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Academic Innovation & Effectiveness
Academic Innovation & Effectiveness
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Voluntary System of Accountability

The Voluntary System of Accountability (VSA) is a joint project of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC). Through the use of a web-reporting template entitled the College Portrait, the VSA makes information on undergraduate education publicly available. The College Portrait is organized into three sections:

  1. Student and Family Information
  2. Student Experiences and Perceptions
  3. Student Learning Outcomes

Student and Family Information
Data in this section of the College Portrait includes: tuition and related costs, degree offerings, living arrangements, student characteristics, graduation rates, transfer rates, and post-graduate plans. Data in this section would come from the National Student Clearinghouse.

Student Experiences and Perceptions
The second section of the College Portrait provides a snapshot of student experiences and activities, as well as their perceptions of a particular college or university. Data in this section would come from the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE).

Student Learning Outcomes
The third section of the College Portrait reports "evidence of student learning" as measured by a standardized test, institution-specific outcomes data such as program assessments, and professional licensure exams. Participating institutions will select from three standardized tests designed to measure broad cognitive skills.

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville was the first institution of higher learning in the State of Illinois to post its College Portrait on-line. It can be found at the following link: SIUE's VSA College Portrait.

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