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Posts for 2016

Accreditation Minute readership at 56%

This is the second issue of Accreditation Minute, your ongoing source of news and information about accreditation and the progress Western Dakota Tech is making to improve and move off probation.

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Highmark Conference Room opens doors

Western Dakota Tech held a ribbon-cutting ceremony today to open the new Highmark Federal Credit Union Conference Room.

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Important Dates and Events

We have a lot of accreditation-related work to accomplish between now and 2018. We will write and submit a progress report, Assurance Argument, and Federal Compliance report; prepare and host a comprehensive peer review; and become experts in accreditation, assessment, planning, program and unit review, and more. Thankfully, we have plans in place to complete all this work and have set aside time in the calendar to do it. Upcoming major events include:

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HLC Vocabulary

The Higher Learning Commission publishes several different kinds of standards. Understanding each of them reduces what can be a significant amount of confusion that occurs when we first start learning about accreditation. It is difficult to say one of these standards is more important than another, our Assurance Argument will focus on showing compliance with the Criteria for Accreditation. Here’s a primer on the Criteria and other sets of standards:

Criteria for Accreditation: The Criteria for Accreditation are the standards of quality by which the Commission determines whether an institution merits accreditation or reaffirmation of accreditation. There are five Criteria. Each Criteria has Core Components and Subcomponents that provide additional insight. Read the Criteria here:  

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Where we are and where we’re going

As you know, the Higher Learning Commission, our regional accrediting agency, placed Western Dakota Tech on Probation in February 2016. We were placed on probation because HLC decided we were not in compliance with its requirements in three areas – assessment of student learning, use of persistence and completion rates, and institutional effectiveness.         

That’s the bad news. The good news is we have been making, and continue to make, improvements in all three areas. Our progress has been so significant I have complete confidence we will be off probation as soon as possible.

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