Teacher Education, Educational Leadership & Policy ETDs

Author

Thomas Garcia

Publication Date

2-9-2010

Abstract

The purpose of this research is to ascertain whether or not there is a relationship between accreditation method and institutional performance as measured by the institutions graduation rates and retention rates. More specifically, this research will provide empirical evidence of the relative performance of institutions that are Academic Quality Improvement Project (AQIP) accredited with those institutions that are Program to Evaluate and Advance Quality (PEAQ) accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA) of Colleges and Universities. I accomplish this by investigating the relative effectiveness (graduation rates and retention rates) of institutions that are AQIP accredited versus those institutions that are PEAQ accredited by the HLC. The research questions that guide this study are: Based on the institutions of higher learning that are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA), controlling for a vector of institutional variables, is there a relationship between the institution's accreditation method (AQIP or PEAQ) and the institution's graduation rates? Based on the institutions of higher learning that are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA), controlling for a vector of institutional variables, is there a relationship between the institution's accreditation method (AQIP or PEAQ) and the institution's retention rates? This research provides empirical evidence of a statistically significant, positive relationship between the question predictor accreditation method (ACCR) and the dependent variable graduation rate (GRDRT). This research also provides empirical evidence of a statistically significant, positive relationship between the question predictor accreditation method (ACCR) and the dependent variable retention rate (RETRT). This research has provided empirical evidence that there is a positive relationship between accreditation method and institutional performance. And more specifically this research has revealed that institutions that are accredited under the AQIP method on average perform better that those that are accredited under the PEAQ method. From the standpoint of the institutions, this empirical evidence might suggest an opportunity for institutions that are PEAQ accredited to reconsider their choice of accreditation method. This is dependent of course on where the particular institution is on the performance continuum, since some PEAQ accredited institutions are already performing very well — some even better than AQIP accredited institutions. From the standpoint of the users and funders of institutions of higher education (i.e. students, parents, employers, and government funding entities), they now have empirical evidence that AQIP accredited institutions performed better on average, in terms of their graduation rates and retention rates, than do PEAQ accredited schools. Evidence that schools that are AQIP accredited perform better than those that are accredited by a different method provides useful information to parents, students, businesses and governments as they select the school to attend, the school to employ from, and which schools to fund. Again, some PEAQ accredited institutions are already performing very well — some better than AQIP accredited institutions. Some AQIP accredited institutions are performing below their AQIP accredited counterparts, which suggests that they may not be employing AQIP in an optimal way. This is clearly an area for additional research to ascertain why some AQIP institutions perform better than others.'

Keywords

Accreditation, Graduation Rates, Retention Rates, Academic Quality Improvement, AQIP, PEAQ

Document Type

Dissertation

Language

English

Degree Name

Educational Leadership

Level of Degree

Doctoral

Department Name

Teacher Education, Educational Leadership & Policy

First Advisor

Borden, Allison

First Committee Member (Chair)

Woodrum, Arlie

Second Committee Member

Chavez, Alicia

Third Committee Member

Torres, Eliseo

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