Northeast Hosts Higher Learning Commission Evaluation Team

by jamesc  10/24/2013 11:15:26 AM --  NORFOLK – Northeast Community College underwent a comprehensive evaluation visit this week by a team representing the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association. Team leader, Dr. John Marr, dean of academic affairs at Cuyahoga Community College in Highland Hills, OH, was appreciative of Northeast’s preparation for the visit. “This is the best coordinated visit I have ever been on,” Marr said during an exit interview with college employees.


The evaluation team was at Northeast from Monday, October 21 through Wednesday morning, October 23. The team studied all aspects of college operations and met with students, faculty and staff. 

The Higher Learning Commission is one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. It accredits degree-granting public and private colleges and universities in the 19-state North Central region, an area that stretches from West Virginia to Arizona. Since 1975, the College has been granted approval by the HLC to award associate degrees, diplomas and certificates.

The HLC does not rank or categorize schools, but evaluates the college in terms of its mission and its Criteria for Accreditation. Besides assessing formal educational activities, the HLC evaluates governance, administration, financial stability, admissions and student services, institutional resources, student learning, institutional effectiveness, and relationships with internal and external constituencies. 

For the past three years, Northeast Community College has been engaged in the process of preparing a self-study, which addresses the Commission’s criteria for accreditation. The four-member evaluation team visited Northeast to further provide evidence that the self-study is thorough, evaluative and accurate. The HLC’s Institutional Actions Council will consider the evaluation team’s recommendation for reaccreditation and the HLC Board of Trustees will be asked to ratify it

“An evaluation of this nature and magnitude speaks volumes to all stakeholders, whether it be students who seek degrees or specialized training, employers who hire graduates, or constituents who pay taxes to support post-secondary education, that accreditation is a trusted measure of quality and excellence,” said Dr. Michael Chipps, president of Northeast. “A major goal of the HLC accreditation process is to ensure that the education delivered by colleges and universities provide excellent educational experiences for students. At Northeast, we are confident that we regularly meet and often exceed those expectations.”
Chipps said the visitation team was very complementary of the college. “Dr. Marr cited several strengths, chief of which is that faculty, staff and administrators are committed to our mission. While the team mentioned some suggested improvements, these are areas we have already begun to address.”

“Northeast is a wonderful institution and we are on the cusp of doing even greater things,” Chipps said. “The HLC visit validated that direction for us.”

The Higher Learning Commission will issue its findings in an initial draft report in early December.

Northeast Community College offers over 80 degrees and programs of study, leading to immediate employment opportunities or transfer to a four-year college or university.

The public may view the 200 page HLC Self-Study on the Northeast web site at




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