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Higher Learning Commission Visits NOC



TONKAWA — A Higher Learning Commission (HLC) peer review team visited NOC Tonkawa Feb. 26-27 for the institution’s 10-year reaccreditation process.

HLC accreditation is important to Northern Oklahoma College as an external validation of quality and as a requirement for the institution being eligible to dispense financial aid.

NOC has been preparing for the visit since 2016 with employee meetings to discuss the criteria for evaluation and to draft the assurance argument that provides evidence NOC meets all criteria, including how NOC supports its mission with quality educational experiences and student services. The team also evaluates assessment, budgeting and strategic planning services.

Vice-President of Academic Affairs Dr. Stinson has been updating the NOC Board of Regents monthly since spring 2012 to ensure they are familiar with the accreditation guidelines.

The visit allows the HLC team to visually see that NOC is fulfilling its mission. The HLC team met with NOC administrators, faculty, staff and students during their visit.

Stinson said HLC will issue a draft of their written report to NOC within approximately two weeks with the institution having an opportunity to correct errors of fact; a final decision on the reaccreditation process will occur in May or June when HLC’s Institutional Actions Council reviews the final report.

“We were very pleased with the overall visit,” said Northern Oklahoma College President Dr. Cheryl Evans. “The Peer Reviewers shared many positive things about their discussions with NOC stakeholders. They also remarked about the great preparation by NOC employees that made their visit pleasant.”

“I really appreciate Dr. Pam Stinson’s leadership on this project as the College’s Liaison with the Higher Learning Commission,” Evans added. “She along with many others at NOC did a great job of telling Northern’s story. Now, we look forward to reading the HLC report and the team’s recommendations in a few months so that we can learn how to move forward and serve students even better in the future.”

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