Pine Technical and Community College, founded in 1965, has been continuously accredited since 1994. As a general rule, most institutions undergo a comprehensive evaluation by the Higher Learning Commission every 10 years. PTCC’s last visit was in 2018.
On October 1-2, 2018, a team of consultant-evaluators representing HLC arrived on the PTCC campus for a two-day comprehensive visit to once again evaluate the college and to make a recommendation regarding accreditation status.
The college had been preparing for this visit for a long time by engaging in a detailed self-study process which has included faculty and staff from across the college.
The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is an independent corporation that was founded in 1895 as one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. HLC accredits degree-granting, post-secondary educational institutions in the North Central region.
Institutions of higher learning voluntarily seek accreditation because it gives them public accountability and allows them to demonstrate and affirm the quality they regularly profess.
But accreditation also affords institutions the opportunity to engage in a soul-searching process of internal evaluation and institutional improvement. Regional accreditation means accreditation of the institution as a whole (“institutional accreditation”). The Higher Learning Commission is the accrediting body for our geographical region (North Central). HLC does not accredit specific programs such as automotive or nursing; only the institution as a whole.
Accreditatiion within an institution of higher learning includes a Quality Initiative Report. This report encourages the instution to take risks, innovate, take on a tough challenge, or pursue a yet unproven strategy or hypothesis. Genuineness of effort, not succes on initiatives, consititues the focus of the Quality Initiative review and serves as its sole purpose of evaluation pushing the instituion toward progress and continuous improvement.
The Higher Learning Commission’s Criteria for Accreditation reflect a set of guiding values. HLC articulates these guiding values so as to offer a better understanding of the Criteria and the intentions that underlie them.