Community College Instructors' and Administrators' Beliefs Regarding Student Learning Outcomes Assessment and the Reaccreditation Process Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
  • Chapman, Lisa
    • Affiliation: School of Education
  • This study examined beliefs of administrators and faculty about the identification of student learning outcomes as it related to the accreditation review process. Five North Carolina community colleges that had recently completed the reaffirmation process participated in the study. One hundred-two faculty and administrators at the five colleges participated in an on-line survey designed to assess beliefs about student learning outcomes, accreditation, and the influence of measuring student outcomes on instructional and institutional practices. Eight faculty and seven administrators participated in an in-depth interview. Results showed that while most faculty and administrators indicated that they believe that assessing learning outcomes was effective in promoting student success and that instruction was improved at their college as a result of participating in the process of identifying learning outcomes, they were frustrated with the process of developing and assessing learning outcomes for the perceived sole purpose of meeting accreditation requirements. Interview responses indicated variations in understanding of a given college's outcomes assessment plan. Administrators and faculty at the same institutions had different interpretations of 'student learning outcomes,' and different beliefs about the use of learning outcomes assessment at the college. These differences could be correlated to the level of responsibility and participation of an individual in the reaffirmation process. With limited common understanding, limited resources, and limited time, all faculty initially saw learning outcomes assessment as additional administrative paper work and data collection, with only a few also seeing it becoming a needed integral component of their teaching. The surveys and interviews also showed that faculty and administrators shared very limited support for the decennial reaccreditation process and the usefulness of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools as a tool for improving institutional effectiveness.
Date of publication
Resource type
Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • DeSaix, Jean
  • Rong, Xue Lan
  • Day, Barbara
  • Neal, Ed
  • Jones, Gail
  • Doctor of Education
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education
Graduation year
  • 2007

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