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ERIC Number: ED491646
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 29
Abstractor: Author
AERA Outcomes Assessment in the Accreditation Process
Gill, Wanda E.
Online Submission, Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, 2006)
Regional accreditation is an important and viable way for institutions to regulate themselves through standards development and their attainment as examined through peer review. Cycles of accreditation are useful in comparing and contrasting overall institutional effectiveness over time and against mutually agreed upon parameters. In the past 15 years, regional accrediting agencies have placed an increased emphasis on student outcomes as one of many measures of how well the institution is fulfilling its mission. This paper examines the status of outcomes assessments in the accreditation processes of the regional accrediting associations. The following questions were posed and answered as a result of this research: (1) What do research studies tell us about the use of outcomes assessment in the accreditation process? (2) What are the areas of agreement among regional accrediting agencies on outcomes assessments? (3) What resources do regional accrediting agencies use to support outcomes assessments in the accreditation process? and (4) What areas could benefit more from an analysis of outcomes assessments but are currently somewhat limited? Research studies tell us that the goal of using outcomes assessments to determine the institution's mission and goal fulfillment is still evolving for most institutions. The goal of capacity building as a result of outcomes assessments is far off. More planned intermittent research is needed at all levels of the academy, community colleges, 4 year institutions, and universities to differentiate the components of assessments that are useful at each level. Questions posed as a result of outcomes assessment in the accreditation process include those related to budget development and expenditures, academic program viability, and student focused institutional planning and development. Areas that could benefit more from an analysis of outcomes assessments but are currently somewhat limited include student affairs data analysis incling surveys on student participation in tutoring and campus activities, work study program participation, and outcomes assessments findings from federally funded student affairs programs. There is little evidence in the literature that outcomes assessments are being used to improve the curriculum, or change curricular direction to make it more in line with institutional mission. There is evidence that policy issues in accreditation are greatly affected by federal legislation. The following are appended: (1) Publications, Resources on Outcomes Assessment Submitted by the Regional Accrediting Agencies; and (2) National Institutional and Specialized Accrediting Bodies Recognized by the U.S. Department of Education by Category. (Contains 38 notes.)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A