An effective institution of higher education ensures that
its educational programs are complemented by well-rounded support structures
that stimulate the mind and encourage the total growth and development
of students. A vital ingredient in this kind of support is student and
faculty access to library and learning resources that not only support
the educational program and appropriate research activities but also provide
broad exposure to various disciplines, cultures and ways of understanding.
An effective program of student development services, appropriate within
the institutional context, is also integral to a sound educational experience.
The principles of institutional effectiveness as outlined
in Section III pertain to all educational support services of the institution.
It is expected that each program or unit will establish goals which derive
from and support the purpose of the institution, evaluate its success in
achieving these goals, and demonstrate the use of the evaluation in making
appropriate modifications in resources, programs and services.
It is implicit in every requirement in the Criteria
for Accreditation mandating a policy or procedure that the policy or
procedure be in writing, be approved through appropriate institutional
processes, be published in appropriate institutional documents accessible
to those affected by the policy or procedure, and be implemented and enforced
by the institution.
5.1 Library and Other Learning Resources
5.1.1 Purpose and Scope
18.104.22.168 Because adequate library and other learning
resources and services are essential to teaching and learning, each institution
must ensure that they are available to all faculty members and enrolled
students wherever the programs or courses are located and however they
22.214.171.124 Each institution must develop a purpose
statement for its library and other learning resource services.
126.96.36.199 The library and other learning resources
must be evaluated regularly and systematically to ensure that they
are meeting the needs of their users and are supporting the programs and
purpose of the institution.
188.8.131.52 The scope of library and other learning
resources, the types of services, and the variety of print and non-print
and electronic media depend on the purpose of the institution. Learning
resources and services must be adequate to support the needs of
184.108.40.206 The size of collections and the amount of
money spent on resources and services do not ensure adequacy. Of more importance
are the quality, relevance, accessibility, availability and delivery of
resources and services, and their actual use by students, regardless of
location. These considerations must be taken into account in evaluating
the effectiveness of library and learning resource support.
220.127.116.11 Priorities for acquiring materials and establishing
services must be determined with the needs of the users in mind.
18.104.22.168 Each institution must ensure that
all students and faculty members have access to a broad range of learning
resources to support its purpose and programs at both primary and distance
22.214.171.124 Basic library services must include
an orientation program designed to teach new users how to access bibliographic
information and other learning resources. Any one of a variety of methods,
or a combination of them, may be used for this purpose: formal instruction,
lectures, library guides and user aids, self-paced instruction and computer-assisted
instruction. Emphasis should be placed on the variety of contemporary
technologies used for accessing learning resources.
126.96.36.199 Libraries and learning resource centers
must provide students with opportunities to learn how to access
information in different formats so that they can continue life-long learning.
188.8.131.52 Librarians must work cooperatively
with faculty members and other information providers in assisting students
to use resource materials effectively. Libraries and learning resource
centers should provide point-of-use instruction, personal assistance
in conducting library research, and traditional reference services. This
should be consistent with the goal of helping students develop information
literacy?the ability to locate, evaluate,
and use information to become independent life-long learners.
184.108.40.206 Adequate hours must be maintained
to ensure accessibility to users. Professional assistance should
be available at convenient locations during library hours.
220.127.116.11 Library collections must be cataloged
and organized in an orderly, easily accessible arrangement following national
bibliographical standards and conventions.
18.104.22.168 Students and faculty must be provided
convenient, effective access to library resources needed in their programs.
22.214.171.124 Convenient, effective access to electronic
bibliographic databases, whether on-site or remote, must be provided
when necessary to support the academic programs.
126.96.36.199 Libraries and other learning resource centers
must have adequate physical facilities to house, service and make
library collections easily available; modern equipment in good condition
for using print and non-print materials; provision for interlibrary loan
services designed to ensure timely delivery of materials; and an efficient
and appropriate circulation system. Libraries should provide electronic
access to materials available within their own system and electronic bibliographic
access to materials available elsewhere.
5.1.3 Library Collections
188.8.131.52 Institutions must provide access
to essential references and specialized program resources for each instructional
184.108.40.206 Access to the library collection must
be sufficient to support the educational, research and public service programs
of the institution.
220.127.116.11 The collections of print and non-print materials
must be well organized.
18.104.22.168 Institutions offering graduate work must
provide library resources substantially beyond those required for baccalaureate
22.214.171.124 Librarians, teaching faculty and researchers
must share in the development of collections, and the institution
must establish policies defining their involvement.
126.96.36.199 Each library or learning resource center
must have a policy governing resource material selection and elimination,
and should have a procedure providing for the preservation, replacement
or removal of deteriorating materials in the collection.
5.1.4 Information Technology
188.8.131.52 Although access to learning resources is
traditionally gained through a library or learning resource center, a wide
variety of contemporary technologies can be used to access learning resource
184.108.40.206 Institutions should supplement their
traditional library with access to electronic information.
220.127.116.11 Where appropriate, institutions should
use technology to expand access to information for users at remote sites,
such as extension centers, branch campuses, laboratories, clinical sites
or students' homes.
18.104.22.168 The institution must provide evidence
that it is incorporating technological advances into its library and other
learning resource operations.
5.1.5 Cooperative Agreements
22.214.171.124 Cooperative agreements with other libraries
and agencies should be considered to enhance the resources and services
available to an institution's students and faculty members. However, these
agreements must not be used by institutions to avoid responsibility
for providing adequate and readily accessible library resources and services.
126.96.36.199 Cooperative agreements must be formalized
and regularly evaluated.
188.8.131.52 Libraries and other learning resources must
be adequately staffed by professionals who hold graduate degrees in library
science or in related fields such as learning resources or information
184.108.40.206 In exceptional cases, outstanding professional
experience and demonstrated competence may substitute for this academic
preparation; however, in such cases, the institution must justify
the exceptions on an individual basis. Because professional or technical
training in specialized areas is increasingly important in meeting user
needs, professionals with specialized non-library degrees may be employed,
where appropriate, to supervise these areas.
220.127.116.11 The number of library support staff members
must be adequate. Qualifications or skills needed for these support
positions should be defined by the institution.
18.104.22.168 Organizational relationships, both external
and internal to the library, should be clearly specified.
22.214.171.124 Institutional policies concerning faculty
status, salary and contractual security for library personnel must
be clearly defined and made known to all personnel at the time of employment.
5.1.7 Library/Learning Resources for Distance Learning
126.96.36.199 For distance learning activities, an institution
must ensure the provision of and ready access to adequate library/learning
resources and services to support the courses, programs and degrees offered.
188.8.131.52 The institution must own the library/learning
resources, provide access to electronic information available through existing
technologies, or provide them through formal agreements. Such agreements
should include the use of books and other materials.
184.108.40.206 The institution must assign responsibility
for providing library/learning resources and services and for ensuring
continued access to them at each site.
220.127.116.11 When formal agreements are established for
the provision of library resources and services, they must ensure
access to library resources pertinent to the programs offered by the institution
and include provision for services and resources which support the institution's
specific programs?in the field of study
and at the degree level offered.
5.2.1 To support its curriculum, each institution
must provide a variety of facilities and instructional support services
(e.g., educational equipment and specialized facilities such as laboratories,
audiovisual and duplicating services, and learning skills centers) which
are organized and administered so as to provide easy access for faculty
and student users.
5.2.2 They must be adequate to allow fulfillment
of the institutional purpose and contribute to the effectiveness of learning.
These requirements apply to all programs wherever located or however
5.3 Information Technology Resources and Systems
5.3.1 Information technology resources and systems
are essential components in higher education. An institution must
provide evidence that it is incorporating technological advances into its
5.3.2 Information technology resources must
support the planning function and the educational program component of
the institution at appropriate levels. These resources include computer
hardware and software, databases, communication networks, and a trained
technical and user services staff.
5.3.3 Although the diversity of educational programs
and goals will be a major determining factor in the selection of information
technology resources by an institution, there must be a reasonable
infusion of information technology into the curricula so that students
exit with the fundamental knowledge and basic ability to use these resources
in everyday life and in future occupations.
5.3.4 Institutions must provide the means
by which students may acquire basic competencies in the use of computers
and related information technology resources. A reliable data network should
be available so that students, faculty and staff may become accustomed
to electronic communication and familiar with accessing national and global
5.3.5 There must be provisions for ongoing
training of faculty and staff members so that they may make skillful use
of appropriate application software. These requirements apply to
all programs wherever located or delivered.
5.3.6 Policies for the allocation and use of information
technology resources must be clearly stated and consistent with
an institution's purpose and goals.
5.3.7 These policies must be evaluated regularly
to ensure that academic and administrative needs are adequately addressed.
5.3.8 Appropriate security measures must
be installed and monitored to protect the confidentiality and integrity
of academic systems, administrative systems, and institutional networks.
5.3.9 There should be a clearly defined program
for maintaining and replacing equipment and software so that they remain
consistent with current technology.
5.4 Student Development Services
5.4.1 Scope and Accountability
18.104.22.168 Student development services are essential
to the achievement of the educational goals of the institution and
should contribute to the cultural, social, moral, intellectual and
physical development of students.
22.214.171.124 To ensure effectiveness, the institution
must develop goals for the student services program consistent with
student needs and with the purpose of the institution.
126.96.36.199 Appropriate student development services
must be provided for distance learning programs as well as on-campus
188.8.131.52 The institution must clearly designate
an administrative unit responsible for planning and implementing student
184.108.40.206 Appropriate policies and procedures for
student development programs and services must be established.
220.127.116.11 Student development services should
be given organizational status commensurate with other major administrative
areas within the institution. These services must be staffed by
individuals who have academic preparation and experience consistent with
18.104.22.168 In exceptional cases, outstanding professional
experience and demonstrated competence may substitute for academic preparation.
Exceptional cases must be justified by the institution on an individual
22.214.171.124 Student development services and programs must
be evaluated regularly.
126.96.36.199 Human, physical, financial and equipment resources
for student development services must be adequate to support the
goals of the institution. Staff development should be related to
the goals of the student development program and should be designed
to enhance staff competencies and awareness of current theory and practice.
5.4.3 Programs and Services
188.8.131.52 Counseling and Career Development.
184.108.40.206.1 Each institution should provide personal
counseling services for students, as well as a career development program.
220.127.116.11.2 An effective career development program should
include career information and planning, placement services, career counseling,
testing services and follow-up activities.
18.104.22.168.3 There should be clearly specified policies
regarding the use of career development services by students, alumni and
22.214.171.124 Student Government, Student Activities and Publications.
126.96.36.199.1 The institution must develop a statement
of the student's role and participation in institutional decision-making.
188.8.131.52.2 The institution must have an activities
program appropriate to its purpose and encompassing student interests.
184.108.40.206.3 The institution must develop policies
and procedures governing the supervisory role of the institution over student
220.127.116.11.4 Student publications can contribute to the establishment
and maintenance of an atmosphere of responsible discussion. When student
publications or other media exist, the institution must provide
a clearly written statement of the institution's responsibilities regarding
18.104.22.168 Student Behavior
22.214.171.124.1 The institution must publish a statement
of student rights and responsibilities and make it available to the campus
126.96.36.199.2 The jurisdiction of judicial bodies (administrative,
faculty and student), the disciplinary responsibilities of institutional
officials, and all disciplinary procedures must be clearly defined
and broadly distributed.
188.8.131.52 Residence Halls
184.108.40.206.1 If an institution has residence halls,
it must develop policies and procedures governing them and must
take reasonable precautions to provide a healthful, safe and secure living
environment for the residents.
220.127.116.11.2 The learning environment in the residence halls
must support the educational mission of the institution.
18.104.22.168.3 An adequate staff organization should
be given responsibility for the administration of the residence hall system.
The staff should have sufficient academic training and experience
to enhance the learning environment in the residence halls.
22.214.171.124 Student Financial Aid
126.96.36.199.1 The institution should provide
an effective program of financial aid consistent with its purpose and reflecting
the needs of its students.
188.8.131.52.2 Effective program administration should
include counseling students on the efficient use of their total financial
184.108.40.206.3 There must be provision for institution-wide
coordination of all financial aid awards.
220.127.116.11.4 All funds for financial aid programs must
be audited in compliance with all federal and state requirements.
18.104.22.168.5 An institution participating in Title IV
programs must comply with the regulations in the student loan programs
as established under Title IV of the 1992 Higher Education Amendment. Excessive
default rates in the student loan program may be cause for the Commission
on Colleges to conduct a special evaluation.
22.214.171.124 Health Services
126.96.36.199.1 An institution must provide access to
an effective program of health services and education consistent with its
purpose and reflecting the needs of its constituents.
188.8.131.52 Intramural Athletics
184.108.40.206.1 Intramural sports programs contribute to the
personal development of students and should be related to the total
program of the institution.
220.127.116.11.2 These programs should be directed and
supervised by qualified personnel and should be appropriately funded.
5.5 Intercollegiate Athletics
18.104.22.168 The intercollegiate athletics program must
be operated in strict adherence to a written statement of goals and objectives
which has been developed by the administration, in consultation with the
athletic director, with appropriate input from the faculty, and which has
been given official institutional approval.
22.214.171.124 This statement must be in harmony
with, and supportive of, the institutional purpose and should include
explicit reference to the academic success, physical and emotional well
being, and social development of student athletes.
126.96.36.199 The intercollegiate athletics program must
be evaluated regularly and systematically to ensure that it is an integral
part of the education of athletes and is in keeping with the educational
purpose of the institution.
188.8.131.52 Evaluation of the athletics program must
be undertaken as part of the self-study conducted in connection with initial
accreditation or reaffirmation of accreditation.
5.5.2 Administrative Oversight
184.108.40.206 The administration must control the
athletics program and contribute to its direction with appropriate participation
by faculty and students and oversight by the governing board.
220.127.116.11 Ultimate responsibility for that control
must rest with the chief executive officer.
18.104.22.168 It is essential that responsibilities
for the conduct of the athletics program and for its oversight be explicitly
defined and clearly understood by those involved.
5.5.3 Financial Control
22.214.171.124 All fiscal matters pertaining to the athletics
program must be controlled by the administration, with ultimate
responsibility resting with the chief executive officer.
126.96.36.199 If external units (alumni organizations
or foundations) raise or expend funds for athletic purposes, all such financial
activities must be approved by the administration, and all such
units shall be required to submit in dependent audits.
188.8.131.52 The administration of scholarships, grants-in-aid,
loans and student employment must be included in the institution's
regular planning, budgeting, accounting and auditing procedures.
184.108.40.206 All income, from whatever source, and expenditures
for the athletics program must have appropriate oversight by an
office of the institution that is independent of the athletics program.
220.127.116.11 All such income and expenditures must also
be appropriately audited.
5.5.4 Academic Program
18.104.22.168 Institutions must have clearly stated written
policies pertaining to the recruitment, admission, financial aid, and continuing
eligibility of athletes and, with faculty participation, must annually
monitor compliance with a those policies.
22.214.171.124 The implementation of academic, admission and
financial aid policies must be the responsibility of administrators
and faculty not connected with the athletics program.
126.96.36.199 If there are special admissions for athletes,
they must be consistent with the institutional policy on special
admissions for other students and be under the control of regular academic
policies and procedures.
188.8.131.52 Academic policies governing maintenance of academic
good standing and fulfillment of curricular requirements must be
the same for athletes as for other students.