Neil J. George
Webster University has successfully completed its comprehensive reaccreditation visit by the Higher Learning Commission, North Central Association (HLC/NCA). The HLC team visit to the main campus occurred March 31-April 2, 2008. The visiting team also reviewed campuses in Europe, metropolitan U.S. centers and military installations. Preceding the HLC visit, the institution completed an intensive self-study process which culminated in a Self-Study Report. This analytic and descriptive report, as well as its organizational and committee process, is fully described on this Web site.
Following the HLC visit, the consultant-evaluators produced a Team Visit Report, which was reviewed by a special Readers Panel (July-August, 2008) before final action by the Commission. This full reaccreditation process is expected to be completed October, 2008.
The HLC visiting team has made a recommendation for a ten-year reaccreditation cycle (the maximum period allowed). The team found that Webster met all of the required HLC criteria, as well as federal compliance standards. In their exit interview, the team highlighted numerous strengths:
- “Exemplary” and “exceptionally impressive” success in international education
- Consistent organizational structure throughout all campuses, creating “one university”
- Promotion of global responsibility
- “Enviable” online learning operation, including course development, technology support, faculty training, and student outcomes
- High level of employee job satisfaction
- High levels of personal service to students at all campuses
- Integrity of operations
- Distinct success with diversity—a “national leader”
- “Well positioned” financially
- “Dedicated” and “engaged” Board of Trustees
- Emerson Library’s outstanding resources and services—a “model” facility and operation
- “Building community relations” through engagement with the communities we serve
The HLC visiting team called for Webster to fully implement and complete our academic assessment processes throughout all programs to ensure effective student learning outcomes and continuous improvement. The team, in their consultative or “Advancement” role, also encouraged the University to look at revisions in its general education program.
We are proud of our accomplishments, and we appreciate the constructive value of this self-study and reaccreditation process with the Higher Learning Commission.