Lessons Learned in Quality Assurance

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Quality Assurance Experiences
Barbara Brittingham, Director
Commission on Institutions of Higher Education
New England Association of Schools and Colleges
[email protected]
Voice: +1 781-271-0022, ext. 347
http://www.neasc.org
Presentation Overview
I.
Introduction
II. Perspective from the United States –
including current debates
III. International Principles followed in
Egypt
IV. Lessons Learned in Quality Assurance
Part I
Introduction
1. Being present at a launch
2. Your international expertise
Council on Higher Education: http://www.chea.org
INQAAHE
Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados,
Belgium, Botswana, Canada, Chile, China, Columbia, Costa
Rica, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia,
Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Hashemite Kingdom
of Jordan, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland,
Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kingdom
of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia,
Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, New Zealand, Nigeria Norway,
Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, Poland, Portugal,
Republic of Namibia, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovak
Republic, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden,
Switzerland, Thailand, The Netherlands, Trinidad and
Tobago, UAE, United Kingdom, USA, Vietnam
Part II
Accreditation in the U.S.
1.Regional Accreditation
2.National Accreditation: vocational, religious,
and distance-learning-based institutions
3.Profession and specialized accreditation:
programs within institutions (e.g., law,
medicine, teacher education) and some freestanding institutions (e.g., art, seminaries)
Council on Higher Education: http://www.chea.org
Regional Accreditation
American Regional Accreditation
•Traces its beginnings to 1885
•Accredits entire institution
•Is a non-governmental agency
•Serves as a membership organization
•Is based on self-regulation
•Carried out as peer review system
•Relies on participation and candor
What are the basics of accreditation?
Based on a set of standards for universities or faculty:
1.
Self study report by the university or faculty –
•How and how well do we meet the standards?
•What are our priorities for improvement?
2. Visit by a team of peer experts – and report
3. Decision by a commission of peers and the public
Institutional mission is important
What are the Standards?
An articulation by the higher
education community of what a
college or university must do in
order to deserve the public trust.
A framework for institutional
development and self-evaluation.
Variety in Institutional Mission
A Sample of Public and Independent Institutions
Harvard University
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute
Urban College
Berklee College of Music
Hartford Seminary
University of New Hampshire
York County Community College
Amherst College
Massachusetts College of Art
Vermont Law School
Boston Architectural Center
New England Institute of Art
Naval War College
Hult International Business School
Maine Maritime Academy
Simon’s Rock College of Bard
Johnson & Wales University
American University in Bulgaria
Conway School of Landscape Design
Accreditation = Standards + Mission
Standards of
higher
education
community
+
Mission of
the
institution
evidence evidence evidence evidence evidence evidence
What is the issue? What is the problem?
Quality, value and improvement of education
1. Quality: Whose definition?
2. How does society ensure value for:
Government
Students/families
Employers
3. Having an engine of improvement
U.S. Features that Help Define Accreditation
1. Historical: Private institutions first
2. Political: U.S. federal system and the Constitution
3. Strong tradition of voluntary associations
4. Higher education is not really a system
•
•
•
•
•
Decentralized
Large
Diverse
Serves a mobile society
Porous – and forgiving
“Let a thousand flowers bloom.”
Accreditation fulfills 2 functions
1. Quality assurance:
Does the institution deserve the public
trust?
2. Quality improvement:
The accreditation process helps the
institution become better
Benefits of the Process
1. Standards: as a framework
2. Self-study: self-knowledge, participation
3. Promotes habits of planning and review,
relying on evidence
4. Requires focus on mission
5. Looks at inputs, processes, outcomes
6. Regularity of review
7. Feedback from respected peers
Voluntary:
Elective on the part of institutions
With incentives
Public confidence
Federal financial aid
Government grants
Philanthropic grants
Transfer credits
Higher degree
International student visas
College guides
Employer tuition reimbursement Athletic conferences
Institutions must be licensed by the state.
Spellings Commission Report*
Undergraduate students have changed
•
40% in community colleges
•
1/3 older than 24
•
40% enrolled part-time
•
>50% attend more than two or more
institutions before graduating
*Secretary of Education – No Ministry
What’s the Basic Issue?
1. Degrees have become more important
•More (good) jobs require degrees
•$31,000 - $50,000 = $2.1 million
•Other countries are (getting) ahead
2. Cost of education has gone up
•Price increase faster than inflation
•Many loans = high student debt
Problems identified
1. Access – and need for remediation
2. Cost and affordability
3. Financial aid – complex system
4. Learning the skills employers value
5. Transparency and accountability –
information and “value added”
6. Innovation – especially math, science,
technology
Recommendations: Accountability
1. Consumer-friendly searchable
database to compare institutions
2. Better information on cost and
quality = unit record system
3. Institutions measure and report
student learning*. Accreditation
should make this the “core of
their assessment.”
*In the skills employers value
Concerns
1. Changes in accreditation will harm a good system
2. Push for standardization will mean “one size fits
all”
3. Government databases will threaten individual
privacy and institutional autonomy.
4. Institutions will be judged – and funded? – on
inappropriate or simple measures
Note the concern over change!
Part III
International Principles in Egypt
•Tailor the system to the country
•Learn from what others have done
•Look at institutions and programs
•Design the system to gain value
Leads to Lessons Learned
Part IV
Lessons Learned in Quality Assurance
1. Change understanding – don’t just teach the
technicalities
Lessons Learned in Quality Assurance
1. Change understanding – don’t just teach the
technicalities
2. Implement the change in stages
Lessons Learned in Quality Assurance
1. Change understanding – don’t just teach the
technicalities
2. Implement the change in stages
3. Institutional diversity is a strength
Lessons Learned in Quality Assurance
1. Change understanding – don’t just teach the
technicalities
2. Implement the change in stages
3. Institutional diversity is a strength
4. Internal evaluation must precede external
evaluation
Lessons Learned in Quality Assurance
1. Change understanding – don’t just teach the
technicalities
2. Implement the change in stages
3. Institutional diversity is a strength
4. Internal evaluation must precede external
evaluation
5. Institutional planning is necessary for
evaluation.
Lessons Learned in Quality Assurance
1. Change understanding – don’t just teach the
technicalities
2. Implement the change in stages
3. Institutional diversity is a strength
4. Internal evaluation must precede external
evaluation
5. Institutional planning is necessary for
evaluation.
6. Begin now with student learning in mind
Lessons Learned,
continued
7. Balance international standards with local
conditions and aspirations
Lessons Learned,
continued
7. Balance international standards with local
conditions and aspirations
8. Participation is vital: all regulation is selfregulation
Lessons Learned,
continued
7. Balance international standards with local
conditions and aspirations
8. Participation is vital: all regulation is selfregulation
9. Institutional capacity is important.
Lessons Learned,
continued
7. Balance international standards with local
conditions and aspirations
8. Participation is vital: all regulation is selfregulation
9. Institutional capacity is important.
10. Candor is important – and the people in charge
need to provide a “safe space”
Lessons Learned,
continued
7. Balance international standards with local
conditions and aspirations
8. Participation is vital: all regulation is selfregulation
9. Institutional capacity is important.
10. Candor is important – and the people in charge
need to provide a “safe space”
11. CASE: “Copy and steal everything”
Lessons Learned,
continued
7. Balance international standards with local
conditions and aspirations
8. Participation is vital: all regulation is selfregulation
9. Institutional capacity is important.
10. Candor is important – and the people in charge
need to provide a “safe space”
11. CASE: “Copy and steal everything”
12. Take on what you know are the important
problems in the system – this requires courage.
Conclusion
• Congratulations
• Let us hear from you –
let us learn from you
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