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Clark State Calls for Public Comment Prior to Evaluation by Higher Learning Commission

Clark State Calls for Public Comment Prior to Evaluation by Higher Learning Commission

July 31, 2018

Clark State Community College will host a team from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) on December 3 and 4 of this year. Clark State has been accredited by the HLC since 1973. While visiting Clark State, the HLC team will review the institution’s continued ability to meet the HLC’s criteria for accreditation.

“The accreditation process for higher education institutions seeks to determine and confirm both the academic quality of the institution and the ways that institution meets its mission,” said Dr. Jo Alice Blondin, president of Clark State. “We welcome the feedback we receive from the public as well as from our visiting team of peer reviewers.”

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is an independent corporation founded in 1895 as one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. HLC accredits degree-granting post-secondary educational institutions in the north central region. The commission is governed by a board of trustees elected by the membership.

The HLC criteria for accreditation include:

• Mission – 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.

“Clark State faculty and staff are looking forward to the HLC visit in December,” said Amy Sues, associate dean of academic affairs for Clark State. “Accreditation is the gold standard of higher education. It assures students that the college meets rigorous standards, and the federal government permits our students to receive federal financial aid.”

Clark State is now seeking comments from the public about the College from all constituencies including students, parents of students, prospective students, employers, alumni, donors, elected officials, community members, community organizations and businesses.

Sues said that as part of its federal compliance process, HLC requires institutions undergoing a comprehensive evaluation to publish basic information about the visit in appropriate publications and invite the public to provide written comments to HLC.

Comments must address substantive matters related to the quality of Clark State or its academic programs and be submitted no later than October 31, 2018. HLC will compile the comments and send them to the evaluation team and the institution three weeks prior to the visit.

The evaluation team and the institution will review the comments prior to the visit. During the visit, the team will discuss any comments received with the institution and follow up as necessary.

All comments must be in writing and can be submitted online at: or mailed to: Public Comment on Clark State Community College, Higher Learning Commission, 230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500, Chicago, Illinois, 60604-1411.

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