What is Institutional Effectiveness?

Institutional effectiveness (IE) is best described as an on-going, college-wide process of planning and outcomes assessment, documenting that the college is achieving its mission and goals and assisting in the continuous improvement of its programs and services.

The model for institutional effectiveness and student outcomes assessment cycle below was developed by Dr. James O. Nichols and shows the generic components of a college’s planning and assessment process.

IE And The Principles Of Accreditation

In December 2001, the College Delegate Assembly of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) approved the new Principles of Accreditation. Published with the subtitle Foundations for Quality Enhancement, these principles established that “The first task of the Commission when considering accreditation status is to determine the institution’s integrity and its commitment to quality enhancement.”

This focus on continuous improvement of quality and effectiveness is also underlined by the fact that institutional effectiveness is one of the twelve core requirements, or “basic qualifications that an institution must meet to be accredited.” The respective sections read as follows:

Institutional Effectiveness – Section 2.5: “The institution engages in ongoing, integrated, and institution-wide research-based planning and evaluation processes that incorporate a systematic review of programs and services that (a) results in continuing improvement and (b) demonstrates that the institution is effectively accomplishing its mission.”

Section 3.3.1: “The institution identifies expected outcomes for its educational programs and its administrative and educational support services; assesses whether it achieves these outcomes; and provides evidence of improvement based on analysis of those results.”

 Leadership for IE Committee

The office also serves as the overall coordinating body for institutional effectiveness activities, working with Institutional Research, the Academic Quality Council, other committees, and the Planning Council to develop, maintain, and update as needed the assessment and reporting activities and publications necessary to sound decision making and based upon the institutions mission and purpose.

Assessment and Effectiveness

Within the described framework, the office provides support for academic assessment, non-academic effectiveness measures, and accountability mandates to address a wide array of quality improvement and decision-making needs.

Finally, IE supports administration, faculty, staff, and students as a resource for Polk State’s Planning Council, Budget Council, and Academic Quality Council (AQC). In addition, the office’s leadership is engaged in local and regional community initiatives (such as Polk Vision) targeted to improve life, work, and education in Polk County.