The Higher Learning Commission, a national independent corporation that evaluates the quality of higher education institutions, has granted a full 10-year continued accreditation to The University of Akron Wayne College.
“Accreditation, which is granted by a trained group of peer evaluators, verifies that an institution is meeting high educational standards,” says Wayne College Interim Dean Paulette Popovich. “The HLC’s favorable review of Wayne College underscores the momentum of the College since it was last reviewed in 2001. This achievement is significant in our environment of accountability and continuous improvement.”
The accrediting team’s report highlighted the College’s commitment to student learning, dedication to collaboration and new initiatives, and its fiscal responsibility. It also commended the College for its physical environment, describing it as, “welcoming, safe, and inviting to employees, learners, and community visitors.”
According to the report, “It is apparent that employees of the College have invested time, energy, and resources into providing for an optimal experience for students, especially those who are just beginning their academic careers.”
While Wayne College has been accredited continuously since 1972, it must undergo a comprehensive review every 10 years to maintain its status as an accredited institution. The Higher Learning Commission gave the College its stamp of approval on August 17 and another review will not take place until 2021.
Preparation for the accreditation team’s campus visit in April took place over more than three years, and was led by a committee consisting of five Wayne College employees: Retired Dean Jack Kristofco; Professor Tim Vierheller; former Director of Student Learning Services and part-time faculty member, Julia Beyeler; Senior Administrative Assistant to the Dean, Lindsie Webb; and Director of Library Services, Maureen Lerch. The committee oversaw the preparation of a 282-page self-study report that examined the College’s strengths and challenges. The report addressed specific accreditation criteria that focused on mission, preparing for the future, student learning, effective teaching, the acquisition and application of knowledge, and engagement and service.
Founded in 1972, Wayne College is the only regional branch campus of The University of Akron. The University of Akron Wayne College is located at 1901 Smucker Road, Orrville.