Thursday, February 10, 2000
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 92

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UH re-accredited by SACS

Effectiveness program deemed success

By Huma Khan
Daily Cougar Staff

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools has re-accredited UH based on the success of its institutional effectiveness program, designed to measure the efficiency of University programs over a period of time.

The decision came earlier this year following a committee review of the University's institutional effectiveness program. With contributions and feedback from across the University, the program measures how well each UH department does.

"It's all about measuring in some objective way what you do and how you do it," explained Edward P. Sheridan, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. "We developed a very sophisticated institutional effectiveness program and put it on the Web. They were very impressed by it."

The program itself is complex, not only because it deals with every UH department but also because it is difficult to measure the effectiveness of individual programs. The plan's objectives may include details such as how much the grade point average of students increased in a year or examination passage rates.

The measures are very accountability oriented, Sheridan said. The purpose of the institutional effectiveness program is to set goals and meet them -- but they have to be accessible to the public, not just successful.

The program aids both faculty and students in determining how well the University is doing in terms of administration and other aspects.

"It helps students especially because we have to keep showing that we are improving," Sheridan said. "Once you show you have to improve, then you have to do it."

The program also helps UH officials assess the University's performance and improve in areas that need help while keeping the programs efficient for future accreditation reviews.

"UH is in good shape," Sheridan said. "We feel very positive about the program."

The UH institutional effectiveness program

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