Focused visit for HLC reaccreditation scheduled

UND will be receiving a reaccreditation “focused visit” from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the NCA on April 7-8, 2008. This focused visit will occur because UND was found deficient in its assessment of student learning at the last comprehensive reaccreditation site visit. At that time, the accreditation team reported that too few departments were doing direct assessment of student learning, as documented in annual reports (in fact, site visitors reviewed departmental annual reports and singled out several as negative examples).

Specific areas of improvement to be achieved prior to the 2008 focused visit were described as follows: “all programs should have identified measurable learning goals, established more than one direct measure of student learning as well as indirect measures, reviewed outcomes of such measures, and taken actions indicated by the outcomes.” More generally, the HLC directed that the university should provide “evidence that UND is moving toward maturing levels of continuous improvement and that all faculty, students, and administrators across the University are involved in the assessment process.”

A steering committee has been formed in preparation for the spring 2008 focused visit. Steering committee members include Renee Mabey (Medicine), Robert Newman (Arts and Sciences), Margaret Healy (College of Education and Human Development), Kirsten Dauphinais (Law), Richard Schultz (Engineering), Duane Helleloid (Business and Public Administration), Kim Kenville (Aerospace), Helen Melland (Nursing and co-chair), Wayne Swisher (Graduate School), Lillian Elsinga (Student Services), Jane Sims (Continuing Education), and Joan Hawthorne (Provost’s Office and co-chair).

During the next year, steering committee members will continue to work with faculty to upgrade UND assessment processes and activities, but they will also be actively collecting information for inclusion in our report to the HLC (due in Fall 2007). Please be helpful if you are called by someone from the committee – this work is integral to the functioning of the entire institution, and it can be successful only with the efforts of everyone at the university.
-- Joan Hawthorne, Assistant Provost, Provost Office,, 7-4684