HLC removes Bethel College from “on Notice”

By Kansan Staff

 Bethel College received official notification Nov. 8 that the board of directors of the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) has removed the college from the status of being “on Notice,” and reaffirmed the college’s accreditation.

The board determined Bethel was no longer at risk of being out of compliance with HLC’s criteria for accreditation.

“I would like to thank the Bethel Board of Directors for their support,” said President Jon Gering.

“Their practical ideas and commitment to the overall success of the college were critical to our strategic response.”

The college was placed on Notice in November 2019 for being at risk of being out of compliance with HLC’s Criteria for Accreditation, specifically in the areas of assessment, finances and planning. The college remained fully accredited while on Notice.

Bethel has been accredited by the HLC since 1938, with reaffirmation of accreditation occurring every 10 years since then.

In order to achieve reaffirmation of accreditation, an institution must successfully meet five “Criteria for Education,” by meeting every “core component” that falls under each criterion.

During the routine 10-year reaffirmation of accreditation process in May 2019, the peer review team flagged one core component under Criterion 4, having to do with assessment, and two under Criterion 5, regarding the college’s annual operating budgets and financial position. 

As a result, two committees within the HLC recommended that Bethel College be placed on probation, with the official HLC ruling on the final determination of probation to be announced in November 2019. That announcement, of Accreditation-On Notice, came Nov. 22.

The three core components were changed to “met with concerns” in 2019 (rather than “not met”), which moves the college away from probation status.