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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 8, 2009
Contact: Timothy Willard
(202) 955-6126
Email: Willard@chea.org

Northern Arizona University and Delaware Technical &
Community College to Receive 2009 CHEA Award

(Washington, DC) – The Council for Higher Education Accreditation has announced the winners of the 2009 CHEA Award for Institutional Progress in Student Learning Outcomes: Northern Arizona University and Delaware Technical & Community College. Representatives from each school will receive the award at the 2009 CHEA Annual Conference, which will be held January 26-29 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC.

CHEA established the award in 2006 to recognize institutions that have been exceptional in developing and applying evidence of student learning outcomes to improve educational quality. A committee of experts selected from higher education institutions, accrediting organizations and the public judged the winners 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.

In addition to the four criteria, the committee looked for evidence of outcomes embedded in an institutional culture, good use of current technology in the methods and tools to track outcomes, extensive use of faculty and strong faculty support, institutional leadership that is dedicated to the importance of outcomes and approaches to outcomes that can be replicated at other institutions.

"Evidence of student achievement needs to play a central role in discussions of higher education quality and effectiveness," said CHEA President Judith Eaton. "CHEA is pleased to acknowledge the work of Northern Arizona University and Delaware Technical & Community College in providing examples of institutional progress and effective approaches to the use of student learning outcomes."

About the Winners

Northern Arizona University (NAU) is a state institution that offers both undergraduate and graduate degree programs. NAU has a strong institutional focus on student learning, which is rooted in the commitment to student learning by faculty and staff and shaped by the university’s strategic plan. Academic curricula and co-curricular programming are developed in relation to explicit student learning outcomes and are assessed at course, degree-program and university levels. Assessment findings are broadly disseminated and guide improvements in all areas of the institution. NAU’s Strategic Planning Council monitors progress toward university goals, many of which involve student learning. Assessment is pursued for purposes of accountability and improvement throughout the university.

"Northern Arizona University exemplifies the progress that institutions are making through the implementation of comprehensive, relevant and effective initiatives," said CHEA President Judith Eaton. "We are pleased to recognize this distinguished and notable institution with the CHEA Award."

Delaware Technical & Community College (DTCC) is the state’s only community college. DTCC’s Institutional Effectiveness Structure, implemented in 2004, is a comprehensive outcomes assessment model designed to provide clear evidence of effectiveness and identify opportunities for improvement in student learning outcomes and educational support outcomes. Improvements generated as a result of assessment activities include changes to curricula and instructional practices, as well as increased services to students. Results from the Community College Survey of Student Engagement and other assessment tools also are used to improve institutional effectiveness.

"Delaware Technical & Community College has demonstrated a commitment to progress in the use of student learning outcomes," said CHEA President Judith Eaton. "The CHEA Award acknowledges DTCC’s strong efforts to track and provide evidence of student achievement."

For more information on the 2009 CHEA Award for Institutional Progress in Student Learning Outcomes or to arrange an interview with an award recipient, contact Timothy Willard, CHEA’s Director of Communications, at (202) 955-6126 or via email at willard@chea.org.

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A national advocate and institutional voice for self-regulation of academic quality through accreditation, CHEA is an association of 3,000 degree-granting colleges and universities and recognizes 60 institutional and programmatic accrediting organizations. For more information, visit CHEA’s Website at www.chea.org.

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