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Information Technology
2018-2019 Program Review

1) Unit Profile

1.1) Briefly describe the program-level planning unit. What is the unit's purpose and function?

The IT department consists of computer technicians, network specialists, web administrators, application programmers, audiovisual technicians and help desk technicians. The unit provides support for the computing environment of the entire campus. This includes support for the staff, faculty and lab computers, student mobile devices, network infrastructure, wireless connectivity, web site design, programming needs, presentation technology, Information security, data archiving and retrieval, and VOIP phone system.

1.2) How does the unit contribute to achievement of the mission of American River College?

The institution relies on technology to help create an academically rich, inclusive environment that inspires critical thinking, learning and achievement. IT is a support service and our biggest contribution to the Mission is the ability to help other groups achieve their goals.

2) Assessment and Analysis

The program review process asks units to reflect on the progress they've made towards achieving the goals they identified in each of the Annual Unit Plans they submitted since their last Program Review. Follow this link to access your previous EMP submissions. For assistance accessing the EMP system, please contact Mary Goodall at or (916) 484-4535.

2.1) Consider the progress that has been made towards the unit's objectives over the last six years. Based on how the unit intended to measure progress towards achieving these objectives, did the unit's prior planned action steps (last six years of annual unit plans) result in the intended effect or the goal(s) being achieved?

IT department objectives are usually described as projects and progress is measured in the successful completion of the projects. Another indicator of success is the scope, complexity and transformative potential of the projects for students and staff. In the last six years IT has successfully: 1. Implemented a campus-wide wireless network 2. Partnered with DO IT to upgrade the network infrastructure from 1GB to 10GB 3. Migrated from multiple stand-alone servers to a virtual environment 4. Improved network storage, archival and retrieval systems 5. Installed a Voice Over IP Phone network 6. Partnered with FLC and DO to re-design our web presence 7. Created the Integrated Planning Portal for annual unit planning and program review 8. Enhanced network security. 9. Programmed Institutional Governance Online Repository (IGOR) 10. Collaborated with Institutional Research to improve access to data-on-demand 11. Created and implemented presentation technology standards in all classrooms 12. Created a Student Technology Center 13. Improved student communication with Digital Display network 14. Begun to virtualize classroom computers 15. Installed, upgraded, created and replaced multiple classroom labs 16. Improved customer service with the addition of a staffed Help Desk 17. Created multiple custom data collection programs to help departments make decisions 18. Campus redesign—involved with Operations in multiple department physical re-designs 19. Partnered with CRC to create district-wide Macintosh software support system (JAMF)

In the following program-level metrics, a green-yellow-red light icon provides a quick sense of how a particular data set's values relate to an established threshold (click '+' for details).

The following data sets may be useful in promoting and informing departmental dialogue, planning, decision making, and resource allocation.

Email Standard Data Set link

In addition to reflecting on the metrics shown above, it may prove useful to analyze other program-level data to assess the effectiveness of your unit. For instructional units, ARC’s Data on demand system can be used to provide program and course level information regarding equitable outcomes, such as program access or enrollment, successful course completion, and degree or certificate achievement (up to 30+ demographic or course filters are available).

You might also consider pursuing other lines of inquiry appropriate to your unit type (instructional, student support, institutional/administrative support). Refer to the Program Review Inquiry Guide for specific lines of inquiry.

2.2) What were the findings? Please identify program strengths, opportunities, challenges, equity gaps, influencing factors (e.g., program environment), data limitations, areas for further research, and/or other items of interest.

We have been busy and implemented many complex technologies that have improved the working and learning environment of the college. The department is capable of a high output of work and can partner with other IT groups, Operations, and the Public Information Office to share responsibility on projects to increase productivity. The two main challenges the department faces are the constant need for more staffing to accommodate the ever-increasing project list and the creation of a funding model required to support our technology after it has been implemented.

3) Reflection and Dialog

3.1) Discuss how the findings relate to the unit's effectiveness. What did your unit learn from the analysis and how might the relevant findings inform future action?

Partnerships have helped the department increase its effectiveness. Our IT infrastructure improvements over the last six years have been completed in partnership with District Office IT. ARC’s willingness to be an early adopter of the District’s network standards and our willingness to provide proportionate funding to projects allowed ARC to receive the improvements first and demonstrated the model adopted by the other campuses for their upgrades. Partnerships with Operations and PIO have helped the department incorporate other staff into projects. Instead of creating a silo for responsibilities, the IT department has learned to share responsibilities with these two groups increasing the amount of staff active on both the Web Re-design and the Campus Re-design projects. Together, the LRC and IT created the Student Technology Center. IT provided the staff and the LRC the space and now we have a center staffed by an IT Technician and student workers that assist students with wireless access, and help with their mobile technology. However, we are very good as an institution at creatively acquiring funding for projects on the front end as demonstrated in the project list. We need to improve as an institution how we fund maintenance and renewal after implementation.

3.2) What is the unit's ideal future and why is it desirable to ARC? How will the unit's aspirations support accomplishment of the mission, improve institutional effectiveness, and/or increase academic quality?

ARC needs to create a sinking fund to help manage the maintenance and renewal of the large amount of technology growth we have experienced over the last six years. One reason IT has been involved in so many large campus-wide infrastructure projects is that our systems were all old and becoming inadequate for the campus demands. A sinking fund will help IT control this boom or bust situation and help create a more stable system for change management. Because technology is, a required building block for the institution to create an academically rich, effective learning environment it is worth the investment.

4) Strategic Enhancement

4.1) Identify/define one or more program-level objectives which enhance the unit's effectiveness. What does your unit intend to do to work towards its ideal future? How will success be measured?

A Partnership with district Office IT may help with one of the challenges facing ARC IT. DO IT has recently proposed an Infrastructure as a Service plan. The campus would use the infrastructure (Virtual servers) for a fee subsidizing our network infrastructure costs; in essence DO would be our cloud service. Currently, ARC is duplicating network infrastructure offered at the District Office since we have incorporated the same standard equipment. In a virtual environment, it does not matter if the servers are here at ARC or the district’s Main distribution Center. We have begun a conversation to pilot with DO IT this summer by moving the SARS system into the district’s virtual environment. This is a good test of the viability of both the technology offering of the district and the district’s ability to partner. Measured success is ARC moving more systems into the service because it is cheaper than building the infrastructure locally and district demonstrates the ability to both support the environment and also be a good partner

4.2) How will the unit's intended enhancements support ARC's commitment to social justice and equity?

IT supports equity through accommodations made in software, physical accommodations in classrooms, auditing our website for compliance to ensure people can use our systems. Conversely, IT is also the gatekeeper of access to our systems. Because access is granted to the college systems by security tokens literally all students, staff and faculty are numbers. You are either a Los Rios student or you are not you are an employee or not. There is not a way to add another value within the system.