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The Spellings Report Update

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The Spellings Report Update

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  1. The Spellings Report Update Janell Lang, Ed.S. Dean, School of Health Sciences Owens Community College / Toledo & Findlay, OHJanell_Lang@owens.edu Anne Loochtan, Ph.D. Assistant Dean of Health and Public Safety Cincinnati State Technical and Community College anne.loochtan@cincinnatistate.edu NN2 20th Annual Meeting Cincinnati, OH October 10-13, 2007

  2. Spellings Accreditation Janell Lang, Ed.S. Dean, School of Health Sciences Owens Community College / Toledo & Findlay, OH Janell_Lang@owens.edu

  3. Margaret Spellings The Ancient Accreditors’ Curse: • “May You Live in Interesting Times”

  4. Spellings’ Commission Report • Aligning K-12 and higher education expectations • Increasing need-based aid for access and success • Using accreditation to support and emphasize student-learning outcomes • Serving adults and other non-traditional students • Enhancing affordability, decreasing costs, and promoting productivity September 2006 Report

  5. The Summit • National Higher Education Transformation Summit “Making Colleges Affordable, Accountable and Accessible to More Americans”

  6. A 25-point list of “action items,” focusing upon these recommendations, was the result of a day-long Summit sponsored by the USDE on March 22. • For additional information, refer to: http://www.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2007/03/03222007.html

  7. Truman Commission Report was focused upon "getting students in." Spellings Commission Report focuses upon "getting students out." Truman vs. Spellings(1947) (2006)

  8. And more… • *completion rates • *graduation rates • *more data • *more analysis • *more accountability • *more transparency in published reports • *and, of course, rule making authority.

  9. In short, "No Child Left Behind Goes to College" West Hall Midwest Hall South Hall East Hall Oasis College

  10. Spring Meeting of the Association of Specialized and Programmatic Accreditors (ASPA) • Vicki Schray, Senior Advisor, Office of the Under Secretary, USDE, and lead negotiator in the accreditation rule-making process, spoke about the need for: • Greater transparency of student success, focusing upon results • Increased evidence that we’re helping students achieve their goals

  11. Vicki Schray • “Accreditation is undercapitalized by peers and volunteers” • “While the general public may not understand accreditation, it needs to” • “We need to balance the needs of the institution with the needs of the public”

  12. Vicki Schray • Use accreditation to support student-learning outcomes • Embrace and use the “powerful lever” of accreditation as a means to address the public’s knowledge • “Kick the tires” by external stakeholders • Negotiated Rule Making on Accreditation

  13. In her Discussion Paper: "Assuring Quality in Higher Education: Key Issues and Questions for Changing Accreditation in the United States," (February 28, 2006), Vicki Schray writes: "The lack of consistency and transparency in the accreditation system has now created major concerns about whether the accreditation community is able to assure consistent levels of quality and be counted on to support national and state efforts to improve performance, promote innovation and expand credit transfer."

  14. In an August, 2006 letter, Judith Eaton, President of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) wrote: "...We have a clash of expectations. The accreditation community envisions itself as primarily serving higher education; the Spellings' report envisions accreditation as first serving the public."

  15. Among the proposed rules . . . • Accrediting agencies would have been required • To establish “minimum quantitative standards . . . for prebaccalaureate vocational programs and for . . . programs that prepare students for . . . certification or licensure.” • To establish “specific quantitative and qualitative measures of student achievement and an expected level of performance.” • To develop “a set of evaluative rubrics for groups of institutions with similar missions . . . ” and to “weight the components of the rubric for each institution and specify an expected level of performance on each component.” Paul Gaston, Trustees Professor, Kent State University, 2007-08 Chair, Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors, Fall 2007 ASPA Conference

  16. Accrediting agencies would have been required • To establish “minimum quantitative standards . . . for prebaccalaureate vocational programs and for . . . programs that prepare students for . . . certification or licensure.” • To establish “specific quantitative and qualitative measures of student achievement and an expected level of performance.” • To develop “a set of evaluative rubrics for groups of institutions with similar missions . . . ” and to “weight the components of the rubric for each institution and specify an expected level of performance on each component.”

  17. and . . . • To ask each institution it oversees to establish “quantitative and qualitative measures for each of the programs it offers, and an expected level of performance . . . .” • To ask each institution “to make available to the public, and to each prospective student, information about its mission and each program’s objectives, expected levels of performance on measures of student achievement, and actual performance.” Paul Gaston, Trustees Professor, Kent State University, 2007-08 Chair, Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors, Fall 2007 ASPA Conference

  18. Doug Leaderman, Editor of Inside Higher Education, has coined the Spellings Commission Report, "...the Education Department's full-court press on accreditors in a desire to have the agencies ratchet up the pressure they, in turn, place on colleges to measure (and prove) that their students are learning and, importantly, to try to find ways to compare the institutions' success to one another."

  19. Recall some of the headlines! Lack of Consensus On Lack of Consensus Spellings Promises Fast Reforms In Accreditation Commission Chairman Blasts Accreditation Spellings Wants To Use Accreditation As a Cudgel Spellings: Use Accreditation To Hold Colleges Accountable Accreditation Official Out of a Job Paul Gaston, Trustees Professor, Kent State University, 2007-08 Chair, Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors, Fall 2007 ASPA Conference

  20. Sen. Lamar Alexander and Rep. David Obey stepped up! • In late May, Sen. Alexander announced he would introduce legislation preventing the DOE from enforcing accreditation rules prior to HEA reauthorization. “Congress needs to legislate first.” • In early June, Rep. Obey added to a House spending bill set for passage a provision prohibiting the DOE from using any funds to “promulgate, implement or enforce” new federal rules regarding accreditation. Paul Gaston, Trustees Professor, Kent State University, 2007-08 Chair, Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors, Fall 2007 ASPA Conference

  21. What next? • National benchmarking? • National accreditation? • National general education exit exams/measures? • National database of information concerning student, instructional, programmatic, and institutional outcomes • Publication of all accreditation actions Barbara Jones, PhD, Dean of Instructions Louisiana Delta Community College, AACC Presentation, 2007

  22. None of the issues addressed so far likely to go away • Transparency • Comparability • Exclusivity Paul Gaston, Trustees Professor, Kent State University, 2007-08 Chair, Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors, Fall 2007 ASPA Conference

  23. Has the Spellings’ Report been responsible for any changes in American higher education?

  24. "Something is changing out there," says Patrick M. Callan, president of the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education. After initial criticisms of the Spellings commission and the sometimes caustic tone of its yearlong deliberations, many college leaders are recognizing common ground. Source: Basken, P. A Year Later, Spellings Report Still Makes Ripples, Chronicle of Higher Education, Sept. 28, 2007.

  25. Among recent developments which may have stemmed from the Spellings Commission Report: • “Hundreds of U.S. colleges are using standardizedstudent-achievement tests, allowing comparisons between institutions, while investigating options for creating more such tests. • Several major college groups are set to outline in coming weeksprojects in which their members will post to their Web sites specific performance-related data to allow direct comparisons between institutions. • Congress, with broad bipartisan backing, this month approved the largest increase in federal student aid since the GI Bill in 1944. • The 15-institution University of Texas system have been testing students, in groups of freshmen and seniors, using an exam known as the Collegiate Learning Assessment. Results are publicly posted. • Another Texas campus, Permian Basin, in Odessa, has been advertising its scores on the Collegiate Learning Assessment after results showed that the small and little-heralded university, which accepts 95 percent of students who apply, had the system's highest rate of academic growth between the freshman and senior years.” Source: Basken, P. A Year Later, Spellings Report Still Makes Ripples, Chronicle of Higher Education, Sept. 28, 2007.

  26. “For all the work remaining, the commission has "started to provoke along-overdue public discussion," Ms. Spellings said. "We have put theelephant in the middle of the dining-room table, and we're starting totalk about stuff that we ought to be talking about.“ “ What elephant? Source: Basken, P. A Year Later, Spellings Report Still Makes Ripples, Chronicle of Higher Education, Sept. 28, 2007.

  27. But… • “She suffered one major setback when she proposed new regulations requiring outcomes-based assessments as part of the federal accreditation process. Colleges, which need that accreditation to remain eligible for the government's $83-billion student-aid program, lobbied lawmakers who then persuaded Ms. Spellings to abandon the effort.” Source: Basken, P. A Year Later, Spellings Report Still Makes Ripples, Chronicle of Higher Education, Sept. 28, 2007.

  28. Questions? • Comments?