RECAST | Accreditation Updates

From: McAvity, David <mcavityd@evergreen.edu>
Sent: Friday, December 11, 2020 12:28 PM

Dear Colleagues, 

I am writing with news regarding accreditation changes we have made through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). 

Distance Education – Earlier this fall we received notification from the NWCCU that, in order to continue offering remote instruction beyond December 31, 2020, we would need to be accredited to do so.  With that in mind, we recently submitted a substantive change application for authorization to provide distance education. Our application referenced our comprehensive New Academic Directions conceptual plan for a more strategic curriculum, as approved by the faculty and Board of Trustees last spring, which includes our intention to provide “integration across full-time, part-time, daytime, evening, weekend, and low-residency/online offerings”. 

We have since be notified that our application has been accepted, which is wonderful news. This means we are authorized to continue to provide remote instruction during the pandemic and may continue to do so afterwards.  To offer distance education after the pandemic we will need to develop a coherent distance education curriculum, approved by the academic deans, and provide appropriate training and support for faculty and staff engaged in that mode of curriculum delivery.In addition, all offices that provide direct student support services will need to continue to offer such services remotely, as they are currently doing. 

Lower Division Students for Tacoma and Native Pathways – Evergreen-Tacoma and the Native Pathways Program have been designated as upper-division programs since their launch.  Over the years they have received inquiries from potential students with fewer than 90 credits, requesting the opportunity to apply and be admitted.   In response, both Dawn Barron and Marcia Tate-Arunga have adapted their programs to include support for lower-division students and requested approval to admit them. I approved this request, and in late summer, we provided notification to NWCCU that we would be including lower-division students in both programs. With authorization secured from NWCCU, we have now welcomed over 20 lower-division students to these programs this fall.  We look forward to admitting more next year. This is a positive development for NPP and Evergreen-Tacoma, and for Evergreen as a whole. I’d like to thank Dawn and Marcia for their role in achieving this important milestone.  

Mid Cycle Review – Our mid-cycle accreditation report, which marks the third year of a seven-year accreditation cycle, is due in August 2021.  The purpose of this report is to serve as a formative evaluation so that the College can receive feedback to use in preparing our summative Year Seven Evaluation.  The mid-cycle review is composed of several components, including mission fulfillment, student achievement, programmatic assessment, initiatives currently underway, and responses to prior recommendations. You will hear more about this during the remainder of this academic year. I am pleased that Abir Biswas has agreed to lead completion of our mid-cycle report and preparation for the team visit that will follow. 

Please let me know if you have any questions. 

Best wishes, 

David 

David McAvity | he-him | Interim Provost and Vice President for Student & Academic Life | The Evergreen State College | 360.867.6400 

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