Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Niagara College undertaking the Transform NC project?

Transform NC will strengthen what we are doing well, focus on where to invest, and reinvent or improve areas facing challenges. Ultimately, this process will support student success and our capacity to pursue the priorities set out in the College’s 2013-2016 Strategic Plan.

For more information, please read the “Steering Committee Terms of Reference”, available on our Committee Practices webpage.

How were the Steering Committee Members selected?

In the January 7th, 2014 edition of InsideNC, Teresa Quinlin, Vice President, Finance & Strategic Planning invited interested staff, faculty and students to volunteer to serve on the Steering Committee.

Staff and faculty members were selected to reflect a diverse range of program and service areas. Student members were selected by the Student Administrative Council (SAC).

The Committee is Chaired by the VP, Finance & Strategic Planning, and consists of an equal number (7) of faculty, support staff and administrative staff and two (2) students. It is supported by Planning and Institutional Research (PaIR) staff.

For a list of members, please visit the Steering Committee Members page.

How will the Transform NC process work?

Transform NC’s process will involve two tiers or phases of assessment. Tier 1 will take stock of our programs and services and sort them into three categories:

  1. enhance and invest,
  2. maintain and
  3. revise and/or reallocate.

Criteria and metrics will be applied to determine how the programs and services are allocated into the categories. Where possible, data will be pre-populated in order to facilitate the planning process.

Tier 2 will involve a detailed assessment of the programs and services that are allocated in Category 1: enhance and invest, and Category 3: revise and/or reallocate. Based on experiences at other institutions, we estimate that this will represent approximately 20% of our programs and services. This approach will enable us to undertake a more comprehensive examination of a smaller number of programs and services, and develop meaningful and strategic recommendations.

How is Transform NC different from what Niagara College has done before?

This initiative is designed to identify and support College priorities, and it will lead to choices about prioritizing academic programs and service areas or activities. Transform NC builds on the College’s previous planning processes.

For more information, please read the “Steering Committee Terms of Reference”, available on our Commitee Practices webpage.

How much of Transform NC is tied to the College’s Strategic Mandate Agreement?

This planning initiative is driven by our growing enrolment and evolving economy, and the MTCU differentiation framework requiring post-secondary institutions to establish clear areas of specialization. This framework requires universities and colleges to define their areas of specialization. It builds on the Strategic Mandate Agreement, where institutions were required to identify their priorities and the metrics they would use to assess their progress.

What are the criteria for prioritizing programs and services?

The criteria for prioritizing academic programs and services and/or service activity streams are currently being developed by the Steering Committee. Once developed, they will be available for review and feedback on a page titled ‘Program Prioritization Documents’ on this website. The new page will appear in the navigation menu once it is ready.

How will programs be prioritized?

Academic programs (Deans, Chairs, Faculty, Staff and Students) will have the opportunity to review and comment on the criteria, metrics and scoring rubrics drafted by the Steering Committee. Program areas will use the finalized criteria, metrics and scoring rubrics to self-evaluate (allocate into one of the three categories). The Steering Committee will review the self-evaluations and, in cases where it would allocate a program into a different category, it will consult with program staff.

How will services be prioritized?

Service areas (Administrators, Staff, Faculty and Students) will have the opportunity to review and comment on the criteria, metrics and scoring rubrics drafted by the Steering Committee. Service areas will use the finalized criteria, metrics and scoring rubrics to self-evaluate (allocate into one of the three categories). The Steering Committee will review the self-evaluations and, in cases where it would allocate a service or service activity stream into a different category, it will consult with service staff.

How does Transform NC related to the College’s Strategic Plan?

Transform NC builds on the College’s 2013-2016 Strategic Plan by linking specific goals to the criteria that will be used to evaluate academic program and service area priorities.

What happens after the Tier 1 prioritization Process?

After the Tier 1 prioritization process, programs and services / service activity streams in the (1) enhance and invest and (3) revise and/or reallocate categories will undergo the more detailed Tier 2 assessment to generate recommendations.

What happens after the Tier 2 prioritization Process?

The recommendations from the Tier 2 assessment will go to the College Operations Group (COG), which will prioritize the recommendations for the Executive Team. The steering committee will have an opportunity to review the recommendations and COG’s prioritizations. The Executive Team has the final decision on both recommendations and prioritizations.