Improvement Newsletter

Insights from the President

WITC has long been focused on Continuous Improvement. Your commitment to providing more and better service is evident in our most recent Student Satisfaction Inventory results. As I relayed at our August inservice, the summary information below provides evidence that our students consistently say they are more satisfied with WITC than they were in the previous survey cycle. Take the time to appreciate these fantastic results!

Student Satisfaction Inventory Results

One way that we accomplish important objectives related to Continuous Improvement is via cross-functional teams and committees. I believe we do our best work on initiatives when understand a variety of perspectives. These efforts also afford people from all areas of the College to demonstrate leadership, and over time this work has contributed to various national recognitions that all of us need to feel good about. For example, Forbes, WalletHub, and Washington monthly independently gave WITC “Top 25” status. See details in an article below.

As we continue to develop the framework for the 24x21 Strategic Plan, we are forming several new teams and are assigning strategic initiatives to some of our existing groups. These teams are as follows: Adult Recruitment, Distance Education Oversight, K12 Partnership, Market Research, Program Implementation, and Student Resource Cost Reduction. Either through participating on one of these teams or by monitoring their progress and providing feedback, please be sure to play your part in WITC’s ongoing Continuous Improvement efforts! It really does matter to our students and is important to maintaining our outstanding reputation.

WITC's Accreditation Transition from AQIP to Open Pathway

Prior to September, WITC participated in the Academic Quality Improvement Pathway (AQIP) for maintaining accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The AQIP Pathway was introduced in the late 1990s as an option for institutions to maintain their accreditation with HLC. AQIP is focused on quality assurance and institutional improvement and with an added emphasis on helping institutions achieve continuous quality improvement.

During an evaluation of the pathways in 2017, HLC noted a sharp decrease in the number of institutions choosing to participate in the AQIP Pathway. While HLC and its Board of Trustees are fully committed to continuous quality improvement efforts, this has signaled that HLC must rethink the way it supports such efforts. Therefore, HLC has begun the process of phasing out the AQIP Pathway and thus WITC is transitioning to the Open Pathway.

The Open Pathway follows a 10-year cycle and is focused on quality assurance and institutional improvement. The Open Pathway is unique in that its improvement component, the Quality Initiative, affords institutions the opportunity to pursue improvement projects that meet our current needs and aspirations. WITC will be submitting a quality initiative proposal in 2019, with the final report on that initiative in Summer 2022.

In the Open Pathway, institutions complete an Assurance Argument to ensure they are continuing to meet HLC’s Criteria for Accreditation. Starting in the Fall of 2019, WITC will provide documentation demonstrating how it fulfills each Criterion and Core Component. The argument will be submitted in 2022 for review and consideration for reaffirmation in 2022-2023.

Watch for more on WITC’s Quality Initiative in 2019!

Hayward and Ladysmith Outreach Centers Approved to Offer Full Programs

In April the College’s accrediting body, the Higher Learning Commission, approved Hayward and Ladysmith Outreach Centers as WITC additional locations. Additional locations must be approved by HLC if the location will 1) complete 50 percent or more of the courses leading to a degree program, 2) complete 50 percent or more of the courses leading to a Title IV eligible certificate or 3) complete a degree program that they began at another institution even if the degree completion program provides less than 50 percent of the courses leading to a degree program. A facility may provide access to instruction requiring students to be present at a physical location that receives interactive TV, video, or online teaching. It is considered an additional location when 50 percent or more of a distance delivery program is available through one or more of these modalities at that facility.

On September 18, an HLC reviewer, Dr. Susan Rydell, visited Hayward and Ladysmith Outreach Centers to confirm the additional locations. A confirmation report will be provided to WITC by late October.

Thank you to the onsite staff, Deans, instructors, staff and students that prepared for the visit and met the reviewer. Your expertise and professionalism in answering Dr. Rydell’s questions is appreciated. You confirm, once again, why WITC is a top-ranking college.

In August, WITC was recognized as a top community college in three rankings – Forbes, Washington Monthly, & WalletHub

In the Forbes Ranking published August 16, 2018, WITC is number 22 on the list of the top 25 two-year trade schools. Four of the WTCS schools made the list: Southwest Wisconsin Technical College (ranked 13th), Lakeshore Technical College (ranked 17th), Moraine Park Technical College (ranked 21st), and WITC ranked as 22nd.

The pool of eligible colleges included (as defined by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education)

• Two-year special focus institutions and high career & technical associate’s colleges, and excluded colleges that

• Are for-profit, have fewer than 300 students, have low graduation or retention rates (<25%, <33% respectively), have insufficient default rate data available, have insufficient salary data available, demonstrate financial instability.

The overall score was determined based on values in four categories. Post-Graduate Success (37.5%), Affordability (25.0%), Completion Success (20.0%), and Student Experience (17.5%)

Sources of the data include: IPEDS, College Scorecard, and salary rates coming from a private salary collection site called PayScale.

WITC is number 24 on a list of the top 100 2-year colleges for adult learners according to a ranking published by Washington Monthly on August 23, 2018. Ten (10) WTCS colleges are also included in the listing. Washington Monthly prides itself on its 13 year history of ranking colleges based on what they do for the country.

1,088 two-year colleges eligible for evaluation and ranking by Washington Monthly. Results were determined in eight different metric areas:

1) Ease of transfer/enrollment, 2) Flexibility of programs, 3) Services available for adult students, 4) The percent of adult students, 5) Graduation rates of part-time students, 6) Mean earnings of adult students ten years after entering college, 7) Loan repayment rates of adults students five years after entering repayment, 8) Tuition and fees for in-district students

The scoring system relied heavily on IPEDS with some data points coming from College Scorecard.

WITC is number 141 from a random sampling of 715 community colleges according to a ranking published by WalletHub on August 20, 2018. Fourteen (14) WTCS schools (Blackhawk Technical College and Madison Area Technical College were not included) plus Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibiwa Community College made the list for Wisconsin, which compared colleges across 17 key indicators of cost and quality.

Sources for the data include: National Center for Education Statistics, US News, US Department of Education, Council for Community & Economic Research, and College Measures.

Email IRTeam@witc.edu for more details and ranking sources.

Process Improvement Journey Update

In February 2018 WITC ramped-up its process improvement journey with two 2-day process improvement facilitator trainings with Mark Robinson, Managing Director of University of St Andrews Lean Consulting based out of Fife, Scotland. In the training, the 23 WITC staff learned how to utilize the LEAN methodology to value-stream map processes for process improvement. Utilizing the mapping tool the new facilitators used real-life WITC processes to practice utilizing LEAN techniques and tools.

Several positive comments were given in the post-training survey.

"The 2-day training went by fast! I enjoyed the collaboration and interaction, and I thought that the training was well planned and executed."

"I thought things went well overall. The training is very realistic and will be a great asset to the college. The trainer was very knowledgeable and did a fantastic job of keeping the team focused and on task. There is definitely something to be said about bringing an expert in to train."

"Enthusiasm was high. Mark was AWESOME!. Information was GREAT."

"We had a great mix of talent and backgrounds that provided a variety of thought to each step in our process."

WITC’s Process improvement definition is: The right people continuously searching for the simplest and most efficient process in order to meet the needs perfectly and delight the customer.

Since the training, we have held two 3-day process improvement events. The first event was held in early July at the Superior Campus. The objective of this event was to redesign the program modification approval process to be clear, efficient and responsive -maximize available resources -meet state and federal requirements.

The second event, held in August, had an objective that the WITC Start College Now process is user-friendly, consistent, and documented from the first point of communication with stakeholders through course(s) completion. The goal is to support and empower high school students while actively promoting WITC as a college of choice.

The next process improvement event (PIE) is being planned in November to improve the employee onboarding process.

Do you have an idea for a process improvement? Email processimprovement@witc.edu

Facility Updates at the New Richmond Campus

Multiple projects are being completed in New Richmond at the main building this year. Most notably the staff administration area has been expanded and improved with a new layout and look that compliments work that was done in the last couple years in the rest of the building. Staff spaces and offices will be more functional and comfortable, plus needed conference space has been added.

In addition, many program areas received improvements. The Architectural Drafting Lab and other Computer and IT learning spaces have been relocated or updated to provide improved learning environments for students. The Pharmacy Technician program has received new and improved space specifically designed to enhance the student experience.

Additional remodeling included: 1) The Bookstore, which was renovated to improve its visibility and function. 2) Older classrooms and lab spaces received lighting and finish upgrades. 3) Roof areas have been replaced, and long deferred brick and window maintenance at the roof level is being completed.

Lastly, a new metal storage shed was constructed to house the Emergency Services Department and the Agricultural Power Equipment Technician Program. This will improve security for equipment and will be more readily and easily accessible by students and staff.

Facility updates at the Superior Campus

Multiple projects are being completed in Superior this year. First and foremost, the entire outside of the building received a facelift which included new color and accents; creating a much warmer and more inviting look. This also addressed exterior maintenance issues.

In addition, a new campus look has been created; reflecting and complimenting the local waterfront industrial nature of the area. The new look was created through new building accents, features, and by relocating the main entrance of the building to the northwest side. The new main entrance work included replacement of the old glass storefront and the redesign of the exterior pavement and entry sequence. The outside entrance work will continue with a phase two scheduled to be completed summer of 2019.

Besides the exterior work, the Pharmacy Techician program area received new and improved space specifically designed to improve and enhance the student experience.

In addition, several long deferred maintenance projects were completed: 1) The building’s interior domestic water distribution system was largely replaced. This will improve flow and quality of water throughout the building. 2) The remaining central public bathrooms on the second and third floors have been upgraded to current standards and 3) the mechanical system serving the Conference Center areas have been replaced.

Specialized Program Accreditation Update

EMT-Paramedic, the Commission Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) granted the EMT-Paramedic program continued accreditation. The next review is due in 2023.

Institutional Research Corner

The institutional research team saw a big change last Spring when Jennifer Kunselman retired. Tina Pocernich and Karla Meier, research technicians, continue to produce high quality regular reports as well as respond to ad hoc requests. Megan Nabb, Institutional Research Analyst, is focused on the federally mandated IPEDS surveys (Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System), grant reporting and evaluating current metrics. Watch for these reports to come out soon: Ruffalo Noel-Levitz Student Satisfaction Inventory, National Community College Benchmarking Project (NCCBP), NCCBP Cost and Productivity Report, Employer Follow up Report, Environmental Scanning Report and updated Program Data Profiles. If you have data needs, please complete the Research & Data Request form on the Connection. We are here to help!

Resource Development Corner

Fall is the time the Resource Development Department starts working on the WTCS grants which are due in January 2019. The WTCS grants help fund new programming and equipment, development of career pathways, program expansion, and student completion/support. We are always looking for new grants and eager to work with staff.

Other grants we have support student financial assistance, adult basic education, career prep, professional development, and ABE.

If you see a grant or have an idea, contact Dori Marty or Jennifer Schultz.

Professional Development Corner

It is the start of another professional development year. You will find your specific professional development assignments/expectations in Maestro. In addition to your specific professional development expectations, there are a few additional professional development expectations in order for the College to maintain its commitment to legal requirements and collegewide initiatives. Below you will find a snapshot of the compliance professional development for all WITC staff. The non-highlighted courses have been assigned in Maestro. The SANS training will be in Maestro this year and we are anticipating those courses to be loaded into Maestro and assigned in January 2019. All assignments need to be completed by June 1, 2019.

Internal Subject Matter Expert or Department Listing

If you have questions or need further information regarding the course content, please contact the Internal Subject Matter Expert or Department that is listed in the table above. If you have issues with courses in Maestro, please complete a Help Desk Ticket.

If you have questions or suggestions regarding this newsletter, please contact Becka Cusick at becka.cusick@witc.edu.

Created By
Becka Cusick


Created with images by geralt - "board chalk quality" • Frank Busch - "untitled image" • Logan Isbell - "Graduation" • geralt - "statistics arrows trend" • geralt - "old mapping folder documentation reports depend data". Superior photos taken by Josh Lee, New Richmond facility photos taken by Paula Meisner. Process Improvement photos taken by Becka Cusick.

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