CSC re-accredited after HLC accepts review team’s report

After an extensive, four-year process, CSC aced the Higher Learning Commission’s accreditation renewal. According to the review from the HLC, CSC met all the requirements and interim, or follow-up, reports are not required.

Of the 27 criteria in the report, CSC passed all of them.

CSC President Randy Rhine said that he was “excited to receive a report like that.”

“Most importantly, it’s validation and recognition of all the people that have worked so hard for the last 4 years to prepare for the visit,” Rhine said. “We were very well prepared, and that was reflected in the report.”

Rhine said that the committee meeting to review the team’s report took place July 31, and the college was notified of decision Aug. 7.

CSC’s Vice President of Academic Affairs Charles Snare led the preparations renewal process, but directed questions to Alex Helmbrecht, director of college relations.

“It continues to give students the assurance the college is doing what it is supposed to do, and that’s educating students,” Helmbrecht said. “It also gives students piece of mind knowing that Chadron State College values their education, meets professional standards, and continues to be seen as a credible institution by its peers.”

The final stage of the HLC’s review of CSC took place in April, with four representatives from the commission, led by Henry Smith, a communications professor at Indiana Wesleyan University, Indianapolis, visiting campus, meeting with administrators, faculty, and students.

The final report from the committee was issued May 19, less than a month after the committee’s visit.

According to the HLC’s final report, one of the driving factors for the recommendation is “the evidence that while the College (CSC) has responded and continues to adapt to changing environmental contexts, no significant mission changes have occurred nor are major shifts planned or foreseen.”

The HLC also commended CSC for the commitment and passion that the faculty, staff, and executive leadership serve their students and communities.

Even with the positive results, the review board offered suggestions to continue improvement for the next review process. One of those suggestions was to intently monitor finances due to the state budget decreasing.

“We know what we need to work on and we are working on those issues,” Rhine said. “We will be prepared to report on those the next time around.”

Rhine also said that with similar preparation and hard work, he expects similar results for the next accreditation renewal.

The current process is on a 10-year renewal, but CSC must complete an assurance review in 2020-21, according to Rhine. The next official report from the HLC will be in 2024-25.

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