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WMU seeks public comment on continuing accreditation

Aug. 11, 2010

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University is seeking input from the general public as part of its preparation for a comprehensive evaluation aimed at continuing its accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Since October 2008, the University has been engaged in a process of self-reflection and analysis in preparation for its 10-year evaluation review by the HLC, which is the regional accrediting body for the University. WMU, which has been continuously accredited by the HLC since 1915, is preparing for a formal accreditation site visit Oct. 18-20 by an HLC team made up of people from the University's peer institutions.

The public is invited to submit online comments regarding the University directly to the HLC. Comments also may be sent by mail to:

Public Comment on Western Michigan University
The Higher Learning Commission
230 South LaSalle St., Suite 7-500
Chicago, IL 60604

Comments must address substantive matters related to the quality of the institution or its academic programs. Written, signed comments must be received by Oct. 1. The Commission cannot guarantee that comments received after the due date will be considered. Comments should include the name, address and telephone number of the person providing the comments. Comments will not be treated as confidential.

Public comment on the University's bid for continued accreditation has been part of the process throughout 2010. Public sessions and an online comment opportunity were available to members of the University community as they reviewed an extensive self-study report prepared to submit to the HLC in advance of the visit. The public comment opportunity has now moved to an HLC process known as third-party comment, which is designed to ensure that those interested have an opportunity to add their comments for consideration as the University is evaluated.

WMU's Higher Learning Commission self-study report is available online. The report offers examples of how WMU meets the HLC's criteria for accreditation in these areas: mission and integrity, future preparedness, student learning and effective teaching, application of knowledge, and engagement and service.

More than 120 people from across the University contributed to the report, which has been available for review online since mid-February. Comments logged online and during the public sessions have been reviewed and addressed. The document has recently been submitted to HLC.

Throughout the next two months, however, the University will continue to reach out to the audiences it serves to let them know the third-party comment process still provides an opportunity to share their views on the University, the document it has prepared and the accreditation process.

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Media contact: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
(269) 387-8400