University preparesfor reaccredidation

David Haut

In the 2007-2008 academic year Missouri Southern will be up for reaccredidation, but the process is already beginning.

“We were last accredited in 97-98,” said Dr. Betsy Griffin, assistant vice president for academic affairs. “So it’s a 10-year span for reaccredidation.”

Southern is accredited through the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.

“Any institution has to be accredited by a regional accrediting body if they’re going to be eligible for federal financial aid,” Griffin said.

She said accreditation allows students to transfer to and from Southern and allows students to be accepted by graduate schools.

“It’s important for any institution that wants to maintain itself,” Griffin said.

She said every institution has to do a self-study to say how they address the various criteria of accreditation.

“We’re just going to be beginning that process,” Griffin said. “It’s still several years away, but it takes a long time to get all the data and put it together.”

Griffin said when an institution goes through the self-study process, in an accreditation view, they are given a certain number of years of accreditation. She said 10 years is the maximum time ever given to an institution.

“We’re just up on the cycle again,” Griffin said. “We are just in the planning stages. This weekend, a group of the self-study process will be going to the annual of the North Central Association to begin looking at the self-study process, what they expect in terms of the criteria we have to address in order to be reaccredited, beginning to look at what our best approach is.”

The North Central accreditation is the only accreditation that is institution-wide, but several University programs are accredited individually as well.

Griffin said the process will really begin this summer and fall.

“We’ll be looking this summer and fall at how we’re going to structure our study,” she said. “We’ll be establishing next fall a number of committees of faculty and students that will help us gather data and analyze it for the self-study process.”