The Institutional Actions Council of the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) provided formal notification to Northwest State Community College in Archbold that the college has received the maximum 10-year extension on its accreditation.
From the official notification, the next comprehensive site visit will take place in 2030-31. The HLC was founded in 1895, and is one of six accrediting agencies in the U.S. that provide institutional accreditation on a regional basis. It accredits over 1,000 institutions of higher education in a 19-state region and is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Accreditation is an assurance to the public that an institution is properly prepared to do its job. The HLC and the other accrediting agencies have been designated as the “gatekeepers” for federal funds in higher education; unaccredited schools are not eligible for many kinds of federal support.
The HLC evaluation team was led by Dr. Janet Perry, director of Institutional Effectiveness (Retired) at Oklahoma City Community College. The team also included Dr. Jennifer Davidson, dean of Business and Technology at Triton College (IL); Dr. Robin Shaffer-Lilienthal, provost at Iowa Valley Community College District-Marshalltown Community College;d Dr. Mark Kretovics, Faculty, Higher Education Administration at Kent State University; and Dr. John Thibodeau, assistant provost/vice president Institutional Effectiveness and Student Success at Gateway Technical College (WI).
The site team representatives met with a group of community members to get feedback on the impact the college has throughout the area, a mostly virtual visit with one peer reviewer on site. The team also met with faculty, staff, and students to get an overall and thorough view of the workings of the college. During the preliminary report, Dr. Perry commended NSCC for the college’s care for its students, the mission focus, the use of an engaged strategic planning process, the use of program review and other stakeholder data to make informed decisions and budgets, and a strong communications system to keep everyone ‘in the know.’
“We can not achieve a result like this without the dedication of our excellent faculty, staff, and community partners. Our students were vocal in their support of Northwest State, and we remain absolute in our focus to provide an excellent and affordable education to all learners, and to removing all barriers to a great education,” NSCC President Dr. Todd Hernandez, said.