Self Study Process

The Self Study Coordinator and five Criterion Team Leaders were appointed by the Interim President in spring, 2009. He also appointed individuals to serve on the Steering Committee. The Self Study Coordinator, Criterion Team Leaders and the Interim President, who is now our Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs all attended the HLC Annual Meeting in April 2009. During the summer of 2009 we met several times to discuss our roles and responsibilities as well as share about what we had learned at the meetings in Chicago.
In August 2009 we met and selected a number of names of individuals on campus we thought would be willing to work on the Self Study. We selected from this list to form committees to work on gathering data and evidence to write the sections on the core components for each Criterion. We also sought volunteers to fill out the committees. If possible, a member of the Steering Committee is assigned to be the leader of a core component committee. (See attached list) Also an Assistant Self Study Coordinator was appointed.
The Steering Committee will meet six times this fall. After that it will meet on a monthly basis until spring 2011 when it will need to meet more often to review chapter drafts of the Self Study. The goal is to make members of the Steering Committee as knowledgeable as possible about the Self Study Process so that they can in turn serve as resources to the Criterion Teams and subcommittees. A schedule of meetings and agendas follows:
HLC Steering Committee Meeting Schedule – Fall 2009
September 23
Kick off meeting. President Hargrave and Dr. Anderson. Steering committee characteristics, duties, and goals. Maintaining an evaluative focus. For next meeting: Come prepared to establish the Steering Committee’s goals for the Self Study.
September 30
Establish The Steering Committee’s goals for the Self Study. A review of the Self Study timeline. A look at a proposed outline.
October 7
A review of the Concerns and Recommendations from the previous HLC Accreditation visit (2001). Approval of the Proposed Self Study Design (To be submitted to the Higher Learning Commission Liaison.)
October 28    
A review of Criteria 1, 2, and 3 including who has agreed to work on these Teams, core components, examples of evidence from ECU, and likely data sources.
November 4
A review of Criteria 4 and 5 including who has agreed to work on these Teams, core components, examples of evidence from ECU, and likely data sources. Review general writing guidelines.
November 11
Data collection issues. The Resource Room (Virtual and Real). Keeping sources clearly identified for all data. Establishing common cut points for data collection. Publicity issues. Spring meeting dates.
December 2
If necessary. Topics to be determined as the need becomes evident.
The Criterion Team Leaders will hold three orientation meetings with their core component committees this fall. These meetings will cover the following topics:
Criterion Team Orientation Meetings for Fall 2009
Suggested time period for holding these meetings is between Fall Break and Thanksgiving Break.
1.      The first meeting will be to learn about the Criterion and its core components. Emphasis should be on where evidence can be found at ECU to support that ECU meets the components in this criterion.
2.      The second meeting will be about evaluative research and writing and also rules for data gathering and keeping sources straight. The resource room (virtual and actual) should be discussed at this time.
3.      The third meeting will be to make assignments for the core component committees. Team chairs will need to tell committee members where to go to find the documents or other evidence they need. They will also need to give the deadlines as specified in the time line and tell committee members exactly what they expect to get back from them and when. Use the time line to show them what the due dates and deadlines are.
Data collection will begin in spring 2010. We expect to have a virtual Resource Room set up with a good deal of documents already available for use by this time. Writing of the Self Study will occur primarily in fall, 2010. All final data updates will be added after the end of fall 2010 as well. Revisions will occur during early spring 2011 with the Steering Committee reviewing the chapters as they are completed during Spring semester. Campus review of the document will occur in late spring.
The Assistant Self Study Coordinator will be responsible for Chapter Six which focuses on the Change Request as well as being a Team Leader for Criterion Three Chapter. She is the Director of the Organizational Leadership degree program and has extensive experience in delivery of online classes. This experience should prove beneficial as we seek to add three online degree programs. The Self Study Coordinator will write Chapters One, Seven and Eight. She was the Self Study Coordinator in 2001 and also serves as a Consultant/Evaluator for NCA/HLC. This gives her considerable experience in guiding this project.
We plan to publicize the Self Study process throughout the two plus years we are involved in this endeavor. Initially we will focus more on what we are doing and why. Later our emphasis will be more on what we are learning about ECU, the coming HLC Team visit and what we hope our faculty, staff and students will be able to tell them about our mission, values, and our culture. This fall we have established a self study web site This site is accessed from out home page and provides information about our committees, our goals, our timeline, our steering committee minutes, our mission, values, strategic plan, the HLC/NCA Overview article on accreditation, the link to the HLC Web site showing ECU as an accredited institution, and ultimately the Self Study document. Also, as part of our publicity effort we plan to involve faculty and students in the Communications major to develop some of our publicity campaigns for the campus community for spring 2011 and fall 2011.

From the goals the Steering Committee has set for the ECU Self Study it is evident that we expect this process to be an open and honest effort to find out what the strengths and challenges are that face our institution. We hope the Self Study will provide a plan and a basis for strengthening our institution in the future, and not simply be a report of where we are now.