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E XECUT I V E SUM M A RY OF T H E

2013 SELF-STUDY

Accreditation is an important indicator of education quality. Since 1974, Rochester College has maintained regional accreditation, the most highly regarded form, through the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA) of Colleges and Schools. All colleges and universities must periodically renew their accreditation by completing a comprehensive evaluation to demonstrate their eligibility for renewal. This evaluation process includes a self study documenting the state of the college, and a site visit from the accrediting commission. Rochester College recently completed a self study and will be hosting the HLC for a site visit on March 11-13 of 2013.

Rochester College began the self study in August 2010, involving the Board of Trustees,

administration, faculty, staff, and students in the process. Various committees were formed including an Executive Committee, a Steering Committee, and five Criterion Committees. Each Criterion Committee drafted a report analyzing Rochester College’s compliance with one of the HLC’s five criteria for continuing accreditation. These criterion reports became chapters in the full self study document. The full and complete document is now available online at WWW.ISSUU.COM/ROCHESTERCOLLEGE Challenging Academics. Christian Community.


CRITERION ONE: MISSION THE INSTITUTION’S MISSION IS CLEAR AND ARTICULATED PUBLICALLY; IT GUIDES THE INSTITUTION’S OPERATIONS. Rochester College is a mission-centered institution. The Christian values articulated in the mission give the institution a unique identity that guides all areas of the institution. The Rochester College mission statement and supporting mission materials are widely known and broadly understood by the campus community, and they provide the framework for all our activities, including curriculum development and instruction, financial planning, and recruiting, and outreach.

In 2009, our integrated learning academic model was designed and our general

education program was revised. These changes strengthened the relationship

between academic programs and the institutional mission.

The current mission statement is the result of a two-year revision process that began

in the fall of 2008. A strategic think tank committee, the academic cabinet, the faculty

as a whole, and the Board of Trustees were involved in this revision.

Many students select Rochester College based on the Christian character of the

institutional mission, and student extra-curricular activities naturally correlate with the

mission. •

The college’s commitments to servant leadership and global awareness, articulated

in the mission, guide our commitment to diversity and our interactions with the broader community, making Rochester College a significant contributor to the

promotion of the public good.

CRITERION TWO: ETHICAL AND RESPONSIBLE CONDUCT THE INSTITUTION FULFILLS ITS MISSION ETHICALLY AND RESPONSIBLY. Rochester College fulfills our mission in an ethical and responsible manner through our processes of policy adoption and implementation, through comprehensive and continuing communication, through the autonomy of the board, and through its commitments to ethical teaching and learning. •

Rochester College is committed to comprehensive and continuing communication

with employees, students, alumni, its donor base, and the public at large through

extensive print, online, and in-person methods.

Rochester College has established fair and ethical policies and processes that are clearly communicated in various Codes of Conduct, including the Student Handbook,

Faculty Handbook, Employee Handbook, Rochester College Gift Policies and

Guidelines, and the Code of Academic Integrity.

The Board of Trustees is functioning with autonomy and integrity as demonstrated

by their adoption of new policies and the Carver’s Policy Governance® Model in

Nonprofit Organizations.


Rochester College is committed to the freedom of expression and the pursuit of truth

in teaching and learning, as shown by student publications and by policies and

practices regarding research and teaching.

Rochester College ensures that knowledge is acquired, discovered, and applied

responsibly through a variety of policies and practices including research with human

participants, plagiarism, and academic integrity.

CRITERION THREE: TEACHING AND LEARNING— QUALITY, RESOURCES, AND SUPPORT THE INSTITUTION PROVIDES HIGH QUALITY EDUCATION, WHEREVER AND HOWEVER ITS OFFERINGS ARE DELIVERED Rochester College provides students with a consistently high-quality education. •

Our academic organization ensures that students in all of our delivery

models—traditional, online, Center for Extended Learning, and early

college—receive equitable academic support and are held to the same

all decisions and activities,

academic standards.

but also defines the passion

Rochester College regularly assesses and updates all academic offerings.

Institutional Learning Goals and general education requirements have been

carefully developed with academic quality in mind, and are consistently

applied to all programs.

Rochester College has the physical resources, faculty, and staff necessary for

delivering and supporting high-quality education.

Rochester College offers an enriched educational environment through our Integrated

Learning approach and co-curricular offerings.

CRITERION FOUR: TEACHING AND LEARNING— EVALUATION AND IMPROVEMENT THE INSTITUTION DEMONSTRATES RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE QUALITY OF ITS EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS, LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS, AND SUPPORT SERVICES, AND EVALUATES THEIR EFFECTIVENESS FOR STUDENT LEARNING THROUGH PROCESSES DESIGNED TO PROMOTE CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT. Rochester College ensures the quality of its educational programs and environments and evaluates their effectiveness for student learning through processes designed to foster continuous improvement. • The College engages in regular program review at multiple levels across the institution. • Careful review and evaluation of transfer credit and course prerequisites occurs on a continuing basis.

The mission not only guides

of our people.


Our commitment to effective student support services is manifested through our

Student Development initiatives, strong supplemental instruction and academic

support services, and careful integration of co-curricular programs such as athletics

with these services.

The College has obtained specialized accreditation (CCNE) for its BSN program and is

pursuing specialized accreditation for other programs as appropriate.

Ongoing assessment of student learning occurs in all academic departments.

Additionally, the College has demonstrated its commitment to assessment of student

learning through the hiring of a full-time Director of Assessment and its current

participation in the HLC Academy for the Assessment of Student Learning.

Rochester College demonstrates its commitment to educational improvement

through institution-wide interdepartmental retention efforts.

CRITERION FIVE: RESOURCES, PLANNING, AND INSTITUTIONAL EFFECTIVENESS THE INSTITUTION’S RESOURCES, STRUCTURES, AND PROCESSES ARE SUFFICIENT TO FULFILL ITS MISSION, IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF ITS EDUCATIONAL OFFERINGS, AND RESPOND TO FUTURE CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES. THE INSTITUTION PLANS FOR THE FUTURE. Rochester College manages resources responsibly to ensure the fulfillment of our mission. We have the resources needed to properly support academic programs and operations, and through rigorous assessment, evaluation, and restructuring we continue to position ourselves to better serve our constituents in the decade to come.

This report is publicly available and has been shared with Rochester College’s constituents via e-mails and presentations to the Board of Trustees, employees, students, alumni, and various community groups.

Rochester College has a strong commitment to maintaining current resources and

cultivating new resources in the areas of human resources, technology, finances, and

stakeholder support.

Rochester College has a well-developed budgeting and monitoring process in place

that involves all stakeholders.

The board and administration have structured and regular interaction with both

internal constituencies and the community in which it resides and serves.

The college has spent the past three years assessing its position and the educational

model that will define the future of this institution.

Rochester College allocates its resources in alignment with our mission and priorities.

The college regularly performs environmental scanning, carefully monitoring our

internal and external environments to detect early signs of opportunities and threats

that may influence our plans.

Rochester College evaluates its operations continuously. It learns from its operational

experience and applies that learning to improve its institutional effectiveness,

capabilities, and sustainability.

Executive Summary  

Executive Summary of the 2013 Self-Study Report prepared for the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and...

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