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Bradley Facing Continuing Accreditation This Year

Bradley is up for reaccreditation
this fall, and if the university
doesn’t pass the test, students’ educational experiences may be in jeopardy.
The good news for students is that Bradley’s reaccreditation process
is going smoothly.
Co-chair of the Steering Committee for Continuing Accreditation Claire Etaugh said accreditation is an ongoing process.
Every 10 years, institutions across the country must prepare for the in-depth process.
It’s a process students should care about because if Bradley fails to be reaccredited, they will not receive federal financial aid, Co-chair of the Steering Committee for Continuing Accreditation Jenny Gruening said.
“This means that, as a university, we have met course standards and students can be ensured of a quality education,” she said. “Also, a lot of graduate schools require students to have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution.”
For more than two-and-a-half years, approximately 60 members of the Bradley community worked on preparing a “self study” to show to the accreditation team.
“Our self study is about 200 pages – and it would be even longer
except we can now use electronic
links – and it covers every aspect of life at Bradley,” Etaugh said. “Every unit, not just academic programs but things like continuing
education and student affairs, must be evaluated.”
This evaluation includes looking into planning and preparation for the future, how effectively teachers are educating students and how the university is promoting lifetime learning.
The key portion of the reaccreditation
is the six-person team that is visiting campus in November to assess in person what the campus said in the self study.
“We need to provide evidence that we are meeting the criteria for accreditation,” Gruening said.
In order to do that, the accreditation
committee will provide the team with a resource room containing
all the documents that best represent Bradley.
“They basically want to know what is going on around campus,” Gruening said. “We give them syllabi
from courses, class schedules and copies of publications like the Scout and Hilltopics.”
In order to pass the accreditation process, Bradley must host open meetings with the accreditation committee.
“It gives validation to the committee
to talk to all groups on campus,” Etaugh said. “They will ask things like, ‘How well do you communicate with professors?’ Students are free to offer their opinions
openly about things that concern
them.”
Students are encouraged to attend the meeting from 3 to 4 p.m. on Nov. 15 in Lydia’s Lounge to voice any concerns they have about Bradley.
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