Taking Ownership of Accreditation

Assessment Processes that Promote Institutional Improvement and Faculty Engagement

April 2006
More details
  • Publisher
    Stylus Publishing
  • Published
    12th April 2006
  • ISBN 9781579221768
  • Language English
  • Pages 272 pp.
  • Size 6" x 9"
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December 2011
More details
  • Publisher
    Stylus Publishing
  • Published
    30th December 2011
  • ISBN 9781620360446
  • Language English
  • Pages 272 pp.
  • Size 6" x 9"

This book demonstrates how a participatory approach to assessment and accreditation in their new forms creates a synergy for learner-centered education.

It is a guide to approaching the accreditation process from a campus-wide perspective of ownership--illustrated by rich descriptions of how faculty, students, and administrators at California State University Monterey Bay engaged with and successfully focused their accreditation processes on the improvement of their practices.

The approach that the authors describe was driven by a commitment to go beyond satisfying the accreditation expectations so as to promote ongoing and long-term improvement of student learning. It also reflects the shift of responsibility for assessment within institutions from a designated office to individual faculty and staff, entire departments, and the campus as a whole.

The authors document strategies that are practical—ready to use or adapt—that are appropriate for all campuses. They also provide guidelines for the documentation process that accreditation demands. They demonstrate how they reduced traditional resistance to assessment by emphasizing its use for the improvement of student learning, helping faculty with their own teaching, and creating frameworks for continuing improvements that are valued by faculty.

The authors emphasize the need for every institution to take into account its unique mission, vision, and core values; and to recognize the importance of individual departmental cultures. Although their accreditation "triggered" CSUMB’s engagement with assessment, the authors discuss other opportunities for jump-starting the process.

“Many institutions look upon accreditation with a kind of compliance mentality: ‘Just tell us what you want so we can get this over with.’ In this book CSU Monterey Bay shows us a different and better way–not in how to play the game, or in how to get through the process with a minimum of fuss, but in how to use accreditation to make the institution a better place. Those who seek a model for how to do accreditation right will find it in this book.”

Jon F. Wergin, Professor, Ph.D. - Program in Leadership and Change, Antioch University

“Taking Ownership of Accreditation outlines a way to use the accreditation process to develop a new, productive intentionality, aligning it with learning outcomes assessment and recursive qualitative and quantitative institutional research. Driscoll and Cordero demonstrate how California State University, Monterey Bay, by aiming at issues of high priority and keen interest, clarified and deepened its ability to educate students and serve its community. Of particular importance to community colleges is CSUMB’s focus on engaging external constituents as both constituents and a prime audience for the self study reports. This is a comprehensive primer for those who care about creating productive institutional change at colleges and universities.”

Gail O. Mellow, President - LaGuardia Community College

“This revealing account describes how CSUMB worked on the inside to develop an exceptional learning organization that set a new approach to accreditation. It shows how internal commitment can be joined with external accreditation requirements to engage faculty in scholarly inquiry about student and faculty learning, leading to a number of innovative activities that serve the University long after the accrediting team leaves. This book is useful whether you have an accrediting visit coming soon or not."

Ralph A. Wolff, Executive Director - Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities, Western Association of Schools and Coll


Preface – Judith Ramaley

Chapter 1 - Assessment and Accreditation: Potential for Productive Partnership - Amy Driscoll
Setting the Stage
Assessment of the Past
Resistance to Assessment
Ongoing Resistance
Indications of Change
From Resistance to Responsibility
Remaining Challenges
Gaining Momentum: From Triggers to Engagement
The Implications of New Roles
Assessment Today
Guidance for the Times
Looking to the Future of Assessment
Accreditation of the Past
Seeds of the Paradigm Shift
Progress in Accreditation Shifts
Continued Pressures Prompt Paradigm Shifts
Assessment and Accreditation On Parallel Tracks
Ongoing Challenges to a Complete Shift
Evidence of The Accreditation Shift
Learning from Accreditation
Assessment and Accreditation: Partners for Improvement
Chapter Previews: Integrating Assessment and Accreditation
The Future of Accreditation and Assessment

Chapter 2 - California State University and Western Association of Schools and Colleges - Amy Driscoll

Descriptions from Two Perspectives
An Important Caveat
Western Association of Schools and Colleges: Innovative Accreditation Thinking
Design Principles to Guide Development Processes
Preliminary Steps for an Initial Accreditation
Preliminaries: Proposal for Self-Study: Submitted, Review, and Approved
Stage One: Preparatory Review -- Assessing Institutional Capacity
Stage Two: Educational Effectiveness Review -- Assessing Inquiry and Engagement
Summary of WASC Accreditation Processes and Philosophy
California State University Monterey Bay: Innovative Accreditation Thinking
Approaching the Preparatory Review: Capturing the Institution’s Unique Commitment
Approaching Educational Effectiveness: Capturing Uniqueness of Approaches
The Scholarship of Assessment: Enhancing Accreditation Summary

Chapter 3 - Institutional Vision, Values, and Mission: Foundational Filters for Inquiry - Diane Cordero de Noriega

A Trio of Guides for Campus Practices and Assessment
Vision – The Soul that Guides the Institution
Core Values – The Heart of the Institution
Mission – The Mind of the Institution
A Trifocal Lens: Filtering Our Intentions and Inquiry
Academic Programs
Recruitment and Training
Strategic Planning
Budgeting and Resource Decisions
Bringing It All Into Focus
Accountability—Opportunities for Change
Environmental Scans—Internal and External Conclusion

Chapter 4 - Preparing for Accreditation: Sowing the Seeds of Long-term Change - Salina Diiorio

Directions for Preparation
Preparing the Soil: Communicating and Working with Campus Constituents
CSUMB’s Strategies for Working and Communicating with Groups
Communicating through a Variety of Venues
How These Communication Strategies Led to Long-term Change
Advice for Other Campuses: Communicating Effectively and Promoting Change
Weeding and Pruning: Selecting the Best Evidence to Grow
CSUMB’s Strategies for Selecting Evidence
Three Levels of Evidence
How Our Evidence Selection Processes Led to Long-term Change
Advice for Other Campuses: Selecting Your Evidence
Harvesting and Arranging: Presenting the Evidence
CSUMB’s Strategies for Evidence Presentation
Evidence Maps
Document Room Archives
How Our Presentation Strategies Led to Long-term Change
Advice for Other Campuses: Presenting Evidence Effectively
Moving On To Other Pastures?

Chapter 5 - Program Review as a Model of Vision-based Continuous Renewal - Seth Pollack

Overview: CSUMB’s Academic Program Review Process
Academic Program Review: Formal Process and Timeline
Revision of the Initial Committee Mandate
Additional Processes: Facilitating Campus-Wide Discussion
Reflections on This Process through a “Best Practices” Lens
Reflection on CSUMB’s Process
Conclusion: Enhancing Educational Effectiveness Through Academic
Degree Program Review

Chapter 6 - Multi-Layered Inquiry for Program Review: Methods and Analysis for Campus-wide Implications - Annette March

Rationale for Inquiry
Resources for Inquiry
Decisions for Inquiry
Implementing a Multi-Layered Inquiry: Planning and Design
Collecting Preliminary Research Data to Inform Assessment Design
Constructing an Inquiry Focused on Institutional Goals and Outcomes
Designing the Inquiry to Systematically Examine Multiple Forms of Data
from Multiple Stakeholders
Using Varied Empirical Data Methods to Provide Triangulation
Using Ethnographic Techniques to Contextualize the Assessment Data
Implementing a Multi-Layered Inquiry: Collecting the Data
Using Interviews to Probe Deeply
Using Ethnographic Methodology to Probe Deeply for Program
Using Direct and Quantitative Methods to Triangulate Indirect Qualitative Methods.
Practicing a Recursive Collection Process
Implementing a Multi-Layered Inquiry: Analyzing Data
Applying Simple and Direct Techniques
Applying Triangulation to Cross-check Reliability of Emerging Findings Returning to the Literature During the Research Stage to Pursue New Lines of Inquiry
Implementing a Multi-Layered Inquiry: Writing the Report
Recording the Comprehensive Assessment in a Comprehensive Report
Recording the Results in a Consistent and Clear Manner
Emphasizing Alignment of the Data, Results, and Recommendations
Linking Recommendations to Each Decision-Making Stakeholder
Tailoring a Report Format that Fits the Assessments’ Intentions and Audiences
Implementing a Multi-Layered Inquiry: Dissemination
Disseminating Widely and Strategically Across Campus
Tailoring Various Venues for Opportunities to Interact about the Information
Implementing a Multi-Layered Inquiry: Closing the Loop
Aiming for Appropriate Changes from Assessment Results
Considering Assessment a Transformative Cycle
Adapting the Writing Program Inquiry Process for Your Campus
Conduct the Assessment Collaboratively
Streamline the Process for Individual Programmatic Needs

Chapter 7 - Examining Capstone Practices: A Model of Assets-Based Self-Study - Dan Shapiro

The Self-Study Model
Asset vs. Deficit Model of Self-Study
Implementing the Self-Study
Step 1. Identify student leaning and assessment programs or processes on campus common to multiple departments
Step 2. Of these programs or processes, select one that should be given high priority for a campus self-study
Step 3. Identify and prioritize goals for the self-study of this program or process
Step 4. Determine the audience(s) and methods and for the self-study
Step 5. Determine how the results of the self-study will be used to achieve
the intended goals
Brief Summary of Self-study Results
Self-Study Perceptions
Self-Study Concerns
Self-Study Recommendations
The CSUMB Capstone Self-Study and Accreditation: Emerging Institutional Improvement
Direction from Accreditation

Chapter 8 - A Study of “Best Practices” in Assessment: A Visible and Public Learning Process - Betty McEady

The Research Processes
Research Process One: Search for Best Practices
Research Process Two: Develop Survey Questions
Research Process Three: Develop Faculty Response Tables
Research Process Four: Administer the “Best Practices” Interviews
Evidence of “Best Practices” in

Amy Driscoll

Amy Driscoll retired from California State University, Monterey Bay as the founding Director of Teaching, Learning, and Assessment and from Portland State University as Director of Community/University Partnerships. For the last 11 years, she has coordinated and taught in the Assessment Leadership Academy, a year-long program for faculty and administrators, and consulted nationally and internationally. She co-authored Developing Outcomes-based Assessment for Learner-centered Education: A Faculty Introduction with Swarup Wood in 2007.

Diane Cordero De Noriega

Diane Cordero De Noriega is Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, and currently Interim President, at California State University, Monterey Bay.

participatory assessment; learner-centered education; Assessment Design