Dear Friends of Southwestern College,
As most of you probably know, Southwestern College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and the American Art Therapy Association (AATA). This is a great honor, and an affirmation of our College and its history. The longest period of accreditation awarded by HLC is ten years, and the longest by AATA is seven years. In 2001 and 2006, respectively, both of those accrediting organizations gave SWC the longest terms possible. Every accredited university in the country goes through this same process, as a kind of quality control measure.
The Higher Learning Commission accreditation team visited our campus in November of 2010 for an intensive, three day review of all aspects of the College, from academics to finances, to strategic planning and facilities. When all was said and done, they recommended a ten year extension of our accreditation. This is a great honor to the College and to all of the faculty, staff and leadership that makes Southwestern the special institution it is.
Thanks also go to community members, supervisors of our students, alumni, local mental health agencies and to members of the Board of Trustees for their participation in the process.
We are very pleased to have gone through this process in a transparent and open fashion, sharing our authentic identity and mission with the world. It is also a tribute to the Higher Learning Commission that they are open-minded toward alternative approaches to higher education.
We will be preparing a progress report for the Higher Learning Commission, outlining some strategies for further assessment and an updated strategic plan. We firmly believe that a lot of people are looking for a school that offers an alternative, holistic approach to mental health careers, and the fact that the Higher Learning Commission and AATA accredit and approve us is a great reason for prospective students to look more deeply into how a Master’s Degree from Southwestern College could change their lives…
Thanks for visiting and for caring about Southwestern College.
Jim Nolan President