Alaska Christian College Moves Closer to Accreditation

Post a Comment » Written on March 12th, 2007     
Filed under: News
SOLDOTNA, AK (March 12, 2007) – Alaska Christian College (ACC) moved a big step closer to accreditation when the Association of Biblical Higher Education (ABHE) approved the school’s self-study plan recently.

The school received the news February 23, says Jeff Siemers, acting ACC president while Keith Hamilton is on sabbatical.  “It really is an affirmation of the hard work we’ve been doing,” he says.

Educators with the ABHE will visit the campus during the fall for an on-site inspection, during which they will evaluate every aspect of ACC’s operations, Siemers says. The school will learn the results in February 2008 during the association’s annual meeting.

If evaluators give their approval, the school will be given “candidate status,” Siemers says. The designation would enable the college to receive federal scholarships for the students and make it easier for students to transfer credits to other institutions.

ACC would be eligible for full accreditation in five years, when the ABHE would re-evaluate the school, Siemers says. If the school becomes fully accredited, the next inspection would be 10 years later.

The self-study took more than a year of planning and writing before it was submitted last November. The more than 3,000 pages of writing and documentation focused on how ACC will meet the ABHE standards, its measures for success and plans for development, Siemens says.

Although the study was exhausting, “Going through the process has made us a better school,” Siemens says.
ACC, whose student body is primarily Alaskan Native and Native American, was established in 2000 to assist students in making the transition from village life to their first year of college. Currently a small minority – estimated at less than 5 percent – of Alaska Native high school graduates complete even their first semester of college.
Schools must offer at least a two-year program in order to be accredited. ACC offers a one-year program as well as a two-year track.

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