Institutional Effectiveness

   Institutional effectiveness is an important concept in higher education with a simple, but vital, purpose - to ensure the integrity of the teaching and learning process. To receive and maintain accreditation by one of our nation's regional accrediting boards, a college or university must demonstrate how it answers the question: Do the achieved results of your higher education institution fulfill its stated institutional mission and goals? 

    For UVa-Wise, the accrediting body is the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).  SACS requires that UVa-Wise meet the following comprehensive standard:

The institution identifies expected outcomes for its educational programs and its administrative and educational support services; assesses whether it achieves these outcomes; and provides evidence of improvement based on analysis of those results.


    During the College’s annual planning and assessment process, each unit and department of the institution develops objectives, measures, and achievement target levels.  The annual assessment of performance, both in the academic programs (general education and the disciplines) and in operational services, provides direction for improvement.   Objectives are linked to the College's strategic initiatives as delineated in Creating the Future 2012, and the strategic initiatives are linked to UVa-Wise's mission and goals.

    To track this planning, assessment, and improvement, UVa-Wise uses WEAVE, a software developed by Virginia Commonwealth University and used by many higher education institutions throughout the nation, including the University of Virginia.  

   Additionally, each academic major and operational area undergoes a review every five to six  years.  This program review analyzes historical accomplishments, current work projects, future goals, and best use of resources.  External reviews and benchmarking are usually included. 

     To see a schematic of UVa-Wise's institutional effectiveness process, click here (pdf).