US: Giving adult learners more information

In an effort to improve student learning and provide stakeholders with greater access to data, the American Public University System has boosted its survey and assessment processes. APUS is an accredited online university system with more than 30,000 adult learners studying in 50 states and more than 100 countries.

It is a participating as a member of the Transparency by Design initiative developed by the Presidents' Forum at Excelsior College. The initiative's members comprise 14 regionally accredited, adult-serving, higher education institutions.

The initiative provides a comprehensive action plan to elevate accountability and transparency in higher education by providing access to data that allows adult students to make informed decisions about their education.

The principles include consistency of mission, accountability to stakeholders, responsiveness, curriculum development and revision, curriculum delivery, interaction and student engagement, faculty qualifications and training, faculty and student evaluation and availability of services.

Participating institutions will issue Transparency by Design reports in the first quarter of each year, starting in 2009. The reports will include comprehensive data for prospective students to assess how well schools will prepare them for their professional life, including demographic data, completion rates, costs, student engagement, and knowledge and skills learned.

See www.AmericanPublicEducation.com.