Presentation on theme: "Northwest Regional Accreditation:"— Presentation transcript:
1 Northwest Regional Accreditation: Principles, Practices, and ProductsRonald L. BakerExecutive Vice PresidentNorthwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
2 Purpose Highlight accreditation principles; Articulate the evaluation process; andProvoke thought and promote dialogue on effective self-study practices.
3 Types of Accreditation Regional (Institutional)Diverse characteristics and missionsComprehensive institutional reviewMission-based criteriaNational (Institutional)Single-purpose or thematic missionPurpose-based criteriaSpecialized (Programmatic)Specific program or schoolProgram-centered reviewDiscipline-based criteria
4 DefinitionRegional accreditation is a voluntary, non-governmental, catalytic process of analytic self reflection and peer review that assures educational quality and encourages purposeful improvement through evaluations based on institutional mission, accepted standards of quality, and expectations of the public.
5 ScopeRegional accreditation applies to the institution as a whole; not units or individual educational programsIs not partialIs not for a fixed period of time
6 Evaluations Comprehensive decennial evaluation Regular interim evaluation at midpoint between comprehensive evaluations*Written Progress Report to address one or more issue*Written Focused Interim Report and onsite visit to address one or more issue*discretionary
7 Expectations Accredited institutions are expected to: Engage in ongoing planning that leads to accomplishment of identified outcomes;Evaluate how and how well outcomes are achieved; andUse assessment results for improvement.
8 Accreditation Assurances Intentions: The institution has clearly defined and appropriate educational objectives consistent with its mission and characteristics.Capacity: The institution has conditions and resources to achieve its objectives.Achievement: The institution is substantially accomplishing its mission and purpose.Sustainability: The institution is organized, staffed, and supported to continue to do so.
10 RecognitionNWCCU is recognized as a reliable authority on educational quality by:U.S. Department of EducationCHEA (Council for Higher Education Accreditation)Institutions of higher educationState agenciesPublic
11 Benefits of Accreditation Eligibility for HEA programsEligibility for federal funds for categorical programs and servicesFosters transfer of creditContinuous improvement from regular, systematic, and purposeful assessment
12 Regional Accrediting Agencies AKDistrict of ColumbiaCanal ZonePuerto RicoVirgin IslandsGuamAmerican SamoaMicronesiaOther Pacific BasinCountries in AsiaMexico
13 Accredited Institutions Native/Degree* Public Tribal Private TotalAB ** 2** ** M ** **D ** **98** 9** ** 154*Highest Degree Offered**Includes Institutions Accredited at Lower Degree Level and Candidate at This Degree Level
14 Candidate Institutions Native/Degree* Public Tribal Private TotalAB ** ** MD2** ***Highest Degree Offered**Includes International Institution
16 Board of Commissioners Baccalaureate/Graduate Institutions*Associate Institutions*General PublicInstitutions from Other RegionsChairNWCCU President* Minimum of Seven
17 Accreditation Criteria Eligibility Requirements - characteristics and conditions required for accreditation.Standards - criteria by which quality and effectiveness are evaluated.Related Policies - part of the Standards; provide further definition to the Standard.
18 FrameworkThe criteria form a flexible framework of qualitative, catalytic, non-prescriptive statements that enables institutions with divergent missions, philosophies, and characteristics to exhibit essential principles of quality and effectiveness.
19 CharacteristicsAccreditation criteria are not prescriptive. They do not:Stipulate planning or evaluation methods;Specify the nature of assessment data;Define "adequate”, “appropriate”, or “sufficient” since they are influenced by institutional characteristics/mission.
21 Key Areas Of Interest Institutional Planning and Effectiveness (Standard Element 1.B)Educational Program Planning & Assessment(Standard Element 2.B; Policy 2.2)General Education/Related Instruction(Policy 2.1)Distance Education(Policy 2.6)Advertising, Recruitment, and Representation of Accredited Status(Policy 3.1)
22 Key Areas Of Interest (continued) Faculty Evaluation(Policy 4.1)Governance System, Board, and Administration(Standard Elements 6.A, 6.B, 6.C)Financial Planning, Adequacy, and Management(Standard Elements 7.A, 7.B, 7.C)Contractual Agreements with External Organizations(Policy A-6)Teach-Out Responsibilities(Including Policy A-13 Teach-Out Agreements)
23 Institutional Planning/Effectiveness Each institution is expected to:Engage in ongoing planning to achieve its mission and goals;Evaluate how and how well it is accomplishing its mission and goals; andUse results for broad-based, continuous planning and evaluation.
24 Educational Assessment The institution's processes for assessing its educational programs are clearly defined, encompass all of its offerings, are conducted on a regular basis, and are integrated into the overall planning and evaluation plan. Expected learning outcomes are identified and published for each degree and certificate program.
25 Educational Assessment Regular and systematic assessment documents that students who complete programs, no matter where or how offered, have achieved these outcomes.The institution provides evidence that its assessment activities lead to the improvement of teaching and learning.
26 Student Information and Practices All candidate and accredited institutions, or individuals acting on their behalf, must exhibit integrity and responsibility in advertising, student recruitment, and representation of accredited status.
27 General EducationBaccalaureate and transfer associate degree programs must include a substantial core of collegiate level General Education with identifiable outcomes in:Written and oral communication;Quantitative reasoning;Critical analysis and logical thinking; andLiteracy in the discourse or technology appropriate to the program of study.Outcomes should be stated in relationship to institutional mission and goals.
28 Related InstructionPrograms of study for applied or specialized associate degrees or for certificate programs of 45 (q) / 30 (s) credits or more in length require recognizable a body of instruction in program-related areas of:CommunicationComputationHuman RelationsAdditional topics as appropriate
29 Related Instruction Related instruction content may be : Embedded within program curricula; orTaught in block units of instruction.Regardless of approach, it must be:Clearly identified;Pertinent to the program of study; andTaught by faculty who are clearly and appropriately qualified.
30 Distance EducationThis policy is intended to apply to the broadest possible definition of distance delivery of instruction.Degree programs and credit courses may or may not be delivered exclusively via telecommunications.
31 Faculty EvaluationInstitutions are expected to conduct some form of substantive performance evaluation of all faculty members at least once within each five-years of service. The evaluation should be collegial, participatory, and use multiple indices of assessment.
32 Contractual Agreements An accredited or candidate institution may not lend the prestige or authority of its accreditation to authenticate courses or programs offered under contract with other organizations unless it demonstrates oversight and responsibility for those offerings in compliance with Commission standards, principles, and practices.
33 Teach-Out Requirements An institution is required to provide equitable treatment of students if it closes or discontinues an educational program before all students enrolled in the discontinued program complete it.It may offer the remaining portion of the program for enrolled students or enter into a teach-out agreement for completion of the program through another institution.
34 How does this talk grow corn? QueryHow does this talk grow corn?Hopi Saying
35 Barometer Of ChangeYou can judge your age by the amount of pain you feel when you come in contact with a new idea.Pearl Buck
36 Shift in Expectations Outcomes Implied Explicit What does that mean? AchievementsAssumed AssessedHow do you know?EvidenceAnecdotal VerifiableShow me the data!
37 Homo AcademicusWhen the center of the universe is discovered, a lot of people will be disappointed to find they aren’t it.Bernard Bailey
38 ChallengeThe challenge is for us to see beyond the innumerable fragments to the whole, stepping back far enough to appreciate how things move and change as a coherent entity.Margaret Wheatley
39 MethodologyMethod consists of two correlative and complementary processes: 1) analysis of complex totalities into their parts; and 2) synthesis of parts into their totality.However, the two processes by themselves are imperfect and require each other for the full development of knowledge and understanding.Joseph L. Esposito
40 ProcessesAnalysis - Systematic detailed examination of elements to achieve knowledge of their properties.Synthesis - Integration of relationships among elements to understand their roles and the purpose of the whole in which they exist.
41 Translation An effective self study evaluates: How units work; and How they work together.
42 Understanding of Purpose CharacteristicsAnalysisReductionisticTake ApartIsolateAnswer QuestionsKnowledge of FunctionSynthesisHolisticPut TogetherCorrelateAsk QuestionsUnderstanding of Purpose
43 KnowledgeBy their structure the Standards foster analyses of major institutional functions, rather than a synthesis of those functions.
45 Understanding of the whole is not possible from analysis of its parts. Understanding is derived by synthesis of the roles or functions of the parts in the system in which they are contained.Russell Ackoff
47 Quality and Accountability Does the institution fulfill its mission?Are institutional goals achieved?Are intended outcomes realized?Do achievements match intentions?Are the achievements sustainable?How do you know?What is your evidence?
48 Steering Committee Responsibility Accreditation is a joint responsibility.You are not personally responsible for the accreditation status of your institution.
49 Self-Study GoalsAssess, analyze, evaluate, and improve planning and effectiveness in fulfilling institutional and educational missions;Evaluate and document educational quality and student achievement of outcomes;Document compliance with accreditation criteria;Accurately, candidly, directly identify strengths, challenges, and achievements.
50 Model Self-Study Characteristics Design is appropriate to the institutionProcess is inclusive; internally motivated with leaders committed to the processCritical review of mission, goals, practicesAssesses and evaluates effectiveness in achieving mission & goalsReport is data driven and analytic with a minimum of descriptionSelf-study outcomes inform planning
51 Power of LeverageAt cruising speed it is impossible to turn a large ship by applying direct pressure on the rudder. Placing a small movable extension on the rudder’s trailing edge compresses the water flowing past it to create a partial vacuum that pulls the rudder in the desired direction. Thus, a trimtab, small but strategically placed, determines the course of the vessel.
52 Role Of The Steering Committee Identify the “right” questionsMotivate, encourage, support colleaguesDesign and translate the study into clearly defined structures, roles, and tasksSet and enforce a realistic scheduleEstablish clear communication channelsCoordinate data collection
53 Commendable Practice Culture-sensitive design Inclusive Internally motivatedIntegrated with institutional initiativesEvaluates intentions and achievementsAnalytic, data driven, evidence basedResults inform and improve practice
54 Design Strategies Outcomes-based strategy planning: Identify outcomes for the studyDevelop guiding frameworkDevelop models for componentsDevelop templates for data gatheringDevelop style sheetsReactionary strategy consequences:Move quickly to data collectionCope with inconsistent unwieldy dataWade through layers of ambiguityFocus on parts, rather than whole
55 Conservation of Momentum IssueSynthesis might omit some input which may alienate some constituentsSuggestionsProvide many input/feedback opportunitiesUse final report as overarching frameworkKeep input intact at department levelUse final report to reengage participants to advance efforts at the departmental level
56 Self-Study CalendarThe importance of the calendar with specific completion dates cannot be over emphasized.Tasks will generally take all the time given, so assign reasonable amounts of time to each task and closely monitor progress in completing them.
57 Self-Study ReportThorough, comprehensive, and analytic appraisal of the institution.Clear, concise, and accurate high-definition snapshot of the institution including its history, current situation, and vision for the future.Evidence that results of the self evaluation are used to enhance its ability to achieve its mission and goals.
58 Report Attributes Scholarly, readable, useful treatment Candid and direct disclosure of realityClearly addresses accreditation criteriaAnalytic assessment of achievementsIdentifies strengthsIdentifies areas for improvementDraws evidence-based conclusions and judgments (not a walk in the woods with words)Articulates plans for improvement
59 Suggestions For Practice Provide a glossaryBe concise! ( pages + appendices)Get to the point!Be direct and candid“Speak” in a common voiceFlow should be smooth and logicalSynthesize across unitsProof final copy for errors
60 Structure and Contents PrefaceGlossary of TermsSummary of institutional characteristicsMajor changes since last evaluationBRIEF! description of self-study processScope of inclusion in the self studyGoals of self studyAddress Eligibility Requirements
61 Structure and Contents Executive SummarySuccinct comprehensive evaluationInstitutional contextSummary of major findingsCommendations and RecommendationsPlans for improvementProgress to date
62 Structure and Contents Standard ChaptersDo not repeat support documentsBe brief on intentions and descriptionsAssess achievements and analyze dataSupply evidence to support judgmentsProvide a summary, including:Major findingsCommendations and RecommendationsPlans for improvementProgress to date
63 Structure and Contents Summary ChapterInstitutional synthesis across StandardsMajor findingsCommendations and RecommendationsPlans for improvementProgress to date
64 Third Party Comment Notice US DOE regulations require an opportunity for third-party comment concerning an institution’s qualifications for accreditation or preaccreditation.The institution is expected to provide notification to its publics regarding the impending visit and send a verification copy of that public notice to the office of the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.34 CFR Section (b)
65 Preparing for the Visit Identify an institutional liaison for each member of the visiting committee.Publish Third Party Comment Notice.45 days prior to the visit, mail self-study documents to the Commission office and each Committee member.Organize exhibits in the Committee room.Gather computers and support resources in the Committee room.
66 Role of Evaluation Committee Review the self-study reportConduct an onsite visit to validate information in the self-study reportEvaluate the institution against the Commission’s accreditation criteriaAnalyze findingsPrepare a written reportSubmit a confidential recommendation to the Commission
67 Evaluator Characteristics An evaluator:Represents the CommissionVolunteers his/her timeIs from an out-of-state institution with similar characteristicsHas specific area(s) of responsibilityHas knowledge of the assigned area(s)Has completed Commission training
68 Anatomy of the Visit Day 0 4:00 p.m. pre-visit meeting Day 1 Introductory MeetingEvaluation ActivitiesPrivate Committee MeetingDay 2Day 3Final Private Committee MeetingChair Meets with PresidentExit Meeting
69 Following the Visit The institution may: Review a draft of the evaluation report to correct factual errors.Provide a written response to the evaluation report.Send individuals to represent it when its accreditation is considered
70 Use of ResultsInstitutions are expected to use their own self-study findings and findings by evaluators to implement actions that lead to improvements in institutional effectiveness and educational quality.
71 Considerations In taking action the Commission considers: Institutional report;Evaluation report;Institution’s written response to the evaluation report (if provided);Committee chair’s comments;Institutional representatives’ comments;Third-party comments;Confidential Recommendation.
72 CommendationsCommendations recognize noteworthy achievements of the institution.
73 RecommendationsRecommendations identify areas for immediate action by the institution because it:Does not comply with a standard for accreditationComplies with a standard, but improvement is required
74 Enforcement Of Standards (US DOE Recognition Criterion 34 CFR 602.20) If an institution is found to be out of compliance with any standard for accreditation, the agency must immediately initiate *adverse action against the institution or require it to take appropriate action to bring itself into compliance with the standard within two years, if the longest program it offers is at least two years in length.*Denial or withdrawal of accreditation or candidate status
76 Typical Weaknesses Incongruent mission, goals, & activities Lack of assessment and analysisNo consequences from the self studyLittle, if any, use of external dataData not clearly tied to planning, assessment, or institutional effectivenessUnsupported statements of apparent factLack of synthesis across Standards
77 Reflective Questions What do we believe? (Principles and Values) What are our intentions? (Mission and Purpose)What are our aspirations? (Vision)What do we expect to achieve? (Outcomes)What does success look like? (Indicators)How will we proceed? (Planning)
78 Reflective Questions What do we do? (Actions) How do actions link to planning? (Alignment)How well are intentions fulfilled? (Integrity)How do we know? (Assessment)How do we document findings? (Evidence)What do we do with results? (Improvement)
79 Concluding Thoughts Good intentions don’t excuse poor results. Dirk ZellerActions speak louder than words.Fran LebowitzNever mistake motion for action.Ernest HemingwayIf you’re going through hell, keep going.Winston Churchill