Decision smooths path to independent accreditation and brings an end to financial aid challenges
On Thursday, Aug. 28, the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities announced its approval of Oregon Coast Community College’s new contract with Portland Community College, effective July 1. Crafted over the previous eight months, the partnership between the colleges is intended to support and develop OCCC through the long process towards self-accreditation.
“Our journey to independent accreditation has already begun, with a lot of hard work on the part of the OCCC Board of Education, as well as the College’s leadership team, faculty and staff. With our accreditation status through PCC securely in place, we will continue our progress knowing that students will be well-served,” OCCC President Dr. Birgitte Ryslinge said Thursday.
Earlier this summer, on June 26, the Commission delayed approval of the contract between OCCC and PCC. “The Commission had asked OCCC to provide additional documentation to accompany our contract, to demonstrate the work done here at OCCC to move towards independent accreditation,” Ryslinge said. “We submitted that evidence and, once the Commissioners were able to review our documents, the Commission approved our contractual relationship with PCC.”
The delay in contract approval did impact some students who were relying on financial aid over the summer months, and Dr. Ryslinge and other OCCC staff reached out to all of its roughly 100 summer-term students to offer solutions and answer questions. “We’re so relieved and pleased that our incoming students this fall won’t face that kind of uncertainty now, and that we will be able to look at retroactive financial aid for eligible summer students," Dr. Ryslinge said.
OCCC students with questions may contact Student Services at 541-867-8501.