Why was the College Portrait Created?
College Portrait is a source of basic, comparable information about public colleges and institutions presented in a common, user-friendly format. It is designed to be trustworthy source of reliable data for prospective students and their families.
Who is the intended audience for College Portrait?
The primary audience for College Portrait is prospective students and their families. Other secondary audiences include: governing board members, legislators, policy-makers, education researcher, and college and university faculty and staff.
How were the components of College Portrait selected?
The College Portrait includes information identified by prospective college students and their families, the higher education community, and policy-makers as important when comparing colleges and universities. More than 80 higher education leaders from 70 public colleges and universities helped with the development of the College Portrait.
What is the difference between VSATM and College Portrait?
The Voluntary System of Accountability, (VSA) is a program created by public colleges and universities to provide greater accountability to higher education stakeholders through accessible, transparent, and comparable information. College Portrait is the name of the 5-page report designed to present the VSA data to the public.
The VSA and College Portrait are sponsored by two nonprofit organizations in Washington DC – the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU).
AASCU and APLU represent more than 500 public colleges and universities across the United States. Participation in the VSA is voluntary; however, over half of these 500 institutions – nearly 300 at last count – have decided to join the VSA project. Each of these colleges and universities will be posting their College Portraits within the next few months.
The Office of Institutional Research is devoted to obtaining empirical information to assist in the assessment of program effectiveness, research on institutional processes, development of strategic plans, and provision of a valid description of the characteristics of the University’s students, faculty, financial status, staff and facilities. Efforts are being made to increase the quality of our data, its format, and its availability to faculty and staff.
The University fulfills the requirements for accreditation of the South Carolina Commission of Higher Education and the United States Department of Education. Reaffirmation of accreditation for degrees in teaching preparation, business, and fine arts are currently being undertaken on schedule.