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Open Pathway Accreditation Visit

April 20-21, 2015
By the Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

 IECC Open Pathway Accreditation


Open Pathway Accreditation Visit April 20-21, 2015


IECC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, which is headquartered in Chicago, IL. The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is an independent corporation and one of two commission members of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA), which was founded in 1895 as one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. The Higher Learning Commission accredits, and thereby grants membership in the Commission and in the North Central Association, to degree-granting post-secondary educational institutions in the North Central region. The HLC website is located at

The new Open Pathway model of accreditation involves two major components:

  • Quality Initiative – IECC’s Students First! Project
  • Assurance Argument – an electronic portfolio documenting how IECC meets the five HLC Criteria for Accreditation

IECC is one of 20 Cohort 2 Pioneer Institutions who were selected to pilot and test the new Open Pathway model for continued accreditation. IECC submitted to HLC a Quality Initiative Report/Impact Report on our Students First! Project in June 2014.  The Assurance Argument was drafted, compiled, and ready for review by faculty and staff in the Fall of 2014.  The Assurance Argument and electronic documents will be locked and submitted to HLC and the Peer Review Team in March 2015. IECC’s comprehensive Open Pathway Accreditation Visit will be on April 20-21, 2015.

Accreditation is vital to IECC because it assures academic program quality through accountability and public certification of acceptable institutional quality.  Accreditation enables IECC to maintain eligibility to receive federal funds for student financial aid and provides an opportunity and incentive for critical self-analysis and improvement.

IECC Open Pathway Steering Committee

Tara Buerster, Director of Human Resources
Chris Cantwell, Chief Academic Officer
LeAnn Hartleroad, Associate Dean, Grants & Institutional Development
Chris Heindselman, Research Assistant
Nixie Hnetkovsky, Director of Student Learning Assessment, Faculty-Frontier Community College
Rodney Ranes, President, Olney Central College


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