Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Exploring Differences in Leadership and School Characteristics among Colleges with Traditional versus Continuous Improvement Accreditation
by Shakir, Salah, D.B.A., Northcentral University, 2010, 125; 3441941
Abstract (Summary)

Accreditation plays a key role in assuring quality and promoting accountability in higher education. Limited accountability exists under the traditional accreditation method, the Program to Evaluate and Advance Quality (PEAQ). In 1999, the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) created the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) as an alternative method of accreditation specifically designed to address weaknesses of educational quality in traditional education. However, there has been a slow adoption of AQIP, which reflects best practices in higher education. The purpose of this quantitative nonexperimental retrospective comparative design study was to examine the extent to which leadership strength and school characteristics differ based on accreditation type. Questionnaires were collected from Chief Executive Officers of 66 AQIP and 73 PEAQ accredited institutions of higher learning that went through accreditation between 2004 and 2010. Leadership strength was measured by the Leadership Practice Inventory LPI, which was developed to measure leadership strength using five subscales: (a) Modeling the Way; (b) Inspiring a Shared Vision; (c) Challenging the Process; (d) Enabling Others to Act; and (e) Encouraging the Heart. School characteristics were assessed in terms of the size of the institution, leader's tenure, institution location, institution type, and the age of the institution. The LPI subscale Modeling the Way was significantly different by accreditation type with F(1) = 10.285, p = .002. No other subscales differed significantly. The result of Pearson's chi-square analysis, χ² (3) = 27.01, p < .001 indicated there is a difference in the type of institution (highest degree offered) based on accreditation method. The result indicated that associate degree granting institutions were more than twice as likely to use the AQIP accreditation method as they were to use the PEAQ accreditation method. The study may be very helpful to administrators of higher education, as well as to the field of business administration, particularly in Higher Education settings and the accrediting agencies. The study should be replicated and empirically verified before the study can be generalized to other regions. Expanding the sample and gather actual leadership behavior verses perceived leadership behavior is s recommended.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ness, Lawrence
School: Northcentral University
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 72/03, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Higher Education Administration, Educational leadership, Management, Business education
Keywords: Accreditation, Leadership strength
Publication Number: 3441941
ISBN: 978-1-124-45297-5
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