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2009-10 Higher Learning Commission Accreditation Review Steering Committee

Donna Randall, President

Susan Conner, Provost and Liaison to Higher Learning Commission

David Seely, Professor of Physics, Faculty Chair

Drew Dunham, Registrar and Director of Institutional Research

Michael Frandsen, Interim Vice President of Finance and Administration

Beth Lincoln, Professor of Geology and Associate Provost

Ian MacInnes, Professor of English

Mark Newell, ’77, Trustee

Gaylord Smith, Professor of Economics and Management

Sally Walker, Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students

Bille Wickre, Professor of Art History

Students, To be named

Our "Self-Study Year" Is Under Way

Dear Members of the Albion College Community:

The 2009-10 academic year will be a defining year in Albion history. We will begin to implement “Albion 2015,” our strategic plan, and we will finalize our self-study for Albion’s reaffirmation of accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. It will be a busy year, but I trust that it will also be a satisfying year.

We have now formally launched our “Self-Study Year” in preparation for a campus visit by the HLC accreditation team in November 2010. Those persons who will review Albion will be our peers—members of the faculty, administration, and staff of comparable or similar institutions outside of Michigan. In preparation for their visit and assessment, our self-study represents an opportunity for us to step back and to critically evaluate everything we do; through this process, we will identify ways we can strengthen our programs to ensure that they effectively prepare students for their future roles in society. Albion will emerge from the self-study process with a clearer vision, a stronger commitment to our values, and a renewed dedication to excellence.

As we conduct our work for the self-study, we will continually refer to the criteria of the Higher Learning Commission: to emphasize integrity; to clearly and compellingly articulate the mission; to make resource allocations looking to the future; to build and maintain a culture of assessment throughout the campus; to demonstrate teaching effectiveness and student achievement; to foster and support inquiry, creativity, and social responsibility; and, to serve internal and external constituencies in a fair, honest, and forthright manner.

The self-study will involve many of you in various ways throughout the coming months, and Provost Susan Conner and I want you to be aware of the goals and key steps in the process as we move forward. Albion is participating in the accreditation review through the HLC’s Program to Evaluate and Advance Quality (PEAQ). Paramount in this process is Albion’s commitment to our shared mission and the demonstration of how we are achieving that mission throughout our academic program and other operations. Much of the evaluation by the HLC team will focus on that commitment. Our mission statement, developed during the current strategic planning process, reads:

Albion College is an undergraduate, liberal arts institution committed to academic excellence. We are learning-centered and recognize that valuable learning takes place in and outside the classroom, on and off campus. We prepare students to translate critical thought into action.

It will be imperative that all members of our community know and understand the mission and use it as a touchstone in decision-making.

I would especially like to thank Provost Conner and the other members of the Steering Committee for their leadership of this self-study process on Albion’s behalf, and I ask you to give them your full support as we get under way. If you have questions or concerns about the process, please contact Provost Conner or Dr. David Seely (Physics), the Steering Committee’s faculty chair. We want to make this an open, inclusive, and collaborative process, and we welcome your involvement and insights.

Sincerely,

Donna M. Randall
President

 

Timeline

Fall 2007

Application to the HLC Assessment Academy

Appointment of Strategic Planning Committee: President Randall

Creation of strategic planning process: President Randall and President’s Administrative Council

February 2008

Attendance at HLC Assessment Academy: Drew Dunham (Assessment and IR), Scott Hendrix (Academic Skills and Assessment), Cheryl Blackwell (Library and Assessment)

March 2008

Faculty Retreat at Gull Lake (Kellogg Biological Station)

  • Materials posted on Web site
  • Adoption of “one college” philosophy
  • General concepts of strategic plan developed

April 2008

Appointment of 3 strategic planning research teams by President Randall:

  • Faculty Salary and Compensation Research Team
  • Economic and Community Development Research Team
  • Library Commons Research Team (Information Commons)

Summer 2008

Barbara Keyes (liaison to PAC) and Michael VanHouten (Strategic Planning Committee representative) appointed to continue emphasis on strategic planning over the summer; conducted interviews with several faculty

Fall Faculty Retreat

August 2008

On-campus planning and discussion of strategic themes

October 2008

President Randall officially appoints 8 additional research teams and their membership:

  • Facilities Master Plan Steering Committee
  • Global Diversity Recruitment Team
  • Global Diversity Research Team
  • Center for Teaching and Learning Research Team
  • Wellness and Athletics Research Team
  • Sustainability Research Team
  • Research Team on Curriculum, Innovation, and Transformation
  • Fine and Performing Arts Research Team

Presentation to the Board of Trustees on the Strategic Plan

Approval by the Board of Trustees of the mission, vision, core values, and framework for the Strategic Plan

Moodle site created for ongoing discussion and reporting

October 2008

HLC Accreditation Workshop in St. Louis (Susan Conner, Drew Dunham, members of Steering Committee Bille Wickre, Ian MacInnes, and Sally Walker)

February 2009

Assessment workshop in Lisle, Illinois (Dunham and members of the Assessment Committee Vicki Baker and Dean McCurdy)

February 22-24, 2009

Initial orientation of the Board of Trustees to the process of accreditation

February 28-March 1, 2009

Faculty Retreat on strategic planning

March 2009

Appointment of faculty chair of Steering Committee and faculty member with oversight of finances (David Seely and Gaylord Smith)

March 2009

Faculty meeting on orientation to accreditation (Susan Conner)

April 17-21, 2009

HLC annual meeting in Chicago

  • Assessment Academy (Dunham)
  • Workshop on the Self-Study (Conner and Seely)
  • Workshop on Finances (Seely and G. Smith)
  • Peer Reviewer Corps Orientation (Conner)
  • Attendance at annual meeting sessions (all Albion representatives)

April 2009

Self-Study Style Manual created and posted on “W” drive (MacInnes)

Other materials, including former self-study posted on “W” drive

April 2009

Faculty meeting presentation (Baker) on assessment and new assessment templates (Moodle site)

May 2009 Assessment Plans (majors) steps 1-4 due to Assessment Committee

June 2009

Self-Study Design forwarded to Karen Solomon, HLC liaison with Albion College

June 2009

ACPA “Assessment and Evaluation of Student Affairs” Conference (Dunham, Connie Smith, Kenneth Snyder, and Michael Wadsworth)

August 2009


Steering Committee determines groups and subgroups for assignments;

Data collection and writing assignments are distributed

August 2009

Launch of “Self-Study Year”

  • Letter from President Randall to Board of Trustees, Alumni Association Board of Directors, faculty, and staff
  • Letter from Student Senate president to student body
  • Presentations at Fall Faculty Retreat
  • Distribution of “mission cards” and criteria to campus community including faculty, students, staff, Alumni Association Board of Directors and Board of Trustees
  • Selection of students for membership on Steering Committee
  • Creation of Web site for accreditation

August 2009

Faculty credentials, syllabi, and retrospective materials due in Provost's Office.

Assessment Plans (majors) reviewed by Assessment Committee.

September 2009 Revisions to Assessment Plans (majors) due to Assessment Committee

October 2009

Article on accreditation in The Pleiad (student newspaper)

November 2009

Article on accreditation in the Io Triumphe (alumni publication)

November 2009

Continued collection of documentation in Provost's Office

Assessment Plans (majors) steps 5-6 dur to Assessment Committee

Drafts of selected criteria due for review by Accreditation Steering Committee

November 2009

Drafts of some writing assignments due and posted for campus comment

December 2009 Review of drafts by Accreditation Steering Committee

January-April 2010

Collection of materials for academic program review

March 2010

Drafts of selected criteria due for review by Accreditation Steering Committee.

Updates on assessment activities provided to Assessment Committee.

Receipt of names of visiting team members for consideration about conflict of interest

April 2010 HLC annual meeting in Chicago

Assessment Academy (Dunham)
Workshop on Writing the Self-Study (Seely and MacInnes)
Workshop on Finances (Frandsen)
Peer Reviewer Workshop (Conner)
April 2010 Review of drafts by Accreditation Steering Committee

May- June 2010

Drafts of selected criteria due for review by Accreditation Steering Committee

Continued collection of documentation in Provost's Office

May 2010

Drafts and documentation posted on Moodle site

Final 2009-2010 assessment activities (majors) reported to Assessment Committee.

June 2010

Review of drafts by Accreditation Steering Committee.

July 2010

Review of drafts by Accreditation Steering Committee

College snapshot completed by IR.

August 2010

Members of Accreditation Steering Committee finalize draft

Editing to put the Self-Study into "one voice"

August 2010

Fall Faculty Retreat update on accreditation

Distribution of "mission cards" to new students

Letter from President Randall to Albion College constituents about upcoming visit

Letter from Student Senate President to all students about upcoming visit

September 2010

Placing the Criteria and Core components on the Web site for
campus viewing and comment.

September 2010

Assessment Plans (minors) steps 1-4 due to Assessment Committee

October 2010

Finalizing the Electronic Resource Room and creating final documents of the Self-Study and accompanying materials for distribution to HLC and visiting team.

November 15, 2010

Specified materials mailed to the Higher Learning Commission and members of the visiting team

November 2010 -January 2011

Final arrangements made for visiting team at Belmont Manor

February 6-9, 2011

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