After much preparation and hard work, the final site visit in pursuing accreditation has come and gone.
The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) sent a site visiting team to Providence from October 29-31. WASC is the regional accrediting body for public and private universities in California and Hawaii. During the visit, the team, consisting of employees from peer institutions, reviewed the Education Effectiveness Review report which Providence submitted in August 2012. The team developed a deeper understanding of Providence’s institutional mission and core values by interviewing students, staff, faculty, board members, and alumni during two full days on campus.
Providence has been pursuing initial accreditation since the college opened its doors in 2005. The school first became a candidate for accreditation in February 2009.
The accreditation team concluded its intensive review and gave a brief overview of their findings on Wednesday, first to Dr. Aquila, president, and then to the entire Providence community. The report was general in nature and overall favorable to the college.
The team’s overview had six commendations and three recommendations for Providence. Included in these commendations were the clear focus on the college’s mission that the Providence faculty, staff, board, students, and supporters have; the design and implementation of the liberal arts curriculum; the degree to which students are engaged in the learning process; that Providence’s financial status and support base are strong; and that there is a clear and workable strategic plan that directs the operation of the college at every level.
The written version of the report will be submitted to the WASC Commission for review at its February 20-22, 2013 meeting. The Commission will consider the visiting team’s report to determine whether Providence will receive its initial accreditation; we will announce the Commission’s action after this meeting.
Providence recognizes the importance of long term stability and is grateful that the college stakeholders have answered the call for support through the Providence Promise Campaign. You are invited to make a commitment to this campaign if you have not yet done so; this will insure that future students will benefit from Providence’s distinctively Reformed, Christian education.
Additionally, the Admissions Office has received a record number of applications this fall and is having success in executing the strategy to recruit the largest class in the history of the college. A majority of those applications come from referrals. Friends of Providence can continue to do their part for this important effort by referring students to Providence through the website, reminding Reformed college-bound students to claim their $5000 Reformed Scholarship, and encouraging students to apply.
As has been the case in every year of Providence’s existence, the college community continues to recognize the Lord’s provision and sustaining power, and is confident that he will continue to provide.