East Central College

The first in a series of student focus groups provided insight on what works and what doesn’t at East Central College.

The first of three focus groups met Thursday, Feb. 21.

The student focus groups are part of the college’s strategic planning process — SOAR to 2024.

“We had a good turnout,” said Michelle Smith, Strategic Planning Committee tri-chair. There were 26 students in attendance.

Dr. Kevin David, CampusWorks portfolio executive leader, led the event. Students broke out into four small groups to give feedback on structured questions.

“We asked students to describe the characteristics of high-quality instruction,” Smith said. “We also asked about affordability and accessibility of course materials.”

The strategic planning committee is currently transcribing the data received from the focus group.

Smith hopes to review the data by the end of the week once all groups have given feedback.

A second focus group session was held at the ECC Rolla campus Monday and a third group was scheduled for Wednesday.

Each group has different students, but follows the same process.

“This is a piece of data to feed into the strategic planning process,” Smith said.

The possibility of more focus groups will be determined after the data has been reviewed.

“We’ll take a closer look at the data and process overall to see if we need to ask further questions,” she said.

ECC selected CampusWorks last summer as its strategic planning consultant.

ECC President Jon Bauer is hopeful the strategic plan will be completed and in place by the end of the summer in time for the new 2019-20 school year.