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Department Planning Portfolio Assessment/Program Review 2013/14

Criminal Justice Academies
Department Planning Portfolio Assessment/Program Review 2013/14
 
Criminal Justice Academies Mission Statement
The mission of the Criminal Justice Academies (CJA) Department is to develop and maintain strong law enforcement training partnerships within the criminal justice community.  Our focus is to provide professional training opportunities for individuals attempting to enter the profession, and to assist current peace officers seeking to enhance their knowledge and skills in furtherance of their careers.
 
I.                    GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
1.       What are the department’s annual goals?
·         Maintain current supervisory staffing levels.  After several years of inadequate supervisory staffing levels within the department, a part-time supervisor was added for the year 2012/13.  This provided another layer of accountability and strengthened our ability to meet and comply with the new program review mandates placed on the department.  Since 2009/2010, CJA has seen a 60% increase in FTES generation, and we anticipate another discernible increase for 2013/2014.  Continuing to fund the part-time supervisor position is critical, as the workload in CJA continues to increase. 
·         To maintain, repair and enhance the Criminal Justice Training Center (CJTC) facilities and equipment.  If not accomplished, student and staff safety is at risk and college liability increases.  Student learning is also adversely affected if the facility and safety equipment we depend on is either worn, damaged or inoperable.  Continuous funding mechanisms need to be established to assure a safe and reliable operation.  Additionally, the $30 million facility that was built to be a regional training facility must be esthetically attractive to portray a professional image.
·         Ensure departmental curriculum is continually updated and assessed in compliance with POST, STC and State community college standards.  It is imparitive CJA maintains our exemplary professional and academic standing in order to provide the services our training partners expect and require.
·         Maintain positive standing with our existing clients/training partners.  We need to maintain constant communication with our existing training partners, and be responsive to their concerns and needs.  Regular Advisory Committee meetings encourage this type of collaboration, and provide a means to improve student learning and experiences.
·         Seek technological upgrades to enhance student learning and student and staff safety.  As technology advances, staff must continually look for applications which can be implemented within our operation to increase learning effectiveness as well as decrease safety risks to students and staff.
The above listed goals and objectives are consistent with the college’s mission statement and strategic plan.
2.       What progress has been made toward the department’s goals over the last year?
·         The department saw progress on a number of different fronts during the past year.  Examples include:
o   A cement physical training area was designed and constructed around the student obstacle course.  It repaired a flawed design which had been responsible for multiple student injuries.
o   A Wi-Fi system was designed and installed at the CJTC.  The new system expands our instructor’s access to additional instructional recourses.
o   Plans for an exterior surveillance system have been approved and is awaiting installation.
o   A grant to update our academy classroom computer/projection capability has been approved. The new equipment has been purchased and is awaiting installation.  
o   A semi-annual schedule for Advisory Committee meetings has been adopted.  These meetings are regularly attended by our training partner representatives.    
o   Maintenance of the CJTC parking lot trees and shrubbery was completed in May, 2013, reducing blighted conditions to the exterior of CJA.  This was the first time maintenance on the trees was done since the facility opened in 2007.
o   The Orange County Peace Officer Memorial was constructed with donated funding on the grounds of the CJTC.  Selection of CJTC as the permanent location for this highly esteemed memorial enhances the facility’s reputation as a preeminent law enforcement training site.
o   CJA modified admission standards in response to our training partner’s concerns for student safety.
 
3.       What research has the department conducted?
·         This year the academy passed a tri-annual inspection and review conducted by the California Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission.  This commission regulates and certifies police academy training sites throughout the state.  In order to successfully prepare for and pass this inspection and review, the CJA program continuously collected, extracted and examined data on student qualifications, preparation, demographics, safety and success.  This is an on-going internal process which enables the program to immediately adjust to industry changes affecting program outcomes.
·         The department collected and reviewed statistics involving academy success and/or failure and explored steps that could be taken to positively affect student learning.
·         Student evaluations were carefully examined in order to benefit from student experiences and input.
 
4.       Do goals need to be restructured, eliminated or pursued with different activities?
·         The departmental mission statement and goals and objectives were all revised this year to reflect current conditions and challenges within the program.
 
5.       What are the proposed goals for next year?
·         The new goals and objectives have been established and have a consistent theme from prior years.  They include improving student learning and safety by properly funding the program from the FTES revenue the department generates.  Other funding sources should also be identified and sought when appropriate.
 
II.                  INSTITUTIONAL LEVEL SLOs, I.E., CORE COMPETENCIES/STUENT LEARNING OUTCOMES ASSESSMENT
6.       Please summarize findings of direct-SLO Assessment from the previous academic year.
·         During previous years, CJA depended entirely on the program review conducted at the state level by the California Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission.  In Fall/2012, it became apparent that the department needed to conduct its own course assessments.  Since that time, the following has been accomplished:
o   All 42 departmental courses were revised in order to make their Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) measurable.
o   Individual course assessments were conducted on all departmental courses held in Spring/2013.
o   Since individual course assessments were not previously conducted, the Assistant Dean and Course Instructors met for the first round of assessments after the Spring/2013 courses were completed.  These meetings were documented by using individual course assessment meeting forms.  
o   By January 2014, all of the departmental courses offered during Fall/2013 will have been re-assessed.
o   At this time, staffing resources have not been identified to conduct individual course assessments for courses scheduled in the Spring/2014 term.  Additionally, resources need to be identified to address the required departmental curriculum updates/revisions that need to be completed by the end of the Spring/2014 term.  In order to maintain program compliance with the newly identified standards, these critical issues must be addressed by the beginning of the Spring/2014 term.
·         Specific commonalities continued to arise in the course assessments conducted during the past two assessment cycles.  Those commonalities include:
o   The need to remain in good standing and in compliance with the state commissions and organizations that regulate law enforcement training standards.
o   The need to maintain and replace worn safety/training equipment.
o   The need to repair and maintain the facility to support student learning and safety. 
 
VI.          ASSESSMENT OF CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
                18.   Based on the analysis, what changes are recommended for the program?
·         The primary regulatory body for California law enforcement is the Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission (POST), which was established in 1959.  Criminal Justice Academies’ primary training partner is the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.  Our partnership has been in place for over forty continuous years.  Consequently, changes in trends, technology and training needs do occur, but those changes tend to be small and incremental from year to year.  Most curriculum and pedagogy changes are driven by panels of subject-area experts at the state level who stay abreast of changing conditions within our industry, region and culture.  Rather than driving change at the individual college level, the industry we serve requires stability and uniformity.  Accordingly, most of the proposed changes in our program will be to comply with statewide training needs and mandates, which will ultimately protect our professional certifications.     
 
19.  What issues have emerged that requires interdisciplinary dialogue and possible inclusion in     overall college planning?
 
·         The new budget model has placed additional strain on properly maintaining our college facilities and replacing required safety equipment. CJA staff highly recommends the college develop a financial plan that forecasts intermediate facility maintenance and the replacement of required equipment.  Facility maintenance and equipment replacement funding should be identified and dedicated solely to this unique program.  Funds should be set aside with each annual budget, and accessed when facility repair and/or equipment replacement is necessary.  Unlike most college programs, delays in replacing equipment or repairing facilities can endanger students and staff.  The costs for routine facility maintenance and the identification of the life expectancy of costly equipment are easily determined and should be a part of any annual budgeting process.  Failure to account for predictable expenditures in the budget planning process is irresponsible and comes with potential dire consequences.