Invitation from the President

To: Faculty, Staff, Administrators, and Board of Trustees

From: Dr. Valmadge Towner - President

Re: Achieving the Dream Institutional Capacity Assessment Tool (ICAT)

This year Achieving the Dream (ATD) is introducing a new self-assessment tool known as the Institutional Capacity Assessment Tool (ICAT). This is based upon the seven capacities that ATD has determined that a college needs to be successful in meeting its goals to improve student success and build a student focused culture. The seven capacities are: Leadership & Vision, Data & Technology, Equity, Engagement & Communication, Teaching & Learning, Strategy & Planning, Policies & Practices. These seven are known as the Institutional Capacity Framework.

It is recommended that ALL Coahoma Community College faculty, staff, administrators, and board of trustees take this self-assessment tool. The purpose is to get a good assessment about our college from all sectors. If you received this memorandum, you have been selected to take the ICAT.

This tool will be administered online. You can take it at your convenience, but we ask that you complete it as soon as possible. I understand that this will probably take approximately one hour to complete.

ATD has spent considerable time and resources developing this tool over the past two years. It has been field tested and the results have been quite positive. They will give us an excellent basis to develop action plans as we move forward with our student success work. One observation from an administrator at a college that participated in the pilot said: “The ICAT provides a structure for stakeholders from all areas of the college to collectively examine critical elements necessary to support student success and determine how we are doing in relation to these elements. With a broad focus that extends beyond individual initiatives, we were able to use the tool to identify college strengths within capacity areas and develop a foundation on which to build future efforts.”

Following the administration of the ICAT we will convene a large group of faculty, staff, administrators, and board of trustees to review the results in a World Café format. The data will include aggregated results as well as data disaggregated by various cohorts such as faculty (part and full-time), staff and administrators. We would like to know if different groups have different perceptions. However, be assured all responses will be anonymous. This will give insight into our strengths and areas for improvement, and will generate ideas on how to build strength across the seven capacity areas. Our ATD Coaches will facilitate this discussion during their next visit.

We need your participation and I hope that you will accept this invitation and agree to participate. If you agree, instructions that you will need to take the assessment will follow.

Thank you in advance for helping us with this important effort.

Dr. Valmadge Towner
President, Coahoma Community College