Becoming Bedfellows: Accreditation and Engagement. Engagement

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1 Becoming Bedfellows: Accreditation and Engagement Lorilee R. Sandmann, Associate Professor, University of Georgia, Director, Clearinghouse for Scholarship of Engagement M. Edward Jones, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Extended Services, University of Southern Indiana Julie E. Williams,, Associate Vice President, Research and Outreach Scholarship, University of New Hampshire

2 Accreditation & Engagement What changes are occurring in accreditation and what are the implications for engagement? What are the opportunities and challenges? How does institutional context influence the process? How can we shape our institution s s accreditation process?

3 Trends in Accreditation 3rd Generation of Accreditation From stamp of external approval To methods that renew institution, sets new goals & changes perception Survey of 81 regional and specialized accreditors From traditional approaches To individual & more cooperative initiatives (Safman, 1998) Quality Initiatives--Academic Quality Improvement Project Malcolm Baldrige Focused Self-Studies Coordinated Evaluation w/ Other Agencies New Models of Periodic Review

4 Accreditation: NEASC New England Association of Schools & Colleges At time of accreditation (2001) a a traditional 11 standards model no significant inclusion of Engagement or Outreach Worked with accrediting body to develop a new model A Focused Self Study

5 Accreditation: A Focused Self Study Purpose: To Advance the UNH Academic Strategic Planning Efforts Selected 3 Key Areas for Advancement Engagement Through Research and Scholarship 1 1 of 3 Key areas

6 Accreditation: A Focused Self Study Worked very closely with NEASC Time and effective communication is essential Time: to clarify the new approach Communication: between UNH & NEASC Communication: with Review Team

7 NEASC: Changes NEASC Standards Currently Being Revised First Major Revision since 1992 Greater Emphasis On The University s s Mission as a Basis for Institutional Priorities Engagement Not Specifically a NEASC focus Can Be an Institutional Focus

8 Accreditation Process New process implemented in 2003; last revised in 1992 Significant change in approach and outcomes Looks to the future; previous process was retrospective Stresses the evaluative nature of the self-study; data must be supported by evaluative statements

9 Major Themes Clear and well articulated institutional mission Stated goals and objectives anchored in the mission Mission-driven planning process Regular assessment and evaluation of mission, goals, and objectives

10 Five Major Criteria Mission and Integrity Preparing for the Future Student Learning and Effective Teaching Acquisition, Discovery, and Application of Knowledge Engagement and Service

11 Engagement and Service Engagement and Service is equally important to other four criteria Elements of engagement and service are embedded in each criteria The expectation that institutions will be engaged has been elevated by NCA-HLC

12 Engagement and Service Criteria focus on activities that the institution and constituents both value USI among first institutions to begin a self- study under the new process Self-study begun in Fall 2003; report to be submitted in Fall 2005; campus visit in 2006

13 Process Criteria Core components Suggested examples of evidence which may be used to support evaluative statements regarding the core components

14 Criterion Five: Engagement and Service As called for by its mission, the organization identifies its constituencies and serves them in ways both value.

15 Criterion Five Core Components and Sample Evidence Statements 1. The organization learns from the constituencies it serves and analyzes its capacity to serve their needs and expectations Commitments are shaped by mission and capacity to support commitments Outreach programs respond to identified community needs External constituencies are well served by programs such as continuing education, outreach, extension services

16 Criterion Five Core Components and Sample Evidence Statements 2. The organization has the capacity and the commitment to engage with its identified constituencies and communities Educational programs connect students with external communities Structures and organization enable effective connections with communities Planning processes project ongoing engagement and service

17 Criterion Five Core Components and Sample Evidence Statements 3. The organization demonstrates its responsiveness to those constituencies that depend on it for service Collaborative ventures exists with other higher learning and K-12 sectors Community leaders testify to the effectiveness of programs of engagement Partnerships and contractual arrangement uphold organization s s integrity

18 Criterion Five Core Components and Sample Evidence Statements 4. Internal and external constituencies value the services the organization provides Evaluation involves constituencies served Economic and workforce development activities are sought after and valued by civic and business leaders Facilities are available to and used by the community

19 Interpretive Accreditation Strategies Institutional Environment Various accreditation reviews Internal organizational reviews Institutional strategic planning Unique organizational issues Interpretive Strategies Management of meaning Symbolic actions Organizational improvement (renewal) External Environment Accreditation Achievement (recognition) Alstete, 2004

20 2 Cases Different Types of Institutions Different Accrediting Associations Different Approaches Similar Outcomes renewal and recognition for engagement as a core, value, embedded in institutional culture

21 Context and Approach Research Extensive University Land Grant, Sea Grant, Space Grant Research Funding: $94 Million 13,000 Students; more than 600 Faculty 28 Doctoral Programs;83 Master s

22 Context and Approach A Growing Interest in Outreach Scholarship and Public Service In the Office of the Vice President for Research since the 1980s The Office incorporated Public Service into the title in mid 1990s

23 Institutional Context Public Service and outreach scholarship did not receive as much attention as desired with the growing success in grant funded research Engagement efforts were numerous, high quality but scattered

24 Institutional Context Academic Strategic Planning Process started in 2000 The Associate Vice President for Research and Public Service was hired in 2001

25 Institutional Context Mission Statement The University of New Hampshire will be distinguished for combining the living and learning environment of a small New England liberal arts college with the breadth, spirit of discovery, and civic commitment of a land-grant research institution

26 Institutional Context Academic Strategic Plan Engagement as a core value Supported by the Provost and the President Engagement consistent with the University s s mission Engagement as a major university wide goal

27 Institutional Context A campus-wide, interdisciplinary advisory board for Engagement, Outreach and Public Service, was convened in the Fall of 2001 Goal was to think strategically about Engagement, Outreach and Public Service at UNH

28 University of New Hampshire Durham Campus

29 NEASC Accreditation The NEASC (New England Association of Schools and Colleges) accreditation planning process was initiated (2001) Accreditation visit in 2003; Approval 2004 A non-traditional, focused self-study with three areas of emphasis to advance our strategic plan Lorilee Sandmann chaired this focus area

30 NEASC Accreditation Engagement through Research and Scholarship subcommittee A guiding definition of Engagement through Research and Scholarship was developed by reviewing other IHE s definitions, UNH s s strengths and future directions

31 UNH Definition Engagement through Research and Scholarship is a mutually beneficial collaboration between the University of New Hampshire (New Hampshire s s land, sea, and space grant University) and community partners for the purpose of generating and applying relevant knowledge to directly benefit the public

32 NEASC Projections Develop an organizational structure and institutional leadership that will actively promote and embody engagement through research and scholarship Align engagement specifically with the recently completed Academic Strategic Plan

33 NEASC Projections Create a university culture that values and promotes Engagement Create more integration among UNH s s outreach service units and with academic units Provide stakeholders with a clear picture of UNH s s commitment to outreach and engagement

34 Beginning the Implementation Process--NEASC The Associate Vice President for Research and Public Services responsibilities now include a joint appointment in Academic Affairs as Associate Vice President for Research and Outreach Scholarship First Outreach Scholarship Competition funded 13 UNH projects Identify one or two high impact initiatives that embody Engagement through Research and Scholarship

35 Beginning the Implementation Process--NEASC Outreach Scholars Program 21 outreach scholars participate in year-long program Hired 2 Faculty: Director of Outreach Scholarship & Faculty Fellow Outreach Scholarship incorporated in Marine Program & Math, Science & Engineering Education Center. & Carsey Center Strategic Plans Seeking/success at external grant funding NSF and NASA

36 Beginning the Implementation Process--NEASC Development of Strategic Partnerships Partnerships incorporating unexpected disciplines Building a mutually beneficial collaborative partnership with a historically black university Seeking/success at external grant funding- NSF & NASA

37

38

39 University of Southern Indiana Institutional Context Comprehensive university entering its 40th year Teaching, applied research, and service 10,050 students, 300 full-time faculty 70 undergraduate; 22 graduate programs

40 University of Southern Indiana Institutional Context Annual noncredit enrollment exceeds 10,000 Institutional focus on serving the needs of the region and state Outreach is embedded in institutional culture; practice exceeds NCA-HLC expectation

41 President s s Report Directions for the Future: In the face of growth and change, USI continues to adhere to its mission and core values, to be: - A needs based institution responsive to the state s s and region s s needs, with excellence in teaching a priority - An institution characterized by reasonable costs and a high level of student/faculty interaction, where emphasis is placed on the learning community and on leadership training for the students - An institution responsive to economic and workforce needs and committed to the capacity for responsive and responsible change President s s Task Force on Economic and Workforce Development

42 Extensive Outreach and Engagement Activity Sample initiatives: Faculty, staff, student engagement as volunteers; community boards New Harmony Institute Service Learning Certified Technology Park partnership

43 Institutional Context Engagement and service not widely recognized in the tenure and promotion process New Provost, 2003 increased emphasis on outreach scholarship as well as other forms of scholarship Fall 2003 discussion of scholarship of engagement Academic Affairs Retreat for deans and chairs

44 Institutional Context On-going discussion to define scholarship and refine Community of Scholars culture (Lorilee Sandmann workshops) Focus on engagement remains a key strategy Discussion expanded to include the scholarship of teaching and learning in Recognition of engagement in faculty reward process a major goal

45 Institutional Context-New Initiatives Sabbatical Leave Project directed to engagement scholarship Lilly grant Excellence through Engagement New Centers - Academic Outreach - Regional Leadership Development - Applied Research and Economic Development More formalized recognition for faculty engagement initiatives More opportunities for faculty development related to outreach and engagements

46

47 NCA/HLC Accreditation Process Accreditation process dovetails with scholarship of engagement discussion; Fall 2003 Self-Study start Five subcommittees developing initial drafts in response to major criteria Focus groups on mission and engagement Self-study report submitted Fall 2005; campus visit expected 2006

48 Working Definitions Engagement and Service Working definitions developed for subcommittee use by Criterion Five subcommittee; relied heavily on the AASCU document, Stewards of Place. University engagement is direct, two-way interaction with external constituencies through the development, exchange, and application of knowledge, information, and expertise for mutual benefit. Engagement activities may be initiated by community partners or by University faculty, staff, or students Service is an initiative generated by the institution or institutional representatives in which knowledge, information, and expertise is provided for the benefit of external constituencies. Service initiatives may be generated in response to requests from an external constituent, but do not imply a mutually beneficial exchange

49

50 Expected Outcomes Engagement as a core value; further embedded into institutional culture Engagement consistent with mission; initiatives that both institution and constituencies value Recognition of scholarly engagement embedded in faculty reward system

51 Expected Outcomes Expectation for engagement to be part of faculty hiring process; know expectations when they arrive Promote more collaboration between outreach units and academic departments and faculty Promote more interdisciplinary outreach initiatives Greater opportunities for applied research

52 Reflections of a Reviewer Educational Opportunity Institutional coaching through self study External review team Written report Leadership is Critical Academic leaders administrators, administrators, faculty External constituents Collaborative vs. Authoritative/Evaluative

53 Implications/Questions

54 Alstete, J.W. (2004). Accreditation matters: Achieving academic recognition and renewal. ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report: Vol. 30, No. 4. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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