Year of Publication

2013

Season of Publication

Summer

Paper Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

College of Education and Human Services

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)

Department

Leadership, School Counseling & Sport Management

NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Leadership, School Counseling & Sports Management

First Advisor

Dr. Katherine L. Kasten

Second Advisor

Dr. Larry G. Daniel

Third Advisor

Dr. David Jaffee

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Jerry Johnson

Department Chair

Dr. Jennifer J. Kane

College Dean

Dr. Larry G. Daniel

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to gain a deep and rich understanding of the accountability process at a regional comprehensive university in the Southeast United States. Specifically, the present study sought to answer the following question: How is a regional comprehensive university in the Southeast United States substantiating the quality of undergraduate professional programs and the success of graduates. The study utilized a qualitative research methodology, specifically a descriptive embedded case study design. A total of 16 interviews were conducted with participants representing the program level, college level, and administrative level. Three subunits of investigation provided the program perspective for the study. An analysis of the data collected at the subunit level and the data collected at the administrative level provided the information needed to craft rich detailed descriptions of the accountability processes at the University. In addition to the interviews with faculty members and administrators, data were obtained from publicly available resources and used for triangulation purposes.

The findings indicated that educational quality was substantiated based on the performance measures specified by the multiple internal and external stakeholders at the institution. Accountability process varied from program to program based on the number of stakeholders involved. The challenges in meeting the demands of the accountability processes were in terms of time, resources, and conflicting or competing demands from multiple stakeholders. University level assessment processes were viewed as compliance exercises as opposed to as part of the assessment processes required by programmatic accreditors. The program accreditation requirements specific to assessment of student learning were viewed as helpful in informing practice. In conclusion, the institution lacked an integrated accountability process. The accountability processes were viewed differently from the administration’s perspective and the program perspective. Based on these findings recommendations were made for practice and research.

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