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ERIC Number: ED565598
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 208
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3036-8736-5
Local Adaptation and Institutionalization of an Accreditation Standard: A Community College's Development and Use of Student Learning Outcomes through Shared Governance
Moss, Denise
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of California, Santa Cruz
Since the early 2000's, California community college educators have experienced an intense increase in public demand for performance measures and continuous improvement in the form of outputs. One source of external pressure is the regional accrediting organizations, for California community colleges it is the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC). In 2002, the ACCJC began requiring community colleges to develop Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) as a gauge for assessing student learning and thereby the college's performance. Colleges are then to use information from the SLOs gauge to strategize for improving performance. Strategizing is to involve participation of "appropriate" staff in decision-making for institutional planning. This participation is more commonly known in state regulations as shared governance. This study explores and provides a detailed description of how one college navigated creating a process for using student learning outcomes by supporting its shared governance system to facilitate institution-wide acceptance and participation. The study documents the extent to which the college's leaders understood and use five success factors, as identified in the literature review, to support shared governance and the meaningful use of SLOs to inform program improvement and institutional effectiveness: (a) Communication, (b) Trust, (c) Culture, (c) Training, and (e) Leadership. An ethnographic critical case study approach is used to explore the way college personnel interpret and make sense of their worlds as it related to the college's shared governance and SLOs processes (ethnography) and focused on a single critical case that was "representative" of identified themes and "experiences of the average person or institution" (Yin, 2009). Data collected includes observations of relevant shared governance committees, interviews with key informants, and SLOs-related documents. Data is displayed in narrative format and vignettes. The analysis revealed three key factors that contributed to the college's success. The first was the importance of the culture of collaboration that had been built around the college's shared governance practices. The second factor was the college's use of existing indicators and measures of students' performance as the data source for assessment of SLOs. The third factor involved reframing faculty members' discussion and collaboration as part of the assessment of SLOs process. The implications from this study are that unless a college's personnel perceives their shared governance communications as open, collegial, and collaborative with clear and consistent messages, efforts to develop and integrate a SLOs process or any other new policy will be a non-starter. CJC's success at locally adapting the SLOs standard to their college's context was possible due to the strength of the existing shared governance processes and support from administrative and faculty leaders. The study concludes with suggestions for future studies and specific actionable recommendations for policy makers and college leaders. [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:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Two Year Colleges; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California