On March 21 through 24, Hiram College welcomes representatives from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) as part of its decennial reaccreditation process. Higher education institutions in the U.S. voluntarily seek accreditation from agencies like the HLC to ensure ongoing evaluation of educational quality. The site visit marks the end of a two-year self study process required for continued accreditation from the HLC.
Hiram’s self study, Environments that Matter, represents the hard work of all members of the Hiram College community to provide an exceptional learning landscape for students, in and out of the classroom. It is a reflection of the College’s efforts to promote student learning via effective teaching, and it fully recognizes actions that are necessary for continuous improvement. Copies of Environments that Matter are available to the campus via Hiram Portal, in the “Documents” link, in the section called “Self Study & Strategic Planning Campus Wide site.”
Open meetings for students, faculty and staff will be hosted on campus at the following times and locations:
Students: Monday, March 22, 4:15 p.m., Coleman Room, 2nd Floor, Gerstacker Science Hall
Staff: Monday March 22, 4:15 p.m., Pritchard Room, 2nd Floor, Library
Faculty: Tuesday March 23, 4:15 p.m., Garfield Meeting House
The visiting team of consultant-evaluators includes Team Chair Dr. James E. Swartz from the department of chemistry at Grinnell College; Dr. Jean Deller, assistant vice president for program development and assessment at Trine University; Dr. Jo Young Switzer, president of Manchester College; and Dr. Michael Zimmerman, dean for the college of liberal arts and sciences, Butler University.
These consultant-evaluators have evaluated our written report within the context of meeting the five HLC criteria: mission and integrity; preparing for the future; student learning and effective teaching; acquisition, discovery, and application of knowledge; and engagement and service. Upon completion of the visit, our consultant-evaluators will generate a report and set of recommendations, with a final report expected in the late summer 2010.
Environments that Matter serves as the launch pad for the institution’s next strategic planning process. The introspection and collaborative discourse part of any good self study is an excellent starting point for discussions about the future of the institution. Since the adoption of Hiram’s previous strategic plan, Hiram has launched new programs such as a masters of arts in interdisciplinary studies and a bachelors of science in nursing. Student enrollment has increased to nearly 1,200 traditional, residential students and new construction has added spaces for students to learn, live and eat.
For more information regarding accreditation, or to contact the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association, please visithttp://www.ncahigherlearningcommission.org.