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TWU to celebrate renewal of accreditation

Profile image for By Jenna Duncan / Staff Writer
By Jenna Duncan / Staff Writer

Texas Woman’s University hashad its accreditation reaffirmed for the next 10 years by the SouthernAssociation of College and Schools Commission on Colleges, the regional bodyfor accreditation of higher education institutions.

The university is planningcelebrations at all three campuses this month after the decision was made inDecember and widely announced this month. Receiving the accreditation shows TWUis continuing to make improvements and provides quality education, said BarbaraLerner, associate provost for undergraduate studies and academic partnerships.

“It’s only maintained if youcreate an environment of continuous institutional improvement and that is themost gratifying part,” she said. “I think the institution is in a really goodplace moving forward.”

Part of the accreditation isalso a five-year Quality Enhancement Plan, which outlines educationopportunities for students to enhance learning.

“It’s a very hands-on, activelearning model, so it’s different than a traditional lecture format,” saidKimberly Miloch, a TWU professor who was heavily involved in the QEP planningprocess.

Receiving the renewal was theresult of more than three years of work by 10 committees, which prepareddocumentation about academic processes and standards at the university. Aninitial report was filed in 2012 then critiqued before TWU was allowed to makechanges and respond to comments.

A committee then came tocampus in April for four days to meet with students, faculty and staff andevaluate the QEP. The process was helpful, Miloch said.

“They really serve for us asconsultants,” she said. “It was a nice opportunity to be able to ask them questionsas well, and it was a very collegial and very helpful process.”

TWU’s final report from SACSwas near perfect, Lerner said, though the university will have to submit onemore report this September. The report is regarding certification programs,which were too small to report on while the committee was on campus in April.

“I guess you would say wewere so close to perfect, and I should state that perfect hardly ever happens,”Lerner said. “There were no major findings or major concerns. We had enthusiasticsupport and endorsement.”

The process brought togethermembers of the faculty and staff to show the accomplishments of the university,said TWU President and Chancellor Ann Stuart in a statement.

“This was a team effort, andI am proud of how the TWU community worked together for the good of theuniversity,” Stuart said in the statement. “This reaffirmation confirms ourcommitment to the highest standards of higher education and is a true indicatorof the quality of teaching and learning that take place at TWU.”

JENNA DUNCAN can bereached at 940-566-6889 and via Twitter at @JennaFDuncan.