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"The Reflective U"—St. Kate's engaged in reaccreditation process

Deans stand in front of school and university banners at the opening celebration.
Deans stand in front of school and university banners at the opening celebration.
Photo by Rebecca Zenefski '10.

St. Catherine University is currently in the process of preparing for its ten-year accreditation site visit in 2013 from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), a regional agency that accredits more than 1,022 institutions in 19 states.

Accreditation at St. Kate’s

St. Kate’s last accreditation site visit was 2003 and resulted in full re-accreditation.

In preparation for the winter 2013 site visit, St. Catherine University leadership created a HLC steering committee in fall of 2010 comprised of faculty, staff and administrators from both campuses to plan for the site visit and create the self-study report in advance of it.

Alan Silva, steering committee chair and assistant vice president and dean of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Sciences(SHAS) and College for Women, announced to faculty and staff at the annual Faculty-Staff Opening Workshop in August that Lynda Szymanski, associate dean of SHAS, and Brian Fogarty, professor of sociology, will co-author the self-study report.

The self-study is designed as a reflective process for the institution.  The University’s theme for the HLC self-study is “From College to University:  Eight Directions to Five Destinations in Ten Years” and will outline the institution’s evolution from the College of St. Catherine to St. Catherine University.

The foundation for the self-study is the University’s 2020 Vision Strategic Plan—itself a document that outlines the college past and charts the course to the University’s future. 

Engaging University stakeholders

The HLC steering committee is engaging the entire community in discussions about the University’s mission and strategic plan in advance of the HLC site visit on February 25-27, 2013.

To date, the HLC Committee has given presentations at the University’s Opening Faculty/Staff Workshops and at Staff Circles in October.  In addition, student affairs staff discussed accreditation with students during orientation and University President Andrea J. Lee, IHM, discussed HLC with members of the Student Senate in November.

In addition, look for community updates in the HLC blog.


The University’s annual faculty and staff conference, the Teaching and Learning Network, will again engage the St. Kate’s community in dialogue about accreditation following the Sr. Anne Joachim Moore lecture.

The HLC Committee will continue to update the St. Catherine University community on its progress in writing the self-study and will engage everyone in the preparations for the 2012 site visit.

Nov. 18, 2011 by Julie Michener

See also: Alumnae/i, Education, Faculty, Students