Higher Learning Commission

Program Development Model (PDM)

Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Overview of the Quality Initiative

Duration: The PDM will be completed by May 2015. The PDM will be a key milestone in a longer initiative, MCAD 2017.

MCAD was founded in 1886. It is a nationally and regionally accredited college granting Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Science, Master of Arts, and Master of Fine Arts degrees as well as professional certificates. The College’s enrollment includes more than 800 students from 29 states and 12 countries. Of these, approximately 50 percent are enrolled in design, 25 percent in media arts, and 25 percent in fine arts. Our student body is evenly divided between men and women and the average student is 21 years old.

The Minneapolis College of Art and Design will develop as its first Quality Initiative (QI) as part of its Open Pathways Higher Learning Commission (HLC) accreditation reassurance process a Program Development Model (PDM). The development of the PDM will be completed during the QI timeframe, May 2013 to May 2015. The project relates directly to MCAD 2017, the College’s five-year strategic plan in several ways and, as such, represents a key milestone in the work of a longer initiative at the institution.

More specifically, the PDM will allow MCAD to evaluate existing programs and to develop new programs by providing a template to determine program feasibility, including capacity requirements for the program, both those capacity requirements internal to MCAD as well as external requirements that may be involved. The PDM will enable MCAD to identify, anticipate, and minimize program development issues prior to the launch of a new program. The PDM, however, will neither be the means by which to develop a new program nor to secure accreditation approval for new programs.

Sufficiency of the Initiative’s Scope and Significance

Relevance and Significance

Under the leadership of incoming President Jay Coogan, in 2009-2010 and again in 2010-2011, MCAD faculty, staff, administrators, and students engaged in extensive conversions about the College’s mission. These conversations resulted in a revised mission statement for the College, as well as a five-year strategic plan.

MCAD’s revised mission statement emphasizes student engagement with the broader community, both locally and globally. The revised MCAD mission statement is as follows:

The Minneapolis College of Art and Design educates individuals to be professional artists and designers, pioneering thinkers, creative leaders, and engaged global citizens.

A second result of the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 conversations among MCAD students, faculty, staff, and administrators was the development of a five-year strategic plan, titled MCAD 2017: The Next Now. The Strategic Plan for the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. The strategic plan was unanimously approved by the Board of Trustees on May 3, 2011. A copy of MCAD 2017 is included at the end of this Quality Initiative Proposal.

The development of a Program Development Model as MCAD’s first Quality Initiative for the Higher Learning Commission relates directly to MCAD 2017: The Next Now in several ways. The strategic plan revolves around four key objectives. The PDM addresses each of these objectives in general and specific ways. These four objectives will help determine the success of MCAD’s Quality Initiative.

During discussions with members of the MCAD community in spring 2013 and in preparation for the Quality Initiative Proposal, members of both Academic Cabinet as well as the President’s Advisory Council (PAC) identified several larger and other, more focused potential topics for MCAD’s Quality Initiative. In discussions with the Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs, members of PAC clustered several possible topics under the heading of “Program Development,” which had been and continues to be a challenging aspect of MCAD 2017. Academic Cabinet discussed briefly the idea of a PDM as the focus for the Quality Initiative. It is the hope of the Quality Initaitive Steering Committee, discussed below, that several key issues brought up during conversations about MCAD’s first Quality Initiative will be addressed by necessity as part of the focus on the PDM, including issues of faculty and staff development, risk-taking opportunities, international programs, and online programs.

The first key objective of MCAD 2017 is to offer curriculum that prepares students to become engaged global citizens. Although there are several aspects to each of the four, key objectives of MCAD 2017, as demonstrated in the addendum, the PDM clearly speaks to MCAD’s desire to strengthen current academic programs, add new academic programs, and expand online learning. The PDM also will help the College identify ways in which current or future programs provide, or might provide, unique applied learning opportunities. Additionally, a PDM may also enable the College to attract and retain the highest caliber faculty and staff through focused reflection on current and future program needs.

The second key objective of MCAD 2017 focuses on the establishment of MCAD as an international center for art and design thinking. The PDM will help MCAD identify ways to develop and grow MCADWorks, formerly called LIfeLab, effectively and with sufficient internal support structures. In addition, the PDM will be able to use successful DesignWorks projects to identify current and to anticipate future program development concerns. The PDM also has the potential to provide a framework for how to best grow Career Services and Continuing Education (formerly Continuing Studies) opportunities at the College, given the institutions structural and resource capacity limits.

The third key objective of MCAD 2017 requires that MCAD increase matriculation and student retention rates. The PDM could help the College better recognize the means by which student support could best be achieved to ensure a culturally supportive campus. The PDM will be key, as well, as the College seeks to grow its comprehensive enrollment plan. In addition, the PDM is sure to help the College identify ways in which cross-cultural teaching and learning opportunities might best be achieved, as well as the ways in which an academically supportive campus community informs current as well as future program development.

The fourth key objective of MCAD 2017 is that the College establish a solid financial foundation upon which to build a responsive and enduring situation. In particular, the College will be able to utilize the PDM to determine how best to achieve maximized earned revenue through at-capacity enrollment in undergraduate and graduate programs. In addition, the PDM will help make clear the role of contributed revenue as well as the relevance of and need for MCAD’s art and design education.

MCAD has selected as its first Quality Initiative the development of a PDM in great part because members of the President’s Advisory Council as well as key faculty and staff leaders recognize the various issues involved with maintaining and developing programs, and the key role that such program maintenance and development will play for the College in the present, as well as in the future. To these ends, it is MCAD’s hope that the PDM will allow the institution to align its programs and program development aspirations with the specific goals of MCAD 2017.

Intended Impact

The PDM will impact MCAD as an institution in several ways. First, it will allow the institution to determine what explicit and implicit definitions for “program,” “program development,” and related concepts already exist at the College. Second, it will allow members of the Quality Initiative Steering Committee, discussed below, to better understand MCAD’s needs, limits, and strengths in relation to program building, and to share these issues with the greater MCAD community. Third, the Quality Initiative will help educate the entire MCAD community about the College’s various resources and resource allocations. Finally, the PDM will allow the institution to identify best practices for achieving key aspects of its MCAD 2017 strategic plan, discussed above. The focus on MCAD’s strategic plan will be especially important to the institution as a whole, as members of the College community and the Quality Initiative Steering Committee in particular become better versed in the operations of the College and how these operations impact one another via programs and program development.

The PDM will impact MCAD and its academic quality in several ways. First, a focus on identifying key stakeholders in program and program development will ensure awareness of capacity issues at the College, especially as the College seeks to grow its enrollment as part of its strategic plan. In addition, a PDM will ensure that the College can evaluate effectively current programs as well as identify and anticipate potential concerns with future programs. Finally, in creating awareness of the various aspects of program development, the PDM will allow the institution, and members of the College community, to focus more readily on evaluating current and future programs as part of growing a general culture of assessment at the College.

Clarity of the Initiative’s Purpose

Purposes and Goals

The purpose of the Quality Initiative is to help members of the MCAD community better understand the explicit and implicit program development variables at the College, as well as to utilize this understanding to create a PDM to measure the feasibility of proposed new programs. The goal of the Quality Initiative is to develop an effective PDM. To achieve the goal, the PDM will need to address the following:

  • Define “program” and “program development” clearly
  • Identify additional key terms in the QI, such as “Return on Investment” (ROI) and “External Partner”
  • Develop a narrative and graphic representation of the current program development process, as well as the program review process, at MCAD
  • Create clear guidelines for structuring and evaluating programs, including nonacademic programs as well as academic areas, such as majors, minors, and courses
  • Respond explicitly to MCAD’s strategic plan and mission statement

The QI process at MCAD will result in the following:

The QI process at MCAD will lead to a PDM. The PDM will allow the College to do the following:

  • Identify key stakeholders in the program review and development process
  • Identify key steps in the program review and development process
  • Identify current gaps in the current program review and development process
  • Identify the relationship of faculty and staff development to program review and development
  • Identify institutional capacity in relation to program review and development process

Additionally, the following criteria will be used to evaluate the success of the QI and the final PDM:

  • The PDM contains clearly defined language and terminology
  • The PDM has potential as an evaluation tool for current and future programs
  • The PDM provides a possible framework for the evaluation of courses related to current and future academic programs
  • The PDM can be used to gauge the appropriateness and feasibility of proposed new programs
  • The PDM provides a clear measure of Return on Investment (ROI) of existing and proposed new programs
  • The PDM has a clear, viable potential to help MCAD identify, anticipate, and minimize program development issues prior to the launch of a new program

Evaluation of Progress and Accomplishments

The Quality Initiative Steering Committee will meet twice monthly to complete the PDM development steps, as outlined in the timeline below. The Steering Committee will meet as a whole once per month, and again in smaller, Working Groups, to address various steps in the PDM development process.

The SC will engage in information gathering, outreach, and updates with the MCAD community at the direction of the President, the President’s Advisory Council, and the Chair of MCAD’s Quality Initiative Steering Committee.

The Chair of the SC will meet weekly with the Vice President of Academic Affairs, and at least once per semester with the President, members of the President’s Advisory Council (PAC), and MCAD’s Academic Cabinet to review the progress of the QI, the accomplishments of the QI Steering Committee, and discuss and review adjustments to the QI timeline, as needed.

Additional meetings of the Quality Initiative Steering Committee, the Quality Initiative Working Groups, or members of either group with members of the MCAD community will be scheduled as needed.

Evidence of Commitment to and Capacity for Accomplishing the Initiative

Internal and External Support

The PDM Quality Initiative is supported by internal stakeholders in various ways. Members of the President’s Advisory Council (PAC) as well as the College’s Academic Cabinet were involved in the initial discussions about possible Quality Initiative topics. Several potential ideas were debated. The focus on a PDM will allow the institution to address to some extent, directly and indirectly, several of the other proposed foci, such as faculty and staff development, the institution’s global focus and ambitions, and the need for a growth model that accounts for the institution’s size and capacity.

The PDM Quality Initiative is supported by external stakeholders in various ways. The Quality Initiative Steering Committee will include members from the Board of Trustees, whose connections to the College bring external perspectives directly in to the institution. In addition, a spot on the Quality Initiative Steering Committee will be reserved for an individual focused on external partnerships, a role that could be served by the Chair of the Bachelor of Entrepreneurial Studies at the College who also is charged with helping MCAD develop relationships with external partners.

Groups and Individuals Involved in Implementation

An MCAD committee comprised of faculty, staff, student, and administrative representation from across the college will develop the PDM. The Quality Initiative Steering Committee (SC) will be comprised of one member each from among the following departments, offices, and areas for a total of fifteen committee members. The President’s Advisory Council will approve the final make-up of the committee at their July 2013 retreat:

  • Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs (Chair)
  • Senior Academic Affairs Administrative Assistant
  • Board of Trustees / Emeritus Faculty
  • Admissions • Student Affairs
  • Institutional Advancement
  • Business Office
  • Financial Aid
  • External Partnership Liaison / Chair of Bachelor of Entrepreneurial Studies
  • Facilities / Academic Services
  • Vice-President of Faculty Senate / Faculty Governance
  • Full-Time Faculty-At-Large
  • Adjunct Faculty-At-Large
  • MFA / MA Graduate Student Representative
  • Student Union President / Vice-President

The members of the SC will be responsible for the following:

  • Serve as key thought leaders at the institution and for the Quality Initiative at MCAD
  • Identify a one to two-hour block of time each month to meet as a Steering Committee
  • Identify a one to two-hour block of time each month to meet in Working Groups
  • Engage in group building and training activities
  • Clearly and repeatedly review the metaperspectival nature of the PDM as opposed to specific program review processes
  • Share committee updates and progress reports with departments, offices and areas
  • Attend and participate in monthly meetings, as outlined below
  • Act as institutional liaisons for their respective areas in the PDM development process
  • Collect and analyze data, through methods such as focused research, benchmarking, in-house interviews, and discussion forums with specific constituencies

Committed Resources

The human resources needed to successfully development the PDM and that MCAD has committed to the Quality Initiative include the time and expertise of the members of the Quality Initiative Steering Committee. Members of the Committee will meet monthly as a group, and additionally in assigned working groups, to research and to help generate information needed to develop the PDM.

The financial resources needed to develop the PDM successfully and that MCAD has committed to the Quality Initiative include staff and faculty time to participate in the Quality Initiative Steering Committee, as well as a small stipend for Adjunct Faculty who are required to participate in the Quality Initiative Steering Committee.

The technological resources needed to successfully development the PDM and that MCAD has committed to the Quality Initiative include use of MCAD’s internet, laptop, and desktop computers to research data related to the PDM in detail.

The additional resources needed to successfully development the PDM and that MCAD has committed to the Quality Initiative include use of meeting spaces within the College for regular meetings of the Quality Initiative Steering Committee. In addition, the College will provide printing, supply costs, and occasional refreshment expenses related to the Quality Initiative Steering Committee and Quality Initiative Working Group meetings.

Appropriateness of the Timeline for the Initiative

The following timeline outlines the primary activities of the initiative and provides a general timeline for the work of the Quality Initiative Steering Committee and the Quality Initiative Working Groups. As best as possible, additional activities and institutional issues will be added and integrated to the timeline as they develop, such as activities related to external marketing studies and curriculum review and revisions. Changes to the timeline will be documented as part of process of evaluating MCAD’s first QI process in May 2015.

2012-2013 Academic Year

Spring 2013

  • 15-30 April 2013: QI Proposal (QIP) reviewed by President, PAC, Academic Cabinet
  • 1 May 2013: Final draft of MCAD’s QIP to HLC
  • 15 June 2013: Anticipated feedback / approval of MCAD’s QIP from HLC

2013-2014 Academic Year

SC = Quality Initiative Steering Committee (as a whole)
WG = Quality Initiative Working Group (assigned members of the Steering Committee)

Fall 2013

August 2013

  • SC: Mission overview; review MCAD Strategic Plan; team building and training
  • WG: Team building and training

September 2013

  • SC: Review MCAD Strategic Plan; team building and training; GAPS analysis; review of key information needs and identification of key stakeholders
  • WG: GAPS analysis of MCAD program development, information gathering and review

October 2013

  • SC: Review of information; identification of outstanding information needs
  • WG: Information gathering and review

November 2013

  • SC: SWOT analysis and discussion; ranking SWOT analysis outcomes
  • WG: SWOT analysis follow-up

December 2013

  • SC: Benchmarking discussion and assignments; review MCAD Strategic Plan; update to President, Board of Trustees, PAC, and Academic Cabinet
  • WG: Benchmarking


Spring 2014

January 2014

  • SC: Benchmarking discussion and identification of challenges
  • WG: Benchmarking; development of three PDMs

February 2014

  • SC: Review and discussion of three PDMs; test of draft model on non-MCAD case study or program; presentation to President, PAC, Academic Cabinet, others for feedback
  • WG: Data gathering and focused PDM discussion

March 2014

  • SC: Review of discussion of three draft PDMs; review MCAD Strategic Plan; identify a total mix of five programs, some academic and others non-academic, at MCAD for testing of PDM
  • WG: Data gathering and focused PDM discussion

April 2014

  • SC: Review of presentations and feedback; revise PDMs to single PDM; review MCAD Strategic Plan; additional discussion of five MCAD programs and PDM testing
  • WG: Focused data gathering

May 2014

  • SC: Final draft of PDM; additional discussion of five MCAD programs and PDM testing; update to President, Board of Trustees, PAC, and Academic Cabinet
  • WG: Review final draft PDM; focused benchmarking and data gathering, as needed

2014-2015 Academic Year

Fall 2014

August 2014

  • SC: Final draft PDM; additional discussion of five MCAD programs and PDM testing
  • WG: Focused benchmarking and data gathering, as needed

September 2014

  • SC: Update to President, Board of Trustees, PAC, and Academic Cabinet
  • WG: Discussion of presentation; revise PDM and discussion

October 2014

  • SC: Discussion of presentation; revise PDM and discussion
  • WG: Review final draft PDM with constituencies; discuss feedback

November 2014

  • SC: Update to President, Board of Trustees, PAC, and Academic Cabinet
  • WG: Review final draft PDM with constituencies; discuss feedback

December 2014

  • SC: PDM to Board of Trustees (BoT) for discussion; discussion and revision of PDM, as needed; benchmarking overview
  • WG: Begin benchmarking

Spring 2015

January 2015

  • SC: PDM BoT review; discussion of five programs and PDM testing
  • WG: Focused benchmarking and data gathering, as needed

February 2015

  • SC: Discuss five program results; benchmarking discussion
  • WG: Focused benchmarking and data gathering, as needed

March 2015

  • SC: PDM final revisions; additional discussion of five MCAD programs and PDM testing, as needed; QI benchmarking assignments
  • WG: Benchmarking of HLC Quality Initiatives at other institutions

April 2015

  • SC: Final PDM template completed for Board, President, and PAC dissemination and review; discuss initial benchmarking results
  • WG: Benchmarking of HLC Quality Initiatives at other institutions

May 2015

  • SC: Review of benchmarking data; preparation for next Quality Initiative
  • WG: Evaluation of QI and PDM process
  • 1 May 2015 Final QI Report to HLC

 


MCAD 2017: The Next Now
The Strategic Plan for Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Introduction

In December 2009, under the direction of the Board of Trustees, the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) formally launched a strategic planning effort to:

  • Evaluate the college’s current capacity to deliver the highest quality art and design education, and;
  • Develop a roadmap for meeting both internal goals and external challenges.

Led by President Jay Coogan, the strategic planning process was designed for both transparency and inclusivity. Representatives from the board, faculty, staff, alumni, and student body examined the most fundamental work of the college and made recommendations for new strategies to strengthen academic quality, evaluate progress, and enhance brand awareness.

The Strategic Plan sets a course of action for the next six years. It reinforces our core strengths while challenging us to develop the infrastructure and programming needed to reach our top objective:

“To Position MCAD for National and International Prominence.”

The Strategic Plan revolves around four key objectives that provide the context for our work:

  1. Offer curriculum that prepares students to become engaged global citizens
  2. Establish identity as international center for art and design thinking
  3. Increase matriculation and student retention rates
  4. Establish a solid financial foundation upon which to build a responsive and enduring institution

MCAD’s 2011 – 2017 Strategic Plan builds upon our solid foundation as a leading arts and design institution, and leverages our past efforts while embracing new opportunities. Included in this plan are cost and revenue projections related to the proposed strategic initiatives. While the budget for Fiscal Year 2012 is set, the budgets for Fiscal Years 2013-2016 are subject to change; this provides a degree of flexibility and allows us to adjust the plan to both internal and external conditions as necessary.

The completed plan was unanimously approved by the Board of Trustees on May 3, 2011. Revisions were approved in May 2012.

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Institution Contact

Thomas O. Haakenson

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