The mission of BYU-Idaho is to develop disciples of Jesus Christ who are leaders in their homes, the Church, and their communities.
Director of Institutional Effectiveness & Accreditation Boyd Baggett, oversees the review processes to assure that each department on campus is working to help BYU-Idaho live up to its mission and fulfill its core theme objectives.
The year 2021 marks the next “Year 7” visit in the cycle of accreditation that the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities will make for BYU-Idaho. Evaluators will complete this process by measuring university progress to evaluate whether or not the school is living up to its mission.
“The whole process of accreditation through the NWCCU is to help us create a culture of self-evaluation and continuous improvement by looking closely at measures of student achievement and student learning,” Baggett explained.
Baggett has worked to ensure that each department can be measured effectively by defining processes and metrics to assess BYU-Idaho’s core theme objectives.
“These areas can be broken down during regular core theme reviews, stewardship reviews, employee reviews, and program reviews,” he said.
While BYU-Idaho is constantly working to develop all areas of the university, Baggett said that during this review cycle the accreditation evaluators will likely focus on evaluation of student learning.
“We also look at student achievement with metrics like: graduation rates, course completion rates, retention rates, employment rates after graduation, etc.—things that we can measure institutionally,” Baggett shared.
Program reviews are held for each department on campus every three years. The regular process gives each program an opportunity to look at what is happening within its courses.
After diving in, Baggett said that leaders can look for changes to courses, assessments, teaching pedagogy, or curriculum that need to be made in each program. This process of looking for ways to improve learning and teaching and to constantly realign with the university priorities is all done with student learning as the focus.
“Everything is meant to tie back to the mission of the university. And we do that by meeting the objectives of the four core themes namely; testimony, quality, reach, and affordability,” Baggett said.
The four core themes give structure to any goals made by the departments, which lead students back to the mission statement of the university.
For this in-depth institutional self-evaluation, the BYU-Idaho administration keeps in mind questions to ensure that they are on the right track: What are the standards? How are we doing? How can we improve?
Accreditation covers every part of the university. Every part of BYU-Idaho will be affected through it so that we can all continually seek to improve.