Program Review, Accreditation Processes, and Outcomes Assessment: Pressures on Institutions of Higher Education

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ARTICLES Articles should deal with topics applicable to the broad field of program evaluation. Implications for practicing evaluators should be clearly identified. Examples of contributions include but are not limited to reviews of new developments in evaluation and descriptions of a current evaluation effort, research problem, or technique. Manuscripts should include appropriate references and not exceed 10 double-spaced typewritten pages in length. In the course of the past thirty years or better, a confluence of historical forces have brought about enormous pressure on institutions of higher education. Those pressures have now reached watershed proportion, and could be usefully channeled into major cost saving gestures for institutions. The first such pressure has been the accreditation movement. Although institutional accreditation has a long history, it is only relatively recently (in the past twenty years or so) that institutions have begun to feel the burden of multiple layers and levels of accreditation processes. These include state accreditations of programs, the prestigious and powerful regional accrediting bodies' site visits, and specialized professional agencies that accredit single schools or programs. Multiple site visits, self-studies and accreditations &dquo;feel&dquo; onerous to institutions because they occur on schedules that do not always enable institutions to coordinate efforts, because they are terribly expensive, and because, increasingly, faculty feel they must give up enormous amounts of time to prepare for them. A second pressure point has been the public disenchantment with higher education, particularly public higher education. That slow disillusionment has provoked questions regarding expensive program duplication, the call for accountability and stewardship in expenditures, and considerable concern from the public over




Lincoln, Y. S. (1990). Program Review, Accreditation Processes, and Outcomes Assessment: Pressures on Institutions of Higher Education. American Journal of Evaluation, 11(1), 13–23.

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