Association assesses university

The WSCUC returns to Biola to review the campus for educational and financial quality.

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Association assesses university

Jason Lim/THE CHIMES

Jason Lim/THE CHIMES

Jason Lim/THE CHIMES

Jason Lim/THE CHIMES

Alondra Urizar, Writer

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The Western Association of School and Colleges Senior College and University Commission visited Biola from April 13 to 15 to assess the educational quality of the campus.

WSCUC HOSTS MEETINGS

The WSCUC hosted meetings with students, faculty, administrators, alumni and board members to allow them to get involved and speak about their time at Biola. The team focused on listening to students in online courses or programs and from off-campus locations such as study abroad programs. A meeting was held on Thursday morning, April 14, in the Andrews Banquet Room with only 10 attendees.

A confidential email was set up for individuals who were unable to participate in the meetings to be able to communicate with the team. Any emails sent to the account are only accessed by authorized WSCUC staff and team members.

The U.S. Department of Education recognized the WSCUC to certify institutional eligibility for federal funding such as federal financial aid. This becomes relevant to students since the association provides accreditation for universities, making students’ degrees accepted as a valid indication of their learning experience. While universities are not required to be accredited, many have found the voluntary, non-governmental institutional review a large benefit.

HOLDING US ACCOUNTABLE

“I think their role should be holding us accountable so for instance you as a student, what we have promised you, we are going to deliver, we actually deliver and that way we do internal assessment too…but we do internal assessment and we all do program reviews and [the WSCUC] has the liberty to look at all of that,” said Marla Campbell, associate professor of intercultural studies.

Overseen by the Office of the Provost, the Office of Educational Effectiveness conducts Biola’s own yearly reviews. Students are required to fill out course evaluations at the end of each semester to allow the university to determine whether each course is relevant and up to date and the WSCUC has permission to analyze them as well.

“It’s a lot of work and a lot hangs in the balance and at the end of the day, it’s worth it. If it helps us keep the standard of excellence, it is so worth it,” Campbell said.