Quality Assurance Initiative Brings Pioneering Universities Together with Accelerated Learning Programs

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Entangled Solutions today announced the initial members of a Quality Assurance Task Force. University of Texas at Austin and Western Governors University join General Assembly, Galvanize, and higher education stakeholders to develop standards for reporting on outcomes

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Entangled Solutions today announced the initial members of a Quality Assurance Task Force that will collaborate in the development of quality assurance standards that can be used to measure and report on outcomes for a diverse, cross section of education providers. Standards developed by the task force will be housed and maintained within a new independent nonprofit organization tasked with maintaining and updating the standards over time and supporting the work of independent auditors or quality-assurance agencies.

“We are excited about the potential for public sector investment to expand access to nontraditional models of education, but believe a critical first step is establishing transparent measures of quality to inform the policy process,” said Michael Horn, Principal Consultant at Entangled Solutions and a Distinguished Fellow at the Clayton Christensen Institute. “The process for developing outcome measures must involve more than education providers; both students and policymakers deserve transparency into outcomes validated by independent, third parties to inform their investment decisions.”

Quality assurance in higher education has moved to the forefront of the national policy debate in recent months. Last year, Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced bipartisan legislation that proposed a voluntary, alternative system of accreditation for American colleges and universities. In August, the U.S. Department of Education announced the first winners of its EQUIP (Educational Quality through Innovation Partnerships) experimental site, which allows students to access Title IV funds for participation in nontraditional educational programs that partner with accredited universities.

“This is a powerful concept and important work,” said Frederick Hess, the Director of Education Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute. “Standards that boost transparency, provide clarity into what graduates have actually learned, and permit students to make sound investments in their future are a vital part of creating a less bureaucratic, more student-centered landscape in postsecondary education.”

The Quality Assurance Task Force, which is comprised of higher education leaders, former policymakers, and associations, will collect feedback from a diverse, cross section of stakeholders to develop transparent, outcome-oriented standards for evaluating educational programs.

“At times, policymakers have been quick to support the expansion of new education models without an equal emphasis on measuring outcomes,” said Liz Simon, Vice President of Legal and External Affairs of General Assembly. “General Assembly’s commitment to helping students measure the return on their education investments is directly aligned with the efforts of the Task Force to develop new models of quality assurance that can be applied to a variety of educational programs.”

Since it launched in 2011, General Assembly has served more than 35,000 students across 16 campuses worldwide. Galvanize has served nearly 2,600 individuals across six campuses since its launch in 2012. Both schools have recently had a set of student outcomes data verified by independent accounting firms.

“We are committed to transparency of outcomes and salary information so that students can make the best decisions on where to invest their time and financial resources,” said Stephanie Donner, Chief Legal and People Officer at Galvanize. “Galvanize is enthusiastic about collaborating with such a diverse group of stakeholders in this effort to ensure that the method applies to accelerated learning programs broadly, and beyond the coding bootcamp industry.”

About Entangled Solutions
Founded in 2015 and based in San Francisco, Entangled Solutions supports education innovators at every stage, from concept development and planning to implementation and scaling. Our services include program development, implementation support, enrollment management, outcome management, strategic advising, initiative design, fundraising support, faculty training, product incubation, and organization creation. Our team includes entrepreneurs with deep experience in product development and organizational change in Higher Education, and we leverage every aspect of our network and expertise to drive positive outcomes for learners and educators around the world.

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Mat Frenz