State-College Associations Convene Officials to Devise Accountability System

January 24, 2007

The two main state-college associations have asked 78 college administrators to help craft a voluntary system of accountability. Over the course of the next year, the administrators will work in groups to develop a system that could include student surveys, measures of student learning, “consumer data” on net costs, transfer and graduation rates, and postgraduate employment and earnings.

The announcement by the two groups — the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges — comes six months after they issued a white paper calling for consensus on a “meaningful but manageable” set of accountability measures that would allow the public to compare similar institutions. In an earlier paper, the groups called for the creation of such gauges of accountability in order to head off a government-mandated system to measure student learning. The groups received last month a $267,900 grant from the Lumina Foundation for Education to develop and promote an accountability system.