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Post University Reaffirmation 2024

Post University is institutionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). Accreditation of an institution of higher education by the NECHE indicates that it meets or exceeds criteria for the assessment of institutional quality periodically applied through a peer review process. An accredited college or university is one which has available the necessary resources to achieve its stated purposes through appropriate educational programs, is substantially doing so, and gives reasonable evidence that it will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. Institutional integrity is also addressed through accreditation. Accreditation by the NECHE is not partial but applies to the institution as a whole. It provides reasonable assurance about the quality of opportunities available to students who attend the institution.

Every 10 years, Post University undergoes reaffirmation. This process includes a self-evaluation and the writing of a self-study document that demonstrates the requirements in NECHE’s Standards of Accreditation are being met. In March 2024, Post University will host an on-site evaluation committee, comprised of peer reviewers from institutes with similar goals and objectives, that will confirm Post University complies with the requirements within NECHE’s Standards of Accreditation.

To prepare for its March 2024 review, a re-affirmation team with members who represent the various operational areas within Post University is in place to guide the process. All team members are responsible for supporting and coordinating the University’s efforts in achieving and maintaining compliance with the NECHE Standards of Accreditation.  The reaffirmation team consists of nine individual committees, each responsible for one of the nine NECHE Standards of Accreditation.

Post University is pleased and honored to announce the team leaders and committee members of the 2024 reaffirmation team. These members represent all the operational areas within Post University and bring with them a wealth of knowledge and experience.

Committees and Members

Standard One – Mission and Purposes

The institution’s mission and purposes are appropriate to higher education, consistent with its charter or other operating authority, and implemented in a manner that complies with the Standards of the New England Commission of Higher Education. The institution’s mission gives direction to its activities and provides a basis for the assessment and enhancement of the institution’s effectiveness.

Team Leader:  *Tom Bryant, Vice President of Accreditation 

Committee Members:

  • Shawn Fields, Assistant Director of Accreditation
  • Joe Lodewyck, Director of Assessment
  • Melissah Kochera, Executive Assistant to the CEO
  • Joan Huwiler, Director of University Communications
Standard Two – Planning and Evaluation

The institution undertakes planning and evaluation to accomplish and improve the achievement of its mission and purposes.  It identifies its planning and evaluation priorities and pursues them effectively.  The institution demonstrates its success in strategic, academic, financial, and other resource planning and the evaluation of its educational effectiveness.

Team Leader:  Jeanna Sinn, Senior Vice President of Operations

Committee Members: 

  • Jennifer Zaniewski, Vice President Enrollment
  • *Jennifer Nicknair, Sr. Director, Institutional Effectiveness & Strategic Operations
  • Danielle Courtemanche, Vice President Retention & Interim Dean of First-Year Experience
  • Jennifer Peffers, Director of Admissions ADP
  • Victoria Meehan, Director of Enrollment
  • Kristi Burrell, Director of Strategy and Analysis
Standard Three – Organization and Governance

The institution has a system of governance that facilitates the accomplishment of its mission and purposes and supports institutional effectiveness and integrity. Through its organizational design and governance structure, the institution creates and sustains an environment that encourages teaching, learning, service, scholarship, and where appropriate, research and creative activity. It demonstrates administrative capacity by assuring provision of support adequate for the appropriate functioning of each organizational component. The institution has sufficient autonomy and control of its programs and operations consistent with its mission to be held directly accountable for meeting the Commission’s Standards for Accreditation.

Team Leader:  *Shawn Fields, Assistant Director of Accreditation

Committee Members:

  • Tom Bryant, Vice President of Accreditation
  • Melissah Kochera, Executive Assistant to the CEO
  • Wesley Debnam, Sr. Vice President of Culture, Diversity, & Associate Experience
  • Kristin McDonald, Associate Chair of Human Services and Sociology
  • Abigail Nemec, Program Chair – Equine Studies
  • Sarah Meeks, Chair – Bachelor of Science Nursing Program
  • Kristine Skalsky, Chair, Research and Scholarship
  • Grace Berry, Community Director
  • Hamid Malakpour, Program Chair – Finance
  • Michelle Hubbell, Director Military & Graduate Admissions

 

Standard Four – The Academic Program

The institution’s academic programs are consistent with and serve to fulfill its mission and purposes. The institution works systematically and effectively to plan, provide, oversee, evaluate, improve, and assure the academic quality and integrity of its academic programs and the credits and degrees awarded. The institution sets a standard of student achievement appropriate to the degree or certificate awarded and develops the systematic means to understand how and what students are learning and to use the evidence obtained to improve the academic program.

Team Leader:  Beth Johnson, Provost  

Committee Members: 

  • Caitlyn Masiewicz, University Registrar
  • Melissa Kendall, Senior Associate Registrar
  • *Lucia Dressel, Director of General Education
  • Alisa Hunt, Assistant Dean, Baldrige School of Business
  • Brenda Helmer, Chair, Master of Science Nursing American Sentinel College of Nursing and Health Sciences
  • Stephanie Payzant, Director of Instructional Design
  • Dawn Sherman, Dean, School Continuing Education
  • Andrew Smith, Master of Science Higher Education Leadership
Standard Five – Students

Consistent with its mission, the institution sets and achieves realistic goals to enroll students who are broadly representative of the population the institution wishes to serve. The institution addresses its own goals for the achievement of diversity, equity, and inclusion among its students and provides a safe environment that fosters the intellectual and personal development of its students. It endeavors to ensure the success of its students, offering the resources and services that provide them the opportunity to achieve the goals of their educational program as specified in institutional publications. The institution’s interactions with students and prospective students are characterized by integrity and equity.

Team Leader:  Devon Putnam, Director of Student Engagement

Committee Members: 

  • Victoria Meehan, Director of Enrollment
  • Scott Allen, Senior Vice President
  • Jennifer Labate, Director of Title IX and Disability Services
  • Jewel Williams, Vice President Regulatory Compliance
  • *Gregory Dennis, Director, Student Engagement and Writing Center
  • Jennifer Zaniewski, Vice President Enrollment
  • Stephanie Caban, Program Chair – Management and Baldrige Diversity Officer
  • Tom Kavanagh, Director of Enrollment – Financial Aid and Technology
  • Jeff Olsen, Vice President Student Experience
Standard Six – Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship

The institution supports teaching and learning through a well-qualified faculty and academic staff, who, instructors and processes appropriate to the institution, collectively ensure the quality of instruction and support for student learning. Scholarship, research, and creative activities receive support appropriate to the institution’s mission. The institution’s faculty has primary responsibility for advancing the institution’s academic purposes through teaching, learning, and scholarship.

Team Leader:  Jeremi Bauer, Dean – Malcolm Baldrige School of Business

Committee Members: 

  • Dr. Betsy Kranz, Assistant Dean – School of Arts and Sciences
  • Dr. Jim Loughran, Program Chair – Graduate Business Studies
  • *Dr. Michael Wolter, Program Chair – Master of Science in Business Intelligence and Analytics
  • Dr. Kristine Skalsky, Chair – Research and Scholarship
  • Ms. Breana Sanchez, Associate Director of Advising
  • David Renza, Associate Director Academic Success and Retention
Standard Seven – Institutional Resources

The institution has sufficient human, financial, information, physical, and technological resources, and capacity to support its mission. Through periodic evaluation, the institution demonstrates that its resources are sufficient to sustain the quality of its educational program and to support institutional improvement now and in the foreseeable future. The institution demonstrates, through verifiable internal and external evidence, its financial capacity to graduate its entering class. The institution administers its resources in an ethical manner and assures effective systems of enterprise risk management, regulatory compliance, internal controls, and contingency management.

Team Leader:  *Kristine Zewe, Vice President, Associate Relations, and Talent Management

Committee Members:

  • Jay Kim, Vice President Student Accounts
  • Carey Cseszko, Controller
  • Donna Prudhomme, Chief Financial Officer
  • Tracy Ralston, Library Director
  • Greg Theisen, Chief Information and Technology Officer
  • Myla Wilson, Associate Director of Regulatory Compliance
  • Dennis Zancan, Facilities Manager
  • Robert Acosta, Cybersecurity Analyst

 

Standard Eight – Educational Effectiveness

The institution demonstrates its effectiveness by ensuring satisfactory levels of student achievement on mission-appropriate student outcomes.  Based on verifiable information, the institution understands what its students have gained as a result of their education and has useful evidence about the success of its recent graduates. This information is used for planning and improvement, resource allocation, and to inform the public about the institution. Student achievement is at a level appropriate for the degree awarded.

Team Leader:  *Jennifer Pisco, Senior Director of Student Engagement

Committee Members: 

  • Devon Putnam, Director of Student Engagement
  • Joe Lodewyck, Director of Assessment
  • Gina Wellman, Director of Academic First Year Experience
  • Danielle Courtemanche, VP of Retention & Interim Dean of First Year Experience
  • Betsy Kranz, Assistant Dean, School of Arts and Sciences
  • Brenda Helmer, Chair, MSN Program
  • Roger Caramanica, Program Chair, Gaming and Esports Management
  • Darren Cesca, Default Management Leader
  • Shelley Cote, Director of Student Accounts
Standard Nine – Integrity, Transparency, and Public Disclosure

The institution subscribes to and advocates high ethical standards in the management of its affairs and in its dealings with students, prospective students, faculty, staff, its governing board, external agencies and organizations, and the general public. Through its policies and practices, the institution endeavors to exemplify the values it articulates in its mission and related statements. In presenting the institution to students, prospective students, and other members of the public, the institutional website provides information, including information about student success, that is complete, accurate, timely, readily accessible, clear, and sufficient for intended audiences to make informed decisions about the institution.

Team Leader:  *Rich Schechter, Chief Marketing Officer 

Committee Members: 

  • Joan Huwiler, Director of University Communications
  • Michele Bartlett, Director Website Development & Visual Branding
  • JC Hopkins, Director of Marketing
  • Sean Cooley, Director of Marketing Analysis & Automation
  • Wesley Debnam, SVP Culture, Diversity & Associate Experience

*Team Editor

Reaffirmation Committee Member Highlight

We are proud to honor Gregory Dennis, Director, Student Engagement and Writing Center, as the first reaffirmation team member highlighted. Gregory is a member of the Standard Five – Students committee.  As you read his responses to several questions, you will quickly see that his daily interactions with our students and job responsibilities make him uniquely qualified to serve on this committee.

As a member of the reaffirmation team, what do you hope to gain from the experience?

Being relatively new to Post University, this is an excellent way to become more familiar with the intricacies of how the institution operates. It is one thing to get to know our school casually and on an “as needed” basis (e.g., who/where to go for a specific issue; learning about a new initiative in a meeting; etc.). But going through the reaffirmation process is like reading the owner’s manual. It is also an excellent way to connect with other associates and departments across the university whom I would otherwise would never have a chance to meet.

 

What are your thoughts on how complying with NECHE Standards of Accreditation supports the mission?

Mission Statement

At Post University, we believe that personalized guidance, unwavering motivation, robust support, and a student-centered education are the catalysts that allow students to achieve their individual academic and career goals.  We shape workforce ready, socially responsible leaders through learning experiences offered in and out of the classroom designed to promote the exchange of knowledge, expand thinking, and refine practical and professional skills. 

There are many connections to be made here, but I will keep the focus limited to Standard 5: Students (the standard the team I am on has been assigned to). In this standard, NECHE wants to see evidence that we are consistent with our mission, specifically that we provide support and service to our students in order for them to be successful.

In doing this, the phrase “robust support, and a student-centered education” stands out. Post University has created an academic support system for its students, which complies with both what NECHE is looking for as well as what we explicitly set out to do in our mission. From our dynamic advising teams, to our dedicated faculty, to services such as First Year Experience, the Center for Career & Professional Development, and the Center for Academic Success, it makes our job easy to prove we have the infrastructure to help our students succeed.

What is your current position at Post University and how do you feel your involvement with the 2024 reaffirmation process will impact how your approach it?

I am the Director of the Center for Academic Success. Our department is reexamining our services and re-evaluating how we can best support all students at Post University. So being a part of the reaffirmation process was a rather fortunate coincidence, as this is a time for the entire university to look back upon the goals and strategies it set for itself and evaluate how well it stayed on course. As our department is trying to figure out how we can best serve our students, it is a great reminder to look beyond our department walls and realize we are an active part of a larger machine. In other words, it is not just how our department directly helps the student, but instead how our department assists the entire university in its student-focused goals.

How can you inspire other associates who may not be directly involved in the process realize the importance compliance has on the quality of education and services being delivered to students?

This may not be an “inspirational” response, but I will say accreditation is easily the single most important thing for any higher education institution. This is where we prove that what we do is helping our students be successful (or, at the very least, we are offering them the resources and services needed for them to succeed). In other words, this is where the rubber meets the road, this is the proof in the pudding, this is… well, you get the idea. Without accreditation, there are no programs. Without programs… again, you get the idea. So while many may perceive the term “accreditation” as something boring, this is our opportunity to not just prove we do what we claim, it is a chance to show off what we do well. More importantly, it is a time for us to examine where we can do even better.

Reaffirmation is a Total University Effort.  For additional information on the reaffirmation process and how you can become involved, please contact Tom Bryant at [email protected].

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