WSCUC reaccreditation has changed significantly since FPU last completed the process in 2002. Reaccreditation is no longer driven by a single self-study with a definitive compliance checklist. Now it is an opportunity for systematic institutional self-analysis to promote improvement in educational quality. The new process is outcome-based and future-oriented; it is meant not to produce a series of “status reports,” but to shift the university’s culture toward continuous improvement.
The process of reaccreditation is a multi-stage, sequential one:
The Institutional Proposal (IP): The first step is for each institution to conduct a self-study of issues germane to its particular mission to develop “researchable questions” that guide the entire review process. Institutions are expected to engage the entire campus community in identifying issues to be explored.
The Capacity and Preparatory Review (CPR) : The Capacity and Preparatory Review demonstrates a commitment to institutional capacity by showing that the campus functions are capable of fulfilling its educational purposes. “Institutional capacity” represents a holistic examination of resources, structures, and processes, in light of the following questions: Where are we now? Where do we need to go? How will we get there?
The Educational Effectiveness Review (EER): The Educational Effectiveness Review invites sustained institutional dialogue about whether institutional systems (such as course and program design, faculty support, and program review) are effectively linked to evidence of student learning and are consistent with our educational goals and academic standards. This review addresses these questions: How well are our systems working? Is what we accomplish good enough? What do we need to do to improve?
FPU has already submitted its Institutional Proposal to WSCUC and it has been approved. We are now preparing our next report, the Capacity and Preparatory Review, which is due in early January. Keep watching over the coming week as we develop workgroups to contribute to this report.