Quality Assurance at Academic City College takes a variety of methods both internal and external. Internal Quality Assurance takes the form of internal moderation of examinations papers by peers, vetting by Academic Board. External Quality Assurance measures comprise a system of engaging external examiners and moderators to vet examination and publications of staff that apply for promotion.
Quality assurance of a university academic program has been adopted around the world and is widely recognized as a vital component of every viable educational system. An important component has been the articulation of degree level expectations and learning outcomes in postsecondary education.
Academic City College’s Strategic Development Plan of 2015/2016 defined the direction College would follow during the period to serve and meet the changing needs of society by providing quality higher education in Ghana and beyond.
Key to achieving this strategy is the development of an effective and efficient Quality Assurance (QA) policy underpinned by quality teaching, research development, curriculum development, student progression and welfare, focused on the needs of College, the African region and beyond.
A Quality Assurance system is now being proposed by the Quality Control Unit of the National Accreditation Board and NABPTEX and Institutional Affiliations of Mentoring Institutions based on findings.
- Quality teaching, learning, research and support services, and continuous improvement are core values. Quality assurance and continuous improvement are understood to be the joint responsibility of staff, management, and the collegial and governance bodies of the College.
- Benchmarking and evidence based approach. The College evaluates its achievements against appropriate national and international benchmarks. Its quality assurance processes are evidence-based, where outcomes and feedback from stakeholders (including students, staff, employers and the community, as appropriate) will provide the basis for analyses and conclusions on which improvements are planned.
- Collegiality. The College’s processes reflect the principles of rigorous peer review, as we aim to identify areas for improvement, to foster collaboration and exchanges of best practice and to encourage an ethos of critical self-evaluation.
FOCUS OF THE INSTITUTIONAL QUALITY ASSURANCE POLICY
- An institutional quality assurance policy should reflect the institution’s mission and values. A quality assurance policy should define the link between quality assurance and a university’s strategy or academic plan and reflect the university’s mission and values. It should describe the various review processes (academic and non-academic) and other related quality assurance activities, and include the lines of accountability and responsibility as well as timelines for key steps of each process.
- All institutions should have a quality assurance policy in place and the quality assurance policy should focus on units (academic and other) and/or on programs (or groups of programs). The policy should include provisions to cover all the functions and units of the institution (research, administration, community service, etc.).
- An institutional quality assurance policy should identify the coordinating or administration unit responsible for the overall management of the quality assurance process. This unit should be located at a higher echelon of the institution’s administration structure, and be accountable to the institution’s leaders.
AREAS OF INTERNAL QUALITY ASSURANCE
The College has responsibility for internal quality assurance, standards and enhancement procedures and exercises its responsibilities through its academic governance structures and policy. These procedures are designed to meet the expectations of the Mentoring Institution as well as NAB frameworks, benchmarks and statutory obligations.
The quality assurance and enhancement team within the Registry helps to support departments in fulfilling their responsibilities within both the College's quality assurance framework and the broader national and international context.
Internal quality assurance mechanisms are departmentally generated and are continuous. The mechanisms shall be coherent with the quality assurance framework set forth in this policy and approved by Council and shall include mechanisms to assess the following areas;
- Quality of programmes and courses
- Quality of academic staff
- Quality of teaching and learning experience
- Quality in student assessment: Internal moderation by the Academic Board
- Quality in support services
- Quality of resources and facilities
- Quality of research
- Quality program review process
EXTERNAL QUALITY ASSURANCE
To ensure that high quality standards are maintained, the following external mechanisms shall be utilized;
Quality of educational programmes shall be assured through External Academic Review by any of the following bodies:
- External Examiners
- External Professional i.e. NAB, NAPTEX, and Mentoring Institutions
- External accreditation agencies (for professional programmes that have recognized, credible professional accreditation agencies)
EXTERNAL ACADEMIC REVIEW
Areas of External Review will include but not be limited to the following areas:
- Courses and programmes content and delivery
- Student assessment
- Programme resources
- Academic staff qualifications, scholarly work and professional development activities.
Procedures for External Review will include but not limited to the following areas:
- Review of documents, i.e., staff and students records.
- Observations, e.g. lecture room teaching, laboratory work, counseling, etc.
- Interviews with staff, students, senior management, etc.
- On site visits to the academic and support units at an agreed time and duration to examine the quality, reliability and validity of the self-study data through review of documents, observation and interviews with staff and students.