Accreditation Corner: Fall Workshop 2022 - Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC)

By Murl D. Tucker, Ph.D., Chief Academic Officer | Vice President, Student Affairs

DEAC held its annual Fall Workshop on October 23 - 25, 2022 at the Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale, Arizona. Attending from California Coast University were President Tom Neal, Executive Vice President Shelly Marquardt, and our new Compliance Specialist Rachel De Armond.

DEAC offers two annual meetings - one in the fall and one in the spring to help institutions improve educational programming, focus on educational standards, and to understand and meet accreditation requirements. These meetings provide educational institutions an opportunity to keep up with issues impacting the educational field, interact with professional friends and colleagues, share ideas, and keep up with changes that are happening in the industry.

For the Fall Workshop, there were approximately 150 attendees from its members schools across the country, schools looking to apply for accreditation through DEAC, as well as DEAC staff members.

Highlights from the workshop included sessions on:

  •  Best practices in institutional management – i.e. self-evaluation, quality improvement, strategic planning, financial sustainability, and state authorization. President Tom Neal and Executive Vice President Shelly Marquardt were particularly interested in these importance topics.

  • The importance of institutional research to drive program improvement and delivery, and overall institutional effectiveness. CCU is active and committed to on-going research to insure we are meeting our mission and helping our students to reach their educational goals.

  • Federal legislative and regulatory updates – Governmental and regulatory activities impacting institutions were reviewed. This information was a focus for CCU’s Compliance Specialist Rachel De Armond. As a main part of her position, Rachel closely follows all regulations related to accreditation and state authorization and advises CCU’s management team on current requirements.

  • Assessing and planning for institutional effectiveness were covered with particular focus on the process of building an institutional effectiveness plan and putting it into action. CCU’s management team meets regularly to focus on ways to improve overall institutional effectiveness and planning. The CCU team attending the Fall Forum found this information to be very valuable.

Accreditation is a process by which educational institutions seek to both confirm and assure they are meeting established standards of quality in the creation, maintenance, and delivery of educational program. As California Coast University’s accreditor, DEAC has a long history and commitment to supporting and improving the quality of distance education in the United States and for rigorous oversight of its member institutions. In turn, DEAC is recognized by both the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) – with each entity requiring and monitoring quality standards for all their members.

In closing, CCU would like to take this opportunity to thank the DEAC staff for all their on-going efforts in maintaining quality standards and their support of the member institutions. In addition, we would like to thank all the Fall 2022 workshop presenters for their time and efforts in delivering an interesting and informative meeting. The next meeting will be the Spring Conference in April 2023 and California Coast University will be there and ready to learn!

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