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3.4.9

Educational Programs: All:Academic Support Services
The institution provides appropriate academic support services.

Judgment
  Compliant      Non-Compliant      Not Applicable

Narrative
 

Northeast Mississippi Community College “exists to meet the educational and career needs of individual students and the community within the district it serves” (Northeast Student Catalog 2008-2009, 9). Northeast provides academic support for students and faculty through a variety of services and programs offered on the main campus, Northeast at New Albany off-campus site, and Northeast at Corinth off-campus site, a long-term educational facility offering twenty-five and forty-nine percent of degree programs. The academic support services of the College are vital components for meeting the institution’s goal of providing a program that will facilitate the educational, career, personal, and social growth of students. The academic support services accessible to students and faculty include the following:

  • Student Orientation
  • Admissions Counseling and Placement Testing
  • Developmental Studies
  • Academic Advising
  • Testing
  • Counseling Services
  • Special Services
  • Student Success Center
  • Disability Support Services
  • Job Placement
  • Northeast Learning Resources/Library
  • Educational Learning System-BlackBoard
  • Computer Laboratories and Technical Assistance
  • Faculty Orientations
  • Professional Development

Student Orientation

The counseling staff provides orientation sessions which assist incoming freshmen in acclimating to the college environment. Orientation is held at the main campus in July. Students are informed about orientation through the Northeast website, local newspaper announcements, and personal mail. Orientation provides students with information about student services, educational requirements and programs, safety, and other topics of student interest. Students meet with an advisor to register for courses appropriate to their educational goals. Placement testing is available in the Counseling Center for students that may need developmental classes. Students may also pay fees and obtain their student identification cards and their parking decals during the orientation sessions (Student Orientation, Advising & Registration Brochure, July 2008). An online orientation is required for all virtual students on the college website (Northeast Distance Learning Webpage).  In the summer of 2008, 916 entering freshmen attended an orientation session (Pounders-Email-Orientation-23 February 2009). 

Admissions Counseling and Placement Testing

Students declare a program of study on the College application and are mailed advisor information in their acceptance letters. During registration, students meet with their faculty advisors to plan their courses of study. Students are also informed of admission requirements and offered placement testing opportunities during registration. Students who are undecided about their majors are assisted in schedule development and registration by the Counseling Center.

In addition to assisting with admission and academic advising, faculty advisors and the Counseling Center personnel assist students with academic placement testing. Counselors and faculty members examine ACT scores to determine if specific academic skills need to be improved. Students with ACT sub-scores below a scale set by the institution are required to participate in diagnostic testing and placement. Accuplacer is the diagnostic testing tool used to determine appropriate class placement. Accuplacer testing is offered on both the main campus and at the Northeast at New Albany off-campus site. Because of Northeast’s commitment to under-prepared students, those with academic deficiencies are enrolled in developmental classes or referred to the Counseling Center to complete the Accuplacer testing. Students are required to take the Accuplacer test if they have an ACT math score of 18 or below. Students with ACT English sub-scores of 14 or below are required to complete the “WritePlacer” test provided by Accuplacer (Northeast Student Catalog 2008-2009, 22).

Developmental Studies

The purpose of the developmental studies program is to prepare students for successful collegiate-level study through additional coursework in English, reading, mathematics, and the sciences. Placement testing in English and mathematics determines which developmental courses a student is required to take. If a student’s curriculum requires  Anatomy and Physiology I (BIO 2514) , an ACT composite score of 19 or above is necessary for enrollment in the course. Students with a composite of 18 or below will be required to enroll in Principles of Anatomy and Physiology I (BIO 1514) . Entering freshmen with ACT Reading scores of 14 and below will be required to enroll in Improvement of Reading (REA 1103). This course is designed to improve reading comprehension and increase the probability of academic success (Northeast Student Catalog 2008-2009, 22).

Academic Advising

Northeast Mississippi Community College uses both counselors and faculty members in the advising role. Northeast assigns students to faculty advisors who have experience with the declared program of study. Faculty advisors meet with students each semester to assist advisees in determining educational goals, planning a course of study, and scheduling classes. Northeast’s commitment to academic advising is evident by its scheduling of  “Advising Day.”   This day is set aside each semester solely for the purpose of advising. Faculty advisors monitor students’ educational achievement, provide assistance in seeking tutorial or counseling services, provide career and/or transfer information, approve schedule changes, and approve students for graduation. Accurate and appropriate faculty advising is supported through the College’s published Advisor Handbook and Northeast Student Catalog. Academic advisors utilize the Northeast Student Catalog to ensure all course requirements are met for each program of study and graduation (Advisor Handbook 2008-2009; Northeast Student Catalog 2008-2009, 3; 22; 59-61).

Testing

The national and residual ACT is administered periodically during the year. Advisors examine ACT scores to assist in placement of students in appropriate courses. Placement tests in mathematics and English are administered according to course placement policies. Testing services also include the Accuplacer, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Career Report, MVTI Career Report, Learning Style inventory, Holland Self-Directed Search, and Choices (career selection). The Test of Adult Basic Education is available for students in career-technical areas (The Counseling Center Brochure)

Counseling Services

Northeast's Counseling Center offers educational and career guidance counseling, personal and social counseling, tutorial service (individual and group), assistance for special needs students and job placement services. The Counseling Center provides a brochure to students to encourage them to take advantage of the counseling services. The academic support services of the Counseling Center include the following (
The Counseling Center Brochure):

  • Academic, career, and individual counseling and crisis intervention - Referrals to counseling services outside the college are facilitated by the counselors.
  • Outreach and consultation - These are provided through presentations to students and faculty regarding personal and educational topics.
  • Intervention through an Early Alert system that works to improve student retention - Faculty members concerned about student progress, particularly in terms of excessive student absenteeism, notify the Counseling Center with contact information. The counselors then call or send a letter to the student. Counselors work with these students regarding their attendance and academic progress.
  • Assistance to students with identification of career goals and the development and implementation of career plans - Counselors also provide assessments of personality type, interest inventories, and a career exploration program. Counselors notify students about research opportunities in undergraduate degree programs around the nation. Presentations are offered on employment topics such as resume writing and interview skills.
  • College planning information available for all students through links on the Northeast website - Mississippi Mentors is an online planning tool for higher education information and online applications for Mississippi institutions of higher education (Mississippi Mentors Webpage). Additional online information is available through the Education Services Foundation (ESF) (Education Services Foundation Webpage).
  • Assistance for students in finding employment - This is provided through the Job Placement Office.
  • Academic support services provided for students enrolled at Northeast at Corinth off-campus site and Northeast at New Albany offcampus site - A counselor is available at Northeast at Corinth on Tuesdays from 3:00 to 8:30 p.m. and at Northeast at New Albany on Mondays from 2:00 to 8:00 p.m. and Wednesdays from 1:00 to 7:00 p.m.

During the fiscal year 2007-2008, approximately 1,600 students were assisted through counseling services. Of the 1,600 students, fifty-five (55) total students requested information about part- and full-time employment (Students Requesting Job Information 2007-2008).  The Residual ACT was given to approximately 550 students. The Accuplacer was administered to 696 duplicated students to determine if they should take remedial classes. The following table details course placement determined by the Accuplacer results (Residual ACT Report 2008; Residual ACT Report 2007; Residual ACT Report 2006; Accuplacer Course Roster Report August 2007-July 2008):

Course

Number of Students

ENG 1103 (Introduction to Composition)

165

ENG 1113 (English Composition I)

25

MAT 1203 (Beginning Algebra)

359

MAT 1233 (Intermediate Algebra)

129

MAT1313 (College Algebra)

18

Total

696

Special Services

The purpose of the Special Services Grant, administered by the Counseling Center, is to provide academic guidance and resources to students encountering difficulty in college coursework. Special Services personnel oversee the peer tutorial program. This federally funded grant provides extensive tutoring services along with academic, personal, and career counseling for students who meet certain qualifications. These include being a first generation college student, low income student, or disabled student. Students who qualify are provided tutors at no charge. Tutors are recommended by faculty and are supervised by counselors. This program served 149 students for the 2007-2008 year (Student Support Services Annual Progress Report 2007-2008, Memo; 1; 7-12).

Student Success Center

The Student Success Center is comprised of several computer laboratories which serve students as resource areas for tutorial assistance and supplemental learning enhancement. These areas offers learning opportunities through individual assistance and computer-based instruction and are housed in proximity to the respective academic discipline.  The main objective is to enhance and improve students’ academic abilities by offering assistance in reading, mathematics, and English.

Disability Support Services

Northeast provides disability support services to ensure educational opportunity and success to all students regardless of disability. The College is in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the American with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). Assistance for students with disabilities is available by contacting counselors at the main campus or the counselor at the Northeast at New Albany off-campus site. The webpages for both off-campus sites contain contact information and a Disabilities Resource Guide. Students may also contact the Americans with Disabilities Act Compliance Officer (Dean of Student Services) via email or by telephone. Self-identification may occur through accessing a copy of the online “NEMCC Disabilities Application” on the College website or a copy may be obtained from the information stand at the Northeast at New Albany and Northeast at Corinth off-campus sites, from the ADA Compliance Officer in Estes Hall, or from the Counseling Center in Waller Hall on the main campus. Identified students are assigned to a disabilities counselor for development of a reasonable accommodation plan (NEMCC Disabilities Application for Services, Example; NEMCC Disabilities Accommodation Plan, Example).

Job Placement

Job placement services are available to assist students in assessing their interests and skills and determining realistic careers compatible with their educational goals. Students can obtain guidance and information on the current job market and seek employment opportunities. Services and resources related to job placement include individual and group workshops on resume' writing, mock interviews, and the hosting of an annual career fair.  Fifty-five (55) total students requested information about part- and full-time employment (Students Requesting Job Information 2007-2008; Northeast Student Employment Webpage; Northeast Resume Webpage; Employment Job Fair Flyer, 3 April 2008; Employment Job Fair 2009 Webpage).

Northeast Learning Resources/Library

Through libraries at both the main campus in Booneville and the Northeast at New Albany off-campus site, Northeast provides and supports student, faculty, and staff access to adequate library collections and other learning/information resources. Library services and schedules offered on the Booneville campus and Northeast at New Albany off-campus site are adequate to meet student needs. Library resources and services are available on the Booneville campus from 7:30 a.m. through 10:00 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays, 7:30 a.m. through 4:00 p.m. on Fridays, and 6:30 p.m. through 9:00 p.m. on Sundays. On the Northeast at New Albany off-campus site, library services were available during the fall 2008 semester from 4:30 p.m. through 8:30 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays, 4:30 p.m. through 7:30 p.m. on Wednesdays, and 6:00 p.m. through 8:30 p.m. on Thursdays. Library hours at the Norhteast at New Albany off-campus site are subject to change each semester in order to accommodate course offerings. 

Library staff members are available to assist and instruct students and faculty individually, as well as in small groups and entire classes. The Northeast website has a library link that publishes comprehensive information on hours, contact information, and resources. The Library publishes a handbook which is available at the circulation desk and which gives both policies and information on using the library. The College Library offers services in a variety of formats including over 43,110 books, 2,103 audiovisuals, 25,678 online books, 264 computer software, and 62 online databases. The College online card catalog is accessed from the library’s homepage link on the Northeast website, as well as from the Northeast at New Albany and Corinth off-campus sites' homepages (Eula Dees Memorial Library Homepage; Northeast at New Albany Library HomepageNortheast at Corinth Homepage). The card catalog is also available to all users of Blackboard and can be accessed on the “NEMCC Downloadable Resources” tab. Computers are accessible for student and faculty use at each of the sites. Additionally, the library staff members seek recommendations from faculty to determine new holdings to be purchased to best serve its users.

Educational Learning System-Blackboard

Blackboard is a web-based, course-management system that allows students and faculty to participate in classes delivered online or use online materials and activities to support face-to-face teaching. Faculty use Blackboard to enhance student learning by posting announcements, posting a syllabus for each class, and giving staff information, such as contact information, class schedule, and office hours (Five-Year Strategic Planning Document 2008-2013 with 2007-2008 Annual Institutional Effectiveness Plans, 123). Blackboard enables instructors to provide students with course materials, discussion boards, virtual chat, online quizzes, and other resources. Instructors assign a Student Orientation Quiz in every class. During the first weeks of the Fall 2007 semester, 14,579 duplicated students completed the Blackboard Student Orientation Quiz. Students are able to navigate Blackboard to find materials related to their courses, the library, residential life, email, and other student-related topics. The Blackboard Student Orientation Quiz, the Student Library Evaluation Survey, and the Residential Life Survey were offered in Blackboard for students beginning in fall 2007 (Five-Year Strategic Planning Document 2008-2013 with 2007-2008 Annual Institutional Effectiveness Plans, 123).

Computer Laboratories and Technical Assistance

The College ensures appropriate academic support of students and faculty by making computers and other electronic technologies widely available in laboratory settings. In addition to the computers available in the counseling center and the library, the five (5) residential dormitories have wireless access and available computer laboratories. Northeast has thirty-four (34) computer laboratories and 612 computers (Ragan-Email-20 February 2009). Most classrooms are networked and offer internet, software, and printer access for students and faculty. Open computer laboratories are available for general student use in Patterson Hall and at the Northeast at New Albany off-campus site.

Personnel within the Instructional Technology Department provide students and faculty access to online learning and teaching resources through Blackboard. The College website shares key information on program requirements, resource availability, contacts, the Northeast Student Catalog, schedule of classes, announcements, and the Northeast Student Handbook. The College provides an email system for students, faculty, and staff as a means of electronic communication (Northeast Homepage).

Faculty Orientations

Northeast provides an orientation program for new full-time faculty. This daylong session covers information on employee benefits, policies and procedures, telephone instructions, computer network information, registration and record keeping procedures, library orientation and training for Blackboard (New Employee Orientation Agenda-13 August 2008; New Employee Orientation Agenda-15 August 2007). There is a separate orientation program for adjunct faculty. This is a half-day session that covers a review of policies and procedures, TigerLine Training, Audit Rolls and Records, Bookstore Information, Library Orientation, and a question-and-answer period (Adjunct Faculty Training Agenda-16 August 2008; Adjunct Faculty Training Agenda-18 August 2007).

Professional Development

The College values and supports professional development to meet the academic needs of its faculty and staff. The Northeast Board of Trustees and administration encourage professional growth for all Northeast employees. In-service training is offered each academic year to help faculty and staff remain current on technology and/or educational methodology. Northeast employees and guest speakers present faculty/staff workshops, covering a variety of topics. The workshops are coordinated by a committee of College employees and are designed for professional and personal growth. The College encourages the faculty to participate in relevant professional development. Limited financial support for travel to professional meetings is included in the College operational budget (Professional Development Workshops Summary Report FY 2008).

Assessment of Academic Support Services

To ensure that the needs of students and faculty are met, the College regularly assesses its academic support programs and services through the following institutional surveys:

  • Campus Climate Survey- Full-time employees are surveyed annually regarding the College’s programs and services.
  • Survey of Student Opinion-Sophomore students assess the level of satisfaction with programs and services and their perception of the importance of these programs and services. Students also rate environmental factors along with the student’s impressions of the college experience.
  • Northeast at New Albany Student Survey and Northeast at Corinth Student Survey-students who have taken classes at the off-campus sites are asked to evaluate course content, materials, instructors and services at those sites. Results are disseminated in a newsletter format.

Employees and students are asked to mark responses ranging from “Strongly Agree” to “Strongly Disagree” to “No Opinion” on positive opinion statements. The results are reported on a 5-point Likert scale. Respondents are also asked to rate each program or service ranging from “Strongly Satisfied” to “Strongly Dissatisfied” to “No Opinion.”  The results are reported based on a 5-point Likert scale. Items from the Campus Climate Survey and the Survey of Student Opinion related to Academic Support Services activities are shown below with results for the past three (3)years (Campus Climate Survey, January 2008; Campus Climate Survey, March 2007; Campus Climate Survey February 2006; Survey of Student Opinions, July 2008; Institutional Research Review-Off-Campus, June 2008).

Campus Climate Survey
Positive Opinion Statements

Item

Fall 2007

Fall 2006

Fall 2005

I am aware of the student peer tutorial services available in the Counseling Center

4.28

4.19

4.26

Northeast students are provided with high quality instructional support services

4.25

4.17

4.18

I have referred students to the student peer tutorial services

4.11

3.88

4.01

I use electronic forms of communication like email often

4.58

4.54

4.47

I have access to connect with the mainframe (Administrative software-BANNER) and/or Internet

4.30

4.39

4.36

My supervisor encourages my professional development

4.09

4.13

4.04

I review the NEMCC website to get information often

4.08

4.09

4.02

Computer software is adequate on campus for my use

3.96

4.06

4.08

Computer hardware is adequate on campus for my use

3.90

4.03

3.99

Classes, seminars, or workshops for learning how to use software are available

3.90

3.97

4.12

Professional development is valued at Northeast

3.89

3.91

3.98

Classroom equipment is adequate for my use

3.55

3.56

3.44

 

Campus Climate Survey
Level of Satisfaction with Programs and Services

Item

Fall 2007

Fall 2006

Fall 2005

Rating

Percent
Satisfied

Rating

Percent
Satisfied

Rating

Percent
Satisfied

Orientation

3.99

78.4

4.13

88.7

4.10

87.2

Student Peer Tutorial Program

3.95

73.7

3.92

83.5

3.97

86.4

Counseling Center Services

3.94

76.6

3.89

78.0

4.00

83.7

Job Placement Services

3.62

56.7

3.54

72.8

3.82

81.5

Learning Resources/Library

4.43

88.3

4.40

93.5

4.26

89.2

Student Success Center

3.94

69.0

3.77

78.2

3.78

79.7

Computer Center Services

3.92

79.5

3.90

79.9

4.05

81.7

Admissions (Enrollment Services

4.21

87.1

4.17

88.6

4.11

88.5


Survey of Student Opinions
Level of Satisfaction with Programs and Services

Item

Rating
Spring 2008

Rating
Spring 2007

Rating
Spring 2006

College Orientation Program

4.11

4.05

4.06

General Admissions

4.22

4.06

4.19

Academic Advising/Course Planning

4.30

4.28

4.27

Availability of your advisor

4.34

4.32

4.38

Value of the information provided by your advisor

4.35

4.29

4.30

Testing

4.22

4.17

4.24

Personal Counseling Services

3.93

3.94

4.05

Career Planning Services/Vocational Guidance

3.86

4.01

3.97

Job Placement Services

3.72

3.85

3.84

College Sponsored Tutorial Services

4.05

3.92

3.95

Library/Learning Resources Center Facilities & Services

4.44

4.37

4.38

Computer Labs

4.27

4.19

4.20

Computer Services

4.20

4.24

4.13

Availability of computers when you need them

4.33

4.26

4.18

Study Areas

4.22

4.06

4.19

Classroom facilities

4.17

4.05

4.18

Opportunities for student employment

3.94

3.93

3.99

 

Institutional Research Review-Off-Campus Sites
Level of Satisfaction with Programs and Services

NE at New Albany Rating

NE at Corinth Rating

Item

2008

2007

2008

2007

Admissions/Entry Procedure

3.89

4.06

3.88

4.20

Course Registration Process

3.70

3.90

3.78

4.01

Advising

3.54

3.58

3.48

3.79

Counseling Services

3.58

3.62

3.51

3.80

Library Services

3.74

3.71

3.60

3.84

Computer Lab availability

3.74

3.73

3.52

3.78

The office of Planning and Research annually assesses the success of the Developmental Studies Program by compiling a report which examines passage rates and ACT scores for students who took the Accuplacer placement examination and those who did not. This report is prepared for math and English developmental studies courses. The results for MAT 1103, MAT 1203 and MAT 1233 in the Fall 2007 semester are shown below:

MATH 1203, 1233, 1313
Fall 2007

Passage Rates

OVERALL
MAT 1203

WITH ACCUPLACER
MAT 1203

WITHOUT ACCUPLACER
MAT 1203

Total Students: 514

Total Students with A/B/C/D: 357

Passage Rate: 69.5%

Average ACT: 15.68

Total Students: 293

Total Students with A/B/C/D: 205

Passage Rate: 70.0%

Average ACT: 15.84

Average Accuplacer: 37.98

Total Students: 221

Total Students with A/B/C/D: 152

Passage Rate: 68.8%

Average ACT: 15.48

OVERALL
MAT 1233

WITH ACCUPLACER
MAT 1233

WITHOUT ACCUPLACER
MAT 1233

Total Students: 355

Total Students with A/B/C/D: 224

Passage Rate: 63.1%

Average ACT: 16.80

Total Students: 213

Total Students with A/B/C/D: 128

Passage Rate: 60.1%

Average ACT: 16.59

Average Accuplacer: 56.46

Total Students: 142

Total Students with A/B/C/D: 96

Passage Rate: 67.6%

Average ACT: 17.06

OVERALL
MAT 1313

WITH ACCUPLACER
MAT 1313

WITHOUT ACCUPLACER MAT 1313

Total Students: 482

Total Students with A/B/C/D: 324

Passage Rate: 67.2%

Average ACT: 19.47

Total Students: 165

Total Students with A/B/C/D: 98

Passage Rate: 59.4%

Average ACT: 16.62

Average Accuplacer: 56.24

Total Students: 317

Total Students with
A/B/C/D: 226

Passage Rate: 71.3%

Average ACT: 20.67

 














































Northeast assesses professional development as an academic support to faculty. Participants are asked to rate their level of satisfaction with the training by completing an evaluation following the August In-Service and any workshop offerings. Respondents answer questions using a 5-point Likert scale regarding the quality and usefulness of the workshop, the adequacy of presentation aids and facilities, and an overall rating of the training. The evaluations are compiled and an average is reported for every question. These evaluations are shared with the Faculty/Staff Development Committee and used to make decisions about future events and offerings (Faculty/Staff In-Service General Session Fall 2001-Fall 2008; Faculty/Staff Development Committee-Minutes-30 October 2008).

Summary

Northeast Mississippi Community College provides students and faculty appropriate academic support to promote quality teaching and meaningful learning. Students benefit from access to student orientation, admissions counseling and placement testing, developmental studies, academic advising, testing, counseling services, special services, Student Success Center, disabilities support services, job placement, Northeast Learning Resources/Library, educational learning system-Blackboard, computer labs and technical assistance. Services specifically supporting the academic needs of faculty and staff include faculty orientations and professional development.

 
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