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WASC BRIEF

OFFICE OF INSTITUTIONAL Issue 2: Reviewing the CPR Report


EFFECTIVENESS
Updates and Introduction of the WASC Visiting Team
WASC Steering
Committee: The purpose of this Brief is to begin preparation for the Western Association of
Schools and Colleges (WASC) site visit, September 22-24, 2010. The WASC visiting
Joy Asamen, Ph.D. team will be meeting with various groups of students, faculty, staff, administra-
GSEP, Committee Chair tors, and constituents. The final schedule will not be set until six weeks prior to
the visit. It will be important to place these dates on departmental calendars to
Cyndia Clegg, Ph.D.
make sure that anyone the visiting team is interested in meeting will be present.
Seaver College
In addition, if you know of student presentations, exhibits, performances, or other
Peggy Crawford, Ph.D. campus events going on during that time, please notify the Office of Institutional
GSBM Effectiveness so that we can make those events available to the visiting team if
they are interested. Regional accreditation is coordinated by WASC through peer
Richard Cupp, J.D. review. Pepperdine’s visiting team is a group of faculty, staff, and administrators
School of Law from a variety of universities:

Michael Shires, Ph.D.


WASC Chair:
Curtis L. McCray, Chairman of the Board Mark your Calendars!
School of Public Policy
and Higher Education Consultant, The dates for the WASC
Connie Fulmer, Ph.D. Pacific Oaks College Team’s Capacity and Prepara-
Associate Dean of tory Review visit is
Seaver College WASC Assistant Chair: SEPTEMBER 22-24.
W. David Conn, Associate Vice President for
Anne Arvin Inclusive Excellence, Director of Ombuds Comment on the Essays:
Associate Registrar Services, Professor of City & Regional Planning, Page 3 of this Brief gives an
California Polytechnic State University overview of all six essays
Connie Horton, Ph.D.
included in the CPR Report.
Director of Counseling Center
WASC Members: The title of each essay is a
Lynne Jacobsen Barbara Mahone Brown, Professor, Emerita, hyperlink to the entire essay
University Librarian San Jose State University on a wiki where faculty and
John Cebula, CPA, Assistant Controller, staff can leave comments.
Darryl Tippens, Ph.D. Chapman University
Provost, Accreditation Ann S. Ferren, Provost,
Liaison Officer American University in Bulgaria
Cyd Jenefsky, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs,
Tim Chester, Ph.D. John F. Kennedy University
Vice Provost for Academic
Maria Zack, Chair and Professor of Mathematics,
Administration
Point Loma Nazarene University
Jay Brewster, Ph.D.
Associate Provost The accreditation process in the western region has changed significantly since
Pepperdine’s last reaffirmation in 2000. Instead of one visit, there are now two.
Christopher S. Collins, Ph.D. The first visit is the Capacity and Preparatory Review (CPR) and the second visit
Assistant Provost, is an Education Effectiveness Review (EER) which is scheduled for March 2012.
Institutional Effectiveness Also, during Pepperdine’s last affirmation, if a college or university was reaf-
firmed, it would be for either 7 or 10 years. Now the process has expanded to
include a 7, 8, 9, or 10 year reaffirmation. Since 2003, 65% of colleges and univer-
sities going through the process received a 7 or 8 year affirmation. The remaining
35% received a 9 or 10 year affirmation.
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The goal of the WASC Steering Committee is to show the visiting team that we have engaged in an evidence-based
self study and that we are working to build upon our strengths and mitigate our weaknesses.

Accreditation Report and Visit Timeline

May 14-31, 2010 - CPR Essays Open for Review

June 30, 2010 – Capacity and Preparatory Review (CPR) Report Due

September 22-24, 2010 – Capacity and Preparatory Review Site Visit

December 21, 2011 – Educational Effectiveness Report (EER) Due

March 14-16, 2012 – Educational Effectiveness Site Visit

Institutional Educational Objectives (IEOs)

The accreditation process is about assessing the effectiveness of an institution. Generally speaking, universities,
schools, programs, and courses need to have specific learning outcomes, assessment plans to measure how well the
learning environment is contributing to the learning outcomes, and an infrastructure that uses evidence to make
budgeting and policy decisions. A core element is to have Institutional Education Objectives (IEOs). These were
introduced in the last WASC Brief and were available for comment through three rounds of feedback and revision
and the final version is now available on the OIE website: services.pepperdine.edu/oie

The Institutional Educational Objectives are formed by two components:


1) Core commitments: knowledge and scholarship, faith and heritage, and community and global understanding
2) Institutional values: purpose, service, and leadership

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Reviewing the CPR Report

The Capacity and Preparatory Review (CPR) Report -Collect additional responses about the degree of
is due to WASC at the end of June. As previously alignment between the IEOs and the five schools and
mentioned, the goal of this self study is to present encourage the schools to consider the responses as
Pepperdine in an open and self reflective manner. their statement of educational objectives evolves by
When the visiting team comes, one of their tasks fall 2011.
will be to determine if our self study reflects what -Conduct a deep evaluation of the alignment between
they observe during the visit. There are 4 Standards program and course learning outcomes by spring 2011.
and 42 Criteria for Review (CFRs) that will be used -Use assessments and evaluations of alignment to
by the team. In addition, our CPR Report has been develop ways of fostering further alignment from the
organized around six themes that are connected to IEOs to the course objectives level by fall 2012.
recommendations from the last WASC visit and the
overall capacity of Pepperdine in combination with Essay Two: Program Review
our readiness for the EER.
Although Pepperdine has instituted a formal program
In order to garner additional feedback, Pepperdine’s review process (both curricular and co-curricular),
WASC Steering Committee has made the six essays best practices dictate that a valid program review
available for comment to the entire campus from process should include a systematic examination by
May 14 to 31. You can click any and all of the six titles reviewers external to the program and that evidence
below to read the entire essay as well as leave any generated from the program reviews serve as the basis
comments about that particular theme, the evidence for planning and making budgetary decisions on
used, and the overall presentation of Pepperdine ways to improve student learning. An evaluation of
in the CPR. The greater number of people who are completed five year program reviews across all of the
familiar with these reflective themes will increase the schools shows a slightly inconsistent approach and
ability of the visiting team to engage in discussion delivery of learning outcomes assessment. This essay
about areas of interest for the accreditation process. includes the steps taken to increase collaboration and
clarity, including the development of a new Program
Essay One: Mission and Institutional Educational Review Guidebook, and identifies other needs for im-
Goals/Purpose proving the program review infrastructure.

One of the observations made by WASC at the time of Recommendations:


our last site visit in 2000 was that Pepperdine’s Chris- -To introduce the use of external reviewers with addi-
tian mission did not appear to have a uniform influ- tional support for the 2010-11 cycle of 5-year program
ence on planning and program development across reviews, following the Program Review Guidebook.
the university. Hence, the content of this particular -Beginning in 2010-11, to track the management ac-
essay focuses on the increased coherence, across the tions submitted by deans in order to evaluate the
university, of the university’s faith-based mission and degree to which the loop is closed by using evidence
academic programs. from program reviews.
-To evaluate the progress by comparing program re-
Important contributions to mission clarity have views completed under the new system to those previ-
emerged from the Center for Faith and Learning and ously completed prior to the 2011-12 academic year.
the Lily Grant. Efforts at further clarity in faculty
hiring and public communication are also evidence Essay Three: High Impact Practices (HIPs)
included in this essay. However, research embedded
in the 2008 Branding Report and in evaluations of the In WASC’s 2008 response to Pepperdine’s Institu-
alignment between the IEOs and each school’s educa- tional Proposal, it was suggested that the university
tional goals indicate that there are key areas that can consider focusing on increasing student participation
still be improved. in high impact educational opportunities. Given that
the introduction of more high impact educational
Recommendations: experiences would benefit both students of under-
-Continue the development of school-wide learning graduate and graduate/professional programs, this
outcomes using the evidence matrix for the IEOs, to essay focuses on the existing structure for HIPs and
support further the collection of evidence linked to additional support for increasing the number and
the IEOs by fall 2010. impact of these practices.

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One hundred percent of the undergraduate and graduate of its effectiveness has been undertaken, the sunset
academic programs offer high impact experiences to stu- date has been extended twice, implying this body is
dents. Seaver faculty members are relatively satisfied with serving the needs of faculty. In 2009, a faculty survey
the quantity and quality of high impact experiences avail- was administered in which numerous questions were
able their students. They are understandably proud of the posed about faculty engagement at different levels
excellent opportunities offered 100% of students for most within the University. Although less than 30% of fac-
types of HIPs. Despite the current success, faculty con- ulty responded to the survey, preliminarily the results
tinue to identify new opportunities for introducing high indicate faculty believe they provide leadership and
impact experiences in the General Education curriculum. drive academic affairs in their respective schools.
The University also offers numerous elective co-curricular They are less confident about their role in University
opportunities to undergraduate students. What we do not planning.
know with our current tracking system is who among the
Seaver students access experiences that are not required of Recommendations:
all students. We are particularly interested in college student -Under the direction of the OIE, conduct a formal
characteristics such as race/ethnicity, first generation college assessment of the UFC before the end of 2010-11 aca-
student status, and transfer status. The graduate and profes- demic year.
sional schools provide many of the same academic, research, -The faculty governance body of each school, in col-
and applied experiences offered by other institutions. But laboration with the UFC, should identify strategies for
there are obvious challenges in the current economic envi- encouraging fuller participation by faculty in Univer-
ronment. sity administered surveys before the end of the fall
2010 semester.
Recommendations: -The UFC and the Deans Council should develop and
-Given what is known about the advantages of high impact institute a system of communication for issues of Uni-
practices for underserved students, institute the systematic versity-wide importance, e.g., the University strategic
collection of student characteristics data for elective high plan, by the end of the 2010-1011 academic year.
impact experiences offered by International Programs, the -The UFC should partner with the faculty governance
Volunteer Center, and other co-curricular activities before body of each school to address the matter and prepare
the commencement of the 2010-11 academic year. a plan for action by the end of spring 2012.
-Examine resource allocation in relation to access to educa- -By the end of the 2010-2011 academic year, the faculty
tional opportunities and the quality of the learning experi- and deans of each school should examine strategies
ence offered graduate/professional students and propose a for increasing University support for professional
plan of action by the end of the 2010-11 academic year. This development, particularly with regard to the integra-
assessment might lead to greater resource allocations to tion of Christian faith and learning and working with
some high impact initiatives, less to others, depending on a diverse student body.
the populations they serve and the measured effectiveness
of each. Essay Five: Evidence-based Decision-making

Essay Four: Faculty Engagement WASC places significant weight on the use of evi-
dence-based decision-making practices; hence, the
WASC values faculty involvement in the assessment of fifth essay focuses on Pepperdine’s use of assessment
student learning and academic decision-making. It was evidence for academic planning and budgeting deci-
stressed at the time of the 2000 site visit that Pepperdine sions as well as the plan for broadening the univer-
continue to improve its structures for engaging faculty on sity’s use of evidence for making these decisions.
issues regarding the development and review of academic
programs and policies. This essay addresses ways in which By considering the University Planning Committee,
faculty members are involved in these decisions as well as its role in strategic planning and budgeting, and its
plans for further improvement of faculty participation in dependence upon a culture of evidence-based deci-
institutional decision-making. sion making, this essay to describes the means by
which Pepperdine University administratively has an
Since the last site visit, the University Faculty Council (UFC) effective means to assure that its educational goals are
wasccreated. The UFC’s primary purpose is to establish a realized. The greatest problem is not the ineffective-
formal relationship between and among the faculties of the ness of the administrative model and its operation
five schools and with the University senior administration but a record of inadequate communication to the
on issues of University-wide concern. The UFC has been larger Pepperdine community about the appropriate-
in existence for 9 years, and although no formal evaluation ness and effectiveness of collaborative governance.
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Recommendations: when compared to peer institutions. In regards to cli-
-Clearly articulate our collaborative governance approach mate, there is variation among the schools/programs and
-Increase the lines of communication within the Univer- areas in which climate satisfaction is lower than desirable
sity community by clearly communicating UPC delibera- among students, faculty, and staff. Finally, the ability to
tions and outcomes examine the relationship of gender and race/ethnicity to
-Assess and remove obstacles that undermine a col- performance on a more diverse set of effectiveness indi-
laborative, consensus-oriented approached to shared cators is limited by the current data collection/manage-
governance. ment system that precluded engaging in disaggregated
-Revamp the role of program review in the budgeting analysis.
process.
Recommendations:
Essay Six: Demographics, Diversity, and Effective- -Programs within each school of Pepperdine University
ness Indicators need to examine the challenges associated with increas-
ing the number of students of color, and identify strate-
This essay examines demographic profiles and educa- gies and develop a plan of action for addressing these
tional effectiveness indicators in comparison to peer and challenges, particularly in programs with limited diversi-
aspirational institutions. The ability to disaggregate data ty. The plan of action should be fully operational no later
by gender and race/ethnicity allows for a discussion of than the 2011-12 academic year.
diversity considerations. Moving beyond demographics, -University faculty hiring policies need to give priority to
this essay also looks into issues of campus climate for increasing the number of women and persons of color on
faculty, students, and staff. faculty, beginning with hires for the 2011-2012 academic
year and continuing with future hires, particularly in
Although the University has been intentional in its effort schools with limited diversity.
to strengthen the relationship of diversity with its educa- -Each school should develop and engage in methods of
tional practices, we also face challenges in compositional data collection that will allow for a deeper understand-
diversity as well as campus climate. Although females ing of campus climate within each of its programs. The
are the majority among students, female faculty are findings from this study should be used to direct institu-
the minority in four of the five schools. The University tional practices.
at large is composed of roughly 30% students of color -The OIE will develop a system that is operational by
and only 12% faculty of color. Although our statistics for spring 2011 to centralize data, including effectiveness
students of color are comparable to peer and aspirational indicators, collected at all five schools.
institutions, the percentage of faculty of color is lower

OFFICE OF INSTITUTIONAL EFFECTIVENESS


MISSION STATEMENT:
__________
The Office of Institutional Effectiveness (OIE) is a research engine de-
signed to advance the mission and values of Pepperdine University by
facilitating evidence-based decisions and a culture of assessment. LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS
ON THE ESSAY WIKIS BY
The mission will be achieved through:
MAY 31, 2010.
-Functioning as a semi-independent research group and think tank

-Collecting, analyzing, and distributing high quality research


Visit the new OIE website:
-Coordinating a comprehensive system of Program Reviews that contrib-
ute to the mission and strategic goals of the University and all five schools services.pepperdine.edu/oie

-Providing guidance and data support for the University assessment cycle,
Institutional Educational Objectives, and learning outcomes _________
-Guiding and facilitating the process of reaffirmation of
accreditation