Green River Star -

By Mikayla Larrow
Western Wyoming Community College 

Western prepares for final phase of accreditation reaffirmation

 

October 20, 2022



Western Wyoming Community College (Western) is in the final stage of its accreditation reaffirmation process through the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of colleges and schools. This final stage includes a student survey, the submittal of a 35,000 word Assurance Argument document containing over 500 pieces of evidence, and a visit by HLC peer reviewers to Western’s campus in November.  

Accreditation reaffirmation is an external review process assuring colleges, universities, and education programs meet rigorous standards for quality assurance and improvements. Every ten years Western must go through this process to remain an accredited institution.  

This reaffirmation assures that Western meets the highest national educational standard. This includes affirming that Western is providing quality educational experiences for students and is meeting licensure and employment requirements set by HLC. Accreditation allows Western students to receive federal financial aid when attending Western. The process additionally enables Western to receive feedback in meeting its goals for student learning and provides an opportunity for the College to

assess, evaluate, and improve programs and services.  

“Going through the reaffirmation process is a team effort, and we’ve been putting our hearts into it. We want our students to have the best education possible and for our peer reviewers to see how Western demonstrates this commitment

to our students and communities,” states college president Dr. Kim Dale. “While every organization has room for improvement, I am confident Western will do well.”  

In this final stage, Western sent an email survey to all Western students. Survey questions and delivery methods were approved by HLC, who will review student answers. The next step will be submitting the Assurance Arguments and evidence outlining how Western meets HLC’s required criteria of: Mission; Integrity: Ethical and Responsible Conduct; Teaching and Learning: Quality, Resources and Support;

Teaching and Learning: Evaluation and Improvement; and Institutional Effectiveness, Resources and Planning. The reaffirmation process for Western has been in the works since 2019. Since then, each of these criterion modalities was reviewed and addressed by five different committees with each committee containing faculty, professional, and paraprofessional members. Mark Rembacz, Western’s Accreditation Liaison explained, “Our reaffirmation efforts have spanned three years and actively involved more than 50 employees from across our campus. I am proud of the work our teams have done, it is a reflection on our institution and the expectational people that work here.” 

Western anticipates final results from the comprehensive evaluation in January 2023. To learn more about Western’s accreditation reaffirmation process visit:

http://www.westernwyoming.edu/about/accreditation/affirmation/index.php.

 

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