Map Processes

The Map Processes phase provides a thorough and initial exploration of the major processes that were selected in Step 1, helping teams explore data on how students participate in and benefit from the practices that support student success.

For each major functional process, list the specific steps that currently exist. Brainstorm or use another method to generate the specific process steps. Engage the full team or sub-group to create a graphic of the process steps using a flowchart or other agreed-upon format. For example: One partnership team examined the application process for its associate degree nursing program. As the team members progressed through process mapping, they realized that the step or sub-process in which students receive advising about missing requirements was not taking place consistently, nor was the advice delivered to each student consistently. A flowchart created by this PTR team follows.

Using the flowchart and any other related academic-planning visuals, the PTR teams should discuss how the process actually functions (not how it is intended to function). The team should then reach a consensus on the following questions and seek clarification where necessary:

  • Who does this do?
  • What is done?
  • What are the expected outcomes?

In addition, the team should address the following items:

  • Data: Describe data collected about the process that could be used to indicate whether the process is accomplishing its intended purpose.
  • Issues: Identify issues that exist in the process. Are there aspects of the process that need to be improved?
  • Equity: Describe elements of the process that contribute to inequities in student outcomes.

Engage the team or a selected sub-team to survey the process flowchart as well as the collected program marketing materials and related process visuals. The goal is to identify the practices that align with the objectives of the major functional process and support student success in the pathway or program of study.

In the above flowchart example, two existing practices that would be noted are mentoring and program orientation. The team also identified that it lacked a practice to help students prepare for the written portion of its pre-admission exam. Discuss and reach consensus on the following questions:

  • Are there any practices not included in the pathway that came as a surprise?
  • Would these practices support achievement related to the identified outcomes gap?
  • Does the team think further research into this practice and discussion with faculty, staff, or students about introducing this practice would be relevant?
  • Of the practices supporting this pathway, are there any that are not mandatory? If so, who participates in these practices? How do they access these practices?
  • Of the practices that are mandatory, is the impact on the desired outcome measured? How?
  • Which practices particularly line up with the equity or outcomes gap that must be closed?
  • Would it be valuable to assess mandatory or non-mandatory practices relevant to the equity or outcomes gap in question to learn more about students’ representation in, access to, and impact of these practices?