Antioch wins accreditation, prepares for new president

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

Antioch wins accreditation, prepares for new president

Meagan Pant

Dayton Daily News, Ohio

YELLOW SPRINGS -- Antioch University Midwest will start 2014 with a new president to lead the campus, a new online program to serve students and newly won re-accreditation that will carry the school through the next 10 years.

The focus will be on offering affordable, high-quality degree programs that are more accessible to more adults in the area, said Chancellor Felice Nudelman, who joined Antioch in July 2012 from The New York Times Company where she worked as executive director of education.

And with the new Antioch University Connected online program, the university offers an assurance that they will meet those goals with a pledge that students can finish their bachelor's degree for under $15,000.

"We're making making the highest quality program and we're making it affordable," Nudelman said.

Antioch Connected will launch with its first class in March. Students can apply as many as 60 credits from community college or another institution and from credit they can get for what they have learned in their careers through prior learning assessments.

"We're excited about it because it allows us to be as innovative online as we are on our campuses," Nudelman said, referencing the five campuses Antioch has nationwide.


New president Karen Schuster Webb will help carry out Nudelman's "roadmap" for Antioch at the Yellow Springs campus when she begins Jan. 1. Webb has been on campus since November as provost and vice president of academic affairs under retiring president Ellen Hall.

Webb comes to Antioch from Alliant International University, where she had worked since 2000 at the private nonprofit that has campuses in California and in Hong Kong, Mexico City and Tokyo.

Hall said the time is right for her to step down, after serving the university for three years as they searched for a new leader.

"I'm very proud of the progress we've made," Hall said.

Webb said the Yellow Springs campus will set goals under her leadership.

"And one that I hope will come to fruition is that we become the destination for higher education of those who are seeking to transform their lives to better prepare for the global market of the 21st century," Webb said.

"The challenge is to look at what today's adult learner needs. To know that the economics of the times and the opportunities of the times are changing and have changed," Webb said. "So we're looking at a potential students who is very concerned that the skill set they receive will match their ability to enter the marketplace and be valued."

Antioch meets that challenge, she said, by offering classes on nights and weekends year-round, by forming partnerships that provide students opportunities to get real-world experience and through other efforts.


Antioch's accreditation comes from the Higher Learning Commission and covers all of its five campuses, which together serve about 5,000 adults students. The other campuses are in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Calif., Keene, N.H., and Seattle.

The university, which is separate from Antioch College also in Yellow Springs, has been continuously accredited since 1927.

That accreditation is important because it is required for students to be eligible for federal financial aid. The university underwent a three-year review process to win re-accreditation.

"It assures the public... that this institutions meets certain federal, national and regional standards. That you know that it is a viable institutions financially. It has certain core things in place that ensure that students will learn at the highest level possible. It is a healthy and good institutions," Nudelman said.

The university was noted for offering "one of the most candid" self-reviews the commissions has seen, according to comments from the review group.

"Antioch University has demonstrated its capacity to continue to offer a high-quality higher education," the review team noted. "It has moved aggressively to address its challenges and to stabilize the university going forward economically, as well as to continue its tradition of innovation and service to the development of communities through its experiential education model.

"Recent years have produced a stronger fiscal position, a new and experienced leadership team, re-energized boards of governors and trustees, and a centralization of many key functions that are designed to produce both efficiencies and a more unified university."


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