HLC Reaffirmation of Accreditation 2020

Plans are underway to prepare for the reaffirmation visit in 2020-21. A steering committee will be appointed by September 2017, and Criterion Committees will be appointed later in the fall. The University’s recent and current efforts are focused on assuring that our evidence is both convincing and convenient to access, so that the “argument” can be mounted that the University not only meets but exceeds the Criteria for Accreditation. To this end, since the last visit, the University has implemented three additional database systems to capture and report on key quality indicators. These systems are designed to reduce the labor and enhance the accuracy of the data gathering that is integral to a comprehensive self evaluation process.  

Added to our enterprise system Banner and our assessment system Improve (formerly TracDat) (both in place for the 2010-11 visit) that yield vital accreditation evidence, the University now utilizes the course evaluation software from Campus Labs for reporting on the quality of courses, as evaluated by enrolled students. That system was first piloted in Spring 2013 and has been implemented every semester since. Use of the system has improved the University’s ability to review its results over time and to efficiently produce reports at the University level. This university-level data will be used in support of the University’s claims about the quality of its instructional programs. More recently, Digital Measures has been introduced university-wide, after many successful years of use in the College of Business and more recently in the College of Health Professions. This easy-to-use system will produce the evidence in support of Faculty Qualifications, Scholarship, and Service. On the student support side, MyDegree has been a major initiative to assist students in planning for degree completion. Program plans are available in one place to assure their accuracy, and students can interact with the system to plan their academic program as well as to seek the array of support services. The MyDegree efforts are designed to assure the integrity of academic advising for graduation and to enable students to have better control over their academic progress.

The Quality Initiative, a requirement for Open Pathway institutions, was launched in fall 2016. The wide array of projects in support of the development of an Academic Literacies Center and decentralized support for retention, learning, and an effective learning environment will continue from 2016 through the end of 2019, with the report being submitted in early spring semester 2020. The evidence emerging from these 30+ projects will be vital to the University’s aggregating contemporary evidence in support of accreditation criteria that in part focus on Quality, Completion, Support for Learning, Integrity, and more.   

Looking forward to 2020, the University is well positioned for another successful visit in 2020-21 due to its comprehensive evaluation data on all aspects of the university’s programs and services, especially its direct assessment of student learning at both the course and program levels, as well as it is complemented with systems designed to produce the required evidence.