The New Year is here and our Capacity Report is due today, January 2. I am happy to report that we submitted it on December 21, before the Christmas break. The Capacity Report (or CPR) was the result of the work of more than 100 people on campus from faculty and staff, administrators and students, in seven “inquiry circles” who delved into our capacity to carry out our educational mission. It was read and reviewed dozens of times, about 10 people contributed to writing significant sections. Our Associate Dean for Accreditation, Dr. Linda Pryce-Sheehan, was responsible to pull it all together and give it a common voice. She wisely drew in a team of about five to review and revise with her. The final recommendations we submitted were reviewed by the Academic Cabinet and President’s Cabinet, along with significant sections of the report.
The report document itself is limited to 35 pages (single spaced), but there are over 150 exhibits of evidence, and several appendices. The total comes to more than 250 pages. We uploaded it to WSCUC and sent it by mail to the five members of the visiting team which will be here in March, all received copies of every exhibit, appendix, and handbook on a flash drive as well.
Linda has said several times that preparing an accreditation report is like a university writing a dissertation on itself. We are half way through the dissertation, or nearly so. The Capacity report reviews and analyses our “capacity” to carry out our educational mission, and particularly our ability to measure the achievement of student learning outcomes, learn from the data we gain in that process, and then adapt for continuous improvement in the achievement by students of those learning outcomes.
After the team’s visit, we will begin our Educational Effectiveness Report (EER), in which we show how we have measured student learning, what we have learned from it, and how we are adapting our work for student learning achievement. Everything else in the process is related in some way to this goal.
Congratulations and thank you to all who worked on the CPR, to the Continuous Improvement Committee and the Steering Committee, the seven “inquiry circles” which worked on the subsections of the report, and to Linda and the team who did the final editing and compiling.
We now move on to preparing for the visit and for the next stage in our work. Happy New Year!