Higher Learning Commission Revises Accreditation Criteria
From HLC Website: http://www.ncahlc.org
In its review of institutions, the Higher Learning Commission seeks a culture of aspiration and continual improvement rather than satisfaction of minimum requirements. It also seeks to acknowledge the great diversity of its institutions. For these reasons it uses the term “criteria” rather than “standards.”
The Criteria for Accreditation are broad statements of the areas of fundamental interest to the Commission. The Criteria are applied not to define minimum qualifications but to seek evidence of continual improvement, aspiration, and best practices; minimum standards are not enough to meet the Criteria.
The revised criteria include the following:
Criterion One: Mission
The institution’s mission is clear, articulated publicly, and appropriate to an institution of higher education.
Criterion Two: Integrity
The institution fulfills its mission ethically and responsibly.
Criterion Three: Academic Programs–Quality, Resources, and Support
The institution provides high quality academic programs, wherever and however its offerings are delivered (on the main campus, at additional locations, by distance delivery, as dual credit, through contractual or consortial arrangements).
Criterion Four: Academic Programs–Evaluation and Improvement
The institution assures the quality of its academic programs and evaluates their effectiveness through processes designed to promote continuous improvement.
Criterion Five: Resources and Planning
The institution’s resources are sufficient to fulfill its mission, improve the quality of its educational offerings, and respond to future challenges and opportunities.
The Proposed Criteria for Accreditation: Core Values
The Higher Learning Commission’s Criteria for Accreditation reflect a set of core values. The Commission articulates these core values so as to offer a better understanding of the Criteria and the intentions that underlie them.
• Focus on student learning
• Education as a public purpose
• Education for a diverse, technological, globally connected world
• A culture of continuous improvement
• Evidence-based institutional learning and self-presentation
• Integrity, transparency, and ethical behavior or practice
• Governance for the well-being of the institution and its stakeholders
• Planning and management of resources to ensure institutional sustainability
• Mission-centered evaluation
• Accreditation through peer review
For more detailed information on the new criteria, core components, and values, the full text of the report is available at http://www.ncahlc.org/Information-for-Institutions/proposed-revisions-to-the-criteria-for-accreditation.html.
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College Learning for the New Global Century
From AAC&U Publication: ISBN/ISSN: 978-0-9779210-4-1SKU: LEAPRPTYear Published: 2007 Pages: 76
College Learning for the New Global Century is a report about the aims and outcomes of a twenty-first-century college education. It is also a report about the promises we need to make--and keep--to all students who aspire to a college education, especially to those for whom college is a route, perhaps the only possible route, to a better future. With college education more important than ever before, both to individual opportunity and to American prosperity, policy attention has turned to a new set of priorities: the expansion of access, the reduction of costs, and accountability for student success.
These issues are important, but something equally important has been left off the table.
Across all the discussion of access, affordability, and even accountability, there has been a near-total public and policy silence about what contemporary college graduates need to know and be able to do.
This report fills that void. It builds from the recognition, already widely shared, that in a demanding economic and international environment, Americans will need further learning beyond high school.
The National Leadership Council for Liberal Education and America's Promise believes that the policy commitment to expanded college access must be anchored in an equally strong commitment to educational excellence. Student success in college cannot be documented-- as it usually is--only in terms of enrollment, persistence, and degree attainment. These widely used metrics, while important, miss entirely the question of whether students who have placed their hopes for the future in higher education are actually achieving the kind of learning they need for a complex and volatile world.
In the twenty-first century, the world itself is setting very high expectations for knowledge and skill. This report--based on extensive input both from educators and employers--responds to these new global challenges. It describes the learning contemporary students need from college, and what it will take to help them achieve it.
Preparing Students for Twenty-First-Century Realities
In recent years, the ground has shifted for Americans in virtually every important sphere of life--economic, global, cross-cultural, environmental, civic. The world is being dramatically reshaped by scientific and technological innovations, global interdependence, cross-cultural encounters, and changes in the balance of economic and political power.
These waves of dislocating change will only intensify. The context in which today's students will make choices and compose lives is one of disruption rather than certainty, and of interdependence rather than insularity. This volatility also applies to careers. Studies show that Americans already change jobs ten times in the two decades after they turn eighteen, with such change even more frequent for younger workers.
Taking stock of these developments, educators and employers have begun to reach similar conclusions--an emerging consensus--about the kinds of learning Americans need from college. The recommendations in this report are informed by the views of employers, by new standards in a number of the professions, and by a multi-year dialogue with hundreds of colleges, community colleges, and universities about the aims and best practices for a twenty-first century education.
The goal of this report is to move from off-camera analysis to public priorities and action.
What Matters in College?
American college students already know that they want a degree. The challenge is to help students become highly intentional about the forms of learning and accomplishment that the degree should represent.
The LEAP National Leadership Council calls on American society to give new priority to a set of educational outcomes that all students need from higher learning, outcomes that are closely calibrated with the challenges of a complex and volatile world.
Keyed to work, life, and citizenship, the essential learning outcomes recommended in this report are important for all students and should be fostered and developed across the entire educational experience, and in the context of students' major fields. They provide a new framework to guide students' cumulative progress--as well as curricular alignment--from school through college.
The LEAP National Leadership Council does not call for a "one-size-fits-all" curriculum. The recommended learning outcomes can and should be achieved through many different programs of study and in all collegiate institutions, including colleges, community colleges and technical institutes, and universities, both public and private.
The Essential Learning Outcomes
Beginning in school, and continuing at successively higher levels across their college studies, students should prepare for twenty-first-century challenges by gaining:
KNOWLEDGE OF HUMAN CULTURES AND THE PHYSICAL AND NATURAL WORLD
- Through study in the sciences and mathematics, social sciences, humanities, histories, languages, and the arts
Focused by engagement with big questions, both contemporary and enduring
INTELLECTUAL AND PRACTICAL SKILLS, INCLUDING
- Inquiry and analysis
- Critical and creative thinking
- Written and oral communication
- Quantitative literacy
- Information literacy
- Teamwork and problem solving
Practiced extensively, across the curriculum, in the context of progressively more challenging problems, projects, and standards for performance
PERSONAL AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, INCLUDING
- Civic knowledge and engagement--local and global
- Intercultural knowledge and competence
- Ethical reasoning and action
- Foundations and skills for lifelong learning
Anchored through active involvement with diverse communities and real-world challenges
INTEGRATIVE LEARNING, INCLUDING
- Synthesis and advanced accomplishment across general and specialized studies
Demonstrated through the application of knowledge, skills, and responsibilities to new settings and complex problems
Liberal Education and American Capability
Reflecting the traditions of American higher education since the founding, the term "liberal education" headlines the kinds of learning needed for a free society and for the full development of human talent. Liberal education has always been this nation's signature educational tradition, and this report builds on its core values: expanding horizons, building understanding of the wider world, honing analytical and communication skills, and fostering responsibilities beyond self.
However, in a deliberate break with the academic categories developed in the twentieth century, the LEAP National Leadership Council disputes the idea that liberal education is achieved only through studies in arts and sciences disciplines. It also challenges the conventional view that liberal education is, by definition, "nonvocational."
The council defines liberal education for the twenty-first century as a comprehensive set of aims and outcomes that are essential for all students because they are important to all fields of endeavor. Today, in an economy that is dependent on innovation and global savvy, these outcomes have become the keys to economic vitality and individual opportunity. They are the foundations for American success in all fields--from technology and the sciences to communications and the creative arts.
The LEAP National Leadership Council recommends, therefore, that the essential aims and outcomes be emphasized across every field of college study, whether the field is conventionally considered one of the arts and sciences disciplines or whether it is one of the professional and technical fields (business, engineering, education, health, the performing arts, etc.) in which the majority of college students currently major. General education plays a role, but it is not possible to squeeze all these important aims into the general education program alone. The majors must address them as well.
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Faculty and Department Funding for Assessment Activities
The Office of Assessment offers opportunities for faculty members and departments/programs to receive funding for activities related to assessment. If you would like travel funds, stipends, or funds for your department, the following are ways you can accomplish this:
Faculty Travel Funding
The Office of Assessment sponsors travel stipends for faculty to attend conferences related to assessment of student learning. Funding is competitive, with preference given to faculty who are making a presentation related to assessment or faculty attending a conference or workshop on assessment. Applications should be submitted to the Director of Assessment, prior to the event. Successful applicants may be asked to deliver their conference presentation or a topic related to the conference at the Assessment Committee meeting.
Application Form: .pdf or .doc
Scholarly Research Funding
The Office of Assessment scholarly research stipends are designed to help facilitate and recognize faculty endeavors to do research on assessment of student learning. The grants help support participants as they work on their project throughout the year and travel to professional meetings to deliver presentations of the research. Applications should be submitted to the Director of Assessment. Successful applicants will be asked to present their scholarly research on assessment at a meeting of the Assessment Committee.
Application Form: .pdf or .doc
The Office of Assessment is offering academic departments and programs an opportunity to participate in a Curriculum Mapping project to prepare for the 2013-2014 HLC Accreditation visit. Participation in the project includes a $500 stipend to one faculty member participating from a department and a $1000 stipend to the department. Curriculum Mapping provides departments information on where their learning outcomes are being taught in the curriculum and if Bloom's taxonomy is being addressed. The following websites of other universities that are doing curriculum mapping provide additional detail and discuss and how it helps in the departmental/program assessment process.
http://assessment.uconn.edu/mapping1.htm, or http://manoa.hawaii.edu/assessment/howto/mapping.htm.
Implementing TaskStream E-Portfolios
The Office of Assessment provides incentives to departments who begin implementation of e-portfolios for assessment of their majors. E-portfolios are being implemented for all students at UNK in the new GS program. As a result all incoming students are required to purchase a 4-year license for TaskStream, the e-portfolio system we are using. As a result, your majors will have access to the e-portfolio system and you can begin using it for your departmental assessment of your majors.
The incentive to begin using e-portfolios in your assessment process will be a $500 award to the department when the process is started and you are ready to start collecting documents/projects from students in TaskStream (this would include students purchasing the license for TaskStream; $500 to the individual responsible for running the project;, and another $500 to the department when the first data are collected and implementation is completed.
Focused Assessment Projects
Focused Assessment is a method for departments or programs to identify a specific area
of their curriculum, course delivery, or student outcomes for data collection and analysis.
A focused assessment normally begins with a specific question related to student
performance that needs to be answered.
Departments/programs can apply for a Focused Assessment Grant from the
Office of Assessment. The grants are for $1,000. Awards are given based on the quality
and impact of the focused assessment they propose to do. Once a program/department has been
approved, data will be collected in the fall semester to answer the focused assessment
question. The department will receive an initial $500 at the beginning of the project.
When the department has completed their data collection and analysis and has prepared a written report on the results, they will receive the remaining $500. They will also be asked to present their results at a meeting of the Assessment Committee. The individual faculty member leading the effort to conduct the focused assessment will also receive $500. Application for funding is located at:
Successful Use of TaskStream for GS Courses
Faculty members using TaskStream for GS assessment will receive a $500 stipend if they have 90% or more of their students purchasing TaskStream and uploading GS assignments to their portfolios to be assessed by the instructor.
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Association for the Assessment of Learning in Higher Education (AALHE)
Resource Room http://aalhe.org/resource-room
This Resource Room allows assessment practitioners access to the work of their assessment colleagues. Designed as an open-access resource, it permits users to post and share documents on the site that describe successful practices that they have developed for their institutions. In effect an on-line warehouse of effective best practices, the Resource Room offers assessment practitioners in need of good models easy, organized access to successful work at other institutions.
The Resource Room will eventually offer a range of examples of good work in a number of areas, from policies and plans to tools for assessment of specific outcomes. Anyone who accesses the site may post his or her work within the room by filling out a form and uploading it to the AALHE website. Because this site will be moderated, and because AALHE wants to encourage professional interaction, all who post will be required to identify themselves and their institutions, and to provide contact information. Postings will appear online within a week after initial posting.
If you wish to access the posted successful work of others, choose among the following categories. To access the following go to www2.acs.ncsu.edu/UPA/assmt/resource.htm.
- Assessment Plans
- Assessment Policies
- Assessment Structures
- Assessment Tools
- Assessment Reporting Devices
- Internet Resources
- 2011 Conference Resources
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