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— The Northwest Arkansas Community College is making progress in meeting its two-year goals for the student community, the college’s board heard Monday.

The colleges goals include providing classes and services that meet the needs of its students, implementing a program to reward effective teaching, improving student retention and expanding its marketing efforts.

The goal report includes benchmarks for measuring the success the college is having in meeting those goals.

“It’s a way to gauge progress for strategies,” said Beau Walker, interim director of public relations for the college.

The college is entering the second and final evaluation phase of the twoyear plan, Walker said. The student-oriented goals are part of a larger document that also sets goals for the colleges service of businesses, taxpayers and other groups.

One goal includes increasing the number of people completing the Arkansas Career Pathways program from 14 to 28. The number actually increased to 68. There is now a sixmonth to one-year waiting list for the program, said Amber Holloway, director of the college’s program.

The program gives financial aid to low-income parents to help with career training, according to the state program’s Web site.

Holloway said the increase is partly because the program is new at the college and partly because of the recession.

She said more of the people applying for the program recently have been unemployed.

“They might have a degree or college courses, but it’s not really helping them with their job,” she said.

Another goal was to implement a plan to reward effective teaching.

The Faculty Senate is in the process of drafting new faculty evaluations, said Curtis Harrell, president of the Faculty Senate.

The college already has faculty evaluations, Harrell said, but the Faculty Senate wants to improve them.

For example, the evaluations should be an opportunity for faculty to share successful strategies, Harrell said.

“We’re trying to make it more collaborative,” he said.

Students will still complete evaluations of faculty members, but the process may be moved online, Harrell said.

The college also reported progress in efforts improve student retention and execute a marketing campaign.

At A Glance

NorthWest Arkansas Community College Student-Oriented Goals:

• Provide learning opportunities, programs and services to meet the needs of our community.

• Develop and implement a continuous improvement plan that assesses student learning and recognizes and rewards effective teaching.

• Develop and implement services and program to facilitate learners’ academic persistence.

• Develop and execute a college branding initiative to increase awareness of education and training opportunities offered through NWACC.

School News, Pages 9 on 11/18/2009

Print Headline: NWACC reaching goals

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