Gateway Community College (GCC) is pleased to announce that, after a comprehensive self-study and extensive evaluation by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education has continued the college’s accreditation.—Dec. 2016 [Read more]
WHAT IS ACCREDITATION?
Accreditation is a status granted to an educational institution found to meet or exceed explicit criteria of educational quality.
HOW DOES A COLLEGE BECOME ACCREDITED?
NEASC’s Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE), the accrediting body for New England’s 243 colleges and universities, expects that an institution’s self-study report confirms that it:
has clearly defined purposes appropriate to an institution of higher learning;
has assembled and organized those resources necessary to achieve its purposes;
is achieving its purposes; has the ability to continue to achieve its purpose.
Ten teams of more than 90 administrators, staff, faculty, and students collaborated on GCC’s 2016 self-study report. The report is a comprehensive, rigorous examination measuring and verifying Gateway Community College’s achievements while identifying ways in which the college’s goals and objectives can be improved. Segmented into eleven chapters, the self-study addresses particular dimensions of GCC’s overall institutional quality to assure the academic community, the public, and interested government agencies that the College is indeed an effective institution worthy of accreditation status.
Each team thoroughly researched, thoughtfully considered, drafted, documented, revised, and edited multiple iterations of its chapter for the College’s 100 page self-study report which is accompanied by evidence-based data. The eleven chapters addressed:
1: Mission and Purposes
2: Planning and Evaluation
3: Organization and Governance
4: The Academic Program
7: Library and Other Information Resources
8: Physical and Technological Resources
9: Financial Resources
10: Public Disclosure
The accreditation process in New England has three distinct components: Self Study, Evaluation, Review and Action. Through this assessment process, the Commission encourages and assists in the improvement, effectiveness and excellence of affiliated educational institutions.
Gateway Community College submitted the 2016 Self-Study and accompanying data, under Dr. Kendrick’s signature, to the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education in December 2015. The self-study report serves as a basis for evaluation when a team of peer-evaluators, made up of administrators and faculty from other accredited colleges and universities, visits the college to assess the institution in light of the self-study against the Standards for Accreditation.
The Visiting Team summarized its findings and conclusions in a written report addressing the institution’s success in fulfilling its purposes. The Visiting Team made recommendations regarding ways in which that success may be enhanced. The Visiting Team also submitted a confidential report to CIHE that will determine if, and for how long, Gateway Community College should be re-accredited.
REVIEW AND ACTION
The Commission on Institutions of Higher Education reviewed the self-study, the team report, and any response the institution makes to the team’s findings. The Commission also met with the College’s chief executive officer and team chair, seeking third-party comment regarding the institution. With this information, the Commission took action on each institution’s accreditation status and specifies areas where the institution should seek to improve its effectiveness.
WHY IS ACCREDITATION IMPORTANT TO GCC?
The faculty and staff at Gateway Community College are committed to providing the highest levels of education and services. As we plan for the future, the self-study and peer-review process, allows us to review and address our strengths and challenges in a productive and thoughtful way.
The peer-review process brings educators from all over New England together and allows for honest, objective and comprehensive evaluations carried out with the utmost integrity and commitment to research-driven standards.
“Accreditation has been a longstanding stimulus for educational improvement throughout New England,” says Cameron C. Staples, President and CEO of NEASC. “NEASC prides itself on its enduring commitment to self-regulation and peer-review.”