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Press Release



January 5, 2009

Cowley College receives reaffirmation of accreditation


Cowley County Community College recently received reaffirmation of accreditation from The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of College’s and Schools.

“Having accredited reaffirmation by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools is a credit to all the hard working employees at Cowley College,” Cowley College president Dr. Patrick J. McAtee said.

AQIP Reaffirmation of Accreditation reviews are scheduled seven years in advance, when an institution first joins the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) or when an institution already participating in AQIP is reaffirmed via the AQIP Reaffirmation of Accreditation process.

Cowley County Community College and Area Vocational-Technical School was first accredited by the Commission in April, 1975, (having been admitted to Candidacy for Accreditation in July, 1973). The institution was admitted to AQIP on October 3, 2001, and became an AQIP institution in 2002. Cowley College participated in its second Strategy Forum from March 6-9, 2007.

Since admission to AQIP, the institution has officially declared and attempted eight individual Action Projects, four are listed as current and four are listed as retired (listing of documented AQIP Action Projects). Cowley has provided AQIP with Annual Updates of ongoing Action Projects and received Annual Feedback Reports on each project.

The institution provided its Systems Portfolio for review in June, 2006, and received a Systems Appraisal Feedback Report on September 29, 2006. The next Systems Portfolio is due in November 2009.

AQIP conducted a Quality Checkup visit to the institution on April 25-27, 2007, and provided a report of the findings of the visiting team following the visit.

The Quality Checkup team that conducted a site visit to the institution examined evidence provided by the institution of its compliance with the Commission’s federal compliance program. The Quality Checkup site visit team concluded that the institution presented acceptable evidence that it complies with all Commission and AQIP expectations.

In establishing four AQIP Action Projects (Provide Quality Education to Students at All Academic Levels, Plan and Implement an Employee Professional Development/Mentoring Program, Review and Improve the Strategic Planning Process, and Improve the Systematic Tracking and Measuring of Institutional Effectiveness) in its first years in AQIP, Cowley County Community College has indicated its commitment to the AQIP criteria and its responsiveness to Commission concerns regarding its future institutional strategies.

Cowley County Community College has continued this commitment by developing and implementing four additional AQIP Action Projects (Cultural Diversity, Integrating Institutional Data into the Strategic Planning Process, Student Transfer/Career Development, and Assuring Consistency and Quality in Online Delivery) that are related to concerns raised by the Systems Appraisal Team.

Cowley College’s AQIP Steering Committee was very diligent in keeping up on the action projects. Cowley College vice president of academic affairs, Slade Griffiths, said it is a rigorous process to gain accreditation.

“Overall, they were very pleased with what they saw,” Griffiths said. “This really brings validity to our community college.”

Cowley College has found this process to be beneficial to its progress and look forward to working with The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of College’s and Schools on its next Systems Portfolio.

Cowley County Community College and Area Vocational-Technical School is a public, non-for-profit institution that offers associate degrees and pre-associate certificate programs for primarily rural counties in south-central Kansas and the Metropolitan Wichita area (two campuses and seven sites located in Wichita, Mulvane, Winfield, and Arkansas City).  In addition, there are 15 course locations, including Ponca City, Oklahoma.  Cowley College maintains multiple partnerships with other community colleges, technical colleges and major state universities in its area.

Instruction is offered through a variety of systems including the traditional semester-based classroom, online hybrid courses, telecourses, and web-based courses. Courses designed to address specific local industry and community needs are offered as requested by the appropriate constituency.

The organization operates with integrity to ensure the fulfillment of its mission through structures and processes that involve the board, administration, faculty, staff, and students.

The organization’s allocation of resources and its processes for evaluation and planning demonstrate its capacity to fulfill its mission, improve the quality of its education, and respond to future challenges and opportunities.

The year of the college's next reaffirmation of accreditation will be 2015-16.