HLC Site Visit Report

HLC Accredits Additional 10 Years
Reprinted in part from The Northeastern
by Haley Stocks
9/19/12

Northeastern State University has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) for another 10 years. More than 500 NSU employees, faculty, staff and students were involved in the completion of NSU’s HLC self-study, which was submitted for review to the HLC. NSU received an “outstanding” rating from the HLC audit. “The Institutional Actions Council voted to continue the accreditation of Northeastern State University with the next comprehensive evaluation to be set in 2022,” according to a letter to President Turner. “The IAC voted to approve the initiation and expansion of distance education up to 100 percent of total degree programs.”

Dr. Mike Wilds, professor of criminal justice, was the Lead Tri-Chair for NSU’s HLC Self Study. “An ‘outstanding’ report was stated to be the best possible report there is,” said Wilds. “We achieved this rating because in the past 10 years, the NSU employees, faculty, staff, students and alumni achieved the mission, values, and goals of NSU and satisfied the requirements of HLC for providing quality learning for the entire university and community.” Wilds said this accreditation is validation NSU is providing an outstanding and quality education. Many people contributed to the HLS self-study in different fashions. Dr. Janet Bahr, associate vice president of academic affairs, has been involved with three HLC visits to NSU. She was a tri-chair for the self-study. “I wrote the Introduction, Institutional Snapshot and Federal Compliance Component, as well as participated in the visit itself,” said Bahr. “We couldn’t have asked for a better response. We weren’t cited for any major areas of improvement. We received a full 10-year accreditation. It’s a good note for me to end on.”

Wilds also served as a tri-chair. “My experience as lead tri-chair for NSU’s HLC self-study was truly rewarding,” said Wilds. “I made many new friends and was afforded a unique opportunity to witness, first hand, the exceptionally quality of our faculty, staff, student body and alumni. I am truly fortunate to be a part of such a great family.” A pleasant surprise for NSU occurred when HLC, during the site visit, found that the university was even more outstanding than what was published in the university’s self-study report. Wilds said he would call this outstanding report an “A-plus rating.”

“A team of colleagues did an on-site visit to validate the information in the report,” said Wilds. “They found the report not only showed evidence presented in the report was correct, but that NSU also located additional evidence reflecting the outstanding work on behalf of the NSU family.”

The letter to the President addressing the accreditation and those involved extends a “thank you” to special persons who put forth much effort during the process. The accreditation letter paid “Special thanks to Dr. Mike Wilds for serving as the point person and coordinating the site visit.”

Wilds further extended special thanks to “Monique Idoux who did the final writing of the self-study. The communications and marketing shop did a superb job with layout and design work on the self-study report. Lastly, thanks to Kathy Reese and Joe Dillsaver who served as past tri-chairs in the past.” Bahr is thankful for all of the many people who contributed to committing themselves to the excellence of NSU. “A great big huge thank you and a hug to all of the employees, not only those who helped with this NSU, but also those who laid the foundation for those who came after to be successful,” said Wilds. Dr. Steve Turner, president of NSU, said he was pleased the university not only received the reaccreditation, but also for the maximum allowed period of ten years. “This successful outcome is the culmination of three years of very disciplined and detailed work by more 500 of our colleagues,” said Turner. “In addition we have been granted approval to offer up to 100 percent of our degree programs in an online format. These accomplishments put the university in the best possible position to advance our mission and provide access to students in our region and beyond.”Turner said NSU will use elements of the report in their next strategic plan. “NSU’s future is bright,” said Turner.

For more information or a copy of the HLC audit report, contact the NSU-HLC Administrative Liaison Officer Dr. Michael Wilds at (918) 449-6532 or wilds@nsuok.edu.