Institutional Self-Study

Draft Self-Study Report (September 1, 2017)    

 

University of Alaska Anchorage Self-Study Plan

  • Reaffirmation of Accreditation

    Reaffirmation of Accreditation

    The University of Alaska Anchorage is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), which reviews institutions on a seven-year cycle and holds them accountable to a rigorous set of standards and eligibility requirements.  UAA is at the end of its seven-year cycle and, in fall 2017, will be visited by a review team from NWCCU.  To prepare for this visit, we need to write a comprehensive self-study report (Year Seven Report), which responds to all NWCCU Standards and Eligibility Requirements and is due to the Commission in mid-August.  Based on their evaluation of the report and site visit, the review team will submit recommendations to the NWCCU regarding UAA’s accreditation status.  The NWCCU Board of Commissioners is set to make a final decision at its January 2018 meeting. NWCCU Standards and Eligibility Requirements

 

  • Self-Study Goals

    Self-Study Goals

    The self-study presents the critical opportunity to openly and honestly reflect on where we are as an institution, project where we want to be, and demonstrate that we have the processes and procedures in place to support us as we move toward those goals.  While the self-study primarily focuses on mission fulfillment, it also incorporates an honest assessment of the policies and processes we have in place that will allow us to continue to meet our mission within a dynamic and changing environment.  

    Through a broad and inclusive process with ample opportunities for feedback and input, the self-study process aims to:

    • Engage the university community in an assessment of mission fulfillment.
    • Demonstrate compliance in relation to the NWCCU standards and eligibility requirements.
    • Identify priority areas for improvement and focus as informed by the above assessment and by the UAA 2020 planning initiative.
    • Position the institution for the next accreditation cycle.

     In preparing the institution for the next accreditation cycle, UAA must consider:

    •  How does UAA position itself to respond to the changing educational needs of its students, communities, region, and state?
    • How does UAA use what it has learned through the self-study process to build its capacity to fulfill its distinctive mission as an open access, metropolitan, multi-campus institution serving diverse populations of students?
    • How does UAA identify its next set of Core Themes, given the above? 

 

  • Self-Study Structure and Process

    Self-Study Structure and Process

    Institutional Self-Study Committee 

    The Institutional Self-Study Committee was convened in late spring 2016, expanding the membership of the standing Accreditation Steering Committee in preparation for the self-study year.  Charged to conduct the self-study, oversee the writing of the Year-Seven Report, and prepare the institution for the fall 2017 site visit, the Committee draws its membership from across key areas of the institution, governance groups, and campuses.  Members were selected for their experience, expertise and areas represented; demonstrated commitment to institutional-level thinking; ability to contribute to the formulation and writing of the report; and willingness to work collaboratively.  The Committee is chaired by two faculty members, Dr. Jennifer Brock of the College of Engineering and Dr. Larry Foster of the College of Arts and Sciences, and by Dr. Susan Kalina, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs.   The effort is supported by the Office of Institutional Research, the Office of Institutional Effectiveness, and the Office of Academic Affairs. Institutional Self-Study Committee membership, meetings, agendas, and minutes

    Self-Study Working Groups 

    Each Committee member serves on a smaller working group led by two of its members and assigned to one of NWCCU’s five standards.  Each standard corresponds to a chapter in the Year-Seven Report, and the smaller working groups will oversee the first draft of the individual chapters that will come together for the final report.  The working groups are responsible for reaching out to content experts across the institution, requesting responses to the standards, as well as evidence of compliance, and compiling these for the report and visit. In addition to the report, electronic and hard copy evidence rooms will be prepared.  A steering group, made up of the Institutional Self-Study Committee co-chairs, the leads of the smaller working groups, and the Office of Institutional Research and the Office of Institutional Effectiveness meet periodically to discuss progress on responding to each of the standards. Working Group Membership

    Self-Study Kick Off and UAA 2020 

    Broad engagement with the self-study began with a kick off on September 9, 2016.  More than one hundred faculty, staff, and students joined senior consultant Dr. Robert Stein to articulate UAA’s distinctive role in higher education in the state of Alaska.  A follow up session with Dr. Stein laid the foundation for a planning process critical to bridging the completion of UAA’s current strategic plan and the creation of a focused, short-term plan, UAA 2020. This plan will be designed to guide the institution during an uncertain and dynamic period in the state of Alaska, and it will both be informed by the self-study and will inform the self-study. UAA 2020 Self-Study Kick Off

    Broadly Engaging the Institution in the Analysis of Mission Fulfillment—Open Forums

    Throughout the fall semester the Standard Four: Effectiveness and Improvement working group has engaged faculty, staff, and students from across the campuses in a series of Open Forums to assess mission fulfillment, as defined in the context of UAA’s Core Themes.  The December 2 Open Forum: Bringing It All Together will summarize these findings, identify key areas for improvement, and begin to position the institution for the next accreditation cycle. Open Forum Registration and Documents

    Report Drafts, Feedback, and Input

    Report sections will be shared out in draft form for input and feedback in stages throughout the year.  A draft of the full report will be shared in April, to allow feedback and input, before faculty go off contract for the summer. Self-Study Timeline

    March 31 Draft Self-Study Report

    We circulated and posted sections of the draft self-study report according to the schedule below, so that by the April 7 Open Forum, the UAA community had time to read the entire report. The full draft is now posted.

    As a reminder, the report must respond to the NWCCU Standards, linked to here. NWCCU also provides guidelines for the Table of Contents, linked to here and provided at the end of this page.

    2017 Rollout Schedule:
    March 21: Institutional Overview through Chapter One/Standard One
    March 23: Chapter Two/Standard Two
    March 28: Chapters Three & Four/Standards Three & Four
    March 31: Whole Report, including Chapter Five/Standard Five   Link to March 31, 2017 draft 

 

  • Past Reports

    Past Reports

    While it demonstrates continuity with past reports, including the Year-One and Mid-Cycle Reports from this seven-year cycle, the current report is not restricted by them, in order to reflect institutional changes and incorporate guidance from the NWCCU evaluators. Past Reports

 

  • Roles and Responsibilities

    Roles and Responsibilities

    Chancellor
    • Set the agenda and direction
    • Facilitate high-level oversight by the Cabinet and ensure the self-study is an institutional priority
    • Connect the self-study to institutional planning in general and the UAA 2020 planning initiative in particular
    • Inform and update the Board of Regents and UA Statewide System
    • Engage the community, including the Chancellor’s Advisory Council
    • Approve the final report
    • Meet with site visit team

    Provost, Vice Chancellors, Deans, Campus Directors

    • Ensure broad participation in the self-study process
    • Oversee assessment and improvement processes within own units
    • Engage program and college advisory boards
    • Contribute information, review drafts, and provide input
    • Meet with the site visit team

    Institutional Self-Study Committee

    • Design and facilitate the self-study process, including communications
    • Oversee the drafting of the report
    • Oversee preparations for the visit
    • Provide regular updates to the Chancellor and campus leadership
    • Meet with the site visit team

    Office of Academic Affairs

    • Coordinate the self-study process and co-chair the Institutional Self-Study Committee
    • Communicate with the NWCCU throughout the process
    • Support the Institutional Self-Study Committee
    • Oversee and ensure compliance, including federal mandates

    Office of Institutional Research

    • Provide data as needed
    • Build and maintain accreditation-related sections of the SharePoint site (Core Theme data, Program Student Learning Outcomes Assessment, Program Review, Student Complaints)
    • Build the electronic evidence room

    Office of Institutional Effectiveness

    • Review report drafts and contribute content and nuanced context
    • Format final report and appendixes

    Campus Community (Faculty, Staff, Students, Administrators)

    • Participate in the self-study through the open forums and by providing input, information, and feedback
    • Prepare for the campus visit
    • Participate in the campus visit sessions for faculty, staff, and students 

 

  • Preliminary Self-Study Report Outline

    Preliminary Self-Study Report Outline

    I. Institutional Overview

    II. Basic Institutional Data Form

    III. Preface
         A. Brief update on institutional changes since the institution’s last comprehensive report
         B. Response to topics previously requested by the Commission

    IV. Standard I: Mission, Core Themes, and Expectations
         A. Executive Summary of Eligibility Requirements 2 and 3
         B. Standard 1.A Mission
                1. Institution’s mission statement
                2. Interpretation of mission fulfillment
                3. Articulation of an acceptable threshold, extent, or degree of mission fulfillment
         C. Standard 1.B Core Themes (One Section for each Core Theme)
                1. Title of the Core Theme
                2. Brief description of the Core Theme
                3. Objectives to be achieved via the Core Theme
                4. Indicators of achievement of the respective Core Theme objectives
                5. Rationale for the selection of the respective indicators of achievement

     V. Standard II: Resources and Capacity
         A. Executive Summary of Eligibility Requirements 4 through 21
         B. Standard 2.A Governance
         C. Standard 2.B Human Resources
         D. Standard 2.C Education Resources
         E. Standard 2.D Student Support Resources
         F. Standard 2.E Library and Information Resources
         G. Standard 2.F Financial Resources
         H. Standard 2.G Physical and Technological Infrastructure

     VI. Standard III: Planning and Implementation
         A. Standard 3.A Institutional Planning
         B. Standard 3.B Core Theme Planning

     VII. Standard IV: Effectiveness and Improvement
         A. Executive Summary of Eligibility Requirements 22 and 23
         B. One section for each Core Theme to address Standards 3.B Core Theme Planning, 4.A Assessment, and 4.B Improvement as they relate to each respective Core Theme

    VIII. Standard V: Mission Fulfillment, Adaptation, Sustainability
         A. Eligibility Requirement 24
         B. Standard 5.A Mission Fulfillment
         C. Standard 5.B Adaptation and Sustainability

    IX. Conclusion

 

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