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Accreditation Prep  

Last Updated: Feb 28, 2017 URL: Print Guide

Accreditation Print Page

About this Guide

This guide was created to help you understand the accreditation process in preparation for the accreditation site visit, happening March 6-9, 2017.  Use the yellow tabs above to learn about specific topics.


About Accreditation

What is accreditation?
Every seven years, all two-year and four-year colleges and universities are evaluated to determine how effectively they are educating students. The evaluation looks at all components of the institution--finances, student services and support, policies, planning, leadership, etc.. Colleges must meet the standards set by an organization called ACCJC in order to receive accreditation.
Why is accreditation important?
COM needs accreditation in order for students to:
  • Get financial aid
  • Get a degree or a certificate
  • Transfer to a four-year school
  • Receive an education that
    •   meets set standards
    • is recognized by the public as high quality
    • compares with what other schools offer
Additionally, accreditation provides an opportunity for self-reflection and improvement. Ultimately, this helps ensure that the College is maintaining high quality of education.
How is COM accredited?
Every seven years, COM compiles a report called the ISER that describes what we do and evaluates how well we do it. Our report is 431 pages long! The 2017 ISER was written over a one-year period beginning in fall 2015. The final draft was approved by all Senates during fall 2016 and by the COM Board of Trustees on December 6, 2016.

In March 2017, a team of eleven educators from other community colleges read the report and visit campus for one week. During the visit, the team will ask questions of faculty, staff, students, and administrators to learn more about COM and to evaluate whether they think COM meets the standards set for community colleges to receive accreditation, or if there are areas for improvement.

After the visit, the team provides the results of their evaluation and recommendations to the Commission. The Commission will review the team's evaluation and recommendations and make a final decision in June. 
What is the ISER?
ISER stands for Institutional Self Evaluation Report. The report contains the following sections:
  • Eligibility Requirements (ER)
  • Standards for Self Evaluation
    • Standard I: Mission, Academic Quality, Institutional Effectiveness, Integrity
    • Standard II: Student Learning Programs & Support Services
    • Standard III: Resources
    • Standard IV: Leadership & Governance
  • Quality Focus Essay (QFE)
Who is the ACCJC?
Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. ACCJC is an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education. Additional information can be found at
Find out more!
To find out more about Accreditation at COM, visit the Accreditation Home page:
  • Start at the COM website
  • Click "About COM"
  • Click "Accreditation"

Here you will find the current ISER, the 2010 Self Study and Follow Up Reports, a link to meet the visiting team, information from ACCJC, and more! 


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