LINCOLN, Neb. — The exhaustive reaccreditation process is winding to a close as University of Nebraska-Lincoln officials put the finishing touches on a report to the accrediting body.

The 100-page report will detail the university’s progress in five criteria areas, including instructional quality, the Lincoln Journal Star reports ( ). The report will be submitted before a nine-member team from the Higher Learning Commission visits the campus Oct. 24-25. The commission oversees the accreditation of colleges and universities in 19 states, including Nebraska and Iowa.

“We’ve tried to document the strengths of our programs, demonstrate that we have continued commitment to educational improvement and to enhance our understanding of our effectiveness as an institution,” Associate Dean of Graduate Studies Laurie Bellows told a forum of faculty, staff and students last week.

The university expects to highlight its enrollment growth as well as plans to close student achievement and graduation gaps, Bellows said. The report also will show the university commitment to campus diversity through initiatives such as the Jackie Gaughan Multicultural Center, which opened in 2010.

Accreditation’s goal is to ensure the education provided by institutions of higher education meets certain levels of quality, said university spokesman Steve Smith. On a practical basis, it’s important to the university and students because the federal government won’t provide financial aid unless an educational institution is accredited.

At the university’s last accreditation renewal in 2006, Bellows said, the external review team criticized the lack of campus support for technology.

Since then, the university has bolstered technology infrastructure as it renovated classrooms and research labs.

“We have come so far since 2006 with our technology, so that’s something to celebrate,” Bellows said.

Information from: Lincoln Journal Star,