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Institutional effectiveness at two-year proprietary schools accredited by the Accreditation Council for Independent Colleges and Schools

Kathleen P Prince, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The proprietary sector of postsecondary education is growing rapidly. Limited research in the sector has been conducted, particularly in institutional quality which is of concern to accreditation agencies, the federal government, school personnel, and consumers. The Accreditation Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS), like many other accrediting agencies, requires its members to document institutional effectiveness. ^ The purposes of this study were to determine (a) the extent to which 123 owners of ACICS-accredited institutions have implemented institutional effectiveness, (b) the degree of importance they placed on institutional effectiveness, and (c) the discrepancies between implementation and importance. ^ A survey designed by Roberts (1986) for use with community colleges was chosen for data collection because it represented the breadth of institutional effectiveness, and because of the similarities between community colleges and 2-year proprietary schools. Forty items were grouped into six components of institutional effectiveness which Roberts tested for face and content validity. For this research, eight additional items were added as recommended by ACICS. ^ Construct validity of the instrument was determined in this research using initial and forced, 6-factor principal components analyses. The analyses indicated a 1-factor, unidimensional solution, institutional effectiveness. ^ Levels of implementation and importance for each item were analyzed using means and standard deviations. The magnitude of the difference between implementation and importance responses was then determined by calculating the effect sizes, using Cohen's d as the matrix. ^ A high level of congruence between implementation and importance responses, as evidenced by small effect sizes d < .200, was found in “mission and objectives” items. Owners perceived these items as important and had implemented them. ^ Forty-one items had effect sizes of d > .200, indicating that owners perceived the items as important, but they were not well-implemented. Fifteen items had high effect sizes, d > .500. Examples included student learning outcomes, graduate and employer satisfaction, student retention, information analysis, and process management. This study provides direction for implementing quality initiatives in for-profit institutions. ^

Subject Area

Education, Community College|Education, Higher

Recommended Citation

Prince, Kathleen P, "Institutional effectiveness at two-year proprietary schools accredited by the Accreditation Council for Independent Colleges and Schools" (2000). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI9992005.