Academic Affairs

Academic Affairs

Update on Student Success Committee

This report is offered to the Vice Chancellor and to the campus community at large upon the conclusion of one semester’s worth of meetings of members of the Student Success Committee. Online forums on the report's findings and recommendations will be set-up on the campus intranet to encourage participation and discussion.

Original goals for the SSC come from our strategic plan and goals.  We will focus on four major items over the next five years:

  • Increase the number of graduates and transfers in all programs by 25%.
  •  Eliminate Gatekeeper courses.
  •  Improve student success rates by 10% in all courses with success rates less than 70%.
  •  Decrease time spent in remedial/developmental courses to one year or less.

Proposed Performance Based Budgeting

We enter 2011 with a new governor and a new legislature convening this month. The University of Hawaii has proposed in its Biennium Budget request a new model for budgeting the University based on performance. During this legislative session, we will see if the Governor and the Legislature agree with our direction.  If they do, it will have a profound effect on how we assess, plan, and budget our College.

In the past, our budget requests have focused on changes to programs—the so-called Program Change Requests (PCRs).  We made specific requests for new and improved programs and if they were funded, we received funds targeted for these requests.  Thus, in the past, we have received additional funding our Associate of Arts in Teaching program and the expansion of services to the Waianae Coast.  Under the proposed Performance Based Budgeting (PBB), PCRs would be significantly limited to very specific University priorities and the majority of new funds for our campus would be based on meeting or exceeding certain performance targets such as improved graduation rates and student success. 

In the last biennium request, the University focused PCRs on workforce development.  This meant that if a PCR didn’t directly affect workforce development, it was not included in the University budget.  How then are we to improved and develop programs that don’t directly affect workforce development?  The answer is we are to use the funds that come from meeting our performance targets.  Thus while under PBB we cannot ask for new funds to improve the Library or art programs, we can use new PBB funds to improved and upgrade these programs.  A rising tide raises all ships and student success will be the funding mechanism for our programs.

We already have a form of PBB with Enrollment Incentive Funding initiated four years ago.  We have received yearly additional funds based on enrollment growth.  These funds have been used in part to help offset the costs of teaching additional students and we have also reinvested these funds on continuing to increase enrollment.  Our efforts on increasing enrollment have been largely focused on improving student retention and persistence rather than just recruiting new students.  Thus Enrollment Incentive Funding has funded our Remedial/Development Task Force and our Student Success Committee.

The overarching theme for Leeward is student success.  Our budget strategy will be to prioritize those requests that directly address student success and improve the campus learning environment.  I ask that you involve yourself in these efforts for yourself, the College and our students.