Surviving State Compliance and Accreditation as an Online Institution of Higher Education
Concurrent Session 8
Online universities need a comprehensive approach for maintaining compliance and accreditation in all of their degree programs across multiple states. This session will provide participants a framework for successful completion of state compliance and accreditation reports, self-studies, and site visits.
Compliance and Accreditation are processes that assure state and educational communities, as well as the public, that a college or university and its programs possess clearly defined and appropriate components; that it maintains processes and procedures that are conducive to candidate success; that it continuously evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of programs as well as administrative functions and services using input from a variety of sources; and that it makes data-driven programmatic and policy decisions.
Given the importance of such an endeavor, it is essential that the institution have appropriate steps in place to ensure the highest level of success. Having participated in multiple successful state, regional and national accreditation and compliance processes, we have developed a framework that other institutions may find helpful when seeking initial or ongoing compliance and accreditation status.
Western Governors University was the first online university to earn National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) accreditation for its Teachers College, and at its most recent site visit was awarded full ongoing accreditation with no areas for improvement cited. The university has also obtained Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accreditation and Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) accreditation for its Health Profession College. Additionally, in years past, the University has held simultaneous accreditation by four different regional bodies and is currently seeking approval to operate in all 50 states and US territories. The University has a full-time Compliance and Accreditation department dedicated to such endeavors.
The presenter will share important strategies and tips with participants that the WGU Compliance and Accreditation department has found particularly helpful. This is intended to be an interactive session with active participant dialogue.