Case Study II: How Frederick Community College (FCC) is transforming the student experience

INSIGHTS

Reframing educational infrastructure helps increase collaboration and effectiveness 

Frederick Community College (FCC) partnered with MGT Education in 2021 to conduct a comprehensive Organizational Assessment and Recommendations Report. The FCC wanted insight into student culture before its new presidential leadership transition.

Part I of our Frederick Community College case study focused on Phase I for enhancing the student experience from enrollment to graduation. Part II of our case study outlines the recommendations for Phase 2  and Phase 3 of the Organizational Assessment and Recommendations Report.  

The transformational initiatives are designed to reframe and elevate student success by creating a more effective, collaborative and centralized organization through reduction in separate offices and cooperative supervision across multiple areas.  

Phase 2: Reframing Student Success 

Previously referred to as “Learning Support,” Student Affairs was reframed and organized to maximize student access, engagement, achievement, and innovation in collaboration with other departments across the College. The primary role of Student Affairs is to set the direction for student success and provide the resources and services necessary to achieve FCC’s vision and mission of transforming lives through greater learning experiences.  

The goal of Student Affairs is to become a comprehensive student success center.  FCC’s recommended leadership restructuring is designed to facilitate the processes and opportunities to engage students with early and ongoing outreach. This includes middle school outreach for creating awareness of college opportunities to recruiting diverse students for enrollment at FCC, including high school students, career changers, and people pursuing continuing education and professional and personal development.  

Greater Student Access and Success emphasizes practices, programs, policies, and services that help ensure students have access to affordable, high-quality education for intellectual, social, emotional, and physical well-being in career preparation in a holistic manner.  

At the foundation of student access and success is a comprehensive Strategic Enrollment Management Plan. The plan is collaboratively developed and implemented throughout various departments across the campus to position the College as an open-enrollment institution.  

The Strategic Enrollment Management Plan aims to expand and enrich education throughout the student lifecycle with innovative approaches based on individual student needs, from enrollment to career and life-long learning opportunities.  

Phase 3: Elevating Student Success 

Phase 3 recommendations aim to elevate student success through deep initiatives that will require time, effort, and an ongoing focus for success. Recommendations included:  

  1. Document and automate processes to help manage student relationships, finances, and enrollment services with greater consistency, accuracy and efficiency. 
  2. Establish a Strategic Enrollment Management Plan with key stakeholders to create, implement, evaluate, continually assess and improve student outreach, retention, and outcomes. 
  3. Clarify and promote testing requirements to reduce enrollment barriers and streamline the process for students and faculty. Guided Pathways will provide clear course progressions, eliminating the need to interpret where students belong. As students progress, achieving and recognizing milestones is vital, along with additional support and communications to inform decision making for successful outcomes.  
  4. Create technology-enhanced customer relationship management tools  for recruiting and retaining students through timely communications and offerings. Customer relationship management tools for higher education are effective for facilitating student interactions, maintaining and sharing information records, and following up with students who need support. 
  5. Support part-time students with flexible programs and scholarships to help students stay engaged, focused, and motivated to finish a degree in four years. 
  6. Develop data dashboards for informed decision making and performance monitoring based on key metrics. Strategically, Student Affairs should have support and access to data to understand the context of institutional effectiveness in elevating student success. 
  7. Prioritize marketing for Student Affairs to help secure consistent branding and effective, timely marketing and communications to attract and engage students. 
  8. Support dedicated information technology services to Student Affairs for accurate, consistent, efficient and timely student outreach and engagement. 
  9. Enhance staff and faculty performance evaluations for greater clarity and accountability of team performance.  
  10. Increase support for online learning and information gathering, including financial aid, enrollment, and advising to meet student needs and expectations. 
  11. Create flexibility for remote working for employees in appropriate positions with clear policies and expectations to help enhance employee morale and productivity. 

In addition to the three transformation phases recommended by MGT, ongoing professional development and education will be critical to the ongoing success of this initiative. Recommendations for these opportunities address career certifications for advisors, implicit bias, leadership, management, and supervision.

 

Part I of our Frederick Community College case study