Answering Your Questions About ACCJC Accreditation
As The Starting Point for Health Care Careers, Carrington College is always working to provide you with a quality education and a positive student experience. We’re excited to share a positive change – a new accreditation – that we believe will help the college soar to new heights.
To help you better understand the recent change and answer some of your questions, I spoke with Dr. Danika Bowen, the Provost/Vice President of Academic Affairs and Accreditation Liaison Officer for Carrington College.
Thank you for your time Dr. Bowen. Firstly, why should a school’s accreditation matter to students?
Accreditation is an important way of determining if a particular institution meets rigorous standards in areas including faculty, curriculum and service.
So what’s changed with Carrington’s accreditation?
Carrington College and Carrington College California have received approval from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) to consolidate our 17 campuses under central leadership as one institution accredited by ACCJC, effective July 3, 2014.
What does that really mean?
Recognizing all 17 campuses in 8 states under the same institutional accrediting organization allows Carrington to streamline efforts and resources, and better serve the needs of our students.
So this is a positive change?
Yes, the expansion of our accreditation validates our mission and our commitment to continuous improvement so we can deliver exceptional education and guidance to you, our students, preparing you for the health care careers of tomorrow.
Does this affect the accreditation of individual programs?
No, ACCJC accredits the entire college while Carrington maintains programmatic accreditation for select programs of study.
Will this change affect my program’s curriculum?
Initially no, not in the short term. As part of our commitment to continuous improvement, all of our programs will be going through a deep dive program review over the next two years. We will assess each program using both qualitative and quantitative data. We will assess 10 programs this fiscal year, which just started this month, and 10 next year.
All of the campus Program Directors will come together, program by program, to review and improve our curriculum. ACCJC accredits us as one college, so we need to have one curriculum for each program across the different campuses. This review process will also allow us to identify best practices across Carrington enabling us to further elevate the academic quality of our programs.
This is really just part of the continuous improvement process of a college; to be a good college you need to continually assess, review and plan and we’re doing exactly that.
Does this accreditation change affect the perceived quality of my certificate/degree?
The perceived quality can increase. Regional accreditation can help open many doors that may not have been previously available. For example, many clinical locations only accept externs from regionally accredited colleges.
So the rumors out there that Carrington College has lost its accreditation are false?
Absolutely false. The accreditation is secure. All of Carrington is accredited. Carrington has in no way, shape or form lost our accreditation. What we have done is actively sought out a regional accreditor, and then spent the last two years securing that regional accreditation.
So as a student, I have nothing to worry about with this change?
No. This is a positive development and significant step for the college and our entire Carrington community; it’s been part of our planning process for the last five years. We’re thrilled with this outcome. The benefit of this change will be felt for many years to come at Carrington.
Were students involved in this process?
Over the last two years, the ACCJC sent three different individuals to every single Carrington campus at different times. Their comments were incredibly positive; there were impressed by our dedication to our students and they were impressed by the overall academic quality. Having them on our campuses, spending time with our students, really helped us secure this new level of accreditation. Our students did a fantastic job in the open forums. This process wasn’t done in a back office; it was accomplished through dozens of site visits, all with the help of our students. And we’re very grateful to them for that.
To finish Dr. Bowen, who can our students speak with if they have any further questions?
We will continue to keep you informed of any new developments, but please feel free to seek out faculty and staff if you have any questions. Exciting times are ahead and through these changes we want you to feel confident that your education is our priority.
*Carrington College is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, 10 Commercial Blvd., Ste. 204, Novato, CA 94949, (415) 506-0234, an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education. Additional information about accreditation, including the filing of complaints against member institutions, can be found at: www.accjc.org.