Annual Institute

About the Annual Institute on Best Practices in Institutional Effectiveness

Institutional Effectiveness (IE), a practical and applied definition:
Institutional Effectiveness consists of a set of ongoing and systematic institutional processes and practices that include planning, the evaluation of programs and services (including admin), the identification and measurement of outcomes across all institutional units (including learning outcomes in instructional programs), and the use of data and assessment results to inform decision-making. All of these activities are accomplished with the purpose of improving programs and services and increasing student success and institutional quality.

Why this Institute?
Accrediting agencies across the country have established criteria requiring outcome evaluation, quality improvement processes, and the use of data to inform decision-making at the college and university level. These requirements have left institutions of higher education attempting to create effective processes that improve programs and services with small numbers of staff and no new resources. This institute will provide participants with proven step-by-step processes to build consensus, educate faculty and staff, develop effective measures and tools, and accomplish effective outcome assessment. You and your colleagues will walk away from this conference with an indexed notebook of proven tool, strategies, templates and plans (paper and electronic copies of all) that you can use at your institution to accomplish the various elements of institutional effectiveness (planning, evaluation, assessment of outcomes).

What this Institute is and is not
This institute is not another opportunity to listen to speakers tell you what they are doing at their school and leaving you with no blueprints on how to accomplish it at your school. This is not a large conference where you move from room to room with lots of choices. This institute is intensive, meets from 9am to 5pm, is heavy on networking and designed to give faculty and staff the skills to get the job done. The criteria from all six regional accrediting agencies will be addressed. In most years, a representative from one of the six agencies attends the institute and presents on institutional effectiveness issues in their region.

Well trained institutional effectiveness professionals are hard to find and many institutions would like to “home-grow” their own. But – where do you send someone to obtain this type of training?
Effective IE people at the senior level are very hard to find but that doesn’t stop the assessment and evaluation requirements placed upon us. It is often easier to take a well-liked and respected faculty or staff member with serious opinion-leadership at your institution and teach them the skills to become an effective agent of change for learning outcomes, assessment and program evaluation …….than it is to take a person with great technical skills and make them well-liked, respected and an individual with opinion-leadership who can introduce change among the faculty. Do you have such a person at your institution? Send them along with a team to this institute……

Who Should Attend?
The best possible learning occurs when a team from a college can come to the institute together and hear the same message, begin discussing their institutional strategies and go back to their campus ready to work. In previous years, colleges have seen as many as 20 to the institute and many come as the only representative from their institution. This is a great conference for those doing institutional research or institutional effectiveness work, assessment directors and those in charge of program or unit review. But it is also great for faculty and administrators. Every year several presidents attend and occasionally, a board of trustee’s member.

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