• Educational Programming Updates – March 2023

    March 22, 2023 - WSCUC

Accreditation Resource Conference (ARC2023)

We have designed the WSCUC ARC2023, The Challenge of Excellence: Realizing the New Standards, program content to be interesting and useful to the entire WSCUC community – check out the schedule-at-a-glance here. At ARC2023, you’ll network with old and new colleagues and friends, talk with WSCUC Commissioners and staff, and hear from thought leaders in higher education.

We will also explore how the 2022 Standards build on prior institutional accomplishments to create opportunities for advancing quality, accountability, and improvement to support student learning, student success, and institutional effectiveness. Plenary sessions will explain and expand on the intent behind the 2022 Standards and their elevated expectations for institutional engagement: foregrounding student success, committing to evidence into action, and defining DEI in the institution’s context while respecting the unique mission of each institution. The plenary presentations will be complemented by workshops and concurrent sessions that delve more deeply into how Standards can be used as a guide for institutional achievement and maintenance of accreditation with WSCUC.

At the opening plenary session on Wednesday afternoon, The Challenge of Excellence, we’ll be invited to imagine how new models and brave institutions can succeed for their students in radically changing times. We’ll think with Founder and Chancellor of Minerva University Ben Nelson, a visionary with a passion to reinvent higher education (who has been reforming the undergraduate experience since he was one himself at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School), and WSCUC President Jamienne Studley (also a lifelong higher ed change agent), and other education pioneers to challenge some myths, rethink some traditions, and elevate new ideas for quality.

Commissioners and staff at our Thursday morning plenary, Achieving Excellence Under the 2022 Standards, will review the development and approval process for the 2022 Standards and explain the key changes in the 2022 Standards compared to the 2013 Standards. They’ll also review the draft Institutional Self-Study and Report Process (IRP) for reaffirmation and the draft Companion Guide, which elaborates on issues an institution may consider as it goes through its self-study and writes its report, and explain the organization of the new Handbook of Accreditation and its timeline for adoption.

Finally, at our Thursday afternoon plenary, Realizing the New Standards: A Springboard for Mission-Driven Equity and Inclusion, nationally recognized expert and engaging speaker Dr. Tia Brown McNair, AAC&U Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Student Success and lead author of From Equity Talk to Equity Walk: Expanding Practitioner Knowledge for Racial Justice in Higher Education, will explore how accreditation, equity and inclusion reinforce each other to help institutions create an environment of inclusive excellence and student success. She and two other inspiring leaders, Professor Luke Wood, Vice President of Student Affairs, San Diego State University, and Dr. Susan Layden, Senior Associate Dean of Students for Student Success, Claremont McKenna College, will offer powerful reflections and practical takeaways and tools.

Register now for the conference and join us at the Hyatt Regency Orange County from April 19 – 21 for ARC2023: The Challenge of Excellence: Realizing the New Standards.

Accreditation Leadership Academy

Congratulations to the 2022 Cohort of the WSCUC Accreditation Leadership Academy (ALA) which met for its final session in San Diego this past January.

WSCUC’s signature professional development program for higher education leaders, the ALA emphasizes action derived from analysis with a curriculum that addresses both the need for effective leadership, systems, and evidence to achieve quality and the importance of equity and inclusion in higher education culture and practice. The ALA brings together leaders in higher education practice drawn from the WSCUC community and from the broader community of international scholars and professionals, WSCUC Fellows, Assessment Leadership Academy alumni, and Community of Practice (CoP) participants.

ALA participants collaborate with Academy faculty and mentors while simultaneously working with peers in various group settings to complete both individual and group projects. All ALA projects consider the impact of equity, evidence, and effectiveness in service of enhancing individual professional practice, addressing an institutional need, and developing
skilled leadership in higher education.

Presentations featuring the work of ALA participants will take place at the ARC2023, as will opportunities and sessions to learn about the ALA for those interested in participating in future cohorts.