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With billions of state and federal dollars invested in higher education annually, discussions about postsecondary accountability have been ongoing at the institutional, state and federal levels for many years. Indiana’s Reaching Higher plan includes two central and cross-cutting components: quality and accountability. To meet the Reaching Higher goals, the state needs a systematic way to measure and report the results of its higher education investments and monitor progress.
ICHE envisions a two-level approach to accountability. First, higher education performance will be assessed at the state level, creating a benchmark to which the state as a whole should aspire for competing effectively with other states and internationally. Second, the performance of each institution will be measured, which will require aligning institutional priorities and state goals and then accurately and consistently publicizing statewide progress toward those goals.
However, as new priorities and better measures emerge, Indiana’s accountability system needs to be flexible enough to change. Assessments of student learning, inclusion of independent institutional data and employment data may change the picture that can be reported to the public and others interested in higher education.
To ensure accountability and monitor progress toward Reaching Higher goals, the Commission for Higher Education has released a series of Accountability recommendations.