In a letter to Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) President Mark Ojakian, the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), CSCU’s accrediting body, issued a response to CSCU’s update on the progress of the Students First initiative at NECHE’s April meeting. In the letter, NECHE accepted the April update, invited CSCU back for a presentation in April 2020, and provided guidance as CSCU works toward unification of the state’s community colleges into a singly accredited college by 2023.
The letter included several specific recommendations for CSCU and requests for additional information on the following items:
- Specifics on organization and governance;
- information on how academic programs will achieve consistency across campuses; and
- particulars on how institutional resources will be utilized to better serve students while at the same time tackling systemic financial concerns.
“We are encouraged that NECHE’s letter charted a roadmap toward our ultimate accreditation as one college,” President Ojakian said. “Rest assured that CSCU – in an open and collaborative process driven by faculty, staff, and students – is already developing concrete plans to address the areas where NECHE requested more information. As just one example, the strategic hiring of regional presidents is helping campus leaders manage scarce resources while serving student needs. The momentum continues in our efforts toward community college unification.”
It is important to note that NECHE did not outline specific ‘areas of concern’ in their response.
NECHE’s letter specifically commended CSCU’s commitment to keeping all current community college campuses and satellites open and fully operational, and for the longstanding pledge to ensure that student-facing services are kept intact throughout the move toward unification.
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