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Mi tesis de Ph.D. en Educacion Superior, titulada: "CARACTERISTICAS DE LO DE LAS CARRERAS UNIVERSITARIAS DE CALIDAD...:

Mi tesis de Ph.D. en Educacion Superior, titulada: "CARACTERISTICAS DE LO DE LAS CARRERAS UNIVERSITARIAS DE CALIDAD...:

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Mónica urigüen tesis completa Mónica urigüen tesis completa Document Transcript

  • 1 ATTRIBUTES OF QUALITY PROGRAMSIN UNIVERSITIES IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES: CASE STUDIES OF TWO PRIVATE UNIVERSITIES IN ECUADOR AND BEYOND By Mónica I. Urigüen, Doctor of Philosophy (Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis) at the UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON 2005 1
  • 2 ABSTRACTThis study sought to identify the key attributes of high-quality programs with an eyetoward helping developing countries such as Ecuador advance program quality.The dissertation is divided into five chapters: 1) studying high-quality programs; 2)literature review of attributes of high-quality programs; 3) method, to identify programattributes that influence student learning outcomes, I used grounded theory; 4) findings(the data for this qualitative study came from 60 interviewees); and 5) conclusions andrecommendations. Attributes of High-Quality ProgramsCluster One Highly Cluster Two Cluster Three Cluster Four Cluster Five Qualified Learning-Centered Interactive Teaching Connected Program Adequate Resources Participants Cultures and Learning Requirements1. Highly 3. Shared Program 7. Integrative 9. Planned Breadth 11. Support for Qualified Direction learning: Theory and Depth Students Faculty Focused on with Practice, Course Work 12. Support for2. Highly Learning Self with 10. Tangible Faculty Qualified 4. Real-World Subject Products 13. Support for Students Learning 8. Exclusive Campus Experiences Tutoring and Infrastructure 5. Reading- Mentoring Centered Culture 6. Supportive and Risk-Taking EnvironmentWhile I used grounded theory, my study was guided by Haworth and Conrad‘s (1997)―Engagement Theory of High-Quality Programs.‖ Eleven of the attributes of high-quality programs are closely connected to Haworth and Conrad‘s theory and the othertwo attributes—real-world learning experiences and a reading-centered culture—makethe signature theoretical contributions of my study. Real-world learning experiencesencourage the active involvement of stakeholders in designing curricula with real-world 2
  • 3learning experiences that result in positive student outcomes. The second attribute—areading-centered culture—has never before been identified in the literature.There are four key differences between Haworth and Conrad‘s theory and the theorydeveloped in this study. In my theory, I found that four key attributes are even moreimportant in Ecuador and, possibly, other developing countries: highly-qualifiedfaculty, highly-qualified students, reading-centered cultures, and real-world learningexperiences.If Latin American universities implement my recommendations, particularly inEcuadorian universities, I envision a better future for our universities. That is, LatinAmerican universities will become accountable to society by guaranteeing their studentshigh-quality programs, which will assure more sustainable development within eachcountry. CONTENTSPreface…………………………………………………………………………………vAcknowledgements ……………………………………………………………………viChapter OneIntroduction.………………………………………………………………………High-Quality Programs in Higher Education: Program Quality Matters……………Purpose of This Study…………………………………………………………………Past and Present University Education in Latin America…………………………….Higher Education in Developing Countries ………………………………………….Higher Education in Latin American Universities since the 1980s…………………..Integration Process of Latin American Universities………………………………….Move toward More Liberal Education………………………………………………..Recent Efforts to Improve Quality Programs in Latin American Universities……….Ecuadorian Universities: Reforms and Changes………………………………………Chapter TwoLiterature Review…………………………………………………………………… 3
  • 4Conceptualizations of Quality …………………………………………………Views and the Major Attributes of High-Quality Programs………………………….The Engagement Theory of High-Quality Programs…………………………………Actions to Implement the Attributes of the Engagement Theory……………………. a. Cluster One: Diverse and Engaged Participants………………………… b. Cluster Two: Participatory Cultures…………………………………… c. Cluster Three: Interactive Teaching and Learning……………………… d. Cluster Four: Connected Program Requirements……………………… e. Cluster Five: Adequate Resources……………………………………………A Framework for Developing and Sustaining High-Quality Programs………………Curricula Planning and Assessment Matter in High-Quality Programs………………Assessing Quality Programs…………………………………………………………..Review of the Literature on Quality Programs in Developing Countries…………….Quality Education for Al………………………………………………………………Quality Programs in Ecuador………………………………………………………….Forces that Influence the Ecuadorian Higher Education System……………………… a. External Forces………………………………………………………………… b. Internal Forces………………………………………………………………….Conclusion………………………………………………………………………………Chapter ThreeMethod…………………………………………………………………………………Purpose of The Study…………………………………………………………………...Method…………………………………………………………………………………Grounded Theory………………………………………………………………………Multicase Study Design………………………………………………………………..Interview Process………………………………………………………………………Trustworthiness………………………………………………………………………Further Tasting of the Attributes of High-Quality Programs ………………………….Sampling Strategy and Procedures……………………………………………………...Theoretical Sensitivity………………………………………………………………….Ethics……………………………………………………………………………………Selection of Programs…………………………………………………………………..Selection of Interviewees within Programs……………………………………………. 4
  • 5Participants……………………………………………………………………………..Data Analysis…………………………………………………………………………..Interview Process and Protocols……………………………………………………….Interview Questions……………………………………………………………………Field Notes Taking……………………………………………………………………..Limitations of This Study……………………………………………………………….Chapter FourFindings………………………………………………………………………………..Attributes of High-Quality Programs in Latin American Universitiesand in Ecuadorian Universities (Actions and Positive Outcomes)…………………Cluster One: Highly Qualified and Engaged Participants:……………………………- Highly Qualified Faculty……………………………………………………………- Highly Qualified Students…………………………………………………………Cluster Two: Learning-Centered Cultures…………………………- Shared Program Direction Focused on Learning………- Real-World Learning Experiences…………………………………………- Reading-Centered Culture…………………………………………………………- Supportive and Risk-Taking Environments…………………Cluster Three Interactive Teaching and Learning…- Integrative Learning: Theory with Practice, Self with Subject………………- Exclusive Tutoring and Mentoring…………………………………………………Cluster Four: Connected Program Requirements……………………- Planned Breadth and Depth Course Work…………………………………- Tangible Products…………………………………………………………Cluster Five: Adequate Resources…………………- Support for Students ……………………………………………- Support for Faculty……………………………………………………- Support for Campus Infrastructure………………Chapter FiveConclusions and Recommendations………………………………………………Support for the Theory in the Literature…………………………………………….Contributions of the Theory of High-Quality Programs……………………………. 5
  • 6High-Quality Programs in Latin American Universities: Key Differences in Mission ofthe Universities and the Attributes of Quality Programs ……………………………Recommendations……………………………………………………………………Appendix A:Attributes of High Quality in Latin American and in Ecuadorian Universities……..University-Wide Educational LeadershipCluster One: University Wide Educational Leadership………………………………Interdisciplinary Problem-Base Research Teams……………………………………Solid Connections between Society and the University ..…………Conclusion and Recommendations ..…………………………………………………Bibliography…………………………………………………………………………...viiList of TablesTable 1: Five Clusters and Seventeen Attributes of High-Quality Program……Table 2: Criteria for Evaluating Academic Programs……………………………Table 3: Ecuadorian Universities in Light of Turbulent External and Internal Environments…………………………………………………………Table 4: Interviewees that Participated in this Study…………………………Table 5: Attributes of High-Quality Programs in Latin American and in Ecuadorian Universities……………………………………………Table 6: Attributes of High-Quality Higher Education Institutions In Latin America and in Ecuadorian Universities …………………… 6
  • 7 PREFACEWhat does quality mean in terms of higher education? What attributes are found inhigh-quality programs? How can universities in developing countries, especially inEcuador, advance quality programs? This dissertation sought to identify the keyattributes of high-quality programs with an eye toward helping developing countriessuch as Ecuador advance program quality.The dissertation is divided into five chapters. The first chapter advances the need forstudying high-quality programs, especially in universities in developing countries suchas in Ecuador. The first chapter also provides an overview of the higher educationsystem in Latin America and in Ecuador. The second chapter provides a literaturereview of attributes of high-quality programs. The third chapter describes the qualitativeresearch method that I used in my research. In order to identify program attributes thatinfluence student learning outcomes, I used grounded theory, an inductive approach inwhich a theory is generated based on the data I collected. Like Haworth and Conrad(1997), I used a ―positioned subject‖ approach that grounded my research in theperspectives of diverse stakeholders (administrators, faculty, students, alumni, andemployers). Chapter four presents my findings. The data for this qualitative study camefrom 60 interviewees: 48 interviewees were from Ecuador, one interviewee was fromUnited States, and 11 interviewees were from other Latin American countries. Theinterviews were conducted at two different times in two different countries: in Ecuadorduring December 2001 and January 2002, and in Costa Rica during June and July 2003.The fifth chapter advances my conclusions and recommendations. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTSI offer my sincere thanks to all those persons in universities and private spheres whoallowed me to wander into their lives. Their reflections on the attributes of high-qualityprograms are what made this dissertation inspiring to write. Also, I must thank my dearhusband, Cesar, and my beloved children Edgar, Melany, and Karina, for their constantemotional support and encouragement to culminate this important stage of our lives.Being far from them and from home has not been an easy experience; however, through 7
  • 8this process we all have grown stronger. I want to acknowledge the support of myfamily because their care has been the key factor in completing my Ph.D. In addition, Iwould like to express my appreciation to my relatives and friends for caring for myfamily while I was away from home. I especially thank my mother and father.I would like to express my appreciation to Professor Clifton Conrad, my dissertationdirector, for his insightful teaching, constructive criticisms, and editing on mydissertation; and to the other members of my dissertation committee: Professor AlanKnox, Professor Allen Phelps, Professor Jerlando Jackson, and Professor DianaFrantzen.Finally, I am grateful to the following institutions that participated in my study: TheEcuadorian Higher Education Council (CONESUP), Universidad San Francisco deQuito (USFQ), Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador (PUCE), and mycolleagues from PAG1 53, INCAE 2003. CHAPTER ONEA movement toward increasing the quality and accountability of Ecuadorianuniversities has been fueled by a number of concerns such as decline in the quality ofprograms, deteriorating communication within the society and between all highereducation institutions and the State, a rising number of under-prepared students, and thelack of national and international credibility of Ecuadorian universities.The animating intent of this study is to contribute to the understanding of high-qualityprograms in developing countries, especially in Ecuador.High-Quality Programs in Higher Education: Program Quality MattersWhy is there a need for quality in higher education? What does program quality have todo with students‘ development and growth? The principal reason for studying high-1 PAG: Programa de Alta Gerencia, Costa Rica, INCAE. 8
  • 9quality programs is that higher education plays a significant role in improvingindividual lives as well as society. Therefore, establishing high-quality programs iscritical. Studying quality programs in developing countries is especially importantbecause the pivotal goal of education is preparing students for roles in which they cancontribute to the development of their societies.Purpose of This StudyMy study was guided by the overall question: What program attributes in universitiesin developing countries contribute to positive learning outcomes for students? In regardsto identifying attributes, I addressed two sub-questions: 1. What actions do stakeholders engage in to develop the attributes? 2. What effects do these actions have on improving students‘ learning outcomes?Past and Present University Education in Latin AmericaIn Latin America, the first universities were established in the late sixteenth- and earlyseventeenth-centuries. For a considerable period of time, universities taught post-secondary and religious courses. According to the chronicler Diego Vasquez, the firstuniversity of the ―New World‖ was founded in the Dominican Republic in 1583. In1551, the Universities of Lima and Mexico were founded. In 1586, the first Ecuadorianuniversity was founded: Universidad de San Fulgencio in Quito. In 1622, the Jesuitsestablished the Universidad de San Gregorio in Quito. Finally, between 1686 and1688,2 the Dominicos established the Universidad de Santo Tomás de Aquino in Quito,(Urigüen, M., 1997: 4). By the end of 17th century, the ―Old World‖ had only 16universities. When Harvard College was founded in 1636, Latin America already had 13universities – a number that rose to 31 after Latin America‘s independence fromSpanish control in the early 19th Century.In brief, the colonial university was created within the framework of the cultural policyimposed by the Spanish Empire. Its mission was to tend to the needs of the crown, the2 Malo, H. (1984: 30). Hurtado, O. (1992: 19). 9
  • 10church, and the upper classes of society. Native people were admitted as ―exceptions‖when they were related to members of the ruling classes.The Universidades de Salamanca and Alcalá de Henares, the two most famous colonialSpanish universities, were the models for universities in Latin American countries.Later, during 1918, the Cordoba Reform Movement took place in Argentina andestablished the principle of co-governance.3 Co-governance has arguably restricted theadvance in quality programs because of significant conflicts between universityadministration and political leaders.Independence of Latin America from Spain gave new direction to higher educationbased on the revolutionary ideology of the French Revolution and the NapoleonicModel. Among the key features of the Napoleonic Model and the Cordoba ReformMovement‘s principles are: 1) the emphasis on professional training; 2) the separationof teaching from research; 3) open admission; 4) free tuition to all students; and 5) thecentralization of administration or what is known as university bureaucratization.During the decades after the establishment of the Cordoba Reform Movement, openadmission and free tuition to all students took place at public universities. These twoCordoba Reform principles resulted in a massive increase in students and subsequentlow quality standards that jeopardized quality programs. To illustrate, in LatinAmerican universities the number of students increased from 1.6 million students in1970 to 5.9 million in 1984. The number of students at the Universidad Central inQuito, the largest university in Ecuador, increased from 11,000 students in 19674 to43,000 students in 1972 as a result of the student movement that took place atUniversidad de Guayaquil. A similar situation occurred throughout the country. 5 ―In3 Co-governance, a Cordoba principle, is the conception of a university‘s governance equally integratedby faculty, students, and administrators.4 On May 29, 1967 the most important student movement toward free admission took place. During thatstudent movement, 29 students were killed at Casona Universitaria – Universidad de Guayaquil.5 Uriguen, M. (1997: 16). 10
  • 111982 universities had 134,000 students,‖6 and ―by 1994 public universities andpolytechnic schools had more than 220,000 students.‖7Since 1950, several new private universities have been founded in order to ensurequality programs that were being jeopardized by open admission and free tuition. Someof the actions that private universities took to guaranty quality programs were toimplement admission tests and faculty hiring policies aimed at attracting faculty withoutstanding academic credentials.Simon Schwartzman (1991: 372) presents examples of past and present universityeducation in Latin America: Brazil changed its legislation for higher education in 1968, ending with the traditional chair system and opening the way for graduate education, the strengthening of academic departments and the creation of research institutes. Colombia followed similar lines. Chile introduced a very ambitious project of regulating higher education through market mechanisms and institutional differentiation in 1981. In Argentina the military stimulated the creation of new universities in the provinces, the expansion of non-university tertiary education and the beginning of a private sector. University autonomy returned with civilian rule in 1984, and the universities went through a "normalization" period aimed at returning to the institutional framework of 1966, which included a policy of open admissions. Mexico began differentiating after 1968, through both provincial institutions and a growing private sector.Higher Education in Developing Countries6 Grijalva, A. (1994: 126).7 CONUEP (1994: 17). 11
  • 12In Latin America, it is important to note that there are often significant differences fromcountry to country as well as from university to university despite the same colonialheritage. Some differences can be seen in political, economic, and educational systems,particularly in higher education systems. To illustrate, Schwartzman (1993: 9-20) saysthat one of the main differences within universities is the presence European immigrantsin the history of their higher education systems: ―Places with a strong presence ofEuropean immigrants and linkages, such as Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo, developedvery different, and usually better institutions, than those that remained more isolated,such as Mexico or Rio de Janeiro.‖ Another important difference has to deal with theinfluence of the Church and State and how they have affected higher education. Forexample, Mexico, Argentina, and Ecuador among others have large university systemsdominated by a central, national university. If we compare these university systems withthose decentralized systems in Brazil, Colombia, and Chile, we could find historicaldifferences that may help us to understand the key differences in the universities.Rolando Arellano (2003) adds that Latin American universities have focused most oftheir efforts more on understanding and analysis of knowledge advanced in so-called―developed counties‖ rather than creating their own theories.In terms of faculty members in Latin American universities, the expansion of highereducation institutions has led to the hiring of a large number of professors ―who weredifferent both from the traditional professor (who got his earnings from private practice)and the researcher (who could raise money from research agencies and researchcontracts)… A parallel development was the creation of large administrativebureaucracies in universities, with their own unions and political agendas‖(Schwartzman 1993). Consequently, with the increase of public universities and thenumber of professors, governments could not afford all the associated high-costs;therefore, salary levels in public institutions deteriorated, or policies supporting full-time faculty employment, much less reward structures that recognizes and stimulatesfaculty academic achievement.Rolando Arellano (2003) also points out that there are not many who graduate with adoctorate degree in Latin America ―(4,229 in 1999 vs 58,747 in the USA in allmajors).‖ If we consider only few examples of Latin American higher educationoffering graduate degrees, such as TEC of Monterrey, INCAE, and University of Chile, 12
  • 13they ―have around 70 Ph.D.s each within their staff‖ (Arellano). But most professorswith graduate degrees working at those institutions have received their diplomas fromUnited States or European universities.Higher Education in Latin American Universities since the 1980sBy the end of the 1980s, most military regimes disappeared in Latin America. At thetime, campuses confronted a new challenge in the form of ―economic stagnation.‖According to UNESCO (2000), most public and private co-financed universitiesreceived funding from the State. In several Latin American universities, particularly inEcuador, most faculty have not been earning enough money to devote full-time effort totheir academic pursuits, research, and teaching activities; many need other jobs tosupplement their income, and the quality of teaching has decreased. In Ecuadorianuniversities, the financial crisis has resulted in the deterioration of quality. Sinceprofessors have been receiving low salaries, universities are suffering the ―phenomenonof high mobility, absenteeism, and abandonment of teaching.‖ 8 To solve this problemat least partially, non-profit private corporations have been organized by universities toimprove quality standards. To illustrate this point, universities have establishedcontracts, received and invested money, hired staff, and paid better salaries to professorsin cooperation with non-profit private corporations.Integration Process of Latin American UniversitiesAccording to many observers, Latin America needs to design a development strategyaimed at a more favorable reintegration of the region in the process of forminguniversity alliances. In response to this need, the Union of Universities of LatinAmerica (UDUAL)9 has introduced strategies to assure the integration process of LatinAmerican universities. UDUAL promotes cultural and academic integration with8 UNESCO 2002-2003.9 UDUAL was founded on September 22, 1949, at the First Latin American Meeting in Guatemala.Currently, UDUAL has more than 160 university members from 22 Latin American countries. UDUALhas UNESCO´s approval, as a regional advisor. 13
  • 14democratic principles in Latin American universities. To illustrate, faculty and studentshave the opportunity to participate in study abroad academic programs.Following the international recommendations related to the integration process, LatinAmerican countries have also established the Latin American Network Alliance forQuality Assurance and Accreditation (RIACES), which was created in May 2003 inBuenos Aires, Argentina. RIACES is a network alliance for inter-institutionalcooperation that facilitates studies on Latin American integration via regional or sub-regional university cooperation in order to develop an integration culture and exchangeof experience related to quality programs.Move toward More Liberal EducationBy the mid-20th century, a number of Latin American universities chose to advanceliberal education in their academic programs because university authorities believedthere was a compelling need to pursue a more holistic education with a focus onlearning. Currently, liberal education is part of academic programs at first-tier, highereducation institutions. Therefore, only a minor sector of the populace in developingcountries receives general education. Since liberal education has significant impact oneach society, developing countries need leaders with ethics, well-educated alumni, andtrained professionals for industry, academe, and affairs of state, states the World BankReport (2000).The movement toward more liberal education that universities in Latin America areexperiencing coincides with the so-called "university reforms" supported by academiccommunities. Currently, these reform processes are aimed more at a redefinition of therelations between the State, society, and individual universities. The State, society, andindividual universities join together as an academic community aimed at bringing abouta profound transformation of academic programs in developing countries. To illustrate,in Ecuador, Article 44 of the Higher Education Law states that every academic programhas to introduce subjects from liberal education in order to guarantee higher qualityeducation.1010 Ley de Educación Superior y Reglamento General, Ecuador 2002. 14
  • 15Recent Efforts to Improve Quality in Programs in Latin American UniversitiesThe organization of universities as a system within a regional and sub-regionalintegration, the introduction of liberal education within academic programs, and theexpansion and diversification of education for all, are some of the current efforts toimprove quality in academic programs in Latin American universities. To illustrate theintegration process, the Andrés Bello Agreement facilitates credit transfer among LatinAmerican universities that have improved academic quality. Another illustration of thisacademic integration is the new ―distance education systems‖ in Latin America. Someof the current ―distance education systems‖ or open systems in Latin America includeUniversidad Nacional Abierta (UNA) in Venezuela, Universidad Particular Técnica deLoja in Ecuador, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED) in CostaRica, Unidad Universitaria del Sur in Colombia, distance education system of theUniversities of Brasilia, and UNAM of Mexico. Other recent efforts to improve qualityin programs in Latin American universities are the improvement of teaching-learningmethods, university planning, student-teacher relationships, and budget formulation.Ecuadorian Universities: Reforms and ChangesInadequate connections between the universities and the external environment, pooracademic quality, weak management, insufficient funds, and lack of accountabilitysystems are among the main problems that need to be solved. For these reasons, theEcuadorian higher education system is currently undergoing reforms and changes toimprove quality programs.The Ecuadorian financial crisis is one of the most significant obstacles to attaining high-quality programs. ―A top-down structural reform of higher education systems may nolonger be possible or appropriate in Ecuador.‖ 11 In contrast to reforms that are specific,large-scale, and embedded in law, accreditation and evaluation foster a much differentand potentially more responsive approach to reform. It is much more difficult to changea law in a country such as Ecuador than it is to enhance the criteria, indicators, andprocesses of institutional change and evaluation.11 Twombly (1997: 7) 15
  • 16Another significant obstacle in attaining quality programs is the small amount or totallack of research. According to Jameson (1997: 4 – 7), there has been remarkably littleresearch done on higher education in Ecuador.According to Twombly (1999), reforming higher education in Ecuador has beensporadic and partial because for most universities, reform means curricular change andmost would argue that their universities are already engaged in a reform process.Among the main reforms to improve quality programs in Ecuadorian universities are: 1)continual redefinition of the mission and objectives of higher education; 2) creation of ahigher education system; 3) development of closer relations between the universitiesand their environment; 4) encouragement of scientific and technological research; 5)improvement of university leadership within administrations; 6) increase in anddiversification of sources of finances; 7) creation of a national system of evaluation andaccreditation as a means for ensuring accountability; and 8) changes to the currenthigher education law.To advance quality programs, Ecuadorian universities have started in the decade of1990 a system of evaluation and accreditation, mostly patterned after the United States‘evaluation systems. The evaluation system is aimed at assessing the following areas:leadership within administrations, missions, and institutional plans, budgets and finance,interactions between university and society, research, connected program requirements,interactive teaching and learning, and adequate resources. Every effort related to reformand change is being conducted through the ―Ecuadorian Higher Education Council‖(CONESUP).1212 According to the Ecuadorian Higher Education Law, Article 11, CONESUP is an autonomous andpublic institution responsible for planning, regulating, coordinating, and guiding the Ecuadorian HigherEducation System (universities, polytechnic schools, and technological institutes). CONESUP alsoapproves the creation of any new higher education institution. 16
  • 17 CHAPTER TWO LITERATURE REVIEWThis chapter provides a literature review related to attributes of high-quality programs,especially the literature on quality programs in universities in developed countries.Conceptualizations of Quality Not only does it cover three classical functions of Ortega and Gasset: teaching, research and extension, which amounts to the quality of its teaching staff, the quality of its program and the quality of its teaching- learning methods, but it also includes the quality of its students, its infrastructure and its academic surroundings. UNESCO, 2002.According to UNESCO, quality programs take place in a community whose membersare dedicated to academic freedom and are committed to the search for the truth, thedefense and promotion of human rights, democracy, social justice, and tolerance in theirown communities and in the world.Seymour (1992) refers to quality programs as a day-to-day operating philosophy—anever-ending quality journey. Seymour & Associates (1996) promote Baldrige, aperformance paradigm, as a robust system that stands in sharp contrast to the ―we-know-it-when-we-see-it.‖ Baldrige‘s criteria to assess quality programs are: (1)leadership; (2) information and analysis; (3) strategic and operational planning; (4)human resource development and management; (5) educational and business processmanagement; (6) institutional performance results; and (7) student focus and studentand stakeholder satisfaction. Sims and Sims (1995: 8) state: ―The evolving view ofquality programs takes it to mean the degree to which student and other stakeholderneeds and expectations are consistently satisfied.‖ Quisumbing (2002) defines qualityprograms as follows: 17
  • 18 A holistic, integrated and humanistic education retains the essential meaning of Quality: the discovery and development of the talents of every individual, the full flowering of the human potential, learning to be a complete human person. After all, educare, the root word of education, means the bringing forth of the wholeness within each one of us.Haworth and Conrad (1997: 15) ―broadly define high-quality programs as those which,from the perspective of diverse stakeholders, contribute to enriching learningexperiences for students that positively affect their growth and development.‖Views and Attributes of High-Quality ProgramsHaworth and Conrad (1997: 3 – 9), in their ―Engagement Theory of Quality,‖ identifyfive views of quality: faculty, resource, student quality-and-effort view, curriculumrequirements, and multidimensional/multilevel views.According to Haworth and Conrad: ―The faculty view enjoys direct empirical supportfrom studies of the quantitative attributes of ‗high-quality‘ programs insofar asresearchers have found a strong relationship between measures of faculty educationaltraining and qualification and program quality.‖ 13Adequate resources—human, financial, and physical—are the sine qua non of high-quality programs according to resources view. The resource view is supported bothdirectly through research on the quantitative attributes of program quality and indirectlythrough objective indicator rankings.14 A student quality-and-effort-view, for thoseadvancing a student quality-and-effort view, suggests that well-qualified, involved, andmotivated students are the centerpiece of high quality programs. In terms of thecurriculum requirements view, Haworth and Conrad (1997) state that those advancingthis view tend to emphasize three quality-related attributes: core and specialized coursework; residency requirements that encourage on-campus study; and a culmination13 Haworth and Conrad (1997: 4).14 Haworth and Conrad (1997: 5). 18
  • 19experience—such as a thesis, research project, or comprehensive examination. Finally,the multidimensional/multilevel view encompasses each one of the above views ofprogram quality.The Engagement Theory of High-Quality Programs: Conceptual FrameworkMy dissertation has been informed by Haworth and Conrad‘s (1997) ―EngagementTheory of Quality Programs.‖ Haworth and Conrad‘s theory is organized around thecentral idea of diverse stakeholders‘ engagement in high-quality programs.Stakeholders embrace student, faculty, alumni, employers, community, andadministrative engagement in teaching and learning. Based upon interviews with 781participants involved in diverse higher education institutions, the authors define ―highquality programs as those which contribute to the learning experiences for students thathave positive effects on their growth and development‖ (pp xii).Haworth and Conrad (1997: 27) define high-quality programs as follows: High-quality programs are those in which students, faculty, and administrators engage in mutually supportive teaching and learning: students invest in teaching as well learning, and faculty and administrators invest in learning as well as teaching. Moreover, faculty and administrators invite alumni and employers of graduates to participate in their programs. In short, the theory accentuates the dual roles that invested participants play in constructing and sustaining programs of high quality.The theory maintains that in high-quality programs, stakeholders – academics, students,and administrators – invest in five separate clusters of program attributes (see Table 1).Each attribute contributes to enriching the learning experiences for students thatpositively affect their growth and development. The five clusters of program attributesare: diverse and engaged participants, participatory cultures, interactive teaching andlearning, connected program requirements, and adequate resources. Haworth andConrad (1997: 28) state that the most important of these clusters is diverse and engagedparticipants because ―faculty and administrators continually seek to attract and support 19
  • 20faculty and students who infuse diverse perspective into—and who are engaged in—their own and others‘ teaching and learning.‖ The authors also emphasize thatstakeholders15 in high-quality programs invest heavily in ―participatory cultures‖ thatemphasize a shared program direction, a community of learners, and a risk-takingenvironment.These five clusters of the engagement theory encompass seventeen attributes. They arelisted in Table 1. Table 1: Five Clusters and Seventeen Attributes of High-Quality Program Cluster 1 Cluster 2 Cluster 3 Cluster 4 Cluster 5 Diverse and Participatory Interactive Connected Adequate Engaged Cultures Teaching and Program Resources Participants learning Requirements- Diverse and - Shared program - Critical - Planned - Support for engaged faculty direction dialogue Breadth and Students- Diverse and - Community - Integrative Depth of - Support for engaged Learning Coursework Faculty of learners students - Mentoring - Professional - Support for - Risk-taking- Engaged leaders - Cooperative Residency Basic environments Peer learning - Tangible Infrastructure - Out-of-class Products activities―Interactive teaching and learning‖ is the third cluster of attributes of high-qualityprograms. Haworth and Conrad (1997) state that stakeholders actively participate in andcontribute to one another‘s learning by means of critical dialogues about knowledge andprofessional practice, faculty-student mentoring, cooperative peer learning projects, out-of-class activities and integrative and hands-on learning activities.15 Stakeholders include: program administrators, faculty, and students, as well as institutionaladministrators, alumni, and employers. (Haworth and Conrad, 1997: 24). 20
  • 21The fourth cluster of attributes of high-quality program is ―connected programrequirements.‖ This cluster depends upon faculty and program administrators designingprogram requirements that challenge students to develop a more mature and unifiedunderstanding of their profession and its practice as they engage in breadth and depthcourse work, apply and test their course-related knowledge and skills in a professionalresidency, and complete a tangible product, such as a thesis, project report, orperformance.The fifth cluster, ―adequate resources,‖ includes monetary as well as non-monetarysupport for students, faculty, and basic infrastructure needs, in order to provide adequateresources, faculty, and students to concentrate fully on teaching and learning.Actions to Implement the Attributes of the Engagement TheoryAccording to Haworth and Conrad, for each of the seventeen attributes, stakeholderstake actions to implement the attribute, delineate the major consequences that theseactions have for enriching students‘ learning experiences, and specify the positiveeffects that these learning experiences have on students‘ growth and development.Below, I explain in a more detailed way each cluster of attributes.Cluster One: Diverse and Engaged ParticipantsAccording to Haworth and Conrad (1997), diverse and engaged participants are thepeople who take responsibility for teaching and learning. These participants play apivotal role in constructing and defining the quality of learning experiences thatstudents encounter in their programs. Faculty and administrators invest in two actions toensure that they have diverse and engaged faculty teaching in their programs. The firstis the development of hiring policies that value faculty members who have variedtheoretical and applied perspectives and a dedication to teaching. Second, a rewardstructure that supports faculty for engaging in a broad range of scholarly activitiesbesides teaching is established. The main consequences of these actions are that theyconsistently enrich the overall quality of students‘ learning experiences because facultyinfuse diverse perspectives into their classroom lectures, discussions, and out-of-classinteractions with students. In turn, the effects on students from their interactions with 21
  • 22diverse and engaged faculty are: first, students who graduate with a richer and morecreative understanding of knowledge and professional practice; second, students whobecome more motivated professionals who commit themselves more entirely to theirown growth and development.16The idea of diverse and engaged students is the second attribute of diverse and engagedparticipants. Haworth and Conrad (1997: 48 – 54) emphasize that diverse and engagedstudents are vital to high-quality programs. For that reason, faculty and programadministrators use a two-part recruitment strategy to attract diverse and engagedstudents to their programs. First, they establish admission policies that place a highvalue on students who would bring to their studies varied disciplinary andexperientially-based perspectives as well as a passion for learning. Second, they selectand admit only those students whose professional interests and goals interrelate wellwith those of their program‘s curriculum and faculty. The positive outcomes of thisattribute are seen in their (students‘ or faculty‘s) understanding of theory andprofessional practice. For example, Haworth and Conrad (1997) state that students whoare committed to their own and others‘ learning inspire one another to devote more fullyto their professions.Engaged leaders, such as department and program chairs, faculty, and administrators, isthe third attribute of cluster one – ―diverse and engaged participants.‖ Repeatedly,Haworth and Conrad (1997: 54 – 60) emphasize that the investments which engageddepartment and program chairs create in their programs markedly enhance the quality ofstudents‘ learning. To that end, faculty and administrators use two strategies to attractand retain engaged leaders. First, they recruit department or program chairs who investtime and energy in championing their program. Second, they recruit institutionaladministrators and faculty engaged in various activities that are aimed at supportingleaders. These actions enhance students‘ learning in three ways: first, leaderssuccessfully support their programs to internal and external audiences and secureresources to sustain them; second, leaders put significant effort into recruiting diverseand engaged participants to their program; and third, leaders encourage faculty and16 Haworth and Conrad (1997: 42 – 47). 22
  • 23students to assume informal leadership roles in their programs, thus enhancing theirownership in them.Cluster Two: Participatory CulturesHaworth and Conrad (1997: 61 – 67) establish three attributes of quality within clustertwo. These attributes are: shared program direction, a community of learners, and a risk-taking environment. The authors emphasize that stakeholders work together to buildshared understanding of and support for an overall program direction. Faculty,administrators, and student leaders apply three strategies to develop and sustain a shareddirection in their programs. First, they invite program stakeholders to join them inconstructing a shared direction. Second, leaders encourage faculty, alumni, andemployers to participate in evaluation efforts in which they examine the fit betweentheir program‘s teaching and learning activities and its overall direction. And third,leaders nurture and sustain understanding of their program‘s direction by frequentlycommunicating with internal and external audiences, both on and off campus. Inenhancing the quality of students‘ learning experiences, the positive effects on studentsinclude: students develop distinct professional identities, and students who have―connected‖ learning experiences become more keenly aware of where and how theywant to invest their energies after graduation.The second attribute of participatory cultures is a ―community of learners.‖ Haworthand Conrad (1997: 69 – 75), by working through nearly 800 interviews in their study,found that an ethic of collegial teaching and learning imbued the culture of theirprogram such that faculty, students, and administrators interacted with one another moreor less as partners within a community of learners. The authors state: ―Membership insuch a community greatly enriched students‘ learning experiences and positivelyaffected their growth and development.‖ The main actions are: leaders who takeresponsibility for helping to build a learning community; faculty who develop morecollegial and less hierarchical relations with students; and administrators, faculty, andstudents who construct in- and out-of-class teaching and learning experiences tofacilitate and sustain co-learning among program participants. Thus, participantsencounter their programs as ―learning communities‖ in which faculty and students teachand learn from one another as colleagues. Camaraderie permeates participants‘ 23
  • 24interactions, and it advances and complements the sense of community. Participating ina community of learners enriches students‘ growth and development in two major ways,according to Haworth and Conrad. First, the collegial interaction that students havewith one another and with faculty strengthens their communication and teamwork skills.In addition, by owing a large part to the contributions that others make to their learningwithin these ―communities,‖ students develop a greater appreciation of and respect forthe value of collaborative approaches to inquiry, problem solving, and leadership.A risk-taking environment is another important attribute of high-quality programs. Asupportive and challenging environment permits students to feel ―safe‖ to take risks intheir learning. By promoting risk-taking environments, students find a safe environmentwhere they feel encouraged to explore new ideas and test developing skills; faculty andadministrators also take risks by encouraging students to follow their lead and tochallenge themselves to stretch and grow in new ways. These actions result inenhancing the quality of students‘ learning experiences because students are much morelikely to question orthodoxies, advance alternative perspectives, and engage in learningactivities that press the boundaries of their potential.17 In turn, students who take riskswithin a supportive learning environment enhance their growth and development in twoimportant ways. First, they graduate as more competent and self-assured professionals.Second, students develop into more imaginative and resourceful professionals whenthey are educated in risk-taking learning environments.Cluster Three: Interactive Teaching and LearningInteractive teaching and learning is advanced through five actions. Critical dialogue isthe first. Haworth and Conrad state that when faculty and students question extantknowledge, challenge core assumptions in their fields, and generate criticalunderstanding of knowledge and professional practice, students achieve richer learningexperiences that enhance their growth and development.18 Amacher and Meiners (2004:51) highlight the importance of faculty engaged in teaching and learning activities. Asthey put it: ―From the perspective of trustees and administrators, who want productive17 Haworth and Conrad (1997: 76 – 81).18 Haworth and Conrad (1997: 83). 24
  • 25faculty, the problem is to get faculty interested in teaching better and politickingless….‖Integrative learning is the second action. Haworth and Conrad (1997) state that studentshave far richer learning experiences when they are challenged to link what they arelearning to tangible situations and issues in the outside world and when they link theirtheory with practice, self with subject, and learning with living. In order to achieveintegrative learning, Haworth and Conrad found that faculty and administrators shouldinvest in teaching and learning activities that invite connections between theory andpractice by working with students in classes, on stage, in laboratories, or in the field.Students who connect theoretical and applied knowledge to complex problems, issues,and situations in the real world challenge themselves to interlace the principles andpractices of their disciplines into their own lives. Integrative learning positively affectsstudents‘ growth and development by approaching ―problems and issues in their fieldsfrom a more holistic standpoint.‖19 In addition, students become more skilled atcommunicating complex theoretical and technical knowledge to others in their worksettings.Mentoring is the third action. Through this action faculty and administrators provideinstruction and direct feedback to students in order to strengthen their professional skillsand advance their understanding of knowledge and practice. Faculty and administratorsengage in three activities designed to promote mentoring in their programs: faculty andadministrators take an interest in students‘ career goals; faculty instruct students on aone-on-one basis in order to sharpen their understanding of knowledge and professionalpractice; and faculty provide students with regular feedback on the development of theirprofessional skills. The consequences and effects resulting from these actions are thatstudents have more meaningful learning experiences when faculty and administratorsinvest in the mentoring process. Mentoring has two positive effects on students‘ growthand development. First, the individualized feedback that students receive from theirmentors strengthens students‘ professional competence and confidence. Second,19 Haworth and Conrad (1997: 98). 25
  • 26mentoring helps students to advance their careers in the university and later in theworkplace.20Cooperative peer learning is the fourth action. In this action students actively contributeto and support one another‘s learning through various in- and out-of-class groupactivities. Faculty and administrators use in- and out-of-class group activities topromote cooperative learning among students. In addition, faculty members engage incollaborative research and team-teaching activities. Students have opportunities toparticipate in group activities in which they are able to contribute to and support oneanother‘s learning toward their professional practice. These cooperative learningexperiences improve students‘ interpersonal and teamwork skills and improve students‘confidence in their professional abilities.21The notion of out-of-class activities is the fifth action. Through this action faculty,administrators, and students develop sponsored formal and informal out-of-classactivities. Out-of-class activities could be ―involvement in a weekly journal club,students‘ collaboration in writing activities, school-sponsored theater productions….‖22These activities constitute an integral part of high-quality academic programs. Out-of-class activities significantly enhance the quality of students‘ learning by helpingstudents to stay in touch with current developments in their fields. The favorable effectson students‘ growth and development include enhanced oral communication andinterpersonal skills, as well as an appreciation of collaborative approaches to inquiry,problem-solving, and leadership in their fields.Cluster Four: Connected Program RequirementsConnected program requirements means the opportunity provided to students by facultyand administrators to bridge the worlds of theory and practice—the classroom and theworkplace—through three sequential learning experiences. Through these requirements,students develop a solid grasp of fundamental theories, practices, and skills. Faculty20 Haworth and Conrad (1997: 99 - 104).21 Haworth and Conrad (1997: 106 – 111).22 Haworth and Conrad (1997: 112 – 117). 26
  • 27challenge students to apply and assess their course-related understanding in aprofessional residency; and faculty require students to complete a tangible project—athesis, project report, or creative performance—in which they are expected to prove tothemselves and to others their abilities to make significant contributions to theirprofessions. Connected program requirements include planned breadth and depth coursework meaning students need to complete a blend of core and specialized course work.The positive effects on students include professional competency and the developmentof holistic perspectives within their fields. Professional residency, such as universityresearch and teaching assistantships for students pursuing academic careers orinternships in government agencies, businesses, and human service organizations, isanother component of connected program requirements. Faculty and administratorsdevelop and implement professional residency requirements in three ways: professionalresidency related to students‘ career interests; cooperative agreements with employers,alumni, and community members; and regular guidance and feedback. Completing aprofessional residency contributes to students‘ growth and envelopment in three ways:students mature into more confident and competent professionals; residency experiencesfurther clarify and strengthen students‘ professional identities; and, through theconfidence, knowledge, and professional networks that students develop in theirprofessional residencies, their job prospects are enhanced upon graduation.23Creation of a tangible product is another attribute of high-quality programs within thefourth cluster. Usually a thesis, project report, or creative performances are consideredacceptable tangible products. Faculty and administrators develop and implementtangible product requirements in two ways: requirements are designed in light of eachprogram‘s direction and goals, and students receive guidance and feedback from facultyand administrators for the culmination of those requirements. The consequences oftangible product requirements can be seen upon the integration of principles, practices,and skills students apply in their final products. Through tangible product requirements,students improve their analytical and written communication skills, become moremature, confident and independent professionals due to their major responsibility fortheir projects from start to finish, and develop a ―big picture‖ perspective of theirprofession.23 Haworth and Conrad (1997: 119 – 142) 27
  • 28Cluster Five: Adequate ResourcesSupport for students is an important attribute of high-quality programs. ―Financial aid,nontraditional course delivery formats, and career planning and placement assistanceconsistently elevate the quality of students‘ learning experiences and favorably affectedtheir personal and professional development.‖24 Monetary and non-monetary supports for students often have positive effects ontheir growth and development. Students who utilize career planning and placementservices are more likely to secure employment in their respective fields upongraduation. Financial aid and nontraditional course delivery formats provide studentswith the necessary support to concentrate more fully on their learning. Resources suchas these indirectly assist students in developing into more committed, lifelong learners(Haworth and Conrad 1997).The fifth cluster, adequate resources, encompasses support for students. Examples ofsuch support include financial aid, nontraditional course delivery formats, and careerplanning and placement assistance, support for faculty including adequate monetaryresources and supportive reward structures, and support for basic infrastructure such aslaboratories, theaters, computers, library resources, and essential field-related equipmentand supplies.Support for faculty includes adequate monetary resources and supportive rewardstructures. Campus and departmental administrators support faculty through two majoractions. First, they allocate monetary resources for faculty salaries, sabbaticals, andtravel to professional conferences. Second, campus and departmental administratorsestablish tenure and merit review policies that reward faculty for their involvement inteaching and learning. Therefore, administrative efforts to support faculty almost alwayshelp enhance students‘ learning. To illustrate, Haworth and Conrad (1997: 151) statethat when faculty are supported—monetarily as well as non-monetarily—for engagingin teaching and learning, they invest considerable time and effort into teaching andmentoring students.24 Haworth and Conrad (1997: 143). 28
  • 29The positive effect on students due to monetary and non-monetary support for faculty isthat students who study with faculty who are invested in their growth and developmentare more self-confident, self-assured professionals.Support for basic infrastructure (laboratories, theaters, computers, library resources, andessential field-related equipment and supplies), the last attribute of high-qualityprograms in the Engagement Theory, complements and enriches students‘ efforts tolearn advanced knowledge and techniques in their fields. In order to provide support forbasic infrastructure, campus and departmental administrators, as well as faculty,monetary resources are needed to purchase requisite equipment and supplies to ensuresuitable laboratory, performance, and classroom facilities and to support institutionallibrary and computer needs.25When resource needs are met, students have the ―tools‖ they need to learn advancedknowledge and techniques in their fields. Support for basic infrastructure contributes tostudents‘ growth and development in two ways: students develop into moretechnically-competent professionals; and, as Haworth and Conrad state: ―This kind ofsupport indirectly complemented student investments further intensified many of theeffects that these attributes have on students.‖ stateA Framework for Developing and Sustaining High-Quality ProgramsHaworth and Conrad (1997) propose a framework that is intended to help faculty,administrators, and others learn about, assess, and improve the quality of undergraduateand graduate programs. Anchored in their engagement theory of quality programs, theframework reflects insights from the total quality management, organizational learning,and higher education assessment literatures. Their framework for assessing andimproving the quality of academic programs places continuous learning among programparticipants directly at the center of the program improvement effort and underscoresthe integral roles that planning and evaluation play in this process. It encourages faculty,administrators, and other program participants to make their ―working space a learning25 (Haworth and Conrad (1997: 156). 29
  • 30space‖26 through an ongoing and dynamic process of study, feedback, modification, andimprovement.Haworth and Conrad‘s (1997) framework is comprised of a set of guiding principles,questions to inform assessment and improvement, and quality assessment criteria andindicators. The guiding principles comprise a statement of ―best practices‖ forevaluating and improving the quality of academic programs. Haworth and Conraddeveloped these principles on the basis of what they learned from the nearly 800interviews in their study, as well as from a critical reading of the total qualitymanagement, organizational learning, and higher education assessment literatures. Thefour principles are: 1. The Linking Pin: A Constant Commitment to Student Learning 2. People Make Quality Happen: Inclusivity and Engagement 3. Learning Never Ends: Continuous Program Improvement 4. Thinking Multidimensionally: Multiple Methods of AssessmentA constant commitment to student learning ―is not an easy task: it challenges facultyand administrators to examine their beliefs about what their assumptions are, whomthey should serve, and what they hope to accomplish in their programs.‖27 Thisdirecting principle makes students and their learning the central purpose of programevaluation and improvement efforts. The second guiding principle is ―people makequality happen: inclusivity and engagement.‖ This tenet considers establishingparticipatory governance structures such as alumni councils, employer advisory boards,and open forums with students.The third principle for developing and sustaining high-quality programs considers theidea that ―learning never ends: continuous program improvement.‖ Haworth and Conrad(1997: 170) believe that meaningful quality assessment requires faculty andadministrators to make their ―working space a learning space‖ in which they constantlyexamine and seek to learn about the inner workings of their own programs.26 Senge et al. (1994: 35).27 Haworth and Conrad (1997: 168). 30
  • 31The final but not least important principle for assessing high-quality programs is―thinking multi-dimensionally: multiple methods of assessment.‖ Haworth and Conradprovide two justifications for this principle. ―To begin with, when a combination ofmethods is used, faculty and administrators are far more likely to develop a moreholistic understanding of the quality of their programs…. Multiple methods haveanother advantage as well. Since they build on the strengths of different approaches,they help to cancel out the weaknesses embedded in a solitary approach to assessment.‖The major benefits of this framework are: (1) it has a clear and consistent focus onstudent learning and development; (2) this framework proposes a number of principles,guiding questions, criteria, and assessment methods that place continuous qualityimprovement squarely at the center of the quality assessment process; (3) the frameworkhas the potential to provide faculty, administrators, and others with useful data uponwhich to base program planning and improvement decisions. All in all, ―Thisframework offers those who have program planning and evaluation responsibilities witha template for collecting relevant and trustworthy evidence that can better informdecisions related to ongoing program improvement.‖28In summary, the engagement theory advances a new perspective on high-qualityprograms which emphasizes students‘ learning experiences and learning outcomes asthe primary purpose of academic programs, highlights the essential role thatstakeholders – primarily the academics, administrators, and students – occupy, andprovides a template for assessing quality.Curricula Planning and Assessment Matter in High-Quality ProgramsIn broad strokes, the literature on program quality suggests that curricula planning andassessment are crucial in developing high-quality programs because both promoteprogram continuous improvement. Curricula planning and assessment lead tocontinuous program design, recruitment of outstanding faculty according to eachacademic program‘s mission and vision, selection of students based on quality28 Haworth and Conrad (1997: 175). 31
  • 32standards, and provisions of the resources and services needed for promoting moreactive learning.Assessing Quality ProgramsRooted in a long-standing tradition of institutional attention to quality programs andshaped on the anvil of a period of retrenchment and accountability, assessing the qualityof academic program has emerged as a central area of concern in higher education.Conrad and Wilson (1985: 31) advanced the following criteria for evaluation inacademic program review (see Table 2). Table 2: Criteria for Evaluating Academic ProgramsQuality Need Demand Cost - Quality of faculty - Centrality to - Present and - Cost - Quality of students mission and other projected effectiveness - Quality of curriculum campus programs student - Non-pecuniary - Quality of support services (library, - Value to society demand costs and benefits laboratories and equipment, physical - Demand for plant, computer facilities) graduate - Financial resources - Quality of program administratorsReview of the Literature on Quality Programs in Developing CountriesQuality Education for AllRecent literature suggests that Latin American countries need to re-think qualityeducation for all, including diversity as an important attribute of high-quality programs.For example, in its proposal, ―Education for All in the Americas: Regional Frameworkof Action,‖ UNESCO (2000) recommends advancing quality education for all into a 32
  • 33national goal anchored in these common denominators: equity and equality ofopportunity.UNESCO advanced the following recommendations to Latin American countries thatcan help quality improvements: 1) create necessary frameworks so that educationbecomes a task for all and that guarantee popular participation in the formulation ofstate policies and transparency in policy administration; 2) increase social investment inthe entire educational system; 3) guarantee access and retention of all to the educationalsystem; 4) assure access to quality education to vulnerable social groups; 29 5) givegreater priority to literacy training and education of young people and adults as part ofnational education systems to improve existing programs and to create alternatives forall young people and adults, especially those at risk; 6) continue to improve the qualityof education, by looking at education institutions as learning environments andrecognizing the social value of faculty and improving assessment systems; 7) formulateinclusive education policies and design diversified curricula and education deliverysystems in order to serve the population that has been traditionally excluded for reasonsof gender, language, culture, or individual differences; 8) increase and reallocateresources using criteria of equity and efficiency, as well as to mobilize other resourceswith alternative delivery systems; 9) offer high levels of professional enhancement toteachers/faculty and career development policies that improve the quality of their livesand the conditions of their work; 10) coordinate education policies that encouragemulti-sector actions aimed at overcoming poverty and directed to populations at risk;11) adopt and strengthen the use of information and communication technologies in themanagement of education systems and in teaching and learning processes; 12) promoteeducational leadership by granting individual institution autonomy with broad citizenparticipation; 13) organize universities as a system rather than as an entity located inone specific place or city;30 14) define administrative structures that take the universityas the basic unit, with autonomy, with citizen participation and establishing levels ofresponsibility for each actor in the leadership process, in the control of results, and in29 Latin America has opened university systems such as: Universidad Nacional Abierta (UNA) inVenezuela, Universidad Particular Técnica de Loja in Ecuador, Universidad Nacional de Educación aDistancia (UNED) in Costa Rica, Unidad Universitaria del Sur in Colombia, and distance educationsystem of the Universities of Brasilia, UNAM of Mexico30 The Andrés Bello Agreement is a good example of such a system. It develops a regional analysis of thefuture of the Latin American countries in order to promote cooperative agreements among countries.These agreements focus on innovations and advances of science and technology and how thoseinnovations and advance can contribute for the development of each country. 33
  • 34accountability; 15) provide general education and liberal arts education to satisfylearning-for-life needs; 16) engage faculty, students, administrators, and leaders of thecommunity by investing in shared program direction and active teaching and learningand cooperative peer learning; 17) provide books and other didactic and technologicalresources in order to improve student learning; 18) introduce community service, socialwork, and university extension in all academic programs; 19) train faculty,administrators, and students so that they may promote and support learning in everydaylife experiences; 20) reallocate resources by using a criteria of equity and efficiencywith mechanisms for establishing budgets and allocating resources that include broadsocial participation that lend transparency and credibility to the management ofresources and guarantee accountability; 21) develop university planning for the wholeinstitution.Quality Programs in EcuadorThe following are some of the challenges and the recommendations given by Jameson(1997), Twombly (1997, 2002), Kells, (1998), Conrad (2003), among others who havevisited and analyzed the Ecuadorian Higher Education System.Kenneth P. Jameson, a visiting Advisor to Ecuador from the Economics Department atthe University of Utah in Salt Lake City, presented a paper titled ―Social vs. EconomicReform: Higher Education in Ecuador‖ at the Latin American Studies AssociationMeeting which took place in Guadalajara, Mexico on April 18, 1997. Dr. Jamesonwrote: ―I will examine recent efforts to reform the higher education system in Ecuador.My underlying concern is why fundamental reform of the social sectors is proving to beso much more difficult and whether there are strategies that might accelerate theprocess. Let me first situate Ecuadorian higher education. With 208,000 students it fitsinto Orozco‘s (1996) ‗mid-and large-sized moderately massive national systems,‘ alongwith Chile and Cuba. Ecuador has moved more slowly than many countries inreforming the ‗culture‘ of its universities.‖ Jameson (1997) noted significant reforms inindividual higher education institutions whose long-run effects will be quite significant.At the same time, conscious and systemic reforms have been unsuccessful; this returnsus to the broader question of reform in Latin America. In Jameson words: 34
  • 35 Had reform programs been stimulated by conviction that improvements in the social sectors were central to solving the macroeconomic problems of the country, or that the social sector activities were central to the well- being of Ecuador, the actual reform efforts would have had a different character. They would have proceeded more rapidly and would have been more successful.Universities are unquestionably influenced by the society of which they are a part.―Universities can only be as flexible, responsive, progressive, enlightened, and as vitalas the broader political traditions their societies allow.‖31 It is within this context ofeconomic crisis and political ineffectiveness that a few university leaders are proposinga system of evaluation as a means of bringing universities to achieve high-qualityprograms. High-quality programs need to be ―in line with the needs of a post industrial,global economy‖ suggests, Twombly (1999). Universities in Ecuador are caught in thetransition between the traditional Napoleonic university that historically trained elitesfor primary professional positions (law, medicine, and theology), and the post-modernuniversity whose role in the new global economy is to contribute to the ‗performativity‘of the economic system by training technologically skilled workers." 32 To complicatethe transition, Ecuadorian public universities are still operating under a concept ofuniversity-society relations and a definition of autonomy established in the CórdobaAgreement of 1918.‖ Resulting from the misconceptions of university autonomy,significant political influences have been affecting the Ecuadorian universities. In theEcuadorian Constitution, Article 28 specifies that the State ―recognizes and guaranteesthe autonomy of universities and polytechnics and the inviolability of their territory,giving them the rights of individuals‖ (in CONUEP 1994). Twombly emphasizes thefact that, ―The Congress or government cannot do anything that affects in any way thenormal function of a university and especially anything that affects its liberty andautonomy. This has resulted in a lack of overall coordination in the system‖ (Twombly,1997).Forces that Influence the Ecuadorian Higher Education System31 Rothblatt (1995).32 Lyotard in Bloland (1995). 35
  • 36During May, 2003, Clifton F. Conrad,33 Professor of Higher Education at the Universityof Wisconsin-Madison, led a workshop in Quito, Ecuador. The topic was, ―Toward aTemplate for Ensuring High-Quality 21st Century Ecuadorian Universities in Light ofTurbulent External and Internal Environments: Avoiding Pitfalls and SeizingOpportunities in Light of Experiences of Universities in the United States.‖Professor Conrad invited the audience to join him in discussing both the challenges andopportunities Ecuadorian people are facing in their universities and, in turn, to suggestspecific courses of action for addressing both the challenges and opportunities theyidentified. Among the audience of more than 100 individuals, were presidents ofEcuadorian universities and senior higher education officials in Ecuador. I would like toquote Professor Conrad‘s first message to the audience. The purpose of my address is to invite everyone in the audience to consider what you might do at your universities to ensure quality in the light of our experiences and ongoing efforts in the United States to maintain quality in the midst of significant external and internal influences. To put it another way, my address will explore the major forces influencing higher education in the United States and, in so doing, invite educators in Ecuador to reflect on the major challenges and opportunities in maintaining and enhancing quality in their universities in the 21st century. My comments are divided into three major parts. First, I begin by identifying and discussing the major external and internal forces influencing higher education in the U.S. today and, I believe, to a considerable extent in Ecuador as well. Second, I review and critique four popular models that universities in the U.S. have variously adopted to respond to these external and internal forces. In so doing, I explore both the proclaimed benefits and potential pitfalls for each of these four models. Third, I conclude by advancing a template for change and innovation anchored in specific courses-of-action—from institution-wide policies and practices to changes and innovations to enhance curriculum,33 Professor Conrad‘s visit to Ecuador was sponsored by the Ecuadorian Higher Education Council―CONESUP‖ [Consejo Nacional de Educación Superior] and Universidad Internacional del Ecuador. 36
  • 37 teaching, and learning—aimed at maintaining and enhancing quality. Following my address, I invite you all to join with me in discussing both the challenges and opportunities you are facing in your universities and, in turn, to suggest specific courses of action for addressing both the challenges and opportunities you identify.Conrad focused on the following external and internal forces influencinguniversities. a. External forcesDemographic shifts in student clientele: more diversity, changing lifestyles (faster-paced, technology-linked), and changing student expectations; changing expectations ofemployer/corporate culture: demand for technical skills and general education andcontinuing professional education; globalization: economic interdependence and needfor diversity (people, experiences, and multiculturalism); technology: implications forworkplace preparation and teaching and learning in the university; changing patterns ineducational financing: public to private funding, which leads to increased emphasis onresearch and entrepreneurial activities; and public pressure for universities to advanceprivate and public good. b. Internal ForcesSome of the internal forces identified by Conrad include the changing nature ofknowledge production and dissemination; the rise of the entrepreneurial spirit; academicculture and socialization of new faculty and students; ―rugged individualists;‖ theshortage of qualified faculty in some fields; university-wide pressure to reorganize anddownsize in light of budget deficits.In addition, Conrad presented four popular models of change and innovation: a. Virtual Degree Institutions/Programs b. Corporate Training Institutions/Programs c. Entrepreneurial Institutions/Programs d. Service Station Institutions/Programs 37
  • 38Drawing on his own research and the literature on program quality, Conrad presented atemplate for ensuring quality: courses-of-action—from institution-wide polices andpractices to changes and innovations aimed at enhancing curriculum and teaching andlearning—for maintaining and enhancing quality.  Know thyself: ―forge stronger institutional and programmatic identities.‖ This category encompasses having a mission anchored in history/tradition/character and retaining focus on traditional purposes (scholarship, research, service) while preparing graduates with knowledge, skills, and attitudes.  Embrace changes and innovations in alignment with institutional identity: being responsive to emerging pressures of the new century through changes and innovations aligned with purposes of institution; encouraging movement toward interdisciplinary initiatives and programs—including joint positions—in programs and faculty hiring.  Reconceptualize high-quality programs and related practices: quality programs traditionally are measured in outputs, but should be measured in terms of meaningful learning experiences that positively affect students‘ growth and development.  Incorporate assessment into program design. Document student learning through: increasing demands to document value of college degrees and using student assessment to enhance teaching; and adopting systematic approaches to ongoing assessment with particular emphasis on student learning experiences and outcomes, both to improve teaching and student outcomes (portfolios, journals, observations, or involvement at third party levels such as through employment experiences).  Ensure a community both fiercely intellectual and sacred: combating the loss of community and protect institutional and programmatic identities; having a space in which a community of truth is practiced; encouraging inter- disciplinary and cross-disciplinary perspectives; and developing a dimensionless intellectual community.  Rediscover and place more emphasis on the societal (non-pecuniary) benefits of higher learning: placing increased emphasis on general and liberal 38
  • 39 education; and incorporating innovations such as service-learning into the curriculum; this may include social justice component. Four discussion questions that guided the workshop were: 1. What are the two major external and two major internal influences in Ecuadorian universities today? 2. What are the major threats to quality and opportunities to strengthen quality associated with each of these influences? 3. In light of the above, what major leadership initiatives do you think that administrators should be taking to enhance and maintain the quality of their universities? 4. What innovative models and approaches are you using to strengthen quality in your respective universities?Participants were organized into groups according to their academic programorientation: arts and humanities, new technologies, business administration, computerscience, and technical programs. Table 3 shows their responses. Table 3: Ecuadorian Universities in Light of Turbulent External and Internal Environments1. Internal & 2. Major Threats 3. Major Leadership 4. Innovative Models toExternal Initiatives Improve QualityInfluencesFaculty- Quality of faculty - Faculty are not trained - Pedagogical formation of - Center for Teaching- Full-time faculty to be professors teachers and professors Excellence- Faculty with - Need more full-time - More preparation of - Competence-basedgraduate degrees faculty; most of them faculty in the scientific and programs 34- Faculty are ―taxi professors‖ technology fieldsengagement - Faculty evaluation34 ―Taxi professor‖ is a Latin American expression and a cultural one used to define those professors thatare not considered as full-time faculty because they have to work at multiple universities or institutions toearn enough money to support their families. ―Taxi professors‖ only teach few hours and never haveoffice hours. 39
  • 40Students - Many students are - More participative and - Hands on learning-Under-prepared working people that active learningstudents study, rather than studying students -Under-prepared freshmenAcademic - Offering of programs - Philosophical conception - Competence-basedPrograms that are not up-to-date of the human being: ―a programs-New programs - Quality of programs person that needs to be - Credit and modulardon‘t answer the - Clarification of educated in an integral systemssociety‘s needs institutional mission way, with ethics and - Active learning (universities offer same virtues‖ programs as those - Competence-based offered at technical programs according to the schools) market demands - New models for the teaching and learning process - Curricula innovation - Program evaluationFinancial resources - Bad salaries paid to - Self-funding projects - Relationships with-Decrease on faculty productive sectormotivation - Decrease of quality through university‘s-Decrease on servicesqualityStrategic Plans - Need for a national - National higher - Strategic planningmission development plan education policies - Evaluation processesdifferential: provided by CONESUP - More leadership - ISSOuniversity vs. - Slow development of - Team work with a shared - More flexible andtechnical education the country goal horizontal structure and -Quality of systems administrationCampus facilities - Some campuses lack - Use of new technology The use of newand technology adequate physical and - More innovation technology to improve technological resources quality - Technology transfer centers 40
  • 41 - Academic services with new technologiesInternal / External - Development of -Internationalization of the - Workshops withCompetitiveness network connections education current topicsand - Interinstitutional - Exchange studentsGlobalization alliances & agreements and faculty- Competence- Migration- ChangeresistanceAt the end of the workshop, Professor Conrad (2003) made the following comments andrecommendations:  Link K-12 and higher.  Advance more collaboration among universities. ―Taxi professors‖ is not collaboration. Working together and building bridges help in economic and environmental contexts.  Offer liberal arts programs. There is a tendency to develop technical programs and leave out the liberal arts and sciences.  Introduce courses on weekends. Courses that can be very effective for learning especially for working adults. People are more engaged in intellectual vitality.  Attract and retain highly-qualified faculty devoted to teaching and learning. In terms of teaching and learning, ask yourselves: Am I doing more than I should? Am I engaging people? How can I make this a better world?ConclusionFrom the literature review, it is clear that very little has been studied regarding attributesof high-quality programs in Latin American countries, particularly in Ecuador. Previousstudies about program quality have only been advanced by U.S. and European 41
  • 42universities. Those studies have helped inform my research, particularly the ―Theory ofProgram Quality‖ posited by Haworth and Conrad (1997). 42
  • 43 CHAPTER THREE METHODThis chapter describes the method I used for identifying attributes of program quality inuniversities in developing countries with my main focus on Ecuador. Informed bytheory of program quality advanced by Haworth and Conrad (1997), the guidingquestion in this study was: What program attributes contribute to enriching learningexperiences for students that positively affect their growth and development?Purpose of the StudyI sought to develop a theory of attributes of program quality that contributed toenriching learning experiences related to learning outcomes for students that positivelyaffect their growth and development. In doing so, my underlying aim from the outsetwas that the findings gained from this study could help inform decision-making, enrichteaching, and guide evaluation with new perspectives and approaches for continuousquality improvement in Ecuador and other developing countries.MethodIn order to identify program attributes that influence students‘ learning outcomes, I usedgrounded theory, an inductive approach that generated a theory based on data I collectedfrom 60 interviewees who participated in this study. Like Haworth and Conrad (1997), Iused a ―positioned subject‖ approach that grounded my research in the perspective ofdiverse stakeholders (administrators, faculty, students, alumni, and employers).Anchored in a ―positioned subject‖ approach, I designed my strategy for research andanalysis. I used a two-stage sample in order to focus on stakeholders‘ understanding ofquality of students‘ learning outcomes. In the first stage, during December 2001 andJanuary 2002, I interviewed 48 participants mainly from two Ecuadorian Universities:Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) and Pontificia Universidad Católica delEcuador (PUCE). The first stage took place during December 2001 and January 2002.In the second stage, I interviewed 11 participants from Latin America and one from theUnited States. The second stage took place in Costa Rica, during June and July 2003. 43
  • 44Similar to Haworth and Conrad (1997), I focused throughout on how participantsdescribed and made sense of their interpretations and understandings of what theybelieve contribute to most to high-quality programs.Grounded TheoryConrad (1982) in states: ―Grounded theory may be defined as theory generated fromdata systemically obtained through the constant comparative method.‖ According toStrauss and Corbin (1997), ―grounded theory methodology and methods (procedures)are now among the most influential and widely used modes of carrying out qualitativeresearch when generating theory is the researcher‘s principal aim.‖ These authorsemphasized that grounded theory has spread from its original use by sociologists to theother social sciences and to practitioner fields, including accounting, businessmanagement, education, nursing, public health, and social work.Glaser and Strauss (1967) first advanced the use of grounded procedures and techniquessuch as the constant comparative method, an inductive method of discovering theory,Glaser (1978), Strauss (1987), Strauss and Corbin (1990), and Denzin (1994) alsoadvanced the use of this approach.As a grounded theorist, my acknowledgment and consideration of my background andlife experiences allowed me to be ―theoretically sensitive‖ to the data I collected andanalyzed. In order to provide the reader with an indication of who I am, I offer thefollowing autobiography.I was born in Quito, Ecuador. I earned a Bachelor‘s Degree in Human ResourcesManagement in 1992 at the Technological University of Ecuador and my Master‘sDegree in Educational Science in 1997 at the University of Kansas-Lawrence. Ireceived a Fulbright – LASPAU (Academic and Professional Programs for theAmericas) Scholarship for my Master‘s Degree (1995 – 1997). Currently, I amcompleting my Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis with focus onhigher education administration at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I received ascholarship from the Organization of American States (O.A.S.) for my Ph.D (2000 –2002). I have worked for approximately four years as director of institutional self- 44
  • 45evaluation within the Technological University of Ecuador and in the Pacific Universityof Ecuador. For the latter, I served as Vice-Chancellor of the Graduate School. Inaddition, I have worked as a professor of human resources management, leadership, andadministration at the Catholic University of Ecuador (Pontificia Universidad Católicadel Ecuador - PUCE) and at the Technological University of Ecuador (UniversidadTecnológica Equinoccial). I have also taught first and second year Spanish at theUniversity of Wisconsin – Madison (2000 - 2002, and 2004). Since 2003, I have workedas the strategic planning professor for the Master‘s Program in Business Administrationat the Instituto de Altos Estudios Nacionales of Ecuador. During the spring semester of2004, I taught a graduate course about evaluation for the Master‘s Program of theSchool of Education at PUCE. Since September 2002, I have served as an AcademicExecutive Officer and Advisor for the Ecuadorian Council of Higher Education System(CONESUP).To generate a theory encompassing the attributes of program quality, I used the―constant comparative method.‖ My research consisted of methodical data collection,coding, and analysis aimed at developing a theory. As developed by Glaser and Strauss(1967), the constant comparative method comprises: (1) comparing incidents applicableto each category; (2) integrating categories and their properties; (3) delimiting thetheory; and (4) writing the theory. The first stage centers on data collection, clustering,and coding the information resulting from interviews/transcripts into related categories.To meet this end, I used a cross-program analysis or a program-by-program analysis.The information has been organized according to the major attributes of program qualityidentified by the participants, which Strauss and Corbin (1990) refer to as ―open-coding.‖ This process is also known as ―theoretical abstractions or symbolicrepresentation‖ (Haworth and Conrad, 1997: 221) because data are divided analytically.For this part of my study, I scrutinized transcripts and narratives by using the method ofdata reduction, meaning that data were analyzed by commonalities and differences.Data were coded and categorized by clusters, and various validity checks werecompleted. These validity clusters include contextual validation using multiple ratersand member checks with focus groups. In the second stage, I used axial coding forintegrating, relating, and testing the relationships of categories and subcategoriesagainst the data. I was looking at emerging themes and common patterns. I focused onmethodically organizing and testing the attributes identified in the first stage to further 45
  • 46refine a theory of program quality. Third, directed by the resulting code-list of the majorprogram attributes and using cross-program discrimination, I delimited the theory basedon ―theoretical saturation‖ (Haworth and Conrad, 1997: 23). In this stage, I usedselective coding (Strauss and Corbin, 1990) in order to unify the categories around acore category. Coding at this stage is not very different from the axial coding.According to Strauss and Corbin, selective coding is performed at a higher, moreabstract level of analysis. In their words, ―Selective coding is the integrative process ofselecting the core category, systematically relating to other categories, validating thoserelationships, and filling in categories that need further refinement and development.‖35Multi-case Study DesignUsing the constant comparative method and with the intent of placing stakeholders´perspectives as the focus of my research, I used an open, multi-case study design alongwith the ―positioned subject‖ approach. For this multi-case study design, I organized myresearch around a sampling strategy in the selected programs and interviewees withineach program that were representative of Ecuadorian public and private universities. Iselected three programs at two private universities located in Quito, Ecuador:Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) and Pontificia Universidad Católica delEcuador (PUCE). For further testing and to continue the development of my theory, Iinterviewed 11 Latin American participants and on United States participant.To define the attributes of program quality and the variations in terms of field of study, Ichose three different fields within professions and sciences. From professional fields, Iinvestigated business administration and biotechnology; from the sciences, Iinvestigated biology. For the above, I investigated undergraduate level programs.Within each of the selected programs, I interviewed institutional administrators,program administrators, faculty, students, alumni, and employers. To triangulate thefindings, I interviewed people who differed in terms of level of responsibility and levelof interest.35 Strauss and Corbin (1990). 46
  • 47Interview ProcessConsonant with my positioned subject approach, I used focused interviews to obtain in-depth information. To engage institutional administrators, program administrators, andfaculty in conversations, I provided them with the topic to be covered in advance.Students were interviewed in focus groups. During the first-stage sample, only three ofinterviewees were not available at the research site; these three interviewees (oneemployer and two alumni) were contacted over the telephone. For the second-stagesample, four of the interviewees completed their responses by electronic mail.Involvement of participants was strictly voluntary.The interview protocol consisted of a set of preplanned, open-ended questions. Thefollowing questions guided my research: What program attributes in universities indeveloping countries contribute to positive learning outcomes for students? I addressedthe following sub-questions for each attribute: 1. What actions do stakeholders engage in implementing the attribute? 2. What positive impact do these learning outcomes have on student growth and development?When interviewees needed prompting, I asked questions such as: What do you think arethe most important characteristics of the program? What have you and others learned?What activities or events have been most instrumental in contributing to your learningin your field? Where does ―real learning‖ take place for students here? I also providedinformation when the requested question was unclear to the participants. In order toobtain in-depth information, I encouraged interviewees to establish the direction of thedialogue. In general, interviews were conducted as conversations where participants feltthey were in a receptive environment in which they could share their thoughts andexperiences.I transcribed the recorded interviews. I maintained both confidentiality and anonymity.The names of the participants are not associated in any way with the research findings.Only code numbers identify the findings. 47
  • 48TrustworthinessHaworth and Conrad (1997) defined trustworthiness as those measures that they, asqualitative researchers, took to safeguard the accuracy, consistency, and validity of theirresearch findings during the data collection process. They ensured trustworthinessprimarily through what researchers in the social sciences commonly refer to as―triangulation,‖ namely collecting and analyzing data across multiple and different datasources and using multiple methods of data collection. Haworth and Conrad (1997)used three basic strategies to enhance trustworthiness. First, they built triangulation byselecting stakeholder groups who were at different stages with respect to their master‘sprogram. Second, just as triangulation was built into Haworth and Conrad design in theway they selected interviewees, it was also built into the analysis process used in thefieldwork, and they frequently exchanged notes and observations from their interviews.They continued to triangulate and learn from each other‘s perspectives by critiquing oneanother‘s summaries. Third, to ensure that all findings were based on the data and thatthe inferences drawn from the data were supported, they performed extensive dataanalysis. As they summarize: ―In each of the three stages of data analysis, we jointlyreexamined our inferences and the evidentiary basis for each and every finding bycontinually asking one another questions about both the process and the product of thestudy.‖36Based on Haworth and Conrad‘s three basic strategies to enhance trustworthiness, Ibuilt triangulation into the study. I used a cross-program analysis. In order to labelcategories and subcategories, the information was coded according to the majorattributes of program quality that I identified in this study and that I present in ChapterFour. When it was appropriate, I used multiple measures. Judd, Smith, and Kidder(1991) suggest the use of multiple measures without violating any claim that oneoperational definition is superior. In addition, reliability and discriminant validity37 will36 Haworth and Conrad (1997: 223 – 224).37 Discriminant validity refers to all valid measures that show good convergence with other measures ofthe same thing. It should also fail to correlate with measures that are supposed to tap basically differentconstructs (Judd, Smith, and Kidder, p. 51). 48
  • 49help avoid contamination from systematically varying constructs.38 Le Compte andGoetz (1982) state: ―Reliability refers to the extent to which a study can be replicated orreproduced.‖ Validity requires reliability as a prerequisite. This study consideredresearch validities such as construct validity which refers to constructs of theoreticalinterest that can be successfully operationalized in the research; internal validity, whenconclusions can be drawn from the causal effect of one variable on another; and externalvalidity, when generalization of results of this research can be replicated in othersettings. As LeCompte and Goetz (1982) describe: ―Establishing validity requiresdetermining the extent to which conclusions effectively represent empirical reality andassessing whether constructs devised by researchers represent or measure the categoriesof human experiences that occur.‖Further Testing of the Attributes of High-Quality ProgramsAs indicated earlier, my research had two stages. During the first stage I identified theattributes of high-quality programs that are presented in Chapter Four (five clusters andthirteen attributes). Because this study was limited to two private universities inEcuador, I wanted more evidence to confirm, test, and triangulate the attributes ofquality programs that I identified in Ecuador. To this end, I extended my research.After two years completing the first stage of my research process, I had the opportunityto attend a graduate class in Costa Rica, where I met several international businessprofessionals from different Latin American universities. On the grounds that this was asplendid opportunity to further test the findings—attributes—resulting from the firststage, I decided to extend my research to a second stage. In this second stage, Iinterviewed twelve more participants. Haworth and Conrad‘s ―Engagement Theory,‖ inconcert with my building on and extending their theory, found strong support regardlessthe countries types of universities represented in the sample. In summary, in the courseof two stages I was able to support with further evidence the attributes of high-qualitythat I identified during the first stage.38 Constructs refer to phenomena, both subject and object. Naïve hypotheses argue that one phenomenonor behavior—the subject in the hypotheses—causes or is associated with another phenomenon orbehavior—the object (Judd, Smith, and Kidder, p. 10). 49
  • 50Sampling Strategy and ProceduresStrauss (1987) defines theoretical sampling as a means where the researcher decides onan analytical basis which data to collect and where to find them. He provides a basicquestion in theoretical sampling: To which groups or subgroup of population, events,and activities (to find varying dimensions, strategies, etc.) does one turn next in datacollection? What is the theoretical purpose? Conrad (1982) defines theoretical samplingas the process by which ―the universe of data to be collected is delimited through theuse of theoretical criteria. The search for data relevant to the generation and verificationof the theory continues until all of the major concepts and their interrelationships havebeen theoretically saturated.‖ According to Strauss and Corbin (1990: 242), theoreticalsaturation is reached when no new or relevant data seem to emerge regarding acategory. Such category development is dense, to the extent that all the paradigmelements are explained along with variation and process, and the relationships betweenvariables are well established and validated. Cresswell (1998) states, ―A groundedtheorist is typically able to saturate all study categories after conducting 20 to 30interviews in the field.‖Haworth and Conrad (1997) suggest using a multi-case study design anchored in asubstantively representative sample. The sampling strategy includes the selections ofprograms as well as interviewees within programs. The participants need to betheoretically relevant. Thus, within each program, I selected individuals representing thedifferent stakeholder categories: institutional administrators, program administrators,faculty, students, alumni, employers, and business leaders from six Latin America‘sdeveloping countries and one United States citizen.For sampling strategy, Straus and Corbin (1990) suggest a three-step process. The firststep is ―open sampling‖ to guide the initial data selection. Researchers have to chooseand select the data that they believe are theoretically relevant to the inquiry of the study.The second step is ―maximizing opportunities to explore developing concepts underdifferent conditions.‖ Once again, the researcher samples on the basis of theoreticalrelevance by using rational and variational sampling techniques and focuses on bothconnecting and discriminating the dimensions identified in the preceding stage. In the 50
  • 51third step, the researcher uses ―discriminate sampling‖ to test further previouslydeveloped dimensions, categories, and relationships across categories. At this stage,Strauss and Corbin state that the sampling process becomes directed and deliberatedbecause the researcher can make choices about whom and what to sample to obtain therequired information.39My sample at the two Ecuadorian universities and with the diverse Latin Americanleaders in the business field was selected by using the ―positioned subject approach‖(Haworth and Conrad, 1997: 16). According to the authors, this approach grounds theresearch in the perspective of diverse stakeholders, provides a strategy for research andanalysis, and focuses on stakeholders‘ interpretations of the quality of students‘ learningoutcomes within individual programs—including how people describe and make senseof the programs and what they believe contribute most to enriching their quality—always from their standpoint or perspectives. Haworth and Conrad‘s approach can alsobe combined with the ―purposive sampling method‖ (Judd, Smith, and Kidder, 1991).The reason ―behind purposive sampling is that with good judgment and an appropriatestrategy, we can handpick the cases to be included and thus develop samples that aresatisfactory in relation to our needs.‖40 Diverse participants (the stakeholders) for thisstudy were selected for their academic knowledge and experience. Participants‘willingness to share their experiences, interpretations, expectations, and knowledge ofthe quality of students learning outcomes in individual programs were relevant factorsfor the success of my research.Theoretical SensitivityTheoretical sensitivity is the ability to give sense to data. Strauss and Corbin (1990)state that theoretical sensitivity is ―the capability to separate the pertinent from thatwhich isn‘t.‖ While theoretical sensibility can influence the data collection and dataanalysis process, I trusted that my professional experience enabled me to ―separate the39 Straus and Corbin (1990).40 Judd, Smith, & Kidder (1991: 136). 51
  • 52pertinent from that which it isn‘t.‖ I understood that there were challenges related totheoretical sensibility because this study is qualitative and it, by definition, containssubjective interpretations of data.EthicsAccording to Kidder and Judd (1986), maintaining confidentiality is a key element insocial research. One of the solutions is to have interviewees sign a consent form thatinforms the interviewees that their names will not be associated with the researchfindings. Since I had already known some of the institutional administrators, programadministrators, faculty, and students at the two universities where I conducted myresearch, I followed the advice given by de Laine (2000: 134): ―Appropriate boundariesbetween the researcher and subject may need to be maintained when in the professionalrole, to avoid ethical problems arising from different loyalties and expectations thathave to do with the management of anonymity and confidentiality.‖ I have ensuredprivacy and confidentiality by referring to participants and information through codes.Selection of ProgramsTo provide essential samples for defining attributes of program quality, I selected threeprograms in professions and sciences: two business administration and biotechnologyprograms in the professions and biology in the sciences. I chose business administrationprograms because the largest percentage of each student body is enrolled in this field atthe two universities (USFQ and PUCE). The two universities represented in the sampleincluded one traditional university and one new university patterned after the UnitedStates liberal arts models. The student body at one of the institutions generally belongedto middle and lower classes while the student body at the other university was mostlycomprised of upper class students. The three programs at both universities areprestigious on an Ecuadorian scale.Selection of Interviewees within ProgramsI selected the interviewees within programs by using the selective sampling method(Schatzman and Strauss, 1973). The idea for selective sampling was used because I was 52
  • 53able to locate interviewees according to a preconceived but logical initial set ofdimensions such as time or identity. I decided to focus this research on the two chosenEcuadorian universities during a first pre-stage process in 1995. I conducted research atthose universities with the aim of exploring the perspectives of university authoritiesregarding institutional self-evaluation processes. For the current study, I learned moreabout the attributes of program quality in both settings. Even though I knew people atboth settings, I am confident that they did not have preconceived notions due to myparticipation as a researcher. By demonstrating respect and confidentiality to theinterviewees‘ ideas and ideals, I was able to guarantee the credibility of the findings. DeLaine (2000: 122) states: ―Demonstrating loyalty and allegiance to workers‘ ideals andideas and engaging in informal practices approved by the group, but not necessarily byupper management, could strengthen the trust between the researcher and subjects.‖ParticipantsParticipants included the Academic Affairs Director for the Ecuadorian HigherEducation Council, 12 university authorities such as chancellors, vice-chancellors,academic directors, graduate school directors, and a director of student affairs, 12professors, one administrator, 15 students, two employers, three alumni, and twostudent leaders were representative of Ecuadorian public and private universities. Forfurther testing, I interviewed one participant from the United States living in Costa Ricaand 11 participants who were representative of Latin America. The Latin Americanparticipants were from the following countries: one from Chile, two from Colombia,one from Costa Rica, four from Ecuador, two from El Salvador, and one from Peru.Table 4 summarizes information about interviewees who participated in this study. Table 4: Interviewees that Participated in this Study Country Institution Interviewees Sub- Total total Participants from Ecuadorian Universities 48Ecuador CONESUP Academic Director 1 1 53
  • 54Ecuador USFQ Chancellor 1 21 Vice-Chancellor 1 Deans 2 Directors 2 Professors 5 Students 8 Alumnus 1 Employers 1Ecuador PUCE Rector 1 24 Vice-Rector 1 Deans 2 Directors 2 Professors 7 Administrators 1 Students 7 Alumni 2 Employers 1Ecuador FEPE41 College Student Association Leaders 1 2 42 FENAUPE 1 Participants from the United States and various Latin American Countries 12United States University of California – Santa Cruz 1 1Chile Fundación de Educación 1 1Colombia Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana 1 2 Universidad Nacional Facultad de Minas 1Costa Rica Universidad Latina de Costa Rica 1 1Ecuador Universidad Católica de Guayaquil 1 4Ecuador Universidad Laica Vicente Rocafuerte 1Ecuador Universidad de Azuay 1 Universidad Estatal de Guayaquil 1El Salvador Universidad José Simeón Cañas 1 2 Universidad Politécnica 1Perú Pontificia Universidad Católica de Perú 1 1 Total number of interviewees 6041 FEPE: Ecuadorian Private Universities Federation.42 FENAUPE: Ecuadorian Universities and Polytechnic Schools Federation. 54
  • 55Data AnalysisConsonant with grounded theory, the process of analyzing data was performedimmediately after I started collecting data. Data analysis for this study is organizedthrough the construction of a theory of attributes of quality programs. I used the―constant comparative method‖ to analyze my data. Haworth and Conrad (1997) statethat on the basis of what they learned from interviews across the 47 Master‘s programsin their sample, their data analysis was informed throughout their systematic endeavorto identify and weave together attributes and clusters of attributes of high-qualityprograms into an integrated theory. They used the constant comparative method toanalyze their interview material first within and then across the programs. Similar toHaworth and Conrad (1997), I established the criterion that each attribute had to beconsidered important by the stakeholders.Consistent with the constant comparative method, I analyzed data following the fourstage process. During the first stage, I reviewed the transcripts. I used the guidingquestion and the regulations to record in a codebook—on a program-by-programbasis—attributes that at least three stakeholders considered significant. To organize datainto categories, like Haworth and Conrad (1997), I coded data in clusters such as:attributes; reasons why the attributes are considered important by stakeholders; actionstaken by stakeholders to establish the attribute; and consequences and effects of theattributes on students‘ learning outcomes.The second stage involves to systematically refining and testing attributes of programquality to construct a theory of program quality. Thus, I used the list of programattributes contained in the codebook that resulted from the first stage of this process. Imade constant comparisons of the data from the intervening programs in order to lookfor evidence that sustains, disproves, or modifies the program attributes that wereidentified through the process. By doing so, I was able to construct, step-by-step, apreliminary theory of program quality.In the third stage of data analysis, the guidelines for ―theoretical saturation‖ were met. Idelimited and tested the theory by discriminating among the inventory of programattributes. Haworth and Conrad (1997) suggest systematically looking for negative 55
  • 56evidence to refute each of the attributes included in the emerging theory. I outlined atheory that embraces the attributes that were clustered. Consistent with Haworth andConrad (1997), for each attribute the theory will include the actions taken bystakeholders to enact the attribute and the effects that these learning outcomes had onstudent development. To conclude, the fourth stage, the constant comparative method,was writing a theory of program quality.I built a conditional matrix in order to distinguish and link levels of conditions andconsequences related to the phenomenon under study. According to Strauss and Corbin(1990), the conditional matrix enables the researcher to both distinguish and link levelsof conditions and consequences specified within the axial coding model. The researchermay develop and visually portray a conditional matrix that elucidates the social,historical, and economic conditions influencing the central phenomenon; however, hesays that this method is not frequently found in grounded theory studies.In order to ensure that my findings accurately reflect reality, I introduced the ―membercheck‖ technique (Glesne and Peshkin, 1992) to triangulate the understandings andfindings. In doing so, I shared my notes and findings with key interviewees in order toobtain their comments based on the list of attributes of quality programs.Interview Process and ProtocolsTo interview individual stakeholders at each university and to request theirparticipation, I provided each interviewee with a letter of presentation including thefollowing components: a brief introduction regarding my background; the intent of thisstudy; a request for their voluntary participation in my study; and an acknowledgementof their right to privacy and a guarantee that their identity would remain confidentialand that participants would be referred to only by codes.At the beginning of each interview, I took a moment to introduce myself. In theseintroductions I reviewed my background and explained the purpose of my study. Inaddition, I provided the interviewees with consent forms to sign if they were willing toparticipate. When necessary, I addressed any concern from the interviewees. 56
  • 57During the interviewing process, if I would have been asked by the interviewees toprovide them with a copy of the saved material, I would have done so, but none of themasked; however, some of the participants asked me for a copy of this dissertation. Iexplained to the participants that I will give the university a summary of the researchfindings and conclusions.Interview QuestionsThe interview questions included but were not limited to the following: 1. What program attributes in universities in developing countries contribute to enriching learning outcomes for students that positively affect their growth and development? 2. What actions do stakeholders take to implement the attributes? 3. What consequences and positive effects do these actions have for enhancing student learning outcomes?Field Note-TakingMy field notes encompass the information that I typed and saved on my laptopcomputer and group observations. My field note-taking started with a heading thatincluded the name of the interviewee, his or her title, university department, and timeand date of the interview. The information has been organized by columns in order tomake notations related to the interviewing moment. All of the information has beensaved. The largest central column, following Bogdan and Biklen‘s advice (1992),served to make descriptive notations, recording ideas that flowed from what theparticular interviewee said and communicated during the interview. The purpose forwriting notations in an orderly way was to capture the key ideas.It is important to estate that all interviews were conducted in Spanish and I translatedthe information into English.Limitations of This Study 57
  • 58First, most of the interviews were conducted only at two private Ecuadorian universitiesthat are among the most prestigious in the country out of the 66 private and publicuniversities approved by CONESUP (December 2004). Accordingly, the response tomy interviews would probably not be the same if I had interviewed people in publicuniversities. And second, I did not benefit from others‘ insight as I was the onlyresearcher conducting this study. Having another person commenting, analyzing, andcoding the information would have enhanced the process of presenting the attributes ofquality programs in universities in developing countries. 58
  • 59 CHAPTER FOUR FINDINGSIn keeping with Haworth and Conrad‘s (1997) definition of a high-quality program, thequestion that guided my data analysis throughout was: What program attributes inuniversities in developing countries contribute to learning experiences for students thatpositively affect their growth and development? As I identified specific programattributes, I concurrently addressed two sub-questions: first, what actions dostakeholders engage in to implement the attribute?; and second, what positive affects dothese actions have on student growth and development?On the basis of what I learned from the 60 interviews, my data analysis was informedby a systematic endeavor to identify and weave together attributes of high-qualityprograms. I used the constant comparative method to analyze my interview materialwithin and across the four selected programs at two private Ecuadorian universities andat an international meeting in Costa Rica. While in Costa Rica, I had the opportunity tointerview 11 participants from different Latin American universities and one individualfrom a United States university. Based on my interviews, I identified 13 attributes andgrouped them into five clusters: (1) highly qualified participants, (2) learning-centeredcultures, (3) interactive teaching and learning, (4) connected program requirements, and(5) adequate resources.Table 5 summarizes the five clusters and 13 attributes of high-quality programs. Thetable also specifies the actions that stakeholders take to implement each attribute andidentifies the positive learning outcomes for students. 59
  • 60 Table 5: Attributes of High-Quality Programs In Latin American and in Ecuadorian Universities Cluster One Highly Qualified Participants Attributes Actions Positive Outcomes Highly  University authorities develop hiring  Students become more creative, honest,Qualified Faculty polices to attract professors with advanced and confident professionals and leaders degrees (from first-rate universities). because they learn from excellent professors.  University authorities develop a  Students become more committed to reward structure that recognizes the their professions as well as more inspired achievements of faculty. and confident professionals because they learn from highly qualified faculty. Highly  Faculty and administrators establish  Students learn how to motivate oneQualified Students admissions policies based on their another to invest their best efforts to achieve institutional mission and on pre- high-academic standards. established quality standards to attract full- time students who will invest in their learning.  University authorities through the  Students learn to encourage one another higher education system introduce a to become more fully devoted to their national admission test to ensure high professions. admission standards. Cluster Two Learning-Centered Cultures Attributes Actions Positive Outcomes Shared  Faculty and administrative leaders  Students develop more well-definedProgram Direction invite stakeholders to join them in professional identitiesFocused on developing shared program direction.Learning  Shared program direction focused on 60
  • 61  University authorities invite faculty, learning helps students to develop a clearer students, alumni, and employers to sense of professional direction and a better participate in assessment efforts in which consciousness of where and how they wish they study the fit between their program‘s to invest their professional energies upon teaching and learning activities and its graduation. overall direction. Real-World  Introduce more realistic curricular  Students acquire connected learningLearning design with focus on the development of experiences, as well as develop theExperiences learning skills through case analysis to necessary skills to face real-world enrich the learning process. challenging experiences  Provide experiential learning through the development of real project for the productive sector and industries. Reading-  Administrators and faculty introduce  Students read more and develop moreCentered Culture policies to promote a ―reading-centered creative thinking; in turn, they are better culture.‖ able to contribute with new ideas grounded in knowledge. Supportive  Faculty and administrators develop a  Students who engage in risk-takingand Risk-Taking supportive learning environment in which activities develop their critical thinkingEnvironment students feel confident to take risks by ability and learn to confront what is already questioning paradigms and confronting known with the unknown. knowledge.  Students become more empowered professionals. Cluster Three Interactive Teaching and Learning Attributes Actions Positive Outcomes Integrative  Faculty, administrators, and students  Students who participate in integrativelearning: Theory develop hands-on learning experiences learning activities develop an enhancedwith Practice, Self through team-work activities that connect practical and logical problem-solvingwith Subject theory with practice. ability. 61
  • 62  Students become more adept at communicating theoretical and technical knowledge to others, especially by enhancing their interpersonal skills. Exclusive  Professors provide personalized  Students gain self-confidence and self-Tutoring and education within the context of an esteem.Mentoring interactive professor-students relationship.  Professors meet regularly with  Students become aware of their students to provide feedback on their weaknesses and engage in continuous self- professional and personal development. improvement.  Leader, administrators, and faculty develop supportive environments for tutoring and mentoring students. Cluster Four Connected Program Requirements Attributes Actions Positive Outcomes Planned  Faculty and administrators develop core  Students become deeper thinkers withBreadth and and specialized course work requirements. wider visions They develop a more holisticDepth Course understanding of knowledge and practiceWork that enhances their personal and professional lives. Tangible  Faculty and administrators design  Students become confident andProducts tangible products to complete their independent professionals by assuming programs. major responsibility for their projects.  Faculty and administrators support  Students become more analytical students throughout this culmination thinkers with wider perspective on their activity, providing guidance and feedback as professions. needed. 62
  • 63 Cluster Five Adequate Resources Attributes Actions Positive Outcomes Support for  Faculty and administrators support  Since students do not have to worryStudents students with funds for scholarships, grants, about economic resources, they invest their loans, and funds for study-abroad, including energies in learning. agreements with the private sector in order to provide students with job openings and internships opportunities.  Faculty, administrators and employers  Since students have opportunities to develop agreements and alliance for student study abroad and to transfer their credits to internships and job opportunities after international universities, they become more graduation. competitive and confident about their competence. Support for  University authorities allocate monetary  When professors invest their time inFaculty resources for faculty remuneration and student teaching and learning, students feel reward structures based on faculty quality more satisfied with their educational and achievements. experiences and become better professionals.  University authorities support faculty  When students benefit from faculty‘s publications by allocating monetary quality preparation and publications, they resources and sabbaticals. become more qualified professionals Support for  University authorities allocate monetary  Students become more technicallyCampus resources to update laboratories, libraries skilled to perform their jobs.Infrastructure (virtual libraries), research stations, computer labs, and necessary equipment and supplies.  University authorities invest in campus  Students who study on campuses with maintenance, innovation, and aesthetics. considerable resources develop a sense of belonging with their universities. 63
  • 64Attributes of High-Quality Programs In Latin American and in Ecuadorian UniversitiesA description of each attribute of high-quality programs follows, including the actionstaken and their consequences on student development and growth.Cluster One: Highly Qualified ParticipantsBased on evidence from the 60 interviewees, I identified ―highly qualified participants‖as the first cluster of attributes of quality. Below, I discuss the actions that universityauthorities, faculty, and administrators make to engage highly qualified faculty andstudents as well as the positive outcomes on student growth and development. 1. Highly Qualified Faculty One of the major attributes of high-quality programs is a highly qualifiedfaculty. All of my interviewees told me that highly qualified professors are people whonot only have first-rate educations but are deeply devoted to teaching and passionatelyconnected to their workActionsUniversity authorities, faculty, and administrators used two strategies to attract high-quality faculty. First, they defined hiring policies to attract and retain professors withPh.D. and master‘s degrees; second, they developed a reward structure that recognizesfaculty achievement.To illustrate, at one of the universities in my sample (USFQ), university authorities,administrators, and faculty invested time and effort to ensure that they engaged highlyqualified faculty by developing hiring policies that helped them secure faculty whodemonstrated high competence standards. For example, they looked for facultymembers with doctoral degrees, especially from the United States or Europe. A Dean atUniversidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ), using himself as an example to illustratefaculty committed to high-quality programs, explained how USFQ hired him because ofhis education. He stated, ―I was hired as the Dean of Life Sciences and Biotechnology at 64
  • 65USFQ because I had the opportunity to attend a prestigious university in the UnitedStates where I received my Ph.D. in Biology.‖A university authority at USFQ emphasized, clearly, that faculty at his university werehired because of their graduate degrees received from prestigious United States researchuniversities: Almost 90 percent of our professors with graduate degrees hold Ph.D.‘s and masters degrees from prestigious United States research universities. This is not a traditional university; this is a university patterned after the United States model, and a model based on liberal arts and general education.It is important to note that professors with doctoral degrees were highly valued at bothprivate universities and public universities in developing countries, particularly inEcuador. To illustrate, a business student at USFQ affirmed, ―I am attending thisuniversity because I have always wanted to have good professors who inspire me to findwhat I want to be and to love what I do.‖In the same vein, one of the leaders of the National College Students Association(FENAUPE) stated, ―We students and alumni care about quality faculty. We need moreprofessors with doctoral degrees because they can help us to improve our criticalthinking (and, in turn, our programs).‖The second action to attract and retain highly qualified faculty was to develop a rewardstructure that recognizes faculty achievements. A Dean at Pontificia UniversidadCatólica del Ecuador (PUCE) stated: Currently, we are meeting with international advisors—for example, advisors from Colombian universities, faculty, and administrators—in order to define a reward structure that defines strategies for recognizing outstanding professors. 65
  • 66Again and again across institutions, individuals told me that universities in developingcountries need to develop reward structures that recognize faculty achievement becauseit motivates faculty to devote their energy to the learning process. At the present time,the majority of universities in developing countries, especially in Ecuador, lack anykind of reward structure to recognize faculty achievements. For this reason, some highlyqualified faculty members resign from their teaching activities and go to places wheretheir quality is valued and rewarded. Professors clearly need to be recognized for theirquality. To illustrate, a business professor at PUCE who earned a graduate degree at aprestigious U.S. university stated: I have been teaching at this university for several years. I feel that my level of motivation is decreasing in spite of my passion to teach and help students become highly-qualified professionals. I have not received special recognitions despite my academic and professional preparation or for my quality of teaching. I do receive excellent evaluations every semester, but I neither receive a good salary nor rewards for my good teaching practice. The lack of a reward structure really discourages me to the point that I would like to find a job in a university where university leaders really care about the quality of professors by recognizing them with monetary and non-monetary rewards.To be sure, a university authority at PUCE stated that professors teach there for reasonsother than monetary rewards. Still, I found that all interviewees emphasized theimportance of developing a reward structure that recognizes not only good teachingpractices and publications but also externally-funded applied research projects, technicalreports and local consulting assignments that broaden and deepen their perspective onprofessional knowledge and practice.Positive OutcomesStudents were quick to attest that positive outcomes were associated with highlyqualified faculty. Students became more creative, honest, and encouraged professionalsand leaders because they learned from professors who devoted their time to teaching, 66
  • 67tutoring-mentoring, and preparing students in a holistic way. In terms of how mucheffect highly qualified professors had on student development and growth, one alumnusfrom the biology field at PUCE stated: Since we had good professors, we now are able to be good professionals in the biology field; we are more competitive, and it makes it easy to find jobs and funds because we have the necessary skills to perform our projects. Not only I have grown as a professional but also as a person. My professors were generous and very open to teach me.Students who learned from committed scholars became more committed to theirprofessions as well as more inspired and confident professionals. As a Latin Americanparticipant from Universidad Latinoamericana de Costa Rica put it, ―Students who hadthe opportunity to learn from quality faculty have become more motivated to beexcellent professionals.‖ 2. Highly Qualified StudentsInterviewees also emphasized the importance highly qualified students as a criticalfeature of high-quality programs. Interviewees frequently described highly qualifiedstudents as full-time students who were committed to education and had ambitions for asuccessful life.ActionsFaculty and administrators invest in two actions to attract and retain highly qualifiedstudents. First, faculty and administrators establish admission polices based on theinstitutional mission and on pre-established quality standards to attract and retain full-time students who will invest in their learning. Second, university authorities introducea national admission test to improve current admission standards. 67
  • 68To illustrate the first action, a business professor at PUCE told me about how theadmission process has pre-established standards to attract and retain more full-timestudents. In his words: In terms of introducing pre-established standards to the current admission process, we are defining standards based on accreditation and International Organization for Standards (ISO) norms and standards. Then we will be able to attract and keep more excellent students.A business professor at USFQ described the well-organized admission processimplemented by faculty and university authorities to attract and retain full-timestudents. In his words, ―The admission process is well-structured at this universitybecause we introduce planned actions to attract good students.‖Nevertheless, a biotechnology professor at USFQ—a professor that received a Ph.D. ata prestigious university of the United States—said: What really affects students‘ learning and motivation in several Ecuadorian universities is the lack of pre-established admission standards or admission tests. We professors have to struggle, trying to introduce high competitive standards among our students. If standards are not higher, students do not find reasons for being the best.To illustrate the second action, a Director from CONESUP stated that although privateuniversities such as PUCE and USFQ have well-structured admission processes, mostEcuadorian and Latin American universities need improvement in this area. He said: Ecuadorian universities need to establish minimum standards to attract full-time quality students. Once those minimum standards have been accomplished, universities should move to higher standards to admit highly qualified students. A national admission test would help to improve current admission standards. 68
  • 69Positive OutcomesPromoting higher academic standards among students has significant consequences forstudent outcomes. First, highly qualified students motivate one another to invest theirbest effort to achieve high academic standards. Second, highly-qualified studentsencouraged each other to become more fully devoted to their professions. As abiotechnology student at USFQ put it, ―Since we were admitted in a quality programthat has pre-established standards, we students feel motivated to invest our best effort toachieve high-academic standards and improve our intellectual level.‖A former Academic Administrator and business professor at PUCE added, ―Whenstudents perceive they have been admitted due to quality standards and haveparticipated in quality programs, they encouraged one another to become more fullydevoted to their professions.‖Similarly, a biology professor at USFQ told me, ―Since our students experienced pre-established standards to be admitted at USFQ, they encourage one another to becomemore fully devoted to their learning.‖Cluster Two: Learning-Centered CulturesHaving learned through my research that high-quality programs are anchored in self-critical and self-reflective cultures, I introduced learning-centered cultures as the secondcluster of attributes in my study. In this cluster, I identified four attributes of high-quality programs: shared program direction focused on learning; real-world learningexperiences; a reading-centered culture; and a risk-taking environment. After definingthe attributes, I examined the actions that program administrators, faculty, employers,alumni, and students take to develop and sustain the attributes within their programsand, in turn, discuss the ways in which student growth and development were enhanced. 1.Shared Program Direction Focused on Learning 69
  • 70Throughout my study, I learned that in high-quality programs, faculty, administrators,students, alumni, and employers are fundamental in building a shared program directionfocused on learning. Participants engage in a philosophy and a set of tools foridentifying and improving processes that lead to a better focus on learning.ActionsSimilar to those actions in Haworth and Conrad‘s (1997: 61 – 63) ―shared programdirection,‖ I found that faculty and administrators use two strategies to give expressionto this attribute. First, faculty and administrators invite other program stakeholders tojoin with them in constructing a shared program direction focused on learning. Second,university authorities motivate faculty, students, alumni, and employers to participate inassessment efforts in which they study the fit between their program‘s teaching andlearning activities and its overall direction.To illustrate the first action, a Dean at PUCE told me that his school started to workclosely with other program stakeholders to articulate shared direction. In his words: We have begun meeting with twenty-five other program stakeholders and employers in order to re-define the shared-program direction focused on learning. Thirty professors have been working with students, alumni, and administrators to review and adapt the recommendations given by other program stakeholders.To exemplify the action for the second attribute, an employer who was invited by PUCEto participate in the assessment to study the fit between program teaching and learningactivities and its overall direction, told me: It is very important that the business school at PUCE invite employers to join faculty, administrators, alumni, and students in order to assess how well the teaching and learning activities and their overall direction are preparing students to become qualified professionals.Positive Outcomes 70
  • 71Again, similar to Haworth and Conrad‘s (1997) research, two positive outcomeswere defined during my study. First, shared program direction helped students todevelop more well-defined professional identities in programs in whichparticipants share a ―common focus.‖ Second, shared program direction focusedon learning and helped students to develop a clear sense of professionaldirection and a better consciousness of where and how they wish to invest theirprofessional energies upon graduation.A biology professor at PUCE with a graduate degree from a prestigious researchuniversity in the United States told me that shared program direction helpedstudents to develop more well-defined professional characteristics with acommon focus. He stated:Students, who experience shared program direction, are becoming better-definedprofessionals with an understanding of the common focus as part of their educationexperiences and professional practices. In the United States universities, students, whoexperience shared program direction, are more informed of their professions and whereto invest their professional energies. I wish Ecuadorian universities would provide moreshared program direction to their students. 2. Real-World Learning ExperiencesBased on evidence from the 60 interviewees, I identified real-world learningexperiences as the second attribute in learning-centered cultures. Students in real-worldlearning experiences were assessed and evaluated through specific learning skills aswell as through the presentation of real-life projects for the private sector and industries.Actions 71
  • 72To provide real-world learning experiences, I identified two actions: first, stakeholderswho designed real-world curricula focus on the development of learning skills throughcase analysis; second, faculty and administrators who provide experiential learningthrough the development of real-world projects for industries.As to the first action, one interviewee emphasized the importance of case analysis aspart of real-world learning experiences. The interviewee said, ―Faculty andadministrators at Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana organized the learning processbased on real-world learning experiences through case analysis.‖As for the second action, a high administrator at USFQ told me that students use caseanalysis and develop new products for industries. In his own words: Our students experience real-world learning experiences through case analysis. Our students also develop their own projects that become real- world projects for industries. To illustrate, faculty members and students are applying their projects as part of new industries. One project involves the beer industry with two new beers ―Paquita” and “San Pancho;” other projects are part of the food industry (chocolate and pasta).Positive OutcomesStudents‘ real-world learning experiences increased their interest and commitment totheir profession. A biology student at PUCE told me, ―PUCE has created thebiodiversity and environment center where we connect our learning experiences anddevelop real projects that guide us toward our professions.‖A female professional from Ecuador with a degree in marketing told me that shedeveloped projects that guided her to her profession. She stated: When I was a student, I had the opportunity to connect my learning experience with projects (products). One of the products that I developed with my team was selected by the university and by a private business. The name of the product was Alpina. Currently, a food industry is selling 72
  • 73 our product with the name Avena Alpina. That project was a good start for my professional life. 3. Reading-Centered CultureI found that a reading-centered culture is also a vital component of highly-qualifiedprograms. University authorities, faculty, administrators, and stakeholders told me thatthey need to promote a more reading-centered culture. If universities promoted areading-centered culture, the cultural level of society improved because peopledeveloped more critical thinking skills to face realities. If students in Latin Americancountries, particularly in Ecuador, read more, they would develop more creativethinking and feel able to contribute with new ideas.ActionsEducational stakeholders agreed that education in Latin America, particularly inEcuador, must promote a reading-centered culture. Therefore, university authoritiesadvanced a reading-centered culture through introducing new policies such as providingstipends for books as part of students‘ tuition. University authorities, faculty, andadministrators at PUCE and USFQ explained me how professors know that they need topromote more reading among faculty, administrators, and particularly students. Studentsmust come prepared to classes. Every class session needs to introduce discussions basedon previous readings.Along the same vein, a business professor at PUCE stated, ―Due to new policies toimprove reading, our students are becoming better readers; now they participate indiscussions based on readings. The usual reading resistance has decreased.‖Positive OutcomesSince stakeholders were putting forth major efforts to promote a reading-centeredculture in Latin America, particularly in Ecuador, students were developing morecreative and critical thinking skills as well as contributing new ideas grounded in 73
  • 74knowledge. Interviewees told me that students feel able to contribute new ideas to thedevelopment of the country. A Latin American interviewee from Universidad JoséSimeón Cañas, El Salvador, told me, ―Since I attended a good program that promotedreading, I became a more critical thinker. I started to view things from differentperspectives, and I started to base decisions on knowledge.‖In the same tone, two Latin American interviewees, one from Chile and the other fromColombia, explained to me that when students read good stuff during their education,they become a more critical thinker. 4. Suportive and Risk-Taking EnvironmentA suportive and risk-taking environment is the fourth attribute of learing-centeredcultures. Faculty and administrators told me that they provide students with supportiveenvironments because they want students to feel safe to take risks during their learningexperiences.ActionsFaculty and administrators introduced one action to assure a suportive risk-takingenvironment. They developed a supportive learning environment in which students feltconfident to take risks by questioning paradigms and extant knowledge. A universityauthority at USFQ told me the importance of creating confusions in a safe environmentin students in order to provoke them to take risks. He stated: A risk-taking environment must create confusions in students within safe conditions, so they can question dogmas and paradigms in order to search for the truth. That is the kind of education our students are receiving at this university.In the same tone, a business student at USFQ added: Whenever our Chancellor or Vice-Chancellor gives us a conference or a speech, repeatedly they motivate us to take risks and search for the truth. 74
  • 75 Our Chancellor‘s speeches motivate not only students but also faculty and administrators.A business student at USFQ told me that her professors encourage students to take risksby providing them with a supportive learning environment. She told me, ―Ourprofessors are cool because they provide us with a supportive environment where wefeel confident to take risks and explore new ideas.‖Similarly, a biotechnology student at USFQ affirmed: I like to confront knowledge because I am motivated by my professors to do so. They provide students with supportive environments where we feel safe to take risks and express our opinions. Comparing this action to the conservative attitude of people in the outside world, we feel encouraged.Two Biotechnology students at USFQ explained to me the difference between a risk-taking environment that challenges students to explore new ideas and a criticizingenviroment that inhibits students. The two students stated: (Student 1): Generally, we have been accustomed to the outside world‘s mentality where people criticize others. (Student 2): We believe that criticizing students jeopardizes their development because students can feel intimidated and blocked. Nevertheless, faculty and administrators encourage us to explore new ideas and confront realities.Alumni and several students at USFQ affirmed, ―The Chancellor and our professorsgenerally encourage us to question knowledge. This action motivates us to search forthe truth. We do not panic to take risks within unknown circumstances.‖Even so, a risk-taking environment was an undeveloped attribute of high-qualityprograms in most Latin American universities, particularly ones in Ecuador. For 75
  • 76example, one of the leaders of the National College Students Association (FENASUPE)told me: It would be nice if professors could provide us with supportive and safe environments and strategies where we could take risks and express our opinions. In turn, we could become more qualified professionals, more competitive, with vision, open minds, and new views.Positive OutcomesStudents who took risks within the context of a supportive environment developed twopositive outcomes. First, students who engaged in risk-taking activities developed amore critical thinking attitude to face realities and to confront what was already knownwith the unknown. Second, students having studied in a risk-taking environmentbecame more empowered professionals.As for the first positive outcome, three students at USFQ, one from the biotechnologyschool and two from the business school, told me that within the context of a supportiveenvironment, we feel encouraged to confront knowledge. We do not accept whatever iswritten or said. We have become more critical thinkers and more skilled to search forthe truth.ne business student in her senior year at USFQ said, ―Our professors have inspired us tobecome more competitive by avoiding a mediocre lifestyle. Professors have encouragedus to have a lifelong learning attitude within a risk-taking environment.‖ As for thesecond positive outcome, a business student at USFQ told me how she had become amore empowered professional because her professors engaged students in risk-takingactivities. In her own words: Our professors engage us in risk-taking activities. As a consequence, we become more empowered professionals, with motivation and courage to take risks. In addition, our professors encourage us to exceed our limits and to become more empowered professionals. 76
  • 77In the same vein, a Latin American interviewee from Pontificia Universidad Católica ofPeru said, ―The good thing is that my professors created a risk-taking environment.Therefore, I felt much more encouraged to advance my professional education.‖Cluster Three: Interactive Teaching and LearningLike Haworth and Conrad‘s (1997) ―Engagement Theory of Academic ProgramQuality,‖ I identified interactive teaching and learning as the third cluster of attributes inmy theory of quality. Also, I came to understand that high-quality programs had beendeveloped around an interactive communication process. 1. Integrative Learning: Theory with Practice, Self with SubjectAgain, like Haworth and Conrad‘s (1997) theory, interactive learning – theory withpractice, self with subject – was a very important attribute of high-quality programs. Ilearned from interviewees that the learning experience was enhanced when studentsunderstood the relevance of what they learned and knew how to connect knowledge tothe outside world.ActionsFaculty, administrators, and students take one action to promote integrated learning intheir programs. They develop hands-on learning through teamwork activities thatconnect theory with practice. As for the above-mentioned action, faculty,administrators, and students told me that they were developing hands-on learningthrough teamwork projects that helped them to connect theory with practice. Toillustrate, a Dean at USFQ said: Faculty and administrators are promoting hands-on learning through teamwork that helps students to develop projects. Currently, our students are developing agribusiness projects, and they are learning to connect theory with practice. 77
  • 78In the same vein, a United States businessman living in Costa Rica, based on hisundergraduate experience at the University of California, Santa Cruz, recommended thatlarge Latin American universities organize students in small groups through teamworkactivities. In that way, students can better connect theory with practice. Thus, he sharedwith me his experience: As a student, I was an integral part of my university although it became a very large college. One of the most significant actions in order to help us connect theory with practice and foster communication between faculty, administrators, and students was the fact that our classes were organized in small groups through teamwork. Therefore, I had the opportunity to connect theory with practice.Positive OutcomesTwo positive outcomes resulted from integrative learning. First, students, whoparticipated in integrative learning activities moved toward a more practical and logicalproblem-solving attitude. Second, students became more adept at communicatingtheoretical and technical knowledge to others by using interpersonal skills includingrespect for others‘ ideas.As for the first positive outcome, a Latin American interviewee from Colombia told methat students who had participated in integrative learning through interdisciplinaryteams approached a more critical thinking and logical problem-solving attitude. In hiswords: Since I study in a program that was organized through various hands-on projects, workshops, or fieldwork, I have become a more practical and logical person; I have developed more critical thinking. I usually worked within interdisciplinary teams. Thus, I have become able to connect theory with practice; it means that I am more skilled when developing projects. 78
  • 79As for the second positive outcome, a Latin American interviewee from UniversidadNacional Facultad de Minas, Colombia, told me that when students are exposed to teamactivities, they became more adept at communicating theoretical and technicalknowledge to others by using interpersonal skills including respect for others‘ ideas.Therefore, he stated, ―I have experienced that working in teams as well asindependently has helped me to communicate both theoretical knowledge and technicalknowledge as well. I have become a professional with an analytical mind and toleranceand respect for others‘ ideas.‖ 2. Exclusive Tutoring and MentoringExclusive tutoring and mentoring emerged as an important attribute of high-qualityprograms in my study. Exclusive means that a limited number of students receivetutoring; in other words, exclusive reffers to a more personalized education. I alsolearned that exclusive tutoring and mentoring has been introduced gradually at LatinAmerican higher education institutions over the past five years.ActionsThree actions advance exclusive tutoring and mentoring. First, professors give morepersonalized education within a lightly interactive professor-student relationship.Second, professors meet regularly with students to provide feedback on theirprofessional and personal development. Third, leaders, administrators, and facultydevelop supportive environments for tutoring and mentoring students.As for the fist action, a business alumnus at USFQ told me: I liked the personalized education that I received at USFQ, I never felt like a name or number in the student roster because my professors always called me by my name; consequently, I felt much more motivated within that friendly professor-student relationship. 79
  • 80Professors met regularly with students at USFQ to provide feedback on theirprofessional and personal development. A high administrator at USFQ stated: Our professors, especially full-time professors at this university, are required to devote at least two hours daily to meet with their students. This action creates academic interactions between professors and students. Students receive feedback on their academic progress and personal development.In addition, a business student at USFQ told me that through personalized tutoring andmentoring, professors knew students‘ personal and professional interests andmotivations more profoundly. The student affirmed, ―Through exclusive tutoring andmentoring our professors knew us better. Exclusive mentoring was important becauseour professors understood better our professional and personal interests.‖As for the third action, administrators and faculty developed supportive environmentsfor tutoring and mentoring students. Several students at USFQ said that they hadexperienced a supportive environment where they had received tutoring and mentoring.One of them affirmed: Some good actions here are professors‘ openness to students through tutoring and mentoring. Our professors provide us with a supportive and friendly environment. They are always there when we, students, need them.Positive OutcomesTwo positive outcomes resulted from exclusive tutoring and mentoring. First, throughexclusive tutoring and mentoring students improved their self-confidence and self-esteem. Second, students became aware of their weaknesses and engaged in acontinuous self-improvement process. 80
  • 81Four students, three from the business school and one from the biotechnology school atUSFQ, told me that since professors had been giving more personalized educationwithin a light interactive professor-student relationship, they were becoming moreconfident. These four students agreed that their professors call them by their names andtreat them with respect; therefore, they improve their self-confidence and self-esteem.In the same vein, a high administrator at USFQ stated: Since it is a norm at USFQ to use our names and not titles within a light interactive professor-student relationship, our students become more confident; they elevate their self-esteem. Many people in Ecuador have been accustomed to treating others (students) as inferiors, and some students have developed a sense of inferiority. We are working hard to overcome those differences and improve people‘s self-confidence.A biology student at PUCE explained to me the positive effect resulting from professorscaring about students. She stated, ―Some of my professors really care about myprofessional education. That action helps me to trust them; my stress level is decreasing;my self-esteem is improving.‖As a second positive outcome, a biotechnology alumnus who graduated from USFQstated, ―Since my professors gave me feedback through tutoring and mentoring, Ibecame aware of my weaknesses, and I looked for ways to engage in a continuous self-improvement process.‖A high administrator at USFQ said, ―Because our students meet regularly with theirprofessors in order to receive academic and personal feedback, they are becoming moreaware of their weaknesses. Our students are learning to learn.‖Cluster Four: Connected Program RequirementsLike Haworth and Conrad (1997), I identified connected program requirements as thefourth cluster of attributes in my theory of program quality. From interviewees‘responses I learned that faculty challenged students to develop a more mature and 81
  • 82unified understanding of their profession through two attributes of connected programrequirements: planned breadth and depth course work and tangible products. 1. Planned Breadth and Depth Course WorkI identified planned breadth and depth course work as another important attribute ofprogram quality. Through planned breadth and depth course work faculty andadministrators require students to complete a program that embraces core andspecialized course work. This attribute positively affected students‘ development.ActionsFaculty and administrators use one action as for planned breadth and depth course work.They develop core and specialized course work requirements in order to advance awider education in students. To illustrate this action, two business professors at USFQtold me how the academic program encompasses core courses as well as specializedclasses. In their words: (Professor 1): Our students are learning subjects from a more planned breadth and depth course work. Our students are learning more about core and general subjects, including national and international cultures. (Professor 2): Our business program has a good balance between core and specialized courses according to their professional life interests. In addition, it includes cooking, languages, and history as part of the core course work.Positive OutcomesSince faculty members and administrators develop core and specialized course workrequirements in order to advance a wider education in students, students became deeperthinkers with wider visions who respected others‘ ideas. They developed a more holisticunderstanding of knowledge and practice which improved their personal andprofessional lives. 82
  • 83As for this positive outcome, professors and administrators at USFQ emphasized theimportance of planned breadth and depth course work. As a result, students viewed theworld through different lenses and became more open-minded. A business professor atUSFQ stated, ―Our students are achieving more open minds; they feel like ―freecitizens‖ because they are exposed to a more planned breadth and depth course work.‖Four students from the business school at PUCE agreed that they would have liked toreceive more planned breadth and depth course work with a more humanistic focus. Ahumanistic focus would provide students with wider visions and respect for others‘ideas, integrity, honesty, and trustworthiness. As they explained: (Student 1): By including more humanistic education into core courses, we develop more values (integrity, honesty, and trustworthiness), values necessary to confront the corruption facing developing countries, particularly Ecuador. (Student 2): We are more oriented to be good business professionals; this is fine; however, we need to learn more from core courses that include arts, cultures, and community service. (Student 3): We have good business courses here; however, I would like to receive other courses besides business ones, such as sports, because in a healthy body there is always a healthy mind. (Student 4): We are solid in our business administration program because we receive more specialized course work; nevertheless, it would be good if faculty and administrators balanced more between core and specialized courses. Then, we, students, can view the world through different lenses and with more open-minds. 2. Tangible Product 83
  • 84I identified tangible product as another attribute of high-quality programs. During mystudy, faculty and administrators designed tangible products such as theses and researchprojects for students to complete their programs.ActionsFrom interviewees‘ responses, I identified two actions. First, faculty, and administratorsdesign tangible products to complete their programs. Second, faculty, andadministrators support students throughout these culmination activities by providingguidance and feedback as needed.As for the first action, a high administrator at PUCE emphasized how biology studentswere expected to culminate their program studies with a thesis. He stated: At the undergraduate level, our biology students are expected to do and defend their own theses, as well as at the graduate level. The biology school at PUCE has prestige in Latin America because of its theses and research projects.A biology professor at PUCE told me that faculty members were always supportingstudents throughout the culmination of their theses by providing them with guidanceand feedback as needed. In his words, ―Every student working on his or her thesis has aprofessor that guides one by one their thesis. We provide our students with guidanceand feedback in a personalized way. In that way, we guarantee the culmination of theirthesis.‖Positive OutcomesTangible product had two positive outcomes on students. First, students became moreconfident and independent professionals by assuming major responsibility for theirtheses. Second, students became more analytical thinkers with a wider perspective ontheir professions. 84
  • 85Interviewees also agreed in the positive outcome for students when conducting researchin business and industry-related issues because students became more confident andindependent professionals. They assumed responsibility in completing their projects,theses, reports, and/or presentations. A high administrator at PUCE stated: Since our professors invite students to work with them in research projects that industries or business sectors provide funds for, students assume responsibilities because they feel as an important component of such research projects; and they have the opportunity to apply the results in their thesis.A senior biology student at PUCE explained to me the positive outcome resulting fromher research experience and professor guidance as important factors to the culminationof her thesis. She said: I am working with my professor on a research project that has funds from a French industry. He is always guiding me as well as allowing me to think analytically from what I am doing at the research lab. I am learning from him as well as from this experience. What is really good is that I am applying the research results on my thesis. This experience is also giving me a better perspective of what I would like to do on my profession. This is great!Cluster Five: Adequate ResourcesLike Haworth and Conrad (1997), I found that ―adequate resources provide animportant part of the foundation, upon which high-quality programs are built anddeveloped.‖43 Adequate resources, both monetary and non-monetary, contributed toenhancing faculty and student ―investments in teaching and learning.‖ Interviewees(faculty, administrators, and students) stated that adequate resources were an importantpart of high-quality programs because they felt much better in a supportive environmentand, in turn, learn more.43 Haworth and Conrad (1997: 143). 85
  • 86 1. Support for StudentsSupport for students could be seen in the form of scholarships, internships, grants,loans, study-abroad opportunities, internships, and job opportunities after graduation.ActionsAdministrators and faculty in developing countries, especially in Ecuador, develop twostrategies to provide support for students. First, faculty and administrators supportstudents with funds for scholarships, grants, loans, and funds for study-abroad,including agreements with the productive sector in order to provide students with jobopenings and internships opportunities. Second, faculty, administrators, and employersdeveloped agreements and alliances for student internships and job opportunities aftergraduation.As for the first action, university authorities at PUCE told me that they had allocatedfunds for students with fewer monetary resources when they demonstrated academicquality. As they put it: (A high administrator): We allocate funds for students who have few monetary resources. Students are selected according to their economic income and their academic records. (Director 1): PUCE has a differentiated tuition plan. Students who have more money pay more; students whose parents earn less, pay less. (Director 2): We have a student affairs department that studies the real income of our students in order to give them scholarships. Our professors‘ children also receive partial tuition payment or total tuition payment in the form of scholarships. Students that receive scholarships have to demonstrate an excellent academic GPA in order to keep their scholarships. PUCE also gives job opportunities and internships to highly qualified students. 86
  • 87Faculty and administrators developed agreements with international universities in orderto provide students with study abroad opportunities. A high administrator at USFQ toldme: USFQ has several agreements with international universities in order to provide our students with study abroad opportunities. Our undergraduate and graduate students have the opportunity to study in high-quality international universities. These agreements include universities such University of Michigan, University of Wisconsin – Madison, Boston University, among others. Our students are admitted directly to doctoral degree programs due to their academic quality.I was able to interview a business student during his senior year, who had attended anexchange program in the business school at the University of Wisconsin – Madison; heexpressed his experience at UW-Madison with pride by saying, ―I felt very competitiveat the University of Wisconsin – Madison because of the high-level of education that Ireceived at USFQ. I never experienced the feeling of being behind my classmates interms of academic achievement or English skills.‖In the same vein, a Dean at USFQ affirmed, ―USFQ provides funds for scholarships forprofessional education and academic training. Our faculty and students have theopportunity to attend universities in countries such as the United States, China, Japan,Spain, and others.‖ As for the second action, faculty, administrators, and employersdeveloped agreements and alliances for student internships as part of their program aswell as job opportunities after students‘ graduation. A Director at PUCE stated,―Faculty and administrators develop agreements with funding organizations in order topromote agreements for student internships and job opportunities after graduation.Among those organizations are: World Bank, International Bank, and FUNDACYT.‖ 44Positive Outcomes44 FUNDACYT is an Ecuadorian organization that provides grants and scholarships for graduate studiesin science and technology. See more information at: http://www.fundacyt.org/ 87
  • 88Since university authorities, faculty, and administrators had provided students withfunds in the form of scholarships and grants, they did not have to worry about economicresources; thus, students invested their energies in achieving a better educational level,and they developed a better sense of belonging and loyalty toward their universities. Abiology student at PUCE stated, ―Since funding organizations provide us money for ourinternships and research projects, we become better biologists and more competitiveprofessionals.‖When students experienced education in international universities, they became morecompetitive with a higher level of self-respect and better understanding of othercultures. A Dean at USFQ confirmed, ―Due to the exchange opportunities, our studentshave acquired better knowledge and understanding of other cultures. They havewidened their views and have advanced in their way of thinking; they have improvedtheir academic quality and self-respect.‖ 2. Support for FacultyI found support for faculty as another important attribute of high-quality programs.During my research, interviewees told me that more adequate monetary resources in theform of remunerations and rewards motivated faculty to invest more quality time intheir teaching activities. While some university authorities thought that professorsdevoted their time to teaching and research for reasons other than money, mostprofessors told me that they would have appreciated receiving better salaries andmonetary rewards for their quality teaching and research. If university authorities paidbetter wages to faculty, greater faculty engagement would enrich students‘ outcomes.ActionsUniversity authorities support faculty through two actions. First, university authoritiesallocated monetary resources for faculty remunerations and rewards structure based onfaculty quality and achievements. Second, university authorities supported facultypublications by allocating monetary resources and sabbaticals. 88
  • 89As for the first action, a Dean at PUCE stated, ―We are developing a structure forallocating more monetary resources for providing better remuneration to faculty as wellas a reward structure that recognizes good teaching practice.‖ A high administrator atPUCE declared: We hire highly-qualified professors; those who like to teach and for whom salary is not the most important issue. Rather, it is status that matters. Our professors should share the university‘s philosophy to promote responsibility at the highest level and respect for human dignity as part of the Catholic vision.Allocating monetary resources for faculty remunerations is critical to improveEcuadorian universities. To illustrate, a biology professor at PUCE stated: On this campus, university authorities along with financial authorities do not allocate the necessary resources to recognize professors who devote their full-time to teaching and research. Generally, people working for the university administration are better paid. It seems that they do not understand that faculty are the essential component of any higher education institution; high-quality programs depend to a great extent on high-quality faculty who should be highly-motivated both with monetary and non-monetary recognitions. Therefore, they should be receiving much better salaries and rewards.Similarly, another biology professor at PUCE affirmed: A negative aspect, almost all over the world, is that administrators are trying to dominate academia; they are supposed to support the teaching, learning, and research activities. This is a bureaucratic problem; the administrative system is dominating universities instead of administrating. Consequently, administrators are not providing enough monetary resources for faculty salaries and rewards. 89
  • 90University authorities in some Ecuadorian universities have started to support facultypublications and sabbaticals by allocating monetary resources. Nevertheless, this is anaction that still needs tremendous improvement. A biology alumnus at PUCEemphasized: The biology school established the Biodiversity and Environmental Center with the purpose of supporting faculty publications and sabbaticals. Through this center, industries allocate monetary resources for research projects and publications. This is a very good action because neither professors nor students have time to find monetary resources. However, the monetary resources are not yet enough.A Director at PUCE told me about the actions that his university was taking in order topromote more publications. In his words, ―University authorities are promoting moreresearch and, therefore, more publications. In order to achieve these goals, we aresigning out more agreements with external funding agencies such as the World Bankand International Development Bank.‖In the same vein, a Director of the Ecuadorian Higher Education Council (CONESUP)stated, ―CONESUP and FUNDACYT should provide more monetary resources fordeveloping a team of researchers at the highest level; therefore, they could contributewith more research and publications.‖Positive OutcomesOnce professors had been appropriately rewarded, they invested their time in studentteaching and learning; therefore, students felt more satisfied with their educationalexperiences and became even better professionals. This positive outcome still remainsnot achievedA second positive outcome resulting from my study states that students benefited fromfaculty‘s quality preparation and publications by becoming more qualifiedprofessionals. A biology student at PUCE stated that since some university authorities 90
  • 91had been providing monetary resources for promoting faculty and student involvementin research and publications, they were participating in research projects and becomingmore qualified for their professional activity. In her words: I feel happy because my professors invited me to participate in their research projects; they provide me with the necessary materials and books to advance my research. We, both professors and students, have benefited from research; professors can publish more, and students have gained knowledge and experience. 3. Support for Campus InfrastructureSupport for campus infrastructure was an important attribute of quality programs.Faculty, administrators, students, and alumni participating in this study emphasized thatnot only adequate facilities and equipment—such as laboratories, libraries, field relatedequipment, classrooms with new technology facilities for teaching, equipment, andsupplies—but the beauty of the campus also contributed to quality programs.ActionsThrough the interview process, I learned that university authorities allocated monetaryresources to update laboratories, libraries (including virtual libraries), research stations,laboratories, computers, and the necessary equipment and supplies to advance high-quality programs. A Dean at PUCE acknowledged: Our laboratories and libraries, regardless of monetary limitations, provide good services to students. Libraries also provide students with up-to-date scientific journals. These journal collections are considered the largest Ecuadorian collection in the zoology area; that is a good tool for research.University authorities also invested in campus maintenance, innovation, and aesthetics.A university authority at USFQ confirmed: 91
  • 92 The physical facilities and their environment are very important to us. Generally, we have been accustomed to ugly campuses; however, at USFQ we provide money to build a beautiful campus because the more beautiful campus becomes, the more beauty we demand.Positive OutcomesWhen university authorities support campus facilities such as computer laboratories andlibraries, students become more technically skilled to perform their jobs. To illustrate,two students at USFQ explained to me about their technical skills when looking forbibliographic materials. In their words: (Student 1): USFQ provides us with excellent and very modern access to information through the Internet, virtual libraries, conventional libraries, and laboratories. I feel very satisfied with these campus facilities because I am developing my technical skills to find any bibliographic material here. (Student 2): Whenever I need to write a paper that includes a bibliographic research component, I feel less stressed because my university has many bibliographic resources as well as computers where I can write my papers. I do not panic using technology facilities anymore. I feel much more skilled to perform any job related to my career.Students who had studied on beautiful campuses developed a sense of belonging towardtheir universities. All USFQ students and faculty that participated in this studyconfirmed that they felt very proud to invite visitors to come to their university becauseof its quality and its beauty. In the same tone, alumni at USFQ added, ―Because westudied in a beautiful environment, we felt more respected and our self-esteemimproved significantly.‖ 92
  • 93 CHAPTER FIVE CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONSIn this concluding chapter, I devote one section to examining the literature that supportsmy theory and another to examining the contributions that my work makes to ourtheoretical understanding of high-quality programs. In the final section, I discuss theimplications of my study for advancing and maintaining high-quality programs indeveloping countries.Support for the Theory in the LiteratureMy theory finds strong support in Haworth and Conrad‘s (1997) ―Engagement Theory.‖My theory also finds partial support in UNESCO‘s (2000 – 2002) ―Proposals andRecommendations.‖ The first cluster of attributes—highly qualified participants—isclosely connected to cluster one—―diverse and engaged participants‖—of Haworth andConrad‘s ―Engagement Theory‖. The second, third, and fourth clusters of attributes ofmy theory—learning-centered cultures, interactive teaching and learning, and connectedprogram requirements—are very similar to Haworth and Conrad‘s ―participatorycultures,‖ ―interactive teaching and learning,‖ and ―connected programs.‖ In addition,clusters two and three of my theory, particularly two attributes— ―shared-programdirection focused on learning‖ and ―interactive learning‖—are closely connected toUNESCO‘s (2000 – 2002) ―Proposals and Recommendations.‖ To illustrate, UNESCOemphasizes ―engaging faculty, students, administrators, and leaders of the communityby investing in shared program direction and active teaching and learning.‖Finally, the fifth cluster—adequate resources—is likewise closely connected toHaworth and Conrad‘s fifth cluster of attributes, as well as several of UNESCO‘s (2000– 2002) ―Proposals and Recommendations.‖ Both emphasize the importance ofdeveloping a reward structure that recognizes and motivates faculty to invest theirquality time in teaching and learning that, in turn, enriches the quality of students‘learning. 93
  • 94Contributions of the Theory of High-Quality ProgramsWhile I used grounded theory, my study was guided by Haworth and Conrad‘s (1997)―Engagement Theory of High-Quality Programs.‖ In so doing, I identified 13 attributesof high-quality programs. Eleven of these are closely connected to Haworth andConrad‘s theory and the other two attributes—real-world learning experiences and areading-centered culture—make the signature theoretical contributions of my study.Real-world learning experiences encourage the active involvement of stakeholders—faculty, administrators, students, alumni, and employers—in designing curricula withreal-world learning experiences that result in positive student outcomes. The secondattribute—a reading-centered culture—has never before been identified in the literature.In Latin American countries, such as Ecuador, students must read more to advance theirlearning. After all, the primary purpose of higher learning is to provide students ―withnew insights‖ and ―enriching learning experiences that have positive effects on theirdevelopment.‖45 In order to connect my theory with the future of high-quality programs inLatin American and Ecuadorian universities, I believe the that if all stakeholders(university authorities, faculty, administrators, students, alumni, and employers)along with state governors engage in the pursuit of ―enriching learningexperiences that have positive effects on students development‖ as the rule oflife and not as the exception—in concert with the program attributes I haveidentified—high-quality programs will become the most important componentof Latin American universities, particularly Ecuadorian universities.High-Quality Programs in Latin American Universities: Key Differences inMission of the Universities and the Attributes of Quality ProgramsWhile the theory finds much in common with Haworth and Conrad‘s theory on programquality in developing countries, it is important to highlight the key difference in themission of universities that, in turn, is linked to differences in what high-quality meansin developing countries. Significantly, most Latin American universities are focused45 Haworth and Conrad (1997: 213). 94
  • 95mainly on teaching, whereas universities in the United States focus on teaching,research, and service.There are several major differences between Haworth and Conrad‘s theory and thetheory developed in this study. In my theory, I found that four key attributes are evenmore important in Ecuador and, possibly, other developing countries: highly-qualifiedfaculty, highly-qualified students, reading-centered cultures, and real-world learningexperiences. These differences are significant, and they have implications as discussedin the recommendations that follow.RecommendationsLatin American and Ecuadorian university authorities, faculty, administrators, andstudents in general, and those from Ecuador in particular, need to advance theiracademic programs by promoting the attributes of high-quality programs similar tothose advanced in this study. I provide the following recommendations that parallel theclusters of attributes of my theory.Cluster One: Highly Qualified ParticipantsBoth highly qualified professors and highly qualified students are critical in universitiesin developing countries. To this end, university authorities need to:  Hire and retain professors with doctoral degrees. To attract and retain highly qualified faculty, universities should adopt actions such as: (1) crafting hiring policies to attract highly qualified faculty with first-rate graduate educations; (2) clarifying general tenure standards; (3) reallocating funds to develop reward structures to recognize faculty achievement as well as to pay professors competitive salaries; and (4) adopt a comprehensive evaluation system.  Establish detailed rules about what constitutes highly qualified faculty. Universities should establish their standards based on educational level (graduate degrees); teaching experience, including quality and effectiveness of teaching; research (academic publications); and service. Define general tenure 95
  • 96 standards based on evidence of scholarly ability in one‘s areas of academic expertise.  Promote alliances with international universities in order to prepare more professors with Ph.D. degrees. To that end, organize teams of researchers across Ecuadorian universities who will contribute new ideas to advance research, science, technology, and program quality in particular.  Ensure productive faculty by attracting professors who have scientific knowledge in the teaching area, a passion to teach, contribute to tangible learning products such as publications, advance science and technology through research, participate in community service, and contribute to the development of a learning community. 46 As Amacher and Meiners (2004) emphasize: The problem is to get faculty interested in teaching better and politicking less or, in a few cases, in teaching better and doing a little less research. From the perspective of the institution, the most destructive faculty is the one who does not teach well, does little or no research, but spends significant time on committees and campus politics. These faculty are administrators‘ nightmares.  Review admission policies and tests to attract students who are more qualified. Higher education should be more selective in terms of academic quality. ―Selective‖ means qualified, not elitist.  Universities must define admission standards to engage high-quality students. A national test is one of the actions to identify students‘ strengths and weaknesses.46 Clark Kerr (1960s) defines the learning community as the ―triumph of the Multipurpose University.‖The learning community model draws primarily from three strains of history: from the British tradition ofhigh quality training for a select group of undergraduates; from the German tradition of research; andthird, from the American genius for service to many. All these traditions have influenced the learningcommunities‘ model.Haworth and Conrad (1997: 75) state that learning communities enrich students‘ growth and developmentin two major ways. First, the collegial interaction that students had with one another and with facultystrengthened their communication and teamwork skills; second, students developed a greater appreciationof and respect for the value of collaborative approaches to inquiry, problem solving, and leadership. 96
  • 97Cluster Two: Learning-Centered CulturesThe attributes nested within cluster two—―learning-centered cultures‖—are a sharedprogram direction focused on learning, real-world learning experiences, a reading-centered culture, and a risk-taking environment. When students are exposed to a sharedprogram direction focused on learning and real-world learning experiences, they canattain a better education, develop greater respect for diversity, and find the courage toconfront corruption that many developing countries are facing. Learning-centeredcultures will give students a wider vision of the world and a distinctive perspective oftheir own cultures.The following are my recommendations regarding ―learning-centered cultures‖: In order to serve all cultures, Latin American universities must formulate educational policies that support shared program direction focused on learning as well as a more diversified curricula.  Engage students in a reading-centered culture. In such a culture, students can become critical thinkers when they read more; they participate in discussions; and they can develop a more intellectually curious attitude. Stipends for books as part of the tuition would be a good action to take in order to improve a reading-centered culture among Latin American professors, administrators, and students. Repeatedly, one of the most significant findings of my study was the urgent need to promote meaningful reading. University authorities ought to select the readings that help students to develop a wider vision of the world and a deeper knowledge of their professions.  Provide supportive and safe environments where students feel confident to take risks and engage in critical dialogues. Professors in developing countries must be better prepared to lead critical discussions because this action requires in- depth and in-breadth learning, knowledge, and practice. Most interviewees believed that a risk-taking environment in which students felt confident to take risks helped students‘ learning, development, and growth. The students that I interviewed told me that they felt much more confident when administrators and professors treated them with respect and trust. 97
  • 98  Promote faculty committees to determine shared program direction focused on learning and reward faculty for their contributions to that shared program direction.  Define core curricula carefully. University authorities, faculty, and administrators need to ensure that students have the ability to choose among a broad course offering.Cluster Three: Interactive Teaching and LearningBoth teaching and learning are a collaborative process; the responsibility to advancelearning becomes shared by faculty, administrators, and students. The attributes withincluster three are: ―interactive learning: theory with practice, self with subject‖ andexclusive tutoring and mentoring.My recommendations to advance these attributes include:  Undergraduate programs need to engage everyone in the pursuit of attributes of high quality through teamwork. Small teams work well in order to attain hands- on learning. Students organized in teamwork activities will develop a shared vision. ―A unifying, guiding, and distinctive vision is the foundation on which a ‗house of quality‘ is built,‖ according to Seymour (1992: 60).  Latin American universities very much need devoted professors: professors who engage in tutoring and mentoring activities. Universities need to introduce tutoring and mentoring as part of professors‘ responsibilities when they are hired. Faculty salaries should also include a percentage for tutoring and mentoring.  During my research, I found that students needed to receive more tutoring and mentoring from their professors. Therefore, professors must devote more quality and quantity time to students to assure their positive learning outcomes, development, and growth.Cluster Four: Connected Program Requirements 98
  • 99―Connected program requirements‖ encompass ―planned breadth and depth coursework‖ and ―tangible products.‖ In order to advance these attributes, myrecommendations are:  Introduce planned breadth and depth curricula. In this way, students will develop a more integrated education. Quality programs should define pre-planned and coherent course succession because in the learning process everything needs to be connected.  Tangible products are important because students become better professionals when they have the opportunity to culminate their studies with products that could guide them as to how to develop projects in their future professions. Therefore, faculty and administrators should promote tangible products under their guidance.Cluster Five: Adequate ResourcesAdequate Resources, is an important component of a high-quality program. Universityauthorities, faculty, and administrators should make their best effort to provide supportfor students, support for faculty, and support for campus infrastructure. Myrecommendations are as follows:  Allocate monetary resources for more scholarships and grants to students who genuinely deserve and need them.  Provide students with more internships and job opportunities. Students sometimes feel isolated when they need to find jobs; they also lack experience because they have received a predominately theoretical education. There should be strong connections between theory and practice.  Allocate monetary resources for faculty salaries. This is another major issue facing developing countries. Latin American countries, in particular Ecuador de not provide faculty members either with competitive salaries or with reward structures that recognize their good practices. Professors too often lose their motivation without supportive resource structures, and that results in a genuine threat to the advancement of high-quality programs. 99
  • 100  Support for campus infrastructure seems to be advancing in some Latin American countries, but libraries and laboratories are still very limited compared to libraries and laboratories in developed countries. If Latin American universities implement my recommendations, particularly inEcuadorian universities, I envision a better future for our universities. That is, LatinAmerican universities will become accountable to society by guaranteeing their studentshigh-quality programs, which will assure more sustainable development within eachcountry. In brief, I believe that these recommendations would revolutionize LatinAmerica‘s current higher education system in a positive way by encouraging LatinAmerican universities to compete with universities in developed countries. 100
  • 101 APPENDIX AThe focus of my dissertation is defining the attributes of high-quality programs;however, part of the data resulting from the interview process belonged to attributes ofhigh-quality universities.During the interview process, interviewees exceeded the guiding questions of my thesis(What program attributes in universities in developing countries contribute to positivelearning outcomes for students?) because they were concerned about higher educationquality according to a holistic approach. Thus, I am introducing Appendix A in order toinform the readers about the attributes of high-quality universities resulting from thedata I gathered.In order to organize data around high-quality universities, I followed Haworth andConrad‘s (1997) Theory of High-Quality Programs. I used the ―constant comparativemethod.‖ As I did with my theory, data were coded and categorized by clusters. To meetthis end, I identified one cluster ―University-Wide Educational Leadership,‖ and threeattributes: effective leadership practices, interdisciplinary problem-based-researchteams, and solid connections between society and the university.This topic remains open for further studies, advancement, and testing of high-qualityuniversities in developing countries. Below is Table 6 with the new cluster of attributesof high-quality universities in developing countries. 101
  • 102 Table 6 Attributes of High-Quality Universities In Developing Countries Cluster One University Wide Educational Leadership Attributes Actions Positive Outcomes Effective Leadership  University authorities,  Students create shared vision andPractices faculty, administrators, and become more strategic thinkers. They students practice strategic become able to develop strategic plans quality management and at their jobs. strategic planning in their universities.  University authorities,  Students understand the faculty, and administrators importance to keep academia invite leaders to identify new separated from political issues; they paradigms related to university reject politicking activism on campus; educational leadership. and they become critical thinkers able to contribute with solutions to problems that challenge developing countries  University authorities join together to define the  Students and alumni acquire orientation of university social consciousness, more programs with more liberal appreciation for their own cultural arts components. backgrounds, and improved self- esteem. They develop more sensitivity to diversity and cultural differences.  University authorities and society promote institutional  When students trust the quality of self-evaluation and their universities, they improve their accreditation for continuous self-confidence and professional skills. quality improvement. Interdisciplinary  University authorities,  Students become researchers withProblem-Based Research educational leaders, faculty, skills to contribute to the advancement 102
  • 103Teams administrators, alumni, of science, technology, and society. students, and employers join together to establish teams of researchers. Solid Connections  Educational leaders,  Students acquire culturalbetween Society and the faculty and administrators versatility, social consciousness, moreUniversity introduce social work and appreciation for their own cultural community service into all backgrounds, and improved self- programs. esteem.  Faculty, students and  Students learn how to contribute administrators work in to improving the quality life in their university extension programs communities. within their communities.Cluster One: University Wide Educational LeadershipUniversities in developing countries, particularly in Ecuador, need to improve thisattribute of high-quality universities. This attribute included effective leadershippractices, interdisciplinary problem-based research teams, and solid connectionsbetween society and the university. 1. Effective Leadership PracticesEducational leaders have a historical role in their society because every highereducational institution should guide the advancement and progress of the country.ActionsUniversity authorities, faculty, administrators, and students joined together indeveloping four actions. First, university authorities, faculty, administrators, andstudents practiced strategic quality management and strategic planning in their 103
  • 104universities. Second, university authorities, faculty, and administrators invited leaders toidentify new paradigms related to university educational leadership. Third, universityauthorities joined to define the orientation of university programs. Fourth, universityauthorities and society promoted institutional self-evaluation and accreditation forcontinuous quality improvement. These actions helped university authorities, faculty,and administrators to identify cause-effect relationships of challenges that characterizeuniversity leadership practices.As for the first action, university authorities, faculty, administrators, and students toldme that they should participate in strategic quality leadership. One alumnus from thebusiness school at PUCE added: When I was a student, I felt that we were not involved in actions such as university planning to promote a high-quality university. Generally, few university authorities, administrators, and professors took actions. It would have been better if we had had the opportunity to take actions for improving the quality of education.As for the second action, university leaders told me that in order to guarantee aneffective leadership, they ought to adapt to changes. A biology student at PUCE said: Many university authorities used to demonstrate resistance to change; however, when USFQ created its biotechnology school, PUCE was pressed by the competition and started to change and become more competitive. Now that my school has projects and contracts with international organizations and the state, we see a positive change. People here at PUCE used to wait for the money to come.In the same vein, a university authority at USFQ told me that an effective leadershippractice must promote new paradigms. In his words: We are inviting leaders of the country to identify new paradigms related to university educational leadership. This is not a traditional university; 104
  • 105 this is a university patterned after the United States model; a model based on liberal arts and general education. We want to stop the instruction paradigm. In so doing, we need quality components such as highly qualified faculty. Faculty who share this philosophical background, faculty with humanistic education, and only those professors who have experienced their education in those systems— liberal art education—holding undergraduate and graduate degrees from United States universities—professors highly qualified with Ph.D. degrees and who have lived the concept of liberal arts—can contribute to quality programs.Faculty and administrators at new universities in Latin America, particularly inEcuador, questioned the Napoleonic model. They were promoting more current,prestigious, and more successful educational models that included changes andinnovations in academic programs and curricula. One of the interviewees from ElSalvador, who is an alumnus from the business field said:Our universities in developing countries need to disconnect from the Napoleonic Modeland incorporate interdisciplinary education with more general education and liberal artsinto all programs. Interdisciplinary education should introduce philosophy, sociology,psychology, and economics. As a business administrator, I believe that generaleducation helped me to develop a more social consciousness based on a theoreticalframework. I am able to understand much better the context in which our countries areacting. The most important part of my college education was the connection betweenintegral education—general education—with professional education. That was a goodprogram because I have become a more integrated professional.Aleader of the National Universities and Polytechnic Schools Federation (FENAUPE)stated: 105
  • 106 Currently, we, alumni and young professionals, are willing to bring new ideas related to effective leadership practices into universities in order to promote highly qualified universities.Another student leader explained to me his perception of university leadership practicesby saying: People with good intentions and good wishes are always present on campuses. Nevertheless, goals are not reached with good intentions only. Universities are the cornerstone for society and vice versa. People dedicated to politicking and who are uninterested in the advancement of quality education have increased in our universities and federations. Also, there are authorities with good intentions; nonetheless, those authorities do not have the ability to start international agreements and alliances. Hence, many efforts have been frustrated.As for the third action, interviewees told me that Latin American and Ecuadorianuniversities need to introduce more liberal arts education. A university authority atUSFQ explained the benefits of liberal arts education as part of interdisciplinaryprograms: At USFQ, every undergraduate student has to learn subjects related to liberal arts education. Students need to contrast and compare a pyramidal-knowledge system rather than a cylindrical-knowledge system; therefore, curricula have to reflect interdisciplinary program characteristics through liberal arts education and other subjects related to each profession. Students, during their college life, experience liberal arts education through Socratic Seminars, philosophy, general sciences, and society as well as numerical subjects.A student in her senior year in business administration at USFQ told me how importantit was for her to learn more from liberal education. She stated: 106
  • 107 I like to learn subjects such as music, sculpture, arts, philosophy, psychology that helps you understand people; well, anything that you like. Those courses do not have anything to do with my major, but I enjoy them.Repeatedly, a university authority at USFQ stated that curricula and academic programsneed to change the current orientation of programs that are offered at many Ecuadorianuniversities. He explained to me how the current and common Napoleonic Model hasbeen affecting the quality of programs in Latin American countries. In his words: Curricula and programs need the non-formal educational component; it should be the Renaissance component, and it has to be a Leonardo D‘ Vinci. The sticking point in Latin American universities is the continuation of the Napoleonic Model. The educational system needs to change from its basis—elementary education—by the time you get to the university it is too late. Latin America has not contributed to humanity as it should –considering all the information that is available in the world. The guilty one of this situation, it could be said, is the Cold War and the Communist Party trying to dominate Latin America by convincing young students and young professors. The two villains are Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. Their purpose was fulfilled, but they destroyed the youth through its professors. We must replace this mass of people in order to become more productive.A Dean at USFQ was a proponent of liberal education, and he explained to me hiseducational experiences at United States universities. In addition, he presented goodarguments for changing the Latin American university model: I am able to compare and contrast my educational and professional background. Getting a Ph.D. degree at one of the finest United States universities has positively affected my professional development because I have become a professor with more versatility and I am able to adapt to new environments. Students in the United States universities can develop 107
  • 108 their majors within a well-planned structure. Universities in the United States, at the undergraduate level, offer students a variety of courses that prepare them with general education, global vision, and adaptability to changes. At the graduate level, students receive a more specialized education, and they become competitive professionals whereas in Latin American universities, students cannot develop their careers on a long- term basis due to several challenges. To illustrate, in Latin America professors do not share all their knowledge with students because they fear students‘ competency.As for the fourth action, educational leaders told me that universities need to promoteinstitutional self-evaluation in order to maintain a continuous quality improvementprocess and to be accountable to society. University authorities and society werepromoting institutional self-evaluation and accreditation to advance continuous qualityimprovement. Interviewees mentioned the urgent need to advance evaluation andaccreditation in universities in developing countries, particularly in Ecuador.Interviewees said that universities must promote both institutional evaluation andprogram evaluation. They started by focusing first on continuous evaluation—summative and formative assessments—and quality improvement. In analyzing theinterview transcripts, it became clear to me that the university authorities were usingevaluation for different purposes. They said that evaluation should be an integral part ofthe teaching-learning process. It should be a planned, continuous activity. It shouldreflect the intended outcomes of curricula and programs. It should assist teachers inmeeting individual needs and providing appropriate programs for students, and it shoulduse assessment techniques for formative, diagnostic, and summative purposes. Abusiness professor at PUCE said, ―Our dean is looking for quality certification;therefore, we are committed to a continuous improvement process. We all—faculty,administrators, and students—are part of an evaluation process.‖However, some business students contested the evaluation results by stating, ―Althoughsome of our professors have not received good evaluation results, they are still teaching.We are expecting decision making because we, students, would like to be listened to.‖ 108
  • 109A Dean at USFQ, on the other hand, claimed that evaluation does not need to be a verystrict process: We do not have a formal evaluation at this campus; however, we can see the quality of our programs through our alumni. When they are hired, we communicate with employers and receive very favourable information about our professionals‘ performance.Positive OutcomesSince faculty, administrators, students, employers, and community leaders joinedtogether to develop strategic plan that envisioned the development of a continuousimprovement process, most of the Latin American interviewees and one of theEcuadorian student leaders stated that when students are invited to participate in theinstitutional strategic plan, they created a shared vision and become more strategicthinkers; in addition, they became more skilled to develop strategic plans in their jobsettings. A business student at PUCE added: The results of the institutional strategic plan have been used to improve the quality of our professors. The human resources department developed a workshop to improve the human attitude of our professors toward students. A famous motivator and writer from Mexico Quateqmoc Sanchez led the workshop. Students were also invited; however, the tickets were too costly for us.Because university authorities, faculty, and administrators at fine, private universities indeveloping countries were inviting leaders to identify new paradigms related touniversity educational leadership, students understood the importance of keepingacademia separated from political issues; they rejected politicking activism on campus;and they became critical thinkers able to contribute with solutions to problems thatchallenge developing countries. A high administrator at USFQ emphasized, ―Ouralumni are entrepreneurs, creative people; they are contributing with solutions to theproblems that Ecuador is facing. They are demonstrating integrity and endurance toconfront corruption.‖ 109
  • 110In the same tone, a university authority at USFQ stated: Our students have become successful people without dogmatisms. They have rejected politicking activism on campus because they have valued education overall, they have been like sponges rather than empty glasses waiting to be filled.As for the third outcome, an alumnus at USFQ told me how new university programshave influenced him to improve his level of understanding diversity as well as theappreciation for his own culture. In his words, ―Since I studied within programs thatincluded liberal arts education and subjects related to international cultures, I becamemore familiar with other cultures; I learned from those cultures; and I valued more myown culture.‖Similarly, a biology professor at USFQ stated that students who have learned from othercultures acquired social consciousness. They developed more sensitivity to diversity andcultural differences.As for the fourth positive outcome, since faculty, administrators, and studentsparticipated in the evaluation process, students felt more confident, more competitive,and more proud to belong to their universities. Alumni and students from bothcampuses expressed their sense of belonging to their universities because of publicrecognition of the academic prestige at both universities. A student from the biologyschool at PUCE told me: Evaluations of the program have demonstrated that besides becoming good biology professionals, we have become more competitive; we have received more job opportunities, and we have received more funds to develop our projects because people see us as qualified professionals.One of the employers that participated in this study confirmed the quality of alumni bysaying, ―I have had a good experience with a young professional from USFQ; she has 110
  • 111leadership skills and a high level of self-confidence; however, she needs to ground herpractice in more science.‖In contrast, an employer that has hired professionals from PUCE assured: From my own experience, the professionals that I have hired from PUCE are very strong in science, and they are well devoted to their jobs; nonetheless, they need more leadership skills to succeed in their jobs.One of the Latin American interviewees from Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana,Colombia affirmed, ―Since I studied in a university with high-quality standards, Ideveloped more critical analysis that can be demonstrated when developing professionalprojects.‖ 2. Interdisciplinary Problem-Base-Research Teams―The learning process does not mean only learning the What of existing knowledge, butlearning the How for as yet undiscovered knowledge‖ (Pelikan, 1992, p. 93). Facultyand administrators as well as university leaders, alumni, students, employers indeveloping countries, particularly in Ecuador, agreed that more research must beintroduced in all programs.ActionsUniversity authorities, higher education leaders, faculty, administrators, alumni,students, and employers were joining together to establish teams of researchers. In sodoing, the rector at PUCE acknowledged: We have an excellent team of researchers at the biology school whose research has been published in The Golden Book. More than one hundred new species discovered by research professors such as Cesar Paz y Miño—a well know researcher in human genetics—and Patricio Ponce have been published. 111
  • 112A Director at CONESUP, told me about the actions that the Ecuadorian HigherEducation Council is taking in order to improve research in academic programs: Ecuadorian universities ought to introduce more research into their programs not only for promoting quality curricula but also for advancing science, technology and the culture of the country. Ecuadorian universities should organize a high- quality team of researchers. In doing so, the idea of Ph.D. programs in Ecuador must be sustained by a team of research professors with Ph.D.s earned at prestigious universities. Then, universities should organize a team of research- oriented students that could work with a team of research professors. They should further peer-research cooperation with well known international research universities to develop quality programs with academic recognition based essentially on the research component. Then, Ecuadorian universities could achieve social recognition to secure more economic support from organizations that allocate monetary resources for research projects.In order to have interdisciplinary problem-based research teams, universities needed toprepare more researchers and hire professors able to combine research with teaching. Asa high administrator at USFQ, stated: We hire professors that combine teaching with research activities; by doing so, we have elevated the level of faculty and, consequently, we have pushed the Ecuadorian higher education system to improve its level by looking at our good example based on innovation and high-quality standards.A Director at the Ecuadorian Higher Education Council (CONESUP) told me howCONESUP is promoting a team of researchers formed by highly qualified professorsthat devote their time to research activities. In his words: We at CONESUP are very interested in promoting high-quality professors, who are full-time and committed to researching and teaching activities because that is how knowledge can advance. All efforts should 112
  • 113 be done not only to achieve high-quality programs, but also to develop more research projects and to ensure technological and scientific advancement.Positive OutcomesSince university authorities were improving the research level at all universities,students were becoming researchers with skills to contribute to the advancement ofscience, technology, and society. One alumnus among Latin American leadersparticipating in this study, who attended Universidad Católica de Guayaquil, Ecuador,explained: I had the opportunity to have professors that devoted their time to research from whom I have learned to be a more critical thinker. I have become more research-oriented, and I have acquired team-work skills. All those positive outcomes have contributed to my development and growth in terms of quality.Students and alumni from biotechnology school at USFQ and biology school at PUCEagreed that their professors were participating in several research projects and theyinvited students to work with them. In so doing, they were developing research skills.Two biology professors at PUCE told me about the research stations that theiruniversity had in order to promote more research activities among faculty and students.They said: (Professor 1): For research purposes in the biology field, PUCE has the scientific stations such as Yazuní and Cuyaveno. Only qualified researchers can enter those areas. Every research project has its economic control, and the profits are re-invested in students who are developing research projects. 113
  • 114 (Professor 2): The great advantage of Yazuní and Cuyaveno is that students and professors doing research have the opportunity to develop their research projects and theses in reserved areas of Ecuador. 3. Solid Connections between Society and the UniversityDuring the interview process, I learned that solid connections between society and theuniversity are important for the advancement of the science, technology, and society.ActionsInterviewees told me that actions took two forms. First, faculty, administrators,students, employers, and alumni introduced social work, community service, culturalactivities, and multicultural education into all programs. And second, faculty, students,and administrators worked in university extension programs in order to contribute to theadvancement and progress of their communities.Educational leaders introduced social work and community service into all programs.University authorities, faculty, and administrators at USFQ said that they attracted full-time committed professors to their programs, professors who were committed toteaching, learning, and tutoring, and who were willing to develop strong connectionsbetween society and the university. Therefore, they hired professors with professionalexperience in the non-university work place who brought their own experiences toacademia.Faculty, students, and administrators worked in university extension programs withintheir communities. A high administrator at USFQ stated, ―We provide communityservice and extension programs in the form of medical care and dental services. A teamof professors and students deliver these services as an important component of theiracademic programs.‖Interviewees from Latin American countries participating in this study agreed: 114
  • 115 We believe that education is a major force for improvement in society, and we aim to deliver university education at the highest possible standard to all those who desire it and who are capable of study at the appropriate level; therefore, we must promote more university extension programs.Faculty and administrators who promoted extension programs felt that the benefits werefor the community and for faculty as well. The Dean of the Business School at PUCEaffirmed, ―This school has acquired higher hourly wages for professors participating inextension programs; they receive $20 per hour and that has helped professors to raisetheir income.‖Positive OutcomesSince university authorities promoted university extension programs and communityservice, students acquired cultural versatility, social consciousness, more appreciationfor their own cultural backgrounds, and improved levels of self-esteem. In addition,they developed more sensitivity to diversity and cultural differences. A student from thebusiness school at PUCE stated, ―Having worked for my community, I have learnedhow to solve real problems facing my community.‖One of the biology professors at PUCE told me that students who engage in communityservice always come back to their own towns to contribute to the advancement of theircommunities. In his words, ―When students have the opportunity to serve their owncommunities through community service or university extension, they come back toserve their communities with their knowledge.‖A Dean at USFQ affirmed, ―Since our students have participated in university extensionprograms and community service, I have seen their growth as persons and asprofessionals; they have also grown intellectually.‖Conclusion and Recommendations 115
  • 116A very significant attribute of high-quality universities that resulted from this study wasuniversity-wide educational leadership, which included actions such as effectiveleadership practices, interdisciplinary problem-based research teams, and a solidconnection between society and the university.The following are the recommendations that university authorities need to practice:  Engage in effective leadership practices. Politicians do not like to engage in effective leadership practices; rather, they like to confuse students, administrators, faculty, and society by promoting old ideas and models, such as the Napoleonic Model and the old Cordoba Principles. Politicians want to keep their power inside campuses; therefore, they devote their time to political campaigns rather than real academic engagement. Many of them are mediocre people who want to assure their power and jobs at any cost. How can universities in Latin American countries avoid those politicking practices? Time passes quickly, and the past and present actions are judging our universities. We are paying a high price for not introducing high-quality attributes in Latin American and in Ecuadorian universities.  Develop strategic plans with shared participation by university authorities, faculty, administrators, students, alumni, employers, and the learning community in general. Several universities do not invite faculty or students to contribute in developing strategic plans. Other universities do not even have strategic plans. How will university leaders envision a better future without strategic plans?  Enhance community services, social work, and university extension. The Ecuadorian Higher Education Law establishes all of these actions. To this end, university authorities need more information and training in order to pursue these actions. Community services, social work, and university extension will give faculty, administrators, students, and communities a better sense of social responsibility and social sensibility because social development must be a responsibility shared by all parties.  Introduce an effective quality assessment based on ―best practices‖ principles. Haworth and Conrad‘s (1997: 167 – 168) evaluation principles could effectively guide the evaluation process. These principles are: 116
  • 117 o The Linking Pin: A Constant Commitment to Student Learning o People Make Quality Happen: Inclusive and Engagement o Learning Never Ends: Continuous Program Improvement o Thinking Multidimensionally: Multiple Methods of Assessment  Determine good teaching and learning evaluation practices. Amacher and Meiners (2004: 49 – 50) say that student evaluations are useful and could be used more effectively, but student evaluations are not the end all. Students know a lazy professor when they see one, but they often cannot discriminate between a knowledgeable professor and one with little substance but more personality. ―Style is nice, but substance is more important in higher education.‖ 47  To assess program improvement, Amacher and Meiners (2004) suggest the use of benchmarks to measure quality enhancement or cost effectiveness. Continuous improvement and benchmarking ―require radical changes in policies and practices which the bureaucracy, the employees‘ union, and Congress would all fiercely resist.‖  Most of the evaluation results have shown that Latin American universities, and in particular Ecuadorian universities, must improve quality and effectiveness. Latin American universities need to shift from the Napoleonic Model. The Napoleonic Model has introduced bureaucratic structures where faculty spend their time on politicking more and teaching less; there are few program innovations; due to free admission, there is no test to enter colleges and no tuition; all these actions have resulted in mass student enrollment with lack of quality. In addition, several Latin American universities, including Ecuadorian universities, face serious economic problems that jeopardize the quality of higher education. There is an urgent call for change and improvement if Latin American universities want to be competitive. There are very good higher education patterns; therefore, for what are Latin American universities, particularly Ecuadorian universities, waiting?  Rethink the Napoleonic Model and its bureaucratic structures. Amacher and Meiners (2004: 59) state that the economic theory of bureaucracy explains that bureaucrats have incentives to generate the largest possible budgets because the political reward is larger for larger volume. ―That is, giant universities have47 Seymour, 1992. 117
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  • 131 APPENDIX A The focus of my dissertation is defining the attributes of high-quality programs;however, part of the data resulting from the interview process belonged to attributes ofhigh-quality universities. During the interview process, interviewees exceeded the guiding questions ofmy thesis (What program attributes in universities in developing countries contribute topositive learning outcomes for students?) because they were concerned about highereducation quality according to a holistic approach. Thus, I am introducing Appendix Ain order to inform the readers about the attributes of high-quality universities resultingfrom the data I gathered. In order to organize data around high-quality universities, I followed Haworthand Conrad‘s (1997) Theory of High-Quality Programs. I used the ―constantcomparative method.‖ As I did with my theory, data were coded and categorized byclusters. To meet this end, I identified one cluster ―University-Wide EducationalLeadership,‖ and three attributes: effective leadership practices, interdisciplinaryproblem-based-research teams, and solid connections between society and theuniversity. This topic remains open for further studies, advancement, and testing of high-quality universities in developing countries. Below is Table 6 with the new cluster ofattributes of high-quality universities in developing countries. 131
  • 132 Table 6 Attributes of High-Quality Universities In Developing CountriesCluster One University Wide Educational Leadership Attributes Actions Positive Outcomes Effective Leadership  University authorities,  Students create shared vision andPractices faculty, administrators, and become more strategic thinkers. They students practice strategic become able to develop strategic plans quality management and at their jobs. strategic planning in their universities.  University authorities,  Students understand the faculty, and administrators importance to keep academia separated invite leaders to identify new from political issues; they reject paradigms related to university politicking activism on campus; and educational leadership. they become critical thinkers able to contribute with solutions to problems that challenge developing countries  University authorities join  Students and alumni acquire social together to define the consciousness, more appreciation for orientation of university their own cultural backgrounds, and programs with more liberal arts improved self-esteem. They develop components. more sensitivity to diversity and cultural differences.  University authorities and  When students trust the quality of society promote institutional their universities, they improve their self-evaluation and self-confidence and professional skills. accreditation for continuous quality improvement. Interdisciplinary  University authorities,  Students become researchers withProblem-Based Research educational leaders, faculty, skills to contribute to the advancementTeams administrators, alumni, of science, technology, and society. 132
  • 133 students, and employers join together to establish teams of researchers. Solid Connections  Educational leaders,  Students acquire culturalbetween Society and the faculty and administrators versatility, social consciousness, moreUniversity introduce social work and appreciation for their own cultural community service into all backgrounds, and improved self- programs. esteem.  Faculty, students and  Students learn how to contribute to administrators work in improving the quality life in their university extension programs communities. within their communities.Cluster One: University Wide Educational Leadership Universities in developing countries, particularly in Ecuador, need to improvethis attribute of high-quality universities. This attribute included effective leadershippractices, interdisciplinary problem-based research teams, and solid connectionsbetween society and the university. 4. Effective Leadership Practices Educational leaders have a historical role in their society because every highereducational institution should guide the advancement and progress of the country. Actions University authorities, faculty, administrators, and students joined together indeveloping four actions. First, university authorities, faculty, administrators, andstudents practiced strategic quality management and strategic planning in theiruniversities. Second, university authorities, faculty, and administrators invited leaders toidentify new paradigms related to university educational leadership. Third, universityauthorities joined to define the orientation of university programs. Fourth, universityauthorities and society promoted institutional self-evaluation and accreditation forcontinuous quality improvement. These actions helped university authorities, faculty,and administrators to identify cause-effect relationships of challenges that characterizeuniversity leadership practices. 133
  • 134 As for the first action, university authorities, faculty, administrators, andstudents told me that they should participate in strategic quality leadership. Onealumnus from the business school at PUCE added: When I was a student, I felt that we were not involved in actions such as university planning to promote a high-quality university. Generally, few university authorities, administrators, and professors took actions. It would have been better if we had had the opportunity to take actions for improving the quality of education.As for the second action, university leaders told me that in order to guarantee aneffective leadership, they ought to adapt to changes. A biology student at PUCE said: Many university authorities used to demonstrate resistance to change; however, when USFQ created its biotechnology school, PUCE was pressed by the competition and started to change and become more competitive. Now that my school has projects and contracts with international organizations and the state, we see a positive change. People here at PUCE used to wait for the money to come.In the same vein, a university authority at USFQ told me that an effective leadershippractice must promote new paradigms. In his words: We are inviting leaders of the country to identify new paradigms related to university educational leadership. This is not a traditional university; this is a university patterned after the United States model; a model based on liberal arts and general education. We want to stop the instruction paradigm. In so doing, we need quality components such as highly qualified faculty. Faculty who share this philosophical background, faculty with humanistic education, and only those professors who have experienced their education in those systems— liberal art education—holding undergraduate and graduate degrees from United States universities—professors highly qualified with Ph.D. 134
  • 135 degrees and who have lived the concept of liberal arts—can contribute to quality programs.Faculty and administrators at new universities in Latin America, particularly inEcuador, questioned the Napoleonic model. They were promoting more current,prestigious, and more successful educational models that included changes andinnovations in academic programs and curricula. One of the interviewees from ElSalvador, who is an alumnus from the business field said: Our universities in developing countries need to disconnect from the NapoleonicModel and incorporate interdisciplinary education with more general education andliberal arts into all programs. Interdisciplinary education should introduce philosophy,sociology, psychology, and economics. As a business administrator, I believe thatgeneral education helped me to develop a more social consciousness based on atheoretical framework. I am able to understand much better the context in which ourcountries are acting. The most important part of my college education was theconnection between integral education—general education—with professionaleducation. That was a good program because I have become a more integratedprofessional.The president of the National Universities and Polytechnic Schools Federation(FENAUPE) stated: Currently, we, alumni and young professionals, are willing to bring new ideas related to effective leadership practices into universities in order to promote highly qualified universities.Another student leader explained to me his perception of university leadership practicesby saying: People with good intentions and good wishes are always present on campuses. Nevertheless, goals are not reached with good intentions only. 135
  • 136 Universities are the cornerstone for society and vice versa. People dedicated to politicking and who are uninterested in the advancement of quality education have increased in our universities and federations. Also, there are authorities with good intentions; nonetheless, those authorities do not have the ability to start international agreements and alliances. Hence, many efforts have been frustrated.As for the third action, interviewees told me that Latin American and Ecuadorianuniversities need to introduce more liberal arts education. A university authority atUSFQ explained the benefits of liberal arts education as part of interdisciplinaryprograms: At USFQ, every undergraduate student has to learn subjects related to liberal arts education. Students need to contrast and compare a pyramidal-knowledge system rather than a cylindrical-knowledge system; therefore, curricula have to reflect interdisciplinary program characteristics through liberal arts education and other subjects related to each profession. Students, during their college life, experience liberal arts education through Socratic Seminars, philosophy, general sciences, and society as well as numerical subjects.A student in her senior year in business administration at USFQ told me how importantit was for her to learn more from liberal education. She stated: I like to learn subjects such as music, sculpture, arts, philosophy, psychology that helps you understand people; well, anything that you like. Those courses do not have anything to do with my major, but I enjoy them.Repeatedly, a university authority at USFQ stated that curricula and academic programsneed to change the current orientation of programs that are offered at many Ecuadorianuniversities. He explained to me how the current and common Napoleonic Model hasbeen affecting the quality of programs in Latin American countries. In his words: 136
  • 137 Curricula and programs need the non-formal educational component; it should be the Renaissance component, and it has to be a Leonardo D‘ Vinci. The sticking point in Latin American universities is the continuation of the Napoleonic Model. The educational system needs to change from its basis—elementary education—by the time you get to the university it is too late. Latin America has not contributed to humanity as it should –considering all the information that is available in the world. The guilty one of this situation, it could be said, is the Cold War and the Communist Party trying to dominate Latin America by convincing young students and young professors. The two villains are Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. Their purpose was fulfilled, but they destroyed the youth through its professors. We must replace this mass of people in order to become more productive.A Dean at USFQ was a proponent of liberal education, and he explained to me hiseducational experiences at United States universities. In addition, he presented goodarguments for changing the Latin American university model: I am able to compare and contrast my educational and professional background. Getting a Ph.D. degree at one of the finest United States universities has positively affected my professional development because I have become a professor with more versatility and I am able to adapt to new environments. Students in the United States universities can develop their majors within a well-planned structure. Universities in the United States, at the undergraduate level, offer students a variety of courses that prepare them with general education, global vision, and adaptability to changes. At the graduate level, students receive a more specialized education, and they become competitive professionals whereas in Latin American universities, students cannot develop their careers on a long- term basis due to several challenges. To illustrate, in Latin America 137
  • 138 professors do not share all their knowledge with students because they fear students‘ competency.As for the fourth action, educational leaders told me that universities need to promoteinstitutional self-evaluation in order to maintain a continuous quality improvementprocess and to be accountable to society. University authorities and society werepromoting institutional self-evaluation and accreditation to advance continuous qualityimprovement. Interviewees mentioned the urgent need to advance evaluation andaccreditation in universities in developing countries, particularly in Ecuador.Interviewees said that universities must promote both institutional evaluation andprogram evaluation. They started by focusing first on continuous evaluation—summative and formative assessments—and quality improvement. In analyzing theinterview transcripts, it became clear to me that the university authorities were usingevaluation for different purposes. They said that evaluation should be an integral part ofthe teaching-learning process. It should be a planned, continuous activity. It shouldreflect the intended outcomes of curricula and programs. It should assist teachers inmeeting individual needs and providing appropriate programs for students, and it shoulduse assessment techniques for formative, diagnostic, and summative purposes. Abusiness professor at PUCE said, ―Our dean is looking for quality certification;therefore, we are committed to a continuous improvement process. We all—faculty,administrators, and students—are part of an evaluation process.‖ However, some business students contested the evaluation results by stating,―Although some of our professors have not received good evaluation results, they arestill teaching. We are expecting decision making because we, students, would like to belistened to.‖ A Dean at USFQ, on the other hand, claimed that evaluation does not need to bea very strict process: We do not have a formal evaluation at this campus; however, we can see the quality of our programs through our alumni. When they are hired, we communicate with employers and receive very favorable information about our professionals‘ performance. 138
  • 139 Positive Outcomes Since faculty, administrators, students, employers, and community leadersjoined together to develop strategic plan that envisioned the development of acontinuous improvement process, most of the Latin American interviewees and one ofthe Ecuadorian student leaders stated that when students are invited to participate in theinstitutional strategic plan, they created a shared vision and become more strategicthinkers; in addition, they became more skilled to develop strategic plans in their jobsettings. A business student at PUCE added: The results of the institutional strategic plan have been used to improve the quality of our professors. The human resources department developed a workshop to improve the human attitude of our professors toward students. A famous motivator and writer from Mexico Quateqmoc Sanchez led the workshop. Students were also invited; however, the tickets were too costly for us.Because university authorities, faculty, and administrators at fine, private universities indeveloping countries were inviting leaders to identify new paradigms related touniversity educational leadership, students understood the importance of keepingacademia separated from political issues; they rejected politicking activism on campus;and they became critical thinkers able to contribute with solutions to problems thatchallenge developing countries. A high administrator at USFQ emphasized, ―Ouralumni are entrepreneurs, creative people; they are contributing with solutions to theproblems that Ecuador is facing. They are demonstrating integrity and endurance toconfront corruption.‖ In the same tone, a university authority at USFQ stated: Our students have become successful people without dogmatisms. They have rejected politicking activism on campus because they have valued education overall, they have been like sponges rather than empty glasses waiting to be filled.As for the third outcome, an alumnus at USFQ told me how new university programshave influenced him to improve his level of understanding diversity as well as the 139
  • 140appreciation for his own culture. In his words, ―Since I studied within programs thatincluded liberal arts education and subjects related to international cultures, I becamemore familiar with other cultures; I learned from those cultures; and I valued more myown culture.‖ Similarly, a biology professor at USFQ stated that students who have learnedfrom other cultures acquired social consciousness. They developed more sensitivity todiversity and cultural differences. As for the fourth positive outcome, since faculty, administrators, and studentsparticipated in the evaluation process, students felt more confident, more competitive,and more proud to belong to their universities. Alumni and students from bothcampuses expressed their sense of belonging to their universities because of publicrecognition of the academic prestige at both universities. A student from the biologyschool at PUCE told me: Evaluations of the program have demonstrated that besides becoming good biology professionals, we have become more competitive; we have received more job opportunities, and we have received more funds to develop our projects because people see us as qualified professionals.One of the employers that participated in this study confirmed the quality of alumni bysaying, ―I have had a good experience with a young professional from USFQ; she hasleadership skills and a high level of self-confidence; however, she needs to ground herpractice in more science.‖ In contrast, an employer that has hired professionals from PUCE assured: From my own experience, the professionals that I have hired from PUCE are very strong in science, and they are well devoted to their jobs; nonetheless, they need more leadership skills to succeed in their jobs.One of the Latin American interviewees from Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana,Colombia affirmed, ―Since I studied in a university with high-quality standards, Ideveloped more critical analysis that can be demonstrated when developing professionalprojects.‖ 140
  • 141 5. Interdisciplinary Problem-Base-Research Teams ―The learning process does not mean only learning the What of existingknowledge, but learning the How for as yet undiscovered knowledge‖ (Pelikan, 1992, p.93). Faculty and administrators as well as university leaders, alumni, students,employers in developing countries, particularly in Ecuador, agreed that more researchmust be introduced in all programs.Actions University authorities, higher education leaders, faculty, administrators, alumni,students, and employers were joining together to establish teams of researchers. In sodoing, the rector at PUCE acknowledged: We have an excellent team of researchers at the biology school whose research has been published in The Golden Book. More than one hundred new species discovered by research professors such as Cesar Paz y Miño—a well know researcher in human genetics—and Patricio Ponce have been published.A Director at CONESUP, told me about the actions that the Ecuadorian HigherEducation Council is taking in order to improve research in academic programs: Ecuadorian universities ought to introduce more research into their programs not only for promoting quality curricula but also for advancing science, technology and the culture of the country. Ecuadorian universities should organize a high- quality team of researchers. In doing so, the idea of Ph.D. programs in Ecuador must be sustained by a team of research professors with Ph.D.s earned at prestigious universities. Then, universities should organize a team of research- oriented students that could work with a team of research professors. They should further peer-research cooperation with well known international research universities to develop quality programs with academic recognition based essentially on the research component. Then, Ecuadorian universities could achieve social recognition to secure more economic support from organizations that allocate monetary resources for research projects. 141
  • 142In order to have interdisciplinary problem-based research teams, universities needed toprepare more researchers and hire professors able to combine research with teaching. Asa high administrator at USFQ, stated: We hire professors that combine teaching with research activities; by doing so, we have elevated the level of faculty and, consequently, we have pushed the Ecuadorian higher education system to improve its level by looking at our good example based on innovation and high-quality standards.A Director at the Ecuadorian Higher Education Council (CONESUP) told me howCONESUP is promoting a team of researchers formed by highly qualified professorsthat devote their time to research activities. In his words: We at CONESUP are very interested in promoting high-quality professors, who are full-time and committed to researching and teaching activities because that is how knowledge can advance. All efforts should be done not only to achieve high-quality programs, but also to develop more research projects and to ensure technological and scientific advancement.Positive Outcomes Since university authorities were improving the research level at all universities,students were becoming researchers with skills to contribute to the advancement ofscience, technology, and society. One alumnus among Latin American leadersparticipating in this study, who attended Universidad Católica de Guayaquil, Ecuador,explained: I had the opportunity to have professors that devoted their time to research from whom I have learned to be a more critical thinker. I have become more research-oriented, and I have acquired team-work skills. All those positive outcomes have contributed to my development and growth in terms of quality. 142
  • 143Students and alumni from biotechnology school at USFQ and biology school at PUCEagreed that their professors were participating in several research projects and theyinvited students to work with them. In so doing, they were developing research skills. Two biology professors at PUCE told me about the research stations that theiruniversity had in order to promote more research activities among faculty and students.They said: (Professor 1): For research purposes in the biology field, PUCE has the scientific stations such as Yazuní and Cuyaveno. Only qualified researchers can enter those areas. Every research project has its economic control, and the profits are re-invested in students who are developing research projects. (Professor 2): The great advantage of Yazuní and Cuyaveno is that students and professors doing research have the opportunity to develop their research projects and theses in reserved areas of Ecuador. 6. Solid Connections between Society and the University During the interview process, I learned that solid connections between societyand the university are important for the advancement of the science, technology, andsociety.Actions Interviewees told me that actions took two forms. First, faculty, administrators,students, employers, and alumni introduced social work, community service, culturalactivities, and multicultural education into all programs. And second, faculty, students,and administrators worked in university extension programs in order to contribute to theadvancement and progress of their communities. Educational leaders introduced social work and community service into allprograms. University authorities, faculty, and administrators at USFQ said that theyattracted full-time committed professors to their programs, professors who werecommitted to teaching, learning, and tutoring, and who were willing to develop strongconnections between society and the university. Therefore, they hired professors withprofessional experience in the non-university work place who brought their ownexperiences to academia. 143
  • 144 Faculty, students, and administrators worked in university extension programswithin their communities. A high administrator at USFQ stated, ―We providecommunity service and extension programs in the form of medical care and dentalservices. A team of professors and students deliver these services as an importantcomponent of their academic programs.‖ Interviewees from Latin American countries participating in this studyagreed: We believe that education is a major force for improvement in society, and we aim to deliver university education at the highest possible standard to all those who desire it and who are capable of study at the appropriate level; therefore, we must promote more university extension programs.Faculty and administrators who promoted extension programs felt that the benefits werefor the community and for faculty as well. The Dean of the Business School at PUCEaffirmed, ―This school has acquired higher hourly wages for professors participating inextension programs; they receive $20 per hour and that has helped professors to raisetheir income.‖ Positive Outcomes Since university authorities promoted university extension programs andcommunity service, students acquired cultural versatility, social consciousness, moreappreciation for their own cultural backgrounds, and improved levels of self-esteem. Inaddition, they developed more sensitivity to diversity and cultural differences. A studentfrom the business school at PUCE stated, ―Having worked for my community, I havelearned how to solve real problems facing my community.‖ One of the biology professors at PUCE told me that students who engage incommunity service always come back to their own towns to contribute to theadvancement of their communities. In his words, ―When students have the opportunityto serve their own communities through community service or university extension,they come back to serve their communities with their knowledge.‖ A Dean at USFQ affirmed, ―Since our students have participated in universityextension programs and community service, I have seen their growth as persons and asprofessionals; they have also grown intellectually.‖ 144
  • 145 Conclusion and Recommendations A very significant attribute of high-quality universities that resulted from thisstudy was university-wide educational leadership, which included actions such aseffective leadership practices, interdisciplinary problem-based research teams, and asolid connection between society and the university. The following are the recommendations that university authorities need topractice:  Engage in effective leadership practices. Politicians do not like to engage in effective leadership practices; rather, they like to confuse students, administrators, faculty, and society by promoting old ideas and models, such as the Napoleonic Model and the old Cordoba Principles. Politicians want to keep their power inside campuses; therefore, they devote their time to political campaigns rather than real academic engagement. Many of them are mediocre people who want to assure their power and jobs at any cost. How can universities in Latin American countries avoid those politicking practices? Time passes quickly, and the past and present actions are judging our universities. We are paying a high price for not introducing high-quality attributes in Latin American and in Ecuadorian universities.  Develop strategic plans with shared participation by university authorities, faculty, administrators, students, alumni, employers, and the learning community in general. Several universities do not invite faculty or students to contribute in developing strategic plans. Other universities do not even have strategic plans. How will university leaders envision a better future without strategic plans?  Enhance community services, social work, and university extension. The Ecuadorian Higher Education Law establishes all of these actions. To this end, university authorities need more information and training in order to pursue these actions. Community services, social work, and university extension will give faculty, administrators, students, and communities a better sense of social responsibility and social sensibility because social development must be a responsibility shared by all parties.  Introduce an effective quality assessment based on ―best practices‖ principles. Haworth and Conrad‘s (1997: 167 – 168) evaluation principles could effectively guide the evaluation process. These principles are: 145
  • 146 o The Linking Pin: A Constant Commitment to Student Learning o People Make Quality Happen: Inclusive and Engagement o Learning Never Ends: Continuous Program Improvement o Thinking Multidimensionally: Multiple Methods of Assessment  Determine good teaching and learning evaluation practices. Amacher and Meiners (2004: 49 – 50) say that student evaluations are useful and could be used more effectively, but student evaluations are not the end all. Students know a lazy professor when they see one, but they often cannot discriminate between a knowledgeable professor and one with little substance but more personality. ―Style is nice, but substance is more important in higher education.‖ 48  To assess program improvement, Amacher and Meiners (2004) suggest the use of benchmarks to measure quality enhancement or cost effectiveness. Continuous improvement and benchmarking ―require radical changes in policies and practices which the bureaucracy, the employees‘ union, and Congress would all fiercely resist.‖  Most of the evaluation results have shown that Latin American universities, and in particular Ecuadorian universities, must improve quality and effectiveness. Latin American universities need to shift from the Napoleonic Model. The Napoleonic Model has introduced bureaucratic structures where faculty spend their time on politicking more and teaching less; there are few program innovations; due to free admission, there is no test to enter colleges and no tuition; all these actions have resulted in mass student enrollment with lack of quality. In addition, several Latin American universities, including Ecuadorian universities, face serious economic problems that jeopardize the quality of higher education. There is an urgent call for change and improvement if Latin American universities want to be competitive. There are very good higher education patterns; therefore, for what are Latin American universities, particularly Ecuadorian universities, waiting?  Rethink the Napoleonic Model and its bureaucratic structures. Amacher and Meiners (2004: 59) state that the economic theory of bureaucracy explains that bureaucrats have incentives to generate the largest possible budgets because the political reward is larger for larger volume. ―That is, giant universities have48 Seymour, 1992. 146
  • 147larger political constituents who carry more clout in the legislature.‖ Accordingto Orzechowski‘s (1977) empirical study, public universities ―employ roughly40% more labor than the private colleges for the same size capital stock.‖Universities in developing countries, particularly in Ecuador, should accept thefact that changes and improvements can occur in universities as they occur inbusiness organizations. Therefore, the solution is clear. Universities must changebureaucratic structures by creating networks similar to those of smallercompanies. Harvard Business School professor Rosabeth Kanter (1996) stated:Large organizations must tear down the confining vertical structures thatshape bureauspace—skyscrapers, towers, silos, walls, and tunnel vision.They must behave like networks of smaller companies, liberating peopleto think like entrepreneurs but connecting them to share knowledge andto form a fluid array of project teams, within the company and withpartners. 147