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PC’s Strategic Goals on Target with Accrediting Association

Midway through Providence College’s 10-year accreditation, the College has received affirmation that its strategic goals are in line with points of emphasis outlined by New England’s leading accrediting body.

Recently, the New England Association of Schools & Colleges’ (NEASC) Commission on Institutions of Higher Education approved a 118-page, fifth-year interim report prepared in August by Dr. Brian J. Bartolini, associate vice president for academic affairs/chief institutional effectiveness officer.

The report is a mandatory component of the College’s 10-year accreditation, which was continued in 2007.

In its response, NEASC asked that the College focus on five areas prior to its 2017 comprehensive evaluation for reaccreditation.

Those five areas are:

• completing revisions to the College’s Mission Statement

• implementing and assessing the effectiveness of the faculty evaluation system

• enhancing financial resources

• continuing to implement a comprehensive approach to the assessment of student learning, with emphasis to the Core Curriculum

• achieving goals for diversity among students, faculty, and staff

Bartolini noted that each point of emphasis is aligned with at least one of the five “core pillars” in the College’s recently approved Strategic Plan, “Pursuing Truth. Achieving Excellence. Transforming Lives.”

“The commission views us as being in a strong position,” he said. “It’s up to us to fulfill NEASC’s standards based on our mission. NEASC is serious about the institutional mission being the driver to fulfilling the standards.”

Praise for various initiatives

While NEASC’s main purpose was to accept the fifth-year report and confirm the 2017 comprehensive evaluation, the College was lauded for progress it has made in “areas of emphasis [previously] highlighted by the commission.”

Praise was specific in the following areas:

• Strategic Plan implementation and measurement of success

• success in increasing the percentage of multicultural students

• efforts made to collect and study data relating to retention and graduation rates and post-graduation education and employment

• the Continuous Improvement Program

• implementation of the new Core Curriculum, its nine mission-related goals, and the development of a “cycled process” for evaluating student achievement of those goals

“It’s always gratifying when your peers from the outside evaluate you and deem that you are achieving important standards, and that you can be expected to continue to achieve them,” Bartolini said.

— Chris Machado


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