National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment |

National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment

Occasional Paper 33 - Assessment and Accreditation: An Imperiled Symbiosis



Gaston, P. (2018, April). Assessment and accreditation: An imperiled symbiosis.(Occasional Paper No. 33). Urbana, IL: University of Illinois and Indiana University, National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA).

Paper Abstract

This report reviews the accomplishments of higher education accreditation relative to its symbiotic relationship with assessment, acknowledges serious criticisms and proposed reforms, and indicates how accreditation might reform itself so as to disarm calls for radical change, improve its performance, strengthen the institutions and programs it serves, and enhance public understanding of and appreciation for higher education.

Biography of the Author

Paul L. Gaston
is the author of several works on accreditation, including Higher Education Accreditation: How Itís Changing, Why It Must (2014) and a spring 2017 white paper on accreditation for the Association of American Colleges and Universities. A few elements of these documents have been incorporated within and adapted for this paper.






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