NSCC accreditation renewed for another decade.
The New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) has renewed North Shore Community College’s accreditation for another decade. The decision follows nearly two years of review, analysis, preparation, site visits and a formal vote of the NECHE board.
Accreditation of an institution of higher education by the Commission indicates that it meets or exceeds criteria for the assessment of institutional quality periodically applied though a peer review process. An accredited college or university is one which has available the necessary resources to achieve its stated purposes through appropriate educational programs, is substantially doing so, and gives reasonable evidence that it will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. Institutional integrity is also addressed through accreditation.
The notification letter to the college, from Board Chair David Quigley of Boston College, stated, “The Commission commends NSCC on a thoughtful and comprehensive self-study. We concur with the visiting team report that “NSCC is filled with caring, competent professionals who are passionately committed to student and community success.” NSCC has an excellent history of strategic planning which has been commended by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education and held up as an exemplar to other colleges. This tradition has continued under the leadership of President Gentile who has made data-driven decision making a cornerstone of her administration.
“We appreciate the successful community outreach programs to integrate the Lynn community, including the CommUniverCity initiative, as well as the continuous improvement of the Lynn Campus as evidenced by the McGee building expansion. The Commission is gratified to learn of the College’s success in building and leveraging community partnerships while enhancing operations with grants and donations. The recently awarded Title III Pathways to Success shows great potential to support enrollment and retention activities with evidence-based assessment of student learning outcomes at the course and program level.
“By systematically examining the persistence and retention of various groups of students, NSCC has incrementally increased its retention rates from 56% in 2014 to 64% in 2019. We appreciate the College’s efforts and success in maintaining financial stability; as noted in the report of the visiting team, the College’s unrestricted net assets increased “dramatically,” from $11.9 million on June 30, 2018 to $15.2 million on June 30, 2019. With strong leadership and committed faculty and staff, North Shore Community College is well positioned to build on its accomplishments and fulfill its mission to inspire “students to become engaged citizens and to achieve their personal, academic, and career goals through accessible, affordable, [and] rigorous educational opportunities.”
Commission policy requires updates on progress as well as an interim (fifth-year) report of all institutions on a decennial evaluation cycle. Chair Quigley noted, “The Commission hopes that the evaluation process has contributed to institutional improvement. It appreciates your cooperation with the effort to provide public assurance of the quality of higher education in New England.”
NSCC President Patricia A. Gentile said, “I am very grateful to the over 100 people from across the college who devoted nearly two years of their time, attention and expertise to working together effectively to create the accreditation self-study report. It is no surprise that the college received reaccreditation given the talent and dedication to our students demonstrated daily at NSCC.”