ABHE Standard 6.d
For the past 9 years I have worked in Christian Higher Education. First with Vanguard College for six years, and the past three with the Association for Biblical Higher Education. This has given me unique insite into the world of Information Technology and the needs of the under 1000 FTE Higher Education campus.
Accreditation is a process by which the institutions submits itself to a stylized system of self study, and them submits its results up for review to its peer member institutions for evaluation. Accreditation is something that the US Department of Education requires of the academic institution in order for it's students to receive Title IV funding (ie. student loans)
Under the oversight of the Director of the Commission on Accreditation, evaluation teams made up of representative individuals from the numerous member campuses across the North America perform site visits of member institutions to assess the quality of curriculum, faculty, assessment, and support services, including information technology and online learning. ABHE is responsible to the two recognition organizations for accreditation in the U.S.--the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)--to assure the quality of education at the over 100 accredited member institutions of ABHE. This process involves approval of candidates for accreditation, reaffirmation of accreditation for member institutions, review of major substantive change initiatives, and monitoring of institutions (both annual data collection and analysis, and proposal review for major changes).
As the Director for Information Technology for ABHE, one of my responsibilities is to serve the Director of the Commission on Accreditation in helping make informed decisions about US Department of Education and CHEA requirements and regulations and how our members manage and maintain their Information Technologies on campus and their distance and online education deliveries. Because ABHE accredits institutions in both Canada and the U.S., it is important to ABHE that the Director of Information Technology be conversant with the industry and regulatory concerns in both U.S. and Canadian jurisdictions.
One major project that I have been involved with over the past couple of years is the "Nehemiah Project." As online technologies have progressed, so has the model of delivery for online education. Recent regulatory changes put forth by the US Department of Education has had a significant impact on our membership as they scramble to launch authentic online education programs for their students. Many of of our members do not have the resources to adequalty prepare for launching complex Onine Education services. I have been working hard with these members, introducting them to current technologies and working with them on the development and deployment of cloud based LMS systems.