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Bethel seeks public comment for accreditation process

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Bethel College, currently in the midst of its periodic accreditation process, will undergo a comprehensive evaluation visit February 16-18, 2009, by a team representing The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The public is being invited to submit comments regarding the college.

Bethel College has been accredited by the HLC since 1938 at the Undergraduate degree level.

HLC is one of six accrediting agencies in the United States that provide institutional accreditation on a regional basis. Institutional accreditation evaluates an entire institution and accredits it as a whole. Other agencies provide accreditation for specific programs. Accreditation is voluntary.

HLC accredits approximately 1,100 institutions of higher education in a 19-state region and is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

For the past year and a half, Bethel College has been engaged in a process of self-study, addressing HLC’s requirements and criteria for accreditation. The evaluation team will visit the institution to gather evidence that the self-study is thorough and accurate. The team will recommend to HLC a continuing status for the college. Following a review process, HLC itself will take the final action.

The public is invited to submit comments to: Public Comment on Bethel College, The Higher Learning Commission, 30 North LaSalle Street, Suite 2400, Chicago, IL 60602.

Comments must address substantive matters related to the quality of the institution or its academic programs. Written, signed comments must be received by January 16, 2009. HLC cannot guarantee that comments received after the due date will be considered. Comments should include the name, address, and telephone number of the person providing the comments. Comments will not be treated as confidential.

Please note that individuals with a specific dispute or grievance with an institution should request the separate Policy on Complaints document from the HLC office at the address given above. HLC cannot settle disputes between institutions and individuals. Complaints will not be considered third party comment.

Bethel College is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. Founded in 1887, it is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Bethel is known for its academic excellence and was the only Kansas private college to be ranked in’s listing of “America’s Best Colleges” for 2008 and one of only two Kansas colleges listed in Colleges of Distinction 2008-09. For more information, see the Bethel Web site at

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