HLC Site Visit Frequently Asked Questions
- Who provides institutional accreditation to Mercy College?
- When will Mercy College’s next HLC reaffirmation of accreditation occur?
- What is accreditation and why is it so important?
- What is the Difference between Pathways and AQUIP institutions?
- What are the 5 steps of the Pathways process?
- What do we need to do for our next Comprehensive Evaluation in 2013-2014?
Who provides institutional accreditation to Mercy College?
Institutional accreditation at Mercy College is provided by the Higher Learning Commission (HCL), a member of the North Central Association (NCA).
When will Mercy College’s next HLC reaffirmation of accreditation occur?
Candidacy was initially granted to Mercy College in 1997 and accreditation was granted in 1999 for the Bachelor’s level. The last PEAQ Comprehensive Evaluation was 2003-2004 and the next PEAQ Comprehensive Evaluation will be 2013-2014.
What is accreditation and why is it so important?
It is an independent review of an institution’s educational programs. It helps to ensure that the programs and institution meet high quality standards/criteria established by the accrediting body. Also, unaccredited schools are not eligible for many kinds of federal support.
What is the Difference between PEAQ, AQUIP and Pathways Programs?
The Commission provides 3 programs for maintaining accredited status: the Program to Evaluate and Advance Quality (PEAQ), the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQUIP), and a new model developed by the Commission called Pathways. Mercy College is a PEAQ Institution and will move into the Pathways Model in 2014 after our next scheduled site visit.
- PEAQ consists of an institutional self-study, an evaluation by a team of trained peer reviewers, and final decision-making by the Commission.
- AQUIP is structured around quality improvement principles and processes and involves a structured set of goal-setting, networking, and accountability activities.
- Pathways separates the continued accreditation process into two components: the Assurance Process and the Improvement Process.
- More info at: http://www.ncahlc.org/Information-for-Institutions/accreditation.html
What are the 5 steps of the Pathways process?
The 5 steps are:
- The organization engages in a self-study process for approximately two years and prepares a report of its findings in accordance with Commission expectations.
- The Commission sends a team of consultant-evaluators to conduct a comprehensive visit for continued accreditation and to write a report containing the team’s recommendation.
- The documents relating to the comprehensive visit are reviewed by a Readers Panel or, in some situations, a Review Committee.
- A decision-making body takes action on the Readers Panel/Review Committee’s recommendation.
- The Board of Trustees finalizes the action.
For more info visit: http://ncahlc.org/Information-for-the-Public/public-information.html
What do we need to do for our next Comprehensive Evaluation in 2013-2014?
Two things: Prepare a written self-study tentatively scheduled for fall 2013 and participate in a 3-day visit/evaluation tentatively scheduled for 2013-2014