University accreditation campus visit

As the 2016-2017 school year comes to a close, MSU Denver looks to its future by going through the accreditation process for the next academic cycle.

The accreditation of a university is renewed annually, based on the completion of criteria set by the Higher Learning Commission. Five HLC reviewers are sent to visit different institutions within their given region to determine if the separate universities qualify for reaccreditation.

According to Early Bird, each letter of the CADRE acronym reminds us of a shared, core value. Together, they represent the fundamental tenets of MSU Denver and what it means to be part of the university’s community. The acronym and mission statement were chosen ahead of the accreditation.

The HLC is one of six institutional accreditors in the United States, serving degree-granting, post-secondary educational institutions in the North Central region. The HLC’s mission statement is: serving the common good by assuring and advancing the quality of higher learning.

With this process currently underway for MSU Denver, the HLC made their open forum site visits to the Auraria Campus on April 10-11. These visits are followed with an examination of a comprehensive criteria that decides whether an institution is deserving of reaccreditation.

Each institution has HLC committee members and work group leaders within their staff that help move the processes of eligibility. The criterial standards from one through five are as follows: institutional mission, ethical and responsible conduct, teaching and learning. These include the values of quality, resources, support, assessment, evaluation, improvement, planning and institutional effectiveness.

MSU Denver is currently undergoing the Standard Pathway reaffirmation of accreditation. The Standard Pathway seeks to reduce the reporting burdens on institutions by utilizing as much information and data as possible from existing institutional processes and accumulating them in electronic form.

Subsequently, the standard pathway looks to enhance the rigor of the process by checking institutional data annually and conducting comprehensive evaluations twice in the 10-year cycle. Lastly, this method is made to integrate as many HLC operations as possible to ensure that accreditation is viable in future
years. Faculty, office staff, chairs, directors and administrators were encouraged to attend at least one of these meetings.

Ultimately, an institution being accredited serves as assurance to both students and the community that the university is maintaining stability all the while growing its resources. The procedure determines whether an institution is able to “provide a high-quality, accessible, enriching education that prepares students for successful careers postgraduate education and lifelong learning in a multicultural, global and technological society.”

The HLC’s decision will be announced pending review.

Author: Jamel Jones

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