Dr. Valerie Wilson to Serve as Peer REviewer
Southern Arkansas University Tech is proud to announce the selection of Dr. Valerie Wilson to the Higher Learning Commission's Peer Reviewer Team or Peer Corps. The Higher Learning Commission is the accrediting body for many colleges and universities, including SAU Tech. As vice chancellor for academics and planning, Dr. Wilson is responsible for the accreditation process at the College. She took over the role when Dr. Diane Betts retired several years ago. In 2021, the College had its on-campus accreditation visit from HLC, the first in many years and the first under Dr. Wilson. Dr. Jason Morrison is an HLC reviewer, and he suggested to Dr. Wilson that it was a good idea that she get involved as well.
Dr. Wilson stated that "When Dr. Morrison came to SAU Tech, one of the first things he asked me to do was become a Higher Learning Commission (HLC) peer reviewer. At that time, I had just become the Vice Chancellor for Academics and had only been SAU Tech's HLC accreditation liaison officer (ALO) for six months. I could not see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel so that I could take on that additional task, so I waited. My first reaffirmation of accreditation visit since becoming ALO went well. Now I believe I am in a place where I can use the role of peer reviewer to add value to SAU Tech's accreditation and assessment. I am honored that I have been chosen to serve in this capacity for the Higher Learning Commission and am looking forward to the learning opportunities that I will be able to use for SAU Tech, which I love so much! I extend my gratitude to Dr. Morrison for the encouragement and support."
Members of the Peer Corps serve as agents of HLC in its evaluation and decision-making processes. Peer reviewers may conduct multiple types of reviews, ranging from evaluations that involve teams of reviewers visiting the institution in-person to online panels evaluating institutional reports or other materials. In addition, peer reviewers may serve as members of HLC decision-making bodies. Further, they may be invited to serve as speakers, trainers, and mentors for HLC programs or as members of HLC task forces and advisory teams. (https://www.hlcommission.org/Peer-Review/responsibilities.html)
Dr. Wilson applied to be a peer reviewer and received notification of her acceptance in the spring of this year. She will attend a training in May 2022 in Illinois as part of her new role.