• Dan Fagan

MSU to undergo accreditation review

Students discuss campus life; photo by Andrea Orta-Diaz

Every ten years, Minot State University undergoes an accreditation evaluation to ensure the institution meets quality standards in education. The evaluation is conducted by the Higher Learning Commission, an independent corporation that accredits colleges in the north central region of the United States.

"It's the stamp of approval," Linda Cresap, Higher Learning Commission chair and professor of business information technology, said. "Its assures the public we have high quality programs that are well-resourced."

Regional accreditation is required for colleges to receive federal financial aid for students. It also allows students to transfer credits to or from other regionally accredited institutions.

The HLC team will evaluate MSU when it visits the campus Oct. 30-31.

During this time, MSU will present a 35,000 word assurance argument to the HLC team. The argument is built around five criteria that include the college's mission, ethical and responsible conduct, teaching and learning quality, evaluation and improvement, and institutional effectiveness. A more in-depth description of the five criteria can be found on the MUS webpage, MinotStateU.edu/accreditation/assurance.shtml.

The HLC team will also tour the campus. They will meet with administrators, faculty, staff, and students. The team will then make accreditation recommendations based on the campus visits and review of the assurance argument.

Students will have an opportunity to learn more about the accreditation process in the weeks leading up to the evaluation.

"We will be holding forums for the students to learn more about the accreditation process," Cresap said. "I encourage students to attend these forums."

The HLC forums are Tuesdays, Sept. 12, 19, 26, and Oct. 3 and 10 from 8:30 to 9:15 a.m. A final forum is set for Tuesday, Oct. 24, at 12:30 p.m. Each session will provide a summary and talking points of criterion in preparation for the October site visit. The forums are open to students, faculty, and staff and will be held in the Conference Center, third floor, Student Center.

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