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US Perspectives on Educational Quality, Assessment, and Accreditation

US Perspectives on Educational Quality, Assessment, and Accreditation

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US Perspectives on Educational Quality, Assessment, and Accreditation

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  1. US Perspectives on Educational Quality, Assessment, and Accreditation A Presentation Dr. Joseph G. Burke Fulbright Specialist, Thailand June 2013

  2. Outline • Describe US values & impact on quality • Outline US quality movement • Rationale and history • Describe US Approach • Questions and Answers

  3. US Higher Education: Values & Context

  4. Fundamental American Values • Three Scales - FREEDOM v order - INDIVIDUAL v society - LIMITED v powerful government • Strong belief in market approach to societal issues • Values influenced: • Constitution: Federal system and separation of powers • Government policy regarding education & accreditation • Others: health care, gun control

  5. US Higher Education Context • No powerful ministry of education • Who’s in Charge? • Feds provide some financial support and broad policy outlines • State/local governments provide financial support and regulation • Multiple non-governmental groups provide “participatory” rule making regimes: commissions, associations, agencies, boards

  6. Implications • US higher education system highly diverse & decentralizedw/autonomous institutions • Overlapping funding/regulatory structures • Multiple organizations involved in accreditation • Yet system: • “best in the world” reputation • protects academic freedom • Encourages innovative and critical thinking w/entrepreneurial and highly successful graduates

  7. Quality Assessment US History • (1983) “A Nation at Risk” report of Reagan era • Decline in learning standards versus rising costs • (1985) “Time for Results” examination of HE • (1985-2000) – Rise of Assessment Movement • Phase I – Total Quality Procedures inherited from Industry (Processes and Industrial- type Awards) • Phase II – Data Compilation • Phase III – Big Question, comparative, and Internationalization Stage • Phase IV -Current • 2000 – Growing concern US education system less competitive. • Growing federal intervention

  8. Why Assessment Movement? • Atmosphere of accountability • Increased competition in academic marketplace • Constrained fiscal condition requires evidence-based academic management • Technology provides increased capacity to generate, compile, present, and analyze evidence • Use of “Dashboards” (analytics) • Industry provides better management techniques

  9. The US APPROACH

  10. Institutional Accreditation • Responsibility • Independent regional commissions elected by members • Federal government periodically reviews performance • Comprehensive focus • Resources, governance, faculty qualifications, instructional quality, student performance • Consequence of institutional failure • Elimination of eligibility to participate in federal student aid and financial loan programs

  11. Programmatic Accreditation • Responsibility • Commissions chosen by professional membership associations • Some states involved in program approval • Dual Focus • Faculty qualifications, curriculum, student performance • Level of Institutional support • Consequences of failure dependent on professions

  12. Accreditation Process • Comprehensive Self Study by institution • Multiday visit by peers, w/report & recommendations • Institution comments • Commission action • Accredit • Accredit with warning and reporting requirement • Not Accredit • Appeal Process

  13. Questions for University Council and Administrative Leadership • How Good is our Product • What a student knows and can do upon graduation? • What is the “value added” by the learning process? • How good are we at producing our product? • -retention and graduation rates • Are our customers satisfied? • Do we have the right mix? • Do we make the grade? (Accreditation)

  14. Summary • Based Upon American Value System • De-centralized w/multiple actors and approaches • Focused on Student Development and Learning • Quality approach Emphasizes formative evaluation and continuous improvement • Accreditation based upon summative evaluation of • Resource availability • Program qualifications and results • Assessment process

  15. Comparison of US and Other Approaches to Quality • US tends to disaggregate quality and risk management functions • US less focused on comparative rankings • US has far more diversified and de-centralized approach • Each approach has strengths and weaknesses • US accreditation/educational system under review • National concerns about quality, competitiveness, effectiveness of meeting changing occupational requirements

  16. AGB Resources • Peter T. Ewell, Making the Grade, Second Edition, AGB Press, 2012. • “AGB Statement on Board Responsibility for the Oversight of Educational Quality, AGB Press, 2011. • “How Boards Oversee Educational Quality: A Report on a Survey on Boards and the Assessment of Student Learning,” AGB Press, 2010.

  17. Question and Answers