Accrediting doctoral programs into the 21 st century
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Accrediting Doctoral Programs into the 21 st Century. Dr. Luis G. Pedraja Executive Associate Director MSCHE Tbilisi State University 25-26 June 2005. Assessing Challenges and Strategies for Quality Assurance in Graduate Programs. PRESENTATION OVERVIEW. Background: What is Accreditation?

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Accrediting Doctoral Programs into the 21 st Century

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Accrediting doctoral programs into the 21 st century

Accrediting Doctoral Programs into the 21st Century

Dr. Luis G. Pedraja

Executive Associate Director

MSCHE

Tbilisi State University

25-26 June 2005

Assessing Challenges and Strategies for Quality Assurance in Graduate Programs


Presentation overview

PRESENTATION OVERVIEW

  • Background: What is Accreditation?

  • The Bologna Process: Implications

  • Accreditation Criteria

  • General & Specific Considerations

  • Assessment Considerations

  • Challenges & Opportunities

  • Conclusion & Questions


Background what is accreditation

Background: What is Accreditation?

  • Quality Assurance & Enhancement

    • Sustains and strengthens quality and integrity

    • Seeks a commitment to excellence & improvement

    • Promotes public confidence

  • Self-Regulation & Peer Review

  • Voluntary and/or Government Mandated


The bologna process implications

The Bologna Process: Implications

  • Berlin Communiqué: Doctoral Degree as Third Cycle (Level)

  • Access to Doctoral Studies: Masters Level/ Second Cycle & Specific Access Requirements

  • Salzburg (2005): Ten Principles

    • Duration of Degree: 2-3 Years

    • Assessment; Transparency; Research

      Sources: “A framework for Qualification for the European Higher Education Area”; Bergen Communiqué.


Accreditation criteria

Accreditation Criteria

  • Appropriate to institution’s mission and context

  • Focused study & relevant independent research

  • Specialized nature & program coherence

  • Mastery of increasingly difficult subject matter

  • Differentiates between degree levels

  • Curricula provide for development of research and independent thinking skills at advanced level

  • Faculty with appropriate credentials

  • Assessment of student learning outcomes & improvements made based on assessment

    Source: Characteristics of Excellence in Higher Education (MSCHE)


General specific considerations

General & Specific Considerations

  • Does It Fit the Institution’s Mission & Context?

    • Institutional commitment to the field & program

    • Adequate Funding & Support

  • Are There Adequate Resources?

    • Access to information (libraries; Internet; etc.)

    • Research capabilities (equipment, funds, etc.)

    • Qualified faculty (Ph.D.s; field of specialization; experience)

  • What Are the Program Goals?

    • Develop researchers, scholars, teachers, peers, and/or independent thinkers


General specific considerations1

General & Specific Considerations

  • What Are Some Desired Skills?

    • comprehensive knowledge base of subject & applicable research methodology/techniques

    • able to contribute to field through research, publications & development of new skills or processes

    • ability to effectively communicate subject matter to specialist/non-specialist and instruct others

    • Skilled in critical thinking, analysis, evaluation, problem solving, self-reflection, and independent thinking

      Adapted from Jenny Moon, “Linking Levels, Learning Outcomes and Assessment,” Exeter University.


Assessment considerations

Assessment Considerations

  • Depend on Goals and Desired Skills/Outcomes

  • Direct & Indirect Measures (Do they reflect desired outcomes?):

    • Comprehensive exams, dissertation/ thesis

    • Presentations, symposia, and/or dissertation defense

    • Supervised teaching & research

    • Benchmarks and data comparison with others

    • Marketability of students (Are they being hired?)

    • Long term: promotions & contributions to field by graduates

    • Indirect Measures: evaluations, focus groups, etc.


Challenges opportunities

Challenges & Opportunities

  • Adequate Peer Review:

    • Not enough qualified peers at doctoral level for effective review in some areas of study and geographical regions

    • Availability of reviewers

    • Cost and travel concerns

  • Cultural & Political Considerations:

    • Language and cultural differences

    • Academic freedom & censorship

    • Political instability & government support


Challenges opportunities1

Challenges & Opportunities

  • Resources & Comparability:

    • Available resources can vary between regions, institutions, and programs

    • Intensity and rigor of program are difficult to assess

  • Pedagogical Training:

    • Doctoral students need training in pedagogy & supervised teaching opportunity to be effective instructors (often absent in programs)

  • Globalization:

    • Market demands & ease of communication


Conclusions

Conclusions

  • Does one model fit all?

    • Differences between academic & professional degrees

    • Need to account for differences between disciplines (technical, scientific, social sciences, humanities, etc)

    • Importance of cultural contexts (cultural differences can contribute new insights, perspectives, etc)

    • Non-traditional models should not be dismissed

  • Continued dialogue enriches the process & assures success


Resources

Resources

  • Resources Available on Internet:

    • Middle States Commission on Higher Education Publications (U.S.A.): www.msche.org

    • Bologna Process:

      • www.bologna-bergen2005.no/

      • www.aic.lv/ace/ace_disk/Bologna/index.htm

  • Contact Information:

    • Dr. Luis G. Pedraja: [email protected]


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