June 10, 2013 12:00AM
Pittsburg State University is “a well-managed institution that pursues a clear mission focused on student learning and success,” according to a newly released report from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, which awarded the university reaccreditation with no additional monitoring.
The evaluators’ report stated, “Faculty and academic administrators seem keenly aware that most of their students are first-generation college students and intentionally create formal and informal learning opportunities aimed at helping students develop appropriate academic skills as well as social skills that prepare them to be successful in the adult world.”
The 88-page report is the result of an extensive evaluation by the HLC-NCA of the university’s academic and administrative operations.
“Pittsburg State is extremely proud to have received such a favorable report from our accrediting institution,” said PSU President Steven Scott. “It’s a testament to the hard work and high standards of our students, faculty and staff.”
PSU is one of the first universities in the nation to be evaluated using the Higher Learning Commission’s new accreditation process or “Open Pathway.” Out of the more than 1,000 member institutions, only 12 were chosen as Pioneer Institutions to undergo review this spring, as part of a demonstration project for the new Open Pathways model.
“We are honored to have been selected as one of the Pioneer Institutions for the new accreditation process,” said PSU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Lynette Olson. “It was an incredibly rewarding experience for all involved.”
In its report, the site-visit team noted the university’s commitment to student success and strong belief in shared governance, writing, “Its (PSU’s) decision making is conducted in an open and transparent manner through its websites, committee structures, policies and procedures and compliance structures.” The site-visit team went on to write, “It was apparent that commitment to student learning and student development guides teaching and the daily operations of many support units.”
“Pittsburg State has worked hard to create an environment of open and honest communication as well as shared governance,” said Provost Olson. “It’s one of the reasons why the Kansas Conference of the AAUP (American Association of University Professors) has selected Pittsburg State University as the first recipient of its Sound Governance Award.”
The Higher Learning Commission is an independent corporation and one of two commission members of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA), which is one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. The Higher Learning Commission accredits degree-granting post-secondary educational institutions in the North Central region.