Date of Award
Curriculum and Instruction
College of Education
Type of Degree
Research gaps exist in knowledge about postsecondary certificate-granting institutions, as well as results of accreditation processes. This qualitative study focuses on national accreditation results that can: 1) define strengths and improvement areas in these institutions; 2) determine why action is taken or not taken on accreditation recommendations; and 3) identify results, strengths, and challenges of accreditation. This research base can guide improvements in these institutions and the North Central Association – Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI) process. The population was 125 accredited schools in ten states, representing 96% of all NCA CASI accredited public, postsecondary institutions. Methods included: document analysis, interviews, and peer review validation. All commendations and recommendations in the 125 school NCA CASI accreditation reports were coded. Interview participants were selected using a maximum variance sampling with completion and licensure/certification passage averages as the variance component. Interviews were conducted with selected 15 NCA CASI school coordinators, one State Department Coordinator and one AdvancED/NCA CASI representative. Seven school personnel from five states participated in a peer-review validation process. Results indicate: 1) the accreditation report documentation shows the highest percentage of schools receive commendations related to: business, industry and community involvement; pupil personnel services; positive school culture and relationships; safety and space considerations, and data collection processes. Highest percentage of schools recommendations focused on: data analysis and decisions; lack of space; student support service strategies; business, industry, and community support strategies; and increased documentation. 2) Interviews identified themes of action taken on accreditation report recommendations: documentation, compliance, performance measures, and process improvements. Actions not taken related to: resource costs or philosophical differences. 3) Accreditation process strengths are: financial aid access; credibility; continuous improvement framework; critical analysis of self study using internal teams; and gaining external peer-review team perspectives. Accreditation challenges or areas in need of improvement are: accountability duplication; resource constraints; subjectivity/ philosophical differences; and suggestions for process improvements. These NCA CASI accredited institutions show an average of 84.5% completion, 87.9% placement, and 89.7% licensure/certification performance rates.
Universities and colleges -- Accreditation -- United States.
Nash, Sherri E., "Results of the Accreditation Process to Guide Postsecondary Certificate-Granting Institution Improvement" (2008). Theses, Dissertations and Capstones. 744.