East Central College administration and staff are hoping for good news in the coming weeks, as the Higher Learning Commission’s (HLC) evaluates the college based on its comprehensive onsite evaluation visit last week.

ECC President Dr. Jon Bauer said the college will now wait for the HLC’s report on its accreditation status. It is unclear how long that process may take.

“I think they were able to get a good sense of the college and the work that we do,” he said. “They were certainly pleased with participation. We had a lot of faculty and staff that participated in the meetings here.”

Bauer said there is no specific timetable for when the college should expect feedback other than the exit report on the final day of the HLC’s visit. He said it could be weeks before ECC knows more.

He noted preparation for the visit involved the entirety of the campus.

Bauer said the visiting team was impressed with the how many community members were involved in the process and the feedback from those who attended the open forums offered by the visiting team.

The open forums are offered to garner feedback to better help the team evaluate the college. It is one of the many ways the team gathers information.

The team also holds meetings and reviews, including meetings with the institution’s leadership, board, and other key individuals and groups, such as those involved in preparing the materials for the comprehensive evaluation.

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

The 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.

The decision-making process begins once the evaluation concludes. A peer review report that includes a recommendation is submitted to an HLC decision-making body.