SIPI earns initial accreditation from HLC

Mar 14th, 2014 | By | Category: Online TC News, Tribal College News, Web Exclusive

Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs, Kevin Washburn, has announced that the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC)  has awarded initial accreditation to Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI, Albuquerque, NM). “The Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute holds a special place in Indian education because of its emphasis on training American Indians and Alaska Natives in science, math and technology, and I congratulate SIPI on its achievement of receiving initial accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission,” Washburn said. “Under Dr. Sherry Allison’s leadership SIPI has achieved accreditation, which holds the promise of more American Indians and Alaska Natives entering these fields that are so important to Indian Country’s future.”

SIPI’s accreditation status was upgraded from “candidate for accreditation” following a rigorous candidacy and accreditation review process recently conducted by the HLC. The HLC visiting team found that SIPI had responded to the Commission’s concerns cited in a 2009 review and that it is now in compliance with HLC standards. Initial accreditation means that an institution is accredited by the Commission after going through a period of candidacy. Subsequent reviews, assuming that SIPI continues to meet the criteria for accreditation, will result in the college receiving “continued accreditation” status.

“We are honored to receive initial accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission and we are grateful for the time and effort it took in reviewing our institution,” said SIPI President Allison. “Achieving initial accreditation status is the result of the hard work of all of the faculty and staff, and we are fortunate that they are committed to expanding the minds and spirits of our students. This accreditation means that SIPI will be able to continue to educate a new generation of students to meet the needs of their communities and the nation.”

As the HLC visiting team noted in its final report: “SIPI has become a learning organization that uses performance measures and data driven decision making in every aspect of the institution.” The team further praised SIPI’s academic programs for being “active in community development projects [and] helping students put their learning into practice.” HLC accreditation certifies that the teaching and learning processes at SIPI meet the rigorous educational standards established by the Commission and that the college is engaged in continuous improvement.

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