Unit Level Planning


The planning area exists to provide timely support in planning for academics, resources, and facilities across the entire MCC campus based on valid/reliable data. Types of planning include: strategic, long-term, tactical, and operational.

Common Tasks/Reports

  • 131 Unit Level Reports - monitoring and tracking progress for past, current, and coming academic year in meeting the goals for the college's strategic plan through ULP connections to strategic plan objectives.
  • Strategic Plan - monitoring monthly progress in the achievement of the college's 3-year plan through performance indicators tied to objectives under each goal and then related to annual ULPs
  • Provide planning support for:
    • Student Learning Outcomes Committee
    • SACS Compliance Committee
  • Provide research services as assigned/requested


A unit is defined as any area that contains a separate budget. All units are required to participate in the planning process.


Each unit will develop an annual plan that will include specific goals and strategies for the unit. It is recommended that the process be completed during a scheduled "planning" day at the beginning of each academic year and that all members of the unit be involved in the planning process. The exact amount of time needed to complete the planning process will be at the discretion of the unit coordinator. Each unit will begin the ULP process by carefully reviewing the goals and objectives outlined in the college's Strategic Plan. Unit plans should support the goals and objectives outlined in the college's strategic plan. The results from the previous year's ULP process should also be used to assist in the development of the unit's plan for the upcoming year. In addition, all units should review other performance data. For example, educational units should review grade distribution data, faculty evaluation data, and cost data. Unit coordinators should contact their supervisors if they need assistance in obtaining supporting data.

After reviewing available data and the college's strategic plan, each unit will use Compliance Assist to identify the annual focus for their area and to define a set of goals and strategies for the upcoming year. Specific measures for each goal will also be defined. Compliance Assist contains fields for the end-of-year results. The results associated with this year's goals can be recorded during next year's planning day.


All units will add their plans through the Planning Module in SPOL. Each plan will include the following items: Mission/Purpose, Goals, related institutional Goals and Objectives, Strategies and Measures, and Results. In addition, all plans may include strategies implemented, ULPs associated with ACE/SLO and/or Program Review findings, and possible follow-up actions.

Unit Level Plans are developed and posted for the next/upcoming academic year from October to early December with current year ULP results being due in October.


  • Mission/Purpose
    • The mission/purpose statement should include a concise (focused) description of the unit’s general mission and core functions (your reason for being). The development of an accurate purpose description will require a careful analysis of the current functions/activities of the unit. An effective purpose statement should contain only a few sentences and answer the question: Why does my unit exist?
  • Goals
    • Each unit should establish between 3 and 5 goals. The goals are specific methods to improve departmental performance. Therefore, the goals should be measurable and have input from everyone within the unit. Each goal should support one or more of the college’s goals or objectives as found in the MCC’s Strategic Plan. The institution’s strategic goals and objectives should be reviewed prior to the creation of unit goals. Each unit should also review the results from the previous year’s unit plan as well as other supporting data. Well-written goals are time specific and stated in results-oriented terms (e.g., using such words as: improve, increase, enhance, decrease, and achieve).
  • Strategies
    • Each goal may have two or more strategies. The point is not the number of strategies, but the need for a fully expressed (complete) plan. strategies are specific activities (strategies) that lead to the accomplishment of goals (e.g., create, analyze, investigate, survey, establish, attend, conduct, implement, develop, provide).
  • Measures
    • Measures are tied to the goal through the strategies and must include some type of measurement (increase or decrease = type of measurement = findings/measures). Measures allow us to see whether and to what extent goals are met. Measures allow us to systematically and objectively track progress toward goal achievement (through: input, output, outcome, efficiency, and quality) and should be understandable, outcome-oriented, useful, valid, verifiable, accurate and comparable/consistent.
  • Results
    • Results (actual and use) will be completed at the end of the academic year and recorded in SPOL. Your Actual Results will support a conclusion that the strategies for your goals were met; partially met; or not met. Such findings are strengthened by linking relevant documents through Compliance Assist’s "Sources" or “Document Directory”.
      The result(s) must be described in terms of the measure used to evaluate the goal. Under "Use of Results" in SPOL, address how these results made a difference (improved your program or service) in the current year and discuss how those results will be followed up in the next year. The description of your findings (end-of-year results) needs to be clear, complete, and concise. Test what you have written by asking yourself: Could someone unfamiliar with my area understand what I have written on the first reading and be favorably impressed?

Remember, it is not about “perfect” results or findings. It is about clear concise language in layman’s terms that helps any reader of your ULP to understand your positive contribution to excellence at the college through your goals; objectives/outcomes; and measures/findings. It is a review of your unit’s connection to the college’s strategic plan and shows how you have given strategies to that vision.


If you need assistance with the Unit Level Planning process, please contact Tom Proctor, Planning Coordinator (8619) in the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Planning, RE 122.

Top 3 for ULPs

  • Tell and show through documentation how results are being used to improve your programs/services
  • Make sure your achievement targets are measurable
  • Create plans that are comprehensive -- that portray the full scope, in an outlined manner, of all areas of your unit/department