VU in spotlight as host of Council on Accreditation for Two-Year Colleges Fall Conference

VU in spotlight as host of Council on Accreditation for Two-Year Colleges Fall Conference

Vincennes University Logo

November 01, 2022

November 1, 2022

INDIANAPOLIS - Vincennes University’s distinguished faculty and staff were in the spotlight at the Council on Accreditation for Two-Year Colleges (CATYC) Fall 2022 Conference. They highlighted the University’s efforts to enhance diversity and inclusion, drive student success, meet Indiana’s workforce needs, and engage students after COVID distancing at the three-day conference in downtown Indianapolis.

As CATYC President, VU President Dr. Chuck Johnson recently hosted the conference, with its theme of “Shifting Gears in Higher Education.”

Dr. Chuck Johnson, right, with Dr. Bruce Moses

According to Johnson, “Many of the challenges faced by higher education institutions during the pandemic were not so much new challenges, but ones that we all suddenly had to deal with at hyper speed. And the pandemic has arguably tested America’s two-year colleges more than any other sector. Recognizing the uniqueness of our institutions’ missions and circumstances, CATYC is a place where our commonalities can be shared, celebrated, and where we can help each other tackle the pressing issues we all face.”

CATYC is the only organization dedicated to serving the accreditation and quality needs of two-year colleges located in the United States. Created in 1937, CATYC, is a 19-state organization of community college members focused on two-year education and accreditation standards, practices and policies. Fifty-five participants from 14 of the 19-state region attended interactive sessions focused on various challenges and issues facing colleges, including assessment of learning, student engagement and success, aligning K-12 and higher education, developing leadership teams, and workforce development. 

According to Dr. Barbara Jones, Executive Director of CATYC, "Community and junior colleges face unique challenges related to their missions as open enrollment institutions and CATYC is a place where leaders from similar institutions can come together, learn, share, and collaborate to address those challenges. As a member-driven organization, CATYC is focused on two-year education and accreditation standards, practices, and policies and serves as a resource and as an advocate for our institutions.”

Several VU faculty and staff were among the presenters, including Education Chair Ann Herman; English as an Additional Language Program Chair Emily Yetka; Director of Learning Support Services Danny Ralston; VU Jasper Assistant Vice President and Dean Christian Blome; VU Jasper Center for Technology, Innovation and Manufacturing Director Jacob Berg, and Assistant Provost for Student Affairs Whitney Daugherty.

Herman and Yetka highlighted the collaboration of the Education and English as an Additional Language programs to create a cultural immersion program that pairs Education majors and EAL students together.

Ralston shined the spotlight on how data is driving decision-making for VU’s learning support services. He also detailed the University’s implementation of the free studying app, CircleIn.

Christian Blome, left, and Jacob Berg

Blome and Berg showcased how VU Jasper and its partnerships with industry serve as a model for Indiana in workforce and education alignment. They shared details on how the campus is aligning K-12 systems and post-secondary programs to meet workforce needs in Southern Indiana. 

Daugherty shared the numerous efforts VU has taken to engage students after COVID distancing, which includes a greater focus on mental health. 

Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education Chris Lowery was the conference’s keynote speaker. Lowery discussed how the Indiana Commission for Higher Education is addressing the drop in the college-going rate among Hoosiers, and the vital role junior and community colleges play in higher education.

“The past two years illustrated that higher education can adapt to meet the needs of all learners,” Lowery said. “There are 2 million-working age adults in Indiana without a degree or credential. To reach that population, flexible degree programs must be available, and two-year institutions such as Vincennes University fill that critical need.”

VU also hosted a reception for conference attendees at the University’s Aviation Technology Center (ATC) near the Indianapolis International Airport.

Conference participants toured VU's Aviation Technology Center and the site's aircraft

The 2022 Fall Conference concluded with Dr. Bruce Moses, President of Allen County Community College in Kansas, taking over as CATYC President from Johnson. 

On behalf of the CATYC membership, Moses thanked Johnson for his service as president and presented him with a plaque.

The 2023 CATYC conference will be held October 1-3 in Phoenix, Arizona. For more information about CATYC’s annual conference or to join CATYC, visit https://catyc.com/.

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