concept of institutional effectiveness is at the heart of the Commission's
philosophy of accreditation and is central to institutional programs and
operations. It pervades the Criteria for Accreditation. This concept
presumes that each member institution is engaged in an ongoing quest for
quality and can demonstrate how well it fulfills its stated purpose. The
quality and effectiveness of education provided by each member institution
are major considerations in accreditation decisions. Although evaluation
of educational quality and effectiveness is a difficult task requiring
careful analysis and professional judgment, each member institution is
expected to document quality and effectiveness by employing a comprehensive
system of planning and evaluation in all major aspects of the institution.
The Commission advocates no single interpretation of the
concept of institutional effectiveness. It does, however, expect each member
institution to develop a broad-based system to determine institutional
effectiveness appropriate to its own context and purpose, to use the purpose
statement as the foundation of planning and evaluation, to employ a variety
of assessment methods, and to demonstrate use of the results of the planning
and evaluation process for the improvement of both educational programs
and support activities. Educational quality will be judged finally by how
effectively the institution achieves its established goals.
It is implicit in every requirement in the Criteria
for Accreditation mandating a policy or procedure that the policy or
procedure be in writing, be approved through appropriate institutional
processes, be published in appropriate institutional documents accessible
to those affected by the policy or procedure, and be implemented and enforced
by the institution.
3.1 Planning and Evaluation: Educational Programs
3.1.1 Educational activities of an institution include
teaching, research and public service. Planning and evaluation for these
activities must be systematic, broad based, interrelated and appropriate
to the institution.
3.1.2 The institution must define its expected
educational results and describe its methods for analyzing the results.
The institution must
220.127.116.11 establish a clearly defined purpose appropriate
to collegiate education
18.104.22.168 formulate educational goals consistent with the
22.214.171.124 develop and implement procedures to evaluate the
extent to which these educational goals are being achieved
126.96.36.199 use the results of these evaluations to improve
educational programs, services and operations.
3.1.3 The institution must develop guidelines and
procedures to evaluate educational effectiveness, including the quality
of student learning and of research and service.
3.1.4 This evaluation must encompass educational
goals at all academic levels and research and service functions of the
institution. The evaluation of academic programs should involve
gathering and analyzing both quantitative and qualitative data that demonstrate
Measures to evaluate academic programs and general education
may include the following: evaluation of instructional delivery; adequacy
of facilities and equipment; standardized tests; analysis of theses, portfolios,
and recitals; completion rates; results of admissions tests for students
applying to graduate or professional schools; job placement rates; results
of licensing examinations; evaluations by employers; follow-up studies
of alumni; and performance of student transfers at receiving institutions.
3.1.5 The institution must evaluate its success
with respect to student achievement in relation to purpose, including,
as appropriate, consideration of course completion, state licensing examinations,
and job placement rates.
3.2 Planning and Evaluation: Administrative
and Educational Support Services
3.2.1 In addition to providing evidence of planning and
evaluation in its educational program, the institution must demonstrate
planning and evaluation in its administrative and educational support services.
3.2.2 For each administrative and educational support
service unit, the institution must
188.8.131.52 establish a clearly defined purpose which
supports the institution's purpose and goals
184.108.40.206 formulate goals which support the purpose
of each unit
220.127.116.11 develop and implement procedures to evaluate
the extent to which these goals are being achieved in each unit
18.104.22.168 use the results of the evaluations to improve
administrative and educational support services.
Each unit, in its planning and evaluation processes,
should consider internal and external factors and should
develop evaluation methods which will yield information useful to the planning
processes of that unit.
3.3.1 Institutional research must be an integral
part of the institution's planning and evaluation process.
3.3.2 It must be effective in collecting and analyzing
data and disseminating results.
3.3.3 An institution must regularly evaluate the
effectiveness of its institutional research process and use its findings
for the improvement of its process.
The institutional research process may be centralized
or decentralized but should include the following activities: ongoing
timely data collection, analysis and dissemination; use of external studies
and reports; design and implementation of internal studies related to students,
personnel, facilities, equipment, programs, services and fiscal resources;
development of data bases suitable for longitudinal studies and statistical
analyses; and related activities in support of planning, evaluation and
3.3.4 Institutions must assign administrative responsibility
for conducting institutional research, allocate adequate resources, and
allow access to relevant information.