Higher Learning Commission Reaccreditation

In 2023, Dunwoody College of Technology began the official HLC reaccreditation process. The College had begun preparing for this comprehensive review and visit in 2021, which included demonstrating our institutional effectiveness and providing evidence through an Assurance Argument that meets all HLC criteria for accreditation.

Dunwoody College follows the HLC’s Open Pathway process, and our HLC Reaccreditation Team submitted our assurance argument and hosted a site visit in October 2023.

The Open Pathway is one of three options institutions have for maintaining their accreditation with the HLC. It follows a 10-year cycle and, like all pathways, is focused on quality assurance and institutional improvement.

Quality Initiative

Launched in 2020, Dunwoody selected co-curricular assessment as its Quality Initiative and identified student organizations as a primary vehicle of co-curricular learning. Deans Kelli Sattler and Bridget Reynolds collaborated with student organization advisors to identify and align student learning in Dunwoody’s student organizations to the NACE Career Readiness Competencies. After collecting and analyzing student learning evidence and assessments, student organization advisors developed action plans to improve student learning within their organization for academic year 23/24. Entering the third year of co-curricular assessment at Dunwoody, the initiative has expanded to include the co-curricular assessment of student learning in Esports and Career Services.

The October 2023 Site Visit

Dunwoody College entrance photo.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the HLC?

HLC is a private not-for-profit company that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to act on its behalf as an institutional accrediting agency. Higher education is overseen by the “Triad,” which is made up of an accrediting body such as the HLC, a state’s higher education regulatory agency and the U.S. Department of Education, each with a distinct role in higher education oversight.

What is Accreditation and why is it important?

The goal of accreditation is to assure students, as well as parents and employers, that a college or university provides a quality educational experience.

Additionally, the U.S. Department of Education recognizes accreditation as a marker to allow the institution to disperse federal (Title IV) student financial aid.

What happens during the visit?

During the visit, the team of Peer Reviewers will meet formally with students, staff, faculty, administrators, Board of Trustee members, and alumni. As they walk across campus they will also engage informally with the Dunwoody community. The team will seek to verify the information Dunwoody provided in its Assurance Argument.

What can I do to prepare for the visit?

Throughout the coming year, Dunwoody will provide opportunities for its community to engage in preparatory sessions as part of the reaccreditation process. Information about these opportunities will be posted on this webpage, as well as in the DC Weekly/Dunwoody Observer.   

What is the result of the visit?

The team drafts its report within four to six weeks following the site visit. The institution may review the report and the team’s recommendations for errors of fact before the team submits its final report to HLC. The institution may also submit a response to the team report. The final team report and institutional response are then sent to the Institutional Actions Council for review and action.

HLC Reaccreditation Team

Federal Compliance

Criterion 1. Mission

Criterion 2. Integrity: Ethical and Responsible Conduct

Bridget Reynolds, Dean of Instruction

BreAnne Schwinghammer, Compliance Specialist

Jennifer McNeil, Executive Director of Marketing & Communications

Jeff Wilhelmi, Controller

Craig Heinen, Human Resources Specialist

Criterion 3. Teaching and Learning: Quality, Resources, and Support

Criterion 4. Teaching And Learning: Evaluation and Improvement

Criterion 5. Institutional Effectiveness, Resources and Planning

Teresa Milligan, Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment Specialist

Bridget Reynolds, Dean of Instruction

Teresa Milligan, Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment Specialist

Bridget Reynolds, Dean of Instruction

Alissa Nystrom, Program Specialist, School of Design

Augustine Kietzer, Program Director, Pathways to Careers, Community Partnerships