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WASC Regional Forums October 2011


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Presentation on the WASC Accreditation Redesign process by Ralph A. Wolff, Anna DiStefano.

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WASC Regional Forums October 2011

  1. 1. Situating WASC Accreditation in the 21st Century Regional Forums October 2011
  2. 2. Goals of the Redesign Process Approved by the Commission November 20101. Shorten and/or focus the institutional review process and create multiple, adaptive approaches to review.2. Develop a clear public accountability and quality assurance role that moves beyond minimum standards.3. Increase transparency.4. Explore core competencies, graduation proficiencies, and the possible applications of the Lumina Degree Qualifications Profile (DQP) within the accreditation process.5. Identify levels of accreditation, moving beyond merely being “accredited” or not.
  3. 3. Goals (continued)6. Bridge senior-level institutions with community colleges more effectively.7. Clarify what can be taken off the table in the review process for institutions with long histories of compliance.8. Explore alternative models and new approaches to education and credentialing and the role of WASC in that effort.9. Increase oversight of for-profit institutions, especially those that are publicly traded.10.Develop a public advocacy role to communicate about issues of quality and effectiveness in higher education.
  4. 4. Goals of the Redesign Process
  5. 5. 6
  6. 6. Pressures on AccreditationExternal Accreditation InternalConcerns Dissatisfaction
  7. 7. External Concerns• Accreditation does not: – Address low completion – Hold institutions to high standards of learning – Provide meaningful public accountability – Provide transparency about its actions – Catch and deal with abuses of for profits – Provide adequate consumer protection
  8. 8. Is College Worth it?• Arum & Roksa, Academically Adrift: 45% showed no learning gains at end of sophomore year, 36% at end of senior year• Peter Thiel’s challenge to fund entrepreneurs not to complete college• Roper Survey: nearly half of college graduates don’t think they got their money’s worth• AAC&U employer surveys: unprepared graduates for workforce
  9. 9. Internal Dissatisfaction• Common concerns identified by WASC surveys: – Process takes too long – Too costly for value added – Too rigid and process oriented – Barrier to innovation – Too variable and inconsistent in teams and decisions
  10. 10. Alternatives Being Considered• Limited set of finance and completion indicators with an open market• Federally operated eligibility process• Segmental accreditation• Separate accreditation for for-profit institutions• Congressionally or Departmentally set standards (bright lines)
  11. 11. Core Principles of Accreditation Gate-keeping/ Improvement Public Accountability Compliance Centered and Assurance CenteredScope of All standards Key areas selected Specific areas identifiedReview applied to assure and approved by for all reviews to address compliance accreditor for common policy issues i.e. improvement retention/ graduation, student learning outcomesLevel of Standards met at Simplify External benchmarkingJudgment least minimum compliance review; with comparative level primary emphasis indicators of institutional on improvement typePublic Public Reports internally Meaningful and clearReporting announcement of circulated for public reporting about accreditation improvement; institutional accrediting action performance; publicly reported Commission actions reported
  12. 12. Repurposing Accreditation Revised IRP Robust and visible adaptive to each agent of public institution’s accountability and context; right-sized quality assurance cost and work load Open and responsive to innovation; a 21st century model of accreditation
  13. 13. Where is the Region?Institutional Data 2009-2010Total Member Institutions: Accredited and Candidate Institutions 163Total Eligible Institutions 22Total Students (FTE) Educated by Our Member Institutions 967,189Percent of WASC Members that are Public Institutions 22%Percent of Students (FTE) Educated by Public Institutions 72%Institutions with > 10,000 FTE:Percent of WASC Membership 17%Percent of Enrollment 74%Institutions with 1,000 -10,000 FTE:Percent of WASC Membership 40%Percent of Enrollment 24%Institutions with < 1000 FTE:Percent of WASC Membership 43%Percent of Enrollment 2%
  14. 14. Terms Granted at ReaffirmationJune 2008 through June 2011 (84 institutions)
  15. 15. Interim Reports and Special Visits requestedJune 2008 through June 2011 (84 institutions)EERs Rescheduled Following CPR Total CPRs during this period = 34February 2010 through June 2011 Total rescheduled = 14 (41%)
  16. 16. Interim Report Indicators (Based on action from February 2004 - June 2011) Educational Effectiveness 82 Financials 48 Strategic Planning 35 Governance / Leadership 24 Enrollment 21 Diversity 19Areas of Concern Retention / Student Success 18 Faculty / Staff 16 General Education 9 Information technology 5 Graduate Education 5 Institutional research 4 New Location 2 Integrity 2 Moving to University Structure 1 Library 1 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 Frequency
  17. 17. Special Visit Indicators (Based on actions from February 2004 - June 2011) Educational Effectiveness 49 Financials 47 Governance / Leadership 44 Strategic Planning 42 Enrollment 20 Faculty / Staff 14 Integrity 12Areas of Concern Diversity 11 Graduate Education 8 Academic / Student Support 6 Evidence 4 Organizational Structures 3 Library 3 Comunication 3 Institutional Research 2 General Education 2 Faith-based Education 2 Reporting 1 Initial Accreditation 1 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 Frequency
  18. 18. Review of publishedgraduation rates Commission ResearchTeam ratings ofinstitutions onthe Framework for Evaluating Educational Effectiveness
  19. 19. Finance Review• Triennially• 3 panels: publicly funded, privately funded and for-profit• Results folded into the review process
  20. 20. Emphasis on Improving Retention and Graduation• Narrative and numbers• Focus on Associate’s and Bachelor’s degrees in 2013 and 2014• Focus on Graduate programs in 2014 and 2015
  21. 21. CFR 2.2aBaccalaureate “programs ensure thedevelopment of core learning abilitiesand competencies including, but notlimited to, college-level written andoral communication; college-levelquantitative skills; information literacy;and the habit of critical thinking.”
  22. 22. Institutional Requirements• In the comprehensive review process, the institution will be required to demonstrate the 5 proficiencies in CFR 2.2(a) at graduation• Externally validate at least 2• Additionally demonstrate institutionally selected proficiencies
  23. 23. Emphasis on the Meaning of the DegreeCFR 2.2: “All degrees-undergraduate and graduate-awarded by the institutions are clearly defined interms of entry-level requirements and in terms oflevels of student achievement necessary forgraduation that represents more than simply anaccumulation of courses or credits.”“The Commission sees value in exploring the DQPas a potential tool to define degree outcomes andseeks to engage a broad array of institutions inexploring its usefulness through a series of pilotingactivities.”
  24. 24. Revised Institutional Review Process (IRP)
  25. 25. Elements of the IRP:The Institutional NarrativeResponse to previous Commission ActionResponse (as needed) to the Finance ReviewResponse (as needed) to the Retention and Graduation ReviewNarrative should discuss:• The meaning and rigor of degrees offered• How the institution assures the achievement of the 5 undergraduate degree outcomes specified in CFR 2.2 and other areas identified by the institution• How the institution defines and assures student success with the distinctive elements of the institution’s mission and goals• How the institution assures the sustainability of its operations and responds to the changing ecology
  26. 26. Proposed Timeline for Institutions with the next CPR visit in fall 2013Institutions that are scheduled to complete a re-accreditation CPR visit in fall 2013 will be the first set of institutions to apply the Standards under the new two-stage model. YEAR Spring Fall Spring Fall Spring Fall Spring 2012 2012 2013 2013 2014 2014 2015 Offsite X Review Onsite X ReviewCommission X Action Annual X X X X ReportsOffsite Review X XRetention and (for (for graduate Graduation1 undergraduate students) students)Offsite Finance x Review1 1 TheRetention and Graduation and Finance Reviews will be before the Offsite Review so the feedback can be incorporated into the review process
  27. 27. Proposed Timeline for institutions with their next CPR visit in spring 2013 Institutions that are scheduled to complete a re-accreditation CPR visit in spring 2013 will have the option to either stay under the old accreditation model or to pilot the new two-stage model. YEAR Spring Fall Spring Fall Spring Fall Spring 2012 2012 2013 2013 2014 2014 2015 Offsite X Review Onsite X Review Commission X Action Annual x X X X Reports Offsite Review X X of Retention (for (for graduate undergraduate students)and Graduation1 students)Offsite Finance X Review1 1 TheRetention and Graduation and Finance Reviews will be before the Offsite Review so the feedback can be incorporated into the review process
  28. 28. Moving Forward
  29. 29. Cohorts on Graduation ProficienciesWASC will help organize voluntary cohortsaround the graduation proficiencies:• Written and oral communication• Quantitative skills• Critical thinking• Information literacyThese cohorts can discuss best practices andcan help with benchmarking.
  30. 30. Resource FairsExplore assessment tools to measure graduationproficiencies in CFR 2.2• January 19th (Northern California)• January 20th (Southern California)Examples of vendors:
  31. 31. Working with the DQPWASC is conveninglearning communities topilot the DQP.Institutions can pilot theDQP internally withinthe institution, cross-institutionally or use itas a framework withinthe accrediting process.Teams will also pilot itsuse as a frameworkduring the review.
  32. 32. DQP Pilot - Interested InstitutionsUniversity of Hawai’i System – Small Faith-based InstitutionsMultiple Foci • The Master’s College• Cross-system • Point Loma Nazarene• Cross-institutional with University other Hawai’i and South • Marymount College Pacific schools • Holy Names University• Individual campus basedUC Santa Cruz Brandman UniversityUniversity of San Diego CSU FresnoUniversity of LaVerne Occidental CollegeAshford University California Lutheran UniversityHawai’i Pacific University Academy of Art UniversityNational University CSU East bayVanguard University
  33. 33. Providing Feedback• Public Comment on the Web at• Direct, written comments to• Oral presentation at the Commission Public Hearing on November 3 from 10 am – 12 pm. Register at
  34. 34. Thank youDownload the QR Scanner, take a picture of the barcode, and get connected to the comments webpage. 35