Luther goes through re-accreditation process

The+peer+corps+team+consisted+of+Dean+of+Nursing+at+Harding+University+Susan+Kehl%2C+Professor+of+Psychology+at+John+Carroll+University+Elizabeth+V.+Swenson%2C+Assistant+Professor+of+Chemistry+at+West+Liberty+University+Jon+Serra%2C+and+Vice+President+of+Academic+Affairs+at+North+Central+University+Don+Tucker+talk+with+Professor+of+Physics+and+Associate+Dean+Jeff+Wilkerson+after+a+forum.++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++%09%09%09%09%09+++++
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Luther goes through re-accreditation process

The peer corps team consisted of Dean of Nursing at Harding University Susan Kehl, Professor of Psychology at John Carroll University Elizabeth V. Swenson, Assistant Professor of Chemistry at West Liberty University Jon Serra, and Vice President of Academic Affairs at North Central University Don Tucker talk with Professor of Physics and Associate Dean Jeff Wilkerson after a forum.

The peer corps team consisted of Dean of Nursing at Harding University Susan Kehl, Professor of Psychology at John Carroll University Elizabeth V. Swenson, Assistant Professor of Chemistry at West Liberty University Jon Serra, and Vice President of Academic Affairs at North Central University Don Tucker talk with Professor of Physics and Associate Dean Jeff Wilkerson after a forum.

Katrina Meyer (‘19) | Chips

The peer corps team consisted of Dean of Nursing at Harding University Susan Kehl, Professor of Psychology at John Carroll University Elizabeth V. Swenson, Assistant Professor of Chemistry at West Liberty University Jon Serra, and Vice President of Academic Affairs at North Central University Don Tucker talk with Professor of Physics and Associate Dean Jeff Wilkerson after a forum.

Katrina Meyer (‘19) | Chips

Katrina Meyer (‘19) | Chips

The peer corps team consisted of Dean of Nursing at Harding University Susan Kehl, Professor of Psychology at John Carroll University Elizabeth V. Swenson, Assistant Professor of Chemistry at West Liberty University Jon Serra, and Vice President of Academic Affairs at North Central University Don Tucker talk with Professor of Physics and Associate Dean Jeff Wilkerson after a forum.

Katilynn Swanson and Katrina Meyer

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Representatives from the Higher Learning Commission made a visit to Luther to evaluate the college’s eligibility for re-accreditation March 11 and 12. Accreditation occurs every ten years, which, according to the Oxford English Dictionary is “official certification that a school, course, etc., has met standards established by external regulators; a professional endorsement or qualification of this kind.” Luther has been preparing for this latest visit since March 2018. During the commission’s stay, three forums were held in which faculty, students, and staff participated.

The accreditation process is run by the Higher Learning commission, a regional institution that is responsible for accreditation decisions in 19 states across the middle of the U.S. The Commission has a list of their own elected goals for higher learning institutions and federal guidelines. These criteria include a clear, public mission committed to the diversity of society and the public good; actions that have integrity and are ethical and responsible; teaching and learning that is high-quality and has proper resources and support; responsibility for educational programs’ quality and improvement; and resources and plans to fulfill the current mission, handle future challenges, and concrete goals for improvement. The representatives from the Commission held a series of three meetings, specifically focusing on the five criteria each institution must meet. After these meetings, they decide whether the criteria has been “met,” “met with concern,” or “not met.”

According to Associate Professor of Religion Sean Burke, accreditation has important implications for Luther, making the process very valuable.

“First I should step back and say what’s the importance of this whole process, and while on one hand there’s this sort of aspirational, it’s to help us continue to improve in fulfilling our education mission,” Burke said. “On the other hand there’s a very technical, practical aspect, which is [that] in order for our students to receive access to federal financial aid, we have to be an accredited college. If we were to lose our accreditation, then students would not be eligible for federal financial aid.”

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