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College Earns Reaccreditation

Release Date

HFC is pleased to announce that the institution recently earned reaccreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

The effort to achieve full reaccreditation is an institutional priority that involves all faculty, staff, administrators, students and the external community. HFC has been accredited by the HLC since 1949 and must undergo re-accreditation every 10 years to ensure that programs, education and services are of the highest standards expected by the HLC.

The HLC spent two days on campus during the accreditation process in early spring interviewing constituents both inside and outside the College, holding meetings and learning more about HFC programs, processes and efforts to ensure high quality education and services for students. In total, the five-member HLC team met with 18 separate groups and more than 350 faculty, staff, students and the HFC Board of Trustees. The HLC team’s purpose was two-fold: to verify information and evidence HFC provided in the College’s assurance argument submitted in late March 2015, and to collect further information that the College meets the established criteria for re-accreditation.

Some of the key points of the HLC report to Henry Ford College regarding reaccreditation include the following.

  • The institution fulfills the claims it makes for an enriched educational environment. HFC proclaims that it is “FutureDriven,” focusing on the success of its students as a measure of the institution’s success. Staff state that the campus is highly focused on students. Faculty reveal their pride in student success. Students felt supported in their academic and co-curricular experience. The HLC report notes that more than 70 percent of HFC enrollment is from out-of-district, which means that these students elect to attend an institution for which they pay out-of-district or out-of-state tuition rates. This shows that HFC is an institution of choice, drawing students from beyond its small geographic boundaries to form a diverse and vibrant student populations.
  • The institution demonstrates responsibility for the quality of its educational programs, learning environments and support services, and it evaluates their effectiveness for student learning through processes designed to promote continuous improvement. The College has created an infrastructure and procedures codified in documents to support ongoing assessment of student learning. In addition, HFC has purchased a software tool that will assist in data tracking and analysis. Of all the continuous process improvement teams created in the past two years, those which focus on the quality of HFC’s educational programs, learning environments and support services will be most essential.
  • The institution demonstrates a commitment to educational achievement and improvement through ongoing assessment of student learning. The College uses information from assessment efforts to improve student learning. The competency-based redesign of the Welding course reveals faculty use of assessment results to improve learning. Additionally, given the high percentage of students placing into developmental education, the College has focused on transformations to developmental courses. Developmental Math underwent a re-design into competency-based modules; the English Language Institute program has been rewritten; and the ALP redesign is in place for developmental writing and showing positive results.
  • The institution’s resources, structures and processes are sufficient to fulfill its mission, improve the quality of its educational offerings, and respond to future challenges and opportunities. The institution plans for the future. The institution recently revised their processes for monitoring expenses and budgeting resources. The financial crisis (in 2013) brought to light the inadequate processes and lack of oversight in the budget. HFC brought in a consultant to provide an objective assessment of procedures, documentation and accountability. Many improvements such as increased reporting, personnel reorganization, forecasting and data management have resolved the previous issues and there is now an effective budget monitoring process.
  • The institution provides support for student learning and effective teaching. During the past academic year, English faculty implemented the Accelerated Learning Program (ALP), co-requisite enrollment in basic writing and introduction to college writing, all of which have improved the success rate for these students from 54 percent to 77 percent for students participating in these new programs. Additionally, student use of services available through the Office of Career Services has increased from 87 students in 2008-09 to 708 in 2013-2013. The HLC visiting team was particularly impressed with the learning objectives identified by units within student services.

“I cannot say enough about how well our campus community came together to achieve this new milestone,” said HFC President Stan Jensen. “It was only through many late nights and continuous efforts of faculty, staff and students that we are once again humbled and honored to receive reaccreditation status. I want to especially thank Becky Chadwick, vice president of Information, Marketing & Effectiveness, and Betsy Cohn, an esteemed faculty member of our English Dept., for their tireless work researching, writing and editing our assurance argument for the HLC. Most importantly, I wish to thank our community for their dedication to HFC—without them, this College could not exist, and for that we are forever grateful,” he added.

Details regarding the final HLC report will be available on the College’s website in the near future. For more information, please contact Becky Chadwick, vice president of Information, Marketing & Effectiveness, at 313-317-1534. For more information about the Higher Learning Commission, please visit