The pursuit of institutional excellence is a school-wide commitment involving many dedicated stakeholders aligned by a common vision of continuous improvement and institutional effectiveness.
With strong leadership and enthusiastic support from stakeholders, the chances for success are high. Once you have everyone
5 Keys to Achieving Institutional Excellence
1. Develop a Long Range Plan and Get Stakeholders Collaborating
One of the most critical steps to leading institutional change is planning. This may sound obvious, but developing a collaborative and effective planning process is difficult. Planners need to understand institutional goals and focus their efforts toward them. How do you get everyone working together and planning in unison? Create a centralized collaboration point for stakeholders with a common framework for planning so that everyone is on the same page.
2. Make Sure That Your Stakeholders Get the Resources They Need to Succeed
Even the most effective plans need resources and funding to succeed. A plan without a budget has little chance of success. Great ideas need resources to become reality. Once you’ve got your stakeholders collaborating about improvements, they need the support of a budget to bring their ideas to life. Budgeting in-line with the strategic plan guarantees that the most effective plans are funded and ensures that sufficient resources are available for execution.
3. Assess Your Results And Use Them To Improve Your Next Planning Cycle
Every Institution is conducting an assessment in some form because we care about students and we want them to succeed. The problem with most assessment efforts is that they stop at the measuring stage. Collecting documentation and measuring results is the first stage of assessment, however, to make assessment a true part of the institutional effectiveness effort it must be combined with planning in a continuous improvement process. The path to institutional excellence is a circular one where assessment results are evaluated to improve the planning process, then the planning process improves, yielding better assessment results.
4. Make Sure You Are Prepared for Accreditation Review
Preparing for accreditation can be stressful. Compiling evidence and responses involves many departments on campus, and there is a limited amount of time to bring it all together. Make sure that you create a collaboration point where the compliance team can work together to draft, review, and approve compliance responses. Create a common library of documents and artifacts so that you aren’t dealing with multiple versions or copies of the same artifact. Most of all, make sure that everyone understands what is required of them and when it is required.
5. Credentialing: The Right Person for The Right Job
Credentialing is a critical part of institutional excellence because the core mission of any higher education institution is to make sure that students receive a quality education. In order for this to happen the person teaching the students must have the requisite knowledge, experience, and credentials to teach the course. Organizing and verifying this information by hand can be a daunting effort. Make sure you have some way to track credentialing electronically so it becomes a regular part of your institutional effectiveness effort.
Sounds Simple, Right?
These steps may seem simple but maintaining momentum and keeping your stakeholders involved in institutional effectiveness throughout the year may present some challenges. Creating a regular process of strategic planning, resource allocation (budgeting), and reviewing strategic planning results will give your stakeholders regular check-points throughout the year and keep them involved in the continuous improvement effort. Giving stakeholders and the leadership team a collaboration point to share information and results is the best way to ensure that everyone is on the same page, working together toward the common institutional goals.
Learn How We Can Help
Getting people on board with the idea of institutional excellence is the first step toward making a significant difference in your institution. To keep everyone on track, you may need a little help. Learn more about how we can help to bring your entire institution together to conduct planning, budgeting, and assessment in a collaborative environment where everyone can participate in continuous improvement effort by contacting us today.