Sauk Valley Community College


Focused Visit Report to the

Higher Learning Commission

Narrative Report

April 10 – 11, 2006


Although almost everyone at the College has been involved in the changes that have occurred during the past few years, a special task force was assembled in July 2005 to prepare this report.

Ms. Ruth Bittner, Vice President of College Services

Mr. Thomas Gospodarczyk, Dean of Adult Educational Services (Ch. 2)

Ms. Jane Hamilton, Assist Professor of English and Reading (Ch. 1 & 4)

Dr. Joan E. Kerber, Vice President of Learning Services

Dr. Karen Pinter, Professor of Reading and English (Appendix A)

Ms. Amanda Vos, Assistant Professor of English and Education (Ch. 3)

President’s Message

The 2002 Comprehensive Accreditation visit from the Higher Learning Commission resulted in a required Focused Visit in 2006 on strategic planning and the assessment of student learning. This outcome is a serious matter and has been taken seriously by everyone at Sauk Valley Community College.

Since the 2002 visit Sauk Valley Community College has undergone significant changes. In July, 2005, I replaced Dr. Richard Behrendt, who retired after 19 years as President. At the time I started, it was immediately evident the entire college community had worked diligently to make necessary and monumental changes. The cultural changes and preparation for the Focused Visit were well underway at the time I was hired.

The approach taken by our SVCC staff in some aspects is unique; however, it has been both genuine and effective. What makes me proud is the total commitment exhibited by all faculty, staff, and administrators. Our assessment plan is exceptional: it has been developed by faculty, it is used by all faculty, and there have been changes in the learning environment as a direct result of assessment.

Our strategic planning has come a long way. While we are in the second year of a three-year cycle, it is evident the institution is planning for the future. The Board of Trustees has accepted a much greater role in the planning process and has set the direction and vision for the college.

I am very proud to have joined Sauk during this fortieth anniversary year. The entire college community has done a tremendous job in preparing for the focused visit: previous team concerns have been addressed, and the staff has been proactive in assessing weaknesses and initiating positive changes.

Dr. George Mihel, President

Sauk Valley Community College