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Higher Education Accreditation How It's Changing, Why It Must

ISBN-10: 1579227627
ISBN-13: 9781579227623
Edition: 2014
List price: $37.50
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Description: Is the accreditation system broken as claimed by successive Secretaries of Education and some recent reports? This book addresses this question head-on, asking whether accreditation is indeed in need of radical reform, and whether the agencies’  More...

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Book details

List price: $37.50
Copyright year: 2014
Publisher: Stylus Publishing, LLC
Publication date: 12/4/2013
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 240
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.144
Language: English

Is the accreditation system broken as claimed by successive Secretaries of Education and some recent reports? This book addresses this question head-on, asking whether accreditation is indeed in need of radical reform, and whether the agencies’ authority should be curtailed; or whether in fact the changes now underway – that accrediting agencies contend ensure rigorous and consistent standards and degrees that are a reliable gauge of student attainment – are moving the academy and the nation in the right direction. In a sweeping and ambitious book, Paul Gaston deploys his knowledge and experience as a peer reviewer for three regional accrediting agencies, a former board member and chair of the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors, and his involvement in the early stages of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, to go beyond the polemics to explore whether a strategy that builds on the emerging values and good practices can achieve the substantive and positive improvements the public is demanding.As an introduction for readers new to the debate, he provides a brief overview of the development of accreditation, its terminology, and structure, describing how it currently works, and what it has achieved; and offers insight into the proliferation of the missions of accreditation – as well as the multiplicity of stakeholders with an interest in its outcomes – to question whether the mandate of accreditation should, as some contend, be expanded, or particular missions reassigned or abandoned. This established, he undertakes a dispassionate analysis of the arguments and recommendations of critics and supporters of the current direction of accreditation to identify common ground and explore constructive ways forward, paying specific attention to current and potential reforms of the three sectors of higher education accreditation: the seven regional accrediting associations, the national accreditors, and programmatic, or specialized accreditation. The book concludes by outlining a comprehensive approach to reform. His proposal would preserve practices that already work well while advancing important changes that can be incrementally implemented. The result would be a higher education accreditation structure more cost effective, more efficient, more transparent and accountable, and more responsive to institutional and public needs.

Paul L. Gaston serves Kent State University as its sole Trustees Professor. In this role, he pursues a broad commitment to interdisciplinary teaching and research in higher education reform, public policy, and the humanities. As the author of The Challenge of Bologna (2010), the only book to date on Europe's Bologna Process of higher education reform, he speaks often on European higher education reform and its lessons for the world. He is the author also of Revising General Education, co-authored with Jerry Gaff (2009) and General Education and Liberal Learning (2010). One of four authors of Lumina Foundation's Degree Qualifications Profile (January 2011), he serves as a consultant to Lumina Foundation and makes frequent presentations describing the development of the Profile and its potential uses. He earned both the M.A. and the Ph.D. from the University of Virginia, where he was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow.

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