Accreditation for a Decade

Nov 15th, 1996 | By | Category: 8-3: Ceremony, Tribal College News

Sitting Bull College (SBC) and Fort Berthold Community College (FBCC) have received reaccreditation for 10 years from the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The accreditation team had visited the two North Dakota tribal colleges last spring and sent the official notice in November. Ten years is the maximum number of years an institution can receive accreditation. There are now three tribal colleges in North Dakota with the maximum term accreditation: Turtle Mountain Community College received its 10 year accreditation in 1993.

“Considering that Sitting Bull College receives less than half the funding that our state counterparts receive, this accreditation announcement is especially sweet,” says SBC President Ron McNeil. The NCA report listed several areas of strength and some areas of concern for the college. Strengths included integrating culture into the curriculum, student-centered and student-committed staff and faculty, providing a community library, efficient and progressive financial aid, and cost-effective programs. Concerns included inadequate institutional research, lack of a detailed strategic plan, and lack of a comprehensive student tracking system. To celebrate, the college cooked 32 turkeys for a community Thanksgiving feast.

At Fort Berthold, the NCA report listed a page and a half of strengths, including the new facility construction; accessibility of the faculty, staff, and administration; the college’s efforts to perpetuate tribal history and culture; and the college library, which serves not only to the college but also the community. Fort Berthold will no longer be restricted from starting new associate degree programs without commission approval. A focus visit will be scheduled in 1998-99 for three areas about which the evaluators were concerned: assessment of student academic achievement, administrative communication, and the role of the governing board. Fort Berthold has been continuously accredited since 1988. It offers 18 degrees at the associate level and 7 certificates. There are six regional and six national accrediting associations that provide institutional accreditation.

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