This weekend, Emsi is headed to the Higher Learning Commission’s 2018 Annual Conference in Chicago. This year’s theme is “Innovation and Transformation,” and will touch on everything from technology and the liberal arts to the nuts and bolts of the accreditation process.
One reason we’re excited to be there is that accreditation, at its core, is about ensuring students receive a quality education that prepares them for post-college success—the same mission that drives much of our work at Emsi! This alignment makes Emsi a natural fit to partner with schools in the accreditation process, helping them effectively serve their students and fill evidence gaps at the same time.
Student Support Services
For example, according to the HLC, if your school’s “stated mission” includes preparing students for a good career, then you need “student support services” that are consistent with that goal (HLC 1.A.2). Enter Career Coach.
Career Coach is a guided career exploration tool that provides the localized job and wage data your students need in order to make informed choices about their academic and career goals. And it doesn’t require a password or login to use, so you can offer it as a public resource to your community (HLC 1.D.1).
The HLC also requires that schools evaluate the success of their graduates (4.A.6). Alumni Insight and Program Outcomes are tools built to do just that. Alumni Insight is software that provides continuously updated information on graduates’ employers, job titles, and skills. With Program Outcomes, we match your past student records to profiles in our workforce database. This enables even more robust, detailed reporting at the program level. Where available, the report includes your alumni’s employment history and degrees obtained at other institutions.
And what about the HLC’s requirement to “anticipate emerging trends” (5.C.5)? How can your school satisfy this criteria? Well, the HLC’s own guide suggests the following example: “Evidence of resources used to aid in planning activities, such as, state reports on demographics, industry/vocational employment demands, etc.” (pg 8).
Emsi’s Analyst gives you access to demographic data, searchable job postings, in-demand skills, industry growth rates, and more (see a list of our data sources). You can then use this data to conduct ongoing, regular program reviews (HLC 4.A.1). We also offer a Program Demand Gap Analysis report (PDGA). The PDGA is a custom consulting project where Emsi’s economists analyze and interpret the relevant supply and demand data, helping you identify which programs would best serve your region.
Emsi and Accreditation
The below table summarizes these and a few other ways that Emsi data could help schools address HLC Accreditation Criteria. For more information, visit our Higher Ed page or (better yet) stop by our booth at HLC and say hello! We’d love to meet you and explore how our data can help your school innovate and transform.
|Criteria||Description||Emsi solutions include…|
|1.A.2||The institution’s academic programs, student support services , and enrollment profile are consistent with its stated mission.||Support your students with Career Coach – a guided career exploration tool that provides the localized job and wage data your students need to make informed decisions about their academic and career goals.|
|1.D.1||Actions and decisions reflect an understanding that in its educational role the institution serves the public , not solely the institution, and thus entails a public obligation.||Career Coach does not require a login or password, so you can offer it as a free service to prospective students and community members who visit your site. Our Economic Impact Study uses a comprehensive approach that demonstrates your school's value to the whole community, not just students.|
|1.D.3||The institution engages with its identified external constituencies and communities of interest and responds to their needs as its mission and capacity allow.||A Program Demand Gap Analysis assesses the unique needs of your regional economy and shows how your school's programs can adapt to meet those challenges and opportunities. |
|3.D.1||The institution provides student support services suited to the needs of its student populations.||Implement Career Coach to demonstrate an ongoing comitment to your students' job-readiness.|
|3.E.2||The institution demonstrates any claims it makes about contributions to its students’ educational experience by virtue of aspects of its mission, such as research, community engagement, service learning, religious or spiritual purpose, and economic development .||Use Alumni Insight to demonstrate your institution's effectiveness at preparing students to succeed in the workforce. Conduct an Economic Impact Study to demonstrate your students' return on investment and future earning potential.|
|4.A.1||The institution maintains a practice of regular program reviews .||Use Analyst to conduct ongoing market analysis, enabling you to keep programs relevant and effective in light of shifting employer needs.|
|4.A.6||The institution evaluates the success of its graduates . The institution assures that the degree or certificate programs it represents as preparation for advanced study or employment accomplish these purposes…||Use Alumni Insight to demonstrate real employment outcomes for your graduates and see where your school ranks as a supplier of talent to local employers. With Program Outcomes, we match your student records with profiles in our workforce database to deliver detailed, program-level data on alumni employment outcomes.|
|5.C.5||Institutional planning anticipates emerging factors , such as technology, demographic shifts, and globalization.||Our Program Demand Gap Analysis is a custom consulting project designed to align your programs with the future needs of your local economy. Analyst empowers you to design and maintain relevant curriculum by placing critical economic data at your fingertips, including searchable job postings, in-demand skills, and industry growth rates.|