ERIC Number: ED484268
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Wyoming Community Colleges Annual Accreditation Report, April 1, 2003-March 31, 2004
Wyoming Community College Commission
The Higher Learning Commission (HLC), a commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA), accredits Wyoming's seven community colleges. Institutional accreditation is a voluntary process that serves the purposes of quality assurance and institutional and program improvement. Colleges that are accredited by the HLC continually evaluate their programs and overall institutions in light of the guidelines set forth by the HLC. Currently, the Wyoming community colleges follow the HLC Program to Evaluate and Advance Quality (PEAQ) to maintain accreditation status. The PEAQ process for institutional accreditation is a continuous cycle. For approximately two years, the institution conducts a Self-Study, which critically assesses all programs and aspects of the institution. This Self-Study helps both the college and the HLC prepare for a Comprehensive Visit by a team of peer evaluators. The Comprehensive Visit Team critically evaluates the Self-Study Report and the institution during the visit and then subsequently makes a recommendation about continued accreditation status. The Higher Learning Commission uses five criteria for accreditation: (1) Mission and integrity: the institution must operate with integrity to ensure the fulfillment of its mission through structures and processes that involve the board, administration, faculty, staff, and students; (2) Preparation for the future: allocation of resources and its processes for evaluation and planning must demonstrate the institution's capacity to fulfill its mission, improve the quality of its education, and respond to future challenges and opportunities; (3) Student learning and effective teaching: evidence of student learning and teaching effectiveness must demonstrate that it is fulfilling its educational mission; (4) Acquisition, discovery, and application of knowledge: the institution must promote a life of learning for its faculty, administration, staff, and students by fostering and supporting inquiry, creativity, practice, and social responsibility in ways consistent with its mission; and (5) Engagement and service: the organization must identify its constituencies and serve them in ways both value as called for by its mission. Because continued institutional accreditation is granted for various periods of time and institutions applied for candidacy at various times in the past, each of the Wyoming community colleges is at a different phase of the on-going institutional accreditation process. During the time period of April 1, 2003 to March 31, 2004, three of the seven Wyoming community colleges had institutional accreditation activity. This summary is provided in compliance with W.S. 21-18-202(e)(i), which requires the Community College Commission to "report the findings of institutional and specialized accreditation studies."
Descriptors: Educational Quality, Quality Control, Accreditation (Institutions), Postsecondary Education, Community Colleges, Academic Standards, Institutional Evaluation, State Standards
Wyoming Community College Commission, 2020 Carey Ave., 8th Floor, Cheyenne, WY 82002. Tel: 307-777-7763; Web site: http://commission.wcc.edu.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Two Year Colleges
Authoring Institution: Wyoming Community Coll. Commission, Cheyenne.