American Samoa Community College

IV.A.1.  Institutional leaders create and encourage innovation leading to institutional excellence.  They support administrators, faculty, staff, and students, no matter what their official titles, in taking initiative for improving practices, programs, and services in which they are involved.  When ideas for improvement have policy or significant institution-wide implications, systematic participative processes are used to assure effective planning and implementation.

The changes made at the College to comply with this standard were guided by Recommendation 1 and 2.

The institution’s mission is:
The mission of the American Samoa Community College is to foster successful student learning by providing high quality educational programs and services that will enable students to achieve their educational goals and to contribute to the social, cultural, political, economic, technological, and environmental well-being of American Samoa.

The ASCC mission statement outlines the commitment to students’ success through its open admissions, US accreditation, access to bachelor and associate degrees and certificate programs of study, and its preparation of all students including the educationally underserved, challenged, or non-traditional for:

  • Transfer to institutions of higher learning
  • Successful entry into the workforce
  • Research and extension in human and natural resources, and
  • Awareness of Samoa and the Pacific1

The College’s Institutional Strategic Plan 2015 – 2020 sets five priority areas – Academic Excellence, Staffing, Physical Facilities Maintenance, Technology, and Total Cost of Ownership for all employees to work toward in achieving the mission. The College is fully committed to student success and educational excellence as it centers all goals, plans, and expectations as set by institutional standards with Academic Excellence as its focal point.2

The ASCC Mission is essential to institutional planning through its emphasis on student learning and achievement. All internal stakeholders are committed to the best interest of the students and are unified by the College’s Vision, Participatory Governance Core Values, and achievement of its Institutional Learning Outcomes in assuring that student centeredness is central to institutional planning and the setting of institutional priorities.

The ASCC Vision holds as its central theme “Saili le Atamai” or to “seek knowledge” as an institutional foresight towards achieving its Mission and guiding principles of participatory governance that organize the College’s operating agreements and shared governance.

ASCC is guided by its Core Values and institutional outcomes reflecting its commitment to student success and educational excellence. The core values of student centeredness, collaboration and teamwork, respect for diversity, respect for tradition and culture, and lifelong learning emphasize the focus of all goals of the institution as an integral part of all governance and operations.

The College’s goals are clearly defined in the Institutional Strategic Plan (ISP) 2015 – 2020. The ISP identifies five priority focus areas of Academic Excellence, Staffing, Physical Facilities and Maintenance, Technology and Total Cost of Ownership. All college divisions align the operations and division outcomes to the institutional priority focus areas. The ISP is a living document that all divisions follow in planning, resource allocation, and in decision-making processes.3

Policy 3001.2 sets the direction of the President and the Board of Higher Education (BHE) to ensure that all College goals are monitored for progress toward achievement of the expected outcomes.

“College goals are mutually agreed upon between the BHE and the President, and the President is charged with developing an action plan for implementation of goals.  The goals will be reviewed quarterly by the BHE to ensure status and level of accomplishment.”

Regardless of position or responsibility, all personnel work toward achievement of the institutional goals through the provision of programs and services. Every College division has a mission that is aligned with the institutional mission statement. All institutional expected goals are integrated with the Academic Excellence goals making student success and educational achievement the focus of the entire institution.

The emphasis on the importance of the institution’s goals and values are in the Governance Manual 3001.2 and written into major publications of the College. The institutional core values have been articulated throughout the College in the development of General Education Outcomes (GEO), in the revision of the Institutional Learning Outcomes (ILO), and in the alignment of program and divisional outcomes. The goals and values are clearly articulated through institutional reports and documents, and in the ISP. Through the daily operations and in carrying out the responsibilities outlined in divisional Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) staff practice the core values of student centeredness, collaboration and teamwork, respect for diversity, respect for tradition and culture, and lifelong learning.

College staff have identified roles and responsibilities detailed in their job descriptions. Divisional SOP outline the processes to carry out divisional goals that are aligned to institutional goals. Each division has a mission aligned to the institutional mission. It is the responsibility of the Dean, Director, Officer or supervisor to work with staff in the training and orientation to the division’s mission, goals and outcomes.

College employees are encouraged to represent their respective divisions in committees.   Members of all constituencies provide essential input to the dialogue on Mission effectiveness with a focus on the quality of the College’s educational programs and services. Different groups and their functions are defined by purpose, composition and outcomes. These constituent groups are defined as Governance Groups, Operational Groups, and Task Force Groups 4.

The institutional program review and divisional assessment surveys contain questions on staff participation in the development of the mission and goals of the division.

ASCC has several means in which to circulate information about institutional performance to staff and students. Fact sheets are distributed each semester. Fact books are distributed annually. The IE Academic Program Review Summary5 is distributed in the fall semester of the academic year. The Academic Program Review Summary and Findings6 is posted on the College website. Bi-weekly and Quarterly Reports are other means in which deans, directors, and officers report progress toward achievement of outcomes. Information on institutional performance is available on the website, through Compliance Assist, emails, and printed copies.

Information about institutional performance is regularly used in institutional dialogue and decision-making as evidence in the minutes and reports of the Curriculum Committee, Academic Assessment Committee (AAC), Data Committee, Institutional Planning Executive Core Committee (IPECC), the Faculty Senate, and the Institutional Planning Subcommittees. These committees regularly use performance data in divisional planning and improvements, and in strategic planning.

ASCC has institutional processes for evaluation and review in its Institutional Program Review and Divisional Assessments.7 The results analysis of the evaluation provides information used in planning for improvements at the divisional and institutional levels. The ISP requires a comprehensive institutional process of evaluation and analysis of Program Review data by the IPECC to identify strategic priority focus areas and broad based planning through subcommittees who identify performance activities for the achievement of outcomes. The Resource Management Committee evaluates and reviews institutional data in planning resource allocation and integration of all plans8 The evaluation of the institution’s performance is detailed in the data sets for Student Achievement Indicators 9 and Degree Requirements 10

The venues in which the evaluations of the institution’s performance are made available are the ASCC website and Compliance Assist. Printed copies are available and disseminated within each program, department, and/or division. Fact sheets and fact books are made available through the College website and printed copies are distributed to the Leadership Team and when requested by individuals.

Broad based and integrated planning efforts began in 2009 with the development of the Institutional Strategic Plan 2009 – 2014. The ASCC President disseminated a memo detailing the broad based participation in the planning committees. The ISP further described in detail the definition of broad based participation and the composition of each planning subcommittee. Since 2009, ASCC has made every effort to use broad based participation in the committee composition in all decision-making groups defined by the purpose, composition, and outcomes of the constituent groups identified as Governance Groups, Operational Groups, and Task Force Groups. 11

The governance process at ASCC is carried out through leadership and meaningful participation of employees in daily operations and committee involvement. All programs and services are provided directly or indirectly to serve students and to promote student learning. All personnel follow the protocol of the organizational structure. Each division has its divisional organization with a director, dean, or officer as its head with all delineation of authority outlined. Divisions follow Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) detailing each major task of the division. These SOPs are aligned to institutional policies and include the approval process. All employees are governed by policies that guide and direct operations and roles within the division.

The organizational structure of the College outlines the communication protocol of the College. The Organization Chart encompasses communication reporting relationships, the operational responsibilities of its administration, and services provided in accordance to Board Policy 3022 Communication Protocol detailing the open discussion among staff and supervisors. 12  Policy 1001 – Governance and Organization Structure details the organizational structure and processes for decision-making. Decision-making involves all decisions – those relating to policy development, policy implementation, curriculum decisions, resource allocation, planning, and evaluation and articulates the responsibilities of individuals to the division and organization. The individual is held responsible for carrying out the roles and responsibilities of the position.

The institution encourages participation in committees. Faculty are encouraged to be active in the Faculty Senate and if appointed to committees.  Staff is encouraged to participate in committees and to represent the divisions of the College. Divisional and departmental meetings are held regularly and provide a venue for sharing and bringing forth ideas for divisional and institutional improvement. Individuals can participate in the development, recommendation, and implementation of approved policy. Ideas and suggestions can be reported in bi-weekly and quarterly reports listed in the Recommendations section of these reports. 13

Every ASCC employee has the opportunity to bring forward ideas for institutional improvement through participation in the biennial Institutional Program Review and the annual Divisional Assessment Program Review. Both Program Review surveys provide the individual with questions allowing for open-ended responses. Improvements are made as a result of institutional data analysis, review, and prioritization.

All College employees are responsible for participation in institutional improvement. The Faculty performance evaluation instrument has been revised to reflect participation in committees, program reviews, and student learning assessment.14 Strengths and weaknesses of employees are addressed within their annual performance evaluation. Also outlined in the performance evaluation is the Plan of Action for improvement where both supervisor and employee discuss ways to work on improvement.

Several policies state ways in which individuals can participate in improvements of the institution. New policies and policy changes may be suggested by BHE members, President, faculty, staff, students, and citizens within the community. Before developing and implementing policy, the President will seek advice and recommendations through the administrative structure where such policies have an impact. The President may develop and approve department rules and regulations that aligns with College policies to ensure effectiveness of College operations.15

The College places importance of student learning and active participation in the student representation to the Board of Higher Education. The ISP 2015-2020 places the educational excellence as the center of all plans integrating all activities to the Academic Excellence Plan. Decisions in budgeting and resource management (human, technology, and physical resources) must be directly linked to student learning and improvement of services and programs.

1 - ASCC Catalog 2014 – 2016
2 - Institutional Strategic Plan  2015-2020
3 - Institutional Strategic Plan 2015 – 2020
4 - Participatory Governance Structural Manual, pp. 16 - 19
5 - IE Academic Program Review Summary
6 - Academic Program Review Summary & Findings
7 - Institutional Data Set
8 - Participatory Governance Structural Manual, pp. 20 -22
9 - Institutional Data Set
10 - ASCC Website,
11 - Participatory Governance Structural Manual, pp.16 – 19
12 - Participatory Governance Structural Manual, pp. 30 – 32
13 - Participatory Governance Structural Manual, pp. 13-19
14 - ASCC Memorandum  046-15 Faculty Performance Evaluation
15 - Governance Policy Manual 3003