Friday, October 21, 2011

Accreditation reports are wack

     Here’s how accreditation works. Your college labors to compose a self-study that’s dutifully written according to the Clueless Educationist Style Sheet, which is guaranteed to produce prose that impresses Paranormal Fans and fifth graders but that sends all literate people into paroxysms of laughter or dismay. Then the Accreds show up, go off to dark corners, and talk to everybody, including every crank and jackass within miles; next, after shaking their heads and making glum academic faces, the Accreds go home and get bitch slapped awhile by Babs Beno. That process ultimately yields a report that slams the college for not having enough “student learning outcomes” imbedded in its “mission statement” or in the seats of the new Performing Arts/Soccer Center—or for a failure to pursue digital delivery rubrics and co-curricular, asynaptic assessments. –Something like that.
     Yeah, then the college gnashes its teeth and wails for like six months, spiraling into an institutional depression; next, it labors mightily (and earnestly) to compose a follow-up report, which ‘splains how the college is taking all the accreds’ semi-confused criticisms super-seriously and running “at least” fifteen new committees to ensure that everybody’s on board with the “process,” which yields “do tasks,” which, naturally, are ugly and unrecognizable as anything any sensible person would ever do. College leaders sign it with their own blood and collapse into another corner. More tears. Everybody frets, muttering, “remember Compton.”
     So, anyway, accreditation self-study and follow-up reports often end up being perverse and artificial monstrosities, full of Orwellian creepoid verbulosity plus profound self-deception—and a dollop of flat dishonesty. I mean, if the Accreds show up and say that you’ve got yourself a nasty “plague of despair,” then you don’t do something sensible, like fire the source of said despair—usually a Chancellor or President or Vice President (or Board, but you can’t fire those people). No. Not in Accred World. Instead, you set up a committee to concoct “rules of civility,” such as, “smile and say ‘howdy do’!” or “respect all others and honor their feelings, even if they’re psychotic, and then draw a hand and tape it to your back.” (Patting yourself on the back. Get it?) –Stuff like that.
     Yeah, and when the Accreds tag you for the hideously unhealthy relationship between groups A and B, but then things change and so A and B are now, like, dating or something—and, in the meantime, C grows to fear and loathe B, threatening districtular collapse.... –Well, in that case, you make up some crap about how you’re “taking vigorous steps” to get A and B together. But, natch, you just let the C and B vexation fester beyond all recognition, cuz it's not relevant to the present accredular demands.
     Yeah, that’s the ol’ accreditation do-si-do. It’s very processular. It’s, um, measurable and, uh, based on factoidal and empirical data (probably pulled out of somebody’s a**).
     With that in mind,

If it were MY NEIGHBOR'S COOL BOXSTER, a college’s accreditation report would probably look something like this:

If it were KEN KESEY'S BUS, a college’s accreditation report would probably look something like this:

If it were MY BRO'S ULTRA-UTILITARIAN COROLLA, a college’s accreditation report would probably look something like this:

If it were an old silver DUNE BUGGY, a college’s accreditation report would probably look something like this:

If it were a SEXY RED FERRARI, a college’s accreditation report would probably  look something like this:

If it were a SLEEK AND AGILE TEN-SPEED BIKE, a college’s accreditation report would probably look something like this:

If it were SOME PUNK KID HANGIN' IN THE LIBRARY, a college’s accreditation report would probably look something like this:

If it were A PAIR OF SENNHEISER HD 800 HEADPHONES, a college’s accreditation report would probably look something like this:




Anonymous said...

Best Post Ever?

--100 miles down the road

B. von Traven said...

Gosh thanks, Phil.

Anonymous said...

Having worked on these reports over a period of time, I see that you have captured the feelings and impulses that Accred College folks endure while struggling with this mandate. You are quite adept at hitting the mark, Sir Roy.

Anonymous said...

I loved the visuals they were right on the mark...laughed my ass off!

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