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University passes HLC accreditation report ‘with flying colors’

Published: Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, September 12, 2012 03:09

After receiving continued accreditation, the University of Toledo is assessing their current position and where they can go from here.

Last year, the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, or HLC, evaluated UT and found it to meet all five standards of assessment. The results were delivered in a comprehensive report published last month.

“Successful continued accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission is something every member of our university community should take pride in,” UT President Lloyd Jacobs said in a statement.

Penny Poplin Gosetti, vice provost for assessment and strategic planning, worked on the self-study report presented to the HLC last spring.

She said she was unsurprised that the university “passed with flying colors.”

Poplin Gosetti said the committee viewed 10 years of information and compared the university’s results to its own goals.

“It’s all about quality improvement,” Poplin Gosetti said. “In this report, the assurance section passes if we understand the criteria and the advancement piece is what they write in order to provide peer consultation.”

Poplin Gosetti said the HLC’s team is made up of administrators from other universities who assess each other. She said the suggestions are not mandatory, but the team expects their advice to be heard.

“It’s like if a faculty member is going over your paper and they ask you to change something,” she said. “You know it’s a choice to listen, but if you don’t then you’re probably not going to get the best grade.”

Poplin Gosetti said now that the university has received the HLC’s assessment, administrators will begin developing ways to address areas that could be improved.

The report suggested areas of improvement like increasing “attention to assessment of
interdisciplinary programs” and getting the student body to understand what it means to “be a Rocket.”

Poplin Gosetti said, while the committee provides examples for improvement, they focus on the large, overarching goals of the university.

“Just because something’s not mentioned in the report doesn’t mean it isn’t a problem we need to address,” Poplin Gosetti said. “They’re not here to assess individuals. They’re here to address large scale problems that influence students’ ability to learn.”


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