Higher education faculty have a lot on their plate. Not only are we responsible for teaching and student learning, but we also often engage in research and building a legacy of scholarship, monetary support, and recognition.
We are expected to also demonstrate our commitment to service by helping in the administration, governance, and excellence of the university. It is within this oft unpaid and underappreciated service that the responsibilities of programmatic assessment, accreditation, and review usually fall.
Faculty work with various staff diligently to ensure compliance with multiple overlapping and diverse accreditation expectations. Here are five “C” strategies to consider:
1. Center Continuous Improvement (CI) as purpose: Reporting and compliance endeavors serve to demonstrate educational quality, mission alignment, and efficacy of endeavor. As faculty engaged in compliance reporting for all types of accreditation, one must stay focused on the goals of continuous improvement. If we center CI as the intrinsic value, foundation, and purpose of all accreditation endeavors, we become open to the possibility of our “compliance” activities becoming more transparent and reflective. We, as educators, become more empowered to use the data gathering and reporting opportunity to be useful—to assess what is working and what is not. We can truly move away from our accreditation efforts being “compliance” report generation and use the data for meaningful improvement. We can share information and explore potential solutions as we identify gaps or problems to overcome.