Monitor on Psychology - October 2011 - (Page 16)

Upfront A push for more accountability is changing the accreditation process Do today’s college students graduate with the skills they need to succeed? That’s the question the federal government and other higher education stakeholders — from students and parents to banks and the business community in general — want answered. That push for accountability is changing the university accreditation process from one that focuses mainly on the qualities of individual institutions to one that also examines students’ long-term career outcomes, said speakers at an APA 2011 Annual Convention session on accreditation. The shift in the definition of quality from the traditional markers of who and what conducts higher education to what does higher education produce started about 25 years ago, said Susan D. Phillips, PhD, provost and vice president for academic affairs at the University at Albany, State University of New York, who also serves on the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity. Accreditation officials are increasingly focused on what universities produce, said “Do students learn what is Dr. Susan D. Phillips, of the University at Albany, State University of New York. intended? Do they get the intended outcomes of the programs of study? Years after graduating, what happens? about $150 billion a year in higher education loans and other It’s a very different emphasis, and a very different definition of supports to students. Congress wants a better way to measure what quality is,” Phillips said. whether students who took out those loans are able to pay What that means for anyone teaching at the postsecondary them back, Phillips said. level is more federal scrutiny about how you do your job, said • Graduation rates. Parents and student applicants want a Susan Zlotlow, PhD, of APA’s Office of Program Consultation way to compare graduation rates among different institutions. and Accreditation. Accreditors and other stakeholders are most One potential impact for educators is greater scrutiny concerned with: during the accreditation process of how they conduct their • Future employment success. Since 1998, the U.S. courses, Zlotlow said. For example, as of July 1 of this year, the Department of Education has been looking at student U.S. Department of Education has regulations in effect that achievement. In 2011, Congress began looking for ways to formally define a credit hour as one hour of classroom “seat measure whether completing a program results in gainful time” and two hours of homework, she said. “Your class could employment in that field, Zlotlow said. Those measures of be sampled, and you’ll have to justify both the seat time and out “gainful employment” could eventually impact all of higher of class time,” she said. education. • Return on investment. The federal government provides —C. MUNSEY 16 Lloyd Wolf MONITOR ON PSYCHOLOGY • OCTOBER 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Monitor on Psychology - October 2011

Monitor on Psychology - October 2011
President’s Column
Subtle and stunning slights
From the CEO
Live science on the showroom floor
Zimbardo re-examines his landmark study
Ready, set, mentor
Attention students and ECPs: Self-care is an ‘ethical imperative’
Suicide risk is high among war veterans in college, study finds
Psychotherapy is effective and here’s why
From toilet to tap: getting people to drink recycled water
What’s ahead for psychology practice?
A push for more accountability is changing the accreditation process
Peer, parental support prove key to fighting childhood obesity
Popular media’s message to girls
Bullying may contribute to lower test scores
A consequence of cuckoldry: More (and better) sex?
Manatees’ exquisite sense of touch may lead them into dangerous waters
Building a better tomato
How will China’s only children care for their aging parents?
‘Spice’ and ‘K2’: New drugs of abuse now on the market
Many suspects don’t understand their right to remain silent
In Brief
Boosting minority achievement
Where’s the progress?
And social justice for all
Helping new Americans find their way
Segregation’s ongoing legacy
A new way to combat prejudice
Retraining the biased brain
Suppressing the ‘white bears’
How to eat better — mindlessly
Protect your aging brain
Must babies always breed marital discontent?
Outing addiction
Flourish 2051
The danger of stimulants
Keys to making integrated care work
Is technology ruining our kids?
Facebook: Friend or foe?
The promise of Web 3.0
NIMH invests in IT enhanced interventions
Science Directions
Science Directions
PsycAdvocates work to safeguard key programs
The psychology of spending cuts
APA’s strategic plan goes live
Visionary leaders
Vote on bylaws amendments

Monitor on Psychology - October 2011