Coffey, Kitty R. Books

Dr. Kitty Coffey is Professor and Dean of Family and Consumer Sciences at Carson-Newman College. Dr. Coffey served as the director/chair of the steering committee for the college’s self-study for the reaffirmation of regional accreditation and has experience with multiple specialized accreditations in higher education. Dr. Coffey has a PhD from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Handbook to Guide Educational Institutions Through the Accreditation Process: The Abcs of Accreditation
2004 0-7734-6257-0
With this book, Drs. Coffey and Millsaps fill the need for a practical yet scholarly guide to the entire process of accreditation for any institution about to undertake this endeavor. Topics are arranged in the order that an institution will most likely need this information as it begins the accreditation process. Beginning with a basic definition of accreditation, the book expands that to include different types, traces the beginnings of accreditation, and updates this subject with future challenges.

This book avoids addressing region-specific, mutable criteria, leaving such matters to publications from the various regional accrediting bodies. Instead, it includes best practices from many institutional studies and/or sources which allow readers to choose the ones most useful for their own institutions. Initial chapters deal with giving tips for the self-study director, choosing a committee structure to support the self-study, and selling the entire campus on the process, most notably by gaining the president's involvement early. From there, the book discusses very practical matters of drafting and editing the report, ways of distributing it for campus feedback, and methods of organizing the resource room. Chapters 6 and 7 give practical information about what an institution can do to insure a smooth, productive, and harmonious site visit by the visiting team. Chapters 8 and 9 deal with what occurs after the site visit, both regionally with the visiting team's report to the regional accrediting body and locally as the institution responds to any suggestions or recommendations. Finally, the last chapter invites readers to assess their entire self-study process to determine what worked well and what did not for future reference. It also reminds readers of the important benefits of undergoing such a study. And all of these topics include citations and examples from the literature of accreditation to substantiate the points made.

This is a book for any administrative, faculty, or staff member of an institution who wants to learn how to conduct a successful self-study from its inception to the final response to the regional or specialized accrediting body. The book’s design provides ready accessibility to the best information on this topic.