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  Preparatory Review
Reflective Essays
Conclusion/Executive Summary




This Preparatory Review Report was prepared in accordance with the newly revised Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) 2001 Handbook of Accreditation and UC Berkeley's Institutional Proposal. In structuring our Preparatory Review, we followed WASC's four defined Standards; within those Standards, we focused on selected Criteria, Guidelines, and Questions for Institutional Engagement as indicated. We have chosen to use Reflective Essays, two of them augmented by case studies, to demonstrate how the campus is responding to key issues. Each Essay highlights one or two contexts or stories within the very broad canvas of the University to illustrate and exemplify what we see as strengths and weaknesses in our efforts to live up to the associated Standards and Criteria. There are probably dozens of similar stories that could have been chosen for each Standard. Those we have selected illustrate the varied and complex nature of the educational enterprise and exemplify our ongoing struggle to maintain both excellence and commitment to public education. We know that there are important programs not highlighted here, and that some of the Criteria for some Standards have been short-changed. We have chosen to focus on undergraduate education with only an occasional note about graduate programs because of the emphasis WASC has requested for this review. Decisions regarding inclusions and exclusions were made based on WASC's concerns from the previous accreditation, the issues and goals highlighted in the Institutional Proposal, and the contexts or stories that seemed to demonstrate best our use of data to assess and improve the campus on an ongoing basis.

The first Standard, "Defining institutional purposes and ensuring educational objectives," is illustrated by a discussion of two closely-related contexts: (a) our efforts to bring greater meaning and coherence to our admission procedures for undergraduates, and (b) our efforts to reflect appropriately on our campus the diversity of people who make up the state of California. These two linked stories illustrate ways in which Berkeley has pursued its mission as a land grant institution in the face of conflicting social forces and internal tensions.

For the second Standard, "Achieving educational objectives through core functions," we have chosen to explore (a) improvements in the provision of support for student learning, especially for undergraduate students. Within (a), we include a case study of the College Writing Programs. The second Standard concludes with (b) our efforts to promote excellence and effectiveness in teaching. We chose these stories because they are linked to self-study topics of the Educational Effectiveness Review.

The third Standard, "Developing and applying resources and organizational structures to ensure sustainability," is illustrated within the context of (a) investigating the patterns of the delivery of education to our undergraduate students, and (b) reporting the campus's efforts to take advantage of new developments in educational applications of technology. Again, both stories address aspects of our self-study topics for the Educational Effectiveness Review.

For the fourth Standard, "Creating an organization committed to learning and improvement," we have chosen to concentrate on (a) the institutional uses of data on the campus, and (b) improvements in our procedures for program review (the third self-study topic of the Educational Effectiveness Review). Within (b) we have also documented a case study of a prominent example of program review during the last decade that led to the formation of the campus's School of Information Management and Systems (SIMS).

Each of these Reflective Essays has been written with reference to a specific Standard and its associated Criteria. Each story, however, is itself a complex of many factors, so that, just as the Standards and Criteria have many cross links, each story has within it perspectives that are linked to other Standards and Criteria. We have indicated the more prominent connections in the margin notes, and a table cross-referencing the Standards to our Report is included as a supplementary appendix. Important points in each story are hyper-linked to exhibits and major documents that constitute the Institutional Portfolio (Appendix 4). These links will (in most cases) lead the reader directly to the appropriate web page. In the few cases where web links are not yet available, or older or longer documents have been excerpted, directions for obtaining access to the complete reference are given in Appendix 4.

The Reflective Essays lay the groundwork for the Educational Effectiveness Review. This foundation is expanded upon in the Concluding Essay, which also functions as an Executive Summary. In it, we address issues that arise in our movement towards the "core commitments" to educational effectiveness: articulation of a collective vision of educational attainment, organizing for learning, and becoming, as WASC calls it, a self-reflective organization. The Appendices contain the components of our Institutional Portfolio, including the Required Data Elements, the Stipulated Policies, the Response to the Previous Site Visit Team and WASC Commission Concerns, and the Selected Exhibits and Data Displays that directly support our Essays. Two final Appendices include a table that cross-references WASC Standards and Criteria with this Report, and a Glossary of Acronyms.


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