Expectation and Accountability in Regional Accreditation

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Expectations and Accountability
in Regional Accreditation
Ellie A. Fogarty, EdD – Vice President
Debra G. Klinman, PhD – Vice President
Middle States Commission on Higher Education
1
Overview
• Expectations
– National
– Middle States
• Accountability
– Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008
– Certification Statement
• Resources for Additional Information
Middle States Commission on Higher Education
2
National Context
• Accreditation developed and evolved to promote
mission-centered, continuous quality improvement
through peer evaluation.
• HEA 1965 (with subsequent re-authorizations,
including 2008) named accreditors as gatekeepers
for institutional access to federal funding. Various
regulations have ensued.
• Today, while accreditors continue to focus on
quality improvement, USDE sees the primary
purpose of accreditation as safeguarding federal
funds.
National Context
• Increasing attention paid to higher education
and accreditation
• Concerns about rising costs and spending for
Federal student aid
• Mistrust about the peer review process
• Occasional calls for “one-size-fits-all” metrics
that do not respect unique missions
Middle States Commission on Higher Education
4
What does the Commission expect
of Teams & Chairs?
•
•
•
•
Respect for the Mission of the host institution
Collegiality and Integrity
Expertise and Preparation
Team reports based firmly on Middle States
Standards
• Evidence-based decisions
• Professional judgment
Middle States Commission on Higher Education
5
What can you expect from the
Commission?
• Team reports are read carefully and help
MSCHE at the next levels of review
– Committee on Evaluation Reports
– Commission Meetings
• Committee and Commission members
work to ensure consistent application of
Standards across institutions
• MSCHE informs institution of final
Commission action on reaccreditation
Middle States Commission on Higher Education
6
Accountability
• MSCHE values peer review that focuses
on continuous improvement
– Recognizes the importance to member
institutions of Title IV funds and federal grants
– Recognizes the need to assure the US
Department of Education that member
institutions are in compliance
• MSCHE process for certification and
verification of HEOA 2008 compliance
Middle States Commission on Higher Education
7
Certification Statement
• Signed by CEO and Board Chair
• Attached to the executive summary of the
Self-Study Report
• Affirms compliance with
– MSCHE Requirements of Affiliation
– Accreditation-relevant federal requirements
Middle States Commission on Higher Education
8
Middle States Commission on Higher Education
9
Distance Education
• Distance Education
– Instruction delivered via technology
– Regular student/faculty interaction
• Correspondence Education
– Instructional materials delivered, mail or email
– Student initiated interaction as needed
Middle States Commission on Higher Education
10
Student Identity Verification
• HEOA 2008: Institutions must document
how student identity is verified
– Secure username and password
– Proctored exams
– New technologies
– Protection of student privacy
– Notification of student fees at registration
• Peer reviewers evaluate compliance
Middle States Commission on Higher Education
11
Transfer of Credit
• Generally addressed under Standards 8
and 11
• HEOA 2008: Institutions must publicly
document
– Criteria for Transfer Decisions
– List of Articulation Agreements
• Peer reviewers evaluate compliance
Middle States Commission on Higher Education
12
Credit Hours
• Unit of measurement of academic work
• Federal definition consistent with Carnegie
Unit
• HEOA 2008: Institutions must document
that any “reasonable equivalencies” can
be verified through student learning
outcomes
• Peer reviewers evaluate compliance
Middle States Commission on Higher Education
13
Credit Hours
• Policies and procedures for awarding
credit hours
• Consistent application of these policies
and procedures
• Does the institution's assignment of credit
hours conform to commonly accepted
practice in higher education?
Middle States Commission on Higher Education
14
Title IV Cohort Default Rate
• Percentage of students in a given fiscal year
who cannot repay federal loans
• Each year, US Department of Education
calculates and publishes the average rate
• Institutions must document where they stand
in relation to averages
• Typically the responsibility of the financial aid
office or CFO
• Peer reviewers evaluate compliance
Middle States Commission on Higher Education
15
Additional Resources
US Dept. of Education
http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/policy.html
http://www2.ed.gov/policy/highered/leg/hea08/index.html
http://ifap.ed.gov/dpcletters/attachments/GEN1106.pdf
Official Cohort Default Rates for Schools
http://www2.ed.gov/offices/OSFAP/defaultmanagement/cdr.html
Middle States Commission on Higher Education
http://www.msche.org/
Middle States Commission on Higher Education
16
Questions?
Middle States Commission on Higher Education
17
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