According to the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment in their 2010 report “Regional Accreditation and Student Learning Outcomes: Mapping the Territory”
What is driving the assessment movement in American higher education? In probing that question the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA) has found that while several forces have converged, prompting more institutions to assess student learning outcomes, regional accreditation is among the most important of those forces. Chief academic officers at regionally accredited institutions across the U.S. cite accreditation as the primary reason their institutions assess student learning (Kuh & Ikenberry, 2009). Underscoring this finding, the comments of college and university presidents during a focus group at the 2009 annual meeting of the American Council on Education testified to the power of accreditation as a driving force in student learning outcomes assessment.