Prepare for the HLC visit with this Q&AOctober 11, 2012

We interviewed four members of the HLC Self-Study Steering Committee, including Jeff Breese, Ph.D., interim vice president for academic affairs; Joe Cirincione, Ph.D., associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; Danielle Theiss, head of public services; and Peg Millard, HLC support staff, to find out what Rockhurst students, faculty, staff and community members need to know in preparation for the upcoming Higher Learning Commission visit.

First of all, when is the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) visit?
Oct. 22-24.

Why is this visit taking place?
The visit takes place as part of the University’s continuing accreditation – a process that happens every 10 years. This visit is the culmination of years of work to provide evidence that Rockhurst is doing what we say we’re doing – transforming lives by creating a learning community centered on excellence in undergraduate liberal education and graduate education.

What is accreditation?
Accreditation is a “stamp of approval” that tells the public Rockhurst is living up to its mission, vision and core values.  As an accredited institution, we show that Rockhurst meets the HLC’s Criteria for Accreditation as evaluated through a peer review process.

Why is accreditation so important?
By receiving accreditation, or in Rockhurst’s case continued accreditation, we ensure the integrity and value of a Rockhurst degree. It also keeps the University current with the important trends in higher education. The peer review process and visit help indicate where our strengths are as an institution, and show us where we can raise the bar.

Who is on the HLC visiting team?
Five team members will visit from throughout the United States, including:

  • Team chair Susan Wright, Ph.D., deputy provost at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.
  • Donna Marie Kemp, Ph.D., assistant professor of communication studies at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis.
  • Edith Darlene Raleigh, Ph.D., RN, dean of the graduate school and research at Madonna University in Livonia, Mich.
  • William Roweton, Ph.D., professor of educational psychology at Chadron State College in Chadron, Neb.
  • Andrew Weiss, Ph.D., director of the School of Business at Heidelberg University in Tiffin, Ohio.

How can students, faculty and staff prepare for the HLC visit?
Be aware that the visit is taking place Oct. 22-24 and understand why accreditation matters. We encourage you to attend one of the Open Forums which take place in Massman 250 from 3-4:30 p.m. on Oct. 22 (faculty), 9-10:30 a.m. (staff) and 3:30-5 p.m. (students) on Oct. 23. Please note that members of the HLC team reserve the right to visit across the campus and ask you questions.

Will the visiting team confirm Rockhurst’s continued accreditation on Wednesday, Oct. 24?
No written report will be provided to Rockhurst until a later date.

The full self-study report and supporting material in the electronic resource room is available at

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