ASCC Prepares for October WASC-ACCJC Visit
September 28, 2015
By James Kneubuhl, ASCC Press Officer
Since February of this year, when the American Samoa Community College (ASCC) received word it had been placed on Show Cause sanction by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), a division of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), the ASCC administration, in tandem with the Board of Higher Education and a number of standing and ad hoc committees, has been working to address the 10 recommendations that WASC-ACCJC specified as areas of concern when issuing the sanction.
This past Friday, September 25, before an audience of faculty, staff and students, ASCC Acting President Dr. Rosevonne Makaiwi Pato gave a comprehensive presentation on the work done to date to address the sanction ruling, explaining each of the 10 WASC-ACCJC recommendations and the resulting policy and organizational changes ASCC has made to address them. With a number of policies revised or newly adopted, as well as modifications to the College’s governance structure, Dr. Pato expressed confidence that the forthcoming WASC-ACCJC review visit to ASCC in late October or early November of this year will result in the lifting of the sanction.
Of the 10 WASC-ACCJC recommendations, eight had to do with ASCC’s internal operations, while two pertained specifically to the Board of Higher Education. A recurring issue in the recommendations is the integration of assessment practices to ensure the continual improvement of Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs). Among the actions taken to address this concern, the College has prepared four documents which outline its incorporation of assessment and associated practices, these being the Clarification of Program Review Process, the Clarification of Planning Process the Clarification of Assessment Process, and the Clarification of Defined and Set Student Achievement Standards.
Another WASC-ACCJC area of concern focused on the College’s formalized structure for the participation by all ASCC stakeholders in its decision-making process. This concern has led to the authoring of a document titled Clarification of Constituent Roles in Governance and Decision Making, as well as the creation of an ASCC Participatory Governance Structural Manual. The latter document specifies the principles of participatory governance that organize the College’s operating agreements, the roles and responsibilities of its constituent groups, and the types of groups that develop recommendations to ensure institutional effectiveness.
While the efforts to address the WASC-ACCJC sanction has taken months of the College’s time and effort, Dr. Pato reminded the audience that the work done will ultimately enable ASCC to improve its fulfillment of its Mission, which is to foster successful student learning. She also thanked the many participants in the effort to address the sanction and commended their tireless team spirit.
For more information on ASCC, visit the College’s web page at: www.amsamoa.edu.