On April 29, I wrote about Periodic Review Report (PRR) outcomes during the last five years. Briefly, Middle States Standards 2, 3, 7, 8, 12, and 14 have been cited most frequently in requests for follow-up reports. Furthermore, the standards should not be viewed in isolation, as there is overlap among them.
During my review of the requests for follow-up reports, I categorized elements related to each standard. There is a degree of subjectivity involved. In my grouping, 89 elements were cited for all 14 standards. Those elements were cited a total number of 336 times. The elements I grouped for the six-most cited standards accounted for 68% of total citations.
The summary data follows:
Standard 2: Planning, Resource Allocation, and Institutional Renewal:
- Linked planning, decision making, budgeting, and assessment (21 cases) – overlap with standard 7
- A comprehensive institutional strategic plan (13 cases)
- A comprehensive enrollment management plan that is consistent with the institution’s strategic plan (3 cases) – overlap with Standards 8 and 10
Standard 3: Institutional Resources:
- Measures taken to strengthen the institution’s finances and/or its short- and long-term financial viability (10 cases)
- Audited financial statements and management letter (8 cases)
- A long-term or multi-year financial plan and planning process (7 cases)
Standard 7: Institutional Assessment:
- A comprehensive, organized, and sustained process for the assessment of institutional effectiveness (22 cases)
- Assessment information is used in budgeting, planning and allocating resources and to improve programs and services (22 cases) -- overlap with Standard 2
- Assessment results are shared and discussed with appropriate constituents, including the governing board (2 cases)
Standard 8: Student Admissions and Retention:
- Comprehensive enrollment management plan for recruitment, admissions, retention, and marketing (10 cases) – overlap with Standards 2 and 10
- Steps taken to improve student enrollment and retention (8 cases)
These above-listed elements help identify where risk related to requests for follow-up reports is concentrated. In the bigger picture, avoiding those issues forms a foundation for an effective framework for continual institutional improvement and a demonstration of institutional effectiveness.