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KWU Earns Re-Accreditation

KSAL Staff - June 28, 2017 6:03 pm

Kansas Wesleyan University has received re-accreditation from The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and is scheduled for its next visit in 2026-27. It is the second time in as many decades that the university passed all criteria with no follow-up action required. In addition, the university recently received the highest possible Financial Responsibility Composite Score (3.0) from the U.S. Department of Education, which reflects the overall financial health of an institution.

Through a process of peer review, the HLC accredits degree-granting institutions of higher education. The university was notified last week by the HLC’s Institutional Actions Council that all parts of the institutional assessment standards were met and no follow-up action was required.

“This affirms that Kansas Wesleyan is healthy and vibrant,” said Matt Thompson, Ph.D., president and CEO. “The fact that our institution has met all requirements for the past two, 10-year cycle visits, says so much about faculty, the curriculum and the student experience at Kansas Wesleyan University.”

In addition to being assessed on teaching and learning, the university must also show active engagement from alumni, the community and the Board of Trustees.

“This unprecedented result is reflective of the long-standing commitment from the Salina community to our institution,” said Thompson. “Internships, partnerships with churches and nonprofits, our host family program — these all positively impact our students’ experience.”

“We are confident in our academic programs, and our alumni are proof that the classroom and experiential learning that happens on and off our campus is preparing our students for success,” said Charlie Grimwood, Ph.D., chair of the KWU Board of Trustees.

KWU’s sixth-month graduate survey showed that 100% of graduates from the class of 2016 were employed or in graduate school within six months of graduation (80% response rate). Of those surveyed, 84% were in career-related jobs — well above the national average of 71.8% (NCES Condition of Education Report 2017).

In March, Kansas Wesleyan was notified that it had received a 3.0 rating, the highest possible, for its Financial Responsibility Composite Score. The rating is a composite of three ratios— reserve ratio, equity ratio and net income ratio — that is used by U.S. Department of Education to help gauge the financial responsibility of an institution. Composite scores are only one of several factors that the department uses to assess an institution’s financial responsibility compliance. The other factors include sufficient institutional cash reserves to make the required refunds, including the return of Title IV funds (these requirements are known as the refund reserve standards); the school is meeting all of its financial obligations; and the school is current in its debt payments.

“As the new CFO, I’ve been impressed with the longstanding record of financial security at Kansas Wesleyan,” said Karen Tumlinson, who joined the university in fall 2016 as vice president of finance and operations. “Our university’s financial stability is a result of careful stewardship by dedicated trustees and administrators as well as tremendous support from our community.”