On Monday, Ozarks Technical Community College will begin a three-day accreditation process with the Higher Learning Commission.
Five HLC team members will be on campus, meeting with everyone from the college’s Board of Trustees to faculty and staff, to determine if OTC meets the commission’s criteria for continued accreditation.
“We look forward to the HLC evaluation process and we’ll benefit from the input of the accreditation team. We have to remember that the team is here to assist us and help us grow as a institution of higher education,” said Shirley Lawler, vice president for academic and student affairs.
“The HLC’s accreditation process is a very rigorous evaluation system that allows us to do a critical self-analysis of our college. We have reviewed every aspect of our institution and our self-study represents two years of reviewing our current processes and procedures.”
A steering committee made up of members of the college’s faculty and staff produced the self-study.
The team will meet with the college’s administration, vice presidents, deans, directors, community representatives, students, faculty and staff for three days, discussing programs, procedures and other related items.
“Members of the team have read our self-study report and will be confirming the validity of the document. They will also help us plan for the future by identifying areas of strength and areas for improvement,” said Witt Salley, co-coordinator of OTC’s self-study steering committee.
The accreditation is important to the college, students and the community.
“Maintaining accreditation allows OTC to say to everyone that we not only offer a quality education but also that we value effective teaching and support student learning,” Lawler said.
For students, being an HLC-accredited college means they can obtain federal financial aid. Nursing and the physical therapy assistant programs need the HLC accreditation before they can apply for specialized affiliations for their programs.
The college’s self-study and other material about the accreditation visit are available at http://www.otc.edu/selfstudy.
Steve Koehler is coordinator of publications at Ozarks Technical Community College. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
College Director of Communications
Coordinator of Publications
Phone: (417) 447-2666