The self study process for the April 4-6, 2011 site visit
The University Planning and Accreditation Committee (UPAC) was formed in March 2007 and charged with the responsibilities for developing and monitoring the strategic plan and accreditation. UPAC is comprised of more than thirty members of the leadership of the university including all of the Vice Chancellors, Deans, major administrative units and representatives of faculty, staff and student governance groups. In 2007 its focus was primarily on strategic planning; since the adoption of the university strategic plan in 2008, UPAC has focused primarily on accreditation. In 2008 UPAC appointed a Self-Study Organizing Committee to co-ordinate the self-study and the associated outreach activities.
The development of the self study began with the formation of several working groups, each focused on one of the five criteria:
1. Mission and Integrity
2. Preparing for the Future
3. Student Learning and Effective Teaching
4. Acquisition, Discovery, and Application of Knowledge
5. Engagement and Service
Each group consists of 10-14 members. The groups began their work in February 2009 and submitted their work to the Self-Study Organizing Committee throughout 2009. The organizing committee then took these submissions and developed draft chapters for each criterion. The members of UPAC provided input on these initial drafts.
The draft of the self-study will be made available to the entire university community to read and provide feedback in August and September 2010. This feedback will be incorporated into final versions in October.
The current outline of the self-study includes 12 chapters:
2. Response to Previous Concerns
4. Criteria 1
5. Criteria 2
6. Criteria 3
7. Criteria 4
8. Criteria 5
9. Federal Compliance
10. Financial Data
11. Institutional Snapshot
In January, the final layout will be prepared and the self-study will be printed and sent to each member of the HLC review team in the first week of February.
Engaging a Broad Base of Internal Constituents in Preparing the Self Study
One of the challenges in preparing for institutional accreditation is to engage a wide cross section of internal consitutuents of UC Denver. As part of this process the organizing committee adopted four cross cutting themes to describe UC Denver as a university that is: emergent; learning-driven; collaborative; and responsible. All schools, colleges, governance groups and administrative units were asked to discuss these themes and consider how their activities contribute to each of them. More than 55 responses for the four themes were submitted to the writing group and many of these have been integrated into the drafts of the self study chapters.
In addition, teams comprised of administrators, faculty, staff and students are currently being formed to specifically review and scrutinize particular components. With four or five components in each of the five HLC criteria, there will be 20 component groups. The purpose of these groups is to provide additional input for the component section assigned to the group, as well as to meet with the site-visit team next April in order to expand on issues or clarify any concerns related to the component.
To engage additional members of the university community, members of the organizing committee have made numerous presentations to governance (student, faculty and staff) groups as well as leadership groups such as AD/ASG (Associate Deans and Academic Support Group) on the Denver campus and the ASAL (Academic and Student Affairs Leadership) group at AMC.
The self-study committee has collaborated with the university's Department of Integrated Communications to develop additional strategies and opportunities to inform the broader university community about accreditation related activities.
Throughout the fall 2010 and spring 2011 semesters, we will focus on our outreach activities to internal constituents and also engage selected external constituents who will participate in the site visit. These activities include short videos in which three or four university faculty or staff members speak about aspects of the accreditation process. Several have been produced and a few more are planned. Also, a video of approximately 15 minutes is being developed by several faculty members in the College of Arts and Media and it will be used in the fall as an engagement vehicle for educating a broad cross-section of UC Denver's constituents.
Goals of the Self Study (pdf)
Membership of Working Groups (pdf)
Timeline for Accreditation Planning (pdf)
Timeline for Preparing Self Study (pdf)
Flowchart for Preparing Self Study (pdf)