Michigan Tech's Accreditation Continued
After review of a "Year 4 Assurance Argument," the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) has approved continuing Michigan Tech's accreditation, with an interim report to be submitted by the University in July 2018. The assurance review is part of Michigan Tech's 10-year Open Pathway accreditation process.
The HLC is the official accrediting body for colleges and universities in 19 midwest and south-central states. It offers three "pathways" to accreditation. Michigan Tech has chosen to participate in the open pathway, which gives institutions independence to pursue improvement projects that are geared toward their current needs and aspirations.
"Assembling the Assurance Argument was a major undertaking, and I appreciate the efforts of our former Associate Provost Christa Walck, who worked with everyone on campus to prepare the document and supporting materials," said Provost Jackie Huntoon. "She also is responsible for developing and implementing the assessment program we are now using, and it is a firm foundation on which we can build for the future. Assessment and the use of assessment data for continuous improvement are areas of great interest to the HLC."
A team of HLC reviewers examined Tech's Assurance Argument, asked clarifying questions and presented their conclusions in an evaluation report. Recommendations included developing goals and assessments for graduate programs and establishing a process for regular program review with external visits for all undergraduate and graduate programs. The reviewers also asked the University to demonstrate that it is using the results of assessment to improve degree programs.
As part of its Open Pathway accreditation process, Michigan Tech will propose and complete a "Quality Initiative" reflecting the University's concerns and aspirations. According to the HLC, a Quality Initiative is intended to enable institutions to "take risks, aim high and learn from partial success or even failure."
Tech is currently participating in the HLC's Assessment Academy, one way the University can fulfill its Quality Initiative. The Assessment Academy provides personalized guidance to universities on assessment and continual improvement processes.
"By participating in the Assessment Academy, Michigan Tech will have the opportunity to work with other universities and HLC representatives to evaluate our current assessment program and identify ways to make it more efficient and effective in the future," said Associate Provost Jean Kampe.
The HLC's next accreditation evaluation will be during the 2021-2022 academic year. It includes a site visit by the HLC review team.