2018 Institutional Report

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Update: Fall 2018

Cal State LA has received the following feedback from the WSCUC visiting team, highlighting the commendations and lines of inquiry identified in the 2018 Institutional Report. During the spring Accreditation Visit (February 27 - March 1), the visiting team will be following up on the questions outlined in the Lines of Inquiry.

Overview of the lines of inquiry

This document identifies six lines of inquiry for the Accreditation Visit (AV) that are derived from the institution’s report and associated questions or issues the team discussed during the Offsite Review (OSR) that may be pursued during the visit.

Commendations

The team commends the institution for the following accomplishments and practices:

  1. Undertaking significant work since the last accreditation review. This multifaceted effort includes several institutional initiatives (e.g. the quarter to semester conversion, General Education reform, and the budget model) as well as the committees, plans, and infrastructure to address the recommendations stemming from the most recent accreditation review.
  2. Demonstrating a substantial and broadly shared commitment to student success as exemplified by the Strategic Plan, the integration of associated initiatives into the curriculum and co-curriculum, the changes to student support services, the customer service initiatives, and the resource commitment.
  3. Making initial progress in increasing retention and graduation rates.
  4. Thoughtfully using the quarter to semester conversion (Q2S) to advance institutional goals, including efforts to define the meaning of the degree and to strengthen curriculum and learning outcomes in support of quality and integrity.
  5. Investing in assessment infrastructure and support. This includes the Educational Effectiveness and Assessment Committee (EEAC), the College Assessment Coordinators, the Faculty Learning Communities, and the Center for Effective Teaching and Learning and its support for improving instruction, curriculum, student outcomes, and student success.
  6. Demonstrating a commitment to civic and community engagement as reflected in the curriculum and co-curriculum, including the Cal State LA Downtown campus.
  7. Showing strong financial control as evinced by recurring fund balances.
  8. Developing a new budget allocation model which allows for the evidenced-based allocation of resources in support of strategic priorities

 

Lines of inquiry.  The team has identified the following six lines of inquiry for the Accreditation Visit:

  1. Student Success
    1. During the visit, the team will explore the progress made on the Student Success Strategic Priority Area of the campus’ Strategic Plan. Focal areas will include the new, non-remedial introductory courses, the Center for Academic Success, programs for undocumented students, the new academic advising program, and programs addressing health and wellness.
    2. How well are programs and initiatives working?
    3. What needs to be improved or strengthened?
    4. Relatedly, the campus has established goals for four and six-year graduation rates. Six-year graduation rates have improved, but less progress has been made on four-year rates. 
    5. What initiatives are planned or underway to significantly improve four-year graduation rates?
    6. How will these initiatives be assessed and how will the results inform the campus’s efforts going forward?
  2.  Diversity
    1. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are campus values, and diversity is featured in the campus’s Welcoming and Inclusive Campus Strategic Priority Area.
      1. What goals have been established to increase the diversity of the staff, faculty, and administration?
      2.  What plans are in place to achieve those goals?
    2.  For many years, the campus has been recognized as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI). It has also pioneered several programs/efforts aimed at promoting the Latino presence on campus. With this in mind, the committee is interested in determining what it means to the campus to be an HSI in relation to the following:
      1. How is the HSI status evidenced within the curriculum and co-curriculum, and in student support services?
      2. How does the HSI status affect the campus goals related to increased community service and service learning?
      3. In what other ways does the HIS status reveal itself in campus policies, practices, and procedures?
  3. Assessment: The Institutional Report shows a strong commitment to assessment as a tool for continuous improvement in support of institutional goals. Also evident is a commitment to assessment as part of teaching and learning. During the Accreditation Visit, the team is interested in learning more about the following:
    1. What are the learning outcomes and assessment plans of departments in the Division of Student Affairs?
    2. What are the connections between assessment and resource allocation, including with respect to program review?
    3. How does the work of the EEAC contribute to institutional learning and to educational effectiveness? What is the role of the EEAC in decision making in support of institutional goals?
    4. How does program assessment increasingly inform curriculum and/or pedagogy?
    5. How are faculty involved in program assessment? To what extent are non-tenure track faculty involved in assessment?
    6. What does a mature culture of assessment look like at Cal State L.A., and who is responsible for defining that vision and implementing it at institutional, college, and departmental levels?  This includes plans for strengthening assessment practices in the 57% of programs deemed emerging.
  4. Program Review: The campus has a robust program review policy, and understands the process itself to be robust.  Strengths include the expectation of a five year plan as part of the self-study and an MOU at the close of the review. The policy also expects periodic review of academic support services.  Regarding program review, the team is interested in the following:
    1. What is the campus learning from program review about the quality of its academic programs, including program strengths and areas to strengthen? How is this information used in the evaluation of the campus’s educational effectiveness and related planning? 
    2. How does the campus know that the program review process is robust? What works particularly well? What if anything could be improved about academic program review?
    3. What progress has been made on the integration of General Education assessment into program review? What is being learned about the efficacy of the General Education program and the efficacy of this approach?
    4. To what extent are academic support services undergoing review? What is the campus learning about these services and how are the results informing planning?
  5. Institutional Effectiveness: Cal State LA has demonstrated a strong commitment to establishing inclusive processes for advancing the university in the service of its mission. The campus embraced the conversion from quarters to semesters as an opportunity to examine how it delivers on its educational mission, and to develop a culture of effectiveness and success. Data are being collected and reporting structures (e.g. Tableau) have been established to provide a platform for deeper understanding and greater transparency. This line of inquiry aims to dive deeper into understanding how data and reporting of outcomes are being used to increase institutional effectiveness and the achievement of the university’s strategic goals. In particular, the team is interested in the following:
    1. What evidence or outcomes demonstrate the impact of the Q2S conversion on quality and curricular coherence? Who was involved in the process (e.g., Academic Senate, Departments, non-tenure track faculty), and how do we know that the work undertaken has strengthened the curriculum, curricular alignment, and meaning of degrees?
    2. What evidence is there to demonstrate the quality of degrees?
    3. What is the status of the customer service initiative, primed by the 2015 Customer Service Analyst Report, and how is the initiative progressing?  What evidence is there to demonstrate that the customer service initiative is producing desired or anticipated outcomes?
    4. Finally, and most generally, to what extent has the institution evolved a data-informed decision-making culture? To what degree are data being used in decision making at each level of the institution; i.e., how are data used at the program and institutional levels in contexts such as student success (graduation and retention rates), program review, student services, and co-curriculum programming? What are the key outcomes informing decision making and, within each priority area, who is accountable for those outcomes?
  6. Finances/Budget: The institution has strong financial controls and a budget allocation model that aligns resources in support of strategic initiatives. 
    1. How does the institution’s future enrollment plan tie to financial planning, both budget and capital?
    2. To what extent has the new budget model affected resource allocation in support of strategic priorities?  What tradeoffs are being made and how are those decisions made?
    3. How is the addition of new staff being funded and supported?
    4. What is the future of the student support fee; is it permanent or it can it be repealed?
    5. Which of the recent buildings were funded by debt repaid from campus operating resources? How is the debt amortized, and what is the planning to incorporate it into future budgets?
    6. What is the financial impact of research on the university’s budget? For instance, how does page 133 of the systemwide audit relating to CSULA tie to page 54 of the Institutional Report, table 7.2.  How large is the expenditure currently and what it is estimated to be going forward?

Cover of Institutional Report


Institutional Report Exhibits

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7