Higher Learning Commission -- Accreditation, Fall 2012
Muskingum University will undergo its comprehensive visit for its PEAQ accreditation on October 22-24. Muskingum University has engaged the campus community in the self-study report required for re-accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission. Through this process Muskingum has learned much about its strengths and opportunities. Muskingum looks forward to the visit by the peer evaluators, and requests that it be re-accredited for a period of 10 years.
The Self-Study Process
In September 2010, President Anne Steele met with Dr. Mary Breslin, who was the HLC liaison for Muskingum University, to discuss the University’s upcoming PEAQ accreditation. In February 2011, President Anne Steele appointed Dr. Todd Lekan, Professor of Philosophy, as Director of the North Central Accreditation process. Dr. Lekan attended the April 2011, annual conference of the Higher Learning Commission. Also in April 2011, the President appointed a Steering Committee consisting of the Officers of the University and the Academic Division Coordinators. The Steering Committee began to meet regularly and engaged in four off-campus retreats between March and August 2011. In July 2011, the President and the Director of North Central Accreditation appointed faculty, students, and staff to five Criterion Committees, which also began to meet regularly.
In March 2012, the Director of North Central Accreditation, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Vice President for Graduate and Continuing Studies, a Division Coordinator, and two members of the faculty attended the Higher Learning Commission’s 2012 Annual Conference in Chicago and met with Dr. Eric Martin, the HLC Liaison for Muskingum University. Muskingum is deeply appreciative of Dr. Martin’s visit to campus in July 2012 to meet with senior administrative leader, the self-study Steering Committee, an editing team, and a group of staff members responsible for site visit logistics.
The Criterion Committees collected and organized evidence pertinent to the five criteria of accreditation. They drafted criterion reports and submitted them to the editing team in March 2012. Using these reports, the editing team, working with the Steering Committee, prepared the Self Study document for submission. A group of reviewers drawn from faculty and administration commented on the final drafts of the Self Study document during the summer of 2012.
Purposes announced at the outset of the self-study:
- To identify and enhance quality initiatives.
- To identify challenges and concerns.
- To celebrate strengths.
- To provide a document that will be useful for future strategic planning and accreditation.
- To achieve continuing accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
Criterion Committee Members
During the 2011-2012 year, Muskingum University created a Steering Committee to oversee the self-study process. Committees comprised of faculty, staff, and students were created for each of the five criteria of accreditation. These members are listed here.
Overview of Self-Study Report (PPT)
In pursuit of its mission, Muskingum currently offers 59 undergraduate majors. Combining strong classroom curricula with fieldwork, independent study, and experiential education opportunities rarely encountered in an undergraduate setting, Muskingum promotes active engagement among students, faculty and staff. In the classroom and laboratory, on the stage or playing field, in the residence and dining halls, and through internships and study-abroad experiences, Muskingum offers the environment of a true learning community.
Graduate education grounded in the liberal arts and sciences is an integral part of the University’s mission. Muskingum currently offers three graduate degrees—Master of Arts in Education, Master of Arts in Teaching, and Master of Information Strategy, Systems, and Technology (MISST)—and has just received approval to establish an Education Specialist graduate degree.
With a student-faculty ratio of 14:1, Muskingum encourages and supports student learning with a wide variety of curricular and co-curricular opportunities that address individual needs and potentials. The University employs 100 full-time faculty, 6 part-time faculty, and 94 adjunct faculty. Muskingum’s current annual operating revenue is $52 million and its endowment is valued at $64 million. A comprehensive campaign has raised more than $86 million, far exceeding its $55 million goal.
Over the past decade, Muskingum has experienced unprecedented growth and transformation. The most visible symbol of the transformation is the institution’s 2009 name change from “college” to “university.” In the past ten years, Muskingum has added 13 new undergraduate majors, 12 new graduate programs, launched the Muskingum Adult Program (MAP), and began offering two new degrees: a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master of Information Strategy, Systems and Technology.
Five new educational facilities have been constructed, adding 80,000 square feet of built space to the campus: Philip and Betsey Caldwell Hall, Walter K. Chess Center, Otto and Fran Walter Hall, Ruth and John Neptune Art Center; and the under-construction Louis O. Palmer Gallery.