Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Accreditation - an on-going process

Just as we expect our students to meet certain requirements to graduate, MVCC must meet certain requirements to remain accredited. We are accredited by the Middle States Association (http://www.msche.org/) - a status that allows our students to receive federal financial aid, transfer credits to other colleges, take their degrees to employers to get jobs, and benefit from federal grants that we would not otherwise be able to access. The process of accreditation is a tremendous opportunity for institutional self-reflection and growth.

This week is the culmination of two years of study, with more than 100 faculty and staff participating on various committees studying every aspect of the College's operation. Through the recent workshops, all full-time employees should be familiar with our self-study process but it's worth highlighting a bit here on my blog.

With an evaluation team of eight members from other community colleges on campus for three days this week, we are in the next to final phase of our self-study. We've gone through preparing for the self-study, organizing for the self-study, conducting the self-study, discussing the results, submitting our self-study, and then preparing for the visit taking place this week. Having been heavily involved in self-study accreditation processes at two other community colleges, I feel very fortunate to have joined MVCC at the tail-end of this extensive process. I also have great appreciation for the tremendous efforts on the part of so many who have done such a fantastic job in every phase of the self-study.

However, the final chapters of the best self-study efforts always remain unwritten until well after the evaluation team has come and gone. The final chapter is what do we do with the results of the self-study and the recommendations of the team. Keeping these recommendations in front of us to guide our priorities and future work not only makes the past two years of self study worthwhile, but sets us up for success five years from now when we have our periodic review and eight years from now when we launch a new cycle for self-study. It's a great feeling to think this cycle is done, but it's important to remember the cycle of continuous improvement never ends. For more information on our self-study process, visit the following link - http://www.mvcc.edu/selfstudy/.

If you have any comments about our self study, please let me know at presblog@mvcc.edu.