GODFREY - Following a comprehensive self-study process and a
site visit from the Higher Learning Commission's six-member
reaccreditation team in March, Lewis and Clark Community College
has earned the maximum 10-year accreditation, with no follow up
The Institutional Actions Council (IAC) also approved the
initiation of distance learning (online) up to 20 percent of the
college's total degree programs.
"Lewis and Clark Community College is an impressive
institution which has the structures, practices, financial
resources, employees, and culture in place to effectively serve its
students and the community," the HLC accreditation team, comprised
of academic leaders from community colleges from across the
country, wrote in its final report.
"We are very happy with the outcome of this accreditation site
visit. Our campus community worked hard for over two years as we
prepared for this site visit from our regional accrediting
association. Our students and the communities we serve should
view this as a higher education seal of academic and institutional
excellence," said Vice President of Academic Affairs Linda
The team studied Lewis and Clark and its policies and
processes in regard to the college's mission; ethical and
responsible conduct; teaching and learning quality, resources,
support, evaluation and improvement, and planning and institutional
In particular, the college was recognized for its ability to
thrive in a negative economic environment.
"Although state aid has steadily decreased as a proportion of
the Lewis and Clark operating budget, the college has been able to
continue to provide an outstanding learning environment with
enviable infrastructure while maintaining sufficient reserves," the
report reads. "State aid currently accounts for 21 percent of
revenues, compared to 36 percent 10 years ago. Through prudent
planning and strategic allocation of limited resources, L&C has
managed to grow enrollment, expand programs and maintain reserves
while keeping tuition affordable ($114 per credit hour) as well as
minimizing increases in local property taxes."
Overall, Lewis and Clark was found to "operate with integrity
to ensure the fulfillment of its mission through structures and
processes that involve faculty, staff, administration and the Board
"The Board is extremely proud of the results of the latest
accreditation and cannot commend the administration, faculty and
staff enough for the work they do each day at Lewis and Clark,"
Board Chairman Robert Watson said. "Their efforts, once again, will
not go unrecognized as we have achieved maximum accreditation for
the third consecutive time. This marks three decades of recognized
success from the Higher Learning Commission."
The team specifically cited Lewis and Clark's many provisions
for people with disabilities, and commented generally on the
college's efforts to promote diversity and cultural awareness among
"The institution has developed a diversity plan with five
specific goals. Currently, the institution's minority enrollment is
at 11 percent, which is higher than the surrounding counties'
minority population," according to the report.
The team also cited strengths in Lewis and Clark's allowance
for academic freedom; assessment of student learning, adult
education programs that bridge students into college level courses;
contextualized course instruction; dual credit opportunities in
district high schools and much more.
One section of the report focused on qualified faculty and
administrative recruitment, support and development
The college was commended for student support and engagement
efforts, including but not limited to New Student Orientation, the
My L&C Portal, Veterans Services, TRiO and the Student Success
Center. Disability Services' Supported College Transition and
College for Life programs were noted for supporting academic and
personal growth in students and people in the community with
"Lewis and Clark should be commended for their commitment to
learning accessibility. Their collaboration with dual enrollment,
articulation and co-location is a best practice that serves
students in all stages of learning," the report reads, noting
significant improvements since the college's last accreditation
site visit in 2003.
"We work tirelessly to be an entrepreneurial institution, to
develop ideas and initiatives that allow students of all
backgrounds to achieve success," President Dale Chapman said.
"Receiving recognition with such great praise for our unique
programs, diverse offerings, and qualified faculty and staff are
further affirmations of the quality strategic plan we have in place
guiding us as an institution and our students into in-demand
careers of the 21st Century."
From a stable and informed Board of Trustees, comprised of
well-known, active members of local communities, to department
managers who serve as coaches guiding their employees to work in
collaborative teams, the academic atmosphere on campus is one of
fairness when it comes to institutional effectiveness, according to
"L&C examines institutional effectiveness with regard to
student success, employee satisfaction, quality (programs,
services, operations, outputs), and efficiency," the team
"It's the collaborative efforts of administration, faculty and
staff working together for the good of our students that has
resulted in this newest maximum accreditation," said President of
the L&C Faculty Association Mike Lemons. "Receiving accolades
for our qualified faculty as well as our strong leadership shows
the true team effort that goes into making this institution so
highly regarded, not just by our students, but by our peers and
this accrediting agency."
The college's next reaccreditation process is set for