Theme: Culture of Achievement
Organization Level: Academic Department
Critical elements: Academic leaders and faculty work together to create an environment in which desired behaviors are clearly stated. High academic achievement is expected, self-discipline is necessary, and a supportive culture is explicitly tied to student success.
Practice: All academic levels within the institution work together to provide a supportive culture so that all students can advance to the next level.

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CriteriaLess Effective PracticesSuccess Factors for Meeting State StandardsSuccess Factors for College and Career Readiness

The academic department leaders see little value in collaborative conversations across departments. Work is conducted only within the department.

The academic department leaders encourage collaboration among departments, and support periodic collaborations with other departments or organizations.

The academic department leaders strongly promote monthly collaboration among departments, faculty, and staff and promotes work based learning and community service.


Departments are not involved in student orientation. Once orientation has taken place, students are expected to know what to do and where to go for help and assistance.

Academic department leaders contribute content that support orientation activities and encourage and faculty discussions for new students on an as needed basis.

Academic department leaders frequently promote orientation opportunities for new students. Orientation activities and follow-up advising activities are integrated into courses.


No formal mentor program exists for new faculty and staff. Learning and implementing the mission for the institution is inconsistent.

Department leaders do have an established mentor program but topics and frequency of meetings are determined by the mentor. Results of the program are sometimes inconsistent.

Academic department leaders establish a mentoring program for all new faculty and staff. Leaders clearly understand that establishing a strong mentor program results in greater success for students, faculty, and staff. There is an expectation of topics and frequency of meetings.

Assessment Results

Department leaders do not use assessment results to guide department-level actions for learning improvement.

Academic department leaders use assessment results to shape course-level content.

Academic department leaders see great value in using assessment results and completion rates of the developmental sequence to shape basic skills offerings and policies. They use these assessments to improve the classroom learning environment to identify what students have or have not learned.

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