Date: January 3, 2011
Contact: Carol Connelly, Director,
Media & Communication Services, ext. 5267, firstname.lastname@example.org
PNC Officials Become HLC Consultant Evaluators
Westville –The Purdue University North Central Chancellor Dr. James B. Dworkin and Dr. Linda M. Duttlinger, director of Accreditation and Assessment, recently completed training to become Consultant Evaluators with the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association.
Dworkin and Duttlinger now join about 1,700 HLC Consultant Evaluators who are eligible to be named to a Site Team and assigned to visit and evaluate colleges and universities seeking accreditation status from the Higher Learning Commission. Dworkin, as an institution CEO, is in a position that is esteemed by the accreditation community and sought after for HLC team membership.
PNC Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Dr. Karen Schmid currently is an HLC evaluator and has participated in several accreditation site visits in the 19-state HLC area.
Consultant evaluators are administrators and faculty members who have completed in-depth training in using the criteria for accreditation to review the quality of academic institutions and to make recommendations as to ways in which an institution may continue to improve. Accreditation is a peer review process. Neither states nor the federal government have a role in the process.
The Consultant Evaluator training covered topics that evaluators will encounter as part of their Site Team visits - five general criteria of the Higher Learning Commission; writing evidentiary statements for a final report; how to conduct a comprehensive visit, and budgetary considerations. Each candidate was placed in a mentoring group and met frequently with two experienced Consultant Evaluators to discuss the more practical aspects of a site visit. The individuals are also placed with a Site Team and worked with the material supplied by an actual institution to get the full flavor of a comprehensive visit.
The Higher Learning Commission is one of two commissions that form the North Central Association. Earning HLC accreditation grants an institution several advantages. It is a recognized sign of quality and professional review. Accreditation allows students to transfer credits to other accredited institutions and to seek graduate-level education. Only accredited institutions of higher education may offer federal financial aid.
Purdue North Central has been accredited since 1971 and currently enjoys full accredited status. PNC will have a routine HLC comprehensive visit in April when six trained Consultant Evaluators will be on campus for three days. They will look at all aspects of the institution from the buildings and the budget to the academic programs, graduation rates and faculty credentials. They will then submit a report to the Higher Learning Commission regarding their visit. This report is the basis for continued accreditation and identifies the strengths and challenges of the institution.