UWA meets SACS requirements

Published 2:08 pm Tuesday, December 6, 2011

LIVINGSTON – The University of West Alabama has received an official call from its Southern Association of Colleges (SACS) representative, Dr. Rudy Jackson, that the Board of Trustees of the Commission on Colleges (COC) voted yesterday at its annual meeting in Orlando to remove UWA from probation “with no further report.”

This report comes after the submission of the University’s in-depth report capturing the documentation requested by SACS regarding student-learning outcomes. In July, UWA received notification from SACS/COC that it had been placed in a six-month probationary period based on a review committee’s conclusion that the University had not adequately documented a standard on student learning outcomes.

Specifically, Comprehensive Standard states, “The institution identifies expected outcomes, assesses the extent to which it achieves these outcomes, and provides evidence of improvement based on analysis of the results in educational programs, to include student learning outcomes.” Because the standard is relatively new and fairly broad in nature, many institutions have experienced difficulty with it. In fact, in 2009, 82 percent of the institutions under review by SACS were found to be in non-compliance with this standard, and this percentage rose to 89 percent in 2010.

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UWA began taking proactive steps to address student learning outcomes in 2008 with the addition of the Coordinator of Planning and Assessment position in the Office of Institutional Effectiveness (OIE), the purchase of WEAVEonline planning and assessment application, campus-wide training opportunities, dissemination of information through an OIE newsletter, and individual departmental trainings.