Shawnee State University is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools(NCACSI). One of the things that matters most to a university is accreditation, and Shawnee State University (SSU) is working to change the way it maintains that very thing. SSU was recently accepted into the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) of the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association, SSU’s accrediting body. According to Dave Todt, Ph. D., associate provost and director of institutional planning at SSU, the University’s process for keeping pace is key to the coming changes. “Previously, SSU has gone through a series of 10-year visits by a North Central Association accreditation team. To prepare for the visit, Shawnee did an extensive self-study,” he said. “Now we will work continuously on action projects that will be selected to improve the quality of the institution.”
AQIP is an alternative accreditation process that began accepting institutions about three years ago. According to the AQIP website, the point to this process is to maintain accreditation by showing through near-constant self-study and reporting that the institution is consistently trying to reach higher levels of performance. The changes, which Todt said would be “transparent” to most students, will involve SSU faculty and staff taking a hard look at where the University is now and in what direction it needs to be going. The new process will begin next month, according to Todt. It will start off in the form of a web-based survey, in which SSU personnel will gauge what they deem important to the institution and how they think those important things will be handled. A day-long conversation will then be held in April. Todt said there will also be a satisfaction survey done with the student population.