AQIP Online Student Services Action Project
Project Plan
Approved by Sinclair Operations Council on October 16, 2006
Approved by AQIP Action Team on November 14, 2006
Description
The current student support services model no longer meets the needs of Sinclair students, and does not support the College’s strategies to expand online learning and expand access and services.  The goal of the project is to define and implement a new web-centric student services model that will be more efficient and fit better with our students’ lifestyles. This is a phased project that will include an intermediate step to ensure that services are available to online students, effective fall 2007
AQIP Criteria
Primary:   3.  Understanding Student and Stakeholder Needs
Related:   1.  Helping Students Learn
                 4.  Valuing People
                 7.  Measuring Effectiveness
                 9.  Building Collaborative Relationships
Related AQIP Principles
                A.  A mission and vision that focuses on serving students and other 
                    stakeholders
                B.  Broad-based faculty, staff, and administrative involvement
                D.  A learning-centered environment
                F.  Collaboration and a shared institutional focus
Rationale
Sinclair Community College students, like their counterparts at other community colleges nationally, increasingly elect learning options that allow them to combine college study with employment, family and other commitments. Many Sinclair students who pursue traditional face-to-face courses increasingly need to handle a range of student services through convenient online means. The recent upsurge in student enrollment for online courses in fall 2006 is a significant indicator of the growing student demand at Sinclair for online learning. Increasing students' capacity to navigate readily, accurately and conveniently a range of support services and academic processes has promise for increasing face-to-face, online, and Learning Center students' satisfaction with Sinclair and their successful progression toward certificate and degree completion. Although Sinclair offers many - and a growing number of - online courses, its capacity to provide students with collateral online services and supports lags behind both student demand and accepted good practice in distance learning nationally. Given the importance of enhancing the college's capacity to provide online services for students, Sinclair is establishing an AQIP Action Project to accomplish the following:
·        identify and document Sinclair’s current information and services available to students online
·        benchmark best practices nationally for online student services
·        identify gaps in existing services and desirable levels of service
·        develop and implement intermediate plan to provide services to distant students for fall 2007
·        develop an ideal model for online student services
·        develop a plan for implementing the model.
·        Submit the plan to Operations Council for action.
·        implement the plan.
·        Evaluate the new model
Organizational Elements Affected by Project
This project has broad impact across the institution.   Affected areas include the Instructional Division, Student Services, and our student population. Information Technology will be impacted in terms of the development and support of new web-centric processes and services.
Processes Affected by Project
Student Services
Admissions, Placement testing, Academic advising, Transfer, Registration, Financial Aid, Bursar, Bookstore, Library, Testing, Tutoring, Career Counseling / Placement, Disability Services, Academic petition, and Help Desk
Definition of Process Measures
The first stage of the project will focus on documenting existing processes, noting where in-person contact is required, and the identification of time delays between services. For example, the amount of time a student waits between application, placement testing, admission, and registration, and the number of times a student must contact the college during that process.  Potential process measures include: number of times a student must contact the college, number of in-person contacts required, and elapsed time between request for and delivery of services. The intermediate stage of the project will be serving online students by providing core services through email, fax, phone and online methods. In the third step, the ideal model will be developed and implemented. The implementation of the ideal model will eliminate the requirement for in-person transactions and significantly reduce or eliminate time delays between request for and delivery of service.
 
Definition of Outcome Measures
Potential outcome measures include student satisfaction related to student services, elimination of required in-person contact to complete transactions, reduction in number of times students must contact the institution, reduction or elimination of time delays in service delivery.
Performance Targets
Year One: Document and assess Sinclair’s student services model; benchmark and identify best practices; develop and implement intermediate plan to provide services to distant students for fall 2007.
Year Two: Develop an ideal model for online student services and plan for implementing the model. Submit the plan to Operations Council for action.
Year Three: Implement the plan.
Keeping Focused
Sinclair will establish an AQIP Online Student Services Project Team and develop a formal project plan to meet the objectives of this project.  The project will be led by a dean or director. The College’s AQIP Coordinator, participants from the Strategy Forum, and stakeholders from across the college will participate on the team.  Sinclair’s Operations Council will serve as the AQIP Steering Committee and monitor project status.
Contact Nancy Thibeault, Team Leader for AQIP Online Student Services Action Project
 
nancy.thibeault@sinclair.edu
Sponsor
Robert Johnson, Senior Vice President
 
Suggested team members:
 
Nancy Thibeault – Team Leader – Distance Learning and Instructional Support
Don Smith - Distance Learning and Instructional Support
Linda Stowe – Distance Learning and Instructional Support
Denise Moore – Professor Radiologic Technology
Ned Young – Chair/Professor Management
Jeanna Reedy – IT Help Desk
Marcus Milligan – IT Administrative Systems
Jan Tyler - Academic Advising
Robin Moore-Cooper – Educational Support Services
Tina Hummons – Registration & Student Records
Sandy Meadows – Financial Aid
Peter Bolmida - Enrollment Services
Melissa Tolle – Admissions Officer
Tom Huguley – AQIP Liaison – Associate Provost