Using Bad News to Make Good Decisions

Using Bad News to Make Good Decisions

Margaret Johnson (Texas Tech University, USA), Larry Hovey (Texas Tech University, USA) and Pam Tipton (Texas Tech University, USA)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-857-6.ch025


Along the way, a number of personnel, organizational, and technical problems were encountered, and many were resolved. What did became clear is that using data to inform decision making is an evolving process that can provide a solid basis for continuous program improvements.
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Setting The Stage

Big State University began a strategic planning process in the 2000-2001 academic year, which focused on preparing the university for accreditation activities required by SACSCOC. The College of Education participated in these initial efforts. Prior to this time, neither the university nor the college had devoted the required time or effort to long range planning. This was noted in the fall 2000 NCATE review in which all standards were met. However, the only area for improvement that was identified was the need for long-range and strategic planning. The NCATE report encouraged college administrators to take the College’s participation in University strategic planning most seriously.

As the College went into its next cycle of NCATE review, and the University prepared for a SACS review, there were noticeable changes in accrediting practices. Over the past decade, accreditation agencies have shifted in their approach to accreditation from an examination of inputs to an assessment of outcomes. This was true of SACSCOS and NCATE and of other agencies accrediting education programs.

In 2003-2004, Big State University appointed an individual to coordinate the SACSCOS review, particularly the assessment of student learning outcomes, and the COE created the Office of Accreditation and Assessment to coordinate assessment within the college. Both the University and College began preparing for the next round of reviews by bolstering assessment activities. The College of Education was involved in activities related to accreditation by NCATE, CACREP, and SACSCOS. NCATE and CACREP had scheduled accreditation visits in 2006. The university, following an on-site visit in March of 2005, had a monitoring report documenting progress in planning and assessment due in the fall of 2006.

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