• The Importance of Accreditation

    What is accreditation and why do schools choose to go through the process?

    Accreditation is a voluntary, peer evaluation process using the standards of the regional Northwest Commission of Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). This accreditation applies to all programs offered by the College. Some programs have additional accreditation.

     College accreditation is imperative to all Health Sciences Programs. College accreditation creates the solid foundation upon which industry specific accreditations can be built and maintained. Accreditation leads to programs that serve our community and usher the student into successful employment as credentialed healthcare providers.

    Director of Health Sciences at CCC

    At the broadest level, the accreditation process is designed to ensure that CCC:

    • Has a clear and appropriate mission;
    • Has the potential to fulfill its mission;
    • Is substantially fulfilling its mission; and,
    • Is projected to continue to do so.

    More specifically, the main purpose of accreditation according to NWCCU is to make certain Clackamas Community College:

    • has clearly defined objectives appropriate to higher education
    • has established conditions under which those higher education objectives can be achieved
    • appears in fact to be accomplishing its objectives substantially
    • is organized, staff and supported so as to accomplish its higher education objectives
    • demonstrates that it meets Accreditation Standards
    • is eligible to award federal student aid
    • is eligible to apply for grants

    The accreditation process is an opportunity for the college to foster excellence, encourage institutional improvement, and ensure the educational community and general public that we have clearly defined, appropriate and achievable objectives - objectives tied to strong processes for success on behalf of students and community.

    Accreditation gives the student assurance of receiving a quality education, recognition by other colleges of the course credits and degrees earned, and is an affirmation that CCC provides the quality education that the community and district have the right to expect and that the educational community recognizes.

    Financial Aid Systems Support Specialist at CCC

    What does the process involve?

    Over the course of a seven year cycle, the process involves doing a quality, systematic, honest self-study of how and how well we do with the five core standards of accreditation:

    • Standard One: Mission, Core Themes, and Expectations
    • Standard Two: Resources and Capacity
    • Standard Three: Planning and Implementation
    • Standard Four: Effectiveness and Improvement
    • Standard Five: Mission Fulfillment, Adaptation, and Sustainability

    The key concepts of the accreditation are:

    • intensive, continual self-analysis forms the basis for reporting to our accrediting agency, the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU);
    • self-study that is data-informated, systems-based, and focused on continuous improvement;
    • integration of strategic planning, allocation of resources, and accountability measures for long-term sustainability of the institution; and,
    • a primary and foremost focus on the extent to which we are fulfilling our mission. 

    How does CCC conduct the accreditation process?

    Our process is collaborative and participatory campus-wide and with our community. Our Year Three Self Study Report was written by 125 faculy and staff! We will continue to involve existing committees as well as create opportunities for involvement specific to our four core accreditation themes and accompanying objectives.