HLC Reaffirms Accreditation of Southeast


The Institutional Actions Council (IAC) of the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) has reaffirmed its accreditation of Southeast Missouri State University.

The action came at the Dec. 4 meeting of the IAC, which has reaffirmed Southeast’s accreditation for 10 years with no interim reporting or monitoring required. The next reaffirmation of accreditation is set for 2029-2030.

“Reaffirmation is the culmination of a rigorous, two-year HLC Comprehensive Quality Review process that validates the quality of our work and virtually every aspect of our institution – academic offerings, governance and administration, mission, finances and resources,” said Dr. Carlos Vargas, president of Southeast Missouri State University. “Reaffirmation of our accreditation underscores the quality of this institution and a long tradition of excellence and service to our region and beyond.”

The reaccreditation process at Southeast began in spring 2018 and was followed by a series of events: HLC site visits to the Kennett Campus and the Poplar Bluff Delivery Site in October 2018, HLC workshops for faculty and staff in November 2018, submission of the University’s Systems Portfolio in December 2018, administration of a student opinion survey in spring 2019, gathering of third party comments from community members, alumni, students and other stakeholders this past summer, and the submission of a Quality Highlights Report.

The process culminated with an on-site visit of a four-person HLC review team Sept. 23-24. The reviewers met with a number of administrators and held open sessions to interact with faculty, staff and students during the team visit.

“We take great pride in providing a high-quality, student-centered education at Southeast, and it is gratifying to know the HLC review team recognized our efforts,” Vargas said.

Reaffirmation of accreditation would not have been possible without the support of the entire campus community, he said. He thanked faculty and staff for their day-to-day work, their support in helping prepare the Systems Portfolio and sharing the ways in which they individually support the mission of the University. Vargas also extended his appreciation to the AQIP Steering Committee for their hospitality in planning and hosting the on-site visit. He also commended students for participating in the process, particularly in responding to the student survey and participating in the HLC review team visit activities.

“Their insights and engagement in the topics were valuable to the reviewers to help them truly understand and gauge our students’ perspective,” he said.

Vargas especially commended Ms. Barbara Glackin and Dr. Missy Nieveen-Phegley for co-chairing the HLC Comprehensive Quality Review and for their outstanding leadership in shepherding the campus through this process.

In addition, the IAC voted to allow Southeast to select its pathway – either Standard or Open — for the University’s next reaffirmation of accreditation cycle. Both pathways focus on quality assurance and quality improvement. For a number of years, Southeast has been on the HLC’s AQIP pathway. HLC has begun the process of phasing out the AQIP Pathway and transitioning current AQIP institutions to other pathways.

Southeast will be selecting its pathway in the coming weeks, Vargas said.

Southeast was last accredited by the Higher Learning Commission in January 2013.