After 8 years of reports and visits, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) has granted Providence Christian College initial accreditation. President Dominic Aquila received a letter with the good news from the WASC commission on Monday, March 11. Watch Dawn Dirksen’s announcement to the students.
The letter states:
Providence Christian College is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior College and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, 985 Atlantic Avenue, #100, Alameda, CA 94501, (510) 748-9001
The momentous decision from WASC comes on the heels of Providence’s final presentation on February 21 when interim president Dominic Aquila, accreditation liaison Mary Ellen Godfrey, and other members of the administrative team traveled to Berkeley, California. Providence’s presentation was well-received by the commissioners. They responded with some questions and stated they would contact Providence in the coming weeks.
Earning accreditation is the completion of an eight year journey that began in the first days of the college’s existence in 2004. Many hours of meetings, thousands of pages of data and reporting, and multiple campus visits on both campuses Providence has occupied followed the initial application for eligibility.
Looking back on all the work, Providence’s greatest debt is to Mrs. Godfrey for her steadfast and competent leadership throughout this painstaking, but refining process. She served as the accreditation liaison and coordinated a group effort that included the administration, faculty, and students.
“Not only has she led the process but she’s helped weave it into the fabric of Providence. In addition, she has gained great respect in the WASC community. She’s top notch in their book,” Dawn Dirksen said.
The diligent work of everyone at Providence who worked alongside Godfrey did not go unnoticed. The letter granting initial accreditation stated: “Providence Christian College took a comprehensive approach to the review process, focusing on the four Standards of Accreditation…. Team interviews with individuals and groups at the college further confirmed the college’s attention to WASC expectations and Standards.” Regarding financial sustainability, the letter stated: “The [WASC] team report cited significant improvement in the college’s financial position… viewed the college’s focused attention to financial sustainability as a commendable outgrowth of the ProvCC community’s deep commitment to its mission.” A deep commitment indeed! This statement alone is a wonderful testament to the amazing response and support Providence constituents demonstrated in rallying behind the promise campaign.
WASC accreditation implies at least three things about Providence. First, it validates the value of a Providence education. Although, Providence has been committed to the highest level of classroom instruction, experiential learning in Los Angeles, and a supportive Christian community since the start. Graduates have put their faith and knowledge to good use in God’s kingdom ranging from the medical field, business, education, and in the pastoral ministry. In addition, the instructors have received critical acclaim and recognition for their scholarly achievements. Rather than transforming the essence of a Providence education, accreditation provides that all-important independent voice that “refers to the quality of the institution as a whole.”
Second, working with WASC has refined the education here at Providence. WASC has lent Providence the valuable service of observing, reporting, coaching, and correcting. They have reined the school in where it has been too ambitious, and nudged it forward when it came up short.
Third and perhaps most importantly, WASC accreditation says that Providence’s current financial position demonstrates a sustainable future. Receiving such public validation is both a wonderful accomplishment and an encouragement to continue in the worthy work of preparing young men and women for a God honoring life of service in the church, the public square, and in their vocation.
Praise God with all the folks at Providence for his blessings!