East Central College (ECC)

An accreditation update was given during a recent East Central College Board of Trustees meeting.

Robyn Walter, vice president of academic affairs, and Michelle Smith, executive director of institutional effectiveness, announced the college would receive its Higher Learning Commission accreditation visit Nov. 18-19.

By the end of April, the strategic planning committee will begin working on the strategic plan. Before being made public in September, the strategic plan will be presented to the college and trustees.

“I feel really good about where we are,” said Ann Hartley, president. “I have no doubt it’s going to be highly successful.”

Walter said the college’s HLC action team has been meeting every couple of weeks this semester. During its most recent meeting, it was joined by the institution’s HLC liaison, Tom Bordenkircher. 

He reviewed the team’s working document of where the college is in terms of criteria and the evidence it has been gathering to show compliance. 

“Overall he was very encour

aging,” Walter said. “He says we’re making progress on the criteria.” 

The institution recently begun working through a new initiative — the HLC Assessment Academy — which is a four-year commitment to ongoing professional learning and growth centered on student learning. 

“More specifically related to the assessment academy, he noted that we’re on schedule,” Walter said. “He felt that the Assessment Academy was a very good option.”

The academy acts as a network for the school, providing a mentor and scholar to guide its work. The team has met with its mentor through the academy twice so far.    

Initial Visit

The institution received an “on notice” accreditation status in April 2018 following a routine visit from an HLC team in 2017.

Early in 2018, the team recommended the school be put on probation for failure to meet HLC standards, including the college’s handling of teaching and learning, which is found in criteria three and four; and resources, planning and institutional effectiveness, in criterion five.

After a hearing in April, the HLC lessened its recommendation. Since then the college has been working hard to achieve full accreditation again.

CampusWorks, Bradenton, Fla., was selected to help with the strategic plan — SOAR to 2024.

Through CampusWorks, the college has offered several surveys for faculty and staff to take part in and held a Future Summit in January for feedback from the community.