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1 Preparing for re-accreditation Pat O’Brien SND CIHE of NEASC University of Rhode Island June 15, 2016.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Preparing for re-accreditation Pat O’Brien SND CIHE of NEASC University of Rhode Island June 15, 2016."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Preparing for re-accreditation Pat O’Brien SND CIHE of NEASC University of Rhode Island June 15, 2016

2 2 As you begin work on your self-study for re-accreditation, let’s review: the basics of accreditation the new Standards for Accreditation the self-study: process and product how to use data effectively to address assessment and institutional effectiveness the team’s visit

3 What is accreditation? a status granted to an educational institution or a program that has been found to meet or exceed stated criteria of educational quality voluntary non-governmental self-regulatory institutional or specialized “uniquely American” 3

4 4 Dual purposes of accreditation Assure quality Foster improvement

5 + Standards of higher education community Mission of the institution evidence, evidence, evidence, evidence, evidence, evidence Accreditation = Standards + Mission 5

6 Has appropriate purposes Has the resources needed to accomplish its purposes Demonstrates that it is accomplishing its purposes Has the ability continue to accomplish its purposes Accreditation certifies that the institution … 6

7 New England Middle States Southern North Central (Higher Learning Commission) North Western Western Six regional accrediting associations in the United States Regional accreditation 7

8 One of four Commissions comprising NEASC New England Association of Schools and Colleges 232 colleges and universities in New England plus 11 institutions abroad 27 elected Commissioners (4 public members) 10 staff members Over 1500 volunteers 8 Commission on Institutions of Higher Education

9 9 Three-part process: Self-study Site Visit Commission action It all starts with the Standards for Accreditation – which have been revised! Standards are available on the CIHE website

10 10 What’s new in the new Standards?

11 11 1.Mission and Purposes 2.Planning and Evaluation 3.Organization and Governance 4.The Academic Program 5.Faculty 6.Students 7.Library and Other Information Resources 8.Physical and Technological Resources 9.Financial Resources 10.Public Disclosure 11.Integrity Format Statement of the Standard – a summary in bold Numbered paragraphs – to explicate the statement of the Standard Subheadings – for organization and clarity Institutional Effectiveness – a periodic review for improvement Currently, standards in 11 areas

12 1.Mission and Purposes 2.Planning and Evaluation 3.Organization and Governance 4.The Academic Program 5.Students 6.Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship 7.Institutional Resources 8.Educational Effectiveness 9.Integrity, Transparency, and Public Disclosure Format Statement of the Standard – a summary in bold Numbered paragraphs – to explicate the statement of the Standard Subheadings – for organization and clarity New, standards in 9 areas 12

13 13 1.Less emphasis on inputs/resources: Standards 7,8,9 combined into a single new standard, Institutional Resources 2. New Standard: Educational Effectiveness: Combines parts of Standards 2, 4, 6 More attention to quantitative measures of success (e.g., rates of progression, retention, transfer, graduation; licensure passage rates; employment) 3.Combine Standards 10 and 11 to form a new standard: Integrity, Transparency, and Public Disclosure More emphasis on what is owed to the public Three major changes

14 14 4.Faculty: Models continue to diversify; new standard name (Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship) 5.Library: Focus mainly now on outcomes; input dimension in Institutional Resources; outcomes in The Academic Program 6.‘Assuring Academic Quality’: section in The Academic Program 7.‘Institutional Effectiveness’: incorporated into each Standard Other key changes

15 8.Other academic staff explicitly recognized in Standard 6: Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship 9.Competency-based education included (e.g., 4.30, 4.33) 10.Credit for prior learning and non-collegiate learning permitted at all degree levels; limited to 25% for credentials of 30 credits or fewer (4.35) 11.Organization and Governance: subheadings for Governing Board and Internal Governance Some other key changes 15

16 12.Badges and other forms of academic recognition explicitly recognized (4.49) 13.Human Resources subsection in Standard 7: Institutional Resources 14.Contractual relationships need to be reviewed periodically and need to have an “exit strategy” that protects students (3.17) 15. “Perceptive and imaginative innovation” welcomed. (Preamble) ‘Savings’ of ~500 words A few more changes 16

17 17 Special emphasis on Assessment remains … prominent in Standard 8: Educational Effectiveness and receives specific attention at many other points in the Standards such as: Mission and Purposes (1.4) Planning & Evaluation (throughout; esp. 2.2, 2.7) Academic Program (Statement; throughout) Students (5.5, 5.6, 5.20) Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship (6.2, 6.10, 6.15-6.17)

18 18 Attention to student learning … The institution sets a standard of student achievement appropriate to the degree or certificate awarded and develops the systematic means to understand how and what students are learning and to use the evidence obtained to improve the academic program. (Standard Four)

19 19 … has gotten even stronger The institution demonstrates its effectiveness by ensuring satisfactory levels of student achievement on mission-appropriate student outcomes. Based on verifiable information, the institution understands what its students have gained as a result of their education and has useful evidence about the success of its recent graduates. This information is used for planning and improvement, resource allocation and to inform the public about the institution. Student achievement is at a level appropriate for the degree awarded. (Standard 8)

20 20 What is the self-study? “an intensive endeavor involving individuals throughout the entire institution in a process of self-examination aimed at institutional improvement …” “… a clear, concise and accurate picture of the institution as a dynamic entity with a sense of its history, an understanding of its present, and a vision of its future.”

21 21 In other words, Self study is as much a process as it is a product

22 22 The self study process 18-24 months Steering Committee, Writing Committees Widespread involvement of the campus community (committee service, open meetings, website; use existing structures) Timetable … plan backwards from your Fall 2017 visit

23 23 How might you begin? Read the standards.Read the standards again. … and again… and again. Be inquisitive. For the areas covered by your standard, ask yourself: What do we do? How well do we do it? What else do we need to do? Gather information, evidence, data

24 24 The self-study product “A holistic and integrated document … that reflects the totality of one institution.” Institutional characteristics Introduction (describes self-study process) Overview (sets institutional context) Narrative (based on the Standards) Data Forms (Data First, Student Success)

25 25 The self-study narrative About 100 pages; a chapter for each Standard Include areas of emphasis clearly* 3 dimensions of quality: input, process, outcome Analytic framework: Description: what are we doing? Appraisal: how well are we doing? Projection: what commitments do we make? * Governance, general education, program review, library, graduate education. Commission’s letters of February 15, 2013 and December 19, 2014 have more details.

26 26 Getting value from the self-study process Useful In-depth Distinctive, unique to you Emphasis on how to improve the institution Next steps: follow-up from the study Don’t leave the most useful part to the end! Start with the heart – Appraisal & Projection Self-Study = study

27 27 A few words about projections Not every good idea anyone has ever had about University of Rhode Island! No self advice (“The institution should …”) No passive voice (“The academic honesty policy will be reviewed …”) No departmental advocacy (“The XXX department should have three new faculty.”) No empty platitudes (“The University will continue to play an important role in the community.”)

28 28 Strong, helpful projections What: specific, achievable tasks Who: assigned to person, committee When: time-limited, spread out Are linked to planning Are realistic Answer these questions:

29 Three Dimensions of Quality Input Process Outcome Are there enough books in the library? Are students using the books? Are students gaining skills of information literacy? Are the faculty well qualified? Is the curriculum appropriate? Is there good instructional practice? Do students get practice and feedback? Are students achieving the learning outcomes of the program and institution? ………………………………………………………… 29

30 30 Data Forms Data First Forms A series of forms (at least one for each Standard) designed to allow you to report key institutional data, including measures of student success related to mission. Many forms ask for trends over time. Forms are available on the Commission’s website. Student Success: Making Assessment More Explicit Select and declare a basic approach to assessment and summarize the findings.

31 31 Using the data forms in the self-study process Start early so you can see what data you have and what else you want to collect. Engage the campus in a discussion about student success. What retention and graduation rates beyond IPEDS are helpful to us? How do we define student success? How do we measure success? What quantitative, qualitative, and anecdotal evidence about student success do we have? What else do we need?

32 32 Using the data forms in the self-study process Analyze the data – what do these data tell us about our institution? … about how well we fulfill the Standards? … about our capacity to collect, analyze and use important institutional data, especially data about student success and achievement? … about where and how we need to improve? Incorporate the data into the narrative. “You can see a lot just by looking.” Yogi Berra

33 33 Verification of distance education and correspondence education students Verification of transfer policy, including criteria for acceptance of transfer credit and a list of institutions with which the college has articulation agreements Verification of credit hour Student complaint policy Public Notification and Opportunity for Comment Implementation of the HEOA requires …

34 34 What about the credit hour? Credit awards are consistent with Commission policy and the course content, appropriate to the field of study, and reflect the level and amount of student learning. (4.34) Federal Definition of a Credit Hour: (1) One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out of class student work each week for approx. fifteen weeks for one semester or trimester hour of credit, or ten to twelve weeks for one quarter hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; - or - (2) At least an equivalent amount of work for other academic activities including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.

35 35 Credit Hour: Questions to address Does our institutional policy (or policies) address: Amount of instructional or contact time assigned and out-of-class work typically expected of a student? All delivery formats offered? For alternative formats, how learning outcomes and student achievement are related to the credit awarded? Are the expectations for student learning and workload appropriate for the credit hours awarded? Does our robust, diverse, and representative sample of syllabi reflect the credit hour policy? How are faculty informed about the credit hour policy?

36 36 Keys to a Successful Self-Study CandidAnalytical ConciseDistinctive ClearParticipatory Useful Mission-driven Evidence-based

37 Remember to … Keep the “study” in self-study Start with the evidence and the data forms Balance input, process, and outcomes Achieve Description-appraisal-projection not: Description- appraisal - projection Address each standard and area of emphasis, but write an integrated narrative Be candid Edit into one voice 37

38 38 And most importantly … Keep a sense of humor Have fun

39 39 Site visit Sunday afternoon - Wednesday morning 9-10 team members, from peer institutions, knowledgeable about the Standards Meetings galore! Including “open meetings” for faculty, staff, and students Team room, including (electronic) access to supporting documents Exit report

40 Team Workroom … aka Document Room Convenient and comfortable Documents to validate/support/expand self-study Robust, diverse, and representative sample of syllabi Computers and printer Electronic access 40

41 41 After the site visit Team writes a report Institution gets to (1) check draft report for factual accuracy and (2) respond to final report Team makes a confidential recommendation to the Commission

42 42 Commission Action Semester following site visit Commission reviews self-study, team report, confidential recommendation, institutional response to team report President and Team Chair attend Commission meeting Letter to President

43 43 Benefits of accreditation Systematic process of self-review Expertise of team members Become a part of a larger educational community Improved decision-making Assurance of quality to general public and to students Easier transfer of academic credit Students qualify for federal financial aid; college qualifies for federal and state grant programs

44 44 Other sources of information and assistance CIHE website CIHE staff Other colleges Google “NEASC self-study”

45 45 Questions … comments … observations? Patricia M. O'Brien SND Senior Vice President Commission on Institutions of Higher Education New England Association of Schools and Colleges 3 Burlington Woods, Suite 100 Burlington, MA 01803-4514 Phone: 781-425-7712 Fax: 781-425-1001 Thank you!

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