UWP industrial studies receives re-accreditation

December 5, 2002

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PLATTEVILLE-After roughly a year-long process of evaluation, assessments and reports, the University of Wisconsin-Platteville has received a six-year re-accreditation for its industrial studies program from the National Association of Industrial Technology (NAIT).

UWP Dean of the College of Business, Industry, Life Science and Agriculture Duane Ford, along with Howard Brooks, professor and chair of the UWP Department of Industrial Studies, recently traveled to Panama City Beach, Fla., for the NAIT Board of Accreditation hearings, where the extensive re-accreditation process culminated.

"The first thing we had to do was request permission from NAIT to do a self-study for re-accreditation of our program," Brooks said. "We then evaluated our program against 62 standards set by NAIT and sent a report of our self study to a NAIT evaluation team. The evaluation team visited UWP last year and put together its own evaluation report, noting areas of excellence and areas that could use improvement. A letter was later sent to Chancellor David Markee, informing us of what the team was going to recommend, but it wasn't until the hearings in Florida when we received the official re-accreditation."

To receive re-accreditation, all aspects of the industrial studies program were closely evaluated. The 62 standards include factors such as philosophy and objectives of the UWP program, study guides, reference materials, group activities, equipment and facilities, faculty credentials, student placement, admittance and on-campus assessments.

"With updated equipment in all of our instructional labs, such as the foundry, the plastics lab and the power and control lab, and the renovation of Russell Hall, equipment and facilities were a strong suit for our program," Brooks said. "We also scored well in assessment, which is big right now. The board looks favorably upon institutions that evaluate and assess their own programs and then use those results to better the programs."

The accreditation will be valid for six years, however, a progress report will be due in two years, demonstrating how the University has strived to improve upon the areas suggested by the evaluation team that visited UWP.

"The evaluation team basically noted two areas that it felt we could improve upon," Brooks said. "One area was to update our strategic plan, re-identifying the goals and focus of our program. The other area they would like to see improvement on is increased enrollment in our occupational safety program."

Overall, Brooks and Ford said they were pleased to receive the re-accreditation, an important aspect exemplifying the credibility and quality of UWP and its programs.

"It is significant and important that our industrial studies programs receive re-accreditation, and not just so that we at UWP can put another feather in our cap," Ford said. "It's important because it signifies that a group of prominent and knowledgeable professionals carefully and exhaustively reviewed our programs and found that we are offering high quality programs. This is important information. It means that our industrial studies faculty and staff members are doing the right things in the right way and simply need to continue to improve. My hat is off to Dr. Howard Brooks and his colleagues for what they do for our industrial science students, alumni, friends and supporters."

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