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WMU prepares for upcoming accreditation visit

Oct. 27, 2009

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University is at the mid-point of preparations for its decennial accreditation visit by the Higher Learning Commission, and the process's public comment period is fast approaching.

A team of about 15 HLC reviewers will visit campus Oct. 18-20, 2010, to determine how well WMU meets the criteria for continued accreditation. The University's self-study steering committee and its seven subcommittees have been working since October 2008 preparing for the visit.

The next phase of the process involves compiling chapters for WMU's self-study report. A draft of that document will be available for public comment in February, and the final report will be submitted July 1, 2010.

The self-study steering committee and its subcommittees are collecting data that the HLC review team has requested as evidence that WMU is accomplishing its mission and goals relative to five commission criteria:

  • Mission and integrity.
  • Preparation for the future.
  • Student learning and effective teaching.
  • Acquisition, discovery and application of knowledge.
  • Engagement and service.

The requested evidence supports the individual self-study chapters that the subcommittees are completing this fall semester, and gives the subcommittees a chance to note WMU's strengths as well as opportunities available to the University.

During the visit by the HCL review team next year, the team will hold a series of meetings over three days and consult all of the pieces of evidence that has been collected for the University's decennial accreditation. It will then confirm whether WMU has met its evidentiary obligation, and, in turn, the five HCL criteria.

WMU has been accredited by the North Central Association continuously since 1915. The last self-examination and subsequent site visit in 2001 were part of the regular reaccreditation process that occurs every 10 years.

The HCL is an independent corporation and one of two commission members of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, which was founded in 1895 as one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. The commission accredits, thereby granting membership in the commission and in the North Central Association to degree-granting educational institutions in the 19-state North Central region.

For more information, visit the WMU Accreditation and Certification site.

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Media contact: Jeanne Baron, (269) 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

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