Slides - Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges

Best Practices in
Webinar Objectives
• This webinar is designed to challenge the way an institution thinks
about, prepares for, and engages in accreditation;
• This webinar is essentially a brainstorming session that puts for new
ideas and concepts as a method to transcend basic compliance
and focus on institutional effectiveness of high performing
• This is a
• There will be an opportunity to answer questions at the end of
the webinar;
• The webinar will more than likely generate a lot of questions,
and may not provide a lot of specific answers.
• The goal is to get you to start thinking differently about
• As a companion piece, ACCSC staff is available to answer any
questions and to talk about any specific institutional initiatives.
Webinar Overview
• There will be a slight pause between slide transitions to ensure that
all participants are at pace with the webinar.
• The slides will be made available at under the
Events, Webinar Section shortly after the webinar.
• A recording of the webinar will also be made available at under the Events, Webinar Section shortly after the
• There will be a brief Q and A after the webinar.
• Participants are encouraged to ask questions by typing them into
the webinar system.
• Given the timing constrictions, if your question is not answered
during today’s session, staff will follow up via email.
• You can always contact me with any specific questions you have
at [email protected]
Compliance vs.
Compliance v. Effectiveness
What is the difference between “compliance” and “effectiveness”?
If an institution can demonstrate a 70% graduate employment rate for a
particular program, they are in compliance with the established
employment benchmark for ACCSC accredited institutions.
70% is, based on ACCSC data, and the requirement is a standard
deviation that is 12% below the “average” graduate employment rate
(82%) demonstrated by ACCSC accredited institutions.
Is your goal to be below average, but in compliance?
Is your goal to demonstrate minimal compliance with established
standards for the sake of satisfying the questions of an external onsite
evaluation team?
Compliance, purely for the sake of compliance, is ripe with challenge
How can you transcend compliance and focus on institutional
How can you ensure that you are serving your students in the best possible
How can you ensure that you are maximizing every opportunity you have
to show institutional success?
Assessment and
Best Practices:
Establish and Maintain a Realistic Strategic Plan
• Basic Compliance:
• Ensure that all required accreditation areas are incorporated
into the strategic plan. Benchmarks, Timelines, Goals.
• You have a plan. You can document that the plan is being
implemented in a systematic fashion throughout the term of
• Institutional Effectiveness:
• Ask the following questions:
• Are you a different school than you were 10 years ago? 5
years ago?
• Do you offer different programs?
• Do you now offer degree programs?
• Did you branch or add location?
• Did you launch a distance education initiative?
• The question becomes, fundamentally, how did you plan for all
of the successes that you have experienced as an institution?
Best Practices:
Establish and Maintain a Realistic Strategic Plan
Best Practices of High Performing Institutions
• Greater Involvement of All School Departments in Creating the
Strategic Vision for the Institution.
• Not just a plan handed down from the corporate office/corner
office, but one that involved the leadership team of the
• Establish buy in and participation from your leadership team
• Establish of a Realistic Budget to Ensure that Goals Identified
Have the Necessary Fiscal Support
• This Strategic Plan is a “Living Document” and should be
Updated/Revised/Adapted as needed
• Not simply for accreditation purposes.
• Significant and OnGoing – Not Just Once Every Five Years
Fundamentally, how are you going to measure and
demonstrate your success if you don’t have a plan?
Accreditation Requirement:
• Does the school have an established, written, comprehensive curriculum
for all program offerings?
Institutional Effectiveness:
Is the program sufficient in length?
• What is the graduation rate for the program?
• How is that data trending?
What does the retention data show?
• Are students dropping out at a particular point in the program?
What is the pass rate on any certification/licensure exam?
Accreditation Requirement:
Institutional Effectiveness:
What are members of the Program Advisory Committee saying?
• Do you implement new initiatives based on these suggestions, or
rather, simply go through the motions of having a PAC meeting to
satisfy an accreditation requirement?
Is there an opportunity for faculty to provide feedback on the delivery of
the curriculum in the classroom?
Do you survey current students?
• Particularly those student on externship.
• Do they feel prepared to enter the workforce based on practical
experience during externship?
• Do they need more time on externship?
Do you survey graduates?
• Is there any area of focus they wish they had more time
• Did they feel prepared to enter the workforce?
Accreditation Requirement:
• Institutional Effectiveness:
Does the curriculum reflect current occupational practices and
• Do employers have an opportunity to review and comment on
the school’s curriculum?
• How often?
• Have employers identified any skill-gaps that can be remedied
through a change in the curriculum?
Have employers identified any new occupational trends that
should be considered as part of a revised curriculum?
How often is the curriculum updated?
• ACCSC schools consistently state that one of their significant
strengths is their ability to adapt, and to adapt quickly to the
• Those schools that don’t adapt, fall behind.
Accreditation Requirement:
• Compliance:
• Ensure that all students enrolled in the school met the school’s
published admissions criteria.
• Have documentation available to demonstrate that students
enrolled met the published admissions criteria.
• Institutional Effectiveness:
• Do you examine the reported rates of student
graduation/retention in relation to your admission standards?
• Who is dropping out?
• Is it a particular “type” (e.g., ATB, GED, HS, low admission
score)of student?
• Do you enroll ATB Students?
• Do the ATB Students graduate at a rate comparable to
those students that earned a HS Diploma/GED?
Best Practices:
• If you have an admissions test, did those students who just achieved the
minimum passing score graduate?
• At what rate did they graduate?
• Is it comparable to the rest of students?
• Are you using the “right” admissions test?
• When was the last time you reviewed this test?
• Do you survey students and inquire as to their thoughts on the admissions
• Is there something they wish they would have known earlier in the
admission process?
• What type of feedback are you getting from your “customers”?
• Do you get feedback from instructors about any perceived skills
• When is the last time you examined your admission requirements?
• Are you being selective?
Best Practices:
• Do you talk about motivation?
• Why did they pick a career college?
• More specifically, what was it about YOUR institution, YOUR program
offerings that attracted them?
• Do you talk about any barriers to their success?
• Transportation, Child Care, Job Responsibilities
• Are these areas you can address through the delivery of your student
• Admissions should, and must, be about enrolling those students
who are capable of successfully completing the training offered.
• Enrollment growth, purely for the sake of enrollment growth, can be
incredibly challenging if an institution does not examine its existing
infrastructure (e.g. facility space, equipment, externship opportunities,
clinical sites, and most critically, job opportunities) to support that
Equipment /
Accreditation Requirement:
Equipment / Facilities
• Does the school’s facility provide an environment conducive to
• Is the facility up to code with adequate lighting, heating, ventilation?
• Is there sufficient equipment?
Institutional Effectiveness:
• How is growth going to impact classroom / lab space and the
availability of equipment for student practice?
• Am I going to outgrow my facility, if not now, in 1 year? 2 years?
3 years?
• What is my strategic plan for facility expansion?
• Do I have the “right” equipment that reflects current occupational
• Do I have opportunities to engage with employers about the
validity of my equipment?
• Are there any new trends on the horizon?
• Do I have a realistic budget to support the procurement of new
equipment as needed?
Learning Resource
Accreditation Requirement:
Learning Resource System (Library)
• Compliance:
• Do you have a library?
• Is it used by students?
• Can you document that it is integrated into the curriculum?
• Institutional Effectiveness:
• Do you have a strategic plan for library improvements?
• Do you have a realistic budget to support the identified
areas of improvement in your library?
• Are you examining how technology is impacting how you
deliver learning resources?
• Are you examining how technology is impacting they way
your students learn?
Accreditation Requirement:
Learning Resource System (Library)
• Institutional Effectiveness:
• Do you survey students about how they use the library?
• Do you survey faculty inquiring as to what library resources
they would like to use in the classroom?
• Do you encourage students to use the library for study
groups, as a place to do homework, or is it kept under lock
and key?
• What about evening students?
• Do you conduct a usage study to determine what
references are being utilized by students, and what
references are not?
Accreditation Requirement:
Faculty Professional Development
• Do you have a faculty development plan?
• Can you document that faculty engaged in professional
development activities in a systematic fashion?
Institutional Effectiveness:
• Have you established a realistic budget to support the implementation
of the faculty development plan?
Do you customize the plan to meet the individual needs of faculty?
• A tenured faculty member will have different professional
development needs than a brand new instructor.
Do you tie performance evaluations to professional development?
• What did the faculty member do to learn more about the
profession of teaching or to increase their area of expertise?
Institutional Effectiveness:
Faculty Development
• Are you building your bench?
• How are you identifying/recruiting future instructors?
• Are you reactive?
• Do you find yourself making a “bad” hiring decision out
of necessity?
• Do you have a pool of qualified substitute teachers?
• Do you provide leadership opportunities for high performing
• How do you monitor/evaluate the effectiveness of
teachers in the classroom?
• Do you have a mentoring/shadowing program?
• Are you a learning organization where your faculty and
staff are provided with the opportunities and support to
grow and develop in their positions?
Accreditation Requirement:
• Does the school have a written externship plan?
• Does the school have a designated, qualified staff person to
supervise and manage the externship plan?
Institutional Effectiveness:
• How is growth going to impact the availability of externships?
• How is the school going to avoid a lag-time in externship
assignments to students?
• Does the school formally seek out new externship sites on a
proactive basis?
• Do you survey students about the effectiveness and
appropriateness of the externship experience?
• Do you survey recent graduates employed in the field
about any skills gap that needs to be addressed via the
Student Services
Accreditation Requirement:
Student Services
• Compliance:
• Ensure that all students have access to the school’s student
• Document advising/tutoring sessions.
• Institutional Effectiveness:
• What type of student services do you offer?
• Do you survey students to gain a better understanding of
how they use , or if they use these services?
• Do you survey employers to gain a better understanding of
the skill gaps that might exist?
• Do you survey graduates to gain a better understanding of
any areas of weakness they had coming out of the school?
Best Practices:
Student Services
How are you delivering your services?
• Have you examined how technology has changed the way
student services are delivered?
• Have you examined how changes among a new generation
of learners has impacted how student services are delivered
• Have you examined how you communicate with your
Are you experiencing enrollment growth or do you anticipate
enrollment growth?
• Have you made an investment into your student services to
meet the growing demand as the student population
• Do you have a realistic budget in place to support student
service initiatives?
Career Services
Accreditation Requirement:
Career Services
• Compliance:
• The school has a career services department (part of student
• The school can demonstrate successful student achievement
through the reported rates of graduate employment.
• Institutional Effectiveness:
• How has this economy impacted your graduates ability to get
a job?
• How has enrollment growth impacted your students’ ability
to get a job?
• Is there potential for an over-saturation of the local job
market due to enrollment growth or increased competition
(community colleges)?
More Students + Greater Competition + Less Jobs =
Challenge for Career Services
Best Practices: Career Services
• Institutional Effectiveness:
• What are you employers saying?
• Do you regularly meet with employers to get a better
understanding of job market trends?
• What can they tell you about the graduates they hire?
• How is career services wielding technology to meet the
changing needs of students?
• How are you communicating with students, graduates,
• How often are you communicating with students,
graduates, employers?
• When are you talking with your students about career services?
• Conversations with students on the availability of career
services should start on day 1 of orientation.
Accreditation Requirement:
Career Services
• Institutional Effectiveness:
• What does the data say?
Retention Data
Student Satisfaction Data
Graduate Employment Data
Employer Satisfaction Data
• Use the data to gain a better understanding of
student/graduate performance.
Accreditation Requirement:
Community Involvement
• There is no standard that requires an institution to be active in their
local community.
Institutional Effectiveness:
• Do you have a presence in your community?
• Do you participate in community improvement activities like
blood drives, clothing drives, food drives, and other charitable
• Are you a leader in your community?
• All of these activities will increase the visibility of the school within your
local community.
• Most career college students are “local” and stay local after
• Doesn’t it make sense to put forth the effort to contribute to
the betterment of your local community while at the same
time boosting your presence?
A Holistic Approach to Quality Assessment
School As A Whole –
Leadership and
Market Needs
Program Length
Student Services
Assessment and
Questions and
Best Practices in
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