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Practice Accreditation September 16

August 23, 2021

As discussed in the previous Accreditation Update, on August 4, ISU has submitted its Years 6 and 7 self-study reports to the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.  ISU’s accreditation team has arranged a practice accreditation evaluation on September 16 to prepare for the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) evaluation team’s virtual visit on October 6-8.

Through a series of meetings, the October evaluation team will take three days to conduct a deep dive into the accreditation reports and identify areas for institutional improvement.  The practice evaluation visit is a way to understand the types of questions the evaluation team will ask and help prepare those who have to answer the questions.  

Three accreditation liaison officers from universities around the northwest have been contracted to provide their expertise as site evaluators.  Focusing on the new standards, their universities conducted their own Year 6 and 7 site visits in fall 2020. Their experiences having gone through that process give them a better perspective of what ISU can expect to experience in October.  The team’s responsibilities include reading ISU’s reports, generating questions for interviews, conducting the interviews, then providing the University with a report that identifies areas for improvement.  

The agenda for the practice evaluation is very similar to the one ISU will receive from the NWCCU’s evaluation team for October.  The practice evaluation team’s agenda is only one day when compared with the October agenda, which is three days, but the only missing segments are the student, faculty and staff open forums.  Also, like the October evaluation, if a practice evaluator requires clarification regarding an area they are reviewing, the University will be asked to set up impromptu meetings with faculty or staff.

To prepare for both evaluations, it is imperative that everyone involved read the Year 6 and 7 reports.  A Year 7 packet goes into depth and detail regarding the policies and practices used to support institutional effectiveness, student achievement, and student learning.  The demonstration of how the University uses measured outcomes to seek improvements also plays a critical factor in the evaluation process.  A great deal of information has been gathered to help us prepare for our evaluation. The most important point to remember during the site visits is that the accreditation process provides constructive feedback to the University for continuous improvement.  

After the practice evaluation is complete, the evaluators’ will provide a report to be shared with the individuals and groups involved in the visit, so those involved can use the lessons learned to better prepare for the actual visit just weeks later.  The report is due approximately one week after the mock visit.  Information and invitations for the visitors will be sent out the last week of August. 

For additional information, please, contact Darren Blagburn at x1846 or darrenblagburn@isu.edu.



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