Strategic Planning in Higher Education: 10 Things to Know

Posted by Joe Bauman, M.S. on Aug 15, 2019 11:54:20 AM

Strategic planning can shape the future of a higher education institution, from effectively managing budgeted funds to driving continuous improvement efforts. Below, we outline ten ways your institution can get the most out of its strategic planning efforts.

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Topics: Continuous Improvement, Accreditation, Institutional Effectiveness, Strategic Planning

Assessment of Administrative Units and Support Services

Posted by Joe Bauman, M.S. on May 6, 2019 5:23:40 PM

Each institution generally has the flexibility to define its administrative and support departments as it sees fit. A good starting point is to define administrative and support departments based on the institution’s organization chart. If you choose to define administrative and support departments differently than those shown on the organization chart, just be sure to have a good (and documented) rationale for doing so – your peer reviewers will probably ask about it during your reaccreditation process.

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Topics: Continuous Improvement, Institutional Effectiveness, Assessment

HLC Accreditation: Preparing for Your Onsite Visit

Posted by Joe Bauman, M.S. on Apr 2, 2019 3:49:15 PM

So, your institution has an upcoming reaffirmation of accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission (HLC)? You’re in good company: the Higher Learning Commission is the largest regional accreditor in the United States, serving institutions in 19 states. Here are some tips to help you put your best foot forward and prepare for a successful reaffirmation.

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Topics: Accreditation, Institutional Effectiveness, Institutional Excellence

Assessing Student Learning Outcomes: Which Methods Are Most Successful?

Posted by Joe Bauman, M.S. on Mar 7, 2019 3:31:21 PM

There are many ways in which we can assess how well our programs are reaching their goals or outcomes. If we are trying to assess non-learning program outcomes, the method will depend on the outcome itself.

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Topics: Institutional Effectiveness, Institutional Excellence, Assessment

Assessment and Continuous Improvement in Higher Education

Posted by Joe Bauman, M.S. on Feb 13, 2019 7:12:00 AM

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.

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Topics: Continuous Improvement, Institutional Effectiveness, Assessment

Top Six Elements of a Strategic Plan

Posted by Joe Bauman, M.S. on Jan 7, 2019 3:25:17 PM

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.

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Topics: Continuous Improvement, Institutional Effectiveness, Budgeting, Strategic Planning

Comparing Institutional Effectiveness Standards, Part II

Posted by Joe Bauman, M.S. on Nov 8, 2018 11:37:00 AM

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.

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Topics: Accreditation, Institutional Effectiveness, Budgeting, Assessment

Comparing Institutional Effectiveness Standards, Part I

Posted by Joe Bauman, M.S. on Nov 1, 2018 11:27:41 AM

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.

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Topics: Accreditation, Institutional Effectiveness, Budgeting, Assessment

The Role of SPOL in a Wavering Higher Education Budget Climate

Posted by Crystal Braden, M.S. on Aug 31, 2018 10:53:00 AM

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.

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Topics: Institutional Effectiveness

Institutional Excellence - 5 Simple Keys To Success

Posted by Andrew Davies, CEO, SPOL on Aug 30, 2018 11:23:00 AM

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.

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Topics: Institutional Effectiveness, Institutional Excellence