After almost a year-and-a-half of research, writing, revision, revision, more revision, editing,
design and production, the Augustana self study "Tradition and Transformation," a 185-page document (not counting almost
50 pages of appendixed material), was shipped to each of the members of the North Central Association Visiting Team on January 31,
along with a set of institutional documents.
The self study is a major requirement of the Higher Learning Commission accreditation process, which takes place every 10 years.
Augustana's last accreditation review was in 1996.
Armed with Augustana's self study, a team of five reviewers will arrive March 12 to do a systematic examination of
the college to determine whether we indeed satisfy the five criteria established by the commission for accreditation.
A "prep squad" is now going about the business of planning for the on-site visit itself, scheduled for March 12-15. People directly involved in this effort include Mike Finnemann, Kai Swanson and Sharon Varallo, with support from library staff (Carla Tracy and Christine Aden) and ITS (Shawn Beattie and Beth Weber).
Prep Squad activity is taking three main directions at the moment:
- The inventory, collection and organization of resource and reference materials, as well as preparation of a CD and official website
- The physical move and transformation of the self study resource room into a reference room for the site visit team, space which has been generously provided by the math department in Olin
- The scheduling of a series of informational activities to update the Augustana community on the content of the self study, the nature of the site visit and the process of accreditation
This newsletter, the first of a short series of updates on the self study and process of accreditation, is part of the last effort. It is our hope that all members of the Augustana community (faculty, administration, students and staff) will be able to demonstrate to the visiting accreditation team that they are conversant with the essential elements of the self study. To that end, this issue of the newsletter announces plans in the works and gives an overview of the accreditation process.
The next newsletter will briefly lay out the self study's response to concerns raised by the last site visit team. Subsequent issues will review other dimensions of the self study, as well as keep you posted on specific plans for the site visit.