Vision and Mission
- Chadron State College aspires to be a premier institution of higher education in the western High Plains states, innovatively pursuing excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service.
- Chadron State College will enrich the quality of life in the region by providing educational opportunities, research, service, and programs that contribute significantly to the vitality and diversity of the region.
Accreditation and Self-Study Frequently Asked Questions
What is accreditation?
Accreditation is the result of positive external review by an
authorized agency such as The Higher Learning Commission (HLC), an arm of
the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Accreditation assures
the public that a college or university is prepared to do its job. While
many academic agencies accredit particular programs of study, such as teacher
education, HLC and other regional accrediting agencies are responsible for
insuring that colleges and universities meet certain standards in terms of
their missions and operations. HLC and 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. To learn more
about accreditation, visit the HLC website at www.higherlearningcommission.org.
How does the Chadron State College accreditation
Chadron State College will be reviewed as part of the “Program
to Evaluate and Advance Quality” (PEAQ), which employs a four-step comprehensive
evaluation process to determine continued accredited status.
- The college
has engaged in a self-study process for approximately two years and has
prepared a report of its findings in accordance with the HLC Criteria for
- HLC sends
an evaluation team of Consultant-Evaluators, faculty and administrators
at other colleges and universities, to conduct a comprehensive campus visit
and to write a report containing the team’s findings and recommendations.
- The report
of the evaluation team is reviewed by a panel that makes recommendations
to the Institutional Actions Council.
- The Council
takes actions that are then validated by the Board of Trustees for HLC.
What does the HLC look for when it accredits colleges and universities?
In 2004-05 HLC adopted new Criteria
for Accreditation. HLC
expects that CSC has evaluated examples of evidence to support each criterion. The
evaluation team also expects to see evidence that the organization is future-oriented,
learning-focused, connected, and distinctive. The new criteria are:
- Mission and Integrity
operates with integrity to ensure the fulfillment of its mission through
structures and processes that involve the board, administration, faculty,
staff, and students.
- Preparing for the Future
allocation of resources and its processes for evaluation and planning demonstrate
its capacity to fulfill its mission, improve the quality of its education,
and respond to future challenges and opportunities.
Learning and Effective Teaching
provides evidence of student learning and teaching effectiveness that demonstrates
it is fulfilling its educational mission.
- Acquisition, Discovery,
and Application of Knowledge
promotes a life of learning for its faculty, administration, staff, and students
by fostering and supporting inquiry, creativity, practice, and social responsibility
in ways consistent with its mission.
As called for by its mission,
the organization identifies and services its constituencies.
is the college preparing for the re-accreditation visit?
A Self-Study Steering
Committee was appointed by President Janie Park to collect and evaluate
evidence, make sense of that evidence in light of each criterion for
accreditation, and help prepare the college for the 2007 visit. During
the past two years, all of the units on campus have provided information
to this committee. The members assembled this information with regard
to Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, and Administrative Affairs, and
examined each of these areas for the five criteria for accreditation. Their
reports were completed in June, 2006, and a writing team has utilized
their reports and the information provided by the campus to complete
the Self-Study Report. The college is now distributing the information
it has learned from the self-study process which included students, faculty,
and staff of the college, as well as its constituents.
When will the HLC re-accreditation visit take place?
An evaluation team from the HLC is scheduled to visit CSC on Monday
through Wednesday, April 16 -18, 2007.
What will the team do during the visit?
The team will already have received the complete college Self-Study Report
and will have had access to documents via the web site. During the visit, they
will be seeking to validate the content of the report in terms of the strengths
we have declared and data that support them, as well as concerns that need
attention or issues that may confront us in the future. Team members will have
meetings with key individuals and groups from across the college and will have
open meetings that are less structured. Most of these activities will take
place on Monday and Tuesday, April 16 and 17. On Wednesday, April 18, the team
will make an Exit Report to the President on their preliminary findings.
What kinds of recommendations might the team make?
may simply recommend continued accreditation with no recommended follow-up
activities before the next scheduled visit in ten years. If an institution
is in serious trouble, the team could recommend probation or even withdrawal
of accreditation. In between there is a range of possible actions, including
required progress reports on how the institution is dealing with particular
issues, monitoring reports dealing with specific issues that require careful
and ongoing attention, contingency reports dealing with changes taking place
that affect the mission or nature of the institution, or focus visits on an
area of concern. It is likely that some kind of follow-up activity will be
recommended. HLC staff estimate that 75% of institutions will have some kind
of follow-up activity required.
What have we learned about Chadron State College from our Self-Study?
Criterion 1: Mission and Integrity
Strengths – Criterion One
- The Chadron State College’s Vision 2011 process is comprehensive and inclusive. It
has created refined mission and vision statements that are widely communicated.
- The Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education (CCPE), the Nebraska
State College System (NSCS), and Chadron State College (CSC) have strategic
plans that emphasize the diverse needs of the state’s students and service
region and the commitment to these constituents.
- The college has a strong diversity committee that provides both a consistent
framework for campus programming and an articulation of the campus commitment
to the inherent value of diversity in the academic environment.
- A new position has been created, the Director of Sponsored Research & Funded
Initiatives for Minority Student Achievement and Retention. The Director
is actively working on additional grant applications to support implementation
of the important initiatives developed by the Title III planning grant, “Reducing
Barriers to Recruitment, Retention, and Graduation of Native American and
Hispanic Students at Chadron State College.”
- The General Studies core curriculum for all students requires study of
Global and Social Awareness, and includes a student learning outcome that
values sensitivity to cultural diversity and an appreciation for various
cultures and societies.
- The CSC mission and vision permeate the planning and delivery of the college’s
academic programs, the modality of program delivery, and the extensive outreach
activities provided by the college to the students and residents of its service
region in rural western Nebraska.
- Recent changes in the administrative structure have improved the campus
functioning and increased the interaction among internal and external constituents. Presidential
committees have been extensively revised and reduced in number, making their
charges more mission critical.
- The Faculty Senate and Student Senate interact regularly with the CSC
administration and are proactive as issues or concerns arise.
- Policy manuals and student, faculty, and staff handbooks are readily available
on the Human Resources website. The Director of Human Resources ensures
that the college follows its policies regarding all internal constituents.
- Administrators and unit heads participate in annual workshops to ensure
compliance with policies and procedures with regard to supervision and evaluation
- All college employees are evaluated every year. Administrators, faculty,
and professional staff develop yearly professional goals that are part of
the evaluation process, and administrators are evaluated by faculty each
year using the IDEA online survey system. Student ratings are an important
part of faculty evaluation.
|Areas for Improvement – Criterion
- The mission and vision statements need to be more visible on the college’s
website, and need to be more extensively shared with external constituencies.
- Although policy documents and handbooks are readily available, students, faculty, and staff may still not be aware of many policies and procedures.
- The college needs to continue to strengthen internal and external communication.
|Criterion 2: Preparing
for the Future Strengths - Criterion Two
- The college is widely engaged in a campus-wide Vision 2011 strategic
planning process that is accompanied by individual planning at different
levels of the institution including campus-wide meetings, departments,
units, organizations, and individuals. These planning activities direct the
attention of individuals and units to the mission of the college
- President Park has identified priority objectives within Vision 2011
and has begun the implementation of a new model for planning and
institutional effectiveness. This model ties assessment analysis and
reporting by all units of the campus to the planning and budgeting process.
- The college plans extensively for the future. These plans are based
on significant input from its internal and external constituents
and its responsiveness to their needs.
- Despite negative trends in demography and state appropriations, the
college has been able, through assessment of programs and services,
to reallocate internal resources in order to provide high quality educational
experiences, services, and environments to its students and constituents.
- Administrator, faculty, and professional staff annual evaluations are
tied to continuous improvement through professional development goals.
- Renovation of facilities that support student learning are regularly
planned and undertaken by faculty and staff of the college.
- CSC was one of fourteen colleges chosen to participate in the pioneer
cohort of the HLC Academy for the Assessment of Student Learning
over the next four years. Participation in the Academy will allow the
college to significantly accelerate its efforts in assessment.
for Improvement – Criterion Two
planning and institutional effectiveness process, as outlined by Dr. Park,
is brand new and the college needs to ensure follow-through.
applications for Vision 2011 funding are extensive, and the college needs
to consider ways to create synergy and outside funding for these important
- The college
should continue to strengthen communication and involvement with external
- The college
needs to complete the CAEL analysis and implement improvements for adult
Criterion 3: Student Learning And Effective
Strengths – Criterion Three
- All academic programs have student learning outcomes-based
- Seventy percent of academic
units are at least in the process of implementing the “feedback loop” in
assessment. Sixty-seven percent of these are able to detail this implementation.
- The college is making
progress on creating a culture of assessment. Its participation in the HLC
Assessment Academy over the next four years is important to this effort.
- Three specialized accreditations
in Business, Education, and Social Work ensure that students graduating from
those programs are effectively prepared for their chosen professions.
- There are substantial
and sustained efforts to create, value, and support effective teaching. Faculty
members across the campus are involved in innovative teaching initiatives.
- A system is in place
for regular program review that involves faculty, administration, and the
boards of the NSCS and the CCPE.
- Student Services offers
a wide array of programs to assist students in their success, whether they
are first-generation students, or in need of assistance with study skills,
tutoring, supplemental instruction, counseling, internships, or career placement.
- CSC has a long tradition of distance learning at the
edge of technological innovation. These innovations open opportunities for
the expansion of student enrollment.
Areas for Improvement – Criterion Three
- Some courses do not tie their learning outcomes to program
- Some multiple sections
of the same course taught by different instructors use the same learning
outcomes while others do not. Common rubrics are generally not used.
- The First
Year Experience program has been temporarily delayed due to resignations. The
newly created position of Vice President for Enrollment Management & Student
Services will allow attention to this critical area at the level of the Presidential
units are generally only beginning to formulate assessment strategies and/or
collect assessment data. Thus the assessment feedback loop has not been
- The results of the 2004
National Survey of Student Engagement were not useful due to the low number
of respondents. The college will participate again this spring and try to
establish longitudinal data with regard to student perceptions.
- Many academic programs
still rely heavily on measures for senior students with fewer measures being
applied at earlier stages in the students’ academic careers.
are not fully informed or aware of student services they may need.
|Criterion 4: Acquisition, Discovery and Application
|Strengths – Criterion
- The strategic plans and policies of the NSCS and Chadron State College
clearly articulate the collective institutional value of and commitment
to continual learning throughout one’s career and life.
- Extensive resources are devoted to support the professional development
and scholarly activities of the college’s students, faculty, and
- The college endorses a plan of study that promotes depth and proficiency
in a single-subject area as well as a breadth of knowledge
crossing many academic disciplines through its extensive General Studies
and undergraduate and graduate
college promotes student growth and development through numerous
opportunities for students to engage in creative and scholarly
college involves students, alumni, employers, and other external
constituents in evaluation of the currency and utility of its curricula
college publishes its policies and procedures about the responsible
use of knowledge. A variety of undergraduate and graduate courses
emphasize responsible use of knowledge. An Information Literacy
course has been developed in response to a rise in plagiarism among
for Improvement – Criterion Four
college needs to continue to use and to strengthen the input from external
constituents in assessing the value of its curricula. Not all programs have external advising boards.
- As faculty
members have retired, the involvement in service-learning has diminished.
- No established analysis of Professional Activity Record to develop list of creative and scholarly activities by employees.
Criterion 5: Engagement and Service
Strengths – Criterion
- Chadron State
College clearly identifies its constituents and listens to them to discern
college is engaged in significant regional partnerships in K-12 education,
economic development, and healthcare.
college creates a wide array of connections with its constituents and devotes
substantial resources to engage both its internal and external constituents.
college is engaged in numerous activities that serve the region’s needs for
rural economic development, entrepreneurship, healthcare, and education. These
projects demonstrate the college’s responsiveness to regional needs.
and external constituents value the services the college provides as evidenced
by attendance at campus events, and the level of satisfaction demonstrated
in surveys of students, alumni, and employers.
Areas for Improvement – Criterion
they are substantial, the records of advising councils and focus group meetings
are not well archived within the units of the college, and often reside with
single individuals within the college.
is a lack of systematic process for activating, analyzing, and archiving
the alumni survey information and consequently, the ability to share this
information widely is hindered.
of the survey data focuses on services or career and marketplace needs. Chadron
State College needs to emphasize liberal education that aims to create highly
informed, well-developed citizens.
Chadron State College has extensively engaged its constituents in a reflective
self-study process over the past two years. It has honestly identified areas
of strength and areas for improvement. Through this process, the college
demonstrates that it fulfills each of the criteria for accreditation by meeting
the core components. Although it has made significant progress in the assessment
of student learning, Chadron State College is proactive in recognizing its
need to improve its assessment processes. The college’s acceptance into
the pioneer cohort of the HLC Academy for the Assessment of Student Learning
in the fall of 2006 commits CSC to participate in a yearly and continuous
plan of improvement. President Park’s newly established cycle of institutional
planning and effectiveness provides a way to incorporate assessment analysis
and reports into the college’s strategic planning and budgeting process. This
process, described throughout the self-study report, will allow Chadron State
College to evaluate its program on a yearly basis.
What happens next?
Chadron State College will need to look carefully at the results
of our self-study and the evaluation team’s report, both for validation of
the things that we are doing well and for advice about ways we can improve. Particular
issues may be referred to Presidential, Faculty Senate, or Student Senate
committees, to departments on campus, or to special task forces for examination
and action. The results of the re-accreditation and self-study process will
be folded into Dr. Park’s model for planning and institutional effectiveness. As
a result of all of these efforts, Chadron State College will seek to become
the premier institution that it aspires to be in its mission and vision.
Questions and Comments
Questions and/or comments are welcomed and encouraged. Please
direct them to
Lois Veath, (308)432-6203, firstname.lastname@example.org.