students sitting in front of Kauai C C building

The accreditation for the University of Hawaiʻi’s six community colleges—Hawaiʻi, Honolulu, Kapiʻolani, Kauaʻi, Leeward and Windward—has been reaffirmed by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) at its meeting in January.

“Receiving the reaffirmation letters from ACCJC validates the colleges as exemplary institutions of higher education,” said John Morton, UH vice president for community colleges. “It’s a step in the right direction as we move forward to improve upon the foundation set by the hundreds of hours of work by our dedicated faculty and staff under the outstanding leadership of our college administrators.”

Island-centered mission

The commission also found full compliance with all of the standards relating to board governance and the community college system governance and leadership, adding a commendation in its report on the UH Community Colleges system’s island-centered mission in identifying new programs, and its successful implementation of technology across the system to support program planning and tracking students’ academic pathways.

UH President David Lassner said, “We congratulate and thank our UH Community College faculty, staff and administrators for their hard work to ensure continuing accreditation of our campuses and for their commitment to accountability in achieving the complex but absolutely critical mission to meet Hawaiʻi students wherever they are and take them to where they need to be to advance their hopes and dreams.”

The commission approved reaffirmation of accreditation for seven-year terms for Hawaiʻi CC, Honolulu CC, Kauaʻi CC, Leeward CC and Windward CC. Kapiʻolani CC was given an 18-month term, with a follow-up report required to address two compliance recommendations out of more than 120. The first recommendation was related to annual review and evaluation of the governance structures and policies, and the second was to better analyze and use the results of the assessment of student learning outcomes in the planning and resource allocation on campus. When Kapiʻolani CC fulfills the recommendations within two years, the commission will extend the campus’ accreditation for the full seven-year term.

Exemplary performances

All the colleges received many commendations on exemplary performances, which mostly centered around the colleges’ strong commitment to their mission and support for their students through innovative programs and services, such as developing clear pathways to complete degrees, certificate and transfer goals, special programs providing quality learning opportunities and open access to Native Hawaiian students, first generation students and adult learners.

This year’s review and assessments were determined by a combination of site visits by members from peer institutions, as well as from college self-studies compiled by faculty, staff, students, administrators and community members. A mid-term report is due October 17, 2022. The next full comprehensive review will take place in the fall semester of 2025.

The ACCJC notification letters and reports are available online at the college’s websites, or at the UH Community Colleges website.