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Self-Study Process


CASC’s Self-Study process has included all levels of the institution and has been a collaborative effort by the entire CASC community at both Poteau and Sallisaw.  The process provided an excellent opportunity for the entire institution to gain a greater understanding of its various offices, services, and operations and to create a stronger sense of community as well as an awareness of the institution’s strengths, challenges, and recommendations for improvement.


As Self-Study Coordinator, Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Jim Yates met with CASC President Dr. Brandon Webb in July 2009 and began organizing the Steering Committee and identifying individuals to serve on the Steering Committee and its sub-committees.  Individuals were selected to ensure diversity and full involvement by staff, faculty, and administration.  Criteria considered for committee membership included previous HLC Steering Committee experience, faculty experience, campus leadership experience, and specific area expertise.  The final selections for the Steering Committee and sub-committees were completed and approved in June 2010.  Five Criterion Chairs were selected and included both faculty and administrators. Further, 2 specific areas (assessment and federal compliance) were added to holistically provide support for the Self-Study Process.  An Events subcommittee also was created to prepare for the actual team visit.  Finally, a Writing Team was selected; 2 English instructors were chosen to collaborate in the writing and editing of the Self-Study Report.


As the Self-Study Coordinator and President organized and selected members of the Steering Committees, several responsibilities emerged, with the primary tasks of the Steering Committee being:

·         to assist the President and Vice-President of Academic Affairs in the development of the CASC Self-Study Plan,

·         to coordinate implementation of the CASC Self-Study Plan, and

·         to oversee preparation of the CASC Self-Study Report.


In addition to these primary responsibilities, the Steering Committee also was charged with specific tasks, such as, but not limited to, the following:

·         analyzing the last HLC/CASC Self-Study Report;

·         taking an active, evaluative role in ascertaining the state of the institution;

·         identifying and categorizing pertinent materials and relevant data for the Self-Study;

·         establishing institutional goals for the Self-Study process, and

·         obtaining concurrence of institutional constituencies.


Most importantly, members of the Steering Committee would provide assurance that CASC has addressed the 5 HLC Criteria for Accreditation.  The chairs, co-chairs, and members of the 5 criterion committees researched, gathered data, drafted reports, and submitted those reports to the Self-Study writing and editing team.


Three central questions have guided the Steering Committee and CASC’s Self-Study process:

·         Is the college accomplishing what it set out to do?

·         Is the college accomplishing its mission?

·         How does the college know?


During discussions among Steering Committee members, various goals developed as the process moved forward:

·         to produce a candid, self-disclosing Self-Study;

·         to satisfactorily address concerns from the last visit;

·         to determine strengths, address challenges, and propose improvements;

·         to remain positive and constructive;

·         to make the process public, inclusive, and enthusiastic, and

·         to be transparent and concise.


The Steering Committee determined that the most functional structure of the Self-Study Report would focus on the 5 evaluative HLC criteria and their sub-components.  These criteria would also serve as the focus of the data collection and evaluation efforts of the sub-committees.


Once sub-committees were selected based upon the HLC criteria, regular meetings were conducted by the sub-committees and Steering Committee to produce and to develop evidence necessary for the self-study.  Multiple drafts of reports were submitted and distributed by and among the groups in an effort to produce a complete, accurate, and beneficial document.


2009 – 2012 CASC Self-Study Preparation Highlights


2009    CASC Administrators attended HLC PEAQ Self-Study/Annual Conference.

Steering Committee was formulated and organized.


2010   April -- CASC Administrators attended the HLC PEAQ Self-Study/Annual Conference.

June -- HLC Steering Committee was approved.

August -- Steering Committee began meeting.

September -- HLC Kick-off events conducted at CASC-Poteau and CASC-Sallisaw.

                                               HLC sub-committees began meeting and gathering data.


2011   April -- Steering Committee members attended HLC PEAQ Self-Study/Annual Conference.

HLC Revised Criteria announced.

Steering Committee voted to adopt Revised Criteria and to begin revising self-study with the Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta versions of the Revised Criteria.


2012    January -- Site Visit dates approved.


April -- Steering Committee members attended  HLC PEAQ Self-Study/Annual Conference.

                                      Liaison announced retirement.


May -- Site Team members approved and new Liaison appointed.


September -- Fall Site Visit Rally conducted.

Self-Study Report Draft submitted to Liaison.


December -- Final Self-Study Report submitted to Site Visit Team Chair


2013    January -- Spring Site Visit Rally


February -- Site Visit