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Preparation for the 2007 NCA Accreditation Visit

The Four Themes*

The four cross-cutting themes are present in all the criteria studied for reaccreditation. In identifying these themes, the Commission had several purposes in mind:

  • Highlight primary attributes of effective and high-performance organizations valued by the Commission
  • Establish broad benchmarks for evaluating the interpretation and application of the new Criteria
  • Indicate the interrelatedness of the Criteria
  • Suggest an organizational schema that could inform self-study processes and give structure to self-study reports

I. The Future-Oriented Organization

(Theme I Notes)
  • Engages in planning
  • Is driven by the mission
  • Understands social and economic change
  • Focuses on the future of constituents
  • Integrates new technology

II. The Learning-Focused Organization

(Theme II Notes)
  • Assesses student learning
  • Supports learning
  • Supports scholarship
  • Creates the capacity for lifelong learning
  • Strengthens organizational learning

III. The Connected Organization

(Theme III Notes)
  • Serves the common good
  • Serves constituents
  • Creates a culture of service
  • Collaborates
  • Engages in healthy internal communication

IV. The Distinctive Organization

(Theme IV Notes)
  • Has an unambiguous mission
  • Appreciates diversity
  • Is accountable
  • Is self-reflective
  • Is committed to improvement

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