Originally published October 29, 2010
Bradley will be re-evaluated for accreditation for the first time since 2000, and students are encouraged to use this opportunity to speak about their campus experiences.
A team of six administrators or faculty members from schools in the Midwest will be on campus Nov. 15-17 to determine if Bradley will continue to be accredited.
Bradley creates a self-analysis report of about 250 pages every 10 years, and the Higher Learning Commission sends a team to the campus to see if it’s an accurate portrayal.
“We have to report to the Department of Education that the campus is still standing, that students are here,” said co-chair of the Steering Committee for Accreditation Claire Etaugh. “The Higher Learning Commission’s job is to validate what we’ve said and talk to the students themselves.”
Etaugh said there will be table tents and open meetings on campus for students to voice their opinions during the accreditation screening.
“We are strongly encouraging students to attend,” she said. “That’s the only way the team will know if what we said about ourselves is true.”
T-shirts with the Bradley mission statement on the back will be available at the Student Senate Meeting and the next Late Night BU to publicize the accreditation to students, Etaugh said.
“The week of Nov. 8-12, anyone we see in the shirt will get a prize,” she said. “We want people to come out and talk about their Bradley experiences. There won’t be quizzes or surveys, it’s just going to be, ‘What’s it like being a student here?’ or ‘Have your expectations been met?’”
Steering Committee for Accreditation co-chair Jenny Greuning said students should take advantage of this opportunity.
“They’re only here for three days so this is the best time for students to use their voice,” she said.
Sophomores Kristin Disanti, sports communications major, and Kelsey Lishman, graphic design major, said they believed Bradley will have no issue being re-accredited.
“We are a selective school, and our academics are pretty highly ranked,” Disanti said. “In the list of good schools we are usually up by the top 50. I don’t see any reason we wouldn’t be accredited.”
Lishman said she did not think Bradley would be at risk.
“We are a nationally ranked school and we compare well to all the other universities,” she said.
Etaugh said for a university, losing accreditation would be potentially devastating.
“The ‘big carrot’ for losing accreditation is a loss of all financial aid,” she said. “But it would be unusual for a school as solid as we are to lose accreditation,” she said.
Etaugh said she has no reason to believe Bradley will not receive a full ten-year accreditation.
“It would be so unthinkable because we are doing our job.”
An open meeting for students will be hosted from 3 to 4 p.m. Nov. 15 in Lydia’s Lounge. For more information on the accreditation, visit www.bradley.edu/accreditation.