HLC review to allow grants, financial aid

The Higher Learning Commission is coming to the University of Wisconsin-Platteville to reaffirm its accreditation as a university. In preparation for the HLC review, UW-Platteville held an open forum to discuss the preparation process.
In approximately 18 months, the HLC will be visiting the campus to peer review the university accreditation. The reaccreditation review isn’t a requirement for the university but by doing so the university is able to distribute financial assistance through grants and financial aid.
“[We are giving them] everything. Graduation and retention rates, and policies,” Sharon Klavins, chair of the HLC Reaffirmation Committee, said. “It is an extremely vigorous process. Not only do we have to comply with the HLC but with the federal government as well. We have to submit accountability reports, which we do every year to the HLC.”
A new HLC guideline will be implemented as well. Faculty should have credentials at least one degree level higher than the course that they are teaching. One degree level could either be an extra certification that they’ve earned or a graduate degree if they are teaching undergraduates.
One of the committees formed in preparation for the HLC visit was the Federal Compliance Committee. They will collect information on academic policies and create a package for the HLC. The package that needs to be accredited has in-depth information from various departments of the university that prove that UW-Platteville is complying with federal regulations.
“There is a whole HLC federal compliance package that needs to be filled out,” said David Kieckhafer, registrar and federal compliance team member. “The committee meets monthly with Dawn Drake as the chair of the committee. The package is straightforward. Data comes from multiple sources.”
Among the attendees was Victoria Livingston, coordinator of the Co-Curricular Assessment and Program review in the Division of Student Affairs.
“I came to the open forum because the work of the HLC is closely related to student affairs. [We help provide] the evidence submitted to the HLC,” said Livingston. “I think the process of the reaffirmation has a huge impact to student affairs. It’s a rigorous top to bottom review. The feedback from the HLC will show what we can improve on.”
After the evaluation it will take several months until the HLC responds to the review.  The reaccreditation review will be Oct. 24 to 25.