SC Dean Accepted as Consultant-Evaluator for the Higher Learning Commission

Monday, September 28, 2009

Over the past year the faculty and staff at Sterling College have been gathering information for the school's current cycle of institutional accreditation, governed by the Higher Learning Commission. Though most of the faculty and staff are ready for the process to be finished, Dr. Felicia Squires, professor in the language and literature department and Associate Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences, has been inspired. She applied to the Higher Learning Commission to be a consultant-evaluator, a member of an assessment team that visits colleges during their accreditation process and examines their findings. Just before the beginning of the fall semester, she was notified that she had been accepted.
"I'm excited by the possibilities this presents," said Dr. Squires. "I will be assigned to a team that assesses institutions that are similar to Sterling, both in size and focus. Through the training and through institutional visits, I will be able to look at what other schools are doing and then bring that knowledge back here."
In November Squires will travel to Chicago for training. As a trained consultant-evaluator, Squires will participate in one or two peer review teams each academic year. Prior to each visit, she will be responsible for reading and reviewing the school's institutional assessment report. Then the peer review team will visit the school and discuss the report's results with them. These visits are generally three days in length. Following the visit, each consultant-evaluator is responsible for writing a section of the team's recommendation to the Higher Learning Commission.
"Dr. Squires talked with me about this possibility before she applied," said Dr. Troy Peters, Sterling's Vice President of Academic Affairs. "I told her she would have the full support of the College. Dr. Squires has the awareness and perception that is needed to benefit other schools. We are honored that the Higher Learning Commission recognized her strengths."
"I love higher education," said Squires, "and I feel that in doing this, I am serving my profession."