In another section, we have provided a comprehensive response to the concerns and suggestions of prior review teams at the 2002 HLC Reaffirmation of Accreditation Visit, which was conducted against the previous set of criteria, and the 2006 Focused Visit. Here is a brief summary of the responses to concerns that intersect with the values addressed in this criterion:
- “The college should ensure that the faculty are fully understanding of their role in the ownership and direction of the curriculum, as well as provide for clarity in a student’s progression through coursework to a degree” (2002, p. 12). The role of faculty in directing curriculum is now a well-documented aspect of the college. From the general education philosophy and degree requirements to the development of specific course outcomes, faculty clearly have accountability for establishing the curriculum. The makeup of the Curriculum Committee, the leadership of faculty Area Facilitators, and the operational planning and program review processes all provide evidence that faculty are actively responsible for directing the curriculum at every level (1D.4).
- “A review of the 2000-2003 strategic plan reveals no provisions for persons responsible, resource implications, timeline for implementation, nor evaluative components. . . . The next iteration of the Strategic Plan should include the aforementioned essential elements, linkages to other developed plans, and clarity in implementation strategies" (2002, p. 12). Each of two iterations of the planning process have successfully added the expected components: Accountabilities are clearly indicated; a timeline coordinates strategic planning with various other planning systems and with the budget cycle; appropriate data is supplied to allow planning implications to be appropriately evaluated (2C.1).
- “Faculty and academic administrators should discuss and arrive at agreement regarding the logic of enrolling students in any required remediation as a co-requisite along with transfer courses that purport an expectation of expertise in reading ability for student success” (2002, p. 12) Further review of the concurrent reading enrollment requirement has confirmed the college’s initial disagreement with this item. Given improvements in faculty direction of curriculum and by articulating this requirement as part of an over-arching effort to help students overcome study skills barriers, Sauk has addressed underlying philosophical concerns about the policy. In addition, data shows that students are able to succeed in their college-level coursework while concurrently enrolled in a reading class (HLC).
- Topical Areas: The visiting teams provided suggestions to address some general concerns(HLC).
- In addressing “communications challenges” (2002, pp 6-7) that surfaced both at leadership levels and during the team’s contact with faculty and students, Sauk has taken several actions to make improvements: Reorganizing the administrative positions and other changes in the organizational structure tended to improve cooperation and teamwork. Development of internet communication options increased access to information, including regular posting of committee and administrative meeting minutes .
- The college added the identification of itself as “an institution of higher education” in the 2006 revision of the Mission Statement as requested by the visiting team (2002, p. 7).
- The college added “the HLC-NCA name, address, phone number, and email address” to the 2004-2006 catalog as directed and has kept it in place through subsequent revisions (2002, p. 7). The college also uses the electronic mark of affiliation on the web as recently required.