Students met with and answered questions from representatives of the Northwest Commission on College and Universities Thursday in the Wilkinson Center.
The student meeting was the final of three meetings the commission conducted with faculty, staff and students of the university. Five evaluators were sent from the commission to BYU, and three of the evaluators attended the student meeting.
The evaluators explained that an institution becoming accredited is basically a quality stamp that signifies progress and improving student learning. While accreditation committees do not dictate guidelines for an institution to follow, accreditation is mandated by the U.S. Secretary of Education and allows students to transfer credits, apply for the FAFSA and other federal grants.
Many students from a number of different majors attended the event. The evaluators expressed surprise at the number of students in attendance and said it is usually a challenge for the institutions they visit to find students to participate.
Collette Wilcox, a therapeutic recreation major from Winton, Calif., explained why she attended.
“I heard about it online and thought it sounded interesting,” Wilcox simply said.
The three delegates’ questions to students concerned issues such as access to advisement services, availability of classes, ability to graduate on time, research opportunities for undergraduates, learning outcomes, appeals processes, transfer services, the hiring freeze and the institution’s themes and aims.
“It was interesting to hear the questions they had and the replies from the students,” said Tatiana Leavitt, a sociology major from San Diego, Calif.
Angela Henderson, an art education major, said the meeting wasn’t what she expected.
“I really enjoyed it,” Henderson said. “It helped me recognize how great BYU is.”