Guam Community College Awarded Six-Year Accreditation

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GCC lauded for educational programs, financial management

By Louella Losinio

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Marianas Variety Guam, July 9, 2012) –Guam Community College (GCC) will be able to continue its mission of providing quality vocational education to the island community after receiving positive word of their six-year accreditation from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

The body informed GCC President Dr. Mary Okada last July 4 of GCC’s accreditation status, in particular that the college has been reaffirmed until Spring 2018 – the maximum allowable period granted by the ACCJC.

In addition to GCC, two other U.S.-based colleges under the commission’s purview have been reaffirmed after undergoing comprehensive evaluation early this year. The commission made a formal determination during a meeting last month.

Since 1979, GCC has been continuously receiving accreditation from the national certifying body.

ACCJC President Dr. Barbara Beno noted in her letter to Okada that "the college is to be commended for establishing and communicating to students and the community student learning outcomes for all of its courses and programs."

GCC has also been praised for "its accelerated construction program" and for "its flexibility in managing financial resources and for its efforts to compensate for irregular cash flow issues."

"This is a very proud day for all of us at GCC – our students, faculty and employees – and for Guam’s workforce," Okada said. "ACCJC has confirmed that as a college, we are doing what we say we’re doing with regard to what students learn in the classroom, how their education applies to the real world, how we manage our finances, and how we plan for expansion of our curriculum and our facilities."

Quality education

According to Okada, with this positive development, the career and technical institution will be able to continue providing quality education to Guam’s workforce and apply for Pell and other federal grants.

Okada stated: "I know that the campus community is very relieved. I don’t want to say that we expected it but I know, in our hearts, we deserved it. We know we deserve this because we work hard. We have a high standard here and a high level of accountability."

Enrollment in GCC’s programs has increased by 44 percent since its last accreditation in 2006, according to a news release. More residents enrolled in GCC’s programs to acquire education and skills necessary for the impending military buildup on-island and the reported increase in tourist visits from the Chinese and Russian market.

Since then, the college has added infrastructure improvements and new curriculum programs, including courses in Surveying Technology, Pre-architectural Drafting, Medium/Heavy Truck Diesel Technology, Forensic Computer Examiner and Forensic Lab Technician concentrations in its Criminal Justice program, and Computer Aided Design and Drafting.

In addition, GCC will be adding a photovoltaic installer course soon, in response to the increase in the use of photovoltaic panels and other sustainable energy sources on-island.

In terms of infrastructure improvements, the college has added three new buildings on campus during the last three years. This coming fall, GCC will be opening its fully-renovated Foundation Building.

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