Institutions of higher education – along with accrediting agencies – are under increasing pressure to demonstrate that students are receiving a high-quality education for the 21st century. In response, the WASC Senior Commission recently approved the first stage of its accreditation redesign process. A major component of the redesign is that institutions will be expected to demonstrate that their graduates have achieved the institution’s stated level of proficiency in five areas noted in CFR 2.2a: written communication, oral communication, quantitative skills, critical thinking and information literacy.
The Commission views this new element of the institutional review process as an essential step forward but also recognizes that it poses a challenge. Thus, WASC seeks to work with our member institutions, learn from them, and become a resource to support the region’s higher education community as we all respond to rising public and federal expectations for accountability and student achievement.
Overview of the Resource Fair:
Over the past 30 years, assessment approaches have evolved, tools have been developed, and a degree of consensus regarding good assessment practice has emerged. We understand that member institutions, their departments and programs may be at varying stages of implementation. We believe, however, that no institution is starting from zero, that all institutions can benefit from a wide-ranging conversation about how to approach graduation proficiencies, and that we can do so most productively in an atmosphere of collegiality and mutual support.
At the Resource Fairs on January 19th and 20th, WASC will bring together institutional representatives, experts in the field, test publishers, and producers of software to: 1) discuss promising practices and challenges in documenting graduation proficiencies; 2) identify tools for assessing and reporting graduation proficiencies at undergraduate and graduate levels; 3) share ideas with one another; and 4) provide feedback to WASC on appropriate frameworks for documenting and improving graduation proficiencies.
The program is designed to enhance engagement among participants and will be tailored to meet individual needs and interests. Here are some important features of the day:
- Assessment experts and speakers from institutions will present on promising practices in evaluating graduation proficiencies. Each speaker will present twice; rotating 30-minute sessions will run throughout the day.
- Test and software vendors will exhibit throughout the day and provide one-on-one consultations. Vendors will also hold 30-minute demo sessions at designated times throughout the day.
- A break-out room will be available for participants to meet for cross-institutional conversations. There will also be ample space to meet in the Vendor Exhibition Hall.
- Participants will receive a resource guide at the Fair that will provide them with: 1) detailed information on the vendors and speakers 2) research from the field on assessing graduation proficiencies 3) matches with other participants who have a similar focus
Join us for a day of investigation and learning around assessing graduation proficiencies. Help build on the conversation in the region and inform WASC about ways to move forward with the accreditation redesign. Register soon, space is limited.
When & Where
WASC Senior College and University Commission
The WASC Senior College and University Commission (”the Commission”) is a regional accrediting agency serving a diverse membership of public and private higher education institutions throughout California, Hawaii, and the Pacific as well as a limited number of institutions outside the U.S. Through its work of peer review, based on standards agreed to by the membership, the Commission encourages continuous institutional improvement and assures the membership and its constituencies, including the public, that accredited institutions are fulfilling their missions in service to their students and the public good.
The WASC Senior College and University Commission is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as certifying institutional eligibility for federal funding in a number of programs, including student access to federal financial aid.