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Be prepared for Higher Learning Commission accreditation visit

Every person at The University of Toledo needs not only to be aware of the ongoing Higher Learning Commission accreditation process, but also ready to participate in it.

The University is preparing the self-study, which is an in-depth report on the history of the institution, program descriptions, policies and procedures, as well as an analysis of how well UT meets the commission criteria for continued accreditation. The report is posted here for community input.

The self-study is a large component of the accreditation process; so too is the Higher Learning Commission’s site visit scheduled for Feb. 27-29, 2012. During the site visit, it’s not uncommon for members of the team to ask students, faculty, staff, community members and others about the University and how it meets their criteria.

To help make sure the campus community is comfortable answering those questions, the self-study committee will be using findings from the self-study to provide short answers to each of the criteria. Dr. Penny Poplin Gosetti, interim vice provost for academic innovation, who is serving as the self-study coordinator, provided the first pieces of that information to the UT Board of Trustees at its last meeting:

Mission and Integrity (Criterion 1): “The organization operates with integrity to ensure the fulfillment of its mission through structures and processes that involve the board, administration, faculty, staff and students.”

The University of Toledo has embraced its mission of “improving the human condition.” It is guided by its mission at all levels as it responds to local, national and global opportunities and challenges.

Planning for the future (Criterion 2): “The organization’s 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.”

— The University demonstrates resiliency and adaptability, remaining financially stable despite the current economic climate.

Student Learning and Effective Teaching (Criterion 3): “The organization provides evidence of student learning and teaching effectiveness that demonstrates it is fulfilling its educational mission.”

— UT demonstrates a culture of student centeredness, assessment and innovation directed toward the success of all students.

Acquisition, Discovery and Application of Knowledge (Criterion 4): “The organization 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.”

— The University demonstrates commitment to connected, engaged learning through long-standing support of research and creative activity at every level in the institution, from matriculation to post-graduation.

Engagement and Service (Criterion 5): “As called for by its mission, the organization identifies its constituencies and serves them in ways both value.”

— The University’s long history of relevant and ongoing engagement precedes the merger and permeates the institution.

Those involved with the self-study report and preparing for the Higher Learning Commission site visit will continue to provide these “elevator speech” talking points throughout the preparation process.

Feedback on the self-study report should be sent to utselfstudyfeedback@utoledo.edu.

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