Diné College receives continued accreditation
Published September 30, 2015
TSAILE, ARIZONA– Diné College is pleased to announce the successful completion of the mid-cycle reaffirmation accreditation visit by Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
On March 23-24, 2015, a mid-cycle Comprehensive Visit was conducted by an HLC Consultant-Evaluator Team. The team visited the main College campus in Tsaile as well as the Shiprock Campus. During the campus visits, the team met with constituencies, such as staff, faculty, students, administrators, and members of the College’s Board of Regents.
In preparation for HLC’s 2015 Comprehensive Visit, Diné College’s President, Dr. Maggie L. George presided over the Steering Committee that was assigned to examine evidence related to institutional performance, compose the College’s draft Assurance Argument, and engage the College community in order to receive input regarding the draft Assurance Argument. The Steering Committee was comprised of the College’s Planning and Accreditation Committee (PAC) and Administrative Team (A-Team) who worked together between April 2014 and March 2015 to ensure the successful submission of the final Assurance Argument.
With each affirmation visit, the College receives a summary report from the HLC assessing the College’s areas of strength and providing guidance on areas of improvement. HLC Criteria for Accreditation include five strategic focus areas: Criterion 1 – Mission; Criterion 2 – Integrity: Ethical and Responsible Conduct; Criterion 3 – Teaching and Learning: Quality, Resources and Support; Criterion 4 – Teaching and Learning: Evaluation and Improvement; and Criterion 5 – Resources, Planning and Institutional Effectiveness. The College met all of the Core Components listed within HLC’s Criteria for Accreditation. The HLC provided guidance on improvement in two specific areas: 1) assessment of student learning; 2) attention to retention, persistence, and completion rates in degree and certificate programs.
In the report, evaluators noted “Diné College should be commended for its progress since 2012 in working to become data-driven to effect institutional improvement…the faculty appears passionate about collecting and using data to improve student learning and academic programs.” On September 14, 2015, HLC’s Institutional Actions Council approved the final HLC report. As part of the reaffirmation of accreditation process, the College will submit a follow-up report to the HLC demonstrating progress in the two noted areas by June 2016.
The College currently participates in HLC’s Standard Pathway of accreditation. Two comprehensive evaluations take place over a ten-year Standard Pathway accreditation cycle. Both quality assurance and quality improvement are integrated into these comprehensive evaluations. In addition, the HLC addresses quality assurance and improvement through interim monitoring, as required. In the Standard Pathway, both assurance and improvement are directly related to HLC’s Criteria for Accreditation
Diné College was established in 1968 as the first tribally-controlled community college in the United States. As a postsecondary educational institution, Diné College awards 19 associate degrees, six certificates and two bachelor degrees. The College maintains its accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Under the direction of an eight-member Board of Regents confirmed by the Government Services Committee of the Navajo Nation Council, Diné College has the responsibility to serve residents of the 26,000 square mile Navajo Nation which spans the states of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.
The next comprehensive evaluation is scheduled for 2018-2019. Diné College has successfully maintained HLC accreditation since 1976.