Institutional Assessment Practices Across Accreditation Regions

Nora Gannon-Slater, Natasha A Jankowski, Stanley O Ikenberry, George D Kuh

Research output: Book/Report/Conference proceedingOther report


How are colleges and universities gathering and using evidence of student learning and how do these practices vary across accreditation regions? To address these and related questions, the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA), in 2013, asked the provosts/chief academic officers at all regionally accredited undergraduate degree-granting, two- and four-year public, private, and for-profit institutions in the US (n=2,781) about the assessment activities underway on their campuses and how these institutions were using assessment results. Of those invited, provosts (or their designates) at 1,202 institutions (43%) responded. In this report based on the survey, we explore similarities and differences in assessment practices across the seven regional accreditation bodies. In addition, by comparing responses from this 2013 survey with those obtained from the 2009 NILOA survey, we flesh out changes in institutions’ assessment practices over time.

Of note is that this report was specifically prepared for a meeting of the heads of the regional accreditation agencies through the Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions (C-RAC), thus this report assumes a level of background knowledge and awareness of regional accreditation processes and regions. Further, it is worth noting that while the findings lend themselves to consider that correlations between institutional responses might be caused by the accreditation regions, or that differences between the regions might be due to the regional accreditors, this causal relationship is not supported in the data or a finding of the report. A variety of factors including institutional type, size, control, and mission impact choice of assessment processes and measures, thus it is not the case that the findings are caused by the accreditation regions alone. Further, regions vary in the size of the institutional grouping served and thus some of the findings may reflect differences based in part on the number of institutions which make up a region.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Place of PublicationUrbana, IL
Number of pages25
StatePublished - Mar 2014


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