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ERIC Number: ED518260
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 155
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1241-2519-0
Assessing Student Learning Outcomes in AQIP Accredited Community and Technical Colleges
Schwass, Constance M.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Western Michigan University
Accreditation in higher education institutions continues to be regarded as the seal of collegiate quality even while questions have been raised about its effectiveness and what the process accepts as evidence of improved student learning. As a result, many regional accrediting agencies are requiring higher education institutions to implement assessments of student learning outcomes tied to student learning and instructional program improvements. New accreditation models based on quality management principles have been developed to support continuous improvement efforts in higher education. One such model, the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP), was developed by North Central Accreditation (NCA) and has, as its foundational criterion, a focus on "helping students learn". A web-based survey was sent to 143 AQIP member community and technical college personnel who were most responsible for assessment of such student learning outcomes. The survey included questions for two program areas, General and Occupational Education, regarding the (a) participant's familiarity and involvement with AQIP, (b) assessment plan elements, (c) measurable data collection methods, (d) general evidence of assessment activities, (e) improvements in the teaching/learning process, and (f) obstacles encountered that may impede the assessment of student learning outcomes processes. Responses from 75 individuals (a 52.4% response rate) responsible for their college's assessment of student learning revealed that assessment plans at these AQIP-accredited institutions do exist, and are written, implemented, and embedded as part of their institutional culture and operational strategy. Significant differences between General and Occupational Education programs were found in the use of comparative data, communication with external stakeholders, faculty involvement in the assessment practices, perceived levels of improvement in the teaching/learning process, and the perceived obstacles in assessment processes. However, both program areas indicated there have been improvements in student learning outcomes and the teaching/learning processes, and that continuous improvement principles were being practiced to a high degree. Moreover, although this study confirmed the existence of obstacles in the assessment processes, it also confirmed that most of these AQIP-accredited schools are reporting that assessment of student learning outcomes is indeed occurring. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A