Status of OCCC Programs and Services

Oregon Coast Community College (OCCC) delivers college credit instruction, certificates and degrees through its Educational Services Agreement with Portland Community College (PCC). PCC is accredited through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). The NWCCU is a regional post-secondary accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Credits, certificates and degrees earned at OCCC appear on PCC transcripts and are transferable to other institutions, subject to the specific policies of the receiving institutions.

Since July of 2014, OCCC has been actively pursuing an accelerated path towards independent accreditation. That work has involved evaluation, redesign, and improvement of virtually every College service area and program – and the formation of structures and processes to ensure continuity of such evaluation and improvement in the future, and ongoing measurement of mission fulfillment.

OCCC progress towards independent accreditation:

Initial Candidacy Peer Evaluation Visit, April 2018
Initial Candidacy status achieved, July 2018
Initial Accreditation Peer Evaluation Visit, October 2019
Initial Accreditation Decision: January 2020

The Initial Accreditation Peer Evaluation Team Visit that occurred Oct. 16-18, 2019 (read more about the October 2019 visit), represented the next step in OCCC’s pursuit of Independent Accreditation. Specifically, OCCC seeks NWCCU approval for Initial Accreditation through this visit, and the preparation of a detailed Self-Evaluation Report, which was submitted to the members of the Evaluating Team on Aug. 29, 2019. Here is a link to the document and supporting documents submitted along with it.

The October 2019 visiting team, pictured with OCCC President Dr. Birgitte Ryslinge, above, included: Dr. Rick Aman, President, College of Eastern Idaho; Mr. Garth H. Sleight, Assoc. Dean of Academic Affairs, Miles Community College; Dr. Bryce Humpherys, Vice President of Learning and Student Success, Big Bend Community College; Dr. Deborah Casey Powell, Vice President of Student Affairs and Interim Vice President of Human Resources, Green River College; Dr. Melinda Coslor, Director of Library Services, Skagit Valley College; Mr. Steve Ward, Vice President, Finance & Administration, Centralia College; and Valerie W. Martinez, Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Oregon Coast Community College was granted Candidacy status, the final stage prior to independent regional accreditation, in 2018.  The announcement was made Thursday, July 26, 2018, by Sonny Ramaswamy, President of the NWCCU. Regional accreditation provides students with access to federal financial aid, and also ensures that credits earned are transferable. Currently, OCCC programs and services are accredited through an agreement with  Portland Community College (see above).

According to Ramaswamy’s letter, the NWCCU took the action at its meeting on June 27-29, 2018, “after consideration of evidence, including the Institution’s Self-Evaluation Report, the Peer-Evaluation Report, the Institutional Response to the Peer-Evaluation Report, and the information received as part of the institutional representative meeting with commissioners.”

Candidate for Accreditation is a pre-accredited, affiliate status with the Commission. Candidacy status indicates that an institution meets NWCCU Eligibility Requirements, substantially meets NWCCU Standards for Accreditation, and is progressing toward Accreditation with the confidence of the Board of Commissioners that the institution will meet all accreditation criteria within the timeframe remaining for attaining Candidacy. However, it does not imply or ensure eventual accreditation by the Commission.

The College’s institutional self-evaluation is the most significant part of the accreditation process. The Self-Evaluation Reports filed by OCCC are available for viewing, below.  Each is comprehensive, encompasses the entire institution, and addresses the Commission’s accreditation criteria and can be viewed as an ongoing process to understand, evaluate, and improve quality and effectiveness by:

• analyzing institutional resources and effectiveness in fulfilling its mission;
• demonstrating that student achievement is commensurate with the certificates,
diplomas, degrees, or other recognition awarded;
• appraising the relationship of all the institution’s activities to its purposes;
• providing a sound basis for institutional planning and improvement;
• assessing educational achievements as well as structures and processes;
• assessing student achievement with respect to programs and services offered to accomplish educational purposes

The links below are regularly updated to reflect ongoing progress.

OCCC Self-Evaluation for Initial Accreditation August 29, 2019
OCCC Initial Candidacy Notification Letter from NWCCU 
July 24, 2018
OCCC Institutional Response to the Initial Candidacy Evaluation Report
June 7, 2018
2018 Initial Candidacy Peer Evaluation Report April 9-11, 2018
2018 Self-Evaluation for Candidacy Feb 14, 2018
2017 NWCCU Initial Candidacy Visit Letter Nov. 14, 2017
2017 NWCCU letter RE: initial Candidacy Evaluation July 19, 2017
2016 NWCCU letter granting Applicant Status Jan. 29, 2016
2015 Application For Consideration 2015 Oct 27, 2015
2015 Year 7 Self-Evaluation Report (Filed as a stand-alone report with PCC’s Year 7 Self-Evaluation Report)
2014 NWCCU Response 08-26-2014
2014 Report to the NWCCU 07-14-2014

Oregon Coast Community College