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Criterion 2: Preparing for the Future

The organization’s allocation of resources and its processes for evaluation and planning demonstrate its capacity to fulfill its mission, improve the quality of its education, and respond to future challenges and opportunities.

Criterion 2 focuses on planning and change to confront challenges of the new century. It calls for examination of the effectiveness and flexibility of university planning, the extent to which the university considers factors outside of its control, and how well the university supports its programs and resources to maintain strength.

Core Component 2a: The organization realistically prepares for a future shaped by multiple societal and economic trends.

As it defines and interprets evidence related to this core component, an organization may wish to consider the following examples of evidence.

  • The organization’s planning documents reflect a sound understanding of the organization’s current capacity.
  • The organization’s planning documents demonstrate that attention is being paid to emerging factors such as technology, demographic shifts, and globalization.
  • The organization’s planning documents show careful attention to the organization’s function in a multicultural society.
  • The organization’s planning processes include effective environmental scanning.
  • The organizational environment is supportive of innovation and change.
  • The organization incorporates in its planning those aspects of its history and heritage that it wishes to preserve and continue.
  • The organization clearly identifies authority for decision making about organizational goals.

Core Component 2b: The organization’s resource base supports its educational programs and its plans for maintaining and strengthening their quality in the future.

As it defines and interprets evidence related to this core component, an organization may wish to consider the following examples of evidence.

  • The organization’s resources are adequate for achievement of the educational quality it claims to provide.
  • Plans for resource development and allocation document an organizational commitment to supporting and strengthening the quality of the education it provides. § The organization uses its human resources effectively.
  • The organization intentionally develops its human resources to meet future changes.
  • The organization’s history of financial resource development and investment documents a forward-looking concern for ensuring educational quality (e.g., investments in faculty development, technology, learning support services, new or renovated facilities).
  • The organization’s planning processes are flexible enough to respond to unanticipated needs for program reallocation, downsizing, or growth.
  • The organization has a history of achieving its planning goals. As it defines and interprets evidence related to this Core Component, an organization may wish to consider the following Examples of Evidence.
  • The organization’s resources are adequate for achievement of the educational quality it claims to provide.
  • Plans for resource development and allocation document an organizational commitment to supporting and strengthening the quality of the education it provides.
  • The organization uses its human resources effectively. § The organization intentionally develops its human resources to meet future changes.
  • The organization’s history of financial resource development and investment documents a forward-looking concern for ensuring educational quality (e.g., investments in faculty development, technology, learning support services, new or renovated facilities).
  • The organization’s planning processes are flexible enough to respond to unanticipated needs for program reallocation, downsizing, or growth.
  • The organization has a history of achieving its planning goals.

Core Component 2c: The organization’s ongoing evaluation and assessment processes provide reliable evidence of institutional effectiveness that clearly informs strategies for continuous improvement.

As it defines and interprets evidence related to this core component, an organization may wish to consider the following examples of evidence.

  • The organization demonstrates that its evaluation processes provide evidence that its performance meets its stated expectations for institutional effectiveness.
  • The organization maintains effective systems for collecting, analyzing, and using organizational information.
  • Appropriate data and feedback loops are available and used throughout the organization to support continuous improvement.
  • Periodic reviews of academic and administrative sub-units contribute to improvement of the organization.
  • The organization provides adequate support for its evaluation and assessment processes.

Core Component 2d: All levels of planning align with the organization’s mission, thereby enhancing its capacity to fulfill that mission.

As it defines and interprets evidence related to this core component, an organization may wish to consider the following examples of evidence.

  • Coordinated planning processes center on the mission documents that define vision, values, goals, and strategic priorities for the organization.
  • Planning processes link with budgeting processes.
  • Implementation of the organization’s planning is evident in its operations.
  • Long-range strategic planning processes allow for reprioritization of goals when necessary because of changing environments.
  • Planning documents give evidence of the organization’s awareness of the relationships among educational quality, student learning, and the diverse, complex, global, and technological world in which the organization and its students exist.
  • Planning processes involve internal constituents and, where appropriate, external constituents.

*The material on this page is taken from the Higher Learning Commission Handbook of Accreditation.

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University of Illinois Springfield
One University Plaza
Springfield, Illinois 62703-5407
217-206-6600

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