Characteristics of Excellence
Characteristics of Excellence is designed as a guide for those institutions considering application for membership, those accepted as candidate institutions, and those accredited institutions engaged in self-review and peer evaluation. In their self-review processes, institutions demonstrate how they meet theses accreditation standards within the context of their own institutional mission and goals. No assurance is given or implied that that every accredited institution manifests these characteristics and meets these standards in equal proportions. Accredited institutions are expected to demonstrate these standards in substantial measure, to conduct their activities in a manner consistent with the standards, and to engage in ongoing processes of self-review and improvement.
Links point to PDF documents.
Mission, Goals, Objectives
- The institution’s mission clearly defines its purpose within the context of higher education and explains whom the institution serves and what it intends to accomplish. The institution’s stated goals and objectives, consistent with the aspirations and expectations of higher education, clearly specify how the institution will fulfill its mission. The mission, goals, and objectives are
developed and recognized by the institution with its members and its governing body and are utilized to develop and shape its programs and practices and toevaluate its effectiveness.
Standard 2: Planning, Resource Allocation, and Institutional Renewal
- An institution conducts ongoing planning and resource allocation based on its mission and uses the results of its assessment activities for institutional renewal.
Implementation and subsequent evaluation of the success of the strategic plan
and resource allocation support the development and change necessary to
improve and to maintain institutional quality.
Standard 3: Institutional Resources
- The human, financial, technical, physical facilities, and other resources necessary to achieve an institution’s mission and goals are available and accessible. In the context of the institution’s mission, the effective and efficient uses of the institution’s resources are analyzed as part of ongoing outcomes assessment.
Standard 4: Leadership and Governance
- The institution’s system of governance clearly defines the roles of institutional
constituencies in policy development and decision-making. The governance
structure includes an active governing body with sufficient autonomy to assure
institutional integrity and to fulfill its responsibilities of policy and resource
development, consistent with the mission of the institution.
Standard 5: Administration
- The institution’s administrative structure and services facilitate learning and research/scholarship, foster quality improvement, and support the institution’s organization and governance.
Standard 6: Integrity
- In the conduct of its programs and activities involving the public and the constituencies it serves, the institution demonstrates adherence to ethical standards and its own stated policies, providing support to academic and intellectual freedom.
Standard 7: Institutional Assessment
- The institution has developed and implemented an assessment plan and process that evaluates its overall effectiveness in: achieving its mission and goals; implementing planning, resource allocation, and institutional renewal processes; using institutional resources efficiently; providing leadership and governance; providing administrative structures and services; demonstrating institutional integrity; and assuring that institutional processes and resources support appropriate learning and other outcomes for its students and graduates.
Standard 8: Student Admissions
- The institution seeks to admit students whose interests, goals, and abilities are congruent with its mission.
Standard 9: Student Support Services
- The institution provides student support services reasonably necessary to enable each student to achieve the institution’s goals for students.
Standard 10: Faculty
- The institution’s instructional, research, and service programs are devised, developed, monitored, and supported by qualified professionals.
Standard 11: Educational Offerings
- The institution’s educational offerings display academic content, rigor, and coherence that are appropriate to its higher education mission. The institution identifies student learning goals and objectives, including knowledge and skills, for its educational offerings.
Standard 12: General Education
- The institution’s curricula are designed so that students acquire and demonstrate
college-level proficiency in general education and essential skills, including oral and written communication, scientific and quantitative reasoning, critical analysis and reasoning, technological competency, and information literacy.
Standard 13: Related Educational Activities
- Institutional programs or activities that are characterized by particular content, focus, location, mode of delivery, or sponsorship meet appropriate standards.
Standard 14: Assessment of Student Learning
- Assessment of student learning demonstrates that the institution’s students have knowledge, skills, and competencies consistent with institutional goals and that students at graduation have achieved appropriate higher education goals.