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The Accreditation Review
April/May 2022
Volume 2, Issue 3
WELCOME!
Welcome to SCC’s Accreditation Review! This is the tenth issue of the SCC Accreditation Steering Team’s newsletter that provides the College with accreditation updates and shares important information about accreditation processes.

SCC's accreditation site visit from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) on April 24-25 is just one year away! In preparation for this important event, many employees across the College have done impactful work — thousands of pieces of evidence gathered, hundreds of Passport Challenges completed, and countless hours committed by the Accreditation Steering Team. Thank you all so much for your commitment to accreditation at SCC!

As the Spring 2022 semester comes to a close and the Summer 2022 term begins, please note that the next newsletter issue will not be distributed until August 2022.
HLC Conference Recap
On April 2, 2022, a team of SCC employees traveled to Chicago for HLC's first in-person conference since April of 2019. These SCC employees joined approximately 2,700 higher education professionals from across the country as well as 1,000+ virtual attendees.
Two of the SCC conference attendees — Shawna Herwick and Brian Stark — recently shared their thoughts on the conference:
Shawna Herwick
Administrative Director of Accreditation, Institutional Assessment, and Planning
Dr. Brian Stark
Senior Administrative Director of SENCAP and DC Advantage
“The conference theme was Evolving Together, a concept which embodies SCC’s past eight years of transformation. The SCC attendees gathered pertinent information in preparation for our 10-year comprehensive evaluation. Team members attended sessions on assessment, program review, planning and other accreditation matters such as distance education, faculty credentials, dual credit, and many other topics. Each year, the Higher Learning Commission publishes a trends in higher education document*. I encourage you to check out HLC’s trends document to understand what the largest institutional accreditor in the United States considers to be current trends in higher education.”
“The HLC conference was a great experience to network with fellow peers and colleagues for ideas not only at SCC but other institutions who have models that we can look into. I attended sessions on dual credit enrollment as well as data informed decisions for approaches that I can share with SCC to continuously improve our practices for the upcoming academic year and the service we provide to our students. The general session speakers gave some great overviews of approaches to education and how Covid and our current environment has redefined our approach as we move forward. I am very excited to attend next year again.”
*The Trends in Higher Education document from HLC that Shawna refers to can be accessed at the following link:
Need to Know Nook!
On April 14, 2022, the Lincoln Journal Star editorial board gave SCC praise for "addressing the needs of its students and Lincoln's business community."

In case you missed it, here is the editorial:
Southeast Community did its homework prior to announcing its $42.7 million tech education tower.

The significant investment, reported last week by Journal Star higher education writer Chris Dunker, will serve students and also function as a hub for businesses that, according to college officials, want to “re-skill or up-skill” their existing workforce.

The Sandhills Global Technology Center, which is planned east of the Health Science Facility that opened on SCC’s Lincoln campus in 2021, would be followed by a science-focused facility to be built within five years.

The center is expected to help SCC address the state’s growing workforce needs in science, technology, engineering and math-related fields, which are expected to grow by 11% between 2018 and 2028, according to the Nebraska Bureau of Labor Statistics.

SCC intends to tap its capital improvement funds and private donors as well as employ facility use fees to pay for the project. Six years ago, SCC saw a $369 million bond initiative fail at the ballot box. This project reflects a more creative, measured and cautious approach. 

And students, businesses and the community as a whole will be the better for it.

SCC already has about $8 million in funds pledged to the project, including $5 million from Sandhills Global of Lincoln.

The collaboration with the business community is both smart and creative. It's an approach that has helped to make SCC an effective agent in preparing a new generation to enter the workforce.

The model is being used by the community college to solve a workforce shortage that has hampered just about every industry. And as this project bears fruit, we hope other industries will see the success and forge partnerships or fund programs.

In addition, its culinary arts program, which features a full-service restaurant that is open to the public, teaches both the art of cooking as well as the business of it. 

The school is proving to be a viable alternative to the high cost of four-year colleges and universities by providing opportunities to a lot of people -- single mothers, low-income community members and people of color -- who might not otherwise be able to afford the rising cost of college.

The ability to go straight into an in-demand position with a two-year associate's degree comports with a shift in the effectiveness of higher education. The high cost of a college degree has plunged millions of students into debt as they enter the workforce. Over the last decade, America's total student debt has more than doubled to $1.7 trillion.

It's no wonder that SCC is a smart choice for many area students. And its admirable SCC is making smart choices to serve those student and the community at large. 

Source:
Lincoln Journal Star Editorial Board - Lincoln Journal Star Higher Education Writer Chris Dunker. (2022, April 13). Editorial, 4/14: SCC is addressing the needs of its students and Lincoln's business community. JournalStar.com. Retrieved from https://journalstar.com/opinion/editorial/editorial-4-14-scc-is-addressing-the-needs-of-its-students-and-lincolns-business-community/article_fa60dd02-238f-5636-ac17-1ab5f6a10f3a.html.
The new Sandhills Global Technology Center discussed in the article demonstrates SCC's commitment to responding to the workforce needs of local employers (HLC Core Component 1.B.3.) and providing its students and instructors with the infrastructure necessary to support effective teaching and learning (HLC Core Component 3.D.4.).

Lack of state-of-the-art facilities was something the 2016-2017 HLC review team identified as an area of improvement for the College. Since then, SCC has partnered with its HLC Liaison, Tom Bordenkircher, to make progress on adding new facilities such as the Sandhills Global Technology Center and making sure they are designed to effectively meet SCC's mission of transforming and empowering the diverse learners that it serves.
Accreditation Passport Challenges
The Accreditation Passport Challenge program is designed to help the College community learn about the accreditation process, assist in gathering evidence, and prepare for the HLC site visit. Each Challenge takes five minutes or less to complete!
Recap of March 2022 Passport Challenge
March's Passport Challenge focused on gathering evidence regarding STUDENT civic engagement.

Here are just a few of the activities that were reported:
  • Food drives
  • College Republicans/Young Democrats
  • Student Senate (all 3 campuses)
  • Student Ambassadors
  • Miscellaneous civic engagement activities performed through various student organizations (i.e. Biology Club, SkillsUSA, Chemistry Club, Wood Turning Club, Kids Bass Club, TRiO, PsychSoc Club, Early Childhood Student Group, etc.)
LUCKY WINNERS of the March 2022 Passport Challenge
These 5 SCC employees were selected from our random drawing of March 2022 Passport Challenge participants:
Crystal Kozak

Mike Aalberg

Mary Schieke

Lyndie-Christensen-Nader

Scott Bashore
Prizes for the Passport Challenges are sent via intercampus mail, so please keep an eye on our campus mailbox for yours!
April 2022 Passport Challenge
Because we want to give everyone a fair chance at participating in the Passport Challenges, please note that there will be NO Passport Challenges from April 2022 to July 2022 to accommodate faculty members who are off for the summer.
How You Can Participate
There are two easy ways to access the
monthly Accreditation Passport Challenges!
They can be accessed directly on the SCC Accreditation website by clicking the button below:
They can be accessed directly in the Mission Accreditation: Passport Canvas shell by clicking the button below:
Tracking Completed Passport Challenges
SCC’s talented Institutional Research Office has created an interactive dashboard to track completed Passport Challenges. Check out your own passport by clicking the button below!
If you have not submitted all Passport Challenges to date, NOW is the perfect time to get caught up on your submissions!
Shawna's Shout Outs!
Every month, Shawna’s Shout Outs will include recognition of an individual or team of employees who has gone above and beyond!
This month’s shout out goes to Amy Jorgens, SCC’s Vice President for Administrative Services! Amy serves SCC in a critical capacity by ensuring SCC maintains integrity in our fiscal and administrative operations. Furthermore, Amy was just accepted to be a peer reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission. This is a highly competitive process with only a few new Peer Reviewers accepted every year. Amy will be attending HLC peer reviewer training in May and will bring back valuable information to the College as she goes through training to evaluate other institutions on alignment with HLC’s Criteria for accreditation.
In addition to her new responsibilities as a peer reviewer, Amy also serves on the Accreditation Steering Team and provides finance data to HLC as part of the annual institutional update process. Please join us in thanking Amy for her attention to detail and commitment to our open-access mission as well as our pursuit of excellence and integrity in our operations. 

Congratulations, Amy! The College will benefit greatly from your experience in this important role.
Questions about SCC’s accreditation processes, initiatives, or anything else accreditation-related at SCC?

Please email accreditation@southeast.edu or Shawna Herwick, Accreditation Liaison Officer, at sherwick@southeast.edu.  
Want to learn even more about accreditation at SCC? Check out these online resources below!

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