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   The Higher Learning Commission
    A Regional Accrediting Association
 There are regional associations in other sections of the
  country but NCA is the largest. The other ones are Middle
  States, New England, Northwest, Southern and Western.
 NCA encompasses 19 states in the Midwest:
     Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa,
  Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New
  Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota,
  West Virginia, Wyoming and Wisconsin.
                History of NCA

 NCA    started in 1895

 Witha meeting at Northwestern University in

 Of36 school, college and university administrators
 from seven midwestern states
   National Accrediting Associations
 There are seven national accrediting associations
  which offer accreditation for particular types of
     Religious colleges and universities
     Trade and technical colleges
     Colleges focusing on health-related issues
     Organizations offering programs primarily
  through distance delivery
  The Two Fundamental Purposes of

 Quality   Assurance

 Institutional   and Program Improvement
 Is voluntary                    Has two independent
 Utilizes peer review             corporations:
 Is institutional rather than    The Commission on
  specialized (or program)         Accreditation and School
  accreditation                    Improvement (CASI) in
 Instead of focusing on
                                   Tempe, AZ
  standards, it looks at          The Higher Learning
  criteria.                        Commission in Chicago,
    The Mission Statement of NCA:
    “Serving the common good by assuring and
  advancing the quality of higher learning.”

 Itscore values include the following:
          Quality, integrity, innovations, diversity,
  inclusiveness, service, collaboration, and learning.
     NCU’s History of Accreditation
 Started in 1982 with candidacy status and several visits by
  teams then and in subsequent years.
 Received accreditation in 1986 and a team came back in
 The last team came in the 1997-8 school year, and NCA
  then gave us the maximum of 10 years accreditation.
 Therefore we are due for another visit by a team in
   2007-8. We are aiming for the fall (November) of 2007.
                   The Process:
  Next fall we will begin the two-year cycle which
  is traditional for any institution in preparing for its
  comprehensive visit by a team.
 We will be compiling a large informative report
  which is a self-study of our university.
 The self-study will look at every area of the
  university, providing institutional evaluation.
    Characteristics of a Good Self-study
 Promises to have an impact on the organization beyond
  the Commission visit
 Engages multiple constituencies of the organization
 Ensures effective evaluation of the whole organization
 Builds naturally on existing and ongoing self-evaluation
 Produces evidence to show that the Commission’s Criteria
  for Accreditation are met.
 Provides for good communication and support across the
          Other Important Issues
 The self-study should be descriptive. It needs to
 show evidence that we meet the criteria for
 It should also be evaluative. We should show that
 we understand ourselves by being able to identify
 both our strengths and our weaknesses.
 The self-study needs to provide evidence…not
 just opinion.
      How Do We Show Evidence?
  Through data from institutional evaluation (students
  surveys, alumni surveys, etc.)
 Through data from assessment of student learning
 Through facts and figures, charts and graphs, comparison
  data, and so forth
 Through supporting documents. The team will be asking
  for these documents, and we will have a resource room
  with minutes of meetings, budgets, audited reports, even
  complaint files.
      Commission Decision-Making
 The team that visits will make a recommendation to the
 NCU may either accept that recommendation and ask for a
  Readers Panel or if it takes issue, it will ask for a Review
 Both the Readers and Review Panels are composed of
  members of ARC (the Accreditation Review Council).
 The IAC (Institutional Actions Council) will make a
  decision on all cases and the Board of Trustees validates
  these decisions.
                NEW CRITERIA
 NCA has gone through a complete revisioning in the last
  few years.
 It developed a new mission statement.
 It formulated a new report format for the Visitation Team
 NCA considered its values and then developed a new set
  of criteria. These criteria have been phased in and are
  now in effect beginning in January, 2005.
 All of this was accomplished with a massive amount of
  input from NCA constituencies.
           How This Affects US
  Next fall we will be assigning committees that are
  composed of faculty with some staff, students, etc.
 The committees will be based upon the criteria.
 Each committee will be responsible for describing
  and evaluating their assigned criterion.
 They will assist in collecting the evidence to
  support our findings.
     The Criteria for Accreditation
  Criterion #1: Mission and Integrity
“The organization operates with integrity to ensure the
  fulfillment of its mission through structures and
  processes that involve the board, administration, faculty,
  staff and students.”
               CORE COMPONENTS:
 1A      The organization’s mission documents are clear
  and articulate publicly the organization’s commitments.
 1B      In its mission documents, the organization
  recognizes the diversity of its learners, other
  constituencies, and the greater society it serves.
       Criterion #1 Core Components
   1C Understanding of and support for the mission
    pervade the organization.

    1D The organization’s governance and administrative
    structures promote effective leadership and support
    collaborative processes that enable the organization to
    fulfill its mission.

   1E The organization upholds and protects its integrity.
Criterion #2: Preparing for the Future
“The organization’s allocation of resources and its
  processes for evaluation and planning
  demonstrate its capacity to fulfill its mission,
  improve the quality of its education, and respond
  to future challenges and opportunities.”
    Criterion #2 Core Components
 2A The organization realistically prepares for a future
  shaped by multiple societal and economic trends.
 2B The organization’s resource base supports its
  educational programs and its plans for maintaining and
  strengthening their quality in the future.
 2C The organization’s ongoing evaluation and
  assessment processes provide reliable evidence of
  institutional effectiveness that clearly informs strategies
  for continuous improvement.
 2D All levels of planning align with the organization’s
  mission, thereby enhancing its capacity to fulfill that
 Criterion #3: Student Learning and
         Effective Teaching

“The organization provides evidence of student
  learning and teaching effectiveness that
  demonstrates it is fulfilling its educational
      Criterion #3 Core Components
 3A The organization’s goals for student learning
  outcomes are clearly stated for each educational program
  and make effective assessment possible.
 3B The organization values and supports effective
 3C The organization creates effective learning
 3D The organization’s learning resources support
  students learning and effective teaching.
Criterion #4: Acquisition, Discovery,
   and Application of Knowledge

“The organization promotes a life of learning for
  its faculty, administration, staff, and students by
  fostering and supporting inquiry, creativity,
  practice, and social responsibility in ways
  consistent with its mission.”
    Criterion #4 Core Components
 4A The organization demonstrates, through the actions of
  its board, administrators, students, faculty, and staff, that it
  values a life of learning.
 4B The organization demonstrates that acquisition of a
  breadth of knowledge and skills and the exercise of
  intellectual inquiry are integral to its educational
 4C The organization assesses the usefulness of its
  curricula to students who will live and work in a global,
  diverse, and technological society.
 4D The organization provides support to ensure that
  faculty, students, and staff acquire, discover, and apply
  knowledge responsibly.
Criterion #5:Engagement and Service
  “As called for by its mission, the organization
identifies its constituencies and serves them in
ways both value.”
      Criterion #5 Core Components
 5A The organization learns from the constituencies it
  serves and analyzes its capacity to serve their needs and
 5B The organization has the capacity and the commitment
  to engage with its identified constituencies and
 5C The organization demonstrates its responsiveness to
  those constituencies that depend on it for service.
 5D Internal and external constituencies value the services
  the organization provides.
           The Steering Committee
 We will also need to have a Steering Committee that will
  help to steer (duh) the whole self study process.
 This committee will oversee everything to be sure that it is
  all covered well.
 The committee will make over-arching evaluations and