President's Letter Concerning Accreditation

President Samuel M. LitteralSouthern West Virginia Community and Technical College entered its self-study process for renewal of institutional accreditation by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools in April 2010.  Accreditation by the HLC is one way the College demonstrates, publicly, its commitment to quality and its willingness to be held externally accountable to those we serve. 

The College last completed the HLC accreditation process in 2003.  Since then, the criteria for accreditation have changed to become more reliant on evidence-based reporting.  The criteria require the College to demonstrate how everything we do relates to the institution's mission. Southern is participating in the accreditation review through the HLC’s Program to Evaluate and Advance Quality (PEAQ). The self-study is one of two major processes used by the HLC in its PEAQ evaluation of the institution in regard to continued accreditation. The second process is Peer Evaluation usually conducted through a site vist by a team of Consultant Evaluators. 

Perhaps the most tangible aspect of the accreditation process is the College's self-study.  This document will provide evidence of how the institution meets each of the criteria defined by the HLC.  All College units, academic and non-academic, will need to be active participants in the process if the College is to be successful in its review efforts.  In addition, we will be collecting relevant data as evidence, soliciting input and feedback related to our accreditation progress, and preparing for a comprehensive on-site visit from the Higher Learning Commission. The visit is scheduled for April 22-24, 2013.  

Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College has much to be proud of, but we must keep in mind that the College is operating in a time of challenging economic and societal issues and ongoing calls for increased accountability and transparency.  Let us use this opportunity to advance our culture of success and commitment to excellence, examine where we have been as a College and where we are going, and identify ways of better serving students and the community.  I look forward to working with all of you as we work toward continued accreditation and the continuous improvement of the College.




Joanne Jaeger Tomblin