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Navigating Through a SACS Candidacy Application and Accreditation Review A Model for Crafting a Successful Compliance Certification Report.

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Presentation on theme: "Navigating Through a SACS Candidacy Application and Accreditation Review A Model for Crafting a Successful Compliance Certification Report."— Presentation transcript:

1 Navigating Through a SACS Candidacy Application and Accreditation Review A Model for Crafting a Successful Compliance Certification Report

2 Agenda 1.Introduction and Overview 2.Accreditation Overview 3.Compliance Certification 4.Assessment Basics 5.Strategies for Success 6.Questions, Comments, Conversation

3 Questions What is Accreditation? Who is SACS?

4 Basic Purposes of Accreditation Improve the quality of education a.Student learning b.The student experience c.Institutional effectiveness d.Effective use of resources Provide accountability a.Students (current and perspective) b.Employers c.Parents d.External funding sources e.Board of Trustees f.Transfer institutions g.Accrediting agencies

5 The overall goal of the review is to ADD VALUE to the institution Student Benefits:  Ease of transfer  Financial aid


7 Enrollment and Accreditation

8 What would you do with $10,000,000?

9 SACS Accreditation Outline 1.Compliance Certification a)Integrity b)Core Requirements c)Comprehensive Standards d)Federal Requirements 2.Quality Enhancement Plan 3.Commission Policies

10 Compliance Certification A. Integrity: 1 B. Core Requirements: 12(16) C. Comprehensive Standards: 14(67) D. Federal Requirements: 9(11)  95 Standards  92 Standards to respond to in CC  Evidence (meeting minimum standards)  Signed by President and Accreditation Officer

11 Compliance Certification Achieving widespread institutional participation for the compliance review is not a goal.

12 All Compliance Standards Are Not Created Equally Core Requirements have a heightened level of importance.

13 Compliance Certification Tools Master Calendar Responsibility Matrix Communications Plan Support from Leadership

14 Leadership and Division of Responsibility Compliance Certification  Small (influential) group  Administrative exercise QEP  Faculty led  Representation from all parts of the campus community

15 The Reaffirmation Process 1.Orientation by SACSCOC 2.Optional Advisory Visit 3.Submission of Compliance Certification 4.Off-Site Peer Review 5.Submission of Focused Report 6.Submission of QEP 7.On-Site Peer Review 8.Submission of Response Report 9.Review by COC

16 Offsite review is preliminary/advisory. You get three chances to get it right.

17 Student success is the highest priority.

18 The “Dirty Dozen” 1.CS 3.7.1 Faculty Competence 2.CS 3.5.1 College-Level Competencies 3.CS 3.4.1 Academic Program Approval 4.CR 2.11.1 Financial Resources 5.CS 3.3.1 Effectiveness – Expected Outcomes 6.CS 3.2.10 Administrative Staff Evaluations 7.CS 3.4.7 Consortia/Contractual Relationships 8.CR 2.5 Institutional Effectiveness 9.CS 3.7.2 Faculty Evaluations 10.CS 3.11.3 Physical Facilities 11.CS 3.10.1 Financial Stability 12.CS 3.2.13 Foundation Governance Standards/Requirements Most Often Cited

19 Comprehensive Standard 3.7.1 Faculty Competence  General policy (must adopt your own)  Exception policy  Documentation for exceptions  Need original transcripts  Must provide two terms of data  Applies to all FT and adjunct faculty  See SACS’ “Guidelines”

20 Core Requirement 2.5 Institutional Effectiveness The institution engages in ongoing, integrated, and institution-wide research- based planning and evaluation processes.

21 “The goal of institutional effectiveness planning is not to create more work for everyone but to ensure that the work being done is the best it can be.”

22 IE Basics  Strategic Plan  Annual Goals  IE Plan  KPIs  Tracking Documents  Unit Notebooks  Program Notebooks  Documentation of Use of Results  At least two cycles of evidence

23 TSC Institutional Goals/Priorities I.Pathways II.Success III.Community Engagement IV.Institutional Effectiveness

24 Institutional Effectiveness: The comparison of results achieved to goals intended.

25 Planning and Evaluation is required in ALL areas. This is not stated but it is necessary. Need to provide evidence that you use results to make continuous improvements on every level (institutional, program, course, student).

26 Administrator Dean Chair Program Coordinator Director Faculty Academic Support Staff Student Services Support Staff Administrative Services Support Staff

27 Comprehensive Standard 3.3.1 Institutional Effectiveness The institution identifies expected outcomes, assesses the extent to which it achieves these outcomes, and provides evidence of improvement based on analysis of the results.

28 The 3.3.1 Series 1.Educational Programs 2.Administrative Support Services 3.Academic and Student Support Services 4.Research 5.Community/Public Service

29 Percentage of institutions cited for non-compliance on CS 3.3.1? 1.66% 2.56% 3.46% 4.36%

30 Program / Student Learning Outcome Assessment Methodology Assessment Targets & Results Use of Results / Improvements 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

31 Program Goal Assessment Methodology Assessment Targets & Results Use of Results / Improvements 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

32 Unit / Department Goal Assessment Methodology Assessment Targets & Results Use of Results / Improvements 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.


34 Avoid the use of “Generic” Success Targets Increase Improve Strengthen Enhance Heighten Elevate

35 Alignment

36 Academic Outcomes: Program Reviews (not SLOs)  Program Goals  Enrollment  Macro Indicators: retention rates, placement rates, transfer rates, licensure, graduates, employer/student/faculty satisfaction, advisory committee notes, etc.  Student profile  Program demand  Cost-benefit analysis  Credit and contact hours generated  Productivity measures

37 Student and Administrative Affairs Program Review  Unit mission and goal statements  Student profile  Measures of demand/traffic/utilization  Efficiency  Effectiveness  Contribution and impact  Satisfaction measures  Cost-benefit analysis  End-of-year Report  Peer Reviews  Performance/quality indicators  Evidence of continuous improvement

38 “Sure, the students like your programs and services, but what evidence do you have that what you are doing is making a difference?”

39 Comprehensive Standard 3.5.1 College-Level Competencies The institution identifies college-level general education competencies and the extent to which students have attained them.

40 TSC General Education Requirements Communication I (6 hours) Communication II (6 hours) Mathematics (3 hours) Natural Science (8 hours) Humanities/ Visual & Performing Arts (6 hours) History (6 hours) Government (6 hours) Social & Behavioral Sciences (3 hours) Physical Education (4 hours) 48 Total Credit Hours

41 “Products” of Higher Education 1.Cognitive Development 2.Behavioral Development 3.Affective Development

42 Knowledge Skills Abilities Attitudes Values Behaviors

43 SLO = ? 1.Slovenia 2.Student Life Organization 3.Sore Losers Organization 4.Special Liquor Order 5.Student Learning Outcomes

44 Student Learning Outcomes defined: The knowledge, skills and abilities a student has attained at the end (or as a result) of his or her engagement in a particular set of higher education experiences.

45 Good learning outcomes are: 1.Learner-centered 2.Key to the course/program mission 3.Meaningful (to students and faculty) 4.Measurable

46 Remember, student achievement is not the same as student learning.

47 Tips on Writing SLOs 1.Identify what the student should learn: a.What should the student be expected to know? b.What should the student be expected to be able to do? c.How is a student expected to be able to think? 2.Try to keep the outcomes to a simple sentence. 3.Be as specific as possible. 4.Use active verbs that describe an observable or identifiable action. 5.Identify success criteria (proficiency expected). 6.Think about how you will measure (documentation, artifacts, evidence).

48 Phrases to Avoid Appreciation for… Acquainted with… Awareness of… Capable of… Comprehension of… Conscious of… Familiar with… Interested in… Knowledge of… Knowledgeable about… Understanding of…

49 Comprehensive Standard 3.4.1 Academic Program Approval The institution demonstrates that each educational program for which academic credit is awarded is approved by the faculty and the administration.

50 Core Requirement 2.11.1 Financial Resources a)Institutional audit b)Management letter c)Statement of financial position of unrestricted net assets d)Annual approved budget

51 Comprehensive Standard 3.2.10 Administrative Staff Evaluations The institution evaluates the effectiveness of its administrators on a periodic basis.

52 *

53 On-Site Mandatory Reviews  2.8 Faculty  2.10 Student Support Services  3.2.8 Qualified Admin/Acad Officers  Institutional Effectiveness  3.4.3 Admissions Policies  3.4.11 Academic Program Coordination  3.10.3 Financial Aid Audits  3.11.3 Physical Facilities  3.13.1 Policy Compliance  4.1 Student Achievement  4.2 Program Curriculum  4.3 Publication of Policies  4.4 Program Length  4.5 Student Complaints  4.6 Recruitment Materials  4.7 Title IV Program Responsibilities  4.8 Distance and Correspondence Education  4.9 Definition of Credit Hours

54 Assessment Defined The systemic collection, review, and use of information about educational programs undertaken for the purpose of improving student learning and development – Ted Marchese


56 Assessment Helps  Reinforce or emphasize the mission of your unit  Improve a program's quality or performance  Inform planning  Inform decision-making  Evaluate programs and personnel  Assist in the request for additional funds  Assist in the reallocation of resources  Assist in the meeting of reaccreditation requirements  Celebrate successes  Create a culture of continuous improvement

57 “Assessment turns colleges from being teacher-centered to be student- and learning- centered”

58 Basic Questions Guiding Assessment 1.What should students/clients gain from our unit services and experiences? 2.How can we document and evaluate how well we are providing these services? 3.What changes should we make to improve? 4.Do the improvements we make work?

59 Four Levels of Assessment in the Academy 1.Institutional Level 2.Program / Departmental Level –General education –Degree programs (major field of study) –Developmental education –Distance education –Continuing education 3.Course Level 4.Individual Student Level

60 Distance Education (issue of equivalency) Developmental Education (performance in next level course)

61 Process for measuring outcomes 1.Create written statements of measurable outcomes. 2.Choose the evaluation tool. 3.Set standards for levels of performance on each objective. 4.Identify observable factors that provide the basis for assessing which level of performance has been achieved. 5.Set benchmarks. 6.Evaluate performance, assemble data, and report results. 7.Use results to make improvements.

62 Non-Academic Evidence: Direct Measures Productivity Metrics Efficiency and Effectiveness Metrics Needs Assessment Ratio and Financial Analyses Utilization Statistics Error Rates Turnaround Time Wait Time Value-added Measures (pre- and post-testing, time-series analyses) Case Studies and Simulations Rubrics

63 Academic Evidence: Direct Measures Comprehensive/capstone examinations or assignments Licensing examinations Professionally judged performances/demonstrations Portfolios (documented learning experiences) Value-added measures (pre- and post-testing, time-series analyses) Standardized tests (i.e., CAAP, MAPP, CLA) Case studies Simulations Capstone experiences Rubrics

64 Faculty Concerns “We already assess: grades.” “This is additional work.” “I’m too busy.” “This violates my academic freedom.” “Degree attainment demonstrates that SLOs are attained.” “I don’t know how.” “When will this go away?”

65 Why aren’t course grades enough? Issue of consistency between instructors (non-standardized grading practices). Need meaningful data across sections. Grades may reflect student behaviors such as class participation, attendance, cooperation, missed assignments, etc.

66 Evidence – Indirect Measures Client Satisfaction Community Satisfaction Student Satisfaction Alumni Satisfaction Employee Satisfaction Retention Rates Placement Rates (employment or transfer institutions) Focus Groups Exit Interviews Advisory Committee Recommendations Reflective Essays

67 Structure of Measurements Employ multiple measures –Quantitative –Qualitative –Formative –Summative Triangulate results Establish baseline data –Longitudinal –Comparative Set realistic goals Define -> Measure -> Improve

68 Make friends with your IR/IE staff


70 Documentation Rule If it is not documented then it did not happen.

71 SACS Major Changes College-Level Competencies Faculty Credentialing (guidelines) IE: Use of Results (closing the loop) IE: Student Learning Outcomes Policy Compliance Distance Education

72 Other Areas That Require Attention 1.Institutional Mission (CR 2.4, CS 3.1.1) 2.Number of Full-Time Faculty (CR 2.8) 3.Qualified Academic/Administrative Officers (CS 3.2.8) 4.Control of Intercollegiate Athletics (CS 3.2.11) 5.Fund-Raising Activities (CS 3.2.12) 6.Academic Program Coordination (CS 3.4.11) 7.25% Rule (CS 3.5.2) 8.Representation Status with COC (CS 3.14) 9.Student Complaints (FR 4.5) 10.Recruitment Materials (FR 4.6)

73 Resources  SACS  Handbooks / Monographs  Website:  Liaison  CHEA  Website:  Colleagues

74 Budget  On-site team  Travel  Food  Hotel  Misc.  Printing & copying  Surveys  Consulting  Stipends and release time

75 Resource Room  Compliance certification material and documentation  Clerical and technical support  Computers  Internet connectivity  Printer  Copier and shredder  Office supplies  Phones (and long distance access codes)  Local website  Name badges  Food and drinks  Campus maps  On-campus contact information On-site and at hotel

76 Application Preparedness Tips 1. Make effort an institutional priority 2. Start early (catalog and handbook items, credentialing, course and program goals, college rules/policies) and stay on schedule 3. Review material on SACSCOC website 4. Develop a SACS educational campaign for entire college/university community (front & back end) 5. Provide faculty and staff with assistance (assessment) 6. Take a one-college/university perspective (consistency is key) 7. Review and communicate mission statement 8. Prepare for Politics (and resistance) 9. Embrace participation and inclusiveness 10. Develop a responsibility matrix The “Top 30”

77 Application Preparedness Tips 11. Understand each question / standard 12. Write from the reader’s perspective (write to the test) 13. Remember that this is an exercise in technical writing 14. Drown them with data 15. Centralize documentation (resource/war room) 16. Edit final document (make sure report is user friendly) 17. Put your final report in one voice 18. Report should be self-contained 19. Do not make reader “search” for answers (they won’t do it) 20. Use no future tense / do not tell SACS what you plan to do (not a confessional) The “Top 30”

78 Application Preparedness Tips 21. Develop a master calendar and set timelines that are before real deadlines 22. Encourage an electronic mode of delivery 23. Avoid documentation overkill (no data dump) 24. Interpret charts / graphs for readers 25. Have an experienced outsider review your materials 26. Provide orientation to onsite review team (tell them what they will find) 27. Learn from the experiences of others 28. Your colleagues will miss deadlines and annoy you – be relentless 29. Maintain a sense of humor and make it fun 30. ? The “Top 30”

79 Questions

80 Presenter Dr. Thomas Cleary Vice Chancellor Alamo Colleges: San Antonio, Texas 210-485-0400

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