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 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 Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) 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 fourteen core requirements, or “basic qualifications an institution must meet to be accredited.” The respective sections read as follows:
Institutional Effectiveness – Section 7.1: “The institution engages in ongoing, comprehensive, and integrated research-based planning and evaluation processes that (a) focus on institutional quality and effectiveness and (b) incorporate a systematic review of institutional goals and outcomes consistent with its mission”.
Student Achievement — Section 8.1: “The institution identifies, evaluates, and publishes goals and outcomes for student achievement appropriate to the institution’s mission, the nature of the students it serves, and the kinds of programs offered. The institution uses multiple measures to document student success.
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 for sound decision making and based upon the institution’s mission and purpose.
Assessment and Effectiveness
Within the described framework, the office provides support for academic assessment, nonacademic 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).