Date of Award

8-8-2007

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Degree Program

Curriculum & Instruction

Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Major Professor

Gifford, Charles S.; Bedford, April

Second Advisor

Casbergue, Renee

Third Advisor

Thames, Marvin

Fourth Advisor

Dupont, Robert

Abstract

In recent years, regional accreditation and the regional accreditation associations for higher education have experienced continuing criticism and become the objects of increased scrutiny. Higher education institutions look to the accreditation process as one of the principal means of justifying their actions and activities relative to their performance and results. Since the complaints and criticism directed toward higher education have not diminished but continued, and even increased, the regional accreditation associations find themselves to be the focus of similar complaints and criticisms. In the United States, we have no national system of accreditation. We rely on the actions and activities of one of the six regional accreditation associations. Each of these associations has its own separate and, in some cases, unique accreditation processes. Each publishes its own standards, its own handbooks, its own policies and practices, its own newsletters, and its own rules and regulations for accreditation. This situation can lead to inconsistencies, and could be a source of much confusion and misunderstanding when discussing the implications of an institution being accredited within a particular region. Logic models are diagrams or visual schematics that convey relationships between program processes and outcomes. This study uses logic modeling and logic model theory as the framework for an examination of the components of accreditation within two regional accreditation associations. A systematic and detailed methodology was developed in order to construct a logic model from existing handbooks and documents. As a result, two regional logic models were constructed, as well as a combined model based upon common elements. Implications of this study include the possible construction of a national accreditation logic model if the methodology is applied in the additional regional associations. This conceptual approach could lead to more consistency in the design, communication, and application of accreditation processes. Better understanding of, and less confusion concerning, the myriad of activities and processes required in a successful regional accreditation could lead to better, more effective, and more meaningful accreditation activities and results. This, in turn, could generate true growth and improvement in the actions, activities, and results achieved by our higher education institutions.

Rights

The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.

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