Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Latest on Accreditation

As many of you are aware, UMKC is currently in the process of preparing a self-study report to the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) for our 10-year reaccreditation. This effort has been ongoing since early 2007, and is on schedule for completion. The HLC site team visit is scheduled for October 12-14, 2009.

The Accreditation Steering Committee, and the five subcommittees representing the five Criteria for Accreditation, are composed of faculty from all of the academic units, as well as staff members from all administrative departments. In fact, our new Chancellor, Leo Morton, as well as his Chief of Staff, Dr. Margaret Brommelsiek, both strongly support the accreditation effort and serve as Co-Chairs of Criterion Five Committee (Engagement and Service).

At this writing, the first drafts of most of the Criterion chapters have been received by the 3-member Edit Team, which was drawn from members of the Steering Committee. The Edit Team is in the process of reviewing the initial drafts for compliance with HLC Criterion requirements, as well as general editorial style criteria. The next step in the process is for the Edit Team to return the chapter drafts to the five Criterion Committees, with requests for additional “Examples of Evidence” and/or suggestions for editorial fine-tuning. After approval of all chapters by the Edit Team, the report will go to the full Steering Committee for review.

Concurrently, the electronic Resource Room is being populated with the hundreds of documents required by HLC regulations to support the self-study report, as well as to confirm our adherence to HLC guidelines for “good practice.” Many of the documents are available for viewing by the general UMKC community at the Resource Room link. A physical Resource Room will be created prior to the site team visit; it will contain hard copies of the self-study report, along with key documents cited in the report, and computer terminals for all of the anticipated site team members.

Along with the research and documentation needed to create the self-study report, the Steering Committee has been utilizing various media in an effort to inform the UMKC community about the accreditation process. Informational letters and postcards were sent to faculty, staff and students in 2007. In 2008, bookmarks were printed which emphasize the University’s Mission Statement and the importance of accreditation; these bookmarks are being distributed each semester to the UMKC community through the academic departments, as well as the University Libraries and Bookstores. Recently, Chancellor Leo Morton recorded a video in which he emphasized the importance of accreditation and the ways in which the Core Components, as defined by the HLC, are intrinsically tied to the University’s four-part Mission.

When the self-study is completed, it will be shared with the entire UMKC community; feedback will be requested through a link on the accreditation website. It is anticipated that this will occur toward the end of this semester, which will allow time for corrections or changes to the report prior to our self-imposed deadline for printing in early summer. You may address any questions or concerns regarding the accreditation process to Dr. Max Skidmore, Steering Committee Chair ( or to Teresa Crew, Coordinator for Accreditation (

-Written by Teresa Crew, Coordinator for Accreditation

If you would like to read more about UMKC Accreditation see our October 28th, 2008 post.

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