Beginning with a basic definition of accreditation, the book expands that to include different types, traces the beginnings of accreditation, and updates this subject with future challenges. Preface; Dr. Ellen M Millsaps and Dr. Kitty R. Coffey have come to the rescue of those who chair and serve on accreditation preparation committees. Their book provides a detailed account of each step of the process for regional accreditation. With supporting literature to guide the practical steps in the accreditation process, their book is a fully developed guide for project completion with an extensive list of references and resources attached. An overview of accrediting organizations along with historical background to acquaint faculty about the rationale for the organizations' existence is interwoven throughout the book. From the institutional self-study to the final report of the visiting committee and the decision of the review committee to accept, award, deny accreditation or place the institution on probation, every avenue in completing the process is covered.
Faculty and staff who serve on accrediting preparation committees need as much help as possible in preparing the in-depth analysis of an institutional mission. Individuals chosen to serve on such committees may have little or no experience with accreditation processes. Once they see what is expected of them, they may be overwhelmed by the job ahead. Faculty and staff who have served on accreditation committees need refresher information on how to proceed through the process from start to finish. Everything you need to know about higher education accreditation can be found in this book. In an era of accountability in higher education, efforts to assure quality delivery systems are essential. With increased costs of higher education, students, parents and legislatures seek assurance that colleges and universities are fulfilling their obligation to provide the best education possible for their constituents. Regional and national accrediting organizations ensure that institutions are providing the highest quality education to their constituents.
These organizations serve those 3,400 diverse public and private two- to four-year sectarian and non-sectarian colleges and universities whose faculty and administration voluntarily seek accreditation. As the authors note, getting cooperation from faculty, staff, and administration is essential to provide resources, a welcoming climate, and reduced workload needed to complete the process. Acquiring pre-accreditation information is helpful through inviting the visiting team chairperson to come to the campus several months before the official on-site visit. Having a knowledgeable resource individual from another institution talk to the faculty, staff and administration about the benefits and procedures of accreditation is another step to encourage maximum involvement in the process. For those of us who have been involved in accreditation teams, the task of writing, editing, proofreading, and having faculty, staff and administration read the reports and make timely recommendations and suggestions often becomes a staggering assignment. This book is a welcome resource.
It would be a valuable addition to the library of higher education administrators, college department heads and deans, and also faculty chosen to serve on accreditation committees. Dr. Millsaps and Coffey's excellent detailed account of how to design, implement and complete accreditation reports views the process as an opportunity to help an institution excel in all aspects of its instructional, administrative and staff mission. It is a welcome celebration of a vision and model for those who will be involved in future accreditation efforts. James J. Van Patten, Ph.D. Emeritus Professor, Education Leadership University of Arkansas, Fayetteville Adjunct Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton