2020 Assurance Argument

Brief Timeline of Assurance Argument Development

Summer 2019 -- Faculty researcher/authors (Shaun Thunell, Radiography; Kathryn Johnson, History) and IRPA reviewed standards and scanned University operations looking for vulnerabilities.

Fall 2019 -- Faculty researcher/authors and IRPA gathered evidence and began construction of arguments representing Northern's work against 12 of the 18 Core Components of the Criteria for Accreditation.

January 2020 -- Winter 2020 semester

Winter 2020 -- Faculty researcher/authors and IRPA gathered evidence and began construction of arguments representing Northern's work against remaining 6 of the 18 Core Components of the Criteria for Accreditation.

Early February 2020 -- Presented work-in-progress arguments internally at campus workshops and with other stakeholders such as at a meeting of the Strategic Planning and Budgeting Committee (SPBAC). Gathered campus input on Criteria 1, 2 and 5. Answer the following:

  • We are confident Northern meets all accreditation standards. What do you think is the best evidence that demonstrates our strengths? Considering the evidence we have so far gathered, are there other programs, policies, and practices that we should present to peer reviewers to prove Northern's excellence? 

Late February 2020 -- Faculty researcher/authors revised based on internal notes.

February 29-March 9 -- Spring Break

Early March, 2020 -- External review; accreditation expert at a peer institution read draft arguments that Northern meets the standards in Criteria 1, 2 and 5 and assessed strength of Northern's case. Answer the following: 

  • We are confident Northern meets all accreditation standards. As on external peer knowing just what you read in our Assurance Argument draft, do you see areas where we could make a stronger case? If you were a peer reviewer assigned by HLC, what would your follow-up questions be? 

Late March, 2020 -- Faculty researcher/authors revised based on external notes

Early April -- Presented work-in-progress arguments internally at campus workshops and meetings with other stakeholders such as Academic Senate. Gather campus input on Criteria 3 and 4. Although the Covid-19 pandemic caused the cancellation of some plans, internal review continued. 

April 18-21, 2020 -- NMU accreditation team intended to attend annual HLC Conference, but the meeting was canceled.

May 5, 2020 -- Commencement 

Early May -- External review; accreditation expert at a peer institution read draft arguments that Northern meets the standards in Criteria 3 and 4 and assessed strength of Northern's case. Answer the following: 

  • We are confident Northern meets all accreditation standards. As on external peer knowing just what you read in our Assurance Argument draft, do you see areas where we could make a stronger case? If you were a peer reviewer assigned by HLC, what would your follow-up questions be? 

Summer 2020 -- Executive level review of all arguments and evidence against the HLC standards. IRPA moved arguments and evidence into HLC online system.

August 2020 -- Fall 2020 semester

October, 2020 -- Assurance Argument submitted for review by HLC Peer Corps and staff. 

October 2020 to December 2020 -- Peer reviewers studied the submitted materials, explored NMU webpages and examined public-facing information, and asked for additional evidence. 

January 2021 -- NMU reviewed the draft report, and then peer reviewers responded to requests to correct "errors of fact."

February 3, 2021 -- HLC notified NMU: "Northern Michigan University has successfully completed its Year 4 Assurance Review with no recommended monitoring." The finding was that all 18 Core Components of the 5 Criteria for Accreditation are "met."

 

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