Every 10 years, a board of people certified by the United States government comes to Malone to evaluate its credibility as a higher learning institution. In the middle of this time period, every five years, this group comes back for an “assurance visit” so they can be sure that everything is still going well. This is just so that 10 years do not go by in case there is a problem with the college or university.
Malone is at this midpoint. On April 10-11 this group of people will meet with students and faculty to evaluate Malone.
Nathan Phinney, provost, said, “All colleges and universities in [America] are accredited by a regional accrediting association.”
Part of the reason this is done is because the government wants to make sure that the financial aid given to students for college will be put to good use.
There will be a review team of three people at Malone who will meet with as many people as they can while they are here.
“[They want to] find out if what we told them about Malone matches what they see when they’re here,” said Phinney.
Malone issued an “assurance argument” that responded to a set of criteria, and these reviewers will respond and build off of that. Their objective will be to make sure that what is outlined in the argument and what they see match.
Most people on campus probably will not run into the accreditors while they are here, but there will be an open meeting for students to attend and ask questions.
Phinney said, “We don’t have a time scheduled yet, [but] we just encourage anybody who would like to [attend] to come and participate in that.”
Phinney said he believes that these accreditors should get an accurate picture of Malone.
“No place is perfect, but there are some really good things going on here,” said Phinney.
Some of the younger students who may not know about the accreditation process may be concerned. If Malone is not re-accredited, student degrees will not mean as much after graduation.
However, Maggie Poorman, sophomore education major, said, “I’m not worried. I think our professors are very well equipped to teach us, and I don’t see why it would be a problem [to get re-accredited].”
Another reassuring thing is that Malone has gone through this before. This is not a random thing, and every college and university goes through it.
Randi Pahlau, assistant professor of English, said, “I would say that the accreditation process is super important for Malone, and I am not worried about getting re-accredited.”
Many of the professors have been through this accreditation process before, and the general consensus is that Malone is ready.
Generally, a school does not fail getting accredited unless there are major changes or they are not fulfilling their mission as educators.
Pahlau said, “When a school loses its accreditation, it’s a big deal because it usually does not happen.”
The news of a school losing its accreditation is plastered all over media because it is so rare. Most students at Malone have probably never seen or even heard of such a thing happening. Students can rest easy. It is a very regular process to make sure that students are getting the proper education they are paying for.
Amber Murphy is a staff writer for The Aviso.