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January 13, 2015
Contact: Timothy Willard
(202) 955-6126

Winners of the 2015 CHEA Award for Outstanding Institutional Practice in Student Learning Outcomes Announced

(Washington, DC) – The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) has announced the winners of the 2015 CHEA Award for Outstanding Institutional Practice in Student Learning Outcomes: Boston Architectural College's Practice Department (Massachusetts), and James Madison University (Virginia).

In announcing the award winners, CHEA noted:

  • Boston Architectural College is a private nonprofit institution offering bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in architecture, interior architecture and landscape architecture and design studies, combining academic coursework with assessment of professional skills gained through non-classroom instruction and discipline-specific employment. The 2015 CHEA Award recognizes the college’s Practice Department that creates and oversees an effective partnership, or “learning contract,” between educators, students and practitioners, including documentation of experiential learning.
  • James Madison University is a public institution that offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in a variety of fields. The 2015 CHEA Award recognizes the university for assessing the quality of its assessment practice, a form of meta-assessment. This effort has involved review and rating of the institution’s assessment practices across academic programs, monitoring assessment quality, addressing strengths and weakness and using the assessment system to communicate how assessment has affected student learning.

“The CHEA Award was established because sharing information about outstanding practices provides concrete and workable examples that can help institutions and programs seeking to make gains in this important area,” noted CHEA President Judith Eaton. “We applaud these institutions and programs for developing and implementing innovative and effective ways to use student learning outcomes.”

The CHEA Award was established in 2005 to recognize institutions that have been exceptional in developing and applying evidence of student learning outcomes to improve higher education quality and accountability. A committee selected from higher education institutions, accrediting organizations and the public judged the entries on the basis of four award criteria: 1) articulation and evidence of outcomes, 2) success with regard to outcomes, 3) information to the public about outcomes and 4) use of outcomes for educational improvement.

Representatives from the institutions will receive the award at a ceremony to be held during the 2015 CHEA Annual Conference (January 26-28) at the Capital Hilton Hotel in Washington, DC.

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A national advocate and institutional voice for self-regulation of academic quality through accreditation, CHEA is an association of approximately 3,000 degree-granting colleges and universities and recognizes 60 institutional and programmatic accrediting organizations. CHEA is the only national association focused exclusively on higher education accreditation. For more information, visit CHEA's Website at

Last Modified: Feb 12, 2016

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