Countdown: 11 days to HLC visit: Executive Summary
Editor's note:Ranger Today continues a series of articles on the upcoming visit of the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and how you can prepare.
The self-study executive summary: Read This!
By Kim Kelley, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Institutional Effectiveness
If you have read the Executive Summary already, thank you. If you haven't, now is the time to dust it off or download it from the website and read it. It's important to read the executive summary because:
- It provides a succinct overview of each of the Higher Learning Commission's quality standards and briefly presents UW-Parkside's evidence that demonstrates how we achieve the standard
- It presents our Future Directions, areas where the self-study provided evidence that we need to continue to make progress (and you'll likely see these items crop up in future planning initiatives including the strategic plan and strategic initiative requests, so now is the time to familiarize yourself with them)
- It illustrates the depth and breadth of work that UW-Parkside has accomplished since our last accreditation visit. I guarantee you'll find out something you didn't know
- It highlights our institutional strengths; it's important to know what strengths were identified and you'll probably agree with them, and think of others you know of also
- It will prepare you speak with our visiting team, and
- It will help inform planning in your unit as the issues discussed are likely related to issues you are dealing with every day at UW-Parkside
If the above reasons aren't sufficient to peak your interest, consider this: the document was the work of many individuals across campus that care deeply about the future of UW-Parkside. It is highly likely you know at least one person who was instrumental in creating the self-study which is the basis for the executive summary. The document reflects the views of the entire UW-Parkside community, it is the work of everyone and it reflects the collective wisdom of this campus, it is important that you read the work of your colleagues and familiarize yourself with the document prior to the visit (in just 11 days!).
And, what about this: we are a learning institution dedicated to improving the lives of our students. So, take this opportunity to be an active learner. Read the executive summary. Once you finish it, you will certainly feel affirmed, and see the outcome of your hard work, and the work of those you respect. It will only take about 30 minutes to read.
So, do the right thing, read the executive summary and if you feel it was worthwhile and valuable, thank one of the criterion chairs for his/her hard work to create the document that will be the basis for the visit (in just 11 days!).Get a coffee, find a cozy spot, and read the executive summary. You'll be glad you did.