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HLC update - Institutional Self-Study

Email sent to College employees on May 15, 2013 by Vice Provost Mary Ann Martinez Sanchez with information on the self-study process.

Dear Colleagues:

We would like to provide an update on the Institutional Self-Study.  As you know, Pima Community College is required, by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), to engage in a comprehensive evaluation process including a comprehensive self-study report and a comprehensive peer evaluation visit.  The report is due to the HLC in July, 2014.  The visit will occur approximately eight weeks after receipt of the report.  Preparations for the visit will begin later next academic year.  The following update will focus on the self-study.

What is an Institutional Self-Study? 

The Institutional Self-Study is a comprehensive process that demonstrates continuous improvement and provides evidence of fulfillment of accreditation criteria, culminating in a report sent to the Higher Learning Commission.   The report will address several areas including:  Follow-up from both monitoring reports submitted by the College, follow-up from the 2010 self-study, concerns identified by the HLC in the probation sanction, compliance with federal regulations, multi-campus coordination, and the five accreditation criteria.  The bulk of the report will focus on the five accreditation criteria.  Our report is due July, 2014.

What are the Accreditation Criteria?

“The Criteria for Accreditation are the standards of quality by which the Commission (HLC) determines whether an institution merits accreditation…”  (HLC website)  There are five Criteria for Accreditation.  Each criterion is composed of a series of core components focusing on specific aspects of each criterion.

The five criteria are listed below:

Criterion One.  Mission   The institution’s mission is clear and articulated publicly; it guides the institution’s operations.

Criterion Two.  Integrity:  Ethical and Responsible Conduct   The institution acts with integrity; its conduct is ethical and responsible.

Criterion Three.  Teaching and Learning:  Quality, Resources, and Support   The institution provides high quality education, wherever and however its offerings are delivered.

Criterion Four.   Teaching and Learning:  Evaluation and Improvement   The institution demonstrates responsibility for the quality of its education programs, learning environments, and support services, and it evaluations their effectiveness for student learning through processes designed to promote continuous improvement.

Criterion Five.  Resources, Planning, and Institutional Effectiveness   The institution’s resources, structures, and processes are sufficient to fulfill its mission, improve the quality of its educational offerings, and respond to future challenges and opportunities.  The institution plans for the future.          

For more information on the criteria and core components, please see   

What is our plan for preparing the Institutional Self-Study Report?

The Provost’s Office has been charged with oversight of this process.  As part of that charge, a committee framework for the self-study report has been developed.  Committees will focus on various aspects of report preparation.  Some groups will be following up on previous documents submitted to the Higher Learning Commission.  Some groups will be focusing on archiving materials and writing.  Other groups will be addressing the criteria and assumed practices.  The following is a list of the committees that have been developed: 

  • Criterion One:  Mission
  • Criterion Two:  Integrity:  Ethical and Responsible Conduct
  • Criterion Three:  Teaching and Learning:  Quality, Resources, and Support
  • Criterion Four:  Teaching and Learning:  Evaluation and Improvement
  • Criterion Five:  Resources, Planning, and Institutional Effectiveness
  • Assumed Practices
  • Response to concerns from the 2010 Self-Study
  • Response to concerns identified by the HLC in the probation sanction
  • Federal Compliance
  • Multi-campus Coordination
  • Follow-up from the SLO Monitoring Report
  • Follow-up from the current Monitoring Report
  • Archive/Electronic Evidence Room
  • Writing Team

We will be soliciting membership and leadership from Pima Community College and from our community for each of these groups.  Detailed information regarding the work of each committee and how to sign up to become a member will be forthcoming shortly.

This information was presented, as an update, to the Pima Community College Board of Governors at the May 8, 2013 meeting.  The PowerPoint slides from this presentation are posted to the Pima Community College website.  For additional information regarding probation, please visit the link entitled PCC Addresses Probation.

Please contact me with any questions or comments.

Thank you,

Dr. Mary Ann Martinez Sanchez
Vice Provost and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Services