Higher Learning Commission Campus Visit

HLC Campus Visit

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) accredits degree-granting post-secondary educational institutions. A full review of accreditation is conducted every ten years.  A team of peer reviewers from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) will visit John Wood Community College on October 24 and 25, 2022 for the College’s 10-year Comprehensive Review. It very important our entire community of faculty, students, staff and board members are engaged in the process and prepared for the visit.  JWCC has been accredited with HLC since 1980.

Peer Review

On October 24 and 25, 2022, a peer review team from the HLC will visit JWCC.  Peer review accreditation is based on the fundamental assumption that quality in higher education is best served when peers in higher education, informed by standards created and applied by professionals in higher education, make team-based judgments about institutional quality using multiple types of evidence. Reviewers are peers – faculty, staff, and administrators from other HLC-accredited institutions.

Why is this important?

While many academic agencies accredit particular programs of study (education, nursing, business, etc.), HLC and other regional accrediting agencies are responsible for assuring that entire colleges and universities meet certain standards in terms of their missions, operations, and activities in teaching and student learning, discovery and promotion of knowledge, and service.

Accreditation is an assurance to the public that an institution is properly prepared to do its job. On a more practical level, the HLC and the other accrediting agencies have been designated as the “gatekeepers” for federal funds in higher education, including student financial aid. In addition, students wishing to transfer credits and degrees between institutions must generally do so from accredited schools. Unaccredited schools are not eligible for many kinds of federal support and other institutions will not recognize its courses or degrees. For more information, visit the HLC website.

  • An independent corporation founded in 1895
  • One of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States
  • Accredits degree-granting post-secondary educational institutions in the United States.
  • Recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)
  • Examines quality of college beyond its academic offerings and evaluates the college as a whole (criteria and assumed practices)
  • Conducted by volunteer peer reviewers (Peer Corps) 1,600 faculty/administrators within the 19-state North Central region
  • HLC accreditation granted: 05/02/1980
  • Last Reaffirmation of Accreditation: 2012-2013
  • Assurance Review: 12/11/2017
  • Submitted an Interim Monitoring Report in 12/2019
  • Next reaffirmation of accreditation: 2022- 2023
  • Comprehensive Peer Review on-site dates: October 24- 25, 2022

Have you read JWCC’s Assurance Argument?

What do you know about accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission?

What is JWCC’s Mission Statement and Core Values?

What distinguishes JWCC from neighboring institutions?

What are JWCC’s greatest strengths?

What are the biggest challenges and therefore the biggest opportunities facing JWCC?

What are your experiences like working at JWCC?

Do you believe academics are the top priority at JWCC? Why or why not?

Describe any campus processes that could be improved or made more efficient.

We hope to receive confirmation that the College’s major projects to ensure student success and equity are on the right track and that we are meeting the obligations of our mission to provide a quality education to students. We also hope to receive recommendations on additional activities that may assist us in better meeting our mission.

What happens during the HLC Visit?

A peer team will spend a total of two days on the JWCC campus. Team members will tour, talk to all stakeholders and evaluate the assurance argument.

Why should students, faculty and staff care?

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) accredits JWCC on a 10-year cycle, assuring the public that we meet certain standards, as well as our obligations to students and the community.

You need to know JWCC’s Mission Statement

John Wood Community College enriches lives through learning by providing accessible educational opportunities and services at an exceptional value.

You need to know JWCC’s Vision

John Wood Community College will be the community’s partner and leader in education, workforce training, and lifelong learning.

You need to know JWCC’s Core Values
  • Excellence —We will put forth our personal and professional best in all we do.
  • Accountability—We will take ownership of our actions, programs, and services.
  • Integrity—We will be honest and ethical in our work and relationships.
  • Servant Leadership—We will put the needs of others first and help people reach their full potential.
  • Lifelong Learning—We will encourage everyone to continually improve their knowledge and skills.

HLC examines the quality of the College beyond its academic offerings and evaluates the College as a whole based on outlined criteria.

Criterion 1. Mission

The institution’s mission is clear and articulated publicly; it guides the institution’s operations.

Criterion 2. Integrity:  Ethical and Responsible Conduct

The institution acts with integrity; its conduct is ethical and responsible.

Criterion 3. Teaching and Learning: Quality, Resources and Support

The institution provides quality education, wherever and however its offerings are delivered.

Criterion 4. Teaching and Learning:  Evaluation

The institution demonstrates responsibility for the quality of its educational programs, learning environments, and support services, and it evaluates their effectiveness for student learning through processes designed to promote continuous improvement.

Criterion 5. Institutional Effectiveness, Resources and Planning

The institution’s resources, structures, and processes are sufficient to fulfill its mission, improve the quality of its educational offerings, and respond to future challenges and opportunities.

  • A set of specific criteria, requirements or standards.
  • A “trusted” and “professional” authoritative body or agency able to provide external verification that an organization meets or exceeds these criteria and standards.
  • A formal system designed to assess or evaluate an organization according to the accepted criteria and standards
  • HLC Steering Committee meets every 2 weeks to review progress in 2021 and 2022
  • Spring, 2022 – determine evidence links, ensuring the latest version
  • Summer, 2022- finalize the report and upload into assurance system
  • Fall 2022, October 24 & 25, peer reviewers on campus for two days – will conduct focus group meetings and review materials. Also, can ask for additional evidence and review
  • Special events during the Fall semester to showcase HLC

Steering Committee Co-Chairs- Josh Welker/Dr. Klinkenberg

(5) Criteria Co-Chairs:

  1. Mission- Barb Holthaus/Dr. Soebbing
  2. Integrity- Bill LaTour/Lisa Atwell
  3. Teaching and Learning: Quality, Resources and Support- Dr. Klinkenberg/Matt Carey
  4. Teaching and Learning: Evaluation and Improvement – Stephanie Phillips/Devron Sternke
  5. Institutional Effectiveness, Resources, and Planning – Josh Welker/Brenda Graff

Federal Compliance – Melanie Lechtenberg

Communication and Campus Education- Tracy Hagman/Jennifer Grindstaff