Jasinski, John (1997, ASQ) Northwest Missouri State University, Maryville, MO
The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA) and its criteria can increase the usefulness of the regional accreditation process. The Baldrige Award came into being in 1987. Its criteria are revised yearly, but their fundamental structure has remained intact, except for an increased emphasis on performance and a de-emphasis on quality. The criteria are so valuable that many organizations use them for self-assessment. In 1996, more than a million copies of the criteria were distributed. In 1994, the MBNQA office established a pilot program in education. Although the pilot program suffered from a lack of funding, initiatives like the Missouri Quality Award (MQA) have applied the pilot criteria. Comparison of the Baldrige program with regional accreditation programs like that of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA) underscores the 10-year NCA cycle, its mandatory and non-competitive nature, and its lack of structure comparable to the approach-deployment-results dimensions of the Baldrige criteria. Northwest Missouri Sate University has combined the NCA and the Baldrige-like MQA processes so that its latest accreditation self-study is based on the Baldrige criteria. This has increased the rigor of the accreditation process. Such as amalgam could help accreditation programs keep pace with changing marketplace demands.
Accreditation,Higher education,Case study,Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA)