SCC Set for Accreditation Site Visit

A six-person team of Higher Learning Commission peer reviewers will visit Southeast Community College April 24-25 for the 10-year accreditation visit. Meetings with the team will be held on the Beatrice, Lincoln and Milford campuses.

SCC maintains accreditation with HLC by following the Open Pathway, which is one of two options that institutions have for maintaining their accreditation with HLC. The Open Pathway focuses on quality assurance and institutional improvement. Every 10 years, SCC goes through a full reaffirmation process called the comprehensive evaluation, which is comprised of three main components:

·         Collection of evidence on how SCC meets HLC's Criteria for Accreditation

·         Submission of a written report called the Assurance Argument, and

·         On-site visit by HLC's peer reviewers

Shawna Herwick, SCC's accreditation liaison officer, said SCC has been preparing for the site visit for several years.

"We are looking forward to supporting the review team as they evaluate how SCC meets HLC's Criteria for Accreditation," Herwick said. "The College used a data-informed approach to prepare for the visit through the gathering of evidence to write the narrative."

SCC collected and analyzed thousands of sources of evidence to demonstrate how SCC meets HLC's Criteria for Accreditation. Thousands of reports, data, team agendas, meeting minutes, syllabi, and presentations were gathered and analyzed. Then, SCC submitted a 35,000-word report responding to how the College meets the five Criteria, along with the evidence files.

The Criteria for Accreditation are the standards of quality by which HLC determines whether an institution merits accreditation or reaffirmation of accreditation. They are as follows:

·         Criterion 1. Mission

·         Criterion 2. Integrity: Ethical and Responsible Conduct

·         Criterion 3. Teaching and Learning: Quality, Resources and Support

·         Criterion 4. Teaching and Learning: Evaluation and Improvement

·         Criterion 5. Institutional Effectiveness, Resources and Planning

Dr. Paul Illich, SCC president, said the College views the accreditation process "as an essential part of our broader vision as it relates to being accountable to our students, employers and communities we serve."

"We view HLC as a partner to help us achieve our strategic goals and objectives and to help us realize our mission and vision," Illich said. "Part of our Vision Statement says, '. . . The College will work collaboratively and courageously with its higher education partners, employers, and local and state officials to address Nebraska's skilled worker shortage and the need for everyone to have affordable access to the life-changing benefits of higher education.' Accreditation is an ongoing process. We're always looking for ways to improve for our students, employers and communities in our 15-county service area."

Persons with questions or seeking more information are asked to contact Herwick at 402-323-3637 or

Stu Osterthun
Administrative Director of Marketing & Communications