Friday, January 13, 2012

Rio Receives CHEA Award

Rio Salado College was recently selected as one of three institutions to receive the 2012 Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) Award for Outstanding Institutional Practice in Student Learning Outcomes. The award recognizes Rio Salado’s focus on increasing the number of adult learners who find success in higher education.

"Rio has a strong commitment to innovation that improves institutional effectiveness, student access and student success," said Chris Bustamante, Rio Salado College president. "We are proud of the impact we have made in strengthening those areas and it is an honor to be recognized for it.”

In collaboration with the Transparency by Design initiative and the Higher Learning Commission’s Assessment Academy, Rio built a comprehensive process for the evaluation and improvement of its education products. The process, referred to as the Plan, Do, Check, Act, cycle; measures student learning outcomes, completion data and program reviews to monitor and maintain high quality, successful learning systems.

The CHEA award committee, comprised of leaders in education advocacy and accreditation, also recognized the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of California, Merced.

“The award committee was strongly impressed with the strength and creativity of the work of these institutions. They provide excellent examples of effective approaches to the use of student learning outcomes,” said CHEA President Judith Eaton.

The award will be presented at the 2012 CHEA Annual Conference January 24 in Washington DC.

A national advocate and institutional voice for self-regulation of academic quality through accreditation, CHEA is an association of approximately 3,000 degree-granting colleges and universities and recognizes 60 institutional and programmatic accrediting organizations.

Rio Salado College is one of ten Maricopa Community Colleges and the largest online public community college in the nation, serving nearly 70,000 students annually with more than 41,000 online. Founded in 1978, Rio Salado offers degree and certificate programs and general education classes for university transfer. The college also provides support for dual enrollment, military and incarcerated students, and is the largest provider of adult basic education in Arizona.