UW Prepares for Accreditation

January 14, 2010

Every 10 years, the University of Wyoming undergoes evaluation for accreditation.

"With the data we have collected for the self-study," UW President Tom Buchanan says, "we have information that will show UW's compliance with accreditation requirements. But as much as our documentation provides information that shows we have fulfilled the criteria for accreditation, it also helps us assess UW's strengths and weaknesses through a deliberative self-examination and analysis of all areas of the university."

As part of the accreditation process, UW in 2008 formed a series of committees made up of faculty, staff, students, administrators and university constituents to develop a thematic self-study on learning experience designed to help the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) with its review and to help UW assess its strengths and weaknesses. "Enriching the University of Wyoming Learning Experience: A Thematic Self-Study" is posted to the university's Web site at www.uwyo.edu/accreditation.

The self-study is an important document because the HLC believes critical introspection on the institution's core mission at periodic intervals is essential to maintain a culture that values and practices continued assessment and improvement. The document and supporting materials provide evidence that the university continues to meet the Higher Learning Commission's standards for accreditation.

The accreditation process is conducted every 10 years to determine whether a college or university has maintained rigorous academic standards and worked toward continual self-improvement.

The HLC is the accrediting body for post-secondary schools in Wyoming and 18 other states. UW, which has been continually accredited since 1923, was last reaccredited in 2000. 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.

UW has invited the public to submit comments to the Higher Learning Commission to:

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

The next step is a site visit, which will take place March 1-3. The site visit team, made up of representatives of other colleges and universities, is experienced in accreditation.

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