The process of transformation for a world university: Increasing capacity through accreditation

The process of transformation for a world university: Increasing capacity through accreditation

Author: 
Mary Lane-Kelso, Cathy Gunn, and Maryam Al Washahi
Abstract: 

One of the major challenges of globalization for a developing country is to preserve its unique culture and practices while stepping inside the global arena of inclusiveness. At Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) in the Sultanate of Oman, the College of Education has been accepted as a precandidate for National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) accreditation. The faculty is facing a series of transformations as they ready for their looming site-visit in a year’s time. This project focuses on the early days of the process of adapting a U.S. assessment management system to enhance sustainable growth and development in Oman’s leading educational institution. As any process that delves deeply into the practices of an organization, the NCATE accreditation process has quickly unveiled commonly held assumptions and practices with little recognition to country, culture, or creed. NCATE, a highly respected American performance based professional accreditation body for teacher preparation is, in short, making life challenging lately at the SQU College of Education. Our project examines these challenges from three unique viewpoints within the Instructional and Learning Technologies Department in the College– an Omani faculty member, an American Head of Department (HOD) who has lived and worked in the Sultanate for four years, and an international consultant, a former dean from a medium-sized regional Kentucky university who visited SQU's College of Education this past year. Documenting the process through journals, three differing worldviews and perceptions emerge that share common concerns and distinct disquiets. Extending these insights to SQU’s larger mission, to become a “world-class university” and to “add something new to world knowledge,” carries with it important questions about what is at stake when a foreign educational institution attempts to align itself with an assessment system as foreign as the horse is to the camel. Preliminary conclusions are based on the currently collected evidence and emerging themes from the documentations.

Paper No: 
097