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West Lafayette programs granted 10-year reaccreditation

INSIDE PURDUE - The accrediting agency that oversees Midwest universities and colleges has granted a full 10-year reaccreditation for the West Lafayette Campus.

"It is not an exaggeration to say this is the best news we could have gotten," says President Steven Beering. "To be accorded full accreditation with no conditions was our goal."

Each year, a number of institutions reviewed for periodic reaccreditation by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools are granted provisional or conditional status, or the term of accreditation is less than 10 years.

"We are very pleased that no stipulations were placed on our reaccreditation," Beering says.

The 10-year accreditation runs from June 2000 to June 2010. The next two-year review process will begin in 2009.

The reaccreditation is the culmination of nearly two years of work. The first step was an extensive self-study of the mission of the West Lafayette Campus and the extent to which the mission is being accomplished.

Senior administrators praised the work of Carolyn Jones, associate executive vice president for academic affairs and head of the committee that compiled the self-study that formed the basis for the reaccreditation review.

"Our people, programs, and the Purdue tradition of academic excellence are strong, but Dr. Jones excelled at putting our story together for the review team," says Robert Ringel, executive vice president for academic affairs. "We are proud of her efforts, those of the self-study team and all those who contributed to this important achievement."

Ringel adds: "Full accreditation means that the University was found to have strong academic programs, faculty who perform at a high level, demanding standards for student admission, appropriate support services for students and faculty, and a general campus environment that furthers academic achievement. A positive accreditation status renders the University eligible to receive federal support for its students and research programs and allows our students to qualify for certain professional licenses and certifications."

In November, a 12-member visiting group appointed by the NCA came to campus for a three-day visit. The team participated in more than 40 meetings on every facet of campus operations and interviewed more than 350 individuals.

After a draft of the final report by the visiting team was reviewed by Purdue officials for technical corrections, the accreditation agency granted the 10-year renewal of West Lafayette Campus programs.

Individual schools and programs also are accredited by independent agencies. The NCA accreditation applies to all programs at West Lafayette. Other Purdue campuses undergo separate reviews by the NCA.