On Nov. 4, the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is holding open forums on campus to start their accreditation process.
To ensure that universities are maintaining standards set by the U.S. Department of Education, they must go through a procedure called ‘accreditation.’ This process, which occurs every decade, is in its first steps at UM-Flint.
Most universities, including UM-Flint, fall under regional accreditation which makes up 85% of all colleges accredited in the country. Regional accreditation is generally offered to more academically orientated universities that are non-profit or state-owned.
For UM-Flint to be accredited, it has to meet five important criteria to meet standards. Broadly speaking, these criteria want to establish that the university has a clear mission, and is transparent in its attempts to meet its goals and standards. Integrity, quality education, and the effectiveness of its programs and institutions are also evaluated.
HLC is looking for students to give their opinions about UM-Flint in the open forums as an effort to identify places it does or does not need improvement in.
Emily Clark, a junior majoring in communication, believes her experience at UM-Flint was a more positive one compared to her time spent at another university.
“ … I used to go to Eastern, I think Eastern was very poor when it came to education and making sure that was the first priority,” said Clark. “Here, I think it’s really easy to talk to your professors about any issues that you may have, and they’re very flexible … UM-Flint does a really good job of that.”
Clem Moorer, an early college student, thinks that UM-Flint’s relationship with the University of Michigan has helped UM-Flint maintain quality standards and relationships with accreditation companies.
“ … I don’t think that there is anything that would prevent them from continuing to do so,” said Moorer. “Especially with their affiliation with Ann Arbor of course, I don’t see why they wouldn’t be … I think that UM-Flint has done a pretty good job of maintaining high quality educational standards.”
With the help of these responses given from interviews, HLC will seek out concrete evidence to determine if UM-Flint meets the five criteria for accreditation. To be involved in the accreditation process, read-up on the UM-Flint Assurance Agreement and attend one of the open forums or drop-in sessions. There will be four open forums in the Happenings Room on Nov. 4: 10:15 a.m. – 11:10 a.m., 11:15 am. – 12:10 p.m., 3:00 p.m. – 3:55 p.m. and a final forum from 4:00 p.m. – 4:55 p.m. Incase there are any changes, check the UM-Flint HLC Updates page.