A successful organization is a dynamic organization; one which is able to change with its environment towards success and growth. One of the organizations which need to be dynamic and adaptable to changes today is the academic institution. The needs and wants of every student regarding learning and knowledge improvement are different and distinct from each other; therefore the academic institution must be sensitive to these needs.
There are many ways to provide the necessary tools and skills in order for a student to excel when he graduates and exits the portals of his/her school, but nothing surpasses learning-centered education. Students may acquire different skills and experience during their tenure at a certain school gained from extra-curricular activities, joining organizational activities, or engaging constructive debates on certain issues, but knowledge learned from the classroom is still the number one aspect that helps students cope with the rigors of a working life.
Therefore, the focus of every academic institution must be on this area, for “in order to develop the fullest potential of all students, educational organizations need to afford them opportunities to pursue a variety of avenues to success. Learning-centered education supports this goal by placing the focus of education on learning and the real needs of students. Such needs derive from market and citizenship requirements. ” (Education Criteria for Performance Excellence, p. 1) In line with this policy, activities and programs of academic organizations must conform to this pursuit in order to maximize student learning.
The administrators of these schools must always bear in their minds to continuously improve the academic tools to meet the need for organizational dynamism. To complement this thrust, the Higher Learning Commission accredits academic institution with qualitative standard of education provided to its students, and provides them with support to infuse the principles and benefits of continuous improvement into the culture of colleges and universities in order to assure and advance the quality of higher education. This is the goal of the Commission’s Academic Quality Improvement Program.
It states that “by sharing both its advancement activities and the results of these actions with AQIP, an organization develops the evidence necessary to support and assist the organization in achieving the distinctive higher education mission it has set for itself and the evidence to enable the Commission to make a pubic quality assurance judgment. ” (The Handbook of Accreditation, p. 6. 1-1) All academic institutions must accredit themselves with the Commission because this program mutually benefits all parties concerned.
The general public will know if a certain school meets high academic standards, then more students will enroll in this institution, be it public or private. Eventually, the whole academic community improves through healthy academic competition between schools. This fact is established through AQIP’s Appraisal Feed Report in which it “provides an Appraisal Abstract that serves as an executive summary and is released publicly by the Higher Learning Commission. It serves as the Commission’s public disclosure of the organization’s progress in its quality journey. (The Handbook of Accreditation, p. 6. -3) This circumstance creates transparency between the public and the academic institutions, thus making a community conducive to learning. In order to sustain high quality standard aims, it is essential to have core concepts and values befitting an academic institution that provides high standards of learning. These are; visionary leadership, learning-centered education, organizational and personal learning, valuing faculty, staff, and partners, agility, focus on the future, managing for innovation, management by fact, social responsibility, focus on results and creating value, and systems perspective.
These must be present in every academic organization. Although achieving this state may be difficult, accrediting with the Higher Learning Commission’s AQIP is a step towards attaining this goal. Certain factors have been pointed out in these readings that are important to maintain high quality standard education. Some of these relate to the leadership and management styles of the administrators, the strategies implemented and used to carry out the school’s activities and programs, and focus directed at students needs.
It seems that the general concepts of management one often attributes to the business industry can be use and applied also to these academic organizations. In essence, teachers and school administrators are managers too. Setting criteria for performance in imparting knowledge to students is a good initiative, but this has been institutionalized long ago. What the readings suggest is to follow new guidelines and alternatives contained therein which are new concepts to bring education within the academe into a higher level.
New knowledge are always discovered everyday that it needs the academic institution dynamic in every way just to impart these new information to the students at the same rate that these are discovered or learned by research, explorations and scientific studies. ABSTRACT To succeed in life is to have education. Education gained within the portals of an academic institution. While new discoveries are learned at a fast rate, there is a need for academic institutions to match this with the rate these schools impart the new knowledge to their students. Thus, these organizations need to be dynamic and adaptable with the changes on its environment.
There are many ways to achieve this, foremost of these are; 1) to set criteria or conduct performance appraisals in order for one to gain insight as to the area that needs to be improved within the institution, and 2) accredit the school to the Higher Learning Commission’s AQIP to maintain its status as an institution that provides high quality of education.
The Higher Learning Commission (1999) The Handbook of Accreditation. updates on www. ncahigherlearningcommision. org Balbridge National Quality Program (2007) Education Criteria for Performance Excellence. National Institute of Standards and Technology