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Three Rivers College recently completed its reaffirmation of accreditation decennial review with the Higher Learning Commission and met all criteria with no concerns, scoring a 100 percent for the first time in the College’s history.

Regional accreditation validates the quality of Three Rivers as a whole. Multiple aspects of the College were evaluated, including its academic offerings, governance and administration, mission, strategic planning process, finances, and resources. This accreditation helps ensure that Three Rivers students will be able to transfer to other regionally-accredited colleges, universities, and professional schools.

“No one person can take credit for this achievement,” said Dr. Maribeth Payne, Dean of Institutional Effectiveness and Accreditation Liaison Officer for Three Rivers. “Everyone—from maintenance to student services to the president’s office—had to come together to make this happen.” Payne added that the preparation for this accreditation review was a self-study for the College. “The self-study helped us to align our processes, practices, and policies with the criteria for accreditation and was transformational for the College,” said Payne.

The decennial review process included a peer group of experts in their fields visiting the College and monitoring how it was meeting the standards of a quality institution of higher education. According to the Higher Learning Comission, the five criteria are: mission; integrity—ethical and responsible conduct; teaching and learning—quality, resources, and support; teaching and learning—evaluation and improvement; and resources, planning, and institutional effectiveness.

The review included a report from the College containing more than 1,000 evidentiary documents. Chief Academic Officer Dr. Justin Hoggard, along with a large group of individuals, worked to collect the documents supporting the College’s argument for having met the criteria. “This team effort was all part of careful preparation and planning, which paid off,” said Hoggard. “I feel fortunate to work alongside so many people who care about our institution and continue to make Three Rivers exceptional,” he said.

“This gold seal of approval from our regional accreditor confirms that the initiatives in our strategic plan are working,” said Payne. Next fall the College will begin pulling data together and looking at its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats for the next five years. “The foundation we have put into place will ensure the College continues to improve, grow, and meet the evolving needs of our students,” said Payne.

Three Rivers College inspires, prepares, and empowers students to succeed through open access to high-quality learning opportunities that meet the needs of the communities we serve. For more information about college and workforce programs and upcoming events, visit

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2080 Three Rivers Blvd., Poplar Bluff, MO 63901
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