AN ASSESSMENT OF EVALUATION TEAMS IN REGIONAL ACCREDITATION OF BACCALAUREATE-GRANTING INSTITUTIONS.
AuthorSILVERS, PHILIP JOSEPH.
KeywordsUniversities and colleges -- Accreditation -- United States.
Universities and colleges -- United States -- Evaluation.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe purpose of this research was to provide a descriptive and critical analysis of the function of evaluation teams in regional accreditation of senior colleges and universities--how evaluators perceive their roles, how they spend their time on site, and how they make decisions. The objectives of the study were (1) to determine the extent to which regional accrediting visits do what they are purported to do in regional policy and procedure statements, and (2) to determine the strengths and weaknesses in the onsite evaluation process as perceived by regional evaluation team members. The methodology involved a three-step process: (1) a content analysis of regional policy statements regarding the evaluation visit, (2) a survey of evaluators from five of the six regional associations, and (3) a review and comment on the draft findings by professional staff of the participating regional commissions. An overall response rate of 82 percent was obtained from the sample of 349 evaluators--without the use of follow-up mailings. Regional cross tabulations of evaluator responses, together with Chi-square statistics and standard errors of the percentages, provided the basis for the analysis. Major conclusions of the study were: (1) The lack of clear specification of the purpose of the evaluation team visit rendered it difficult to determine whether the purported purposes of the visit were being met. (2) The major strengths of the evaluation visit lay in the expertise and dedication of the volunteer evaluators, and in the willingness of the commissions to adapt their procedures to changing needs and new technologies. The major weakness in the evaluation visit was the lack of an evaluation framework or model to guide the work of the evaluation team. The researcher's recommendations included (1) the regional commissions should clearly specify the intended purposes of the evaluation visit in light of the overall purposes of regional accreditation, and (2) the regional commissions should utilize a coordinating group such as the Council on Postsecondary Accreditation and the evaluation expertise within academe to develop a framework, or genre, to guide team members in accomplishing the purposes of the visit.
Degree ProgramHigher Education