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Preparation for the 2007 NCA Accreditation Visit

Criterion One: Mission and Integrity*

The organization operates with integrity to ensure the fulfillment of its mission through structures and processes that involve the board, administration, faculty, staff, and students.

Core Component 1a

The organization's mission documents are clear and articulate publicly the organization's commitments.

Examples of Evidence

  • the board has adopted statements of mission, vision, values, goals, and organizational priorities that together clearly and broadly define the organization's mission
  • the mission, vision, values, and goals documents define the varied internal and external constituencies the organization intends to serve
  • the mission documents include a strong commitment to high academic standards that sustain and advance excellence in higher learning
  • the mission documents state goals for the learning to be achieved by its students
  • the organization regularly evaluates and, when appropriate, revises the mission documents
  • the organization makes the mission documents available to the public, particularly to prospective and enrolled students

Core Component 1b

In its mission documents, the organization recognizes the diversity of its learners, other constituencies, and the greater society it serves.

Examples of Evidence

  • in its mission documents, the organization addresses diversity within the community values and common purposes it considers fundamental to its mission
  • the mission documents present the organization's function in a multicultural society
  • the mission documents affirm the organization's commitment to honor the dignity and worth of individuals
  • the organization's required codes of belief or expected behavior are congruent with its mission
  • the mission documents provide a basis for the organization's basic strategies to address diversity

Core Component 1c

Understanding of and support for the mission pervade the organization.

Examples of Evidence

  • the board, administration, faculty, staff, and students understand and support the organization's mission
  • the organization's strategic decisions are mission-driven
  • the organization's planning and budgeting priorities flow from and support its mission
  • the goals of the administrative and academic subunits of the organization are congruent with the organization's mission
  • the organization's internal constituencies articulate the mission in a consistent manner

Core Component 1d

The organization's governance and administrative structure promote effective leadership and support collaborative processes that enable the organization to fulfill its mission.

Examples of Evidence

  • board policies and practices document that the board's focus is on the organization's mission
  • the board enables the organization's chief administrative personnel to exercise effective leadership
  • the distribution of responsibilities as defined in governance structure, processes, and activities is understood and is implemented through delegated authority
  • people within the governance and administrative structures are committed to the mission and appropriately qualified to carry out their defined responsibilities
  • faculty and other academic leaders share responsibility for the coherence of the curriculum and the integrity of academic processes
  • effective communication facilitates governance processes and activities
  • the organization evaluates its structures and processes regularly and strengthens them as needed

Core Component 1e

The organization upholds and protects its integrity.

Examples of Evidence

  • the activities of the organization are congruent with its mission
  • the board exercises its responsibility to the public to ensure that the organization operates legally, responsibly, and with fiscal honesty
  • the organization understands and abides by local, state, and federal laws and regulations applicable to it (or by laws and regulations established by federally recognized sovereign entities)
  • the organization consistently implements clear and fair policies regarding the rights and responsibilities of each of its internal constituencies
  • the organization's structures and processes allow it to ensure the integrity of its cocurricular and auxiliary activities
  • the organization deals fairly with its external constituencies
  • the organization presents itself accurately and honestly to the public
  • the organization documents timely response to complaints and grievances, particularly those of students

Notes on Criterion One

* All information quoted from The Higher Learning Commission Handbook of Accreditation, version 1:10/03