CURTIS, Neb. — When making a decision about which college to attend, parents and students are encouraged to consider the quality of the academic programs offered at various institutions.
Accreditation is one tool used by the federal government to give students and their family confidence in the quality of education offered at colleges and universities. The College Scorecard is another consumer protection system offered by the federal government to help citizens make college selection decisions.
The Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis has a proven track record of offering its students high-quality academic programs which are verified by a nationally-recognized accrediting entity, the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. NCTA has been accredited through HLC since 2003.
As a part of the University of Nebraska system, NCTA provides associate degrees, certifications and unique workforce development skills for individuals pursuing careers in agriculture and veterinary technology.
Accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is a way of providing assurance to the public that all major components of a student’s experience at NCTA meets national quality standards.
Faculty and staff at NCTA take pride in our college’s accreditation by federally-recognized entities and our team continually strives to meet and or exceed high academic standards.
To maintain accreditation, NCTA is evaluated by an external review team every four years. That review includes a visit to campus during which the review team conducts an exhaustive evaluation of the details of NCTA’s operations.
NCTA was last reviewed in March 2016. The college received high praise from the accrediting agency after that evaluation. Our next site visit occurs in February 2020. The college has been preparing for that review for more than a year.
The team will review the institution’s ongoing ability to meet the Commission’s “Criteria for Accreditation.”
Eric Reed, chair of the NCTA General Education division, is coordinating this process for the college.
His work this year has included documenting and reporting NCTA policies, programs, faculty qualifications and student achievements. All reports and assessments are carefully organized and recorded on the HLC website.
Many of the reports are submitted electronically after extensive research, documentation, and writing by lead faculty members from each division – general education, agronomy and agricultural mechanics, animal science and agricultural education, and veterinary technology.
Mary Rittenhouse, chair of agribusiness management systems, and then Professor Reed have been coordinating the HLC re-accreditation process since 2017.
The public is involved in this process as well, through stakeholder and departmental advisory meetings.
The public can also submit comments about NCTA’s accreditation through letters mailed to the Higher Learning Commission or electronically to the HLC web site at www.ncahlc.org. A formal third-party comment period begins in August.
Watch for this opportunity for input at the college’s web site, ncta.unl.edu, as well as notices posted through news releases and other venues.
Some academic programs in the Veterinary Technology Division are reviewed and accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association. These programs have been accredited for over 45 years, since the early 1970s.
The Aggie Alumni Association will meet June 22 in Broken Bow for an annual meeting and banquet. I hope to see some of you there!
— Ron Rosati, Ph.D., dean of Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture
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