Presentation on theme: "The Board’s Role in Accreditation Michael F. Middaugh Associate Provost for Institutional Effectiveness University of Delaware Celine R. Paquette Trustee,"— Presentation transcript:
The Board’s Role in Accreditation Michael F. Middaugh Associate Provost for Institutional Effectiveness University of Delaware Celine R. Paquette Trustee, St. Michael’s College Winooski, Vermont
Trustees, as institutional stewards, have an obligation to ensure that a college or university operates efficiently and effectively, educates its students to be productive members of society, and strives in every dimension of its activity to fulfill the organization’s mission. Because accrediting bodies, particularly the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, have articulated standards that focus on these particular outcomes, there is a natural synergy between trusteeship and accreditation. The Board can use the accreditation process as a framework for assessing how well an institution is meeting its educational and societal mission.
The institution’s Mission Statement, which must be ratified by the Board of Trustees, is at the core of accreditation activity, Trustees have an obligation to ensure that the Mission Statement accurately reflects the institution’s core values. The Mission Statement should be devoid of clichés and jargon, and should address central value issues such as which markets are to be served by the institution; the balance between undergraduate and graduate instruction; emphasis on teaching, research, and service, etc. The Mission Statement drives assessment and strategic planning at the institution.
The Mission Statement provides valuable context for three specific areas for which Boards have oversight responsibility, and upon which compliance with MSCHE accreditation standards turns: Presence of a systematic program for assessing student learning outcomes. Presence of a systematic program for assessing institutional effectiveness. Presence of a strategic planning process that is informed by assessment data, and that drives institutional decisions, especially those related to the allocation of human and fiscal resources.
Assessment of Student Learning Institutions must provide multiple types of evidence that they are measuring student learning at the course, program, and institutional level. This entails a clear articulation of the range of measurable competencies that a student must be able to demonstrate in individual courses and upon completion of work in an academic major. It also entails measurement of general education competencies – critical thinking, quantitative reasoning, oral and written communication, and information literacy.
There is no “one size fits all” approach to assessment of learning across the disciplines None of these should be applied to evaluation of individual student performance for purposes of grading and completion/graduation status. 1. Standardized Tests General Education or Discipline Specific State, Regional, or National Licensure Exams 2.Locally Produced Tests/Items “Stand Alone” or Imbedded 3. Portfolios/Student Artifacts Collections of Students’ Work Can Be Time Consuming, Labor Intensive, and Expensive 4. Final Projects Demonstrate Mastery of Discipline and/or General Education 5. Capstone Experiences/Courses Entire Course, Portion of a Course, or a Related Experience (Internship, Work Placement, etc.)
Assessment of Institutional Effectiveness In addition to measuring student learning, can the institution provide multiple bodies of evidence that it is making the maximum use of its human and fiscal resources in support of its institutional mission, the core of which is the teaching/learning process. Institutions must choose metrics for demonstrating that it is meeting appropriate benchmarks for key performance indicators, and that it is addressing the needs of the full range of its constituencies
Non-Exhaustive List of Representative Institutional Effectiveness Assessments Admitted Student Questionnaire Entering Student Needs Assessment Survey Student Satisfaction Surveys Post-Graduation Student Follow-Up Academic Program Review Delaware Study of Instructional Costs and Productivity Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index Employee Satisfaction Survey Campus Climate Survey Fiscal Ratio Analysis Space Utilization Studies Etc.
Strategic Planning Trustees have an obligation to ensure that there is a formal strategic planning process at the institution that is on-going (as opposed to occurring only immediately prior to accreditation self study), and that is fully informed by an utilizes both assessments of student learning and institutional effectiveness for continuous improvement. Trustees need not be the strategic planners, but they certainly should be informed as to the results of the process, and formally endorse the final product.
Characteristics of Best Practice in Strategic Planning Good planning is broadly participatory. Good planning is mission-based. Good planning integrates academic, financial, human resources, and facilities planning. Good planning is measurable. Good planning is iterative.
Questions That All Trustees Should Ask Does the governance structure support the institution in pursuit of its mission? Does the administrative structure facilitate teaching and learning? Is the faculty appropriately credentialed in the various disciplines? Does the institution admit students whose academic preparation and curricular interests are consistent with the institution’s mission? Are academic and student support services in place to help students succeed in a manner consistent with the institution’s mission? Does the curriculum display sufficient content and rigor to ensure that graduating students possess the skills to succeed in their chosen field and to contribute to society in meaningful ways? In view of the emphasis on assessment, does the Board itself regularly engage in systematic self-assessment of its role and performance in institutional governance?