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NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Northwest Regional Accreditation: Principles, Practices, and Products Ronald L. Baker Executive Vice President Northwest.

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Presentation on theme: "NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Northwest Regional Accreditation: Principles, Practices, and Products Ronald L. Baker Executive Vice President Northwest."— Presentation transcript:

1 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Northwest Regional Accreditation: Principles, Practices, and Products Ronald L. Baker Executive Vice President Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

2 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Purpose Highlight accreditation principles; Articulate the evaluation process; and Provoke thought and promote dialogue on effective self-study practices.

3 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Types of Accreditation Regional (Institutional) Diverse characteristics and missions Comprehensive institutional review Mission-based criteria National (Institutional) Single-purpose or thematic mission Comprehensive institutional review Purpose-based criteria Specialized (Programmatic) Specific program or school Program-centered review Discipline-based criteria

4 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Definition Regional 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 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Scope Regional accreditation applies to the institution as a whole; not units or individual educational programs Is not partial Is not for a fixed period of time

6 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit 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 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit 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; and Use assessment results for improvement.

8 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit 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.

9 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Nutshell What? With What? So What? Now What?

10 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Recognition NWCCU is recognized as a reliable authority on educational quality by: U.S. Department of Education CHEA (Council for Higher Education Accreditation) Institutions of higher education State agencies Public

11 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Benefits of Accreditation Eligibility for HEA programs Eligibility for federal funds for categorical programs and services Fosters transfer of credit Continuous improvement from regular, systematic, and purposeful assessment

12 AK Regional Accrediting Agencies Guam American Samoa Micronesia Other Pacific Basin Countries in Asia Mexico District of Columbia Canal Zone Puerto Rico Virgin Islands

13 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Accredited Institutions Native/ Degree* Public Tribal Private Total A 56 71 64 B 11 ** 2 ** 7 20 ** M 14 0 27 ** 41 ** D 17 0 12 ** 29 ** 98 ** 9 ** 47 ** 154 *Highest Degree Offered **Includes Institutions Accredited at Lower Degree Level and Candidate at This Degree Level

14 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Candidate Institutions Native/ Degree* Public Tribal Private Total A 0 00 0 B 1 ** 0 2 3 ** M 1 0 0 1 D 0 0 2 2 2 ** 0 4 6 ** *Highest Degree Offered **Includes International Institution

15 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Geographic Distribution* A ** B ** M ** D ** Total Alaska 2 0 3 1 6 Idaho 32 2 3 10 Montana113 5 2 21 Nevada 13 2 3 9 Oregon143 16 10 43 Utah 42 4 4 14 Washington299 10 8 56 International 0 1 0 0 1 64 23 42 31 160 *Accredited and Candidate Institutions **Highest Degree Offered

16 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Board of Commissioners Baccalaureate/Graduate Institutions* Associate Institutions* General Public Institutions from Other Regions Chair NWCCU President * Minimum of Seven

17 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit 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 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Framework The 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 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Characteristics Accreditation 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.

20 Mission-Centered Standards

21 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit 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 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit 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 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit 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; and Use results for broad-based, continuous planning and evaluation.

24 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit 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 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit 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 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit 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 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit General Education Baccalaureate 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; and Literacy in the discourse or technology appropriate to the program of study. Outcomes should be stated in relationship to institutional mission and goals.

28 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Related Instruction Programs 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: Communication Computation Human Relations Additional topics as appropriate

29 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Related Instruction Related instruction content may be : Embedded within program curricula; or Taught in block units of instruction. Regardless of approach, it must be: Clearly identified; Pertinent to the program of study; and Taught by faculty who are clearly and appropriately qualified.

30 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Distance Education This 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 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Faculty Evaluation Institutions 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 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit 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 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit 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 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Query How does this talk grow corn? Hopi Saying

35 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Barometer Of Change You can judge your age by the amount of pain you feel when you come in contact with a new idea. Pearl Buck

36 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Shift in Expectations Outcomes Implied  Explicit What does that mean? Achievements Assumed  Assessed How do you know? Evidence Anecdotal  Verifiable Show me the data!

37 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Homo Academicus When the center of the universe is discovered, a lot of people will be disappointed to find they aren’t it. Bernard Bailey

38 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Challenge The 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 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Methodology Method 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 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Processes Analysis - 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 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Translation An effective self study evaluates: How units work; and How they work together.

42 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Characteristics Analysis Reductionistic Take Apart Isolate Answer Questions Knowledge of Function Synthesis Holistic Put Together Correlate Ask Questions Understanding of Purpose

43 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Knowledge By their structure the Standards foster analyses of major institutional functions, rather than a synthesis of those functions.

44 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Assessment Intentions Mission GoalsStrategies Plans Processes Capacity Resources InfrastructureAchievements Institutional Student Learning

45 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Understanding 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

46 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Synthesis Quality Educational InstitutionalStability Resources Operations Effectiveness Achievements PracticesSustainability Outcomes Existence

47 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit 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 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Steering Committee Responsibility Accreditation is a joint responsibility. You are not personally responsible for the accreditation status of your institution.

49 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Self-Study Goals Assess, 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 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Model Self-Study Characteristics Design is appropriate to the institution Process is inclusive; internally motivated with leaders committed to the process Critical review of mission, goals, practices Assesses and evaluates effectiveness in achieving mission & goals Report is data driven and analytic with a minimum of description Self-study outcomes inform planning

51 Power of Leverage At 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 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Role Of The Steering Committee Identify the “right” questions Motivate, encourage, support colleagues Design and translate the study into clearly defined structures, roles, and tasks Set and enforce a realistic schedule Establish clear communication channels Coordinate data collection

53 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Commendable Practice Culture-sensitive design Inclusive Internally motivated Integrated with institutional initiatives Evaluates intentions and achievements Analytic, data driven, evidence based Results inform and improve practice

54 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Design Strategies Outcomes-based strategy planning: Identify outcomes for the study Develop guiding framework Develop models for components Develop templates for data gathering Develop style sheets Reactionary strategy consequences: Move quickly to data collection Cope with inconsistent unwieldy data Wade through layers of ambiguity Focus on parts, rather than whole

55 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Conservation of Momentum Issue Synthesis might omit some input which may alienate some constituents Suggestions Provide many input/feedback opportunities Use final report as overarching framework Keep input intact at department level Use final report to reengage participants to advance efforts at the departmental level

56 Self-Study Calendar The 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 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Self-Study Report Thorough, 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 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Report Attributes Scholarly, readable, useful treatment Candid and direct disclosure of reality Clearly addresses accreditation criteria Analytic assessment of achievements Identifies strengths Identifies areas for improvement Draws evidence-based conclusions and judgments (not a walk in the woods with words) Articulates plans for improvement

59 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Suggestions For Practice Provide a glossary Be concise! (200-250 pages + appendices) Get to the point! Be direct and candid “Speak” in a common voice Flow should be smooth and logical Synthesize across units Proof final copy for errors

60 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Structure and Contents Preface Glossary of Terms Summary of institutional characteristics Major changes since last evaluation BRIEF! description of self-study process Scope of inclusion in the self study Goals of self study Address Eligibility Requirements

61 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Structure and Contents Executive Summary Succinct comprehensive evaluation Institutional context Summary of major findings Commendations and Recommendations Plans for improvement Progress to date

62 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Structure and Contents Standard Chapters Do not repeat support documents Be brief on intentions and descriptions Assess achievements and analyze data Supply evidence to support judgments Provide a summary, including: Major findings Commendations and Recommendations Plans for improvement Progress to date

63 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Structure and Contents Summary Chapter Institutional synthesis across Standards Major findings Commendations and Recommendations Plans for improvement Progress to date

64 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit 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 602.23 (b)

65 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit 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 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Role of Evaluation Committee Review the self-study report Conduct an onsite visit to validate information in the self-study report Evaluate the institution against the Commission’s accreditation criteria Analyze findings Prepare a written report Submit a confidential recommendation to the Commission

67 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Evaluator Characteristics An evaluator: Represents the Commission Volunteers his/her time Is from an out-of-state institution with similar characteristics Has specific area(s) of responsibility Has knowledge of the assigned area(s) Has completed Commission training

68 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Anatomy of the Visit Day 0 4:00 p.m. pre-visit meeting Day 1 Introductory Meeting Evaluation Activities Private Committee Meeting Day 2 Evaluation Activities Private Committee Meeting Day 3 Final Private Committee Meeting Chair Meets with President Exit Meeting

69 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit 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 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Use of Results Institutions 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 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit 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 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Commendations Commendations recognize noteworthy achievements of the institution.

73 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Recommendations Recommendations identify areas for immediate action by the institution because it: Does not comply with a standard for accreditation Complies with a standard, but improvement is required

74 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit 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

75 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Commission Actions Reaffirm Accreditation Request Progress Report Request Focused Interim Report/Visit Remove Sanction Defer Action Impose Sanction Terminate Accreditation or Candidacy

76 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Typical Weaknesses Incongruent mission, goals, & activities Lack of assessment and analysis No consequences from the self study Little, if any, use of external data Data not clearly tied to planning, assessment, or institutional effectiveness Unsupported statements of apparent fact Lack of synthesis across Standards

77 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit 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) Reflective Questions

78 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit 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) Reflective Questions

79 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Concluding Thoughts Good intentions don’t excuse poor results. Dirk Zeller Actions speak louder than words. Fran Lebowitz Never mistake motion for action. Ernest Hemingway If you’re going through hell, keep going. Winston Churchill

80 NWCCU Accreditation Preliminary Visit Questions?

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