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Five Dimensions of Quality: A Common Sense Guide to Accreditation and Accountability

ISBN: 978-1-118-76150-2
320 pages
August 2014, Jossey-Bass
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Description

Meet calls for increased quality and understand accreditation expectations

Author Linda Suskie is internationally recognized for her work in higher education assessment, and she is a former vice president of a major regional accreditor. In Five Dimensions of Quality: A Common Sense Guide to Accreditation and Accountability in Higher Education she provides a simple, straightforward model for understanding and meeting the calls for increased quality in higher education ever-present in today's culture. Whether your institution is seeking accreditation or not, the five dimensions she outlines will help you to identify ways to improve institutional quality and demonstrate that quality to constituents.

For those wading through the accreditation process, which has become more difficult in recent years due to increasing regulation and pressure for greater accountability, Suskie offers expert guidance on understanding the underlying principles of the expectations of accrediting bodies. Using the model presented here, which is much easier to understand than the sometimes complex resources provided by individual accrediting bodies, American colleges and universities can understand what they need to do to earn and maintain their regional accreditation as well as improve overall institutional quality for their students. You'll be able to:

  • Identify ways to improve institutional quality
  • Demonstrate the quality of your institution to internal and external constituents
  • Avoid wasting time and energy on misguided institutional processes to comply with accreditation requirements

By focusing on why colleges and universities should take particular actions rather than only on what those actions should be, Five Dimensions of Quality gives them the knowledge and strategies to prepare for a successful review. It is an ideal resource for leaders, accreditation committee members, and everyone on campus.

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Table of Contents

LIST OF TABLES AND EXHIBITS ix

LIST OF JARGON ALERTS xi

LIST OF ACRONYMS xv

FOREWORD xix

PREFACE xxv

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS xxxi

ABOUT THE AUTHOR xxxiii

INTRODUCTION:

Today’s Quality Context 1

1. Why Is American Higher Education Under Fire? 3

2. Understanding American Accreditation 11

3. Quality: Committing to Excellence 25

4. Why Is This So Hard? 35

DIMENSION I:

A Culture of Relevance 49

5. Integrity: Doing the Right Thing 51

6. Stewardship: Ensuring and Deploying Resources

Responsibly 59

DIMENSION II:

A Culture of Community 75

7. A Community of People 77

8. Leadership Capacity and Commitment 89

DIMENSION III:

A Culture of Focus and Aspiration 97

9. Purpose: Who Are You? Why Do You Exist? 99

10. Goals and Plans: Where Are You Going? How Will You Get There? 107

11. Who Is a Successful Student? 119

12. Helping Students Learn and Succeed 129

DIMENSION IV:

A Culture of Evidence 145

13. Gauging Success 147

14. Good Evidence Is Useful 161

15. Setting and Justifying Targets for Success 167

16. Transparency: Sharing Evidence Clearly and Readily 177

DIMENSION V:

A Culture of Betterment 189

17. Using Evidence to Ensure and Advance Quality and Effectiveness 191

18. Sustaining a Culture of Betterment 197

CONCLUSION:

Integrating and Advancing the Five Dimensions of Quality 209

19. Demonstrating Quality to Accreditors 211

20. Program Reviews: Drilling Down into Programs and Services 229

21. Where Do We Go from Here? A Six-Point Agenda for Ensuring and Advancing Quality 239

REFERENCES 249

INDEX 265

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Author Information

LINDA SUSKIE is a bestselling author, speaker, trainer, and consultant on assessment and accreditation in higher education. She has served as vice president of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, associate vice president for assessment and institutional research at Towson University, and director of the Assessment Forum of the American Association for Higher Education. She is the author of Assessing Student Learning from Jossey-Bass.

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