Preparations are nearly complete for the upcoming Higher Learning Commission’s (HLC) visit to East Central College.

A team representing the HLC will visit the college Oct. 16-18, as part of ECC’s continuing accreditation process.

According to HLC’s website, accreditation provides assurance that an institution has been found to meet, and will continue to meet, stated requirements and criteria. It also allows the institution to self-reflect toward continuous improvement, some of which is provided by the commission.

The steering committee at the college has been at work preparing for the visit for the past year, collecting information and submitting it to the commission.

East Central College most recently received reaffirmation of continued accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission in 2011.

President Dr. Jon Bauer said the preparation for the visit involved the entirety of the campus. He said he was proud of the work the faculty, staff and administration had done as the visit approached.

“We’re looking forward to having the team on campus and for them to have a chance to see the work that goes on at East Central,” Bauer said. “We’ve had a lot of people involved with preparation for the visit and I very much appreciate that work.”

During the team’s campus visit the HLC site team will hold open forums for students, faculty and staff to further gain feedback from the campus community.

There are five criteria for accreditation by which the HLC determines whether an institution merits accreditation or reaffirmation of accreditation.

The five criteria for accreditation judges the college on the institution’s missions clarity; if the college acts ethically and responsibly teaching, if learning, evaluation and improvement are paramount; and on its resources, planning and institutional effectiveness.

Bauer said he’s looking forward to the visit and showing the HLC team what East Central has to offer. He said he’s confident the college will do well during the assessment.

“There’s been a lot of time and effort that has been put into the preparation. People have really taken it seriously,” Bauer said. “I’m pleased with those preparations and think that it will be very beneficial when the team visits.

“It’s important that we show to the team the things we do on behalf of our students and stakeholders and I think we’re going to be able to do that,” Bauer said. “We’re looking forward to meeting with them and showing them what East Central is about.”