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The Impact of Accreditation on Institutional Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes: A Case Study of Historically Black Colleges and Universities
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The accreditation of an institution is one of the most important functions provided by accrediting agencies. All institutions must experience the accreditation process in order to be accountable. Many Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are challenged by accrediting agencies. However, HBCUs have a legacy of creating great leaders who have contributed talents and ideas that generate a significant impact on the American society. The purpose of this study was to explore accreditation problems involving four HBCUs and to evaluate the strategies they used in solving these problems. Emphasis is placed on the management of academic programs and the improvement of student learning outcomes and assessment. This study also embarked upon the mission statement that fosters lifelong learning and academic excellence designed to produce intellectually prepared students. A successful student learning outcomes and assessment program was developed to prepare students for career choices and to improve retention and graduation rates. HBCUs must raise expectations for students to graduate so they can fulfill the mission of the institution and comply with accreditation standards. This study was embedded in qualitative research inquiry using institutional documents, observations, and the interviewing of 39 participants as a means of gathering data. Each participant explained their role, and the strategies and procedures used during the accreditation process. Eight categories emerged from the factors involved in contributing to the reaffirmation of accreditation. Each institution also developed shared goals, common themes, and core expectations. All four HBCUs were awarded reaffirmation by either the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC, or SACS) or the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS). The conclusions and implications of this study revealed that efforts should be made to identify effective and robust strategies that HBCUs can adopt to boost student motivation and enhance student learning outcomes and assessment. These strategies can enhance student learning and improve the validity of outcomes assessment. The results will inform HBCUs of the need for further research in the planning and preparation stages of the accreditation process.
Student Learning Outcomes
Quality Enhancement Plan
Lewis, Jesse Marcus Shelton (2018). The Impact of Accreditation on Institutional Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes: A Case Study of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from