According to Mandinach (2012), “policymakers have begun to emphasize the need for a fundamental shift from data for compliance to the principles of data for continuous improvement” (p. 72). Walvoord (2010) asserts that “the aim of assessment is not compliance with accreditors – its goal is informed action that enhances student learning” (p. 27).
As reported in the 2013 SACS COC reaffirmation, many university units lack articulated outcomes, assessments, and benchmarks to make use of data for decision-making and program improvement. The SACS COC team noted that (1) learning outcomes are too broad and not focused on clearly articulated sets of knowledge, skills, or dispositions; (2) few levels of achievement are defined; (3) assessments are not clearly linked to learning outcomes; (4) assessment tools are too informal; (5) immature data are presented; and (6) program improvements are not based on assessment results (2013).
Through Title III, addressing these initiatives will be expanded through the development of curriculum maps based upon the Lumina Foundation Degree Qualifications Profile (DQP): Implications for Assessment (2013). Faculty members will deconstruct the instructional process – starting from the perspective of the learner and what they learn instead of the perspective of the teachers and what they teach (p. 22). The DQP approach combines assessment for accountability with assessment for program improvement.