Today marks the second day of the three-day MSCHE Annual Conference being held in Philadelphia. Already, the initial plenary session discussed higher education in the context of a more demanding environment, though attendance was suppressed by a snowstorm.
The snowstorm obscured most of Philadelphia's landmarks, including the iconic Independence Hall. By day's end, a daily record of 8.6" had accumulated (the old record, for those keeping track, was 3.5" in 1989). This was also Philadelphia's biggest daily snowfall since January 26, 2011 when 14.2" blanketed the city.
Today, the snow has yielded to rain and participants have an agenda that is packed with presentations concerning the use of standards in promoting student success, using the Periodic Review Report (PRR) for engaging faculty and staff in an evidence-based culture, building the foundation for meeting MSCHE Standards 7 and 14, and more. There will also be an open forum on MSCHE's proposed new standards. Additional details from this conference will be discussed periodically in subsequent blog entries.
Ahead of the conference, the MSCHE Commission released the outcomes from its 2013 Periodic Review Report cycle. In this cycle, 57 institutions submitted their PRR and 34 (60%) were asked for follow-up reports. This was the highest figure since 2009 when 68% of submitted PRRs resulted in requests for follow-up reports. The outcome may reflect a combination of increased review rigor and the unique characteristics of the institutions that submitted their PRR (nearly 70% of institutions that submitted their self-study in 2008 were asked to submit monitoring or progress reports).
Unlike with the earlier self-study outcomes in which MSCHE Standard 7 (Institutional Assessment) has been accounting for a growing share of citations in requests for follow-up reports—including becoming the most frequently-cited MSCHE Standard for the first time—the PRR outcomes have proved remarkable stable relative to the three-year average. Standard 14 (Assessment of Student Learning) remained the most frequently cited Standard followed by Standard 7.
The possible issue about the characteristics of the cohort of schools submitting their PRR in 2013 raises the question as to how those institutions fared with their self-study in 2008. In other words, if institutions were asked for a follow-up report in 2008, did that mean that they received another follow-up request in 2013? Did schools who received follow-up requests in 2008 “graduate” to the point where they did not receive a follow-up request in 2013? Did schools who received no follow-up requests in 2008 receive them in 2013?
There were 51 institutions that submitted their self-study in 2008 and then submitted a PRR in 2013. The data revealed that 58% of those that received a follow-up request in 2008 received another one in 2013. Put another way 42% of those schools received no follow-up requests following the submission of their PRR. At the same time half of the schools that received no follow-up requests from their self-study received follow-up requests from their PRR.
Finally, institutions that were cited for multiple standards following their 2008 self-study were more frequently cited again following their 2013 PRR: