Buena Vista University has been continuously accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, a regional accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, since 1952. In 2020-2021, the University will engage in a reaccreditation process.

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Buena Vista University has been continuously accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) since 1952. HLC is BVU's regional accrediting body and is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. The Commission accredits degree-granting post-secondary educational institutions in 19 states, including Iowa, in the North Central region of the U.S. BVU is an Open Pathways institution and is reaccredited every 10 years to ensure it is meeting HLC’s standards of educational quality.

The Higher Learning Commission
230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
Chicago, IL 60604

2020-21 Reaccreditation

In 2020-2021, Buena Vista University will engage in a reaccreditation process by the Higher Learning Commission. The process includes a 10-year comprehensive evaluation and has three components:

  1. The submission of an assurance argument with a supporting evidence file demonstrating the university’s performance on HLC’s five Criteria for Accreditation »
  2. The submission of a Federal Compliance Filing that assures the institution is meeting federal Title IV requirements as well as other U.S. Department of Education regulations.
  3. A campus visit by an HLC Peer Review Team in March 2021.

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BVU’s reaccreditation effort is highly inclusive, involving individuals and offices from across the campus community. In 2017, an HLC Steering Team was established to guide and support the process. Soon after, five Criterion Teams were established, and in 2020, a Federal Compliance Team was convened.

HLC Steering Team

  • Dr. Brian Lenzmeier, President
  • Dr. Lucy Croft, Vice President of Student Success
  • Dr. Brad Best, Director of General Education & Professor of Political Science
  • Ms. Jamii Claiborne, Director of Assessment & Professor of Digital Media

Criterion Team 1. Mission

  • Dr. Anna Formichella (Interim Senior Director for Diversity & Inclusion, Professor of English)
  • Ms. Mary Mello-Nee (Professor of Art)

Criterion Team 2. Integrity: Ethical and Responsible Conduct

  • Ms. Melissa Butcher (Human Resources Director)
  • Dr. Steven Mills (Associate Professor of Spanish)
  • Dr. Ann Monroe-Baillargeon (Dean of the School of Education)
  • Ms. Lisa Best (Dean of the School of Business)

Criterion Team 3. Teaching and Learning: Quality, Resources and Support

  • Dr. Wind Goodfriend (Professor of Experimental Psychology)
  • Dr. Jason Shepherd (Professor of Computer Science)
  • Dr. Brad Best (Director of General Education & Professor of Political Science) serving as the Steering Team Liaison

Criterion Team 4. Teaching and Learning: Evaluation and Improvement

  • Dr. Brittany Garling (Associate Professor of Education)
  • Dr. Ashley Farmer-Hanson (Assistant Dean of Student Success & Director of Civic Engagement)
  • Ms. Jamii Claiborne (Director of Assessment & Professor of Digital Media) serving as the Steering Team Liaison

Criterion Team 5. Resources, Planning, and Institutional Effectiveness

  • Ms. Courtney Berg (Director of Finance & Administration/Controller)
  • Dr. Bill Feis (Professor of History)
  • Dr. Anna Formichella (Director of Strategic Initiatives & Professor of English)

Federal Compliance Team

  • Ms. Stephanie Wilhelm & Ms. Nila Houska (Registrar’s Office)
  • Ms. Leanne Valentine (Financial Aid Office)
  • Mr. Jim Hewett (Institutional Research Office)
  • Ms. Jean Bral (Extended University Programs)

A three-year timeline has been developed to manage the process of drafting the assurance argument and federal compliance filing.  View the Timeline (PDF)

Quality Initiative

For all Open Pathways institutions, the reaccreditation visit is preceded by a Quality Initiative. BVU's Quality Initiative focused on institutional assessment and creating a culture of continuous improvement. To fulfill its Quality Initiative, the university applied for and was accepted as a member of the HLC Assessment Academy in 2015 where its work on the BVU Signature Skills was guided by assessment mentors and scholars. BVU graduated from the Academy in June 2019 and was invited to showcase its project at the 2020 HLC Annual Convention. BVU was also featured in a 2019 HLC The Leaflet article on Assessment Academy successes.

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