Regional Accrediting Association Requirements and the Development of Outcomes Statements
Tony M. Allison Cameron University
All six regional accrediting associations and many state legislatures are mandating some form of program assessment. Even though these regional accrediting associations are providing general guidelines, the problems that many universities are encountering are centered around specific instructions in preparing appropriate and acceptable assessment strategies. This chapter first examines the requirements for program assessment of the six regional accrediting associations.
Second, it provides a cost-effective "how-to" assessment strategy for writing student outcomes statements for mass communication and speech communication programs.
Academic program assessment is fast becoming the major agenda of almost every university in the country as each institution prepares for evaluation by its respective regional accrediting association or by having a mandate from its respective state legislature (see Appendix A). Hunt ( 1992) stated that '"as many as 37 states have some type of mandate for the assessment of student leanring" (p. 12). All six of the regional accrediting associations now require assessment of institutional effectiveness.
For many years colleges and universities viewed accreditation as a process of completing successful self-studies and external reviews that were conducted periodically (in many cases every 5 to 10 years) by a