UAF Institutional Accreditation fell under a new process and standards in 2010-11 occuring on a seven-year cycle.
In 2011-12, work took place preparing for the first Year One Report. A UAF-wide steering committee lead by the Vice Provost and Accreditation Liaison Officer, Dana Thomas and supported by Accreditation and Assessment Coordinator, LaNora Tolman, identified the themes, and associated goals and outcomes, and developed the assessment plan including indicators. A team of writers and editors including the provost refined the final product.
The submission of the first Year One Report takes place September 2012.
Seven-Year Cycle Reporting
The Year One Report, Standard One, identifies and communicates a clearly defined institutional mission and core themes within that mission. (Themes are simply the most important parts of the mission). "Institutions are expected to identify goals and intended outcomes, each with assessable indicators of achievement, for its mission and for [each of] its core themes. These indicators are the foundation for assessment of achievements and effectiveness". (NWCCU accreditation workshop materials)
The Year Three Report, Standard Two, reports on resources and capacity in areas like faculty and facilities and support services. Analysis focuses on how capacity is or is not sufficient to allow UAF to fulfill its mission, as expanded by the themes and goals.
The Year Five Report, Standard Three and Four, includes elaborated goals; an implementation plan, and an assessment plan for each theme.
Theme groups identify cross-cutting issues from the unit inputs, and make sure they are addressed as appropriate for a particular theme. For example:
- Retention and especially graduation rates.
- Core curriculum (will have input from existing committee)
- Interdisciplinary programs
- 'General Studies' students
- Undergraduate research
- Honors and special programs
- Advising (input from Transition committee)
- IT, libraries and other academic infrastructure issues
The Year Seven Report includes all the standards and builds upon all of the previous work providing a summative evaluation of how well the University is fulfilling its mission, whether it can sustain its performance in the future, and whether and how it can adapt to change.