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Accountability in Higher Education Belle S. Wheelan, Ph.D. Commission on Colleges--SACS.

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Presentation on theme: "Accountability in Higher Education Belle S. Wheelan, Ph.D. Commission on Colleges--SACS."— Presentation transcript:

1 Accountability in Higher Education Belle S. Wheelan, Ph.D. Commission on Colleges--SACS

2 Challenges Only 60% of American students graduate from high school in the south (70% nationally) By 2010, we will need 2 million more scientists and engineers and 2.4 million more workers with key manufacturing and production skills Currently, shortages in health care fields, construction, plumbers, machinists, etc.

3 Challenges cont’d Students lack skills in basic math, science, information technology, critical thinking and analytical skills, and writing Fewer visas are being issued resulting in a shortage of foreign workers in some areas Baby boomer retirements will worsen the shortage of workers

4 Challenges cont’d Expanding global competition Changes in American labor markets Exploding growth of knowledge Innovations in technology Increased Demands for higher skills

5 RESULT Our competitiveness as a nation will mean: –Fewer innovations –Jobs being sent overseas –Fierce competition for competent workers –Increase in wages to be paid because of competition for workers

6 How to Respond Train more women in non-traditional areas Work with minority students while still in the K- 12 system to ensure they are college ready Develop strategies that ensure students will matriculate through college to graduation Link courses thematically Promote service learning

7 National Conversation (Spellings Commission) Access Affordability Private loans vs federal aid Accountability –Student learning outcomes –National Tracking System Transparency –Graduation rates –Job Placement Rates

8 Activities After Commission Report Secretary accepted the Report in September 06 Public hearings on need for negotiated rule-making process in Oct Meeting of accrediting community in Nov Negotiated rule-making in March, April and May Summit in March 2007 Negotiations Failed Senate approves Reauthorization of HEA House still to vote— New round of negotiated rule-making--2008

9 Responses to Report ETS Report, “A Culture of Evidence: Postsecondary Assessment and Learning Outcomes” NASLGCU and AAU’s ASPA CHEA Big Six

10 Current National Issues (Post Spellings Commission) Identification and Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes Use of Assessment Results Transfer of Academic Credits Greater Transparency Cost/Financial Aid Accountability

11 History of Accreditation Based on philosophy that “a free people can and ought to govern themselves through a representative, flexible, and responsive system.”

12 Purpose of Accreditation Signifies that “an institution has a purpose appropriate to higher education and has resources, programs, and services sufficient to accomplish and sustain that purpose.” Indicates that an institution maintains clearly specified educational objectives that are consistent with its mission and appropriate to the degrees it offers, and that it is successful in achieving its stated objectives.”

13 Principles of Accreditation Integrity—honest and open Thoughtful and principled judgment Rigorous application of requirements Context of Trust Voluntary participation Self-regulatory process (peer review)

14 Process Provides an assessment of an institution’s effectiveness in the fulfillment of its mission, its compliance with the requirements of its accrediting association, and its continuing efforts to enhance the quality of student learning and its programs and services Stimulates evaluation and improvement Provides continuing accountability to the public

15 Issues Reviewed During Accreditation Process Fiscal Resources Governance Planning and Assessment Student Learning Outcomes Faculty Curriculum Support Services

16 Assessment Strategies Benchmarking Increase in the use of data to make decisions about personnel, curriculum, etc. Types of Assessments –NSSE –CCSSE –CAAP –CLA

17 Assessment Strategies cont’d Portfolios In-house surveys Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) Academic Quality Improvement Project (AQIP)

18 SO WHAT? Strong need to expose students to the broadest view of the world as it relates to each discipline Ensure graduates have specific, demonstrated and measurable competencies in the discipline, as well as applied and soft skills

19 SO WHAT?? Ensure that the curriculum you design fosters competency in the areas of reading, writing, math, science, technology, global integration, critical thinking, teamwork, ethics, diversity and life long learning Provide proof that your students can perform and, if they can’t, ways to remediate their weaknesses

20 Contact Information Belle S. Wheelan, Ph.D


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