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School in Honolulu receives a warning over accreditation

September 25, 2013
The Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - Honolulu Community College has been warned it could lose its accreditation.

The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges placed the Kalihi school on warning accreditation status after an evaluation visit last fall, Hawaii News Now reported.

Chancellor Erika Lacro said the college will remain accredited while it sorts out issues raised by the visit and nothing will change for students, including their financial aid.

"We just internally need to focus ourselves on the issues our team found, which is a good thing because our institution will be a better place after that," Lacro said.

The most serious criticism has to do with more than 100 faculty members teaching online courses.

"The college should compare the instructional quality of face-to-face and distance education courses and develop a strategic plan for distance education," the accrediting panel wrote.

The panel also said the college needed to "ensure general education courses that are consistent with levels of quality and rigor appropriate to higher education."

College officials are confident the school will be cleared after turning in a follow-up report next month and after an accreditation team visits to verify progress.

"I don't see it as a real bad thing because it gives you the motivation and the direction to move forward to make things better, because it's all about making it better for the students' learning," Lacro said.

Patrick Patterson, a history professor who teaches an online course, said the college is documenting how students taking online courses are getting the same services as traditional classes, including tutoring.

"We are now in the process of building up this assessment system so we can prove that our courses are as good as we say they are," he said.



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