DEAC 2023 Fall Forum

By CCU Staff

Independence Hall



CCU’s accreditor the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) held its Fall Forum in Philadelphia, PA. The Fall Forum is held each October for three days in various locales around the country. Attendees choose from a variety of interesting and timely topics. This year, CCU’s Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Murl Tucker and Compliance Specialist, Rachel DeArmond attended some of the following workshops:


Culture of Learning Improvement: This workshop focused on creating an environment to improve student learning and assessing that learning as it occurs – reminding us of the importance of enhancing educational programming and then measuring how and when it occurs.


Data Security and Cybersecurity Readiness for Educational Institutions: Critically important to educational institutions is data and cybersecurity. For this, important examples and best practices were presented to help member institutions prepare for and deal with internal and external threats, and how Artificial Intelligence (AI) is being used in cyberattacks.


Do Androids Dream of Acing Exams? Writing Assessments in a World of AI: The growing role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in education was explored, and how it can both enhance and erode the field of education. AI isn’t going away and the presenters examined ideas of how educators use AI as a tool, instead of viewing it as a threat.  


Guiding Faculty in the Use of Artificial Intelligence (AI): Another session focused on how students can use AI to generate assignments and present them as original work. Continuing the discussion on AI and education, the discussion focused on how educators can use AI as a tool and not an impediment to successful and useful instruction.


Academic Program Reviews: Purpose and Process: Reviewing academic programs is critical to any educational institution. For this workshop, best practices were discussed to enhance and improve educational planning. The importance of utilizing feedback from all relevant stakeholders including faculty, students, advisory councils, and graduates was explored. Finally, the importance of why programs must be linked to the institutional mission and goals and measured to ensure the institution is meeting goals consistent with accreditation standards.


Apprentice Nation: One of the keynote speakersRyan Craig discussed his new book, Apprentice Nation: How the “Earn and Learn” Alternative to Higher Education Will Create a Stronger and Fairer America. The value of apprentice programs was the focus of this workshop and the importance of students developing marketable skills while being paid during their training. Attendees generously received a copy of Mr. Craig’s book on this very important subject.


Writing with Evidence, Not Robots: Completing the Self-Evaluation Report (SER) is a task required of every educational institution as a part of the initial accreditation and on-going reaccreditation process. For this workshop, the self-evaluation process was explored and how institutions can approach this important process and gain valuable insights to help improve their institutions.   


Integrated Outcomes Assessment Plans: Outcomes Assessment Planning (OAP) can assist an institution to have a complete picture of student learning. This workshop explored why this process is so vital to “Institutional Effectiveness and strategic planning.”


Bringing Different Perspectives, Experiences, and Insights to the DEAC Commission: This workshop explored the role of the DEAC Commission and the varying roles and responsibilities of the Commission. The decision-making process was explored.


How Many Administrators Does It Take to Change the … Wait! What? (The Preacher and the Rabbi’s Wife, 2.0): This workshop explored the difficulty and importance of effectuating change.


This was a great and informative conference and Dr. Murl Tucker and Rachel DeArmond brought back a lot of valuable information to use at the University. We look forward to the Spring 2024 DEAC Conference!


This article was written for you by a member of the California Coast University staff. Do you have a question, comment or an idea for an article? Email: [email protected]

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