Lawrence is preparing for an accreditation review, a process that every institution of higher education undergoes. Below are answers to questions about where we are in the process. (See the original Accreditation FAQ at http://go.lawrence.edu/accredfaq1 for information about what accreditation is and why it matters.)
What’s happening with accreditation?
The Accreditation & Assessment Committee has been preparing materials for our upcoming review by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The review has three parts:
(1) Quality Initiative Report: Title III Project Director Matt Stoneking is preparing a report on years 4-5 of our Title III project to improve retention, persistence, and completion by first-generation students and students from traditionally underrepresented groups.
(2) Assurance Argument & Evidence File: The committee has drafted arguments for the five quality assurance criteria set by the HLC, and these arguments link to evidence documents collected from across the university. The arguments and evidence are being loaded into the HLC system for further editing and review.
(3) Federal Compliance Form: Director of Research Administration Kristin McKinley has gathered evidence to show our compliance with federal requirements—including 25 appendices!
The Higher Learning Commission has selected a team of five peer reviewers from public and private universities. The team will review our materials in September and visit campus to meet with administration, faculty, staff, students, and trustees on October 1-2.
Students and the public have been invited to submit comments to the HLC via a student survey emailed to all students in April and public notices sent to our public email list and placed in alumni magazines and local newspapers.
What’s coming up?
This summer we will edit our materials and update the evidence before we lock our submission at the end of August. In September, we will communicate with the campus community about preparing for the review visit. On October 1-2, the HLC peer review team will be on campus to conduct their comprehensive evaluation.
How can I help?
If you receive a request to provide information or documents for the evidence file, please respond right away. You may also be asked to review parts of the argument or evidence for accuracy. At the start of the academic year in September, we expect that you will be eager to hear about our review visit and the role that you might play.