North Central Association continues accreditation and affirms mission of Goshen College

GOSHEN, Ind. – Goshen College has received a letter of formal notification of continued accreditation by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association (NCA). The next comprehensive evaluation is scheduled for 2015.

The NCA review team, that visited the Goshen College campus in March 2005, was very positive in its report. The team noted that “Goshen College has a very clear sense of its mission in relation to the Mennonite Church – preparing students to seek Christ-centered, global roles … The campus has well-maintained facilities. It has a history … of sustaining annual giving. It is implementing plans that should enable it to bring enrollment in line with capacity.”

The review team also noted that the “core value ‘Passionate Learner’ is manifest in a broad and solid program of general education, which represents the institution’s commitment to the exercise of intellectual inquiry; the value is widely shared by the board, faculty and students.”

In conclusion, the report said, “Clearly, the college is serving its mission and is well poised to meet the challenges of the next ten years.”

Interim President John Yordy said, “We congratulate both current and former Goshen College faculty, staff and administrators for building and enhancing an educational institution of quality which can clearly demonstrate and document achievement of its mission, faith tradition and core values.”

The review team did mention the need to expand efforts at attracting an ethnically more diverse student body and increasing enrollment. In response, Yordy said, “We will continue to address these issues through action steps already outlined in our new strategic plan.”

Goshen College celebrated initial accreditation in 1941 with a student-led parade through the streets of Goshen following the College’s first self-study and application to the North Central Association. Since then, Goshen College has maintained full accreditation.

Preparing for the spring 2005 NCA accreditation team visit, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Academic Dean Anita Stalter convened a self-study group in 2002-03. Duane Kauffman, professor of psychology and director of institutional research for Goshen College, coordinated the self-study report. Set in the context of recent Goshen College history, this comprehensive report served as a summary of an extensive process of self-study demonstrating that the college meets the NCA accreditation criteria. It also serves as a record of a rigorous self-evaluation following a period of comprehensive review of the college’s identity, mission, values, personnel and student and financial resources. To read the full self-study, visit

Other members of the on-campus NCA Advisory Committee included Professor of English and Director of Women’s Studies Beth Martin Birky, Associate Professor of Nursing and Director of the Nursing Program Vicky Kirkton, Professor of Mathematics Ron Milne, Executive Director of the Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center and Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee Luke Gascho and Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students Bill Born. Many faculty and staff also supported this effort.

The Higher Learning Commission can be contacted by calling (800) 621-7440, or visiting their website at

Editors: For more information about this release, to arrange an interview or request a photo, contact Goshen College News Bureau Director Jodi H. Beyeler at (574) 535-7572 or


Goshen College, established in 1894, is a four-year residential Christian liberal arts college rooted in the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition. The college’s Christ-centered core values – passionate learning, global citizenship, compassionate peacemaking and servant-leadership – prepare students as leaders for the church and world. Recognized for its unique Study-Service Term program, Goshen has earned citations of excellence in Barron’s Best Buys in Education, “Colleges of Distinction,” “Making a Difference College Guide” and U.S.News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” edition, which named Goshen a “least debt college.” Visit