UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls
The conclusion of the ten-year Open Pathways review process is a site visit involving a review of all of the documentation prepared by the campus and meetings with stakeholders on October 15-16, 2018. The review team includes five members:
The team will hold sessions focusing on each of the criteria, the federal compliance report, and key issues that they wish to explore in more detail. It is critically important that students, staff, and faculty from across campus participate in these sessions. It is also important that they hear from a wide variety of people. Attendance matters, and the team's ability to hear that what people say complements what is in the reports is an essential part of the on-site visit. To help prepare for the conversations with the reviewers, below is a schedule and some resources.
Monday, October 15 (Tentative schedule)
Tuesday, October 16
After the site visit
The team will share a draft of its report after the visit, tentatively at the end of October. UWRF will have an opportunity to correct factual errors, and the final report will be submitted to the HLC by the team towards the end of November. It will then be placed onto the HLC’s Institutional Actions Council (IAC) agenda for review.
There are essentially three possible results:
If UWRF is determined to meet all criteria without concerns, the institution can begin preparing for the next ten-year review cycle.
If there are concerns in any areas, it is likely that some combination of interim reporting and follow-up work will be required. If the team has significant concerns, follow-up reviews and visits could also be required by HLC. In such cases, UWRF would retain its accreditation status.
If the institution was determined to "not meet the criteria for accreditation," it would lose its Open Pathway status, be put onto a more stringent review cycle, and could be on probation. That would involve significant work to reclaim accreditation status. In a worst-case scenario, the institution would not receive any federal funding.
HLC estimates that a majority of institutions fall into the second category, "meets with concerns," and are required to engage in some kind activity to improve their operations. This is the category that is most likely for UWRF as well.