Revised Draft 2013 Handbook
You can find the revised versions of the draft 2013 Handbook of Accreditationand the WASC Accreditation Redesign at a Glance documents, which were approved and adopted by the WASC Commission at its November 2012 meeting, here. In making its recommendations for a second round of revisions, the Commission was encouraged by the positive feedback it received from the region and the progress reports on pilot projects in which a number of institutions are participating. Some of the revisions also reflect Department of Education requirements. WASC and the Commission thank all of those who submitted comment via the website, the Regional Forums, meetings, and through other venues.
A summary of the revisions made to the draft 2013 Handbook can be found here. There are strong ties between the 2001/2008 Handbook and the revisions that are being proposed for the 2013 Handbook. The Revisions to the Draft 2013 Handbook document highlights several efforts on the part of the Policy and Planning Committee, which has had primary responsibility for completing the Handbook redesign project, to:
- Sharpen and focus the language of the 2013 Handbook in an attempt to clarify, and make more explicit, the Commission’s focus on: the achievement of student learning outcomes; the need for institutions to articulate and document standards of student performance; and evidence of quality assurance processes.
- Respond to the feedback the Commission received through the regional forums and website. The Policy and Planning Committee received, reviewed, and in many cases, adopted, the suggestions made by a number of individuals and institutional representatives.
- Pay attention to the concerns of several institutions, which led to a clearer expression of the Commission’s willingness to support institutional definitions of appropriate levels and standards of student performance. The current revisions support a request for more flexibility on the part of some institutions while confirming the Commission’s expectation that at least the five core competencies described in CFR2.2a must be treated in the institutional narrative. The Commission does not intend to be prescriptive in requiring specific standards of student performance, nor in requiring a specific set of processes or assessments from member institutions. Rather, the revised language is intended to clarify that institutions are expected to make their case for the appropriateness of their student learning outcomes and the standards of performance to which their students are held, and, in addition, identify areas of the curriculum and student learning where improvements need to be made.
Please take advantage of this opportunity to review and comment on the revised 2013 Handbook before it is proposed for adoption at the February 2013 Commission meeting. WASC will be accepting a final round of comment from the region until January 25, 2013. Comments can be submitted through the WASC Website at http://wascsenior.org/content/draft-2013-handbook-accreditation.
Jackie R. Donath
Chair, Policy and Planning Committee
To learn more, visit the Redesigning WASC section of the website or contact Jessica Worchel, Project Manager for Accreditation Redesign, at jworchel [at] wascsenior [dot] org.