NCA Team Recommends Accreditation for LCO

Aug 15th, 2004 | By | Category: 16-1: Sovereignty in Indian Country, Tribal College News

Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College (LCO, Hayward, WI) has been recommended for continued accreditation. The institution is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The college was visited in May by a team from the Higher Learning Commission.

The team was composed of five administrators and faculty members from colleges throughout the central United States. Sky Houser, former president of the college, said the faculty, staff, and board are very pleased with the team’s recommendations.

“Most of the faculty and staff worked very hard over the past two years, not just to improve the quality of education and management of the college but to write a book-length evaluative report on the college’s strengths and concerns. The visiting team’s comments show that we can identify our own strengths and vulnerabilities.”

The team’s recommendations will be reported to the Higher Learning Commission in Chicago, IL, where they will be evaluated and a final decision made.

The team recommended that the college’s next comprehensive evaluation be held in 2012. The team also recommended that the college should receive a focused visit in three years to examine the institution’s progress in assessment of student learning, decision-making processes, and institutional planning.

In its oral report to the college, the team noted a number of strengths, including: the institution’s recent charter, which gives the president authority over day-to-day operations; the strong support given to the college’s mission by the tribal governing board and the board of regents; and the state-of-the-art geographic information system laboratory.

The team commended the recent salary increases, which help attract and retain qualified faculty and staff; the student-run computer help desk; the strong professional development program; and the library, which also serves the community. The team acknowledged the college’s role in economic development and progress towards self-determination.

The team also identified areas that need further progress. The college needs a human resources officer to work with personnel matters and revise the dispute resolution processes. More faculty need to adopt procedures to assess the quality of student work. The college library needs more space. Some institutional decision-making and planning processes need to be more effective.

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