The University of Northern Iowa is beginning its next comprehensive evaluation for continued accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and has chosen to participate in a joint project between the HLC and the Policy Center on the First Year of College and create a customized self-study process. “The goal of such customization is to help a college or university integrate specific institutional commitments or projects directly into the processes for gaining continuing accreditation from the Commission” (HLC, http://www.ncahlc.org/). As a focus of this process, UNI is partnering with the Policy Center to participate in FoE.
The FoE process is one important way that the HLC Accreditation self-study can help us work together towards positive institutional improvement and a reaccreditation process that is truly meaningful. It also provides us with an exciting way to explore the new HLC criteria and bring together, in a collaborative format, students, faculty and student affairs professionals.
The FoE project encourages us to implement a plan that offers a holistic approach to the academic and personal aspirations of our first year students and creates a solid foundation not only for the rest of their college years but for life-long success.