A very important area for Federal Compliance and one that the Higher Learning Commission will look at closely is our disclosure of information to the public. To ensure that we are meeting and exceeding these requirements, Cedarville University maintains a Consumer Information website, entirely devoted to making these facts as easily accessible as possible.
In 2015, Tara Carraher, Director of Institutional Research, produced the website with input from Fran Campbell, University Registrar, and Kim Jenerette, Executive Director of Financial Aid. Michael Pells, Digital Marketing Manager, and Mark Mazelin, Director of Web Development, designed the website, and student worker and computer engineering major Emmett Budd placed the data on the new website. The new site centralized all the required–AND MORE–information into one place, organized so that only a minimum of clicks are needed to find specific information. Tara notes, “So many departments have created valuable resources to assist students and parents, faculty and staff, and administration and other interested parties. This page allows stakeholders to see what is available to them at a glance and click on the links to obtain more information about topics.” The link is found at the bottom of every CU web page under “About.”
The website meets the requirements of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended by the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA), in order for Cedarville to be able to participate in federal student financial aid programs. The site is organized in areas of General Information, Enrollment, Student Outcomes, Academics, Student Financial Aid, Athletics, Student Life, Health and Safety, and Public Information Sites. Furthermore the site contains links to a Common Data Set, IPEDS Data Summary, the Factbook, Student Outcomes, Title IX Compliance, and Faculty Information.
Because many of our students receive grants and loans from the federal government under Title IV programs, we must be in compliance with those regulations. A large part of our responsibility involves public disclosure of information related to students, programs, and support areas of the University. For example, under the Student Right to Know mandate, we are required to provide to the public graduation rates for the student body by gender, ethnicity, receipt of Pell grants, and other related data. We need to disclose the process for withdrawal, cost of attendance, refunds, current programs and faculty, names of accrediting agencies, descriptions of facilities for students with disabilities, and our policy on programs with study abroad components.
Tara reports that the site will be updated every January and every summer. It matches the data in the annual Factbook and follows the same updating schedule. Additional updates take place as needed when required by compliance and regulatory agencies.
As we approach our HLC site visit for re-affirmation of accreditation, I would encourage all of us to become as familiar with our university as possible. You’ve been re-acquainting yourselves with our Policy Handbooks; now I challenge you to browse through the Consumer Information site and see what outsiders can look in and find out about us with just a few clicks of the mouse. Thank you, Tara Carraher, and all who helped make this site possible!
PS. Don’t forget to answer this post’s Policy Handbooks Trivia Challenge question. The first ten correct answers will be entered into a drawing to receive a prize.
One last reminder, look for the Consumer Information link at the bottom of every web page:
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