Two years of collaboration and comprehensive work paid off last week when the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) removed the “on notice” status for East Central College.
ECC President Dr. Jon Bauer said the HLC Board of Trustees removed the sanction June 25. ECC was placed “on notice” in June 2018.
The college has remained fully accredited throughout the process of removing the sanction.
“Many thanks to all who have been involved with our institutional response, planning and actions over the last two years,” Dr. Bauer said. “The collaborative and comprehensive work that has taken place has made ECC a better institution.”
ECC Board of Trustees President Ann Hartley credited the work of the administration, staff and faculty for moving the college forward.
“East Central College is pleased with the decision announced by the Higher Learning Commission, notifying the college that all criteria for full accreditation have been met,” she said. “This is the result of much hard, thoughtful, intelligent work by many faculty and staff at ECC.”
“Their dedication and commitment to the College is evident every day in their attention to the education of students and it is very rewarding to have that recognized by the Higher Learning Commission,” Hartley noted.
The “on notice” designation began a two-year process, which included the college addressing shared governance and communication throughout the college; increasing the number of assessments and evaluations for faculty and staff; providing additional data-driven decision making by the administrative staff; the development of a retention plan, and additional policies and decisions to address the HLC’s concerns.
A primary component to removing the sanction was the development of a strategic plan. That plan, SOAR to 2024, went into effect in August 2019.
Dr. Bauer added that college employees are to thank for the removal of the sanction, and that the leadership of Vice President of Academic Affairs/ECC’s Accreditation Liaison Officer (ALO) Robyn Walter, was incredibly valuable during the process.
The HLC is the accrediting body for ECC and about 1,000 colleges and universities in 19 states that stretch from West Virginia to Arizona. HLC is a private, nonprofit accrediting agency.
HLC representatives will be on campus in 2022 for a comprehensive visit.