Accrediting the Accreditors: The Role of CHEA w/ Dr. Cynthia Jackson-Hammond


Accreditation is a voluntary activity of institutions that want to demonstrate clearly to the public that they meet a high standard of accountability.

Accreditors, too, may seek accreditation from the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). CHEA’s role is to set the standards of academic quality for institutions, students and families, and communities.

In this first episode of Accreditation Conversations, Dr. Amy Dykens, CEO of Weave, interviews Dr. Cynthia Jackson-Hammond, President at CHEA, about accrediting accreditors, supporting a highly educated citizenry, and defining student learning outcomes.

“The biggest misnomer about accreditation is that it’s about compliance. To a certain degree, it is, but the best understanding about accreditation is that it’s introspective and reflective. There’s also this misnomer that higher ed is just constant, it remains the same for 2,000 years. But with accreditation and self studies, we can say to the public and to laypeople, that higher education constantly is reinventing itself because the world is changing so quickly, and that higher education has to be responsive to that changing world and those changing dynamics.” – Dr. Cynthia Jackson-Hammond

Join us as we discuss:

  • The origin and values of CHEA
  • Prioritizing student learning outcomes and continuous improvement
  • Trends in data collection and assessment
  • Educating parents, students, and the public about the importance of accreditation

Check out these resources we mentioned during the podcast:

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Dr. Cynthia Jackson-Hammond

Dr. Cynthia Jackson-Hammond is President of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Dr. Jackson-Hammond’s higher education experience spans more than 30 years and includes faculty status and tenured professorships, in addition to senior administrative leadership positions. She recently served on the boards of the Thurgood Marshall College Foundation, the 1890 Land-Grant Council of Presidents and the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Executive Committee. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Grambling State University, Master’s degree in Education from the University of Louisiana in Monroe and her Doctorate in Education from Grambling State University.

Podcast Info

Host: Dr. Amy Dykens, Weave, CEO

Guest: Dr. Cynthia Jackson-Hammond, CHEA, President

Episode #: 1