Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Academic Discipline

Community College Leadership


This study is an exploration of the strategies employed by community colleges to facilitate the integration of their assessment and strategic plans. Because the strategic and assessment plans are major documents that guide the success of the institution, they are submitted frequently as evidence of meeting the accreditation requirement for institutional effectiveness. If the colleges’ success is based on the effectiveness and efficiency of their plans, then the assessment plan needs to be linked and integrated with the institutions strategic plan. The intent of this research study is to identify how community colleges integrate assessment and strategic plans to improve institutional effectiveness.

Because the assessment process results in data that can determine what conditions positively affect student learning, these data should be used to make the strategic decisions that affect the core student-learning mission of the institution. Information was gathered from a case institution by interviewing faculty and administrators involved in these institutions’ strategic planning and assessment processes, as well as through document review. Analysis of this data resulted in a synthesis of seven best practices that can be shared with institutional planners and other interested individuals as a model for community colleges to follow in developing or modifying their own planning processes.

Interviewees in this study cited strategies used to link assessment and planning, such as innovation, communication, shared governance, education/professional development, organization of assessment data, institutional culture, and campus-wide support. The strategies provided by this study should assist faculty and administrators throughout higher education institutions develop or modify their strategic planning processes to include valuable assessment data. To carry out these strategies, it was recommended that faculty view assessment as a vehicle for individual and institutional improvement.