University of the District of Columbia

Annual Assessment Report

2003-2004 Academic Year

Produced by the President’s Office

Overview of the University

The University of the District of Columbia (UDC) is the sole source for accessible, inclusive, affordable, and comprehensive public higher education and provides additional life-long learning opportunities. UDC delivers quality instruction and uses student-centered approaches to empower and benefit both individuals and its local communities. UDC, an urban land grant institution, is a very diverse community, a gateway to the world, and a significant investment engine for the District of Columbia.

Some of its Key Stakeholders

Students DC residents Business and Industry District of Columbia Public Schools

Faculty City council Board of trustees Post graduates programs

Staff Donors Metropolitan area Regional and professional accreditation agencies

Alumni Neighborhood Granting agencies Mayor & Executive branches

Current Goals

§  Expand relevant and state-of-the-art student centered learning environments

§  Assess, improve, document, and promote the quality of academic programs

§  Expand enrollment by increasing admissions, retention, and completion rates

§  Improve student life and support services for a more holistic collegiate experience

§  Help all new students to become college ready

§  Address the needs of the community to effectively fulfill the importance of the land grant status

§  Develop non-DC government revenue sources to advance quality and address new needs

§  Acquire additional resources for telecommunications, computer systems, and key structures

Future Goals (2007)

§  Be known as a leader for our empowerment of the under-prepared students (2007)

§  Advance the quality of teaching/learning through an evolving set of cultural values and practices (2007)

§  Increase the standards for learner performance and reward the outstanding performances (2007)

§  To become the major source for delivery professional development for the district’s professionals(2007)

Brief Description of the scope of UDC Mission

UDC is an urban, HBCU land-grant institution. It is comprehensive state university system for the District of Columbia offering professional programs in Law, Engineering, Architecture, Education, Health, and Business as well as certificates, associates, undergraduate and graduate degrees in a wide range of liberal arts and technical programs. Through its open admissions, UDC empowers a range of students, many who are under-prepared by providing very affordable and high educational value programs. It values the teaching function as its emphasis while providing life-long learning for all its community members. It is easily accessible through the metro system in a very prime location of national and regional interests. It is funded by the District, but are dependent upon the Congress and President since it is also a tenant on land owned by the Federal Government. Thus it is an institution that is responsive to its stakeholders needs with limited funds resulting in an institution that is more than a traditional four year college.

There are a few things to clarify the limit of the scope of UDC. It is important to understand that UDC is not a residential campus with dorms to house out-of-state students. Also it is not a public facility or conference center for use by the D.C. community or regional organizations as a free resource to support their activities. UDC carefully avoids being an activist for a political organization responding to political issues. Although it reports to the District as an agency, it must be a stand alone independent educational institution to meet its accreditation requirements as a comprehensive university. It is not a Carnegie classified research one university. Finally, it doesn’t get even the majority of District dollars for higher education funding since a majority goes to other colleges through tuition reimbursement.

Highlighting significant UDC Assets

§  Extensive Accreditation of its Professional Programs – list here

§  A very caring Faculty & Staff

§  Inspiring Leadership team

§  Quality and Effective Location

§  Potential of its Capital plant

§  Competitive Graduates

§  Diverse international community of the student, faculty and staff

§  Nationally respected educational professionals

Highlighting significant UDC Processes

§  An Integrated Assessment System for periodic assessment of programs, systems, and processes.

§  Faculty tenure process: A well-defined set of criteria for faculty performance and review process leading to a fair evaluation of performance against the pre-existing standards.

§  The planning and decision making process: an efficient and effective allocation of limited resources producing the greatest return in the near future justifying greater internal and external investments.

§  Enrollment Management: the integration of admissions, orientation, retention, and program review to plan, execute, and assess progress against targeted goals identified within the strategic plan

§  Strategic academic planning: determines through inclusive planning process the vision, mission, goals, objectives, action plans, resourcing, and accountabilities for making change.

§  Professional Development: Process for developing professionalism in administrators, faculty and staff, positive cultural attributes, including academic and administrative leadership

§  Merit and performance reward system: An annual process where professionals produce an annual development plan and assessment report used as evidence for rewards based on performance.

Top Ten performance Criteria for the University

Qualities Performance Criteria

Student centered: The whole university community collaborates and focuses on meeting the specific needs of each student through a unique developmental process in producing self-directed learners capable of their own future development.

Success oriented: All individuals clearly know what they and others expect, plan effectively, are driven to exceed expectations, and desire the feelings that comes from accomplishing these challenging outcomes.

Customer-focused: An organization that engages its clients through effective communication, analysis of their needs, and providing effective services that exceed their expectations as agreed upon with the clients.

High performers: Self-reflective individuals, who set high standards, exceed expectations, are committed to successful and innovative outcomes, and have superior performance through a well developed skills set and dedication.

Service oriented: UDC community members consistently reach out and help those in need by volunteering, mentoring, and civic responsibility to the betterment of others.


efficient: The institution builds the future upon strong economic modeling using return on investment, makes the tough decisions, has strong strategic and operational planning and adapts to the economic needs of the extended regional community.

Innovative: Professionals within the UDC community constantly are seeking out the best practices within their disciplines, faculty are researching their teaching and learning practices, and investments are made in professional and faculty development leading to effective and appropriate selection and implementation of state-of-the-art technology and best practices.

Comprehensive: UDC fulfills the mission of a university system through providing a foundations program for the under-prepared learner, vocational opportunities, a range of liberal arts program, an extensive set of professional programs, teacher preparation, and quality key graduate programs for the DC professional community.

Community oriented: UDC is a citizen of the local neighborhood as well as the metro region, a leader for advancing the individual and strengthening community, seeks opportunities for strengthening educational experiences across the District, offers full range of programs on campus advancing cultural experiences, community efforts, and professional development.

Renowned: UDC is considered one of the strongest HBCUs, with expertise on the empowerment of the individual, research in regionally critical areas, viewed as the first choice for the DC resident, international prestige, and valued as the place to invest developmental dollars.

UDC as a Student-centered Learning Institution

Major Accomplishments

  • UDC Student Services has established a very strong core student leadership team. Student services established and engaged a core student leadership team in a year-long collaboration for advancing the quality of the UDC educational experience. This included establishing a student leadership institute, student ambassador program, town hall meetings, and a school pride week program.
  • A strong faculty development program was implemented this last year focusing on strengthening a student-centered learning environment based upon the Process Education philosophy. A number of professional development and special projects were undertaken to shift the university culture to more student-centered model. Pacific Crest facilitated 7 different Professional Development Institutes that involved over 140 faculty, staff, and administrators in one or more of the following institutes: Process Education teaching institute, two Course Design Institutes, two Program Assessment Institutes, and two Learning to Learn Camps. Other supporting activities included the self-study office sponsoring a University Scholars Series of special presentations. The culture for advancing the best-practices of a student-centered learning environment was enhanced by involving more faculty in the planning of professional development, direction, and make that a special charge for the associate provost to foster and stimulate a culture and practice of engaging students inside and outside of formal courses.

Additional Accomplishment

  • Produced a small community of empowered learners as peer models for raising expectations.
  • Developed 15 academic program assessment systems
  • Co-designed ten courses with FECS to be delivered by UDC to Early College students.
  • Student leaders spent time, skills and capacity to do several key projects.
  • Engage students more in shared governance.

Other Efforts

  • NASSE survey
  • Increased student activities schedule
  • Placement of new associate provost

Next Year Action Items

  • Create a Center of Excellence in Learning and Teaching to advance the best-practices of a student-centered learning environment by involving even more faculty in the planning of professional development, its direction, and make that a special charge for the associate provost. The center mission will be to foster and stimulate a culture and set of best practices of engaging students inside and outside of formal courses.
  • Engage students more in shared governance. Add them on major committees – such as the senate, having systematic focus groups and open sharing sessions to get their input and contributions and finally create a more interactive means for collecting effective feedback from the students.

Additional Future Plans

  • Develop means for measuring faculty performance in a student-centered learning environment in both research and practice that advances the institutional effectiveness in improving student learning outcomes.

UDC as a Success Oriented Institution

Major Accomplishments

  • The University of District Columbia has increased its graduates this year of the number of students receiving AA, BA, or BS degrees. The university has focused on student retention and puts a high value in students accomplishing their learning plans and completing their degrees.
  • The university has also increased its 1st year retention of students who may not be initially college ready to be successful college students. The university has identified the under-prepared population and is tracking their performance during the 1st year and supporting them with resources such as the bridge program, learning to learn camps, freshmen orientation, and targeted student services support.
  • The university faculty members have received significant federal grants and collaboration opportunities with a major research university (Georgetown University Medical Center) and federal agencies (NASA). The level of professional research opportunities has increased and continues to be an important area for the university to contribute to the advancement of science.

Additional Accomplishments

  • The university has committed to targets in its strategic plan using interim measures.
  • Retention has increased with successful experiences and increased support.

Other Efforts

Next Year Action Items

  • Increase effective mentoring, advising, and counseling support and resources.
  • Institute strong Foundations of Learning Courses in first year;
  • Integrate Process learning throughout first year core courses;
  • Establish an ongoing summer Learning to Learn Camp.

Additional Future Plans

  • Institute incentive system which allows faculty their school/college, Office of Sponsored Research, and the Office of Academic Affairs to receive a percentage of indirect costs.
  • Offer opportunities for research presentations and publicize research efforts.
  • Establish funding to offer faculty research grants to increase publication.

UDC is Customer Focused

Major Accomplishments

  • Several community forums which provide customer access to executive level staff through the town hall meeting format.
  • Students and alumni leadership serve on the Board of Trustee.

Additional Accomplishments

  • A large majority of customers appear very satisfied with their experience at UDC.
  • Growing emphasis on the promotion of a student centered environment.

Other Efforts

Next Year Action Items

  • Conduct formal standardized customer satisfaction survey.
  • Improve mechanisms to provide better communication flow of information.
  • Include improving customer service as part of staff development activities institution-wide.

Additional Future Plans

  • Establish a customer service committee to brainstorm new strategies to increase customer satisfaction while incorporating best practices in customer service.

UDC; a community of High Performers

Major Accomplishments

  • NIH grant award that brings recognition
  • Reaccredidation for the Nursing program
  • Increase the level of scholarship among the university community – helping mentor the research opportunities, strengthening their research skills, and advance the proposal writing and publishing skills of the faculty in both disciplinary as well teaching and learning. (Delia – willing to be the sponsor for a Research Institute in the Scholarship of Learning and Teaching)

Additional Accomplishments

There are an amazing number of reasons and forces for why external agencies and colleges want to and should collaborate more with UDC and expand current efforts.

Other Efforts

Next Year Action Items

Advance the role of faculty in the areas of the land grant mission. Developing a institute for each major area where both internal and external faculty are invited to both give and participate in current research efforts across the range of possible future projects.

Additional Future Plans

People can work with less. Money does drive performance and other factors can be tapped into for supporting intrinsic rewards and that sole dependency on extrinsic misses the total holistic meaning for most professionals.

UDC is Service Oriented

Major Accomplishments

UDC participated in a wide range of activities over the last year – community fairs, economic and workforce development conferences, learning to learn camp, Saturday camp, academic and sports camps, TRIO,

Need for better knowledge of what we are doing and why – Need to systematize the various efforts so as to both capture opportunities and results so that allocation of resources can be better accomplished in the future.