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Accreditation -- Then and now

Over the past two years individuals from across the campus have engaged in a self-study as a part of UMKC's accreditation process required by the Higher Learning Commission [HLC] of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. In fact, UMKC has undergone this process approximately every 10 years since its inception as a university in 1938, and has maintained its accreditation since that time. Five criterion guide the self-review process: Mission and Integrity; Preparing for the Future; Student Learning and Effective Teaching; Acquisition, Discovery and Application of Knowledge; and Engagement and Service. The full report of our most recent study can be accessed at the UMKC Accreditation Web site at www.umkc.edu/accreditation/reporting.cfm.

Accreditation -- Then and now

Since our last accreditation review in 1999, UMKC has undergone considerable change -- both administratively and particularly physically through a re-shaping of its two campuses. Great strides have been made in the areas of assessment -- from articulating the philosophy and purpose of assessment, to developing campus level goals and learning outcomes, to establishing a University assessment plan which provides for a three-phased approach. Collaborative partnerships are a routine occurrence between UMKC and community groups, resulting in UMKC being a recipient of the Presidential Award of Service to Youth from Disadvantaged Circumstances in 2008 -- the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to service learning and community engagement. UMKC placed a new emphasis on interdisciplinary study at the doctoral level resulting in an interdisciplinary Ph.D. being established and with recent graduates of this program assuming positions of leadership across the country. In 2004 in an effort to strengthen and support our faculty members, the Faculty Center for Excellence in Teaching [FaCET] was established offering seminars and workshops focusing on interdisciplinary curriculum development and collaborative opportunities across the campus. This collaborative spirit served as a foundation for the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation [IEI] which provides interdisciplinary course work at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Additional improvements include expansion of residential accommodations for students with UMKC -- now offering three resident facilities; an expansion of the Miller Nichols Library which will soon house a system retrieval robot; a state-of-the-art Health Sciences building on our Hospital Hill campus, which provides expanded classroom space and research facilities; a more transparent and participatory budgeting process that allows academic units more control in developing their budgets and benefiting from improvements they implement; an invigorated faculty senate and greater emphasis on shared governance; and stability at the top administrative level with individuals who are committed to long service at UMKC.

The process for conducting the self-study and producing the self-study report was designed to represent all of UMKC's constituents -- faculty, staff and students from across the two campuses, as well as trustees, alumni and community members. Leading the effort was a broad-based steering community and five "criterion committees" that were also broadly represented.

The total membership of the various committees engaged in the self-study process included more than 100 individuals.

Since 1938, the University has maintained its accreditation with the North Central Association. The breadth and depth of UMKC's programs and services are described in the self-study, as well as the opportunities that lie ahead. UMKC's site visit took place October 12 -14, 2009.

Posted: October 9, 2009

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Criterion for HLC Accreditation:

•Mission and Integrity
•Preparation for the Future
•Student Learning and Effective Teaching
•Acquisition, Discovery, and Application of Knowledge
•Engagement and Service