May 1, 2019

Accreditation Is Coming

The re-accreditation process represents an opportunity for us to identify areas where our campus needs improvement and to implement change. Preparation for our re-accreditation will continue for the next six months, and it involves three main components:

  • The completion, in October 2018, of our Quality Initiative, in which we worked to improve university advising, supplemental instruction, and the First Year Experience course.
  • Preparation of the Assurance Argument, a self-evaluation that examines every aspect of the institution including educational activities, governance and administration, financial stability, admissions and student personnel services, resources, student academic achievement, organizational effectiveness, and relationships with outside constituencies. This will be finished by October 7, 2019.
  • The completion of our comprehensive site visit, in which a team of peer reviewers affiliated with the Higher Learning Commission will come to our university on November 4-5, 2019. In addition to the site visit team holding open forums to interview various constituencies, they will write an evaluation report that will be used to determine our accreditation status moving forward.

Accreditation is a way to insure that UM-Flint is fulfilling its goals and serving our students and communities to the best of our ability. Accreditation is voluntary, and it serves as assurance to students that they will get a quality education when they attend the University of Michigan-Flint. It also increases the potential of transferability of credits from one accredited institution to another.

Preparation for the HLC re-accreditation visit and its eventual success are vital to the future of our campus. It is extremely important that the process be highly participatory and completely transparent. We want all of our faculty, staff, and students to be actively involved in the process, understand the importance of re-accreditation, and the development of our Assurance Statement.

We appreciate your early assistance and participation in the planning and prepping for our HLC site visit November 4 and 5, 2019.

Thank you in advance.

The Higher Learning Commission Steering Committee

January 10, 2019

From: Deibis, Mary
Sent: Thursday, January 10, 2019 11:00 AM
To: 'umf_fac_staff@list.umflint.edu'
Subject: [Umf_fac_staff] Current HLC Reaccreditation Activity
 
This message is being forwarded to you on behalf of Dr. Stephen W. Turner, Interim Associate Provost and Dean of Graduate Programs and Chair of HLC Reaccreditation Steering Committee.  Thank you, Mary Deibis.
 
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Dear Colleagues:

I'm writing to you to provide an update on HLC activities at the UM-Flint, and to introduce two individuals— Deb White and Kori Coleman — in their new roles on the UM-Flint campus.  Deb, former director of OEL, is now serving as HLC Writer/Editor, and Kori is assisting our HLC re-accreditation efforts.

Let me review our current HLC efforts.
 
First, you may be aware that UM-Flint now follows the Higher Learning Commission Open Pathways accreditation process, which differs significantly from our prior process. One major new component has been the Quality Initiative, which Interim Provost Alcock touched on briefly in one of her recent communications. The Quality Initiative is an effort intended to improve some particular aspect of our university's operations. Ours focused on increasing student persistence through three initiatives:  the re-design of the CAS advising system, the bolstering of our Supplemental Instruction offered through the Student Success Center, and the re-envisioning of our FYE courses, which is currently a work in progress. The Quality Initiative was officially concluded in October 2018.

Second, and the other major difference overall, is our means of HLC documentation. In the old system, we wrote a large self-study document once every ten years. In the Open Pathways system, we write two smaller studies called assurance arguments, one in year four and a second, more comprehensive one, in year ten. Because we adopted this new process during the fourth year (2013-14), we were not required to write the year-four assurance argument during our current cycle.

Since 2016, the HLC Steering Committee has been working to prepare for the 10th year comprehensive assurance argument, which will be submitted to the HLC in early October, followed by a site visit on November 4-5, 2019.

A key aspect of the assurance argument is that it is limited in length to 35,000 words, with the intent of focusing strongly on accurate, succinct reporting of our current state of affairs, both positive and negative. Additionally, instead of presenting our HLC peer reviewers with a roomful of paper documentation, the assurance argument incorporates direct hyperlinks to electronic documents providing the supporting evidence.

In association with this effort, as noted above, we have hired two employees to perform significant components of this important work. Deb White, the former director of the Office of Extended Learning, is now serving as the HLC Writer/Editor and will continue her work on the assurance argument until its final submission in October. Kori Coleman has been hired as an administrative assistant to facilitate our efforts. Part of their collective responsibility involves the collection of evidence; you may recently have been contacted by either Deb or Kori, as they have been reaching out to various departments seeking documentation to support the assurance argument.

In order to ensure accuracy, it is important for the HLC Steering Committee to receive feedback from the university community on the assurance argument. We are now nearing completion of an initial draft, and you will soon receive an email that will include a link to the draft document, as well as a link to a Form Assembly site to provide feedback.

 
Thank you,
Stephen W. Turner, PhD
Interim Associate Provost and Dean of Graduate Programs
Chair of HLC Reaccreditation Steering Committee

April 2017

The University of Michigan-Flint is in the early planning stages for our Higher Learning Commission (HLC) continued accreditation process.  Our last HLC comprehensive reaccreditation occurred in 2009 and our next one is scheduled to occur in 2019.  Preparation for the continued accreditation involves a self-evaluation that encompasses every aspect of the institution including educational activities, governance and administration, financial stability, admissions and student personnel services, resources, student academic achievement, organizational effectiveness, and relationships with outside constituencies.  It is also an opportunity for us to identify areas where our campus needs improvement and to implement change.

Accreditation is a way to insure that higher learning institutions are fulfilling their goals and serving their students and communities to the best of their ability.  Accreditation is voluntary, and it serves as assurance to students that they will get a quality education when they attend an accredited college or university. It also increases the potential of transferability of credits from one accredited institution to another.

UM-Flint is prepping for a fall 2019 visit from the HLC, of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools which is the accrediting agency for UM-Flint, UM-Ann Arbor, and many other schools and colleges in this region of the country.  Their role is to ensure students are receiving a quality education and the institution is operating within the boundaries of its stated mission.

Preparation for the HLC reaccreditation visit and its eventual success are vital to the future of our campus.  It is extremely important that the process be highly participatory and completely transparent.  We want all of our faculty, staff, and students to be actively involved in the process, understand the importance of reaccreditation, and the development of our Assurance Statement (formerly known as “self-study.”)

We appreciate your early assistance and participation in the planning and prepping for our HLC site visit November 4 and 5, 2019.

Thank you in advance.

Higher Learning Commission Steering Committee