Accreditation Update: The Key Role of Student Learning within Standard One for Year 7 Accreditation
June 28, 2021
Idaho State University’s (ISU) accreditation team continues to work toward finalizing its Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) Year 7 self-study report. The new Standard One, adopted in 2020 by the NWCCU, articulates a primary commitment to student learning through nine different areas. According to the NWCCU 2020 Handbook, ISU’s student learning elements are evidenced by providing the following:
- Evidence of appropriate content and rigor for degree designations and disciplines of identified and published programmatic and student learning outcomes demonstrating the appropriate breadth, depth, sequencing and synthesis of learning for programs.
- Evidence of admissions and graduation requirements widely published and easily accessible
- Evidence of an effective system of assessment of student learning in programs with faculty establishing curricula, assessing student learning, and improving instructional programs.
- Evidence of institutional-level outcomes, core competencies, or General Education curriculum for undergraduate programs.
- Evidence of the use of assessment efforts to inform planning and practices, and to continuously improve student learning outcomes.
- Evidence of published and easily accessible transfer of credit and credit for prior learning policies to safeguard academic quality.
- Evidence of distinction of graduate programs from undergraduate programs in depth of study, creative or intellectual capacity, knowledge of the field, and student engagement in research, scholarship, creative expression, and/or relevant professional practice.
Faculty clearly drive all of this work. Faculty identify program and course-level student learning outcomes; develop effective systems of student learning assessment for continuous improvement; create General Education curriculum and provide an assessment of that curriculum; oversee the transfer of credit to help guarantee academic quality; and ensure depth of study as students progress in the academic programs.
The Accreditation Team, through Academic Affairs, has asked a great deal of our faculty over the last six months. ISU realizes that our faculty work tirelessly to bring about high-level, quality student learning, working to meet the needs of an ever-changing student population. Those efforts have not gone unnoticed and are greatly appreciated.