ULV readies for WASC review

Posted Sept. 28, 2007
Steven Bier
A town meeting was held Sept. 17 to introduce the preparation for the next Western Association of School and Colleges accreditation visit scheduled for October 2011. Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs Al Clark organized the meeting. Bailey Smith, director of learning enhancement services, participated with Clark in the poster session outside La Fetra Auditorium. In 1891 the University of La Verne originated as Lordsburg Academy. First accredited by WASC in 1954, the University completed its most recent accreditation visit in 2000 and is currently doing the necessary tasks to prepare for the next WASC visit

Maria J. Velasco
Staff Writer

University administrators last week held a town meeting to update the campus community on the draft proposal they plan to present to the Western Association of Schools and Colleges: A piece of the multiyear process of re-accreditation the University hopes to complete by 2011.

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges, or WASC, is one of six regional associations that accredit public and private schools, colleges, and universities in the United States.

The accreditation process involves several reviews, including a “capacity and preparatory review,” for which WASC evaluators review what is necessary to run the institution.

Evaluators also do an “educational effective­ness review.”

The assessment is not about grades, perse, but about showing evaluators that the University’s programs are effective, Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs Al Clark said.

“We have to demonstrate that we are ... doing what we are saying we are doing, ” Clark said. “This is the proposal for what we are planning to do over the next four years.”

When WASC evaluators came here in 2000, they addressed strengths and weaknesses in the University’s programs.

“We fixed some (things),” Clark said.

The 2007 Strategic Plan contains the institution’s principal goals for enhancing its infrastructure and strengthening its assessment.

Some of the issues addressed by WASC were improving student achievement, organizational learning, general education and faculty scholarship and workload.

Concerning the improvement of student achievement the university has “developed and implemented a process for periodic program reviews for General Education and for academic majors” according to the proposal.

“Organizational learning through conscientious assessment, careful planning, reflection on effectiveness, and prioritization of goals,” was another WASC concern.

ULV has strengthened the Office of Institutional Research, expanded program reviews, developed the evaluation staff in academic affairs by adding an assistant provost and assistant dean among other changes.

Additionally, the faculty approved a new general education program in December 2006, effective September 2008.

As for faculty scholarship and workload, the University has established an annual “Faculty Research Day in fall to share research; a faculty publications day in spring to celebrate books and significant articles published; a bimonthly faculty lecture series; and the ULV Academy.

The proposal is 17 pages long and can be found on the ULV Web site.

It goes to WASC Oct. 15.

“We hope to get a lot of student input,” University President Steve Morgan said.

Maria J. Velasco can be reached at mvelasco@ulv.edu.

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