UL SYSTEM FIRST IN THE COUNTRY TO SIGN UP FOR THE VOLUNTARY SYSTEM OF ACCOUNTABILITY – Dec 11, 2007
BATON ROUGE—When the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC) issued a joint national invitation to sign up for the Voluntary System of Accountability (VSA) on Dec. 11, the University of Louisiana System was the first to answer that call.
“The University of Louisiana System was the very first in the country to formally sign up once registration opened,” said VSA Executive Director and NASULGC Senior Associate Christine Keller.
A joint AASCU and NASULGC initiative, the purpose of the VSA is to strengthen undergraduate education while demonstrating increased accountability. It involves the implementation of a consumer-oriented, web-based template called the College Portrait, which is designed to provide easy-to-read comparable undergraduate information on campus costs and quality.
All eight UL System universities will launch the College Portrait on their websites and provide data on student information, such as cost of attendance and financial aid; student experiences and perceptions; and student learning outcomes.
One unique aspect of the College Portrait will be a cost calculator that will allow students and their families to estimate the costs associated with attending a particular institution. This will be important to overcome perceptions that college costs are insurmountable and allow for better financial planning.
The Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System unanimously endorsed the System’s participation in the Voluntary System of Accountability during its Dec. 7 meeting.
“There is a heightened national and state interest in accountability and transparency, and that is what we are all about,” said UL System President Sally Clausen during her remarks to the Board. “VSA will play an integral role in our ability to improve student access to our universities and to measure how well we prepare them for the workforce.”
Clausen, who has served on the national VSA Presidential Advisory Committee since its inception in early 2007, has held informational meetings with the eight ULS campus presidents who have pledged their support. Northwestern State University’s Institutional Research Director, Jennifer Videtto, also serves on the VSA System Design and Information Task Force.
“Once again, under President Clausen’s leadership, the University of Louisiana System and its eight campuses are at the forefront of an important national initiative,” said AASCU President Constantine W. Curris. “I applaud the System’s commitment to accountability as our country’s future students will be the true beneficiaries.”
A system-wide launch of the College Portrait is expected in early 2008. For more information on VSA, visit www.voluntarysystem.org.
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