By David Shupe
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Extra resources for Accountability for Educational Results
Student success’’ is a small step moving toward results, but the only result measured is the low bar of students passing their courses. Nevertheless, for many decades, enrollment-based statistics such as these have been all that colleges and universities have had to submit to legislatures and other external constituencies. Rubric score: 1. The institution provides general information on aspects of the educational process, with no attention to actual educational results. B. Peer-review and self-evaluation process Organizational self-evaluation combined with thoughtful responses from knowledgeable members of academic programs and institutions very much like one’s own – that is, evaluation by ‘‘peers,’’ understood both as individuals and as institutions – is nearly as old and well-practiced as the quantitative credits/grades model.
One can wonder, though, if these are the two questions that are asked because they are the only questions that the conventionally provided data permit to be asked. ‘‘Access’’, after all, does not speak at all to educational results; it simply identifies who is participating with no indication to how well they are doing. ‘‘Student success’’ is a small step moving toward results, but the only result measured is the low bar of students passing their courses. Nevertheless, for many decades, enrollment-based statistics such as these have been all that colleges and universities have had to submit to legislatures and other external constituencies.
State universities are evaluated by those who work in other state universities. The same is true for private liberal arts colleges, for professional schools, for community colleges, and for technical colleges. What are being examined, most often, are written descriptions of processes and practices. The rationale, as with the auditors, is that these persons will be able to identify areas of potential organizational improvement far better than those who would first have to learn about the distinctive aims and practices of the type of institution they are reviewing.