Left to Right: Tito Aznar, Dean Sarah Green, Dillon Schoenhals, Dean Amber Glass, Laura Leiter, Brent Shoulders, Dr. Patrick Maille, and Provost Dr. Julie Dinger.

Sep 20, 2021

Panhandle State Communications

Panhandle State Recognized For Higher Learning Commission Award

Oklahoma Panhandle State University was awarded recognition after completing the Persistence and Completion Academy for the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) this past spring. The eight-person team consisted of members of the Executive team, Faculty, and Staff. The members included: Tito Aznar, Dean Sarah Green, Dillon Schoenhals, Dean Amber Glass, Laura Leiter, Brent Shoulders, Dr. Patrick Maille, and Provost Dr. Julie Dinger.

University President, Dr. Tim Faltyn commented, “I am proud of this team and how hard they worked to not only complete the Academy, but also how dedicated they were to showing how great Panhandle State University really is.”

HLC’s Persistence and Completion Academy provides participating institutions a structured, mentor-facilitated, four-year program aimed at evaluating and improving student persistence and completion rates. The Academy work included four detailed areas: data collection, community buy-in to data; data dissemination; and using data to further student success and improving student persistence and completion. OPSU successfully completed the Academy, and was a highlighted project during the Higher Learning Commission Annual Conference in spring 2021.

Assessment Coordinator and Project Lead, Laura Leiter said, “It is an honor to have received an award for the hard work that was put in from all of campus. We have grown immensely in the ways we gather, use, and disseminate data across shareholders. This project spurred new initiatives for helping and supporting students that we are grateful to this project for highlighting.”

Dean of Student Services, Amber Glass commented, “The work we were able to complete shows the dedication OPSU has to their students. We were able to help show what we already thought to be true; our students are some of the best and brightest.”

OPSU Provost, Dr. Julie Dinger stated, “We were honored to be selected into the program as an institution for the Persistence and Competition Academy in 2015. During our time in the Academy, we were provided the opportunity and pathway to demonstrate our shared commitment to student success. We appreciate HLC staff members, Academy Mentors, and content experts who helped shape our Academy project.”

The OPSU Persistence and Completion Academy project has led to new functions and groups on campus including the Persistence and Completion Committee, comprised of leaders from across campus who review data on initiatives and efforts to improve student success.

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