KAU Areas of Quality that Edu

Suskie outlines the five areas of quality that educational institutions ought to have and claims that we should approach them as cultures of quality rather than dimensions. Do you agree with the author’s reasoning of doing so? Judging from the readings and our prior knowledge, which cultures of quality do you think our current educational system struggles with the most? How can framing improvement as a system, as Bryk describes, challenge these shortcomings?

read

  • Suskie, Introduction, Chap 1 Why is American Higher Education Under Fire?
  • Suskie, Chap 2 Understanding American Accreditation
  • Suskie, Chap 3: Quality Committing to Excellence

Provide a written response (typically, about 100 words) to the prompt by Monday evening.

After you have posted, comment (typically, about 100 words) on at least one fellow student’s DB submission

Choose one and write a comment:

First one:

I agree with Suskie that “quality” should be seen as an overall culture of excellence. Suskie states “Excellence does not happen in some parts of a college and not others. The commitment to excellence is enduring and pervasive.” This reminds us that in order for any institution to succeed, everyone at all levels must come together to meet the goals of the institution. Although the idea of community is at the center of the American college experience, I believe “a culture of community” is the culture our current educational system struggles with the most. Suskie explains that “A quality college thus has a culture of community characterized by respect, communication, collaboration, and collegiality, among other traits.” Unfortunately, I believe the lack of community is often at the root of many issues that arise at colleges across America. Distrust between the administration and the students often results in massive student protests and can paralyze campuses for days. Conflicts also arise between alumni and students as alumni try to keep outdated traditions alive while students try to make changes to the status quo. Staff and faculty often see each other as opposing factions within the institutional structures.

Second one:

Based on the readings and my own experiences, our current educational system struggles with the concept of betterment along with focus and aspiration in today’s day and age. With the world forever changed by the COVID-19 pandemic, students‘ educational needs and goals are changing more than ever. This highlights the need for institutions to better understand one of their most important constituent groups to make sure they are heard and their needs are attended to. In that sense, the concept of betterment depends on focus and aspiration or, in other words, identifying and serving student needs after a global pandemic that may have changed how students think about their own needs. Framing improvement as a system will only help institutions realize that reassessing student needs also means that they need to dive into the nuance of individual student needs, particularly as these are tied to identity, background, etc.

Third one:

According to Fullan (2007) school culture can be defined as the guiding “beliefs” and values evident in the way a school operates. And a school’s mission states clearly the “beliefs” the school stands behind and lays out educational goals, community priorities and the purpose of the school.

Suskie preferred to refer to quality dimensions as cultures which I really like, for school commitment to excellence is a long-term process that spreads widely through school body. Which is similar of how culture is: long-term and deep-rooted beliefs.

After the reading I realized how complex the problems the educational system struggles with, and I was really shocked to learn how bad the whole issue is. Bryke in his book brought in many examples (which I greatly appreciated) of how problems were addressed in industry and medicine and explained why the same concepts of solutions were not successful when implemented to fix the problems in schools.

If I want to pick one culture of quality, it is “culture of betterment”. Bryke explained that education incentive initiative was not a solution for this problem. Instead, he listed framing educational improvement as a systems problem to address this issue. 

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