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New Notations

At its February 2014 meeting, the Board of Commissioners (“Board”) approved a revised set of notations that are aligned with the General Institutional Standards, Educational Standard, and Degree Program Standards. The new notations will go into effect June 1, 2014. Notations imposed by the Board through February 2014 will remain in effect through June 1, 2017, or until they are removed as provided by the Commission Procedures.

The Board of Commissioners shall impose one or more of the following notations when it judges that an institution insufficiently meets an accrediting standard or judges that principles contained in an accrediting standard are not being adequately translated into practice (see Commission Procedures VII.E). The Board views a notation as a notice or warning that a school partially meets an accrediting standard, but it does not fully meet the standard until appropriate action is taken in a timely manner, normally not to exceed two years (see Commission Procedures VII.E.3). An institution may submit evidence sooner than two years, or it may request for good cause an extension of up to one year beyond the original two years, subject to Board approval. If evidence is not provided within the timeframe specified by the Board that the concern has been adequately addressed, the Board shall take an adverse action by withdrawing accreditation, an action which is appealable (see Commission Procedures XI).

Notation 1 on Standard 1: Purpose, Planning, and Evaluation
N1.a
The institutional statement of purpose is inadequately articulated or implemented.
N1.b The institution’s planning processes are insufficient or ineffective.
N1.c The institution does not demonstrate appropriate or adequate institutional evaluation and improvement.

Notation 2 on Standard 2: Institutional Integrity
N2.a The institution’s policies or practices do not adequately ensure that personnel are treated ethically.
N2.b The institution does not adequately demonstrate, in light of its own purpose statement, that it seeks to enhance the participation of women and/or minorities in its institutional life or its educational programs, and there is no evidence of a credible plan or its implementation to address this issue in a timely and effective manner.
N2.c The institution has not provided data or information to the board as required by the standards. (NOTE: Failure to submit the ATS Annual Report Forms [ARF] by the deadline is one cause for imposing this notation. In such cases, the notation is removed when Commission staff are notified that the ARF has been submitted.)
N2.d The institution has not met one or more of the mandatory requirements regarding integrity listed in the standards or procedures.

Notation 3 on Standard 3: The Theological Curriculum
N3.a The institution does not have or adequately implement policies regarding the freedom of inquiry necessary for learning, teaching, and research.
N3.b The institution’s practices inadequately or ineffectively encourage the quality of learning, teaching, and research, including the importance of global engagement in theological education, and there is no evidence of a credible plan or its implementation to address this issue in a timely and effective manner.

Notation 4 on Standard 4: Library and Information Resources
N4.a The library’s assessment efforts do not adequately demonstrate that its physical or electronic resources (collections, facilities, or technology) or its services to patrons adequately support the institution’s educational offerings, and there is no evidence of a credible plan or its implementation to address this issue in a timely and effective manner.
N4.b The institution has not adequately demonstrated that the library’s personnel or financial resources provide appropriate support to the institution’s educational offerings, and there is no evidence of a credible plan or its implementation to address this issue in a timely and effective manner.

Notation 5 on Standard 5: Faculty
N5.a The faculty does not possess appropriate credentials for graduate theological education and there is no evidence of a credible plan or its implementation to address this issue in a timely and effective manner.
N5.b The institution does not appropriately resource, support, retain, or evaluate faculty, including provision of sufficient time to teach and research, or engage them adequately in the institution’s planning and shared governance, and there is no evidence of a credible plan or its implementation to address this issue in a timely and effective manner.
N5.c The faculty is not adequately engaged in the assessment of student learning or does not make meaningful use of assessment results to improve academic programs and student learning, and there is no evidence of a credible plan or its implementation to address this issue in a timely and effective manner.

Notation 6 on Standard 6: Students
N6.a The institution has not adequately demonstrated that its recruitment and admissions policies, practices, or publications meet this standard.
N6.b The institution has not met one or more of the mandatory requirements regarding students listed in the standards or procedures.

Notation 7 on Standard 7: Authority and Governance
N7.a The institution does not adequately or appropriately define, exercise, or implement the roles, responsibilities, and structures of authority and governance.
N7.b The governing board does not require ongoing institutional evaluation and planning or evaluation of its own performance as a board.

Notation 8 on Standard 8: Institutional Resources
N8.a The institution has not demonstrated that its human, physical, or technological resources are adequate or adequately evaluated, and there is no evidence of a credible plan or its implementation to address this issue in a timely and effective manner.
N8.b The institution’s financial resources are not adequate for long-term institutional vitality and there is no credible plan to address this issue in a timely and effective manner.
N8.c Significant deficiencies have been noted in the institution’s internal financial and reporting systems and/or internal controls, and the institution’s response to these deficiencies does not appear to be sufficiently effective or appropriately timely.

Notation 9 on Educational and Degree Program Standards
N9.a The institution offers one or more degree programs that do not conform to the expectations of these standards or the Commission’s Procedures.
N9.b The institution’s extension education or distance education offerings do not meet the expectation set forth in these standards.
N9.c The institution has not demonstrated the extent to which its students have met the learning outcomes appropriate for each degree program it offers or that its assessment efforts have led to improvement and there is no evidence of a credible plan or its implementation to address this issue in a timely and effective manner.
N9.d The institution does not make available to the public on a regular basis a summary of the evaluation of the educational effectiveness of its approved degree programs.