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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Taking a Look at Teaching and Learning: The HLC Committee’s Teaching and Learning Team

Story by Madilyn Bates, Graphic by Allie Hutto

Taking a Look at Teaching and Learning: The HLC Committee’s Teaching and Learning Team
As the Higher Learning Commission Accreditation proceeds to evaluate different aspects of Fort Lewis College’s performance, the criterion three team is beginning to assess teaching and learning.

Teaching and Learning criterion three involves measuring the quality, resources, and support the school offers its students.

“Criterion three deals directly with the quality of the educational experience at Fort Lewis College,” said Doug Lyon, the dean of the school of business administration and cabinet liaison.

“The process and our study of criterion three provide a wonderful forum for us to review our progress in this area,” he said.

The team is taking a holistic look at the education offered at FLC and the resources available to students, said Suzanne Wilhelm, the associate dean of business administration and team leader.

Areas the team will evaluate include the study abroad program, field studies and practicums, Wilhelm said. These are resources that offer students ways to apply learning in real life experiences.

The team will also look at faculty sufficiency, degree programs, and quality of education regardless of whether it is on campus or online, she said.

Like other teams, criterion three are beginning the process of gap analysis, which involves implementing and updating or revising policies where necessary, Wilhelm said.

At the last meeting the team held, members discussed the validity of suggested gaps. To find the true gaps, the team must all agree, Wilhelm said.

Each member will write a report about a portion of the five core components outlined by the HLC criteria and then present these ideas to the group for debate at their next meeting, she said.

After debate, they will make the necessary changes to policies, however they are not sure they will need to make any changes yet, she said.

Members of the group were selected by the cabinet liaison who requested people to be on the team based on their general specialties and also to represent different stakeholders in the community, Wilhelm said. The team works together well.

Since Teaching and Learning: Quality, Resources and Support is such a broad criterion, it is vital to the success of the school.

“Teaching and learning is what we do at Fort Lewis,” Lyon said. “We take great pride in providing the best possible educational experience. It is the heart of what we do.”


The Independent | Fort Lewis College | 1000 Rim Drive | Durango, CO 81301 | 970-247-7405 |