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Purdue earns 10-year accreditation from Higher Learning Commission

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University has received formal notification of its continued accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. This designation comes after 30 months of thorough internal review, the input of more than 300 faculty and staff, and a glowing report by the HLC evaluation and review teams.

Purdue has been accredited continually since 1913 and will be evaluated again in 2019-2020. The current accreditation is the result of a process that involved teams of Purdue faculty, staff and students assessing changes and progress made since the last review in 1999-2000 and identifying opportunities and challenges throughout the university. The results were compiled in a self-study report. In March, a team of 14 faculty, staff and administrators from other higher education institutions traveled to campus to evaluate the university and make a recommendation to the HLC on its continued accreditation.

The final report calls Purdue’s self-study report “exemplary in every way” and states the university’s strategic planning over the past 10 years has been impressively thorough and participative, aligning well with Purdue’s land-grant mission.

The report commends the university’s careful management of resources and a strong commitment to student learning, engagement and service. The 2001 launch of Discovery Park, it states, firmly situates Purdue as a leader in scholarship and research, fostering a spirit of inquiry that is particularly evident in interdisciplinary efforts.

Among the recommendations in the 1999-2000 accreditation review were to initiate a strategic planning process and to grow commercialization technology efforts. The new report, issued Oct. 18, indicates that Purdue was highly successful in meeting those goals.

“Purdue’s recent reaccreditation is more than an academic honor,” said Purdue President France A. Córdova. “It is a testimony to the wonderful community of student and faculty scholars on this campus, the unique strengths of our programs, and the innovative character and commitment to global connection and impact that guides our daily life here at Purdue.”

The accreditation steering committee was led by Christine Ladisch, dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences, and Mark Pagano, dean of continuing education and conferences. The committee oversaw internal self-study groups that focused on the five criteria for accreditation:

  • Mission and integrity.
  • Preparing for the future.
  • Student learning and effective teaching.
  • Acquisition, discovery and application of knowledge.
  • Engagement and service.

Additionally, Purdue chose an area of special emphasis, Synergies Across the Disciplines.

In its final report, the HLC review team spoke to Purdue’s self-study special emphasis, agreeing that steps are “in their formative stages” and holding that “all students must gain competencies and knowledge from disciplines inside and outside the STEM fields.” The report encouraged a “thoughtful, inclusive and engaged discussion” of contributions from all fields to one another, as well as a level of interdisciplinary innovation like that in Purdue’s research endeavors.

Additional areas for organizational improvement cited by the report include diversity, and the report advises special attention to improving representation of racial and ethnic minorities across students, staff and faculty. The report also called for further efforts in developing documentable learning objectives for assessment of student learning in all academic programs.

Pagano will coordinate the effort to respond to the organizational challenges outlined in the report.

The complete report is available online at http://www.purdue.edu/accreditation

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