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Accreditation Team Recommends Iowa Lakes Community College To Higher Learning Commission

By Staff | Oct 8, 2009

Iowa Lakes Community College has been recommended for reaffirmation of its academic accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The recommendation comes following a visit to Iowa Lakes by members of the Academic Quality Improvement Program Accreditation.

The accreditation process of AQIP is a procedure which involves all aspects of the college in continuously improving processes and practices at the college. It is important to ensure high academic quality as well as guarantee that the resources of the college are used effectively. This demonstrates accountability to those who fund and support the college.

The Accreditation Team which examined Iowa Lakes for three days during the last week of September included Dr. Joan Costello, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Inver Hills Community College and Dr. David Calhoon, Chair of the College of Education at Black Hills State University.

“We feel you are doing a great job and you live in the spirit of continuous improvement,” said Costello. “We feel we need to congratulate you.”

Calhoon spoke to his experience at Iowa Lakes and the demonstrated “pride in place” which he observed. “I’ve experienced a very positive environment the whole time we’ve been here,” he said.

Calhoon shared that while walking down the campus hallways he heard laughter in many offices and classrooms. “That speaks volumes about your organization.”

Both team members were extremely impressed with their meetings with students at Iowa Lakes.

“You should know how impressed we were with your students,” Costello said. “They had very nice things to say” about their education, the faculty and staff, as well as the facilities.

Of the strategic issues identified in the AQIP Systems Portfolio, the team congratulated the College on responses to advising processes, communications, data usage and professional development.

The team also reviewed a college priority of a goal of two-percent revenues over expenditures. They felt there had been a lot of communications throughout the past year concerning college actions. “The success you’ve had so far is incredible. I encourage you to continue,” said Costello.

Iowa Lakes President Valerie Newhouse expressed her appreciation to all faculty, staff and students. “The affirmation we received from David (Calhoon) and Joan (Costello) on our continuous improvement process was wonderful. This indicates that our processes are on target and we are a quality institution,” said President Newhouse. “I’m very proud of our faculty and staff for the wonderful initiatives they are implementing in their programs, and also for their participation in the accreditation process.”