Southeast Community College Earns Accreditation from HLC
The Higher Learning Commission granted reaffirmation of accreditation to Southeast Community College for a 10-year period expiring in July 2033. SCC hosted a team of six trained peer reviewers April 24-25, 2023, who evaluated the College’s efforts to maintain the standards set by the HLC.
“The Reaffirmation of Accreditation through HLC demonstrates the tremendous commitment, effort and openness of our collective pursuit of SCC’s mission, vision and strategic goals and objectives,” said Dr. Paul Illich, SCC president. “I thank everyone for their willingness to be a vital part of each of our transformative journeys. It’s quite evident that the visiting team recognized and appreciated our commitment to creating the highest quality student experiences through personal and sincere relationships with engaged and invested faculty, staff and administrators.”
Shawna Herwick, administrative director for accreditation, institutional assessment, and planning, led the accreditation process for SCC. She guided a team of 20 SCC administrators, faculty and staff in developing data-driven responses for how SCC met the Criteria for Accreditation. Overall, the team educated the College about the process through Passport Challenges, a quarterly newsletter, and hosting Zoom sessions to discuss the criteria focused on by the peer reviewers.
“Thank you to the hundreds of SCC employees who were engaged in the accreditation review through providing evidence, reviewing drafts of the report, and attending open listening sessions,” Herwick said. “Peer reviewers noted the College community’s pride for SCC and its commitment to the open-access mission, and we are positioned to continue the College’s transformation through implementation of the College’s strategic goals.”
Accreditation in higher education is a process of external quality review to ensure a college or university meets established standards. In the U.S., accreditation is required in order for students to gain access to federal funds including student grants and loans. Non-accredited institutions are not eligible for federal financial aid.
Every 10 years SCC goes through a comprehensive evaluation with three main components:
- Collection of evidence on how SCC meets HLC’s Criteria for Accreditation
- Submission of a written report called the Assurance Argument
- On-site visit by HLC
Members of SCC’s Accreditation Steering Committee were:
- Shawna Herwick, Administrative Director, Accreditation, Institutional Assessment, and Planning
- Amanda Baron, Associate Dean
- Rebecca Carr, Project Coordinator
- Linda Hartman, Program Co-Director, Business Administration
- Sara Pegram, Business Intelligence Developer/Programmer
- Karie Jobman, Administrative Director of Student Accounts
- Amy Jorgens, Vice President, Administrative Services
- Kat Kreikemeier, Administrative Director, Admission
- Toni Landenberger, Assistant Campus Director, Dean of Students
- Joel Michaelis, Vice President, Instruction
- Robin Moore, Administrative Director, Institutional Research
- Katy Novak, Liaison to the President, Special Projects Coordinator
- Mike Pegram, Dean, Student Enrollment
- Rod Rhodes, Director of Assessment
- Carolee Ritter, Dean, Arts & Sciences
- Nick Salestrom, English Instructor
- David Schmitter, Physics Instructor
- Amanda Skuban, Dental Assisting Instructor
- Rachel Sommerer, Associate Director, Financial Aid
- Stefanie Svoboda, Associate Dean, Virtual Learning
- Jill Wightman, Institutional Outcomes Assessment Coordinator
Southeast Community College was established on July 1, 1973, when a statewide community college system was implemented by the Nebraska Legislature. SCC serves a 15-county region with campuses in Beatrice, Lincoln and Milford as well as Learning Centers in Falls City, Hebron, Nebraska City, Plattsmouth, Wahoo, and York. The College offers more than 80 career/technical and academic transfer programs, as well education opportunities for lifelong learners, professional development, dual-credit for high school students, and GED/ESL classes. SCC is governed by an 11-member Board of Governors and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.