Within the WSBT we strive to ensure that programs offered throughout our campus network
have consistent learning outcomes - something that is vital for accreditation, and
to allow students to seamlessly move from one Webster location to another. Further,
every faculty member, both full-time and adjunct, should have an important role in
the assessment process. Although curricular decisions are made by full-time faculty,
adjuncts should be permitted to submit assessment data resulting from courses they
teach. Given the 100+ campuses distributed throughout the world, this is a potentially
daunting task. The so-called "Consistency Project" has been established and implemented
to ensure the highest level of communication among extended sites, and that our educational
goals can be met.
The phrase "One university = One curriculum" succinctly states the overarching goal of the Consistency Project initiative: one high quality curriculum for each program, no matter where in the world of Webster courses comprising a program are taught, must be guaranteed. Such consistency subsequently provides the foundation for assessment processes being established, and the continuous improvement mechanisms necessary to enhance student learning and meeting accreditation criteria in our multi-campus environment.
The Consistency Project addresses the problems faced in attempting to ensure that curricula are communicated clearly to instructors world-wide. While actively celebrating the academic freedom of faculty, comparable coverage in courses regardless of location was deemed to be critical. Being able to deliver a high quality, consistent curriculum for all programs is vitally important to Webster's educational goals; these goals are true for on-ground classes as well as for the online delivery format.
Through the Consistency Project all faculty, full-time and part-time alike, are able to participate in the assessment process by submitting meaningful data. The open channels of communication have provided a much stronger foundation for on-going, cohesive academic assessment efforts among worldwide faculty and campus directors.
The ever-increasing emphasis on assessment and accreditation in academia throughout
the world is changing the culture of a great many educational institutions. Accreditation
is the tool used to monitor, assess, and evaluate the standards and quality of the
education received by students. An increasing focus on strengthening accreditation
requirements in the United States is escalating the need to improve curriculum and
Accreditation is exceedingly important to an educational institution and all of its stakeholders. From a prospective student's point of view, such validation is particularly important to help identify reputable institutions and provide an assurance that the institution will maintain and update resources on a regular basis. From a faculty perspective, accreditation helps to provide a framework for continuous improvement of programs. From the institution's perspective accreditation helps to increase visibility, facilitates funding from public and private funding organizations, enhances the attractiveness of the institution for prospective students and faculty members, and instills a sense of pride within the institution. The actual process of preparing for accreditation itself advances the focus on quality of student learning and renews a commitment to the educational mission.
Specialized accreditation normally applies to programs, departments, or schools that are sub-components of an institution of higher education. The accredited unit may be as large as a college or school within a university or as small as a single curriculum within a discipline. Most of the specialized accrediting agencies that review units within an institution of higher education are accredited by one of the regional accrediting commissions.