By Laren Rust

Students shared their thoughts on HCC with a visiting accreditation team on Oct. 19.

The Higher Learning Commission visited the college to gather data for accreditation on Oct. 18 and 19.

Faculty and staff have been preparing for this meeting for about two years, looking at all aspects of the school and making sure that everything is up to date and ready.

This visit consisted of meeting with many faculty, staff, community members, and even students.

After many meetings in the morning with the faculty, the president’s council, and department chairs, the three accreditors sat down for a pre-scheduled lunch with a group of students.

This lunch was meant to discuss what HCC was all about and if the school was providing them with the education that they deserved.

There were about 40 students in attendance at the luncheon in the Blue Dragon Room in the Parker Student Union from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Instructors and coaches had selected the students who came to the lunch.

During the gathering, the three accreditors asked about different aspects of HCC.

“We just sat in a big room and three people asked us questions about our experiences,” said Brigid Reilly, Hutchinson. “It was a very positive experience.”

The accreditors also asked about specifics concerning students’ goals.

“They asked about our majors and if we had good advisors,” said Kaitlynn Holman, Salina. “It went well. I mean the people were nice.”

Students also reported that they asked about classes, housing, and advising.

“They asked if our advisors were accessible and if they communicated with us within a reasonable time frame,” said John Colclazier, Greensburg.

Overall, there was positive feedback from students about their college.

In a few short months, HCC will receive an answer from the Higher Learning Commission about its reaccreditation.

According to the Higher Learning Commission website, the commission will grant or continue accreditation (with or without conditions or sanctions), deny accreditation, or withdraw accreditation based on the outcome of its review.

All of HCC must now wait until January to receive the results of the accreditation and learn what HCC can do to make this school a better learning environment for all.

Initial feedback from the HLC team on Oct. 19, in comments to faculty and staff, was encouraging.

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