As a student, you should care about the people, processes, policies, and programs across the university that ensures that you receive a quality education. In particular, the process for curriculum revision and future planning is directly tied to your learning and the quality of your degree. In addition, be sure to provide your comments on the self-study drafts so you ensure your voice is heard.
As a staff member, you should care about how the university evaluates itself and ensures it is meeting its mission through its programs and processes. In addition, accreditation plays a central role in deciding the direction for the next Strategic Plan so it is important for every member of the university to be familiar with the process and the findings of the self-study. Also, to influence the future of UW-Parkside, be sure to provide your comments and input on the self-study drafts so you ensure your voice is heard.
As a faculty member, you are responsible for the management of the academic programs that define UW-Parkside. There are two chapters directly focused on our academic programs and how well they are achieving their goals. The findings of the self-study will inform future academic planning and the recommendations will become the purview of the faculty. Being informed is important to understanding what is learned, what it means for the future, and ensuring you are a part of those conversations.
Accreditation ensures quality in the education you receive from UW-Parkside. It also ensures your degree will be recognized favorably by potential graduate schools and employers as the achievement it is. Through the accreditation process UW-Parkside engages in a rigorous review of the entirety of the university, its curriculum, processes, and programs to demonstrate its quality and commitment to providing you an excellent education. Accreditation also controls student aid and transferring credits. An education at UW-Parkside is financially attainable because UW-Parkside is accredited.
The accreditation process requires yearly reporting on our progress towards meeting our goals to the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA). UW-Parkside agrees with HLC's oversight to continually improve all aspects of the university to ensure your degree is recognized, and its quality is affirmed locally, regionally, nationally and globally.
You may become involved by serving on one of the teams if you volunteer through the Parkside Student Government. Alternatively, you could volunteer through either of the co-chairs for UW-Parkside's accreditation process, Rob Barber, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Kim Kelley, email@example.com. If you get involved on a team, you would be a responsible for collecting information to create the self-study report, a document which is a comprehensive examination of all aspects of UW-Parkside's operations, and it's future plans. UW-Parkside submits the self-study document to the Higher Learning Commission in support of our re-accreditation every 10 years.
It is important to note that UW-Parkside departments and programs engage in a continual process of curricular examination and assessment regardless of accreditation requirements. However, one important aspect of the accreditation process is a review of the curriculum for all programs across the university including how the curriculum is assessed and improved. Changes in the curriculum such as revising the curriculum, and ensuring its relevancy, are all aspects of the planning and review process associated with accreditation. How the curriculum is managed and improved is at the heart of the accreditation. Accreditation evaluates all aspects of the curriculum, and plans for continual improvement of the curriculum, to ensure the curriculum is of high quality.
Accreditation affirms the quality of a UW-Parkside degree, controls the distribution of student aid, and makes the transfer of credits to and from UW-Parkside possible.
UW-Parkside needs to complete its self-study report to demonstrate it meets the standards (known as "criteria") set forth by the Higher Learning Commission. UW-Parkside must adequately meet each of the criteria to the satisfaction of the Commission which will decide whether UW-Parkside is successfully meeting its mission. Once UW-Parkside completes the self-study, and has a visit by a HLC Evaluation Team, it is eligible for accreditation for another 10 years. The decision to accredit UW-Parkside rests with the HLC Board of Trustees who will decide on our continued accreditation after they confer with the Evaluation Team and review the self-study.
Our current students can be assured of the quality of a UW-Parkside degree; our students' parents have affirmation of the quality of the programs we provide; our alumni and employers have confirmation that we are achieving our mission and providing a quality education that prepares our graduates for their careers. In addition, participating in the accreditation process is our promise to our constituents, and the HLC, that we will continually improve, that we are committed to maintaining a level of quality equivalent to other, national peers, and we are evaluating ourselves as one of our measures of accountability for the financial aid we distribute and State funds we receive.
The vast majority of universities are accredited. Most are accredited by regional accreditation organizations similar to HLC. A few have national accreditation which is primarily for career, vocational, or trade schools. In order to receive financial aid, and to ease the transfer of credits, accreditation is considered the essential "seal of approval" by the Department of Education. Therefore, while a few universities are not accredited, it is rare.
Yes. UW-Parkside pays a fee to be a member of the HLC, a fee for the accreditation process to underwrite the costs associated with this complex process, and is responsible for any expenses related to the Evaluation Team's visit.
No. Accreditation, specifically the self-study review process, requires some time from students to review and to provide comments. However, it does not involve any expense to our students, faculty, staff, or community.
Absolutely. We need your feedback on our self-study document and you may be asked to participate in a meeting or class visit when our Evaluation Team visits UW-Parkside in April, 2013. When you provide feedback on the self-study, please give us your best thinking. If you are asked, please speak candidly to our evaluators so we can use your feedback to continuously improve our university and our evaluators gain a clear sense of UW-Parkside.
Yes. We hope that we can offer them several opportunities, through campus-wide meetings, class visits, and meetings with our governance groups, so they can meet and discuss the UW-Parkside experience form the perspective of our wonderful, dedicated students.
Accreditation is a rigorous rigorous review of the entirety of the university, its curriculum, processes, policies, and programs to demonstrate its quality and commitment to providing its' students an excellent education. The process of demonstrating our quality is through the self-study document, and a subsequent visit by our Evaluation Team, sent to UW-Parkside by the Higher Learning Commission to affirm what we state in our self-study document and get any questions they may have answered.
Accreditation is extremely important because it demonstrates that UW-Parkside meets the rigorous standards of the HLC and therefore, is eligible to distribute student aid and transfer credits. The quality of your education at UW-Parkside is affirmed by the accreditation process. UW-Parkside voluntarily goes through the accreditation process to ensure every aspect of the university meets the standards set forth by HLC.
The Higher Learning Commission examines our self-study to ensure we meet their standards of quality. Further, the Commission sends a visiting team to UW-Parkside to affirm that we are providing a quality education, and affirm that what we state in the self-study is confirmed by an on-site visit by HLC's Evaluation Team. The HLC wants to ensure we meet their standards, we are achieving our mission, and that we are committed to continuously improving our university to better achieve our mission.
While each team is unique, in general, the visiting team comes to campus to affirm what they read in the self-study, get answers to any questions that were unanswered in the self-study, and affirm that we meet the standards set forth by the Commission. The team also wants to get a sense of UW-Parkside as a campus and glean the perspective of our students, faculty, staff, parents, and alumni regarding their educational experience at UW-Parkside, and their ideas regarding UW-Parkside's future.
The Evaluation Team provides a report to the HLC Board of Trustees on their visit and their evaluation of our success in meeting the criteria for accreditation through analysis of the UW-Parkside self-study. The Board of Trustees will make a final decision on our accreditation and we will receive a letter from the Commission with the decision of the Board. The self-study document, the Evaluation Team report, and the final decision of the Commission are all made public. UW-Parkside also makes our accreditation status available on our Web site.
The team's recommendations are all related to the criteria and how well we have demonstrated that we are in compliance with the criteria. So, the team will tell us where we have done well, where we need to make improvements, and provide us with their recommendations for how we should proceed going forward. Additionally, they will make recommendations about new areas we should explore and how we can continuously improve the quality of what we do at UW-Parkside.
The report is made public to our constituents, usually through our accreditation web site. The report is also kept and referred to as the basis for our future planning through the development of the next UW-Parkside Strategic Plan. In addition, the report is used to respond to any recommendations or suggestions we receive from the Evaluation Team or the Commission. We report on our progress each year when we provide our yearly report to the Commission as part of our responsibilities to maintain our accredited status.
The accreditation process helps us to appreciate what we have achieved, show us what we need to improve, provide us a chance to reflect on where we have come, and to determine our plans for the future. It is a unique opportunity to come together as a community to reflect, plan, and set a path to guide us for the next 10 years.
Since each campus is unique, the self-study report makes it possible to show how UW-Parkside has met the criteria set forth by the Commission through achieving its mission. Without the self-study report, it would be very difficult to understand UW-Parkside and how we achieve our mission. It is also the basis on which the Evaluation Team can judge how well we have met our goals and their criteria. The process itself is rigorous and through the peer evaluation process, we learn how we are successful and where we need to improve.
It is through the accreditation process that we affirm our quality, demonstrate that we have made progress toward our goals, and show that we are continually planning to improve to meet the needs of our students, faculty, staff, community, and other constituents who depend on UW-Parkside to be of high quality and accountable. Accreditation is one of the ways we can demonstrate that we are accountable and we are making a difference.