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February 9, 2015

On October 10-11, 2016, the Higher Learning Commission will conduct an on-site visit to Cedarville University in order to reaffirm our accreditation.  The last accreditation came in 2006-07 and a lot of growth has happened at Cedarville since that time.

Preparing for such a visit requires much work with many moving parts.  The first step was to create a Steering Committee that will oversee the planning and carrying out of the necessary tasks required for the visit.  The Steering Committee consists of 16 members from all areas of campus. Approximately half of the members are faculty and the other half are staff.  The Committee, selected and approved by President White and Dr. Cornman, Vice President for Academics, is nothing short of excellent.  We thank God for the many talents this group brings to the Committee.  In addition to these, there will be approximately 32 additional members of Steering Committee sub-committee members, bringing the total to nearly 50 people directly involved in preparations for the HLC visit!

The major task the Steering Committee must accomplish is writing an Assurance Argument that will be sent to the Higher Learning Commission’s reviewers before the visit.  This is similar to the Self-Study Report that was prepared for the 2006-07 visit.  In order to write this report, HLC has provided 5 criteria to guide our argument: Mission; Integrity–Ethical and Responsible Conduct; Teaching and Learning–Quality, Resources, and Support; Teaching and Learning–Evaluation and Improvement; and  Resources, Planning, and Institutional Effectiveness.  We must show ourselves as meeting basic standards of these criteria and in a condition of continuous improvement, with an emphasis on continuous improvement.  What can we do in all areas to make ourselves better?  HLC will be looking for an aggressive, forward-looking institution that constantly assesses itself in all areas of its operations.

How can you help?  We want to get to know you, find out what evidence you can provide, and let you know how you can be part of the accreditation process. We are suggesting several ways:

1. Please update all of your documents, websites, assessment plans and reports, etc.

2. Please document everything you do, including those informal brainstorming sessions!

3. When Steering Committee members come knocking on your door for evidence, please supply them with what they request.

4. Invite us to a unit meeting.  We can do a formal presentation, we can lead a brainstorming-for-evidence session, or we can have an informal dialogue with you and your unit.

5. Familiarize yourselves with our activities by reading these blog updates.

Please consider contacting us soon for a visit.  The more the Steering Committee can get to know you and your area of expertise, the more we will be able to use evidence from your area in our Argument.  Please send email requests to Sandy Yang at syang@cedarville.edu, Tom Betcher at tbetcher@cedarville.edu, or Mandy Nolt at mnolt@cedarville.edu.


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