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Hawaii Community Colleges off Accreditation Warning List; Only One Remains

Hawaii Community Colleges off Accreditation Warning List; Only One Remains


      The accreditation crisis facing Hawaii state community colleges seems to finally be working itself out. The Western Association of Schools and Colleges has removed Honolulu and Hawaii community colleges from its accreditation warning lists, leaving only Windward Community College under warning. Six of the seven community colleges in the University of Hawaii system had been placed on warning early last year for insufficient assessment and program review.

      Only Hawaii Community College was not on the original list, but it was added in April when Kapiolani, Kauai, Leeward and Maui community colleges were removed.

      Hawaii and Honolulu were both removed from the warning list after demonstrating sufficient progress in evaluating their academic programs, officials say.

      Ramsey Pederson, Honolulu Community College chancellor, says the accreditation actions were based on valid concerns.

      “I am pleased that the campus as a whole pulled together … and made it a mission to get off warning,” he says.

      Warning status is the mildest sanction the accrediting agency imposes. All Hawaii campuses remained fully accredited during the warning period. The challenge for Windward now is to show progress when an evaluation team arrives in the fall. Honolulu and Hawaii campuses both benefited from the creation of a centralized office to oversee the community college system, says Michael Rota, associate vice president for academic affairs at Hawaii community colleges. The ultimate responsibility for overseeing the necessary changes at Windward falls to John F. Morton, interim vice president for community colleges for the university system. Morton, who was chancellor of Kapiolani Community College from 1984 until 2005, determines how resources are allocated among the seven campuses.

Associated Press

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