Program Review Issues Lead to Warning Status for Six Community Colleges

Regents commended for addressing prior concerns

University of Hawaiʻi
Carolyn Tanaka, (808) 956-9803
Mia Noguchi, (808) 956-9095
External Affairs & University Relations
Posted: Feb 2, 2005

HONOLULU - In a letter to Interim President David McClain, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission for Community Colleges and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) has placed six of the seven community colleges in the University of Hawaiʻi System on Warning status.

Warning status, the mildest form of sanction levied by ACCJC, represents a directive from the Commission to an institution to "correct its deficiencies, refrain from certain activities, or initiate certain activities." This action is taken when the Commission is concerned about a "course deviating from the Commission‘s eligibility criteria, standards or policies." The accredited status of the institution continues during the warning period. The University of Hawaiʻi‘s seven community colleges were accredited in 2000 for the full six year period.

Interim President David McClain commented, "The actions of the ACCJC indicate that our regional accreditors are taking seriously the increased national emphasis on accountability in higher education. I know the leadership, faculty and staff of the University of Hawaiʻi‘s seven community colleges are mindful of the elevated standards put in place recently by ACCJC. The Team Report and Commission letter indicate that we need to do a better job in the areas of assessment and program review, and the feedback from findings there to our strategic, academic and budget planning.

"I‘m pleased that the Commission acknowledged progress by several of our individual campuses in this area. Nevertheless, the action of the Commission to place six of our seven campuses on Warning status underlines the importance and urgency of our ongoing efforts to better articulate relationships between the UH System Office and the individual campuses in ways that support and guide more uniformly their assessment and program review efforts . It‘s clear that the structure put in place in the December 2002 reorganization of the University of Hawaiʻi system and the community colleges‘ role within that system has not been sufficiently responsive to these concerns.

"I‘m also pleased that the Commission commended the Board of Regents for its prompt attention to and resolution of issues identified last spring related to its role as a policymaking board and as the evaluator of the President, and its delegation to the Administration of responsibility for the operations of the University.

"We look forward to the Commission representatives‘ visit in April, 2005, and expect to have significant progress to show by that time."

The ACCJC informed the University of Hawaiʻi Community Colleges (UHCC) that the following campuses would be placed on warning after receiving its October 2004 progress report:

· Kauaʻi Community College
· Leeward Community College
· Honolulu Community College
· Kapiʻolani Community College
· Maui Community College
· Windward Community College

The Commission also requires Hawaiʻi Community College to submit a progress report by April 1, 2005, but it was not placed on Warning.