The constantly changing environment is challenging for institutions and accreditors alike and while we like to talk about what we have seen and experienced, we must continue to monitor the forecast.
Weather is always a source of great conversation and stories. Just like the weather, the patterns of higher education are changing. Some events are predictable like the changing of the seasons and at times we find ourselves navigating through rough weather.
There are several interesting issues developing on the horizon including the disaggregation of services, expectations for institutional and student success, and direct assessment.
The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) recently revised its Criteria for Accreditation and clearly set out expectations that institutions are responsible for providing “high quality education wherever and however” delivered.
We then went on to explain that this includes all campuses and locations, modalities (including distance delivery), dual credit, and contractual or consortial arrangements.
While the disaggregation of services is reshaping the role of many institutions, we expect that faculty retain responsibility for the curriculum regardless of how it is delivered. Faculty or instructors with subject matter expertise should be integral in the oversight and approval of curriculum even when an institution develops a relationship with a contractual partner.
When discussing the term “success” I often wonder if we are talking about institutional or student success. Students are mobile.
They earn credits across institutions and utilize many modalities along the cycle.