Spring 2014


Should Accreditation be Conducted by the Federal Government?

By: Rebecca Frawley

The debate over whether the current mission-based, peer accreditation system in the U.S. is providing adequate accountability for student learning or whether it should be replaced with a federally managed accreditation system has grown more intense over the last decade. The purpose of this paper is to explain the author’s position that accreditation by private agencies is vital to the strength and quality of higher education. Arguments are presented regarding the comparative benefits of the present system over a federal system—for institutions, the public, and students. Finally, a set of recommendations that would assist the higher education community to work together to better address legitimate accountability needs of the public and policymakers are discussed.

The Relationship between Mathematics Achievement and Socio-Economic Status

By: Marilys Hernandez

This study investigated the relationship between the mathematics scores of public middle school students in Miami-Dade County on Florida’s standardized test, the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) 2.0, and students’ socio-economic status. The study found that SES had a strong correlation with the standardized test mathematics scores (r = -.830). The study concluded that the standardized test mathematics scores of Miami-Dade County Public Schools middle school students have a significant negative relationship with SES.

Re-evaluating Course Evaluations: Clarity, Visibility, and Functionality

By: Stephanie Jean Richardson, Darrell Coleman, and Jill Stephenson

This article presents an innovative framework that provides a means to understand and re-evaluate student course evaluation systems. We present three major concepts vital to course evaluation systems and explain how they inform five evolutionary stages. Additionally, we show how the major stakeholders – students, faculty and administrators – are impacted in each evolutionary stage. This framework allows for development of student course evaluation systems from one where procedures are simply followed, to one where feedback is available and used in real time. The framework also provides a means to critically evaluate and re-evaluate current and future course evaluation systems.

Impact of Technology Policy in the Higher Education Classroom: Emerging Trends

By: Ginette D. Roberge and Lissa L. Gagnon

With the constant evolution of technology, there has been a growing use of electronic devices in postsecondary classrooms, by students and educators, over the last several decades. A recent publication by Becker (2013) highlights potential issues with students utilizing a variety of electronic devices in higher education and the implications for classroom policy on the use of this technology. This paper examines the issue from educators’ perspectives and discusses current trends in educational policy pertaining to the use of electronic devices in postsecondary classrooms. The authors bring to light reflections on implications for policy advances on the use of electronic devices by educators in higher education.