AAA Role and Function: Adventist Accrediting Association (AAA)

Report
AAA Role and Function
{ Adventist Accrediting Association (AAA)
Adventist Accrediting Association
Articles of Incorporation

Adventist Accrediting Association is
organized and shall be operated exclusively
as a not-for-profit, non-stock, charitable,
educational, scientific and religious
organization within the meaning of Section
50 I ( c )(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of
1986 and the regulations thereunder, as
they now exist or may hereafter be
amended (collectively the "Internal Revenue
Code"), for the following purposes:
Adventist Accrediting Association
Articles of Incorporation

To serve as the denominational accrediting
authority for all tertiary and graduate
educational programs and institutions operated
in the name of the Seventh-day Adventist
Church; to review and endorse the accreditation
of secondary schools; and to evaluate the quality
of the denominational institutions' programs
and their implementation of the Seventh-day
Adventist philosophy of education in order to
foster the unity and mission of the Church.
Adventist Accrediting Association is an integral
part of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Accreditation in the United States

The United States has no Federal Ministry of
Education or other centralized authority
exercising single national control over
postsecondary educational institutions . The
States assume varying degrees of control over
education, but, in general, institutions of
higher education are permitted to operate
with considerable independence and
autonomy. As a consequence, American
educational institutions can vary widely in the
character and quality of their programs.
Accreditation in the United States

In order to ensure a basic level of quality, the
practice of accreditation arose in the United
States as a means of conducting nongovernmental, peer evaluation of educational
institutions and programs. Private educational
associations of regional or national scope
have adopted criteria reflecting the qualities
of a sound educational program and have
developed procedures for evaluating
institutions or programs to determine
whether or not they are operating at basic
levels of quality.
Council for Higher Education Accreditation
Non-governmental Coordinating Agency

For more than 50 years, there has been some type of
nongovernmental coordinating agency for accreditation. This
body, whatever its form, has existed primarily for the purpose
of coordinating and improving the practice of accreditation. For
example, the Council on Postsecondary Accreditation (COPA),
which was established in 1974 (created through the merger of
the National Commission on Accreditation, founded in 1949 as
the first national organization to develop criteria and recognize
accrediting agencies; and the Federation of Regional
Accrediting Commission of Higher Education) and existed until
December 1993, served as a nongovernmental organization
whose purpose was to foster and facilitate the role of
accrediting agencies in promoting and ensuring the quality and
diversity of American postsecondary education.
Council for Higher Education Accreditation
Non-governmental Coordinating Agency

After COPA voted to dissolve in December 1993, a new
entity, the Commission on Recognition of Postsecondary
Accreditation (CORPA) was established in January 1994
to continue the recognition of accrediting agencies
previously carried out by COPA until such time as a new
national organization for accreditation could be
established. CORPA was dissolved in April 1997 after the
Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) was
created. CHEA is currently the entity that carries out a
recognition function in the private, nongovernmental
sector. Information about CHEA may be found on the
agency's website, www.chea.org.
Accreditation Defined

The root of accreditation is from the
Latin, accredere, “to give credence
to.” Through the process of
accreditation, credence is given to a
school’s claim that it is achieving its
mission. It signifies that the school
has met minimum criteria of quality.
Accreditation in the United States
Types of Accreditation

There are two basic types of educational
accreditation, one referred to as "institutional" and
the other referred to as "specialized" or
"programmatic."

Institutional accreditation normally applies to an
entire institution, indicating that each of an
institution's parts is contributing to the achievement
of the institution's objectives, although not
necessarily all at the same level of quality. The
various commissions of the regional accrediting
agencies, for example, perform institutional
accreditation, as do many national accrediting
agencies.
Adventist
Accrediting
Association
International
Board of
Education
Institutional
Accreditation
New
Programs
Approval
Focus of AAA & IBE/IBMTE
Philosophy of Seventh-day
Adventist Accreditation
Each educational institution operated in the
name of the Seventh-day Adventist Church
assumes a dual responsibility:
To offer
an excellent
education
To support
the mission
of the church
Philosophy of Seventh-day
Adventist Accreditation
Philosophy of Seventh-day
Adventist Accreditation

The Adventist Accrediting Association holds to
the principle that denominational accreditation is
not dependent upon regional, state or national
recognition requirements. International
experience, however, has shown that many of
the academic, professional, and ethical criteria
established by the Adventist Accrediting
Association coincide with those required by
other professional and governmental accrediting
bodies.
AAA Supports the Rights of
Institutions, Faculty, Students
AAA accreditation supports:

The right of each institution to pursue its
educational mission, under the guidance of a
governing board elected by its constituency and
reflecting the identity of the Adventist Church

The right of the faculty to teach, carry out and
publish research, within the framework of the
philosophy and mission of the institution

The right of students to learn and to develop their
God-given talents, under the guidance of
competent and committed faculty
AAA Accreditation Responsibilities
To the members of the institutional constituency (students,
parents/guardians, alumni, church leaders and members,
local and regional community), who want assurance
regarding the quality of the programs and degrees offered as
well as the institutional congruence with the message and
mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church .
To the other Seventh-day Adventist colleges and universities
worldwide which expect assurance of credit and degree
reciprocity with the educational institution being visited.
To the Seventh-day Adventist Church at large whose leaders
and members desire assurance of the overall quality and
mission effectiveness of an institution that is part of its global
educational network.
AAA Accreditation Objectives
To assess that the various aspects of the institution and its
programs align with Adventist identity and mission.
To verify that the institution possesses the resources,
processes, and services sufficient to accomplish its goals.
To determine if the degree programs offered are comparable
in content and quality to those of similar institutions.
To provide guidance on ways in which the institution may
strengthen its operation and better achieve its mission.
AAA Role: Assuring Truly
Adventist Education Happens
Like other accrediting bodies, the Adventist
Accrediting Association (AAA) evaluates
conformity to threshold standards of academic
quality.
 But because Adventist education is based on a
broad definition of wholistic education in the
context of a redemptive goal, the AAA also
evaluates evidence that the school is achieving
success in the spiritual domain and that it is
truly “Adventist.”

AAA Role: Assuring Truly
Adventist Education Happens
The major function of the AAA is to visit and
consider accreditation or re-accreditation of
all Seventh-day Adventist higher education
institutions.
A variety of indicators are examined to affirm
that the overall educational experience
furthers the development of the whole
person and promotes a biblical worldview.

Types of AAA Visits
Regular
Interim
Administrative
Focused
Regular Visit
Form
A
• Most institutions are accredited
under the terms of Form A, which
combines a strong focus on issues
of institutional quality in general,
with the specific mission focus
expected of Seventh-day
Adventist institutions.
Form A: Institution of Excellence Standards
[1]
History,
Philosophy,
Mission and
Objectives
• A clear sense of mission and identity,
encapsulated in statements of mission,
philosophy, objectives and ethics, and
evidenced in the total life of the institution.
[2]
Spiritual
Development,
Service and
Witnessing
• A strong and vibrant spiritual life program,
encapsulated in a spiritual master plan,
that widely involves and impacts on both
the institution and communities beyond.
Form A: Institution of Excellence Standards
[3]
Governance,
Organization
and
Administration
• Governance structure and administrative leadership that
provide strong mission-driven direction to the institution,
ensure that the institution’s educational objectives can be
met, and nurture a campus environment characterized by
good communication, inclusive decision-making and
strong quality management processes.
[4]
Finances,
Financial
Structure,
and
Industries
• Financial operation that has a strong financial
base (including support from the church), is
managed efficiently, and selects budget
priorities to support institutional mission.
Form A: Institution of Excellence Standards
[5]
Programs
of Study
• A curriculum that, evidenced by appropriate outcomes, is
(a) of an equivalent standard to other tertiary institutions
both in the country and within the Seventh-day Adventist
college/university sector, and (b) meets the mission and
objectives of the institution and church, particularly in the
preparation of students for service in the church.
[6]
Faculty
and Staff
• A faculty and staff are personally supportive of the
institutional mission, effective in their transmission of
both their discipline and values in the classroom, and
administrative processes to ensure adequate faculty and
staff development and evaluation procedures include
mission-focused elements.
Form A: Institution of Excellence Standards
[7]
Library and
Resource
Centers
• Library and computer services that provide
adequate resources to support the academic
program, and policies to ensure ethical and
mission concerns are involved in the resourcing
choices that are made.
[8]
Academic
Policies and
Records
• Academic policy and records procedures that
are efficient, secure and reflect best practice in
tertiary institutions.
Form A: Institution of Excellence Standards
[9]
Student
Services
• Student services that provide strong support for
the personal and spiritual needs of students, and
model and nurture Seventh-day Adventist
lifestyle in a constructive manner in all areas of
student life.
[ 10 ]
Physical
Plant and
Facilities
• A physical plant, including laboratories, that
provides adequate, well-maintained facilities for
the development of a quality education program,
and plans for development that are supportive of
the total institution strategic plan.
Form A: Institution of Excellence Standards
[ 11 ]
Public
Relations &
External
Constituencies
• A public relations program that provides an
opportunity for dialogue with external
constituencies that results in useful and accurate
feedback to the institutions and that positions the
college/university and its mission positively in the
minds of the various constituent groups.
[12]
Pastoral and
Theological
Education
• Pastoral and theological education with a curriculum that,
evidenced by appropriate outcomes, is (a) of an
equivalent standard to other tertiary institutions offering
pastoral and theological education in the country and
within the Seventh-day college/university sector, and (b)
meets the mission and objectives of the institution and
church, particularly in the preparation of students for
service in the church.
Regular Visit
Form
B
• Where institutions undergo
rigorous and external accreditation
by regional or government
accreditation agencies and have a
track record of managing a quality
and mission-focused institution,
Form B may be authorized.
Form B: Institution of Excellence Standards
[1]
Mission and
Identity
• The institution has a clear sense of Seventh-day
Adventist mission and identity, encapsulated in
statements of philosophy, worldview, vision,
mission, objectives, core values, and/or ethics,
and evidenced in the life of the institution.
[2]
Spiritual
Development,
Service and
Witnessing
• The institution has a coherent and vibrant
spiritual life program, encapsulated in a
spiritual master plan that widely involves and
impacts the institution and its communities.
Form B: Institution of Excellence Standards
[3]
Governance,
Organization
and
Administration
• The institution has a coherent governance
structure, organization, and administrative
leadership that provide strong missiondriven direction to the institution.
[4]
Programs of
Study
• The institution provides a curriculum
congruent with the mission of the institution
and of the Church.
Form B: Institution of Excellence Standards
[5]
Faculty and
Staff
• Faculty and staff are supportive of the mission
of the institution and of the Church, and are
effective in the transmission of Seventh-day
Adventist beliefs and biblical values.
[6]
Educational
Context
• The elements of the educational setting,
including finance, facilities, library, and student
services, among others, support institutional
mission and Adventist identity.
Form B: Institution of Excellence Standards
• The pastoral and theological education
program results in graduates who have
the practical skills, the
[7]
theoretical/theological understanding,
Pastoral and
and the commitment to the message
Theological
and mission of the church that are
Education
necessary for employment as a pastor,
religion teacher, and/or for graduate
pastoral/theological education.
AAA Accreditation Process

The accreditation process is cyclical and seeks to
foster continuous quality improvement. Several
months before a campus accreditation visit by
AAA representatives, the institution writes a “SelfStudy” report, in which it reflects on its own
performance. The report also provides evidence
that it has responded to recommendations from
the last visit, provides survey data regarding its
performance, and shows how it meets or exceeds
standards and criteria.
AAA Accreditation Process
The carefully selected AAA peer reviewers
visit the campus to corroborate the report
and examine the institution’s capacity and
educational effectiveness in:

Reaching its own stated goals

Meeting the ideals of the
standards identified by AAA
Summary of the Process
The institution
carries out a
process of
ongoing selfevaluation
Periodically the
evaluative process culminates
in a Self-Study
and an institutional visit by an
external peer
evaluation team
The successful
fulfillment of the
accreditation
requirements
results in initial
or extended
accreditation
Benefits of AAA Accreditation
1.
Demonstrates accountability
to mission.
Accreditation indicates that
an institution is true to
Seventh-day Adventist focus,
philosophy and mission.
Benefits of AAA Accreditation
2.
Engenders confidence.
Accreditation status of an
institution assures the
constituency, students, donors and
employers that the institution
meets threshold standards of
quality for its curriculum, faculty,
spiritual life, and student life.
Benefits of AAA Accreditation
3.
Promotes financial viability.
Accreditation attracts prospective
student, faculty and staff. It
demonstrates worthiness of an
educational institution to receive
denominational subsidies. The
actual granting of subsidies is at the
discretion of the institution’s
sponsoring organization.
Benefits of AAA Accreditation
4.
Eases transfer of credits of study
from one institution to another
accredited by AAA.
Although accreditation is but one
among several factors taken into
account by receiving institutions,
it is viewed carefully and is
considered an important
indicator of quality.
Benefits of AAA Accreditation
5.
Affirms that an educational
institution indeed functions as
a denominational entity.
As such, it is also eligible for
inclusion in the “Seventh-day
Adventist Yearbook” listing of
denominational organizations.
Benefits of AAA Accreditation
6.
Indicates that a school is in
compliance with General
Conference Working Policy.
As such, it is also eligible to
use denominational
trademarks.
Benefits of AAA Accreditation
7.
Provides access to faculty
development opportunities.
Teachers are eligible to
receive denominational
scholarships or bursaries f
they qualify, subject to
availability.
Benefits of AAA Accreditation
8.
Fosters health and safety.
Inspection of physical facilities and
services are reviewed as part of
accreditation to promote well-being
and reduce risk. Accreditation is a
consideration in terms of coverage
under global risk management
programs arranged by/through
Adventist Risk Management.
Council for Higher Education Accreditation
(CHEA ) Mission

“The Council for Higher Education
Accreditation will serve students and their
families, colleges and universities,
sponsoring bodies, governments, and
employers by promoting academic quality
through formal recognition of higher
education accreditation bodies and will
coordinate and work to advance selfregulation through accreditation.”
Council for Higher Education Accreditation
(CHEA) Recognition Standards

To be recognized, the accrediting organization provides
evidence that it has:
1. a clear description of academic quality in the
context of institutional or program mission;
2. standards or policies that the institutions or
programs will have processes to determine whether
quality standards are being met;
3. standards or policies that include expectations of
institutional or program quality, including student
achievement, consistent with mission;
Council for Higher Education Accreditation
CHEA Recognition Standards

4. standards or policies that focus on educational
quality while respecting the institution’s
responsibility to set priorities and to control how the
institution or program is structured and operates,
and that incorporate an awareness of how programs
function within the broader purposes; and

5. standards or policies designed to foster desired or
needed student achievement and that refer to
resources only to the extent required for students to
emerge from institutions or programs appropriately
prepared, or to address health and safety in the
delivery of programs.
AAA Seeking Council for Higher Education
Accreditation (CHEA) Recognition

AAA Minutes -March 30, 2010 CHEA lO:04 and
EQAR AAARecognition IO:055.
Voted: To pursue further application for both
EQAR (European Quality Assurance Register
for Higher Education) and CHEA (Council for
Higher Education Accreditation) with notice to
Church leadership on conflict of interest policy
AAA Accreditation Aim: Uphold the Mission of the
Church in the Context of High Academic Quality



1. Institutional mission statements that
harmonize with the overall mission of the
Church.
2. Administration, faculty, and staff who
support the beliefs, behaviors, and values of
the Church.
3. Policies and procedures of the institution
that uphold the mission of the Church and
institution.
AAA Accreditation Aim: Uphold the Mission of the
Church in the Context of High Academic Quality

4. Academic and student life programs that are
consistent with the mission of the church and
institution.

5. Board, faculty, and students who embrace the role
and function of AAA accreditation.

6. An education system that offers a comprehensive,
wholistic Seventh-day Adventist education which also
contributes toward national goals and aspirations of the
country in which it functions.

7. A unique Seventh-day Adventist identity and purpose
that is evidenced through quality assurance
mechanisms.
AAA Accreditation: Uphold the Mission of the
Church in the Context of High Academic Quality

It is essential that all Adventist institutions operate
within the mission of the Seventh-day Adventist church,
clearly reflecting Adventist identity and ethos.
Accreditation and governmental approval can also be
important to the ongoing health and credibility of
educational institutions and their financial viability.
Insomuch as the reason an Adventist institution exists is
to fulfill the gospel commission by building Adventist
intellectual capacity for the Church and society, AAA
accreditation seeks to ensure that each institution
continues to uphold the mission of the Church in the
context of high quality academic programs.
Sources

AAA Handbook 2013

AAA Articles of Incorporation

Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)
Documents

GC Working Policy

Miscellaneous Documents on AAA Website

Overview of Accreditation - Adapted from the USDE

The Purpose and Function of the Adventist Accrediting
Association (Lisa Beardsley, JAE, April/May 2008).

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