††††††††††††††††††††† COMPONENTS OF THE NORTH CENTRAL ASSOCIATION ††

 

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ACCREDITATION PROCESS

 

I.                   Timetable

 

A.    Spring of 1998: last North Central Association (NCA) visit

B.     Spring of 2008: next visit of NCA (new criteria will be in effect)

C.    Contact person: Dr. Taylor, Director of the Program to Evaluate and Advance Quality (PEAQ) with NCA

D.    Dr. Taylor recommends beginning as early as possible with the NCA process and the site visit

E.     September, 2004-July 2005

 

1.      Beginning in September, 2004, Bob Mosier will meet with all departments in Student Affairs on the NCA planning process

2.      Bob will work with the departments throughout the year to prepare for the NCA process

3.      Departments will issue a written report on their planning and assessment process to Bob Mosier by July 1, 2005.

 

II.                Key Focus for NCA Process

 

A.    Focus for our university: use of results to improve student learning and learning outcomes

 

1.      Key factors in long-range assessment of student learning

 

a.       The leadership supports the assessment of student learning across the institutionís educational programs

b.      Sufficient resources are allocated to sustain ongoing assessment efforts

c.       Funds are available to support changes that need to be made to enhance student academic achievement

d.      All planning and budgeting processes include ways in which assessment information can influence institutional priorities

 

2.      Timing of Assessment: NCA guidelines

 

a.       Assessment needs to be done on a regular, on-going basis

b.      The assessment process needs to be comprehensive, applied to a wide range of programs

c.       All programs in Student Affairs need to hold assessements, including:

 

(1)   student needs

(2)   student satisfaction with programs and services

(3)   measuring the impact of programs and services through outcomes assessments

B.     A paradigm shift by NCA (the new criteria will go into effect January 1, 2005)

1.      A strong emphasis on student learning

2.      Shift from satisfaction surveys to student outcomes

3.      A set of desired learning outcomes needs to be spelled out as goals

4.      There needs to be evidence that these outcomes have been reached

5.      The emphasis needs to be on active learning, rather than students being the passive recipients of knowledge

6.      There needs to be constant feedback in the process (NCA will be very interactive with schools on an annual basis in the future

7.      Close the loop

 

a.       start with desired learning outcomes

b.      end with a demonstration of learning outcomes through research and evaluation

 

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 8. How has your history prepared you to be successful in the future?

C.    Basic Questions

 

1.      How do you know you are doing a good job of facilitating and/or supporting student learning?

2.      Do you have an assessment plan?

3.      Are you doing assessment, and if so, what have you done or are you doing?

4.      Has what you have done led to improvement of services and programs?

 

D.    More Specific Potential Questions by an Accreditation Team

 

1.      What is your Student Affairs mission, and do your services and programs reflect this mission?

2.      Who are your students, and is there evidence that your student services and programs match well with the needs of these students?

3.      What evidence is there that your students are satisfied with the student services and programs that you offer?

4.      Is there a relationship between use of your student services and programs and intended student outcomes?

5.      Does the assessment of your services and programs focus on student learning outcomes?

6.      How would you describe your campus climate?

7.      Can you demonstrate that your student services and programs meet accepted national professional standards and service-specific accreditation?

8.      Do the breadth, depth, and quality of your student services and programs compare well with institutions similar to you?

9.      Are your student services and programs cost-effective?

 

III.             Who Drives This Process?

 

A.    Taxpayers, parents, legislators, and everyone investing money in higher education in the state

 

IV.             Four Major Components in the Planning Process

 

A.    Vision

 

1.      Compelling

2.      Inspirational

3.      Calls people to join

4.      Offers a short statement: : ďChanging LivesĒ

B.     Mission

 

1.      Needs to be concise

2.      What does the department stand for?

3.      What does the department do to support student learning?

4.      What impact do you have on your students through your services and programs?

C.    Values

 

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1. What does the department value?

D.    Priorities

 

1.      Based on its vision, mission, and values, what are priorities for the department?

2.      Are these priorities stated as outcome objectives and goals?

3.      Are these priorities directly related to budgetary decisions?

 

V.                Assessment of Programs, Rather that A Description of Programs

 

A.    Components of Assessment

 

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1.      Need to move beyond the descriptive part of the college experience to the research and evaluation

2.      Demonstrate meeting desired learning outcomes

3.      How do you contribute to fulfilling the mission statement?

 

VI.             Supporting Pillars of the New Criteria for Re-Accreditation by NCA (Program to Evaluate and Advance Quality- PEAQ):

 

A.    Major Pillars of the Program to Evaluate and Advance Quality

 

1.      Future focused departments/programs

a.       engage in planning focused on strategic planning initiatives

b.      are driven by the mission

c.       are committed to a vision

d.      identify common values

e.       understand social and economic change

f.       focus on the futures of constituents

g.      integrate new technology

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2.      Learning centered departments/programs

 

a.       assess student learning

b.      support learning

c.       support scholarship

d.      create the capacity for lifelong learning

e.       strengthen organizational learning

3.      Distinctive departments/programs

 

a.       have an unambiguous mission

b.      appreciate diversity

c.       are accountable

d.      are self-reflective

e.       are committed to improvement

4.      Connected departments/programs

 

a.       serve the common good

b.      serve constituents

c.       create a culture of service

d.      collaborate

e.       engage in healthy internal communication

5.      Demonstrate engagement and service

 

a.       encourage partnerships and linkage

 

XIII. Criteria and Core Components of NCA for Re-Accreditation: selected statements from the NCA guidelines relating to Student Affairs under the 5 new criteria of the Program to Evaluate and Advance Quality (PEAQ)

 

A.    Criterion One: Mission and Integrity: ďThe organization operates with integrity to ensure the fulfillment of its mission through the structures and processes that involve the board, faculty, staff, and students.Ē

 

1.      Core Component 1A. The organizationís mission documents are clear and articulate publicly the organizationís commitments.

 

a.       Patterns of Evidence

 

(1)   the department has adopted statements of mission, vision, values, goals, and organizational priorities that together clearly and broadly define the departmentís mission.

2.      Core Component 1B. In its mission documents, the department recognizes the diversity of its learners, other constituencies, and the greater society it serves.

 

a.       Patterns of Evidence

 

(1)   The mission documents affirm the organizationís commitment to honor the dignity and worth of the individuals

 

3.      Core Component 1C. Understanding of and support for the mission pervades the department.

a.       Patterns of Evidence

 

(1)   the departmentís strategic decisions are mission-driven

 

4.      Core Component 1D. The departmentís governance and administrative structures promote effective leadership and support the collaborative processes that enable the department to fulfill its mission

a.       Patterns of Evidence

 

(1)   Effective communication facilitates governance processes and activities

(2)   The distribution of responsibilities as defined in governance structures, processes, and activities is understood and is implemented through delegated authority

 

5.      Core Component 1 E. The department upholds and protects its integrity.

 

a.       Patterns of Evidence

 

(1)   The department exercises its responsibility to the public to ensure that the department operates legally, responsibly, and with fiscal honesty.

(2)   The departmentís structures and processes allow it to ensure the integrity of its co-curricular and auxiliary activities

(3)   The department documents timely response to complaints and grievances, particularly those of students.

(4)   The department presents itself accurately and honestly to the public

 

B.     Criterion Two: Preparing for the Future ďThe organizationís allocation of resources and its processes for evaluation and planning demonstrate its capacity to fulfill its mission, improve the quality of its education, and respond to future challenges and opportunities.Ē

 

1.      Core Component 2A. The department realistically prepares for a future shaped by multiple societal and economic trends.

 

a.       Patterns of Evidence:

 

(1)   The departmentís planning documents show careful attention to the departmentís function in a multicultural society.

(2)   The departmentís planning processes include effective environmental scanning

(3)   The departmentís environment is supportive of innovation and change

(4)   The department incorporates in its planning those aspects of its history and heritage that it wishes to preserve and continue

(5)   The department clearly identifies authority for decision making about organizational goals

 

2.      Core Component 2 B. The departmentís resource base supports its educational programs and its plans for maintaining and strengthening their quality in the future.

 

a.       Patterns of Evidence

 

(1)   The departmentís resources are adequate for achievement of the educational quality it claims to provide

(2)   The department uses its human resources effectively.

(3)   The department intentionally develops its human resources to meet future changes

(4)   The departmentís planning processes are flexible enough to respond to unanticipated needs for program reallocation, downsizing, or growth.

(5)   The department has a history of achieving its planning goals

 

3.      Core Component 2 C. The departmentís ongoing evaluation and assessment processes provide reliable evidence of institutional effectiveness that clearly informs strategies for continuous improvement.

 

a.       Patterns of Evidence

 

(1)   The department maintains effective systems for collecting, analyzing, and using departmental information

(2)   Appropriate data and feedback loops are available and used throughout the department to support continuous improvement

(3)   The department provides adequate support for its evaluation and assessment processes

 

4.      Core Component 2D. All levels of planning align with the departmentís mission, thereby enhancing its capacity to fulfill its mission.

 

a.       Patterns of Evidence

 

(1)   Coordinated planning processes center on the mission documents which define vision, values, goals, and strategic priorities for the department.

(2)   Planning processes link with budgeting processes

(3)   Long-range strategic planning processes allow for reprioritization of goals when necessary because of changing environments

(4)   Planning processes involve internal constituents and, where appropriate, external constituents

 

C.    Criterion Three: Student Learning and Effective Teaching. ďThe organization provides evidence of student learning and teaching effectiveness that demonstrates it is fulfilling its educational mission.Ē

 

1.      Core Component 3 A. The departmentís goals for student learning outcomes are clearly stated for each educational program and make effective assessment possible.

 

a.       Patterns of Evidence

 

(1)   Assessment of student learning provides multiple direct and indirect measures of student learning

(2)   The department integrates into its assessment of student learning the data reported for purposes of external accountability

(3)   Results obtained through assessment of student learning are available to appropriate constituencies, including students themselves

 

2.      Core Component 3B. The department values and supports effective teaching.

3.      Core Component 3C. The department creates effective learning environments.

 

a.       Patterns of Evidence

 

(1)   Assessment results inform improvements in student services.

(2)   The department provides an environment that supports all learners and respects the diversity they bring.

(3)   Advising systems focus on student learning, including the mastery of skills required for academic success

(4)   Student development programs support learning throughout the studentís experience regardless of the location of the student.

(5)   The department employs, when appropriate, new technologies that enhance an effective learning environment for students.

 

4.      Core Component 3D. The departmentís learning resources support student learning and effective teaching.

 

D.    Criterion Four: Acquisition, Discovery, and Application of Knowledge. ďThe organization promotes the life of learning for its faculty, administration, staff, and students by fostering, and supporting inquiry, creativity, practice, and social responsibility in ways consistent with its mission.

 

1.      Core Component 4A. The department demonstrates, through its actions, that it values a life of action.

 

a.       Patterns of Evidence†††††††††††††††††††

(1)   The department demonstrates the linkages between curricular and co-curricular activities that support inquiry, practice, creativity, and social responsibility.

(2)   Learning outcomes demonstrate effective preparation for continued learning

(3)   The department supports professional development opportunities and makes them available to all of its staff

 

2.      Core Component 4B. The department demonstrates that acquisition of a breadth of knowledge and skills and the exercise of intellectual inquiry are integral to its educational programs.

 

a.       Patterns of Evidence

 

(1)   The department demonstrates the linkages between curricular and co-curricular activities that support inquiry, practice, creativity, and social responsibility.

(2)   Learning outcomes demonstrate effective preparation for continued learning.

 

3.      Core Component 4C. The department assesses the usefulness of its programs/offerings to students who will live and work in a global, diverse, and technological society.

 

a.       Patterns of Evidence:

 

(1)   In keeping with its mission, learning goals and outcomes include skills and professional competence essential to a diverse workforce.

(2)   The department provides co-curricular opportunities that promote social responsibility

 

4.      Core Component 4D. The department provides support to ensure that students and staff acquire, discover, and apply knowledge responsibly.

 

a.       Pattern of Evidence:

 

(1)   The department encourages co-curricular activities that relate responsible use of knowledge to practicing social responsibilities.

(2)   The departmentís programs contribute to the development of student skills and attitudes fundamental to responsible use of knowledge

 

E.     Criterion Five: Engagement and Service. ďAs called for by its mission, the organization identifies its constituencies and serves them in ways both value

 

1.      Core Component 5A. The department learns from the constituencies it serves and analyzes its capacity to serve their needs and expectations

 

a.       Pattern of Evidence:

 

(1)   The department practices periodic environmental scanning to understand the changing needs of its constituencies and their communities.

(2)   The department demonstrates attention to the diversity of the constituencies it serves.

(3)   The departmentís outreach programs respond to identified community needs

 

2.      Core Component 5B. The department has the capacity and the commitment to engage with its identified constituencies and communities.

 

a.       Patterns of Evidence:

 

(1)   The departmentís co-curricular activities engage students, staff, and administrators with external communities

(2)   The departmentís resources-physical, financial, and human-support effective programs of engagement and service

(3)   Planning processes project ongoing engagement and service

 

3.      Core Component 5C. The department demonstrates its responsiveness to those constituencies that depend on it for service

 

a.       Patterns of Evidence:

 

(1)   The departmentís programs of engagement give evidence of building effective bridges among diverse populations.

(2)   The department participates in partnerships focused on shared educational goals

 

4.      Core Component 5D. Internal and external constituencies value the services the department provides.

 

a.       Patterns of Evidence:

 

(1)   The departmentís evaluation of services involves the constituencies involved.

(2)   Service programs and volunteer activities are well-received by the communities served.

(3)   External constituents participate in the organizationís activities and co-curricular programs open to the public

 

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