21 May, 2024

HLC Team Recommends GLCC’s Probation Be Lifted

by | 11 April, 2024 | 0 comments

A Higher Learning Commission delegation that visited Great Lakes Christian College in late March is recommending that the accrediting agency lift the school’s probationary status.  

In a report issued Wednesday, the team commended the Lansing, Mich., school’s progress since being placed on probation in November 2022. 

“In light of this improvement, the visiting team recommends that HLC remove GLCC’s probationary status and that the institution be required to submit confirmatory evidence to HLC in two years in an interim monitoring report.” The wording from the visiting team’s report was shared via a GLCC news release. 

“This is the outcome we worked and prayed for since I became president 20 months ago,” said GLCC’s Frank Weller. “I am incredibly proud of the effort of our administration, faculty, and staff. I am also grateful for our donors whose generosity provided the stability the HLC team wanted to see in the college’s finances.” 

Two additional steps must take place for probation to be lifted.  

The college will appear at an Institutional Actions Council (IAC) hearing on July 29 to ask the IAC to accept the recommendation of the peer review team. The IAC, in turn, will then recommend to the HLC board whether GLCC’s probation status should be removed. The HLC board will make that determination on Oct. 31. 

It would be unusual for the IAC to go against a peer review team recommendation, HLC officials have told the college. Likewise, the HLC board rarely overturns an IAC recommendation. 

GLCC was placed on probation by the Higher Learning Commission in late 2022 when the accrediting agency said the college lacked adequate financial resources and lacked a comprehensive strategic plan. The accreditor deemed that GLCC was out of compliance. The HLC report from Wednesday indicated those problems have been addressed. 

At no time, Weller said, has HLC indicated there is a problem with GLCC’s faculty, curriculum, or student outcomes. Last year, he told Christian Standard, “All the student-facing components they were really pleased with.” 

The HLC continues to be pleased with the quality of education being offered by GLCC, according to the school’s news release this week. 

In an article from March, Christian Standard outlined the many steps GLCC has taken to sure-up its finances since landing on probation. Those have included reducing spending on athletics and raising the cost of tuition, housing, and food. The school expects to end this year $308,000 in the black.  

Additionally, the college has been aggressively raising money from churches and individual donors. Many have stepped up to give or are giving more than in the past. 

The HLC peer review team visited GLCC on March 25-26. Among the other highlights of their report (as shared by GLCC): 

This institution completed a broad and inclusive strategic planning process that engaged all stakeholders in the development of a cohesive plan that looks forward and provides the backbone for current and future decision-making. The visiting team was impressed by the depth of knowledge held regarding the strategic plan themes, and the work of the GLCC strategic plan champions to disseminate progress toward plan goals tied to budgetary, academic, and student support decisions. . . . 

The fiscal position of the institution is much improved, with regular and documented reporting and analysis of GLCC’s financial position, through a careful budget to strategic plan analysis and reallocation, monthly cash balance analysis, monthly budget reconciliations and meetings, [and] successful advancement efforts. . . . 

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