Frequently Asked Questions About Self-Study
What does NCA - HLC stand for?
The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is part
of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
(NCA). The NCA is one of six regional institutional
accreditation agencies in the United States. It was
founded in 1895. The North Central region includes Arkansas,
Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas,
Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska,
Ohio, Oklahoma, New Mexico, South Dakota, Wisconsin,
West Virginia, and Wyoming. The NCA - HLC
is recognized by the U.S.
Department of Education and the Council
on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
What is the NCA self-study and why is it important
to the College?
The self-study is a process of comprehensive, institution-wide
self-examination that evaluates what the College learned
and proposes what it intends to do with the knowledge.
It is the College's charge that we satisfy the criteria
and, thus, is a formal application to the Higher Learning
Commission for reaccreditation.
Who are the members of the NCA Steering Committee
and what is their role in the self-study process?
The members of the Steering
Committee are leaders chosen by the College Leadership
Team for their expertise, leadership, process management
and strong team skills. They advise the Self-Study Coordinator
in reference to the self-study process. Most of them
are Chairs of the nine Criterion/Section Teams.
Who are the leaders for each criterion and how were
the Criteria Leadership Groups formed?
The Criterion/Section Team
Chairs were chosen from the Steering Committee or
nominated by the College Leadership Team. The teams
consist of one co-chairs and 7-10 members, who are given
the charge to define, discover, demonstrate, and develop
the accreditation criteria as they are realized at DACC.
They are creating the various parts of the self-study
document. They work with college wide resource people
who either were nominated by College leaders or volunteered
because of their special expertise.
What is meant by "evidence" in the self-study
process, and who is responsible for gathering it?
Evidence is any kind of supporting data to be used
in the Self-Study: hard facts and statistics, numbers,
records, survey results, expert opinion, examples, explanations,
reasoning, predictions, experience, and even history.
Evidence is the proof or confirmation that supports
a claim as to how well DACC is addressing a component
of the criterion or section.
All of the Criterion/Section Team Leaders, Writing
Coaches, and Resource Team Members assist in data collection,
information gathering, and drafting responses to the
questions that arise from the HLC criteria for accreditation.
Why are there writing coaches assigned to each criterion
and section of the Self-Study?
Writing coaches are writing-process experts who assist
with research and investigative processes (data collection,
information gathering, and analysis) of criterion, core
component, and section teams. They direct the collaborative
writing process for each team, so that the draft that
evolves from their team's inquiries will fit well with
the other team drafts and result in an effective self-study
Is participation in the Self-Study voluntary?
Yes, participation is completely voluntary. However,
participation is an integral part of the accreditation
process. It is important that a majority of employees
participate in some department, division, campus, or
district activity of the Self-Study.
How can College employees become engaged in Self-Study?
Employees can volunteer their services to the co-leaders
or writing coaches in any of the criterion where they
may have an interest or area of expertise. (See the
Committee link for names.) It is not too late to become
involved in the self-study activities.