Using Accreditation to Promote Diversity Presented October 20, 2006 AAC & U Conference on Inclusive Excellence Ralph A. Wolff, President and Executive Director Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities Western Association of Schools & Colleges
Where is Your Institution? • Burden or Opportunity? • On a scale of 1- 4, where is your institution? • 1= State of denial • 2= Willing only to deal with conflicts as they arise • 3= Some data but little engagement • 4= Initiates dialogue and generates data out of deep commitment to serve all with excellence
The Biggest Obstacle to Achieving Diversity Is The Belief It Already ExistsJohn Slaughter, PresidentOccidental College
Institutional Context • Proposition 209/legislation/court cases in California, Texas, Washington, Michigan • Frequent lawsuits challenging diversity, speech codes, codes of conduct, etc. • Horowitz amendment • Surveys portraying how “liberal” professors are • Unwillingness to declare ethnic status
National Policy Context • “Leaky pipeline” – who gets in • Graduation rates – who gets out • What happens when they are in college? Are students learning anything? • NAAL survey • Survey of college seniors • PISA studies
Accreditation Reform • Revised standards in all regions • Period of major reform • Openness to institutional innovation • Ability to use accreditation process to focus on key institutional issues • Institutional “themes” get sustained attention
Key Areas of Reform • Focus on learning outcomes • New self-evaluation and visit models • Emphasis on a “culture of evidence” and “organizational learning” • Shift to a value adding process • Accreditation as an agent of change
Accreditation Standards on Diversity – HLC/NCA In its mission documents, the organization recognizes the diversity of its learners, other constituencies, and the greater society it serves. ● In its mission documents, the organization addresses diversity within the community values and common purposes it considers fundamental to its mission. ● The mission documents present the organization’s function in a multicultural society. ● The mission documents affirm the organization’s commitment to honor the dignity and worth of individuals. ● The organization’s required codes of belief or expected behavior are congruent with its mission. ● The mission documents provide a basis for the organization’s basic strategies to address diversity.
HLC/NCA Core Component - 4c The organization assesses the usefulness of its curricula to students who will live and work in a global, diverse, and technological society. Examples of Evidence ● Regular academic program reviews include attention to currency and relevance of courses and programs. ● In keeping with its mission, learning goals and outcomes include skills and professional competence essential to a diverse workforce. ● Learning outcomes document that graduates have gained the skills and knowledge they need to function in diverse, local, national, and global societies.
MSA - CHE • Consistent with the institution’s mission, administration selection processes should give appropriate consideration to diversity in areas such as age, race, ethnicity, and gender. The administrative staff should work effectively as a team and work cooperatively with other constituencies of the institution. • An institution demonstrates integrity through the manner in which it specifies its goals, selects and retains its faculty, admits students, establishes curricula, determines programs of research, pursues its fields of service, demonstrates sensitivity to equity and diversity issues, allocates its resources, serves the public interest, and provides for the success of its students.
MSA (cont.) • Faculty selection processes should give appropriate consideration to the value of faculty diversity, consistent with institutional mission, in areas such as age, race, ethnicity, and gender. • An institution demonstrates integrity through the manner in which it specifies its goals, selects and retains its faculty, admits students, establishes curricula, determines programs of research, pursues its fields of service, demonstrates sensitivity to equity and diversity issues, allocates its resources, serves the public interest, and provides for the success of its students.
New England (NEASC) • The institution ensures equal employment opportunity consistent with legal requirements and any other dimensions of its own choosing; compatible with its mission and purposes, it addresses its own goals for the achievement of diversity of race, gender, and ethnicity. • In providing services, in accordance with its mission and purposes, the institution adheres to both the spirit and intent of equal opportunity and its own goals for diversity.
WASC – Senior College Commission • Consistent with its purposes and character, the institution demonstrates an appropriate response to the increasing diversity in society through its policies, its educational and co-curricular programs, and its administrative and organizational practices.
WASC – Sr. • Baccalaureate programs engage students in an integrated course of study of sufficient breadth and depth to prepare them for work, citizenship, and a fulfilling life. These programs also ensure the development of core learning abilities and competencies including, but not limited to, college-level written and oral communication; college-level quantitative skills; information literacy; and the habit of critical analysis of data and argument. In addition, baccalaureate programs actively foster an understanding of diversity; civic responsibility; the ability to work with others; and the capability to engage in lifelong learning.
WASC Statement on Diversity • Recognizes the comprehensive and multidimensional character of diversity issues • Based on key assumption that diversity is an integral element of excellence • Goes beyond representation to address respect for all students, campus climate, and educational programs
Making Diversity a Key Focus of Accreditation • Hooks: • Mission • Retention/graduation rates • Educational outcomes • Assessment activities (including of diversity) • Faculty recruitment and development • Faculty and staff development • Campus climate • Program review • Resource allocations • Others?
Examples • California State University, East Bay • San Jose State University • UCLA • University of California, Berkeley • Chapman University • Loyola Marymount University • Mount Saint Mary’s College • Biola University
Key Considerations • Need to disaggregate • Test assumptions • Create a comprehensive approach • Go for long term over episodic • Find key advocates • Embed diversity issues within other topics
For Additional Information or Comments Please contact Ralph Wolff email@example.com