The nation cannot achieve equity in student achievement without being intentional about how students can resist being ignored. and indicators for higher education. Accreditation is a key pillar of the graduate process, serving as one of the most important arbiters of quality as well as a gatekeeper for four organizations receive billions of dollars earmarked for federal student aid. But formality is rarely raised as part of the solution for improving equity in transfer and credit transfers.
To explore the possibilities and limitations of the role of accreditation in connecting the dots between quality, equity, and outcomes in transfer and the credit financing, the Beyond Policy Transfer Advisory Boards has partnered over the past year with the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), Sleep, and WSCUC-accredited organizations (one private and three public organizations), with funding from the ECMC Foundation. Interviews with a wide range of stakeholders and a literature review supplemented our engagement with the WSCUC and its members. Our research and collaboration began with a focus on historical-regional organizational accreditors (pronounced “accreditors”). We see this as a first step, and look forward to additional work that will bring other organizations, experts and certified professionals.
As two of our Policy Advisory Board members, Shirleatha Lee and Maria Hesse, explained in the July 2022 Beyond Transfer blog for In Higher Ed, there is a great deal of power in recruiting credentialists for (at least) the following reasons: credentialing affects organizational behavior and attend public colleges and universities; accreditation offers a platform for long-term change that is at the heart of education and higher education; and higher education/schools responsible for accreditation, so that their engagement can help promote deep and lasting change.
That’s why we’re calling on sponsors to step up their game and be part of the solution. Accreditation agencies, which have shown in the past that they can promote change, can help change the conversation about equality in the transfer and use of credit. At this point, however, there is a lot of room for improvement. Main search from our research and collaborations include:
- Definitions of “elevation” in policies and standards are limited. It is more difficult to find the language on issues such as the use of credit, the use of credit, or the transfer of education. Of the absence strong policies, practices, and site visit guidelines that directly support students who are transferring, or important issues related to things like moving debt, credit card debt, and using credit in bulk, talk out loud.
- Authorized persons are part of very different organizations. Some came to the interviews eager to share how they work in the service of equality and invite collaboration. For example, the partnership with Sova and the Beyond Transfer Policy Advisory Board underpins this WSCUC initiative. Other witnesses came to the interviews cautiously, worried that this study would create new challenges for them. But others refused to negotiate or did not respond to repeated attempts. These variations raise serious questions about how different agencies and/or programs operate, how the auditors perceive a their role, and what that means for equity in student achievement.
- Non-current approvals: clearly identify that many students will benefit from improved transfer and credit; ask mission-related questions that reflect the importance of transfer and credit transfer; need to pay attention to equality through transparency and specific analysis of the results put together for students who are transferable and transferable; or providing strong leadership to organizations in areas such as credit analysis that have serious implications for students who are angry
- There is an often-expressed-and-believed-that more change cannot be made because of concessions. However, this is rarely true. As one colleague put it, “‘I won’t let the people who let me do it’ are wrong.” The bottom line: organizations themselves set policies. related to the credit decision process and how decisions are calculated upon completion of prerequisites and courses. the question for the proponents, how—if not—do you seek to understand how organizations follow their own policies, whether their policies are evidence-based, and whether those policies are that creates blockages and inequities in the system? Are you asking the hard questions, looking at the data collected and taking your leadership role seriously? institutions to equity in student achievement?
Because of these studies, we call on the stakeholders (as mentioned, especially historical-regional institutions) and their most important points – the colleges and universities themselves – to move forward together in a new way (see Figure 1):
- Connect transfer and credit to the institutional mission and become an integral part of institutional use—especially those serving key student populations. Mobile devices – show quality and bring improvement closer. As WSCUC President Jamienne Studley notes:
Exchange and transfer credit…get to the heart of an organization that achieves its goals for equity, inclusion, and student success. school. These topics can be a great way to deepen and update the organization’s analysis of its strengths and areas for improvement.
- Ask tough questions and do in-depth research about similar outcomes. Go much deeper than just looking at graduation rates for transfer students. Find out how long it takes to process credit, how many credits are unused at the end of the program, and whether transfer students have fair and equal access to valuable student aid. such as financial aid, counseling, housing and educational enrichment (see for example Study Guide here).
- Stop letting “I’m not allowed not allowed” to stop change in its tracks. Push back; ask to see the policy; reach out to themselves for clarification. “I’m not allowed to not be allowed (or made me)” is often heard, but rarely true.
- Investigate whether the use of current evidence-based standards, which may impact outcomes for transfer students, is evidence-based. Did the trustees survey their members to ask whether policies — such as limits on prior education admissions — were being softened? sign of goodness? Do they create unreasonable barriers to equality? Current policies are based on testimony about student achievement, or based on it thought about the student experience?
- Identify areas of transfer and credit transfer that have significant implications for student use by institutions and come together to develop and/or the validation of new principles that can guide organizational performance.
Recruiting certified people is just one of the many steps required. For example, the Postgraduate Transfer Policy Advisory Committee works together on projects in addition to student affordability and financial issues. dealing with organizations in terms of transfer and credit financing. We also look forward to the opportunity to continue working with many stakeholders to increase the focus on the equal acceptance and use of credit, including other organizations, professionals and experts. We hope and expect that as we continue these efforts, more of the cloud’s guarantors will come to the table and try to increase their influence in the service in the same way.
Please see the full Beyond Translation Advisory Board white paper on this topic here.