Universidad Estatal de Milagro (ECUADOR)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2014 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Pages: 5407-5415
ISBN: 978-84-616-8412-0
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 10-12 March, 2014
Location: Valencia, Spain
Ecuador is turning the country's production matrix around the generation of internal knowledge and the improvement of education in forming Ecuador's human capital. The higher education system is changing the way universities are funded, administered, and accredited. The accreditation and quality assurance of higher education in Ecuador is highly centralized by Ecuador's Council for the Evaluation, Accreditation and Quality Assurance of Higher Education (CEAACES from its Spanish initials). Besides the CEAACES guidelines, modeling the educational processes can help Ecuadorian Universities meet the standards of educational and research quality.

Modeling educational processes provides the basis for standardizing the processes of the institution, so that every process may be analyzed and improved, as well as, all activities, functions, and tasks, in order to homogenize and collect all the information related to it. It is not a common practice the modeling and identification of the processes in the Ecuadorian university, but the institutions have begun to realize the need to use it, in order to make an analysis of their processes in search of improvement plans for process optimization and raising the quality of the services provided.

The Ecuadorian University integrates four macro processes, around which the whole institution is managed. These processes are: the Community Relations process, the Research process, the Teaching process and the Administrative Management process. While the Community Relations, Teaching and Research processes are strongly intertwined for their intrinsic core activities, the Administrative Management process constitutes the support for the development of all other processes.

The aim of this paper is to model one of these four fundamental processes: Community Relations. The Community Relations process is common to every faculty of the university, and its mission is to create links between the university and its geographical neighbor community. The Community Relations projects constitute a nexus between the university and society, integrating local, provincial, regional and national development, helping to improve the quality of life of the beneficiary population.

First, the Community Relations general process was modeled, where it was possible to identify the main activities involved. Then, the Responsibility Matrix was built. All participants interacting in the process were determined, and the responsibility for each area was assigned. The visual representation of the responsibility matrix is practical and easy to use, allowing to know which player in the process develops an activity either as Responsible or Supporter. Next, the Swimlane Diagram of the Community Relations Process was designed. The swimlane describes the sequence of activities and information flow within the process itself, with all actions defined and represented by data flows. In this section all activities are described, in order to standardize them all. Next, the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) defined for the process were presented. The KPIs allow an assessment of the levels of efficiency and effectiveness of the process to evaluate its success. Finally, the design of an information system is suggested, which could be useful to manage all enclosed activities of the analyzed process.
Accreditation, Quality Assurance, Educational Process Modeling, Community Relations.