ERIC Number: ED469481
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Apr
Different Perspectives on Information about Educational Quality: Implications for the Role of Accreditation. CHEA Occasional Paper.
Jones, Dennis P.
This paper systematically explores the matches and mismatches between the needs of different audience about educational quality and the ability of accreditation as it is currently constituted to respond to these needs. Many different audiences now seek assurance of the quality of colleges and universities using accreditation as the mechanism. External constituents looking to accreditation for assurance of institutional quality include federal and state governments, employers, professions, and students and parents. These various constituents vary in their expectations of quality based on the unit of analysis and the focus of quality determination. A look at these varying perspectives suggests that accreditation, as currently constituted, serves the needs of external constituents when these constituents are interested in institutional or programmatic capacity and behavior, but it does not serve as well when the focus is on the use of that capacity to achieve particular outcomes valued by the constituents in question. While accreditation as currently structured and conducted can serve the basic quality assurance needs of the academy, the federal government, and state governments in their roles as owner-operators of institutions, neither institutional nor programmatic accreditation can serve the quality assurance needs of constituents whose view of quality focuses on the individual as the unit of analysis: students, employers, and state governments in their roles as purchasers of services from higher education. (SLD)
Descriptors: Accreditation (Institutions), Accrediting Agencies, Educational Quality, Evaluation Utilization, Higher Education, Needs Assessment
Council for Higher Education Accreditation, One Dupont Circle NW, Suite 510, Washington, DC 20036-1135 ($24.95). Tel: 202-955-6126; Fax: 202-955-6129; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.chea.org.
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Council for Higher Education Accreditation, Washington, DC.