HIGHER LEARNING COMMISSION REAFFIRMS CHICAGO STATE UNIVERSITY’S CONTINUED ACCREDITATION STATUS

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For Immediate Release September 9, 2010
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HIGHER LEARNING COMMISSION REAFFIRMS CHICAGO STATE UNIVERSITY’S CONTINUED ACCREDITATION STATUS
Announcement follows March ‘focus visit’ by blue-ribbon panel; positive findings indicate ‘paradigm change’ in enrollment, recruitment, graduation rates

CHICAGO—Chicago State University announced today that The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA) has reaffirmed the University’s continued accreditation, which it has maintained since 1941. The announcement has been publicly posted on the HLC’s website, www.ncahlc.org.

A blue-ribbon team of higher education professionals assembled by the HLC visited Chicago State for a focus visit in March of this year. The HLC team observed the beginnings of a paradigm change in leadership, organizational infrastructure, recruitment, retention, and graduation areas. This is already apparent in fall 2010 enrollment and retention data. Enrollment numbers indicate a 5.1 percent increase for fall 2009-to-fall 2010 in undergraduate students. Also University-wide enrollment improved by 1.8 percent. Retention of first-time, full-time freshmen from fall 2009-to-fall 2010 has also improved by 3.4 percent. Retention of first-time, full-time students is widely considered a key indicator of persistence toward graduation.

“We are proud to have received this re-affirmation of CSU’s accreditation from the HLC,” said Chicago State University President Dr. Wayne Watson. “At Chicago State, we are committed first and foremost to our students and their future career and professional development. It takes time, but the student-focused culture we are building is helping us attract and ensure the success and graduation of more students.”
Over the past year, Chicago State has developed and enhanced a number of key initiatives to ensure the best possible learning environment on campus and support for student success. A new Dean of the Freshmen Experience position was established to support students in their transition to college, and an Executive Director of Graduation and Certifications position was created to identify and shepherd “near completers” to their degree. Last November, the University extended the hours in its library to midnight, and increased the hours of operation for the student union and gym to support students’ needs.

CSU has also implemented the following initiatives to support students’ academic success: a mentoring program that pairs students with administrative mentors; and a highly effective monthly early alert system in which 83 percent of faculty voluntarily report and flag undergraduate students that are struggling with attendance, homework or tests, allowing CSU to intervene and address situations before they reach crisis levels. In an efforts to create efficiencies and cost effectiveness, CSU has streamlined its registration procedures, placed textbooks on reserve at the library as well as created a new opportunity that allows students who can’t afford to purchase textbooks to rent them at a lower cost.

The HLC is one of six regional agencies that accredit U.S. colleges and universities at the institutional level. In addition to its HLC accreditation, Chicago State University has earned additional independent program accreditation including the following:
o    Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE)
o    Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE)
o    Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
o    Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information

Management Education (CAHIIM) o    Council on Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs(CACREP)
o    Council of Social Work Education (CSWE)
o    Educational Leadership Constituent Council housed by the National Policy Boardfor Educational Administration (NCATE/ELCC)
o    National Association of Schools of Art and Design o    National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
o    National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC)
o    National Middle School Association (NMSA) o    National Recreation and Park Association /American Association for Leisure and Recreation Council on Accreditation

National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE):
o    Bilingual Education/Association for Childhood Education International o    Doctor of Education in Education Leadership/Educational Leadership Constituent Council (ELCC)
o    Early Childhood Education/National Association for Education of Young Children
o    Elementary Education/Association for Childhood Education International
o    Library Specialist/American Association of School Libraries o    Special Education/The Council for Exceptional Children
o    Teaching Biology and Chemistry/National Science Teachers Association
o    T eaching    Mathematics/National    Council    for    T eaching    of    Mathematics
o    T eaching    Reading/International    Reading    Association
o    Technology Education International Technology Education Association/Council on Technology Teacher Education ~~ ~

Chicago State University

Chicago State University was founded as a teacher training school in Blue Island, Illinois on September 2, 1867. Today, the University is a fully accredited public, urban institution located on 161-picturesque acres in a residential community on Chicago’s South side. CSU is governed by a Board of Trustees appointed by the Governor of Illinois. The University’s five colleges—Health Sciences, Arts and Sciences, Business, Education and Pharmacy—offer 36 undergraduate and 25
graduate and professional degree-granting programs. CSU also offers an interdisciplinary Honors College for students in all areas of study and has a Division of Continuing Education and Nontraditional Degree Programs that offers extension courses, distance learning and not-for-credit programs to the entire Chicago community.