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 Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, & Threats (SWOT) Analysis

ACC SWOT Procedures/ Processes and Scheduling
As part of the overall review of the program or unit, it is required that the following actions be taken prior to conducting the program’s/unit’s SWOT session. This will help maximize the benefits of the SWOT session and analysis.

Data must be used as part of the SWOT session and analysis

I. Collect and review data to be used in SWOT discussion.
A. Prior to SWOT session – To allow time to review data, it is recommended that the data be provided to participants AND facilitator no later than 2-3 weeks prior to the SWOT session.
1. IPR data should consist of student success and performance indicators
a. Data can be obtained through TIPS (The Information Portal System), or through the Data Request Form
b. Examples of data include:
(1) Enrollments Trends
(2) Successful Course Completions
(3) Departmental Snapshots
(4) Cohort Data
(5) Heatmaps / Survival Charts
2. SSR data should be identified and related to the unit’s mission and purpose
a. The unit’s mission statement or purpose should be used as a basis/guide for selecting the appropriate data to review.
b. Examples of data could include:
(1) Point-of-Service Surveys
(2) Departmental Performance Metrics
(3) CAS Standards Metrics
(4) Scheduling Data
(5) Time Served Data
(6) Benchmark Data

The self-study chair/ unit review leader is responsible for scheduling and inviting the participants to the SWOT program.

II. Items to check BEFORE scheduling
A. Check swot calendar for available SWOT slots (opens in Google calendar)
B. Check attendee/ invitee calendars for availability
1. Internal personnel – involved in the division/ unit/ program
2. External personnel – students and people from the unit/ program areas that interact with the department/ unit/ program regularly, advisory groups.
a. The reason for this is to make blinds spots and distortions in SWOT evaluations less likely, due to the variety of experiences, interests, and opinions represented.
C. Check rooms for availability ( R25 site)

SWOT sessions are between 3 and 4 hours long.

III. Scheduling the SWOT
A. Signing up for an appointment slot:
1. When you visit our sign up page, your primary ACC calendar is overlaid for convenience and you can sign up directly for any available appointment slot.

NOTE: Appointment Slots Can NOT have the date/ time adjusted by either the facilitator or the requestor. If you must change meeting you MUST select another appointment slot.



2. When you sign up, Google Calendar conveniently creates a new-shared event on both of the facilitator and requestors calendars. This is where you will be updating Room/inviting attendees/etc.
B. Reserve location for SWOT session. (R25 site)

OIEA does not reserve rooms

IV. Invite participants to create a broad range of stakeholders.
V. Provide water/ beverages/ snacks. This is optional, but recommended, as the SWOT session is scheduled for 3 hours or more.
(Not provided by OIEA; Follow administrative rules)


What is a SWOT?
A SWOT analysis is a planning tool that, when used properly, provides an overall view of the most important factors influencing the future of the program. The SWOT analysis is the foundation for a reflective self-assessment of how your unit is performing its mission. The SWOT analysis results form the basis for developing recommendations and action plans, also known as Quality Improvement Plans (QIPs). These recommendations and action plans take into consideration many different internal and external factors that maximize the potential of the program’s strengths and opportunities, while minimizing the impact of its weaknesses and threats. This approach can help ensure efficient use of resources to provide beneficial program outcomes. A SWOT analysis enables proactive thinking rather than habitual or instinctive reactions.

A SWOT analysis is one of several tools for assessment and planning at Austin Community College. This manual is meant to help understand the general SWOT analysis process, as well as provide detailed guidance for a organizing and conducting a SWOT analysis.

A. Units are required to conduct an intensive self -review on a 5-year rotating schedule. The Instructional Program Review (IPR) and the Support Services Review (SSR) both follow the same general process.
B. During an intensive review year, units participate in a facilitated SWOT analysis to determine what their strengths and weaknesses are and how the environment will affect their ability to accomplish their mission.


How are the Results of a SWOT Analysis Used?
A SWOT analysis is a subjective assessment of data that is organized into a four- dimensional SWOT matrix, similar to a basic two-heading list of pros and cons.

  Strengths
(what the unit does very
well internally)
Weaknesses
(where functions are performed internally less than preferred)
Opportunities
(potentially favorable external conditions for the unit)

S&O: Pursue opportunities that are a good fit with the program’s strengths.


W-O: Overcome weaknesses to pursue opportunities
Threats
(potentially unfavorable external conditions for the unit)

S-T:  Identify ways the program can use its strengths to reduce its vulnerability to external threats.


W-T:  Establish a defensive plan to prevent the program’s weaknesses from making it highly susceptible to external threats.


To develop initiatives (strategies) that take into account the SWOT profile, unit members can translate the four lists into a matrix (see above) that associates strengths (maintain, build and leverage), opportunities (prioritize and optimize), weaknesses (remedy), and threats (counter) into actions that can be agreed and owned by the unit.


ACC's Highland Business Center building
OIEA: 512.223.7036
5930 Middle Fiskville Rd.
Austin, Texas 78752-4390
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