Standards Century Volume 3, No.4

From the President

Inherent to participation in peer-review quality assurance is a commitment to planning for, and making, operational adjustments to achieve effective operation of the institution. Section 3-1-111 of the ACICS Accreditation Criteria describes the dimensions of the commitment at the institutional and campus levels. Of course, the most substantive planning and adjusting occur at the program level, where daily and weekly interactions with students generate data and measurements. Collecting those data in a formal, organized manner is one aspect of the discipline of effectiveness planning. Verifying, archiving, and analyzing the data are also important. Finally, applying those analyses to the periodic adjustment of operational protocols and recurring activities is the most crucial element.

Member institutions have noted the adjustments and emerging emphasis applied by ACICS to institutional effectiveness planning and implementation during site reviews. Deficiencies in those plans or metrics generate findings that frequently rise to the level of Council consideration. In order to help colleges and schools better master the art and science of institutional effectiveness planning, ACICS is working with site review team chairs to refine the factors that are applied to effectiveness plans, and to develop more consistent and helpful guidance.

ACICS has been providing such guidance through its "Institutional Effectiveness: A Guide to Implementation" monograph, which was a compilation of best practices and sample outline of the Campus Effectiveness Plan. Since its initial publication, the members' characteristics, standards and evaluation of quality, and Council expectations have all evolved tremendously as a result of both internal and external factors. As such, the monograph is undergoing a systematic and thorough review, with input from all critical stakeholders - the membership, institutional effectiveness experts, team chairs, and the Council itself. However, to continue its focus on quality enhancement and institutional support, the Council has made a sample Campus Effectiveness Plan available to the membership until the next monograph. Notice and appropriate training will be provided to ensure that members are clear and equipped to develop and implement a plan that serves as a roadmap for continued institutional effectiveness.

Albert C. Gray, President and CEO



Member Center Testing Underway

The information technology platform that supports transactions with member colleges and schools - the new ACICS Member Center - is one step closer to launch, thanks to volunteers from member institutions who are participating in end-user testing. The user experience and interface are being put through simulations and mock transactions by representatives of ACICS institutions to assure the system is intuitive and efficient once it is launched. The Member Center aspires to make it easier to seek ACICS approvals and to keep institutional records of ACICS transactions up to date. A full demo of the new Member Center will be given at the 2015 ACICS Annual Conference in May.


2015 Conference: Hot Topics

Come early to the 5th Annual ACICS Conference and hear the latest ideas and hard facts about changes affecting accreditation. The agenda for the afternoon of Wednesday, May the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas is:

  •  1:00-2:30 pm 
    Bridges Out of Poverty: Understanding and Teaching 
    Under-Resourced Students 
    Kirstie DeBiase, an expert in student achievement and retention, conducts a highly motivational
    and interactive session on improving results for adult learners. 
  • 2:45-4:15 pm
    Big Data to Drive Enhanced Institutional Effectiveness Planning and Performance
    Dr. Linda Baer, Senior Program Consultant and a frequent presenter at CHEA, will discuss the leading edge of
    analytics in higher education, putting a human understanding to a complex change in the paradigm of education measurements.




May 13 | Seattle

May 27 | Las Vegas
July 28 | Boca Raton

May 8 | ACICS Offices
June 11 | ACICS Offices
All workshops are scheduled from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. unless otherwise noted. Go to to register.

Details and Registration Information