The ACCC’s Accreditation Plan, April 22, 2009

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Antioch College, as a part of Antioch University, was accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association for the purpose of awarding accredited degrees and was approved by the Ohio Board of Regents to grant degrees in the state of Ohio. Antioch College students enrolled in this accredited and approved institution were eligible to apply for federal financial aid administered by the U.S. Department of Education. Antioch College was also listed by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program of the Department of Homeland Security as approved for international students seeking visas to attend Antioch College.

With the closing of the College in June 2008, except for the ability of students to complete their degrees by December 2008, accreditation has ended. Early in its deliberations, the Board Pro Tempore of the Antioch College Continuation Corporation decided to engage an experienced higher education administrator to investigate what will be required for a re-opened Antioch College to regain its accreditation and approvals.

Our purpose in posting what we have learned in some detail is to foster a shared awareness and understanding of the initial challenges we will face if we are to achieve our goal of re-opening an Antioch College that continues its traditions of being a vibrant, unique, and important institution able to educate coming generations of students to win victories for humanity.


The process of securing accreditation and approval is a lengthy one. It will require the preparation of many documents and reliable evidence of financial stability and sustainability in order to secure accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (HLC) and approval togrant degrees from the Ohio Board of Regents (OBR). The good news is that there is vast overlap in the materials and information required by the HLC (for institutional accreditation) and by the Board of Regents (for authorization to grant degrees). Notably, the HLC will judge the institution, whereas the OBR will judge the degree program.

The sobering news is that it is our understanding that there is currently no availability of any provisional accreditation prior to the granting of full accreditation. Further, the HLC will not award accreditation to an institution until at least one class has graduated. Indeed, the HLC will not schedule an initial team visit to determine the institution’s eligibility to be a candidate for accreditation until the first class has enrolled. How will this affect the first graduating class if Antioch College is not accredited until after they have graduated? HLC Handbook of Accreditation stipulates that accreditation, if achieved within one year of the date of graduation of the first class, will apply retroactively to their degrees. From the experience of other new institutions, we have learned that it is possible to make contact with graduate and professional schools to which the first graduates might apply before the College is accredited to explain that their degrees will be retroactively accredited if the College achieves accreditation almost immediately after these students have graduated.

Summary for Approval from OBR and Accreditation by the HLC

As already noted, the process for securing approval to grant a degree from the OBR, and securing accreditation from the HLC involves the submission of many documents that give evidence that the College meets all the standards required for approval and accreditation. The accreditation process begins with a series of conversations and interviews with the HLC. Subsequently, Antioch College will be required to submit a letter of intent and to provide extensive information in the documents listed below. If the information satisfies the OBR approval to grant degrees will be forthcoming but a candidacy visit for accreditation will not be scheduled until the first class has been enrolled. If candidacy is approved a formal application for accreditation will need to be filed, and accreditation visit(s) scheduled. If there is success at each of these steps accreditation approval will follow.

Relationship between Steps among Different Agencies

For the HLC, at the “request for interview” stage, Antioch College must have a certificate of incorporation from Ohio, and “permission” from the state to operate as an institution of higher education. Evidence that Antioch College is pursuing OBR degree-granting authority must also be presented. Accordingly, we will be pursuing parallel tracks with these two agencies as we go forward.

Eligibility for student financial aid from the DOE is dependent upon Antioch College submitting evidence to the satisfaction of the DOE that the College is financially viable and this viability is sustainable. However it will not consider granting financial aid eligibility until accreditation (or perhaps candidacy) is achieved. It is therefore likely that the first students to enroll will not be eligible to apply for federal student financial aid.

Documents Required Prior to Seeking Approval & Accreditation

Before embarking on the formal applications to either OBR or the HLC, Antioch College will be required to assemble a whole range of documents – some of which already exist and/or can be modified, others that will need to be developed. The major documents required include the Articles of Incorporation, By-laws, a Faculty Handbook, a Student Handbook, a Catalog (courses, majors, academic programs, faculty, policies, a Bulletin (listing such time-specific elements as course offerings for the coming year, and a calendar), a Staff handbook and an Administrative Handbook (i.e. personnel policies and procedures for administrators, parallel to faculty handbook), Admissions materials, a Mission Statement and Statements of Goals and Institutional Policies, Governance Statements about the Role of Faculty, information about the College’s administrative structure and reporting relationships and responsibility, evaluation procedures (of the institution, educational outcomes, faculty and staff), policies, and documents, a detailed description of work-partner and off-campus-study arrangements, reporting relationships, staff qualifications, academic record-keeping policies and procedures, faculty and staff recruiting and appointment policies and procedures, a detailed assessment of readiness of physical facilities, detailed financial reports, audits, projections, and budgets, a description of library, laboratory and other instructional space readiness, a description of instructional materials and supplies adequate to the program, and position descriptions for all administrative positions. Other narratives and documents will also be needed but they are not as significant or time consuming as the ones listed here.


Constructing a timetable for achieving approval to offer degrees from OBR and accreditation from the HLC requires us to first determine when we will aim to admit the first class and, having done that, to achieve accreditation by the HLC one year after the graduation of that first class. To accept the first class with OBR approval to grant degrees, Antioch College will need to have raised the funds to enable it to renovate all the facilities it plans to use so that they meet required codes and is considered attractive to potential students prior to the matriculation of the first class of students. Antioch College will also need to have, in hand, sufficient resources to operate the institution for the duration of the years it will take for the first admitted students to earn their degrees. As well, all the major documents described above must have been submitted to OBR and accepted in order for OBR to approve Antioch College to grant degrees.

For illustrative purposes, we assume the initial plan holds for Antioch College to grant bachelor degrees after three years of a round the year program of full time study alternating with full time work. Accordingly, if the first class is to be admitted in fall, 2011, in the best scenario of fully accepted documentation and approving site visits, the granting of accredited degrees will first be possible in 2015 with retroactive accreditation provided to the students who graduated in 2014. If the first class is admitted in the fall of 2012 and all documents and visits receive approval, the granting of accredited degrees will first be possible in 2016 with retroactive accreditation provided to the students who graduated in 2015.

The Challenges in Perspective

While it may seem that the tasks ahead of us to accomplish our goals of reviving and reopening Antioch College are daunting they are, in reality, all achievable if we: Raise sufficient resources to renovate the facilities and to support the operation of the College; secure excellent leadership; assemble an initially small cadre of faculty, staff, administrators, and advisers to plan curricula, to prepare the necessary documents, and to envision the future.

As noted above, our purpose in posting all this information is to engender a shared understanding of the magnitude of the efforts we will need to undertake to revive and re-open a new Antioch College that will be able to carry on itsunique role in American higher education fitted to the needs of students who will win victories for humanity in the 21st century.

There is understandable impatience at the thought that it will be a minimum of two years before we can admit the first students, perhaps three. However the Board Pro-Tem is convinced that it is imperative that we ‘get it right’ – from the beginning. We need to insure that the presence of sound and sustainable financial resources, an attractive student-friendly campus, fine and dedicated faculty and staff match the considerable excitement of the ideas for a new era for Antioch College. We need to be able to recruit and select those special students who care to be effective, life-long change agents in whatever they choose to do. We need to be able to nurture over many years an Antioch College that is deeply committed to the vision of the possibilities inherent in the three Cs for learning: classroom, co-op, and community.

Antioch College was founded more than 150 years ago. Across these years the College closed twice. In some ways, each time it re-opened it began anew while carrying forward its commitment to progressive education and to innovation. This time, daunting as the challenges are, it must be our goal to insure that Antioch College will not only re-open but will endure for another 150 years.

ProTem Board Member of the Week: Nancy Crow

Why did you agree to be a Pro Tem Board member?

Well, of course I’m in a somewhat different position from other Pro Tem Board members because I am there ex officio as the president of the Antioch College Alumni Association. And of course, we could go back to 2000 to talk about why I am on the Antioch College Alumni Association. I’ve actually been on the board, the alumni board, since 2000, and was elected first vice-president, served as vice-president for four years, and now in my second two-year term as president of the board. I was on the University Board of Trustees, as an ex officio member, until February 18th when the board was reconstituted as a Board of Governors with individual subordinate boards for the campuses in the Antioch University system. At that point I was off the board because there was no longer a position in the bylaws for Antioch College, and I was able to move onto the Board Pro Tem. I had been meeting with the board Pro Tem, and in person meeting in December in New York as an invited guest, so I’d been very much a part of the process.

So you served on the UBOT, how was that, how did cope with that … over the last two years with the college closing and everything?

It was very challenging, very, very difficult, I think I did a lot of good work both in representing the interests of the college alumni and also in forwarding the interests of the university as a whole. I served on the Governance Committee which reconfigured the governance structure for the University Board of Trustees and to the University Board of Governors, and of course when I started my work on that committee the thought was that we would be able to create a Board of Trustees for Antioch College that would have sufficient authority that it would satisfy the concerns not only of the alumni and um, major donors, but also of potential, you know, high quality presidents for the organization, because it became very clear that one of the reasons why the college has suffered in recent years was because the president of the college didn’t have his or her own board that was paying attention solely to the college, and that’s what’s so exciting now about the Board Pro Tem … once we have the keys to the college, we will have a Board of Trustees that’s solely dedicated to Antioch College, and it will be able to hire quality presidents and quality faculty, and really attract the um, students who are looking at other comparable schools, … the schools in our peer group, although, frankly the schools in our peer group, although they are wonderful colleges, in particular I have to give praise to the Great Lakes Colleges Association, which Antioch College was a founding member, because it has provided such tremendous support and guidance, particularly … the president of the Great Lakes Colleges Association, all of our sister and brother schools within the Great Lakes Colleges Association are wonderful, wonderful places, and each one offers a somewhat different educational experience, and of course, one of the reasons, to go back to your question about why I’m on the Board Pro Tem, is because I believe that Antioch College can offer an experience, an educational experience that students need today and really is not duplicated anywhere else.

So now you’re on both on the Board Pro Tem and on the Antioch College Alumni Association as the president, how do you negotiate these roles?

It’s extraordinarily time consuming, and one of my goals right now is trying to help guide the Alumni Board back towards a more traditional Alumni Association role, now that we do have the Board Pro Tem that will be able to take stewardship in fiduciary responsibility for the College, what has happened, and I know this is a phrase that Jeanne likes to use, is that things have developed kind of organically and very quickly, the creation of a lot of ad-hoc committees, responding [to] the the University’s sudden announcement in June of 2007 that it was going to suspend operations of the College up to the creation of Nonstop is that we moved very, very quickly and we have, as I said last summer at reunion, gone places no alumni association has ever gone before and you know as a result things have been very, very quick to develop and um, not always understandable. We have, in typical Antioch fashion, developed scores of, (it’s probably a score, maybe it’s just dozens) of um, entities that go by many different names, and being Antiochians of course we have acronyms for all of them. … from the UBOG to the UBOTs to the ZBOT to the TAG and um, it’s very confusing and what I’m trying to do right now is trying to create a somewhat more understandable, easier to understand structure that is going to continue to evolve and that’s helping me. And I also think in answer to the two hats I wear question, that it’s very important for the alumni who, after all, are going to be the foundation for the rebuilding of Antioch College, to have a voice among the Board Pro Tem, which should, soon I hope, no longer be the Board Pro Tem, but the Antioch College Board of Trustees.

What is your vision for the new Antioch?

Well, as I was saying, oh was it the last week or the week before, I was speaking to a Chicago alumni group, as I was talking about the Board Pro Tem, I was focusing on right now the Board Pro Tem is looking at what the needs are for a world-class college, our educational needs today and the world yet to come. We want to create inquiring, knowledgeable, flexible human beings who can respond to the rapidly changing world today using the skills that they’ve learned in, of course, the familiar fundamentals of an Antioch education, rigorous classroom, community governance and co-op.

The concept paper, which is of course, in some form up for discussion up on the Internet and there’ve been a number of comments related to it. It is an evolving document but it does represent the ideas that the Board Pro Tem is exploring.

How do you think Nonstop will be integrated into the new Antioch?

That’s a very good question. And I don’t think we know yet. Right now the Alumni Board at its last meeting in March on campus, authorized a task-force which is going to help the folks who have been working on proposals for the future of Nonstop, to refine those proposals for presentation to the Board Pro Tem. What we’re anticipating is that those ideas, recommendations, will be ready for presentation at the time that the definitive agreements are entered into which we’re still looking at, I hope, you know, around April 25th date for the definitive agreements. I don’t know whether there will be any slippage in that, but that’s around the end of the 90 day due diligence period for the definitive agreements. So what I’m anticipating is that the task-force will come up with a series of recommendations. The presentation that we heard in March was excellent, it gave a lot of different ideas, about how people from Nonstop, ideas from Nonstop, … can form the foundation for planning for the future of Antioch College. Exactly how that’s going to happen I don’t know, but of course Nonstop has been the keeper of the flame, and has a lot of wonderful people, and wonderful ideas that will help move the process further, but exactly how they’re going to be integrated really hasn’t been decided yet.

It’s unfortunate that we are ending the fiscal year that the Alumni Board was able to commit to through CRF to Nonstop and we don’t yet have the keys to the College, which means the Board Pro Tem is not yet in position to make any commitment to Nonstop and that’s, there may be a gap, I hope it’s not too much of a gap and I’d rather of course not have a gap at all. I’d like to just have an evolution, but I’m hoping that a lot of the great work that Nonstop has done will evolve into work, and part of that is going to, of course, require us to do some reflection, which is again, very Antiochian, um, and what we’ve learned from Nonstop and the experiences of Nonstop.

What was your major? …

I graduated in 1970, I started Antioch in 1966, at that time Antioch was a five-year program, but by testing out of certain general ed requirements I was able to graduate in four … The men did not avail themselves of that option because … the men were subject to the draft, I wasn’t subject to the draft, and therefore I graduated in four years. My major was in the combined departments of Sociology and Anthropology with a focus on Sociology.

What is the most important thing that Antioch taught you?

Great question. The most important thing, the most important thing that Antioch taught me was to be open to new experiences and to examine those experiences and understand them and learn from them.
What did your Antioch look like, or what is “your Antioch”?

The Antioch of my era? … Well, of course it was a much larger student body than it became in later years, and there were a lot of buildings that are now gone on the now temporarily closed campus. And as a result there were people in my graduating class that I never knew. It was interesting: I came back for my 25th reunion, not having come back to Antioch since I left in 1970, and I left without actually going through graduation … I got my degree [laughs], it’s hanging on my wall, but I didn’t go through graduation. In part because it was a very weird time, it was the time of Kent State, which created a huge disruption in Ohio in particular and all over the world. And I came back 25 years later and the first person I saw from the class of 1970 I looked at, and she looked at me, and we said “I’ve never seen you before in my life!” [laughs] which is kind of funny, is that there were half of us on campus at any one time and half of us were out either on co-op or on AEA, and there were a lot of people on campus, a lot of different areas of interest, a lot of pockets of special interests that, they weren’t called, you know, the Independent Groups at that time, but we had them, including of course a great many very politically oriented groups, this was the time of the Vietnam War, it was still the time of the civil rights movement and there were people on campus who were very, very active in those movements, and it’s interesting, one of the other movements that really was just beginning at that time was the environmental movement which was also a strong focus on campus and the very first Earth Day occurred while I was on campus, I think it was April of ’70, and there were people very, very passionately involved in creating Earth Day and it’s fascinating to see how it’s developed in the 39 years since then.
The classes were compelling and challenging, so much so that when I got to law school which I went to after I took a year break traveling around Europe, were so challenging … when I got to law school I found law school to be pretty easy, it was interesting to run into people who’d gone to other schools who say, “Oh, my gosh, I’m terrified, I’ve never written a twenty-page paper before,” and I think I had to write at least a twenty-page paper for almost every class, except of course in math classes.

Anything else you would like to say about being on the Pro Tem Board or as the president of the Alumni Association?

Well, Antioch’s education made a huge difference in my life, in addition to what I said before, another aspect of my Antioch education was my ability to learn and explore areas outside of my career, like film for example, something that was a big focus at Antioch and that I’ve enjoyed film ever since, the ability of Antioch College to provide people with an education for their entire lives is something which is very, very important and one of the reasons why I believe so passionately in what we are doing to ensure that Antioch College can continue as a residential liberal arts college that prepares people for life and for future leadership.

In This Issue:

Dispatches from the Alumni Board Weekend

AB Elect New Vice President, Joe Foley to replace Ellen Borgersen

Steve Schwerner presents Visiting Team report on Nonstop

Matthew Derr Speaks to the Board

Nonstop Presents Proposal, AB Resolve to create Task Force

CRF Board Discuss Nonstop Finances

ProTem Board Member of the Week: Pavel Curtis

Nonstop Festival Week Digest

Alumni Interview: Gerry Bello ’97

Op/Eds & Letters:

Collegiality, Creativity and Fortitude, by Tim Klass ’71

Exponentially More, by Lincoln Alpern ’11

Nonstop is a Laboratory, by Andrew Oswald ’92

Question of the Week


From the Archives: Just a year ago…(Andrzej Bloch Letter)

Op-Ed: Collegiality, Creativity and Fortitude, by Tim Klass ’71

Here is a letter to the Record:

Not being much of a Charles Dickens fan, I would say these are neither the best of times nor the worst of times, but we may soon find ourselves close to one extreme or the other with the approaching deadline for transferring Antioch College to the Board Pro Tem.

That does make these the most stressful of times for many of us in Nonstop, the College Revival Fund and the Alumni Board.

Perhaps it’s thus an apt time to turn to some fragments from the poem “If” by another Brit who is not one of my favorites, Rudyard Kipling and conclude with a bit of paraphrase to fit our circumstances:

“If you can keep your head when all about you
“Are losing theirs …

“If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
“Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies…

“If you can dream — and not make dreams your master;
“If you can think — and not make thoughts your aim…

“Yours is the legacy and all that’s in it,
“And — which is more — you’ll be an Antiochian.”

Knowingly or not, that old colonial racist was explicating a principle attributed to the pre-Christian sage Hillel (cited here in a slightly interpretive translation) in the Talmud:

“Where there are no human beings, strive to be a human being.”

Collegiality, creativity and fortitude, especially now, are among our most treasured assets.

Where there are no Antiochians, strive to be an Antiochian.

— Tim Klass, Alumni Board Nominating Committee chair, winter 1968 Record editor, class of 1971