A team representing The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools will visit Arkansas Tech University for a comprehensive evaluation March 14-16, 2011. The site visit is part of an accreditation process that is conducted every 10 years. The process seeks to review the degree to which accredited institutions such as Arkansas Tech fulfill the five criteria for accreditation set forth by The Higher Learning Commission:
(1) Mission and integrity;
(2) Preparing for the future;
(3) Student learning and effective teaching;
(4) Acquisition, discovery and application of knowledge;
(5) Engagement and service.
Arkansas Tech first gained accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools as a junior college in 1929.
The senior college program at Arkansas Tech was accredited by NCACS in March 1951, and the university has maintained that accreditation ever since.
The site visit in March will be inclusive of both the Russellville and Ozark campuses of Arkansas Tech. “From the first efforts by Dean Alfred J. Crabaugh to attain accreditation for our senior college more than 60 years ago until today, Arkansas Tech University has been honored to be among the institutions accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools,” said Arkansas Tech President Dr. Robert C. Brown. “Accreditation is a process that has great value for our university because it confirms the quality of the academic programs at Arkansas Tech and offers us an opportunity to chart a course for continued success in our one and only mission --- producing quality graduates who are prepared to contribute to the further development of our state.” Arkansas Tech University administrators, faculty, staff and students have worked for three years to create a self-study report as part of the institutional re-accreditation process. Dr. H. Micheal Tarver, dean of the Arkansas Tech College of Arts and Humanities, is serving as self-study coordinator. The evaluation team from The Higher Learning Commission will visit Arkansas Tech to gather evidence that the self-study is thorough and accurate.
The team will recommend to The Higher Learning Commission a continuing status for Arkansas Tech. Following a review process, the Commission itself will take the final action.
Part of the accreditation process is third party comment. Members of the public are invited to submit comments regarding Arkansas Tech to The Higher Learning Commission.
According to The Higher Learning Commission, comments must address substantive matters related to the quality of the institution or its academic programs. Written, signed comments must be received by Feb. 14, 2011.
“The Commission cannot guarantee that comments received after the due date will be considered,” according to a statement from The Higher Learning Commission. “Comments should include the name, address and telephone number of the person providing the comments. Comments will not be treated as confidential.”
The Higher Learning Commission further notes in its communications that it cannot settle disputes between institutions and individuals and that such complaints will not be considered third party comment.
The public is invited to submit comments regarding Arkansas Tech to:
Public Comment on Arkansas Tech University
The Higher Learning Commission
230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
Chicago, IL 60604