Higher Education Commission team gives thumbs up to Lawrence Tech
Saturday, October 23rd, 2010
The accreditation team that visited Lawrence Tech Oct. 18-20 on behalf of the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) will recommend reaccreditation of the University for another 10 years, President Lewis Walker has announced.
The HLC team will also recommend approval of Lawrence Tech proposals for a new doctor of engineering program and Ph.D. options in both Engineering and Management. It will recommend approval of the proposal to use an internal review process for developing academic programs that are fully online.
“The positive recommendations of the Commission team represents a significant accomplishment for the University and positions us for continued progress toward preeminence over the next 10 years,” Walker said. “We are able to get this kind of recommendation due to the great work of everyone over the last 10 years.”
After reviewing Lawrence Tech’s self-study and meeting with various groups on campus, the Commission team cited a number of institutional strengths, including:
Based the quality of LTU Online and technology support operations, the Commission team will recommend that Lawrence Tech be authorized at “level three” of a four-level model for online program authorization that the commission approved in July. This will allow Lawrence Tech to deliver up to 50 percent of student credit hours and up to 35 percent of academic programs via distance learning.
The University would be allowed to apply for “level four” status if it approaches one of these two new limits. The “level three” authorization provides Lawrence Tech with the flexibility to make internal decisions about online program offerings. Previously the University had to gain HLC approval for each new program taught entirely online.
The accreditation approval process is not over. The next step will be a visit by a sixth member of the team to the College of Management’s Toronto Center on Oct. 30. Then a draft report should be completed within six weeks, and the University will have the opportunity to point out any errors of fact. Another panel will review the document before the HLC Institutional Actions Council and Board of Directors makes a final decision in spring 2011.
The University will be required to submit a progress report no later than March 2012 on the establishment of the appropriate infrastructure and services to support our research efforts and new doctoral programs.
Walker expressed his appreciation to everyone who was involved in the three-year project. “Many individuals across the University helped guide the process of the development of the self study, gather evidence, provide reports, analyze data, edit the self-study, develop the online repository, and design and print the self-study. Everyone has represented Lawrence Tech in an exemplary fashion.
“The Commission team has affirmed that we are headed in the right direction and has provided us with their backing to extend our doctoral and online programs. This is great news for the University and we look forward to continuing our journey toward preeminence,” Walker said.