Trustee Phil Barrett (left) and evaluation team leader Ryan Thomas of Weber State University share a laugh during the welcome event for the Oct. 3-5, 2012, accreditation evaluation visit. More photos
Shoreline Community College does a terrific job in many
areas and has opportunities for improvement in others, according to an initial
verbal report from a team of accreditation evaluators.
Community College concluded a full-scale accreditation visit from the Northwest
Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) and I am very pleased that the
visit was a success,” Shoreline President Lee Lambert said on Friday, Oct. 5,
2012. “Although the final verdict from today's visit will not be official until
the early part of the new year, I am confident the college demonstrated a
commitment to excellence in teaching and learning and a willingness to continue
improving its efforts toward mission fulfillment.”
The evaluators were impressed at how well the college stayed
focused on students despite severe reductions in state funding over recent
years. The strong spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship by the workforce
programs, generally referred to as professional-technical programs, was also
called out as a strength that led to significant community engagement and
economic development. The evaluators lauded the physical campus, its upkeep and
the environment it presents for learning.
The overall financial health and stewardship of the college
was also commended. Shoreline recently adopted a set of reserve policies
designed help sustain the college despite uncertain economic conditions. The Board
of Trustees’ focus on planning for the future was notable, the evaluators said.
And, Shoreline was commended for the actual report submitted the Northwest
Commission on Colleges and Universities and reviewed by the evaluators.
“The evaluators also saw areas where we can improve,”
Lambert said. “That’s OK; we are always working hard to get better and we
welcome their perspective.”
Among those areas was better alignment of budget planning
with the college’s foundational values called core themes. In the same vein, they
saw that assessments of student performance could have a stronger tie to
planning. The evaluators also saw the impacts that state budget cuts have had
to some areas such as student services. And, while the evaluators said they
liked the comprehensive report prepared by the college, they also suggested a review
of the indicators used in the report.
“The level of
preparation and involvement across campus from our faculty, staff,
administrators, students, partners and Board of Trustees was unparalleled,”
Lambert said. “I am so very proud to be the President of Shoreline Community
College, an institution where individuals care deeply about one another. This
was never more evident than in the past three days.”
The Oct. 3-5 visit was led Ryan Thomas, Associate Provost
and Dean of Undergraduate Studies at Weber State University. Thomas and eight
other educators from across the Northwest spread out across the campus to
conduct 52 separate meetings with a variety of groups and individuals.
At the Friday morning exit meeting, Thomas delivered a verbal
report only and said a written version would be coming in a week to 10 days.
“This team has done a lot of work and we would like to make
sure this initial report is as we intended it,” Thomas told a large group of
Shoreline employees gathered in the Quiet Dining room to hear the results.
Thomas said the college would then have time to review the document and offer
corrections to anything that could be considered a factual change. After that,
the document is sent to the NWCCU for review. President Lambert will have an
opportunity to speak with the Commissioners during January and the final announcement
on accreditation would likely come before the end of February, 2013, Thomas
Other members of the visiting evaluation team were:
Kristen A. Jones, Vice President of Instruction and Student
Services at Flathead Valley Community College; Janice Alexander, Faculty Senate
Vice President, Flathead Valley Community College; Karin Hilgersom, Vice
President for Instruction, Central Oregon Community College; Elizabeth Hogeland,
Executive Vice President, Academic Affairs and Workforce Development, Linn-Benton
Community College; Jim Eustrom, Executive Dean, Student Development and
Learning Resources, Chemeketa Community College; Laura Wight, Director of
eLearning & Library Services, Montana State University, Randy R. Griffin, Dean
of Administrative Services, Treasure Valley Community College; Pamela Goad, Vice
President, Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
“We started the three-day visit ready and it showed,”
President Lambert said. At the exit meeting, Lambert lauded the efforts of many
across the campus and noted the leadership provided by Humanities Dean Norma
Goldstein, who headed up the Accreditation Coordinating Team. “From the moment
the nine-member accreditation team set foot on campus to the concluding
comments in this morning's exit meeting, the campus demonstrated its commitment
to teaching and learning.”