Low turnout at workshop

With the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools coming to evaluate FAMU for re-accreditation in less than a year, it would be assumed that there would be a significant turnout at the accreditation workshop for students hosted by the Office of University Assessment Tuesday.

Not even five students showed up for the workshop that was aimed to inform them about their role in the assessment and accreditation processes at the University.

“Students are partners in the whole business of assessment and accreditation,” said Uche Ohia, director of university assessment. “They all need to be very aware,”

The workshop was held in the Grand Ballroom, seemingly in expectation of a large turnout. A Power Point presentation, pamphlets and lunch awaited the expected guests for the accreditation workshop.

Ohia’s Power Point presentation covered basic information on what students needed to know about assessment and accreditation at the University as well as the role students must play in order for the assessment and accreditation processes to be successful.

“Demand quality experience from classroom experiences and take responsibility from your own personal allotment because destiny really is in your hands,” Ohia said.

She went over some of the roles students should play in a successful assessment and accreditation process.

Although this workshop was geared toward student involvement in the accreditation process for the University, OUA believed students should also be educated on what the school is doing in collaboration with student efforts.

Academic Learning Compacts are designed in each program department to keep account of student achievement at the University. These concepts have been available to each incoming freshman and prospective student since fall 2005.

“The Academic Learning Compacts are posted on the school’s Web site,” Ohia said. “Each program has their own academic compacts.”

The Academic Learning Compacts include certain steps and standards that students should follow and record in order to achieve results that will later be documented in the FAMOUS assessment planning and implementation model that the University has adopted.

Some students said they were not familiar with or had never heard of that approach.

In order to become more familiar with how the process works students can attend sessions such as the accreditation workshop.

Student Body Vice President-Elect James Bland said he is very aware of the accreditation process.

“Students should attend workshops so they can become more knowledgeable,” Bland said. “Students should work with SGA and the president to see what they can do.”

The University will find out if it has become re-accredited December 2008 after the assessment at SACS’ annual meeting.