Red Crow First to be Accredited in Canada

Feb 15th, 1999 | By | Category: 10-3: Distance Education, Tribal College News

Red Crow Community College, on the Blood Indian Reserve, Alberta, Canada has become a full-fledged accredited college. It is the first college to be accredited through the inaugural First Nations Accreditation Board, which was recently established by the First Nations Adult Higher Education Consortium (FNAHEC).

The accreditation board was set up in an effort to validate the member colleges’ programs. The initial intent is to have the respective colleges’ programs and courses recognized within member institutions. The ultimate aim is to validate their programs and courses so that they may be transferable and recognized by the mainstream higher education institutions as well. Previously there was no national or provincial process in Canada for accrediting tribal colleges as public institutions, only as private institutions. The board consists of representatives of the FNAHEC member institutions: Red Crow Community College, Piegan Board of Education, Tsuu T’ina Board of Education, Yellowhead Tribal College, Old Sun Community College, Nakoda Board of Education, Maskwachees Cultural College, and Blue Quills First Nations College.

Evaluation consists of three steps. The self-study process includes eight areas (as identified in the Accreditation Self-Study Guide) which are indicative of the institution’s performance and achievement. In its self-study the institution assesses itself from its own perspective and knowledge in relation to these criteria. A self-study report is then compiled, including intentions for improvements or changes to be made in problem areas.  The second part of the process is the audit. The audit team visits the institution to get a first hand look at the college’s operations and conduct interviews to verify the contents and claims of the self-study. For the third step, the audit team prepares its final report, which determines whether the institution is granted accreditation or not. Red Crow Community College’s audit was successfully completed in November and the final decision made in January.

Established in 1988, Red Crow Community College provides arts and science classes. It is conducting research and negotiating with the University of Lethbridge and the University of Calgary to provide Native teacher training and a Native social work degree program.

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