Higher Learning Commission
Frequently Asked Questions
What is HLC?
The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is an independent corporation of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA). The HLC is one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States and accredits degree-granting post-secondary educational institutions in the North Central region (http://www.ncahlc.org/).
Why is the HLC accreditation process important?
Accreditation by recognized accrediting agencies provides the public with the assurance that the college meets the requirements of the accrediting bodies and meets their quality standards. Verification of fulfillment of HLC/NCA standards is important to our students, current and potential, and all our other constituencies. Accreditation impacts transfer options for students, the university’s eligibility for grants, and the ability to obtain and award financial aid. The accrediting process gives the college an opportunity to do an intensive review of its strengths and weaknesses and to use this information to direct its continuous improvement efforts.
What is the timeline?
HLC officials will conduct a site visit March 10-12, 2014.
What happens during the accreditation visit?
A site team from HLC will visit both our main campus and the Missouri Innovation Campus to evaluate our university. The team will review our self-study and supporting documents, meet with administrators, observe classes, and speak with students, faculty and staff. On Wednesday, March 12, the team will make a presentation to the University community that summarizes their evaluation. Although their findings will be preliminary, we will know whether or not UCM will be recommended for continued accreditation and if a follow-up visit is necessary.
Who is on the UCM self-study team?
The UCM Self-Study Team is comprised of faculty and staff from across campus, working in collaboration since 2010.
What are the main criteria for accreditation?
The primary bases for the site team’s evaluation of UCM will be the self-study and the evidence we present that address the 5 Criteria and Core Components as distributed by the Higher Learning Commission. The 5 Criteria are as follows:
The institution’s mission is clear and articulated publicly; it guides the institution’s operations.
Integrity: Ethical and Responsible Conduct
The institution acts with integrity; its conduct is ethical and responsible.
Teaching and Learning: Quality, Resources, and Support
The institution provides high quality education, wherever and however its offerings are delivered.
Teaching and Learning: Evaluation and Improvement
The institution demonstrates responsibility for the quality of its educational programs, learning environments, and support services, and it evaluates their effectiveness for student learning through processes designed to promote continuous improvement.
Resources, Planning and Institutional Effectiveness
The institution’s resources, structures and processes are sufficient to fulfill its mission, improve the quality of its educational offerings, and respond to future challenges and opportunities. The institution plans for the future.
Things to Know about UCM
Adopted in 1998, the Community Creed notes that choosing to become a citizen of the University of Central Missouri implies an acceptance of and willingness to contribute to the common goals and purposes of the community. The Creed outlines the principles which guide the creation and maintenance of desired community at Central Missouri, and provides a framework for individual behaviors which help build our vision. These principles promote a learning community that is also open, caring, just, disciplined, celebrative, and purposeful.
UCM in 2002 adopted seven core values: learning, service, adaptability, community, excellence, diversity, and responsibility.
The primary purpose of UCM’s assessment model (more commonly known at CQIP) is to improve the quality of student learning and student support services. The information derived from assessment activities is used to facilitate student learning and development, to promote faculty and staff growth, and to improve the quality of academic and nonacademic programs, services and facilities. Click here for access to UCM's CQIP model.
Learning to a Greater Degree Contract for Student Completion:
Adopted in 2013, the Learning to a Greater Degree Contract for student completion clears the way for student success and ensures their time and money at UCM are well spent. To ensure timely graduation, students commit to enrolling in the right 15 hours of classes per semester, attend class regularly, communicate with their professors, check in with their academic advisor every semester, live on campus for at least two years, and engage outside the classroom. UCM, in turn, commits to a custom course plan to keep students on track and offers 15-to-Finish scholarships, a 24/7 campus alive with plenty of opportunities for student engagement, and new residence hall to be completed by summer 2015.
The mission statement approved by UCM’s Board of Governors in October 2008 is as follows: The University of Central Missouri experience transforms students into lifelong learners, dedicated to service, with the knowledge, skills and confidence to succeed and lead in the region, state, nation and world. UCM offers a comprehensive array of bachelor’s programs and selected master’s and doctoral programs building upon historical strengths and statewide mission.
Missouri Innovation Campus:
The Missouri Innovation Campus is an exciting, progressive collaboration between the Lee's Summit R-7 School District, Metropolitan Community College and the University of Central Missouri. By engaging business partners and community organizations, such as Cerner and DST, The MIC is reshaping the way students experience education. Students begin the rigorous academic program their junior year of high school, and will graduate in four years with a baccalaureate degree, no student debt, applied experience through paid internships, and highly sought-after skills for high-paying careers.
In 1996, the Coordinating Board for Higher Education established the University of Central Missouri’s mission as “a master’s level institution with moderately selective admissions and a statewide mission in professional applied sciences and technology programs.”
Strategic Positioning Initiative/Reasons to Believe
The Strategic Positioning Platform was adopted in August 2012, defining UCM as an institution dedicated to preparing graduates who will shape their world because they have experienced “Learning to a Greater Degree.” The platform includes several key components, beginning with the positioning statement describing “who we are” as a university, unique attributes outlining what UCM stands for, key audiences, and benefits of the UCM educational experience for those audiences. It also identifies “reasons to believe” in a UCM education based on four supporting features: a culture of service, engaged learning, future-focused academics, and a worldly perspective.
Adopted circa 1907, the UCM Motto is “Education for Service.”