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Documents - Fall 2012
Quality Check-up Report
Fall 2012

Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP)

 

 

Submitted to:
Academic Quality Improvement Program
The Higher Learning Commission
September 2012

Credits, Program Length, and Tuition:

Credits:
Mineral Area College awards semester credit hours to courses according to the Missouri Department of Higher Education’s accepted policies, indicating that one semester credit hour is equivalent to 750 minutes.  Courses on campus range in credit hours from one to five and meet the appropriate number of minutes based upon the 750 minute per-credit-hour rate.

The College has an active curriculum committee which offers campus oversight to new courses and/or programs and sanctions changes in existing programs. This committee is comprised of department chairs from both the Arts and Sciences Faculty and the Career and Technical Education Faculty, the Arts and Sciences Dean, the Career and Technical Division Dean, and the Registrar as an ex-officio member.  An individual faculty member may initiate a curriculum item by submitting either an information item or a curriculum proposal, having approval from his/her department chair and dean, and then presenting the item before the full curriculum committee. The committee meets monthly to entertain new business. 

New programs may also require approval from the Missouri Department of Higher Education and/or the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Some programs also require approval of the Higher Learning Commission.  Information about specific programs and courses is available in the College’s catalog or by following this link:

 http://www.mineralarea.edu/generalInformation/MACcatalogs.aspx

Program Length:
Mineral Area College offers a variety of programs and certificates.  One year certificates are offered in Law Enforcement, Child Development, Civil Construction Technology, Computer Networking, Computer-Aided Drafting and Design, Criminal Justice, Electrical/Electronics, Fire Science, Horticulture, Industrial Maintenance, Manufacturing, Practical Nursing, Office Systems Technology (Medical Coding and Administrative Assistant), Paramedic Technology, and Renewable Energy Technology. 

In the Career and Technical Education Division, two-year Associate of Applied Science degrees are offered in the following areas: Agribusiness, Business Computer Programming, Business Management (Accounting and Microcomputers), Child Development, Civil/Construction Technology, Computer Networking, Computer-Aided Drafting and Design, Criminal Justice (Forensic Investigation, Judicial Administration, and Law Enforcement), Electrical/Electronics, Fire Science Technology, Horticulture (Landscape Design/Greenhouse Nursery Management, Ornamental Horticulture, and Turfgrass Management), Industrial Maintenance, Manufacturing, Manufacturing Supervision, Office Systems Technology (Administrative Assistant and Medical Coding), Paramedic Technology, and Renewable Energy Technology. 

Two-year Associate Degrees of Nursing, Respiratory Therapy, and Radiology are also offered.

In the Arts and Sciences Division, two-year Associate of Arts, Associate of General Studies, and Associate of Arts in Teaching degrees are also available at MAC.

Tuition:
Mineral Area College is committed to offering an affordable education.  During the fall of 2012, the College web site lists tuition as follows:
In-District -- $92.00 per credit hour
Out-of-District -- $122.00 per credit hour
Out-of-State -- $155.00 per credit hour

Although tuition per credit hour is consistent across the College, certain departments and programs do assess additional fees.  For instance, fees for a nursing class range from $186.00 to $276.00 per course, telecourses involve a $10.00 fee, web courses include a $45.00 fee, lab science classes include a $40.00 fee, computer classes include a $25.00 fee, and some education classes assess a $15.00 fee.   The College assesses such fees for a variety of reasons, including covering small student-to-teacher ratio programs, technology expenditures, background check processing charges etc.  Current fees are published in each semester’s course schedule booklet and on the College’s web site and are reevaluated on an annual basis by the appropriate dean.

Student Complaints:

Mineral Area College is committed to maintaining a climate conducive to learning and supporting its students in that process. Mineral Area College utilizes the College Outcomes Survey to assess student satisfaction.  Spring 2011 graduates reported this information about their experiences at MAC. When asked whether or not they were satisfied,

1.  99.0% were satisfied with “The quality of my instruction” at MAC;

2.  96.7% were satisfied with “The quality of academic advising” at MAC;

3.   98.9% were satisfied with “This College in general.”            

However, in the event that a student is dissatisfied with a College policy or service, the College has established a “Student Complaint Resolution Policy” overseen by the Dean of Students, which is as follows:

“Individuals seeking information regarding the process of complaint resolution may consult with any of the following offices or individuals for assistance.  Complaints may be filed as follows:

College Life:  Complaints including but not limited to all areas of student life such as student activities and organizations, dining services, and all other aspects of student services should filed with the Dean of Students.

Student Accounts:  Complaints in regard to student billing and/or charges should be filed with the Business Manager.

College Housing:  Complaints in regard to room and board should be filed with the Director of College Park or the Dean of Students.

Academic Affairs/Grade Disputes:  Complaints in regard to grade disputes should be filed with the Dean of Arts and Sciences Division or the Dean of the Career and Technical Division.

Human Resource Management:  Complaints in regard to Mineral Area College employees should be filed with the Human Resource Manager.

Criminal Misconduct:  Complaints of criminal misconduct should be filed directly with the Mineral Area College Director of Public Safety.  Complaints relating to violations of Federal law should be filed directly with the Federal agency having cognizance over the matter in question (e.g., violations of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act within the U.S. Department of Education).

Mineral Area College Student Due Process and other grievance policies as published by the College should be followed for all complaints.  All informal and formal institutional processes must be followed and exhausted prior to filing a formal complaint with the Missouri Department of Higher Education (MDHE).  The complaint must be submitted in writing, using the MDHE complaint form available on the department’s website along with instructions on how to proceed.

A copy of the Mineral Area College Student Due Process policy may be obtained from the office of the Dean of Students.”  The policy for Student Due Process is also listed in the College’s website:

http://www.mineralarea.edu/generalInformation/legallinks/studentdueprocesspolicy.pdf

The Dean of Students maintains a log of complaints and tracks their resolution.  The log will be available to the team and is set as an agenda item for the AQIP site visit.
 
Transfer Policies:   

Mineral Area College awards college credit in transfer for freshman and sophomore level courses completed at colleges and universities accredited by the following regional agencies: Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, Higher Learning Commission (North Central Association of Colleges and Schools), New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and Western Association of Schools and Colleges. The College will consider credit from institutions accredited by an agency recognized by the U. S. Department of Education.

Transfer credit is awarded for regular academic courses taken at institutions accredited by the Accrediting Association of Bible Colleges (AABC). Mission, theology, doctrine, creation science, and religious education courses are not accepted. Six semester hours of Bible courses (i.e. Old Testament, New Testament, Life of Christ) may be accepted. To be accepted, coursework must have been completed at an institution after it received accreditation or during the time it was granted candidacy status from one of the above accrediting associations.

Transfer is awarded for courses completed at colleges and universities outside of the United States that are accredited or approved by the Ministry of Education (or other appropriate government agency) of the country in which they are located. Credit and placement decisions are based on recommendations of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers and selected other professional organizations and agencies that evaluate foreign educational institutions.

Transfer credit is generally not awarded for courses completed at institutions not accredited or approved above. Exceptions must be approved on a course-by-course basis by the Registrar and by the head of the department through which each similar course is offered. Similar transfer courses are equated to Mineral Area College credits. Unique transfer credits are counted as electives. Students with transfer credit must request an official transcript be sent directly from each institution attended to the Admissions Office. Credit by examination reports should be sent to the Registrar’s Office. Only official transcripts will be evaluated by the Registrar. Students must allow two to four weeks for Mineral Area College to receive the transcript(s). All transfer credit with an “F” grade or higher will be transferred and calculated in the cumulative grade point average. Quality points and grade points will be transferred and averaged into the student’s cumulative grade point average earned at Mineral Area College. *

*The designated Transfer Articulation Officer at Mineral Area College is the Dean of Arts & Sciences. Articulation appeals may be directed to the Dean of Arts & Sciences. (See CBHE Guidelines for Student Transfer Articulation, June 2000)

Verification of Student Identity:  

Mineral Area College is authorized by the Higher Learning Commission to offer up to 5% (approximately two) programs entirely online or through other distance education formats.  The College offers distance education courses in online, telecourse, and interactive television formats.  Each of these delivery methods includes interaction between students and the instructor with both synchronous and asynchronous communication available in each course.

In 2004, Mineral Area College asked and received permission from the Higher Learning Commission to offer the Associates Degree in Criminal Justice through distance education (online). The College prepared a self-study for the Commission, and two Consultant-Evaluators traveled to the College to conduct a voluntary focused visit.

Since that time, the College has had to increase several online course offerings to accommodate the general education requirements of the Associate Degree.  Approximately 25% of all sections are offered through distance education.

Mineral Area College establishes student identity beginning with student’s application through Jenzabar, the College’s administrative software system.  After admittance to the College, all students are assigned a unique username and password.  This username and password are based upon a random number and also on basic biographical information supplied with their application.

As a local district college, the Board of Trustees is authorized to collect a local property tax.  Therefore, all applicants’ addresses must be verified in order to properly assign the appropriate tuition rate.

The College uses Jenzabar primarily for administrative and distance learning functions.  All students are issued a username and password to log in and complete their online classes.  If a student loses either a username and/or password, then the Registrar’s office will reset the password for a student only after receiving either a written or faxed (signed) request.  A student may also show the Registrar a form of photo identification to obtain a new password.

The official medium for communication with students is the use of their assigned college email account making it the primary medium for communications between instructors and students for online courses.  However, there are other forms of communication, such as announcements in MyMac, Google chat, occasional phone conferences, and face-to-face meetings. 

For those classes that require proctored examinations, students are permitted to utilize the testing center (second floor of the C.H. Cozean Library) or are permitted to use a proctor (another college or university) that can verify the identity of the student.

Title IV Program and Related Responsibilities

General Program Requirements: 
Mineral Area College can substantiate that it is in compliance with Title IV requirements, as evidenced by the annual audit report which examines the business practices of both the Financial Services and the Financial Aid Offices.  Mineral Area College has not participated in any Title IV program review since the last comprehensive visit.  The annual external audit, required by Missouri state statute, has no unresolved findings identified since the College’s last comprehensive visit.

Financial Responsibility Requirements:
Mineral Area College has submitted all financial information as part of the annual update in a timely manner and has not received any follow up report requests from the Commission.  Faculty and staff are commended annually for their due diligence in assisting the administration and the Trustees to sustain adequate cash reserves of at least 15% of the total operating expenses.  All of the College’s financial indicators are classified as “above the zone.” 

Default Rates:
Mineral Area College participates in the Federal Family Education Loan Program, and the U.S. Department of Education releases final cohort default rates each September.  The College’s official default rates for these years are as follows:

2006                     2007                     2008                     2009                        
  7.7%                  10.6%                      9.1%                   10.1%                      

Although the College’s the default rate has increased during the period of 2006 - 2009, the rate is at the median default rate of the other Missouri public community colleges:

St. Charles Community College       6.5%
St. Louis Community College          7.2%
North Central College                   9.0%
Metropolitan Community College     9.5%
Jefferson College                         9.8%
Mineral Area College                    10.1%
East Central College                   11.3%
Ozarks Technical College             11.6%
Moberly Area Community College   12.2%
Three Rivers College                   12.6%
Crowder College                        13.2%
State Fair Community College      13.3%

In 2001, the Financial Aid Committee, together with the Admissions Office, Recruitment/Retention Committee, and the Administrative Team at Mineral Area College drafted a campus-wide default prevention plan.  The plan is reviewed annually and revised according to demographic data and trends collected throughout the previous year.

Mineral Area College has been previously awarded a Default Prevention Grant through the Missouri Department for Higher Education for, which has funded a clerical position to carry out the initiatives in the campus-wide default prevention plan.  In 2012, the College received a partial Default Prevention Grant through the Missouri Department of Higher Education for FY2012.  This grant will fund a part-time position to carryout default prevention activities on campus as well as tracking demographic data over a period of time to determine the effectiveness of the grant.

The grant synopsis explains that colleges and universities with high student loan default rates can lose eligibility for federal student aid programs.  Consequently, the Missouri Department of Higher Education (MDHE) Default Prevention Program sought to reduce the number of student loan borrowers who defaulted on loans. 

In April 2012, Mineral Area College responded to an RFP from the MDHE Default Prevention Department and received a $5,500 award in July 2012 to fund default prevention activities.  Because default prevention activities affect several departments, a cross-departmental approach was taken to develop and implement the default prevention proposal. This link fully clarifies the policy.

http://www.mineralarea.edu/students/admissionInformation/financialAssistance/defaultPrevention.aspx

Actions taken as a result of the grant the College’s focus on reducing default rates include

  1. Three mail campaigns in advance of student aid refunds that encourage borrowers to return excess funds;
  2. Default prevention seminar to be held each fall providing students with information about loan forgiveness programs, finance management, credit ratings and effects, etc.;
  3. Research into the impact that  mandatory college success courses have on completion rates and cohort default rates;
  4. Staff participation in MDHE Default Prevention Workshops to cultivate best practices.

Campus Crime Information, Athletic Participation and Financial Aid and Related Disclosures:
Mineral Area College, in accordance with 34 CFR Part 668, posts the required reporting information on the Federal Information Disclosure Website.  Paper copies are also available upon request.

Student Right to Know Disclosure:
In accordance to federal law and with commission policy, the College reports the Student Right to Know Completion and Transfer information on the website.  Additional reporting requirements are on the Federal Information Disclosure Website. Furthermore, this information is noted in the Student Planner where an explanation of the Campus Security Act is explained and students are directed to either the website or the Dean of Students for further information. Tables including the Certificate and Degree Completion rate and the Athlete Graduation/Transfer Rates are also included in the Student Planner.

Satisfactory Academic Progress:
The College publishes the following Satisfactory Academic Progress and Attendance information on the website.

Contractual Relationships: 
Mineral Area College is not engaged with any third-party entities for the providing of an academic program for credit.

Consortial Relationships
Mineral Area College does not have any consortial relationships with other entities accredited by a federally-recognized agency as part of the materials in preparation for the on-site visit.

Institutional Disclosures, Advertising, and Recruitment Materials:

Mineral Area College publishes a variety of materials for students, including a course schedule booklet, the College catalog, and a website.  In each publication, the College clearly states its affiliation with the Higher Learning Commission.  For instance, the course catalog states “Mineral Area College and its outreach centers are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.”  The address for the HLC is listed as are the telephone and fax numbers. The catalog further states that “Mineral Area College degrees and programs are approved by the Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education, Jefferson City, MO.”  Finally, the catalog explains the MAC has additional departmental affiliations including the Missouri State Board of Education for the prerequisite preparation of elementary and secondary teachers, the Missouri Board for the Licensed Practical Nursing Program and the Registered Nursing Program, and the Missouri State Board of Education for the various career and technical education programs.  

MAC’s web site displays the Higher Learning Commission’s logo on the first page of its website, and the related link takes the reader to the College’s statement of affiliation.

http://www.ncahlc.org/component/com_directory/Action,ShowBasic/instid,1447/

Each published schedule booklet also indicates that Mineral Area College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission under the heading, “Accreditation, Transfer of Credit.” The policy states that “MAC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, the regional accrediting agency.  Accreditation, along with transfer agreements with four-year colleges and universities, assures the value of credits earned at MAC.”

Relationship with Other Accrediting Agencies and with State Regulatory Bodies

All programs accredited by state or federal accrediting agencies are in good standing.  The following link identifies the College’s programs that undergo accreditation.  Several Career and Technical Education Programs undergo accreditation, and one Arts and Sciences Program, The AAT, also goes through an accreditation process.  The following link delineates college accrediting and regulatory entities.

http://www.mineralarea.edu/programsandcourses/ProgramAccreditationData2012.pdf

Public Notification of Comprehensive Evaluation Visit and Third Party Comment:

As soon as the College received word from the Higher Learning Commission that it was scheduled for an accelerated accreditation check-up visit, it began making plans to post a request for comments from its constituents. The following documentation contains an affidavit from the billing manager of the local newspaper that serves the taxing district.  The Daily Journal has circulation in St. Francois and surrounding counties, thus ensuring the College has made a faithful attempt to solicit comments from individuals who have a vested interest in the College and have a venue to share it with the Higher Learning Commission. Following the affidavit is the actual newspaper ad as it appeared in the publication in June of 2012. The College has had no comments submitted.

affidavit

 

notice