Reaccreditation report applauds college
After two years of preparation, volumes of written reports, and three days of on-site evaluation by peer experts, Western Nevada College has received the report that will be used by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities in making a decision about renewal of its accreditation.
The report includes a number of commendations and some recommendations, and must still be approved in July by the commission.
WNC was commended for its active commitment to student success; its collaborative administration, faculty and staff during tough economic times; excellent library support for students; and its collective efforts to preserve academic programs and student services during severe budget reductions.
Recommendations were made that centered primarily on budgetary matters and enhancing assessment processes. The committee expressed concern about the continuing budget reductions of the past several years and recommended that as soon as possible, full-time faculty members be hired to oversee some academic program areas that are currently dependent upon part-time instructors.
The team also completed the first evaluation of the college's new Bachelor's of Technology degree in Construction Management and determined that students have been able to move seamlessly from the two-year associate degree program into the four-year program. They noted that the first graduates of the program have been successful in finding employment in the field or in pursuing additional education.
Evaluators spoke with students and community members as well as college employees, and studied college processes for everything from scheduling online classes to equipment purchasing and building maintenance.
The evaluators also commended "the college administration, including its Board of Regents, for developing an inclusive, transparent and open system of governance where students, campus employees and community members have an opportunity to openly express their opinions and offer suggestions that are fully considered by the administration."
"I am very proud of all our college community," WNC President Carol Lucey said. "Our students benefited from the shared sacrifice. Everyone worked hard and held together through rough times." She said the accreditation appears to have been very successful, a welcome result to "a long and challenging year for all of us.
"This is a college of hardworking, wonderful people who were able to turn times of great challenges into proud accomplishments," Lucey said.
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