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WASC (our regional accreditor) ups the focus on student learning

April 14, 2011

Several members of the Learning Assessment Team attended last week’s Western Association of Schools and Colleges Academic Resource Conference where we heard about changes to the re-accreditation process that are being proposed. Increasing the focus on evidence of student learning (outcomes) and success (defined by retention and graduation rates) is at the heart of the changes.  Colleges and universities may be required to establish target levels of achievement for their learning outcomes and graduation rates and compare those metrics to other institutions.

Here is an article from Inside Higher Education that gives a good overview from the conference.

Here you can see a letter to WASC from Senator Richard Durbin requesting information about how WASC does its reviews and asking very specific questions about metrics and quality assurance.

Here you’ll find a set of concept papers commissioned by WASC to consider the issues that accreditors must address given the current external climate.

As always, I’m providing you with this information in an effort to keep you aware of the external environment that is driving changes in higher education and more specifically learning outcomes assessment.

Tina

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