Mónica urigüen tesis completa

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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

  1. 1. 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. 2. 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
  3. 3. 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
  4. 4. 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
  5. 5. 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
  6. 6. 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. 7. 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
  8. 8. 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
  9. 9. 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
  10. 10. 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
  11. 11. 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
  12. 12. 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
  13. 13. 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
  14. 14. 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
  15. 15. 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
  16. 16. 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. 17. 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. 18. 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
  19. 19. 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
  20. 20. 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
  21. 21. 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
  22. 22. 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
  23. 23. 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
  24. 24. 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
  25. 25. 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
  26. 26. 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
  27. 27. 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
  28. 28. 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
  29. 29. 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
  30. 30. 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
  31. 31. 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
  32. 32. 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
  33. 33. 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
  34. 34. 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. 35. 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
  36. 36. 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. 37. 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
  38. 38. 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. 39. 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
  40. 40. 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

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