Institutional Effectiveness Summary Report 2004

The 2004 Institutional Effectiveness summary report for Florence-Darlington Technical College (FDTC) includes the following required Institutional Effectiveness reports and assessment elements:

REQUIRED INSTITUTIONAL EFFECTIVENESS REPORTS 2004 Majors and Concentrations on FDTC Reporting Schedule for 2004:
Results of Professional Exams Full or Interim Reports:
Programs Eligible for Accreditation Performing and Visual Arts N/A
Advising Procedures Library Sciences N/A
Two to Four Year Transfers Physical Sciences N/A
Majors and Concentrations
For Future Reporting: Majors and Concentrations:
Library Resources Accounting - Associate Degree
Alumni Placement Survey Marketing - Associate Degree
Office Systems Technology - Associate Degree
Small Business Management - Associate Degree
Computer Technology - Associate Degree
Dental Hygiene - Associate Degree
Nursing - Associate Degree
Automated Office - Diploma
Dental Assisting


In addition to the reports and elements listed above, the Minority Student and Faculty Access and Equity Assessment will be reported by the SC Commission on Higher Education.  Further, the following elements of Institutional Effectiveness reporting are not currently applicable to the Technical College Sector:


Florence-Darlington Technical College is a post-secondary, public, two-year institution serving Florence, Darlington and Marion Counties of South Carolina.  Its primary mission is to provide comprehensive technical education, workforce development, and educational services to students, business and industry, and the markets it serves.  Through instructional programs, business and industry partnerships, and community involvement, the college expects to play a major role in the economic development and the quality of life of its constituents. The educational experience at Florence-Darlington Technical College, currently and going forward, will include an international perspective designed to enhance its students' marketability in today's global economy.  The College's mission statement was approved by the Florence-Darlington County Area Commission in July 2004.

As a vital institution in the community, the college fosters educational and economic growth opportunities that quantitatively and qualitatively contribute to cultural life and economic development in the area it serves and beyond. It offers comprehensive technical education, college transfer programs, specialized training for business and industry, continuing education, transitional studies, and student development services.  The instruction provided at the college is designed to prepare individuals for careers, advancement, and growth in health services, human and public services, business, engineering, industrial arts, humanities, international services and other fields.  In addition to the knowledge specific to their chosen program of study, graduates of the college are expected to have mastered competencies in written and oral communication, information processing, mathematics, problem solving, and interpersonal skills.

Institutional Effectiveness And Planning

At FDTC, strategic planning, operational planning, and the institutional effectiveness design are combined to create one annual master plan that serves as a vehicle for institution-wide evaluation.  As a collaborative action the college defines key performance indicators in support of the mission statement to drive the planning process and provide a platform against which to judge success.  As part of this institutional effectiveness process, the college conducts an open strategic planning retreat in the spring of each year, including all college personnel in the planning process.  Focus groups combining faculty, administrators, and classified staff, led by  peer facilitators, meet on Planning Day to discuss the strengths, weaknesses, major opportunities, and major challenges of the College.  As a result of the process, the college develops a comprehensive multi-point plan of institutional goals that serve as the backbone of the institutional planning and effectiveness strategy for the period.

Following the campus wide planning exercise, the individual divisions of the college review and assess their operational plan from the previous year, and evaluate current operational objectives and institutional effectiveness initiatives for relevance to the current college performance objectives.  The individual plans are then combined and used to develop the College's annual objectives for the next year.

All academic departments follow a planning and evaluation cycle that is supervised by the Vice President for Student Affairs and the Vice President for Academic Affairs.  The planning and evaluation cycle is comprehensive, systematic, interrelated, and appropriate to the institution.  Each educational program is directed by the College's Institutional Effectiveness Report Planning Document that provides for the development of all program assessment criteria for the respective academic or operational program.  The guide includes the College's mission and establishes annual goals and objectives, and provides a methodology for periodically assessing student outcomes.  The Institutional Effectiveness Report Planning Document includes a standardized form, The Institutional Effectiveness Report, that is used by each academic department to guide its respective planning and evaluation efforts.  Institutional Effectiveness Reports require a purpose statement that supports the College's mission statement. Additionally, each department must identify means of assessing their goals, results of the assessment, and the proposed use of assessment results for the improvement of educational programs, services, and operations.  These records are used to develop and revise curriculum offerings and improve instructional methodologies.  Through the Institutional Effectiveness Reports of all academic departments, the college defines its expected results and describes its methods for analyzing those results.  Combined, these records constitute the College's Institutional Effectiveness Report.

All FDTC non-academic departments also utilize the Institutional Effectiveness Report Planning Document  to prepare their Institutional Effectiveness Report for review and documentation of their department's performance in the cycle of improvement.  This standard form allows for a consistent method of data collection and analysis and becomes a vital component of all college planning and assessment efforts.

The budget planning and the strategic and operational planning, based on the Institutional Effectiveness process, are conducted from May of one year through June of the next year, each year.  The budget process consists of open budget hearings with the Institutional Effectiveness Report being used to support departmental budget requests.

Florence-Darlington Technical College also utilizes the DACUM (Develop a Curriculum) process to assist in academic program review and enhancement.  DACUM reviews are conducted for all academic disciplines according to a predetermined three-year cycle designated for each curriculum.

In addition to the Institutional Effectiveness Reports and the DACUM process, all programs at Florence-Darlington Technical College collect and analyze Program Evaluation data in their annual assessments.  The data set used for this assessment, contains responses from a survey of graduates of the previous academic year, regarding current employment status and participation in higher education at an advanced level. This process is annually coordinated by the South Carolina Technical College System and called the Program Evaluation Report.

Full and Interim Reports 2004

Two to Four Year Transfers

Within the four year cycle of Institutional Effectiveness reporting agreed upon between the SC Commission on Higher Education and the SC Technical College System, Technical Colleges are required to review and analyze GPA data on the first semester of First-time Fall Transfer Students transferring from SC Technical Colleges to SC Four-year senior institutions and Regionals.

The Four –year institutions supply the SC College System information, which is in turn provided to the respective Technical Colleges, on the number of students attending the senior institution from the College, the number of credits they transferred in, the student's ethnicity and their GPA during their initial Fall 2003 semester.

In the following analysis Florence-Darlington Technical College is utilizing the data acquired, as compiled and described above.

The cumulative data describes that 193 students applied for admission as first time freshman (FTF) from FDTC to eleven South Carolina senior institutions of higher education beginning in the Fall Semester of 2003 and that 131 or 69% were accepted to the senior institutions to which they applied.  Additionally, the data reveals that 64% or 84 of the students accepted ultimately enrolled at their chosen institution.

The data provided also shows that 156 or 81% of FDTC graduates who applied to senior institutions as FTF in the Fall semester of 2003 applied for admission to three specific SC institutions, Francis Marion University, the University of South Carolina at Columbia, and USC Spartanburg.

Additionally, the data examined indicates that 53% of the FDTC transfer student applicants who were accepted to Four-year institutions and Regionals enrolled at one Four-year institution within 15 miles of FDTC, while 76% of the transferred students applied and were accepted at institutions geographically located within 90 to 150 miles of Florence.

The information shared throughout the SC higher education system also indicates that 64% of the accepted FTF  FDTC transfer students enrolled at SC Four-year institutions in the Fall semester of 2003 earned GPA's for that semester, either equivalent to, or slightly greater than the native student population as defined at the Four-year institution after the first semester of attendance.

FDTC will continue to examine the information provided and determine how it may be used effectively in conjunction with the College's policies and practices to continue to increase academic success for students transferring to SC four-year institutions.

Advising Procedures

The Academic Advising philosophy at FDTC is that well directed students are successful students. The College's aim is that the faculty and staff are dedicated to providing the students time and expertise to advise and counsel them on academic decisions and guide them the toward career paths that are in the individual's best interest..

The advising process at FDTC is both directive and sustaining.  It focuses not only on guiding the student on what course to take, but also on providing the student some understanding on why to make particular curriculum choices.  Student development, growth, and maturity are goals of the advising program, and advisors are trained to assist students in meeting the College's and life's requirements and challenges.  Advisors take personal interest in students and assist them in choosing a program that will impel them toward their personal goals in life.

All FDTC faculty receive training on student advising immediately upon employment with the College.  The Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs publishes and distributes an annually updated Faculty Handbook and Academic Advising GuideThe Faculty Handbook and Academic Advising Guide includes a copy of the College's Advising Procedure 40-6 - Faculty Administration, which specifies advisors' responsibilities, and provides clear directions.  The Academic Advising portion of the handbook covers: Advisors Responsibilities and General Admissions Information as well as Student Placement guidelines including expected testing and transfer or advanced credit assignment policies. It also provides details on the FERPA and ADA administrations our institution. The College's Early Alert Academic Advising Process, and advising students in transformational situations such as Developmental Studies, Transfer and Co-op Programs are included. The manual is published on the FDTC Intranet for quick access. Faculty is also trained by department heads to use the appropriate Datatel Colleague student information screens to review and gather pertinent information on their advisees, and to create files and prepare and execute processes such as WebAdvisor regarding a student's status throughout his or her career at the College.

A student's file will include elements such as all transcripts, change of curriculum forms, their personal profile and personal record, advisor-advisee contact logs, long range program plans, progress checklist/graduation certification checklist, and other records deemed appropriate by the department head or advisor.  A student's records are maintained by the initial advisor until the department head of the new department contacts that advisor and formally accepts the student to the new department and assigns them a new advisor.  This practice affirms responsible handling of student records, ensures integrity in the advising process, and gives the students the confidence that their records are being maintained professionally and in their best interest.

The advisor is expected to maintain current files on an assigned student, unless and until the student is allowed to change programs and is appointed another advisor. The contents of student files include information pertinent to the students' academic life at the College, appropriate student information received from outside the institution, and those records developed internally to guide the student in marking their progress through their academic experience at FDTC.

Students are required to see their advisor each semester to review the expectations of their chosen curriculum, discuss prerequisites for the program, and plan a schedule of classes for the semester.  Also advisors and advisees will discuss the student's career goals, present and future course load, grades, outside workload, absence policy, GPA expectations, and other issues pertinent to the student as necessary.  Advisors are responsible to tell students of changes in the registration and records maintenance processes and other academic policies and procedures, as they affect the student.

The FDTC Academic Advising process is regularly reviewed and evaluated in response to the changing requirements of today's academic environment and subsequent student needs.  In the process of identifying and addressing student needs, the college continues to evaluate student services processes and academic methodologies and integrate and implement newly developed technological processes to increase the administrative and procedural policies in favor of student

Additionally, advisors are trained to be aware of current legal issues in today's society and understand how they may impact students' rights and the academic policies of the institution.

Advisors are evaluated in accordance with CHE Performance Funding Indicator #2E.1 and advising is incorporated within their annual Faculty Performance Management System review.  Additionally, students evaluate advisors on the College's annual graduate exit survey.

Majors and Concentrations

Business Technologies

It is the mission of the Business Technologies Department to prepare students, residing in Florence-Darlington Tech College's service area for gainful employment, to assist them in reaching their full individual potential and to improve their employment skills through relevant programs of study in small business management, accounting and marketing. This cluster of programs uses classroom and laboratory experiences to prepare graduates for positions leading to middle management employment in accounting, marketing, advertising, sales, and retailing.  It also prepares individuals to improve their promotion potential in marketing or retail careers.

Certificate, diploma, and degree Business Technologies programs are developed and offered in response to the employment needs of the college service area and the State of South Carolina: as revealed through the DACUM curriculum development process.

Currently the Business Technologies Department of FDTC offers Accounting, Small Business Management, Marketing, Office Systems Technologies degree programs and a number of diploma and certificate programs that have been developed to address some of the tactical needs of area employers with timely and direct solutions.

The purpose of the Accounting Program of the Business Technologies Department is related directly to the mission of the Technical and General Education Division which is to provide curricula through which the students master the technical, business, communication, and interpersonal skills required by local employers.

During the 2003-2004 academic years, the Accounting Department decided to attend to two of FDTC's college-wide goals. In particular, the Learning Environment objective chosen was to re-evaluate the success rate in ACC 240 - Computerized Accounting.  The program instructors report that all accounting graduates attained a 78% success level or better in ACC 240.  They also determined that in the future, the class will be augmented by teaching Excel in the beginning of the course and utilizing a computerized accounting practice set to enhance the Excel and accounting skills. They expect that this will aid in making students more marketable because they will have an opportunity to acquire additional progressive computer skills, as well as accounting application practices and concepts.

The Marketing Program of the Business Technologies curriculum cluster of FDTC programs continues to serve the businesses of the SC Pee Dee region and beyond in creative and innovative ways. This summer term the Marketing 240-Advertising class has designed artwork for the military's Meals Ready to Eat (MRE) containers that are made by a Pee Dee area industry. Designs created by three teams will be presented to the manufacturer for use on food products to be shipped to troops deployed overseas.

As well, the administration of the Marketing department, created a measurable goal targeting the College's Learning Environment performance indicator as one they wanted to address. The goal selected was that ninety percent (90%) of students of the Marketing associate degree program will demonstrate their ability to research and prepare a Business Marketing Portfolio showcasing their ability to apply the full range of marketing media skills, achieving at an 80% level. It was determined that 85.7% of the students enrolled, achieved at the targeted level of skill and recommended that the instructors continue to offer evening help sessions of instruction and guidance to both on-campus and Intranet students in the preparation of these projects.

One of the measurable goals that the Small Business Management Program of the Business Technologies curriculum chose to accomplish from the FDTC list of key performance indicators tied to its mission, was that 90% of the students of the Small Business Management program should demonstrate their ability to research, prepare, and report on a business plan for a Business start-up, achieving at the 80% competency level.

The Business Start-up Plan proficiency objective was successfully achieved by the targeted student population. This team exercise allowed students to work together while acquiring knowledge and utilizing the creative thought process enhanced the completion of the individual projects. The Small Business Management department determined from this assessment that the preparation of the Business Start-up Plan, which is required for graduation in the Small Business Management associate degree, will continue to be vital to the curriculum because creativity, organizational skills, the ability to apply concepts and practices from the core curriculum, and Internet research will be stressed with the most up-to-date information allowing the students to be competitive in the small business management area when entering the job market.

The Office Systems Technology (OST) degree program and Automated Office diploma program of the Business Technologies curriculum provide students the opportunity to develop entry-level keyboarding, office procedures, word processing skills and organizational aptitudes necessary to be successful in the job market as skilled administrative workers. The mission of the Office Systems Technology department is to train students in the college service area for gainful employment in the administrative centers of companies across the Pee Dee.  The department will offer certificate, diploma, and associate degree programs that will provide the technical skills required for these professions.

Additionally, the Learning Environment indicator that the department chose was to prepare one hundred percent (100%) of OST graduates achieve a competency level of 84% on all tests on Microsoft Word 2002 functions.  The department exceeded this standard. Eighty-eight percent (88%) of Office Systems Technology graduates achieved a competency level of 84% on all tests on Microsoft Word 2002 functions.

The department also plans to improve the Learning Environment of their students by expanding SCWE (Student College Work Experience) opportunities. In this way they expect that students will have a superior picture of the work world in their related fields. As well, OST instructors intend that this strategy will allow them to have current service area employers evaluating FDTC students regularly and that they will have an ongoing awareness of new employment trends.

The mission of the Computer Technology (CPT) degree program of the Business Technologies Department is to ensure that the CPT learning environment at FDTC will emphasize industry recognized certifications, individualized student instruction, and the infusion of current technology into all aspects of the CPT curriculum.

During the 2003-2004 academic years, the CPT instructors decided to tackle a three pointed approach to enhancing the learning environment within the Computer Technology curriculum. Part one of the objectives was to increase students' opportunities to prepare for and obtain industry certifications in the field of information technology. Part two was to infuse the latest software technology into the CPT curriculum. The final part of the goal was to ensure all CPT course offerings and content are kept abreast with current developments in the field of information technology.

The accomplishments of the CPT curriculum instructors for the year include the following. The IT Essentials curriculum training was completed and the series has been fully integrated into CPT 285. Further, Studio MX instructor training was completed and the software incorporated into the online course content.  Lastly, several course content revisions were finished and approved by the Curriculum and Instruction Committee and appropriate textbooks were also selected for use in the upgraded curricula.

The CPT department head characterized the improvements in following manner. "IT Essentials has been a positive addition the curriculum overall. The incorporation of Macromedia and Flash (Studio MX) software into our web design courses has greatly enhanced the value of these classes to our students and with the introduction of the new curriculum layout in Fall 2004, we should develop a methodology for comparing competency in course objectives between graduating classes."

The Florence-Darlington Technical College Dental Hygiene Associate Degree program prepares graduates with the knowledge and skills to assess, plan implement and evaluate dental hygiene care for the individual and the community. The FDTC dental hygienist graduates provide educational, clinical and therapeutic services to the public in accordance the individual state Dental Practice Acts. Currently the training that last year's dental hygiene graduates received resulted in a 100% of students passed the Dental Hygiene National Board Exam on their 1st attempt and 93% successfully completed the SRTA Regional Examination for Dental Hygienists, clinical licensing required for practicing dental hygiene in South Carolina.

Departmental efforts to examine the curriculum of both the first and second year of the program for decisive ways to encourage retention have resulted in a curriculum modification and enrichment for the advisement process. Students will now be required to complete a preparatory biology course, or pass a competency test on the subject matter before enrolling in the sequential biology courses already embedded in the program to ensure successful completion of the series of competencies scheduled in the program.  Additionally, the department has developed a strategy to identify students having problems will be identified and offered opportunities to develop improvement plans earlier in the semester.

The FDTC Associate Degree Nursing Program's mission is to prepare associate degree and practical nurse graduates who utilize critical thinking skills in clinical decision-making, and who will provide holistic nursing care to individuals in the Pee Dee Region health care agencies.  The focus of the Associate Degree Nursing curriculum focus on classroom instruction as well as laboratory and clinical practice in direct patient care leading to professional certification and employment in a variety of settings.

For the academic year 2003-2004 the nursing instructors put a number of strategies to enhance graduation rate and licensure exams scores of the student population.  As well, the faculty prepared and examined data and processes of evaluation in preparation for their National League of Nursing Accrediting Council self-study and visit in January 2005.

The Nursing faculty and the FDTC enrollment management counselors collaborated to provide career talks at service area high schools, developed information sessions to guide prospective nursing students at the college and other venues, and presented programs on job requirements at more the six area hospitals and agencies over the period being reviewed.  These efforts have yielded a greater enrollment for the fall semester of 2003 and spring semester 2004.

Additionally, the Nursing department provided ERI testing and remediation for students across the nursing curriculum and experienced graduate National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX) pass rates of 91.5% for ADN RN for first-time takers of the NCLEX-RN professional examination and 98% for the first time takers for the NCLEX-PN. Both of these rates exceed the department's goals of achievement for the period.

The Nursing department also began their assessments for the NLNAC Self-study process, with a site visit due January 2005.  They have completed course evaluations, using multiple instruments and summarized the data. They conducted Employer Evaluation Conferences at three hospitals and Curriculum Committees met in spring 2004 and studied and discussed curriculum evaluation measures in preparation for the accreditation visit.

Diploma Programs

The mission of the Dental Assisting Diploma program is to provide students with a comprehensive technical education that will prepare them to graduate with the knowledge, skills, and values needed to begin the practice of dental assisting.  During this year being reviewed, the dental assisting faculty addressed measurable objectives of several of the College's key performance indicators, Customer Recruitment and Retention, and the Learning Environment.

The department reached 94% of their recruitment goal for the Fall 2003 semester through ongoing communications with applicant inquiries and applicants on their program waiting list.  Also, their goal to retain at least 80% of enrolled students through first year curriculum was met as 82% of the original class of Fall 2003 students retained because of increased monitoring of student progress and early identification of students at risk.

Lastly, the department proposed that the August 2004 DAT graduates achieve a first time pass rate of 90% on each of the three sections of the Dental Assisting National Board Exam. Though the students will not have taken the exam as of the writing of this paper, Dental Assisting faculty have expressed confidence that the goal will be met because 100% of the students have completed and passed the ICE Mock Board in preparation of the exam.

The Automated Office Diploma program provides students the opportunity to develop keyboarding skills, office procedures acuities and word processing skills necessary to be qualified in the job market as entry level administrative and clerical employees.

One of the measurable objectives set by the Automated Office diploma program Instructors this past academic year was to have eighty percent (80%) of AO graduates achieve a competency level of 84% on the assessments covering Microsoft Word 2002. The student records for the period show that one hundred percent (100%) of the Automated Office (AO) graduates completed the planned competency level of 84% on all tests on Microsoft Word 2002 functions, OST 163 and OST 167.

Additionally, the AO faculty has determined to prepare a plan to expand the number of work sites that their students eligible for SCWE (Student College Work Experience) will have an opportunity to work at.  They believe that this will give the students a more realistic picture of the opportunities they have upon completion of the program, and as well, will allow the program Instructors to have more ongoing and current employer evaluations of our students and be aware of new employment trends.

Additional Reports Available in the FDTC Office of Research, Planning and Assessment:

Results of Professional and Licensure Examinations 2004

List of Accredited Programs and Accrediting Agencies 2004

Cycle of Reporting for FDTC Majors and Concentrations