Q. What is Reaffirmation 2014?
A. “Reaffirmation 2014” refers to the current preparation challenge for the accreditation visit by the Southern Association of Secondary Schools and Colleges (SACS) in the fall of 2014. It is called “reaffirmation” because UHV is already a member of SACS. However, membership is conditioned upon successful periodic accreditation “audits” which show that we continue to provide quality education consistent with SACS guidelines. The last SACS visit occurred in 2003.
Q. Have the standards changed since 2003? If so, how have they changed?
A. The standards have most certainly changed. The goal of the standards is still to assure quality. However, the “approach to accreditation has significantly changed.” It can best be described as providing evidence that the institution is in a continuous mode of assessment and improvement based on the assessment findings. The process of assessment and improvement is perpetual.
Q. What are the SACS standards?
A. The standards can be summarized best by considering the four “paramount concepts” of SACS :
1. Peer review
2. Institutional integrity
3. Quality enhancement and continuous improvement
4. Focus on student learning
Q. Who is responsible for Reaffirmation 2014?
A. All members of the UHV community are responsible in Reaffirmation 2014. Each member of the faculty, administration, staff, students and community will participate in their unique way. The Provost’s Office and specifically the Office of Institutional Effectiveness will have an active leadership role in guiding the Reaffirmation efforts. Decisions and report development will be in the hands of three groups: 1) Institutional Leadership Team; 2) Institutional Effectiveness Steering Committee; and 3) Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) Development Team. Information about membership with these groups will be forthcoming.
Q. Is there a timeline?
A. Yes, we are working the timeline right now. Prior to the site team visit in the spring of 2014, program data must be collected, analyzed and the results used for documenting improved learning outcomes. This part of the process is called Institutional Effectiveness. It is the basis for a report that must be submitted by September 10, 2013, known as the Certificate of Compliance. Click here for the current timeline.
Q. Are there records that must be provided for Reaffirmation 2014?
A. Yes. Every unit on campus has electronic and paper information that is exchanged every day. Until further notice, try your best to save it all.
Q. Can we continue to shred paper?
A. Yes but maybe not as much. It has become popular in recent years to shred paper. Most offices have paper shredders. At least for the next two years, please think before shredding. Alternatives to shredding might include using more locked drawers and cabinets.
Q. Can we delete electronic communications?
A. Yes but maybe not as much. Except for highly confidential communications, electronic communications should be kept. We have a variety of “drives” that can be used to store information i.e. M’s, Q’s, P’s, Laser fiche, and People Soft. Some of us use our personal drives to store information. It is recommended that you backup any information.
Q. What is considered “information” that should be saved?
A. The simple answer is that any piece of information can make a contribution to a set of data. While we know common types such as enrollments, grades and grant dollars awarded, we should realize there are many others. Here is a list of “possibles”:
Academic---student success in meeting course goals or program goals/satisfaction results from resent grads and alumni/samples of communication among faculty and students/GPA results from courses and programs.
Student Affairs---retention/number and types of student complaints/number and types of counseling referrals/disciplinary information/tutoring referrals/career services activities/recruiting activities/financial aid/admission information
Administrative Support---building maintenance referrals/facilities updates /security activities/human services referrals/budget activities
Athletics---counseling activities with athletes/community sponsor activities/grade monitoring/interaction activities with campus and community
Development---number and types of sponsors/fund raising records/community contacts
Instructional Technology---computer updates for hard and soft ware/on-line support activities such as nature of service provided, how many times and the results
Library---acquisitions, circulation, holdings records/purchases
Research---number and types of sponsored activities/grants attempted/awards made
Do not feel left out if your program is not listed above. These are examples. All programs at UHV, Sugar Land and Cinco Ranch are potential data gatherers. At last count there were 37 academic programs and 14 non-academic programs.
Q: Why do we need SACSCOC accreditation?
A. 1. The Feds require it--otherwise no funding
2. UH System Board of Regents requires it
3. THECB requires data that parallels SACS data
4. Grant applications require it
5. Marketing relies on it