Self-Study and Evaluation
Self-study is a central task of accreditation. The self-study process and resulting self-study report are themselves forms of evaluation—both institutional and educational (see Standards 2.5-8). Good evaluation is based upon a simple, systematic, and sustained approach that covers both institutional and educational effectiveness and informs institutional planning.
Schools preparing for comprehensive evaluation visits for reaffirmation of accreditation or for initial accreditation should begin their self-study process by reviewing the Standards of Accreditation adopted by the membership in June 2020 (see also Implementation Procedures), as well as the Policies and Procedures adopted by the membership and Board. Other helpful resources include the Self-Study Handbook.
To assist schools beginning their self-study process, the Commission invites member schools with visits scheduled in the next two years to participate in a self-study workshop. This event is provided at no cost (other than travel and lodging) and covers a wide range of topics associated with the self-study process, the self-study report, the evaluation visit, and subsequent actions taken by the Board of Commissioners. The workshop is also a good opportunity to meet the ATS staff liaisons assigned to member schools to assist them in accreditation matters. Some resources that are covered in this workshop include:
- A Reflective Guide to Effective Assessment of Student Learning [NOTE: This document will be replaced in 2021 by a new Reflective Guide to Effective Evaluation for Theological Schools.]
- Characteristics of Good Self-Study Reports
- Resources for Assessment Coordinators
- Assessment Tools from ATS