March 21, 2019
According to a certified letter received Thursday from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) board of trustees, Black River Technical College has resolved concerns identified by HLC and is fully compliant with the regional accrediting agency.
“The Board determined that the Institution is no longer out of compliance with the Criteria for Accreditation,” read the HLC decision, “and removed the Institution from Probation and assigned interim monitoring.”
The news was welcomed by the entire campus who has worked hard over the past two years to address all concerns identified by HLC.
“I know each of you is just as excited and happy as I am and I know you are also proud of what this institution has achieved during the past two years,” said BRTC interim President Dr. Jan Ziegler in an email to faculty and staff. “And you have done this. It has been an honor to join the team as I did in the 11th hour, so to speak. But I understand that this victory belongs to you, the faculty and staff who had worked so hard from the moment the sanction was imposed. Your hours and hours of hard work, and the support and commitment of our Board of Trustees, have proven that this college is willing and able to meet its challenges as a team—TEAM BRTC—and it is as a proud institution we now can move forward into a new chapter in the history of this college.”
Black River Technical College is now on the Standard Pathway with its next comprehensive evaluation for reaffirmation of accreditation in 2022-2023. The institution is required to submit a monitoring report by December 4, 2020.
“A comprehensive evaluation in four years is typical following removal from probation, as is interim monitoring,” explained Sissy Gray, BRTC’s HLC Accreditation Liaison. “Both HLC staff and peer reviewers have communicated great satisfaction with the tremendous progress BRTC has demonstrated in areas such as the assessment of student learning and shared governance. We welcome these upcoming reviews as additional opportunities to showcase that BRTC is an exceptional institution of higher education.”
The Higher Learning Commission accredits approximately 1,000 colleges and universities across 19 states, including Arkansas. On February 23, 2017, the HLC placed BRTC on probation related to concerns regarding “assessment of student learning and institutional resources.” Since then, BRTC has overhauled its assessment procedures, integrated strategic planning, and hosted an HLC site-visit team for a comprehensive evaluation in November 2017.
“In taking this action, the Board considered materials from the most recent comprehensive evaluation, including, but not limited to: the Assurance Filing the Institution submitted, the report from the comprehensive evaluation team, the report of the Institutional Actions Council (IAC) Hearing Committee, and the institutional responses to these reports,” the HLC board said in making its decision.
For more information about BRTC’s accreditation status with the Higher Learning Commission, contact Sissy Gray, HLC liaison at (870) 248-4119 or email her at Sissy.Gray@blackrivertech.edu.