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Effective Management of University Compliance and Accreditation

#Twitter: 
#complianceandaccreditation
Presenter(s)
Sean Spear (Western Governors University, USA)
Session Information
October 15, 2015 - 11:15am
Track: 
Institutional Strategies & Innovations
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Practical Application
Institutional Level: 
Universities and Four Year Institutions
Audience Level: 
All
Session Type: 
Discovery Session
Location: 
Atlantic Hall
Section: 
B
Position: 
4
Session Duration: 
45 Minutes
Session: 
Discovery Session 2
Abstract

Develop a framework for effectively managing state, regional, and national compliance and accreditation cycles tailored to your own institution's success.

Extended Abstract

Compliance and Accreditation are processes that assure state and educational communities, as well as the public, that a college or university and its programs possess clearly defined and appropriate components; that it maintains processes and procedures that are conducive to candidate success; that it continuously evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of programs as well as administrative functions and services using input from a variety of sources; and that it makes data-driven programmatic and policy decisions.

Given the importance of such an endeavor, it is essential that the institution have appropriate steps in place to ensure the highest level of success. Having participated in multiple successful state, regional and national accreditation and compliance processes, we have developed a framework that other institutions may find helpful when seeking initial or ongoing compliance and accreditation status.

Western Governors University was the first online university to earn National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) accreditation for its Teachers College, and at its most recent site visit was awarded full ongoing accreditation with no areas for improvement cited. In addition, the University in past years has held simultaneous accreditation by four different regional bodies and is currently seeking approval to operate in all 50 states and US territories. The University has a full-time Compliance and Accreditation department dedicated to such endeavors and will share important strategies and tips with participants that team members have found particularly helpful. This is intended to be an interactive session with active participant dialogue.

As a result of attending this session, participants should be able to:
1.) Compare and contrast compliance and accreditation.
2.) Articulate various types of projects associated with compliance and accreditation work.
3.) Generate a list of resources available in their institution when initiating preparation for a compliance or accreditation project.
4.) Develop a framework for successful completion of a compliance or accreditation report, self-study, or site visit.

This session will address the following questions:
- What is the difference between accreditation and compliance projects?
- What is the difference between an initial accreditation or compliance project, and one that is ongoing?
- What are annual reports, compliance audits, program approval applications, and SPA reports?
- How do we begin preparing for an accreditation or compliance project?
- What resources are available to help us prepare?
- What are essential roles that must be filled, and how do we know how many personnel will be needed?
- What is the role of our executive administrators?
- Should we hire outside consultants to help?
- What is a self-study and how do we go about writing one?
- How should we prepare for the evidence needed to demonstrate compliance to standards?
- How do we prepare for data needs?
- How should we involve faculty and staff in the process?
- What is the site visit and how should we prepare for one?
- What are some essential logistical details that cannot be overlooked?
- Who are the compliance and accreditation evaluators and what is their role?
- What happens after a site visit?
- What decisions can/should come from this process?

Lead Presenter

Accomplished educator, administrator, and leader in both K-12 and higher education. Proven success in national, regional and functional accreditation, as well as federal and state regulatory compliance. Extensive experience teaching and learning in both online and face-to-face environments. Proficient in program and curriculum design using traditional and competency-based educational models. More information can be found at:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/seanspear