The Institutional Actions Council of the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) has affirmed continued accreditation for Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, ASU-Mountain Home, ASU Mid-South and ASU-Newport following recent comprehensive reviews and site visits, according to ASU.
Comprehensive evaluations are conducted by the HLC, the regional accrediting agency, every 10 years. The only ASU system satellite not included, ASU-Beebe, had its accreditation reaffirmed in 2012, and its next 10-year evaluation will be in 2021-2022.
ASU System President Charles L. Welch said Friday (Aug. 17) the HLC reports were “overwhelmingly positive” for the campuses with all criteria fully met, no recommendations for monitoring and no follow-up reports requested.
“The chancellors and I are ecstatic about these accreditation reviews because it’s extremely rare to have no monitoring requirements,” Welch said. “The feedback from our peers speaks directly to the great work of our faculty and staff. The reports also illustrate the evaluating teams’ belief that our campuses are headed in the right direction. We have much to be proud of and much to be excited about moving forward.”
The accreditation decisions, which apply to the institutions and not specific academic programs, follow a three-year internal review, submission of an assurance report to the HLC and a visit by members of the HLC visiting team to each of the campuses. Criteria for review by the HLC include institutional mission, integrity, teaching quality, resources, support, evaluation and improvement. Resources, planning, and Institutional effectiveness were also considered. An HLC team visited each campus to conduct evidence reviews and conduct interviews with faculty, staff, students, ASU Board of Trustees members and community members.
“Having regional accreditation is vital to the future of our campus because it affirms to the world our significant efforts to ensure educational excellence, academic rigor, student success, and that our faculty and staff have the resources they need to be successful,” ASU Chancellor Dr. Kelly Damphousse said.
HLC reviewed the campus in 2013-2014. The review exposed concerns about ASU’s commitment to student-learning assessment and resulted in ASU being placed into the most rigorous category of accreditation, “Standard Pathway.” The Standard Pathway requires a full site visit and comprehensive report at the mid-point in the traditional 10-year accreditation cycle.
Arkansas State was first accredited in 1928 and has had continuous accreditation since that time. The ASU System, based in Little Rock, serves 23,300 students throughout Arkansas and includes:
- Arkansas State University, a four-year research institution in Jonesboro with a campus in Queretaro, Mexico, and an instructional site in Paragould;
- ASU-Beebe, with additional campuses in Heber Springs and Searcy and an instructional site at the Little Rock Air Force Base;
- ASU-Mountain Home;
- ASU-Newport, with additional campuses in Jonesboro and Marked Tree;
- ASU Mid-South in West Memphis.