Adams State University is embarking on the process of comprehensive evaluation for reaffirmation of regional accreditation by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Adams State’s site visit will occur during the 2016-17 academic year. A website with complete information is being developed.
Dr. Frank Novotny, VP of Academic Affairs and chair of the HLC Steering Committee, recently told the Adams State Trustees this process will be “Our chance to shine.” He noted the university is two years ahead in preparing for the visit, compared to the last reaccreditation effort. HLC changed its process from previous reaccreditations, Novotny added, and faculty and staff from all areas of campus will be participating.
The ten-year, cyclic process concludes with a Comprehensive Evaluation in Year 10. The process has two components: Assurance Review, which occurs twice during the cycle, and the Quality Initiative, which is designed to meet the particular institution’s current needs or aspirations. Adams State’s initiative is “Focus on Finishing at ASU.”
HLC has designated five Criteria for Accreditation, each with a set of core components. Subcommittees are being formed for each criterion, as well as for Campus & Community Engagement
Adams State’s HLC Steering Committee:
- Dr. Frank Novotny, VP Academic Affairs, Steering Committee Chair
- Dr. Dave Svaldi, President
- Dr. Matt Nehring, chair, Criterion 1: Mission
- Dr. Michael Mumper, chair, Criterion 2: Integrity: Ethical and Responsible Conduct
- Margaret Doell, chair, Criterion 3: Teaching & Learning: Quality, Resources, and Support
- Dr. Beez Schell, chair, Criterion 4: Teaching & Learning: Evaluation & Improvement:
- Kevin Daniel and Carol Smith, chairs, Criterion 5: Resources, Planning, & Institutional Effectiveness
- Walter Roybal
- Andrea Benton-Maestas
- Ken Marquez
- Traci Bishop
- Karla Hardesty, chair, Campus/Community Engagement
- Jen Stoughton
Academic Affairs Fellowships
The Office of Academic Affairs created two Fellowship positions to give continuity to Adams State’s efforts through the cycle. Dr. Beez Schell, chair of the Department of HPPE, was named the Assessment Fellow; and Dr. Leslie Alvarez, assoc. professor of psychology, was named the Fellow for Faculty Development. Both positions are two-year, half-time appointments.
As the Assessment Fellow, Schell is the lead on the annual academic program assessments and will also work with non-academic departments on assessment (student affairs, business office, enrollment management, etc). She also serves on the Quality Improvement Committee and conducts the annual general education assessment.
As the Faculty Development Fellow, Alvarez chairs the Faculty Development Committee (FDC) and will develop evaluation tools and compile evaluation data. She also plans and facilitates New Faculty Orientation and oversees the faculty development budget.
Dr. Mary Vanis, ASU’s HLC Liaison, will visit campus next month to meet with the steering committee. She served as an HLC peer reviewer and team chair for over 25 years before joining the staff as Vice President for Accreditation Relations in 2014. As a peer reviewer, Dr. Vanis participated in more than 30 evaluation visits, working with community colleges, tribal colleges, and private colleges and universities.
Beyond her work in accreditation, Vanis has over 30 years of experience in higher education as an administrative, instructional and student services leader. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Education and Master of Arts from the University of Nebraska, and a Doctor of Education from Northern Arizona University.