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Introduction to Self-Study

Reflect, Renew, & Commit:Building on the Foundations, Preparing for the Future

Malone University begins its institutional self-study with confidence and great expectation for the value and use of this study in strengthening the educational mission and core values of the University. The rich heritage, community focus, and academic traditions of this Christian university are intimately connected to its church roots in the Evangelical Friends Church – Eastern Region. Building upon its denominational connection and foundational principles (see Malone University Catalog: Foundational Principles) – with specific focus on the strengths of a liberal arts education expanded through the value and role of non-traditional and graduate education – Malone University faculty, students, staff, alumni, and Board of Trustee members will review all aspects of the institution. Our self-study will show how the five Foundational Principles form a framework by which the University fulfills and enhances its mission.

Self-study teams are formed around the five criteria outlined in the Higher Learning Commission’s Criteria for Accreditation. We intend to use this process to investigate a number of enhancements to internal policies and practices, reviewing internal documents, handbooks, and manuals for corrections, modifications, and additions. We also intend to use this review to demonstrate that Malone meets the standards for accreditation of the Higher Learning Commission and that the university is in compliance with all required federal regulations.

Since previous reviews from the Higher Learning Commission have been less favorable than the institution desires, a major focus of the study is directed toward analyzing and developing strategies to fulfill the academic mission through quality teaching and holistic student development with a view toward expanding a campus-wide culture of systematic, comprehensive, and continuous assessment and improvement. The study will identify current and future measures for verifying outcomes, develop appropriate benchmarks and comparative measurements for assessing student learning, track student success and placements, make student learning visible through improved communication, disclose learning results, and use data-driven decision making in planning, prioritization of initiatives, and direct budget allocations and realignments. A key area of review will be the central role of general education in preparing our students to serve the church, community, and the world.

The overall design and focus of this self-study may best be visualized by the conceptual model following. Malone, building upon her mission and core values (represented by the five Foundational Principles) will spend time in self-reflection: analyzing strengths, isolating challenges, and determining opportunities. The completion of this conceptual framework is the renewal process. After internal analysis and self-reflection, we focus on preparing for the future. We will use the time of self-study to analyze our current situation, celebrating our strengths, addressing our challenges, and taking advantage of the opportunities identified during this process.

Each section of the self-study will contain summaries of concerns and opportunities to be addressed and prioritized. This prioritization of essential elements will guide development of future strategic planning documents and budgeting processes. As we prioritize needs and opportunities and identify appropriate resources needed to make these priorities realities, incentives built into the fiscal planning process will assure that these priorities are realized. Throughout the self-study process, we look forward to building upon the past and preparing for the future.