Accrediting Commission Seeks Public Comments on the University of Wyoming

January 14, 2010

The commission that is conducting a comprehensive accreditation evaluation of the University of Wyoming is accepting comments from the public.

A team representing The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools will conduct an on-site evaluation of UW March 1-3. UW, which has been continually accredited since 1923, was last reaccredited in 2000. Its accreditation is at the doctoral degree level and includes degree sites at various other locations within the state. Written, signed comments must be received by Feb. 1.

Recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, The Higher Learning Commission is one of six accrediting agencies in the United States that provide institutional accreditation on a regional basis. Institutional accreditation evaluates an entire institution and accredits it as a whole. Other agencies provide accreditation for specific programs. Accreditation is voluntary. The commission accredits approximately 1,100 institutions of higher education in a 19-state region.

Reaccreditation is a process conducted every 10 years to determine whether a college or university has maintained rigorous academic standards and worked toward continual self-improvement. For a well-established institution such as UW, the reaccreditation process fosters additional focus on program quality and the processes used to maintain that quality.

As part of the reaccreditation process, UW in 2008 formed a series of committees comprised of faculty, staff, students, administrators and university constituents to develop a thematic self- study learning experiences designed to help the HLC with its review and to help UW assess its strengths and weaknesses. That self-study is posted to the university's Web site at

For the past year two years, UW has been engaged in a self-study process addressing the commission's requirements and criteria for accreditation. The evaluation team will visit the university to gather evidence that the self-study is thorough and accurate. The team will recommend to the commission a continuing status for UW; following a review process, the commission will take the final action.

The public is invited to submit comments on UW to:

Public Comment on the University of Wyoming
The Higher Learning Commission
30 North LaSalle Street, Suite 2400
Chicago, IL 60602

Comments, which will not be treated as confidential, must address substantive matters related to the quality of UW or its academic programs. The commission cannot guarantee that comments received after the due date will be considered. Comments should include the name, address and telephone number of the person providing them.

Individuals with a specific dispute or grievance with UW should request the separate Policy on Complaints document from the commission office. The Higher Learning Commission cannot settle disputes between institutions and individuals. Complaints will not be considered third party comment.

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