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Valley City State University Successfully Reaccredited by the Higher Learning Commission

Jan 31, 2022

VCSU “Healthy, Forward-looking Culture” Noted by the Review Team

A photo of the faculty and staff at VCSU that prepared the HLC documents.
VCSU’s assurance argument writing team members included (back left to right) Dr. Anthony Dutton, Dr. Kerry Gregoryk, Dr. Jamie Wirth, Emily Dafoe, (front center) Dr. Margaret Dahlberg, and (front right) Dr. Katie Woehl.

Valley City State University (VCSU) has officially been reaccredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

The accreditation follows a comprehensive evaluation by the HLC that included a review of VCSU policies, procedures and documents. The process also included an in-person, on-campus visit with HLC officials late last year. The review found strong educational, governance and cultural components present at VCSU. The next HLC accreditation site visit will be during the 2031-32 school year.

“The HLC accreditation process provides a comprehensive review of the entire campus and assures quality by verifying that we meet standards and are engaged in continuous improvement,” VCSU President Dr. Alan LaFave said. “This validates the trust HLC has in our faculty and staff to continue providing the best educational experiences possible. This is a proud moment for our entire institution.”

Every core component listed by the HLC was met during the reaccreditation process.

“Our faculty and staff did a great job in preparing materials for this review. Their work highlights the many advances we have made at VCSU academically and on campus,” Margaret Dahlberg, Vice President of Academic Affairs, said. “This accreditation shows that we continue to offer quality educational opportunities in line with our mission and purpose.”

Two areas of note are the efforts made to better utilize assessment when making critical decisions, and the shared governance structures present on campus.

“VCSU has met all of the Criteria for Accreditation and has a healthy, forward-looking culture that uses evidence of institutional and program effectiveness to inform decisions and to make improvements,” the HLC report states.

For more information contact Tammy Jo Anderson Taft by emailing, or call 701-845-7227.

Additional Notes from the HLC Review Team

Valley City State University Final Report by the Higher Learning Commission

  • Valley City State University (VCSU) serves an important role within the North Dakota University System as a state regional institution with a continuing commitment to the development of educators as an important part of its mission. Strong state support and a history of stable enrollment have positioned the institution for a successful capital campaign to support the campus master plan.
  • The consensus of the review team is that VCSU has met all of the Criteria for Accreditation and has a healthy, forward-looking culture that uses evidence of institutional and program effectiveness to inform decisions and to make improvements.
  • VCSU’s strong technology posture and planning positioned the institution well to respond and adapt to the challenges of the COVID pandemic.
  • VCSU has also been able to invest (or re-invest) in some critical personnel areas such as diversity and distance learning.
  • Within the academic programs, VCSU has shown strong growth in assessment processes and a generally solid culture of improvement through the examination of evidence.
  • The visiting team has great confidence that the culture of VCSU will ensure continued attention to these opportunities for continued improvement. VCSU fosters a climate of respect among all students, faculty, staff, and administrators from a range
    of diverse backgrounds, ideas, and perspectives.
  • It is clear from our review that the institution habitually strives to develop its understanding of itself, its purposes and its contexts as it pursues its educational mission in support of its communities.