ECPI University: We are One University

By: Daniel Sessions, Vice President of Accreditation and Institutional Effectiveness

At ECPI University, we provide a student-centered learning environment that promotes the enhancement of each student’s professional and personal life through education. One of the ways that we contribute to that is by being an accredited institution.

Accreditation is the voluntary process by which we demonstrate, through evidence, that we are focused on student success. We set goals for ourselves. We assess our progress towards accomplishing those goals. We plan for the future of our students, both in and out of our classrooms. Maybe it’s planning an alumni event or organizing a study group for an upcoming mid-term, but both examples are how our university community is engaged in continuous improvement. If when faced with challenges, we think like educators and put our students first, we will be successful.

All institutions have a single individual with the title of Accreditation Liaison Officer or ALO. At ECPI University, that is my role. I am the point person for the institution’s accreditation and the main point of contact between the institution and the accrediting agency. The ALO is also in charge of compiling the institution’s accreditation report.

Accreditation standards are multi-faceted. The process is more difficult, time-consuming and less thorough if only one person is expected to produce the whole report themselves. For instance, students are the best people to discuss how they help each other in class. Career Services specialists are best positioned to discuss how we help students transition to their career field of choice after graduation.

Our university community is a village of people with one common goal: student success. Each day our faculty and staff undertake tasks that are all inseparably connected to our students’ education. I like to explain that we are ALL educators, just with different areas of specialty. Where one staff member’s specialty area may be financial aid, admissions or as a mentor, my area of expertise happens to be in accreditation.

The best way to support the accreditation process is working together to support student success, as One University.

Daniel recently attended a gathering of all the compliance leaders in higher education in New Orleans, La. to discuss the current regulatory efforts in higher education.

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