ERIC Number: EJ799929
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Reference Count: N/A
The Voluntary System of Accountability: Origins and Purposes--An Interview with George Mehaffy and David Shulenberger
Miller, Margaret A.
Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, v40 n4 p8-13 Jul-Aug 2008
This article presents an interview with two people who had responsibility for leading the development of the Voluntary System of Accountability (VSA)--a joint project of the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC) and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), supported by the Lumina Foundation--about the purpose, development, nature, and direction of the VSA. The interviewees are George Mehaffy and David Shulenberger, vice presidents, respectively, of AASCU and NASULGC. Since these organizations between them represent the colleges and universities that serve about 70 percent of the four-year-college population in the United States, their effort has major implications for higher education as a whole. The VSA's chief product is a common online reporting template, called the College Portrait, which provides "consumer information" (the price of attendance, degree offerings, living arrangements, student characteristics, graduation rates, transfer rates, and post-graduate plans), student experiences and perceptions, and learning outcomes for those colleges and universities that volunteer to participate in the project. Although the VSA was under development before the Spellings Commission on the Future of Higher Education wrote its final report, to many observers it represents the most forthright and constructive response that the academic community has had to the commission's criticism of colleges and universities for failing to provide the public and policymakers with transparent and comparable information on everything from college costs to learning outcomes.
Descriptors: Interviews, Higher Education, State Universities, State Colleges, Accountability, Reports, Student Costs, Access to Education, Graduation Rate, Academic Achievement, Outcomes of Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Collegiate Assessment of Academic Proficiency