Posted by: Luther Rice College & Seminary | July 30, 2014

Office of Institutional Effectiveness Heads Effort for Additional Accreditation

By Jeff McCann, Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness

mccann and shirley

Mrs. Sally Shirley, Administrative Assistant for IE & Dr. Jeff McCann

The Office of Institutional Effectiveness (OIE) has become increasingly important to college, university, and seminary education. In most cases, the OIE is not very visible; yet, it plays a crucial role in the life of its educational institution by collecting and disseminating data to key stakeholders for decision-making. In an era of accountability, this function has become of increasing strategic importance to institutions of higher education. The OIE at Luther Rice University (LRU) has been extremely busy over the past year, focusing on projects that directly affect students and alumni.

One major accomplishment from this past year has been the awarding of initial accreditation by the Association of Biblical Higher Education (ABHE). The ABHE accredits undergraduate and graduate programs and is an U.S. Department of Education and Council for Higher Education Accredidation (CHEA) approved accrediting agency. LRU prepared and submitted a comprehensive self-study document and hosted an evaluation team on October 21-23, 2013. The ABHE Commission on Accreditation granted initial accreditation on February 19, 2014.

A second major initiative has been to attain approval from all states to offer online courses. Approval from each state is a new regulation from the U.S. Department of Education. All 50 states plus the District of Columbia have been contacted to determine the requirements, and Luther Rice has met all the requirements for 49 states, as well as the District of Columbia.

Recently, the OIE submitted a substantive change request for approval of the new degree Master of Arts in Ministry to the states of Georgia and Florida, in addition to two accrediting agencies. Our goal is to make the new degree available in the fall of 2014.

Much of our efforts this year have been to develop a process of measuring student learning. All of our syllabi undergo evaluation as part of the process. Two faculty teams met recently to analyze student performance in courses and on assignments during the spring semester, and to develop a report that analyzes student learning.

Other annual activities include the submission of IPEDS reports, the preparation of accreditation agency annual reports, and the administration of approximately 30-40 annual assessments. During each summer, an assessment report is completed. Failure to complete these projects could affect the institution’s ability to offer financial aid for students, as these activities demonstrate transparency and accountability.

All of these efforts have, as their purpose, to demonstrate that Luther Rice, as an institution of higher learning, is fulfilling its mission and purpose, as well as delivering a quality product.



  1. Dr. McCann and Mrs. Shirley are to be congratulated for all that they have done to add value to a Luther Rice education. They may be behind the scenes, but they are very much at the forefront of so much that is getting done to ensure our students get a well-respected and widely recognized degree. Thanks, guys!

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