was promulgated 10 years ago to clarify, communicate, and reinforce LCSC’s role and mission. The conceptual model characterized the role and missions assigned to LCSC in the form of a “strategic triad” of three main functional themes: 1 ) Academic Programs, 2) Professional-Technical Programs, and 3) Community Programs, encompassing the “community college” functions assigned by the Idaho State Board of Education as well as other community support programs provided throughout Idaho’s Region II.
Academic Programs, Professional-Technical Programs, and Community Programs describe specific and distinctive approaches to the educational purpose of each. This three-themed model emphasizes legitimacy and interconnectivity and stresses the need for close integration and cross-support of all LCSC programs.
The themes of Academic Programs, Professional-Technical Programs, and Community Programs are anchored to, and reinforce the role and mission statement formally assigned by the Idaho State Legislature and the Idaho State Board of Education. Since their introduction, these themes also have been useful tools in LCSC’s campaign to educate external constituencies while strengthening mutual support among LCSC’s students, faculty, staff, and administrators. The model’s sharp focus on the primary State-assigned emphasis areas—liberal arts, business, justice studies, nursing, professional-technical education, social work, and teacher education— has helped the institution align its programs and budget priorities with its mission. The mission-oriented focus of LCSC’s strategic plan places high priority on support for assigned emphasis areas and the general education core. Furthermore, the three-themed strategic model also makes it clear that support of the core missions is the foundation upon which LCSC’s liberal arts and sciences programs are built.
What follows below are general objectives for each theme. Specific objectives for every program at LCSC are too numerous to list here. Suffice it to say that all program objectives are annually reviewed and are part of the established LCSC Assessment and Strategic Planning process. Each objective is listed in a Unit Assessment Document, along with a description of how objective fulfillment is measured and how the results are utilized.
Core Theme I: Connecting Learning to Life through Academic Programs
The first segment of the three part mission of Lewis-Clark State College is fulfilled under the aegis of Academic Programs. This theme guides the offering of undergraduate instruction in the liberal arts and sciences and professional programs tailored to the educational needs of Idaho.
Objective I-A: Develop literate, well informed graduates who are competent life-long learners.
The General Education Core is a major responsibility of Academic Programs. Indicators of achievement will be increased student access and retention, as well as meeting the goals of LCSC's General Education Program. Specifically, graduates will be capable of expressing ideas in clear, logical and grammatically correct written English; express clearly, correctly, logically, and persuasively in spoken English, understand how to obtain information for study or research; understand mathematics and quantitative methods as logical constructs and use it to solve problems and manipulate associated abstract symbols. Graduates will understand science as a way of knowing, how it explains the natural world, and demonstrate critical thinking skills; understand how literature explores the human condition and examines human values; understand how philosophy influences human thought and behavior; understand the creative processes, aesthetic principles, and historical traditions of the fine arts; develop communication skills in a second language and understanding that language’s cultural context; understand how the social sciences explain the relationship(s) between individuals, communities, and global structural forces; understand the dynamic elements of a society’s culture and its influence on society; understand the historical development of the contemporary world and how history explains the past. Graduates will apply values or ethical principles in evaluating potential solutions to current social or environmental problems; increase awareness and appreciation for the diversity in society from the perspectives of gender ethnicities, social class, religion, sexual orientation, ages, and abilities.
Success in the achievement of this objective will be measured by increased enrollments, improved retention rates and growing program completion rates. In addition, pass rates in general education courses and senior performance on relevant sections of the ETS Proficiency Profile test will be used as indicators of success for the general education program.
The rationale for these measures of success are 1) access, retention, and program completion are essential for the development of educated graduates, 2) faculty evaluation of student performance is basic to the assessment of any student learning, and 3) the ETS Profile tests the constructs that are generally agreed to be legitimate outcomes of general education programs. The percentile score reflects LCSC’s performance in one of the major constructs compared with other baccalaureate institutions, both public and private.
Objective I-B: Provide programs of study that prepare students to enter their chosen profession or continue their education in advanced degree programs.
Academic Programs offers 23 different baccalaureate degree majors, 6 associate degree majors, 2 post-baccalaureate certificate programs and 41 minors in the liberal arts and sciences and professional programs, including business, justice studies, nursing, social work and teacher education. Indicators of achievement will be measures such as first time licensing/certification exam pass rates (e.g. NCLEX-RN, NECLX-PN, National field tests, PRAXIS II), percentage of LCSC graduates employed within six months of graduation, and the placement rate of LCSC graduates to graduate/professional programs.
First time licensing/certification exam pass rates are a measure of success established by external certification organizations; graduates must pass the exams before practicing in their field. National field exams are outcomes assessment instruments that are used to measure individual student academic achievement and growth. The exams provide reliable data for individual and group measurement by assessing student learning in content areas. The exams evaluate the core knowledge and understanding gained in the specific undergraduate curriculum. Placement rates of graduates constitute an indirect, independent, external assessment of LCSC programs.
Core Theme II: Connecting Learning to Life through Professional-Technical Programs
The second segment of the three part mission of Lewis-Clark State College is fulfilled under the aegis of Professional-Technical Programs. LCSC functions under this theme by offering an array of credit and non-credit educational experiences that prepare skilled workers in established and emerging occupations that serve the region’s employers.
Objective II-A: Prepare well-trained and well-educated employees for the business and industry community of Idaho Region II.
Professional-Technical Programs offers 22 majors leading to the associate of applied science degree, 16 advanced technical certificates, and 22 certificates in a wide range of career areas. To ensure that programs are meeting the needs of regional employers, each program has an advisory committee that provides continual input on the curriculum and specific needs of employers. Through conversations with these employers, program faculty remain connected with the evolving skills, knowledge, attitudes, and soft skills that are required by Region II employers, enabling them to ensure LCSC graduates meet these expectations. Competency and skill levels have also been established by professional bodies.
Indicators of success will be measured by the percentage of graduates employed or continuing their education beyond the basic degree or certificate within 6 months of completion. The percentage of LCSC program concentrators who take and pass a Carl Perkins Technical Skill Assessment (TSA) will also be used as a measure of meeting this objective. In Idaho, this is an essential method for documenting the technical knowledge and skills of a student. The State Division of Professional-Technical Education has developed a state-approved list of TSA’s for most technical programs. Examples include national or state licensure examinations; industry recognized certification exams or other nationally validated exams. The State of Idaho registration and licensure processes also provide an external, post-training measure of program quality.
The rationale for selection of these indicators is two-fold. First, a focus on individual student success through post-graduation employment is critical to maintaining program viability. Feedback from employers through advisory committees completes this loop. Rates of PTE graduate placement into career related jobs are also a function of program quality as recognized by regional employers. Secondly, state-wide efforts of consistently documenting achievement through standardized assessment means provide LCSC with comparisons to similar programs across the state. Additionally, these Technical Skill Assessments are based on nationally validated, industry-based skill standards, providing valuable benchmarks for individual programs.
Objective II-B: Prepare students for life-long learning relevant to their chosen occupation.
Given the constant change of technology, the ability to continue to learn and grow in a career area is critical. Degrees and certificates offered under Professional-Technical Programs prepare individuals for enrollment in advanced technical education programs and continuing education beyond the initial degree or certificate often allows for advanced placement in the workplace.
Successful achievement of this objective will be measured by the percentage of LCSC graduates continuing their education beyond the initial credential as measured in follow-up survey reports specific to professional-technical education, including both graduate and employer surveys. In addition to self-reporting, national clearinghouse data could also provide information on students seeking further credentialing at institutions other than LCSC. In some cases, the performance of PTE concentrators on institutional general education measures (described above) can be disaggregated and monitored to ensure that this group is being well served by the general education core. All students, regardless of discipline, are advantaged by the fundamental core of knowledge, skills and abilities offered through general education.
Data on graduate activity in the workplace can be difficult to collect. For this reason, multiple measures must be employed. The rational for utilizing indirect measures such as surveys in conjunction with clearinghouse data is simply to help ensure a more complete picture of this activity. A disaggregation of general education data as described provides information not only on the students in question, but also on the success of the general education program itself. The foundation built through general education should serve discipline specific life-long learning goals; producing graduates who possess foundational knowledge and skills and who know how to utilize business and industry resources for continued workplace learning.
Objective II-C: Provide High School to College Transition Opportunities through the Idaho Tech-Prep Program
In Idaho, high school courses in technical fields are often articulated with postsecondary institutions, assuring equivalent course content. These courses fall into the “Tech Prep” category and provide opportunities for high school students to earn college credits and master career technical fields. Students who concurrently earn college credit while in high school have an immediate connection with college, providing a seamless transition into technical programs and careers.
Indicators of achievement of this goal will include the number of Region II high schools participating in the Tech Prep articulation process. In addition, the number of students enrolled in Tech Prep articulated courses by the 10th day of each semester will also provide a measure of success. These indicators demonstrate how far-reaching these opportunities are for high school students.
Core Theme III: Connecting Learning to Life through Community Programs
The third and last theme of Lewis-Clark State College is fulfilled through Community Programs. The primary function of Community Programs is to provide quality delivery of outreach programs and services to students, customers and communities throughout Region II as well as degree completion programs in Region I.
Objective III-A: Facilitate delivery of credit and non-credit programs off-campus and otherwise extend educational opportunities for citizens within Regions I and II.
Community Programs facilitates a wide variety of offerings in many ways. These offerings include classes and services on and off campus at traditional and nontraditional times, using nontraditional means of delivery and serving a highly diverse student body and customer base. Programs helping meet this objective include: Continuing Education & Community Events, Distance Learning and Course Management, Outreach Centers, the Region II Idaho Small Business Development Center (ISBDC), and Summer School and Special Programs.
Indicators of achievement include enrollment and participation numbers for online and video courses offered through the divisions at LCSC. The numbers of students served during summer session also reflect on Community Programs. Efforts related to the Region II Idaho Small Business Development Center and other outreach courses and programs are measured through headcount. Completion rates and positive student satisfaction surveys are additional indicators of achievement for outreach courses. Another related indicator is the diversity of offerings in the continuing education and community events bulletin.
Enrollments are driven by public need and acceptance of outreach programs and are therefore the most important measure of success. Positive results from student or client satisfaction surveys may also be used as indicators of success.
Objective III-B: Provide cultural programs for the Lewis-Clark Valley and Encourage service to the community through service learning programs.
Community Programs helps coordinate regional and community development efforts for the institution, often enhancing the cultural opportunities available in the Lewis-Clark Valley as a result. Programs helping to meet this objective include: AmeriCorps and Service Learning, the Center for Arts & History, Continuing Education & Community Events, Outreach Centers, and Summer School and Special Programs.
Public participation in cultural and other community events will be used as a basic indicator of achievement. Attendance at such events can be easily tracked. It is important to remember, however, that attendance alone is not an adequate measure of success. Some events are designed to be successful with small participation numbers. Depending on the event, participant evaluations may also be useful in determining achievement of this objective. Service learning initiatives will be measured annually by the number community service projects undertaken by LCSC, the number of students participating, and the impact of such projects as reported to the Corporation for National and Community Service and Serve Idaho and the Governor’s Commission on Service and Volunteerism. Once again, numbers begin to tell the story, but anecdotal feedback from students is also valuable.
Objective III-C: Help prepare students for success in post-secondary education.
An important objective for Community Programs is the preparation of students for success in post-secondary education. This is partially accomplished through support of a robust Adult Basic Education (ABE) Center, allowing students to complete a high school credential via the General Education Diploma (GED). As with Tech Prep courses, dual enrollment coursework offered at the high schools for articulated college credit is an important component of a seamless transition for high school students. This effort is managed through the Summer School and Special Programs Department within Community Programs. Lewis-Clark State College also houses an Educational Talent Search (ETS) program, which works to identify and assist individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds to participate and succeed in post-secondary education.
Achievement of this objective will be partially indicated by the number of adults who complete the Adult Basic Education Program (ABE) or General Education Diploma (GED). Another measure of success is the number of high schools and students within the region participating in the Educational Talent Search (ETS) program and in dual credit programs. Finally, the numbers of students in these programs who subsequently enter post-secondary education programs is another important measure. The rational for these indicators begins with program participation. The more students who participate, the more impactful these programs are considered to be. Subsequent enrollment of participating students in post-secondary programs, whether at Lewis-Clark State College or elsewhere, is also a fundamental measure of success.
Unique among Idaho’s institutions of higher education, Lewis-Clark State College will fulfill the State Board of Education vision of a seamless public education system by integrating traditional baccalaureate programs, professional-technical training programs, and community college and community support programs within a single institution, serving diverse needs within a single student body, and providing outstanding teaching and support by a single faculty and administrative team. LCSC’s one-mission, one-team approach will prepare citizens from all walks of life to make the most of their individual potential and contribute to the common good by fostering respect and close teamwork among all Idahoans. Sustaining a tradition that dates back to its founding as a teacher training college in 1893, LCSC will continue to place paramount emphasis on quality of instruction—focusing on the quality of the teaching and learning environment for traditional and non-traditional academic classes, professional-technical education, and community instructional programs. Lewis-Clark students’ personalized instruction will be complemented by personal application of knowledge and skills in the real world, as embodied in the College’s motto: “Connecting Learning to Life.” LCSC will be an active partner with the K-12 school system, community service agencies, and private enterprises and will support regional economic and cultural development. LCSC will strive to sustain its tradition as the most accessible four-year higher-education institution in Idaho by rigorously managing program costs; student fees; housing, textbook, and lab costs; and financial assistance to ensure affordability. LCSC will vigorously manage the academic accessibility of its programs through accurate placement, use of student-centered course curricula, and constant oversight of faculty teaching effectiveness. LCSC will nurture the development of strong personal values and will emphasize teamwork to equip its students to become productive and effective citizens who will work together to make a positive difference in the state, the nation, and the world.