Oklahoma Baptist University has received formal notification of its continued accreditation by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The university's next comprehensive evaluation with the commission is scheduled for 2017-18.
The continued accreditation process concluded a two-year self-study conducted by the university. Dr. Glenn Sanders, OBU professor of history and chair of the division of behavioral and social science, served as chairman of the self-study committee.
"We are pleased to complete this very critical and significant process with our regional accrediting association," said John Parrish, OBU's interim president. "I am grateful to our self-study committee for providing leadership in the overall effort. Our 10-year study is more than an examination of our programs. It also serves as a guide for helping us build on strengths as we continue to fulfill our mission."
The self-study resulted is a 250-page summary of the university's current operations derived from various institutional measures and from discussions within the OBU community. It is based on five criteria set by the Higher Learning Commission which focus on mission, resources, teaching and learning, internal environment, and constituency relations.
A five-member HLC visiting team received the self-study report and accompanying documentation about a month before visiting OBU last spring, Sanders said. During their time on campus, team members talked with different individuals and groups in order to determine the accuracy of the self-study and other aspects of OBU's operations.
"The self-study process - the initial review, the summary of practices, the additional conversations, and the team visit - served OBU by establishing a clear picture of operations and by encouraging close attention to the institution's mission," Sanders said. "It also allowed OBU to get invaluable ideas and recommendations from the external review process. Finally, it made clear the many good things that OBU already does to educate her students."
The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is an independent corporation and one of two Commission members of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA), which was founded in 1895 as one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. The Higher Learning Commission accredits degree-granting educational institutions in the North Central region: Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, New Mexico, South Dakota, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Wyoming.