It was more than a decade ago that the field of higher education started to focus on assessment. Educators were asking questions about what, and how much, students were learning throughout their experiences in higher education. At first, just assessing student learning and tracking the results was yeoman’s work.
Developing or updating a strategic plan for an institution of higher education is a substantial endeavor. Engaging colleagues in committee and subcommittee meetings, discussing the future direction of the institution, and coming to a consensus on goals to guide the institution for the life of the plan: these considerations are at the heart of the collaborative process that is strategic planning in higher education.
In our last post, we talked about what the seven accreditation regions in the U.S. have in common in terms of their standards regarding institutional effectiveness. Now let’s talk about the differences in how the regions address institutional effectiveness.
I had the opportunity to present a webinar to the members of OCAIR (Overseas Chinese Association for Institutional Research, https://ocair.org/). The topic was “Institutional Effectiveness in Higher Education: A Nationwide Perspective”. In the webinar, I compared and contrasted how institutional effectiveness is discussed in the standards and principles of the seven regional accrediting agencies in the United States.
As a professional in a field that serves higher education institutions daily, few things are more evident than the wavering budget climate in higher education.
I hear it so often:
“There isn’t budget for something like this.” “The state is cutting our funding.” “Enrollment is down and tuition is frozen.”
In these situations, software guiding planning and accreditation are often not seen as priorities.
This leaves me wondering:
“Is THIS the place to make cuts when the chips are down?” “Don’t people realize the importance of these things?”
The answers to these questions are a resounding and conflicting “No.” and “No.”
But how can I say this with authority? Because I’ve been there, done that, and feel your pain.
Topics: Institutional Effectiveness
The pursuit of institutional excellence is a school-wide commitment involving many dedicated stakeholders aligned by a common vision of continuous improvement and institutional effectiveness.