Since February 2019 the revived and renewed HLC Task Team has been working on the daunting assignment of revising our 2016 Assurance Argument for compliance with a four-year Assurance Review. In February, that was little more than two years out from the 2016 review. It seemed like a small task to write an update of the University after only two years. What could possibly change in such a short amount of time?
Actually, a lot. To prove this, I’d like to point out a number of developments that were absent from the 2016 report.
The Campus Master Plan for one. Probably the biggest endeavor to take place after the close of the HLC 10-yr. comprehensive Assurance Review, The Campus Master Plan was developed over an 11-month period during the 2017-2018 academic year. It was fully planned and budgeted as part of the Strategic Implementation Plan. The Campus Master Plan aligns with the 2016 Strategic Plan Core Strategies of Academic Excellence, Gospel Impact, Institutional Sustainability, and Vibrant Community. The Plan includes six major building projects that will both support these Core Strategies and beautify the campus. Among these projects, the Civil Engineering Building, the 282-bed Residence Hall, and the lakefront Chick-fil-A are currently under construction. The Lorne C. Scharnberg Business Center was announced at Homecoming 2019.
Although the campaign for and renovation of the Jeremiah Chapel were reported as underway in our 2016 Argument, the work has now been completed for several years, with an additional 320 seats added this year by reclaiming two existing classrooms in the back of the auditorium.
Likewise, in our 2016 Argument we reported on the development of the Pharmacy Program, which included the creation of Cedar Care LLC, to offer pharmacy services to the community and to provide training for Pharmacy interns. Since 2016, Cedar Care acquired and renovated a large physical space in downtown Cedarville, providing an expanded suite of services.
Although not technically part of the Campus Master Plan, the recent generous donation of biblical scholar Warren Wiersbe’s library collection has spurred the erection of the Warren and Betty Wiersbe Library and Reading Room on the ground floor of the BTS. Its inviting and accessible location is now available for both scholars to conduct research and for students to find a quiet place to study.
In the Academic Division several significant developments have taken place since the 2016 Argument:
The most prominent of these is the creation of The Graduate School at Cedarville University. Graduate programs were reported in the 2006-2007 HLC Self-study Report, but it is only after the 2016 report that The Graduate School at Cedarville University became an entity of its own. This is a huge step in managing existing programs and students, as well as being a driving force for innovative new areas of graduate study.
Over a two-year process since 2016, The Academic Division tested, debated, examined, and piloted a new Learning Management System. Many faculty were involved in selecting, piloting, and critiquing the new system. Officially in place as Cedarville’s LMS, Canvas is now in its first semester of division-wide implementation. It offers excellent technical support, it is user-friendly for both faculty and students, and it promises to facilitate the reporting of HLC requirements such as assessment through its linking capabilities with other state-of-the-art programs.
The list could go on and on, with many more stories of God’s grace, goodness, and favor upon Cedarville University in recent years. The new Mission Statement and Vision Statement, implemented in fall 2019 clarify our message to a greater degree. Cedarville University transforms lives through excellent education and intentional discipleship in submission to biblical authority. For the Word of God and the Testimony of Jesus Christ.
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