Hesston College has once again been re-accredited for ten years by the Higher Learning Commission of Chicago, Ill. with no sanctions and minimal suggestions for improvement.
A peer review team from the Higher Learning Commission met with individuals from across the college in mid-November. Under normal circumstances the team members would have visited in person, but COVID-19 protocols dictated that most of the team visit virtually. One peer review team member based in Kansas visited campus for one of the two days. The college’s last accreditation review occurred during the 2010-11 school year.
The accreditation team found that Hesston met all five criteria and recommended that the college should be allowed to choose its pathway for accreditation in the future. Higher education institutions are assessed on five criteria for accreditation: mission; integrity; quality, resources and support for teaching and learning; evaluation and improvement of teaching and learning; and institutional effectiveness, resources and planning.
“Hesston College of the Mennonite Church USA is a strongly faith-based institution that emphasizes the word ‘belonging,’” said the Higher Learning Commission peer review team in the conclusion of their report. “This essence of belonging and caring for each individual person on campus whether an employee, student or visitor is evident in the institutional culture and the way they work with students. Students felt the essence of being supported and cared for and shared this with the review team.”
The Higher Learning Commission also ensures compliance with federal higher education regulations. Hesston was determined by the peer review team to be fully compliant with federal expectations.
“We are grateful for the recommendations of the Higher Learning Commission peer review team,” said Dr. Brent Yoder, vice president of Academics at Hesston College. “The accreditation process is an opportunity for the college to reflect on its mission, processes and outcomes. We value the opportunity to assess our effectiveness and address areas for continuous improvement. We are grateful for this vote of confidence from the Higher Learning Commission.”
“The findings of the Higher Learning Commission review team affirm that we deeply care for our students,” said Dr. Joseph Manickam, president of Hesston College. “I commend Dr. Yoder and the many, many people across campus who contributed countless hours of assessment, reading, writing and revision in preparation for this accreditation review.”