Right now, postsecondary accreditation is in a state of flux. If you’re wondering when isn’t accreditation evolving, you’re right. As governing bodies and accreditors continue to negotiate standards, colleges and universities are scrambling to meet constantly shifting requirements.
There’s a lot at stake.
At the regional or national level, accreditation is a legal status conferred upon a postsecondary institution that meets federal standards. And many students seek out accredited institutions in order to obtain financial aid.
Qualifying for accreditation is further complicated by the breadth and depth of accreditation requirements not only at the regional/national level, but at the industry level as well for programmatic, specialized, and professional programs.
Regional/national accreditors focus on inputs such as an institution’s mission, financial stability, IT resources, course delivery, and change management. They also evaluate evidence of continuous improvement and quality reviews, both of which are critical components of any curriculum mapping and management process.
Programmatic accreditors look at college vision, curriculum and alignment standards, specific student outcomes and success, assessment, evaluation, and partnerships—all of which are also critical components of curriculum mapping and management processes.
How can you manage at your institution such a wide range of requirements in an evolving accreditation environment?
The method of curriculum mapping, in addition to helping to align teaching with learning outcomes, offers a number of benefits that can help you track and manage these requirements effectively.
The Benefits of Curriculum Mapping in the Accreditation Process
A high-level benefit of curriculum mapping is its structure, which helps you and your team define the mission or vision of a school or program by developing curricular units that characterize your program’s initiatives.
Not only do the strengths and weaknesses of a program stand out as a result of curriculum mapping but the method also provides a view into its coherence. Having evidence of a unified program can make it easier to highlight its accomplishments and the success of its students.
Curriculum mapping helps you keep organized by providing a resource center where both your team and reviewers can maintain and access all of these files.
Getting many different files ready for the accreditation process is overwhelming. These files also need to be kept together in one place and in one version. You may even be working with multiple sets of requirements—national, regional, and/or programmatic—and the need to stay on track becomes even more critical.
How Coursetune Helps You Prepare for Accreditation
As you can see, curriculum mapping provides a framework for pulling together accreditation materials in one place. Software specifically designed to support this process can help you navigate the accreditation steps.
Coursetune aids in your accreditation process in the following ways:
- Versatility. Follow a set of Coursetune best practices, or customize Coursetune to fit yours. There are many ways to step through the process, and Coursetune adapts to the needs of your specific accreditation project.
- Accessibility. Access and edit plans easily, and you can set permissions to share plans with stakeholders and outside reviewers as well.
- Ease of integration and importing. Import or create from scratch mapping sets for standards and outcomes at multiple levels. Coursetune also integrates with any system, providing a highly efficient reuse of your existing curriculum mapping data.
- Data analysis. Leverage several reports at the course and program-levels specifically built to make synthesizing accreditation evidence a smooth and relevant process.
Accreditation requirements will continue to evolve and change. In the meantime, Coursetune gives you the resources you need to handle all of the moving parts of the accreditation process.
Need more details? Contact us to schedule your free demo.