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Southeast Technical Institute    
  Oct 22, 2017
Southeast Technical Institute Systems Portfolio June 2017

Institutional Overview: Southeast Technical Institute

Welcome to Southeast Technical Institute’s Systems Portfolio!

At Southeast Tech, we believe our Portfolio is our story.  It describes who we are, what we do, how we do it, and why we do it. We hope you will enjoy reading our story as much as we enjoy living it!

Unlike most stories, however, we encourage you to start with the end.  Once you have read this overview, we request that you next read Category 6 .  The information in that category will help you understand the rest of our story, as well as the Capture, Develop, Decide, Deploy, Evaluate, Publish and Reflect process we use throughout the Portfolio.

Since 1968, Southeast Technical Institute has been instrumental in the development South Dakota’s workforce for the southeast region of the state.  Located in South Dakota’s largest city, Sioux Falls (metro population over 230,000), the Institute currently serves just under 3,000 students a year (1900 FTE). 

Southeast Tech has one campus, located in the southeast corner of South Dakota.  As part of a TAACCCTIII grant, the Institute received consortium funding to provide health-field training opportunities at various locations within the state.  These training services were provided through the use of grant-funded trailers for lab experiences, online coursework, local clinical experience opportunities, and in-person classroom experiences at various local venues.

Southeast Tech offers online courses and programs in fourteen degree/diploma options, mainly in the areas of business and computer programming.  Other programs are offered in hybrid format, such as Mechatronics, LPN, Healthcare Office Specialist, and Medical Coding.

Southeast Tech is one of four public, non-profit, state-supported technical institutes in the state, which have all been approved to offer certificate, diploma, and two-year Associate of Applied Science degrees.

While the state Department of Education approves all credit-bearing programs, allocates funding based on legislative action (the institutes are state-funded only – no local government funding resources are currently utilized), establishes and maintains a credentialing process for all faculty, and provides for collaboration among the four technical institutes, management of the tech institutes is provided by the local K-12 school district.  Therefore, Southeast Tech is governed by the K-12 Sioux Falls School District School Board (Board) (4P 3 ).

To encourage industry input, and to provide more opportunities to establish stronger external relationships as well as assure the Institute is providing the appropriate workforce, the Southeast Tech Council was established.  The Council, comprised of industry professionals representing all Institutional program divisions, provides input, strategic direction, and advocacy for the Institute (4P 3 ).

Southeast Tech is currently operating under a brand-new Strategic Plan adopted in Fall 2016 (4P 2 , 4R 2 ), which also revised the Institute’s Mission and Vision statements (4P 1 ):

Mission:  To Educate Individuals for Dynamic and Rewarding Careers that Promote Lifetime Success and Meet the Workforce Needs of Our Region

Vision:  Educational Excellence for Tomorrow’s Workforce

Southeast Tech currently offers over 50 certificate, diploma and AAS degree options under the following divisions:  Advanced Technology, Engineering, Health and Human Services, Industrial Technology, Transportation Technology, Horticulture, and Business and Communications.

The Institute also provides other services, including non-credit customized and continuing education training for local employers, ranging from truck driving to soft-skills training, and the Hovland Learning Center, an Adult Education and Literacy program, funded separately by the state, offers GED, English as a Second Language, and basic skill attainment in mathematics, English and reading.

A snapshot of Southeast Tech’s student demographics:

  • Full-Time:  70%                   Part-Time:  30%                                                               
  • Female:  54%                      Male:  46%
  • Age 17-19:  28%                 Age 20-21:  22%                Age (Over 21):  50%
  • AAS/Diploma: 2271           Undeclared:  40                 High School:      93
  • American Indian:  2%        Asian/Pacific:  1.4%          Black:  4% 
  • Hispanic:  4%                     White:  86%                       Two or More Races:  2.5%

Southeast Tech employees include eight administrators, around 100 full-time faculty and 80 full-time staff, 70-80 part-time faculty, and 30-40 part-time staff, including student workers.

Some Institute highlights:

  • 95% or higher graduate placement rate;
  • Over 65% of Southeast Tech graduates are employed in the state and contribute to its economy;
  • Employers consistently report high satisfaction with Southeast Tech graduates;
  • The Institute maintains state-of-the art facilities, equipment, labs and mock work stations;
  • A wireless network system available in all campus buildings;
  • Laptop or Ipad required for all programs – onsite repair for Southeast Tech laptops;
  • New state-sponsored dual credit program for all state high school students (opportunity to take post-secondary credit for just over $40/credit hour);
  • Student Success Center with integrated retention process to help students succeed;
  • The Southeast Tech Foundation, incorporated in 1995.  A non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization, the Foundation’s mission is to obtain, manage and allocate contributions to support Southeast Technical Institute students as they reach their potential and achieve their goals for employment, professional growth, and life-long learning;
  • High academic standards and results, including national certification pass rates above the national mean and frequently reaching 100%.

Recent Awards:

  • Noel-Levitz’s Retention Excellence Award (2017)
  •’s 7th Best Two-Year College in America (2017)
  • Tomorrow’s Tech’s Top 4 Automotive Technology School in the US (2016)
  • Engineering and Surveying’s (NCEES) Surveying Education Award for Land Surveying Science Technology Program (2016)
  •’s 36th Best Online Accounting Degree for Two-Year Colleges in America and Best South Dakota Online Two-Year College (2016)
  • Value Colleges’ Top 50 Best Value Two-Year Colleges (2016)
  • University Business Magazine’s National Winter Models of Excellence Award (2015)
  • Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education’s (WICHE) Academic Leaders Tool of the Year - Retention Toolkit (2015)

The Institute’s future goals, based on the Strategic Plan, include:

  • Increase Enrollments:  Directly impacts funding and what the Institute can provide for students and other stakeholders.  
  • Grow Workforce Collaboration, Partnerships and Relationships:  Connecting with local industry, other colleges, the Sioux Falls School District and other regional K-12 educational systems will help the Institute not only build enrollments, but also leverage shared resources in order to achieve the Institute’s mission. 
  • Increase Academic Options:  With the region’s unemployment rate below 3%, it is vital that Southeast Tech work with industry to be responsive to needs by providing trained individuals as quickly as possible. By providing more opportunities for short-term certificate programs that also build to diploma and AAS degrees, the Institute can better meet industry’s immediate workforce shortfall while still providing students the opportunity for future academic growth.
  • It is Southeast Tech’s ultimate goal to become a high performing organization.  Therefore, the Institute has established the following “Principles of High Performance Organizations” goals:
  • Collaboration – both internally and externally, Southeast Tech believes collaboration is key to Institute success, both with employees and external stakeholders.  These partnerships will help the Institute meet its mission and improve the satisfaction of its stakeholders.
  • Involvement – similar to collaboration, it is Southeast Tech’s goal to increase the involvement of stakeholders in every aspect of the Institute.  Such involvement will strengthen these ties, provide more ideas and input, and make sure all of our stakeholders feel they are included in the process and have had the opportunity to make a difference in the success of the Institute.
  • Focus/Foresight – With the start of a new Strategic Plan, it is time for the Institute to reset itself.  The Plan provides the Institute with the opportunity to reach new heights in its quality journey.

(Note: During the development of this Portfolio, several governance changes have occurred. First, Southeast Tech hired a new President who started in fall 2016. Also in fall 2016, voters passed a constitutional amendment that solidified the technical institutes as a separate institutional system from the K-12 and Board of Regent (university) systems. In spring 2017, the state established a new state-level technical institute board, which will now oversee the technical institutes at the state level beginning July 1, 2017. Finally, the spring 2017 legislative session removed the establishment and continuation of any employee unions at the technical institutes. While the state changes will certainly have an impact on the Institute, the exact impact at this time is unknown and is not directly reflected in this Portfolio.)

Southeast Tech utilizes a color code process to indicate measure results against targets, and utilizes five key surveys to gather stakeholder input.  Because the coding system and the surveys are referenced throughout the Portfolio, the information below will be provided here to describe the surveys and indicate the percentage of the population responding. 

Color Code Measures vs. Target:  Unless otherwise stated, ‘Green’ indicates the target has been met or exceeded, ‘Yellow’ indicates the measure is within 90% of the target, and ‘Red’ indicates the measure is more than 90% below target.

Noel-Levitz Student Satisfaction Inventory (SSI ): The SSI is a nationally normed survey that provides the Institute valuable information regarding current student satisfaction on questions covering 12 categories from Instructional Effectiveness to Campus Support Services. The SSI also provides comparison data to other two-year community colleges participating in the survey. The survey uses a 7-point Likert scale from 7-very satisfied to 1-not satisfied at all. The survey also asks students to rate how important each statement is to the student.  After every survey, Southeast Tech’s Institutional Research Office prepares an Institutional report summarizing the results, which is emailed to all employees and easily assessable electronically through the STInet site.  Southeast Tech originally gave the survey every five years:  1995, 2000, 2005.  The Institute then moved to every three years: 2008, 2011, 2014.  The survey was given again in spring 2017 with results coming in summer 2017.  Table 0P1.1 provides participation rates.  Southeast Tech is pleased with the participant rate and will continue to strive for participation of 40% or above.  The survey results are also disaggregated by program to provide program-level analysis.

Noel-Levitz College Employee Satisfaction Surveys (CESS ): The CESS is a nationally normed survey that provides the Institute valuable information regarding employee satisfaction on questions covering a wide range of topics from mission to planning to morale. The CESS also provides comparison date to other two-year community colleges participating in the survey.  The survey uses a 5-point Likert scale from 5-very satisfied to 1-not satisfied at all. The survey also asks employees to rate how important each statement is to the employee.  After every survey, Southeast Tech’s Institutional Research Office prepares an Institutional report summarizing the results, which is emailed to all employees and easily assessable electronically through the STInet site.  Southeast Tech originally used its own, internally-developed survey every two years in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012.  The Campus Climate Team made the decision to move to the CESS because the survey provides comparison data. The CESS was first given in 2014 and again in 2016.  The next scheduled survey is spring 2018.  Table 0P1.2 provides participation rates.  Southeast Tech has seen a decrease in the participation rates over the past years in both faculty and staff. While the survey results are still large enough to be valid, the Institute has now set as its target a response rate of 50% for each group and will work toward achieving that goal in spring 2018. It is not possible to disaggregate the data by program or department.  

Employer Survey: Southeast Tech developed and conducted its first full Employer Survey  back in 2005 and has continued to conduct the survey every other year.  The survey is sent to all employers of graduates from the past two years who are working in a field related to their program of study. Employers are asked to provide two ratings on 13 areas from technical skills to work ethic to computer literacy. The survey uses a 5-point Likert scale from 5-excellent to 1-unacceptable. For the first rating, employers indicate what level they “expected” from the graduate. For the second rating, employers indicate what level the graduate “provided”. This allows the Institute to determine if there is a gap between expected and actual performance levels. The survey also has a section for employers to rate Southeast Tech, using the same Likert scale, from “Meets Company Needs” to “Relationship” to “Reputation”. Employers also provide Southeast Tech with an overall letter grade. After every survey, Southeast Tech’s Institutional Research Office prepares an Institutional report summarizing the results, which is emailed to all employees and easily assessable electronically through the STInet site. Table 0P1.3 provides participation rates. Southeast Tech is pleased with the level of participation from the employers and will continue to strive for response rates of 40% or above. The survey results are also disaggregated by program to provide program-level analysis.

Graduate Placement Survey: Every year, as required by the state governing body, Southeast Tech surveys its most recent graduates to determine placement rates . The survey asks graduates to provide job placement information including company, address, job title, immediate supervisor name, salary and benefits, as well as continuing education information including college and major. After every survey, Southeast Tech’s Institutional Research Office prepares an Institutional report summarizing the results, which is emailed to all employees and easily assessable electronically through the STInet site. Table 0P1.4 provides participation rates. Southeast Tech is pleased with the level of participation from its graduates, and will continue to strive for response rates of 80% or above. The survey results are also disaggregated by program to provide program-level analysis.

National Community College Benchmarking Project (NCCBP): NCCBP  is a consortium of approximately 400 community colleges who provide information annually to the national site for benchmarking purposes. NCCBP takes the data provided from each college and develops reports that indicate the percentile ranking of the individual college in comparison to the other participating colleges.  The survey includes benchmarking opportunities from enrollments to retention/graduation/persistence rates to student support services and human resources data. The Office of Institutional Research disseminates this information to various campus groups based on group roles and information needs. The data is especially important within the Institute for comparison purposes.  It is not possible to disaggregate the data by program or department.  

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