Q: What is accreditation?
A: In essence, accreditation is a quality control and accountability mechanism that assures the public – especially prospective students – that IU Southeast meets clearly stated requirements and criteria, and that there are sound reasons for believing that it will continue to do so.
Q: Why is accreditation important?
A: In the purest sense, because peer review ensures that an educational institution maintains appropriate standards of quality – standards that are important not only to students, but to their prospective employers. In addition, in the United States, only accredited institutions are eligible to participate in Federal and State financial aid programs, research grants, and other types of activities.
Q: Who accredits IU Southeast?
A: IU Southeast is affiliated with the North Central Association (NCA). The Higher Learning Commission of the NCA evaluates IU Southeast every ten years for institutional-level accreditation.
Q: What are the major features of the accreditation process?
A: It’s a two part process. First, IU Southeast must prepare and submit a self-study, in which the campus evaluates its performance against criteria established by the NCA. Then, the campus hosts a team of peer reviewers, who will come to campus March 1-3, 2010, to investigate the evidence presented the self-study, meet with faculty, staff, students, and community members, and prepare a report and recommendations for the NCA.
Q: Where are we now?
A: In December 2008, the self-study working groups completed rough drafts in response to the NCA’s five criteria for reaccreditation. During the Spring of 2009, Co-Coordinators of the Accreditation process, the Accreditation Steering Committee (the chairs of the five working groups), and the self-study Writer-Editor will edit the drafts and prepare them for review by the campus community.