August 2017

As the summer slips away, our focus changes towards fall events.  Despite the fact that virtually all of our member institutions function year-round, there’s something embedded in our psyche that makes the start of classes in fall as a special event.  Here’s hoping that’s the case in both your professional and personal lives.

Excitement is building about the Annual ACCET Conference scheduled from November 6-8 at the Hyatt Regency on the San Antonio Riverwalk. Participant registration is building, the Exhibit Hall is almost sold out, and the program is falling in place.  This is the major opportunity for our ACCET community to gather and I know you’ll be making every effort to join us.

Here in the ACCET office, we have recently welcomed Maia Williams as a new Accreditation Coordinator and Dr. Mary Clare DiGiacomo as a Senior Accreditation Coordinator.  Maia is recent graduate of the Higher Education Administration Masters Program at the University of Pennsylvania while Mary Clare has most recently served as the Dean of General Education and Online Learning at Athens Technical College in Georgia.  They have both hit the ground running and after some additional training and observation early in this cycle, they will be doing visits later this fall.  Additionally, Roxanne Wittkamp has agreed to serve as a part-time Commission Representative.  Most recently, Roxanne served as the Academic Dean at Chicago ORT. We are pleased to have these three professionals join our team.

The ACCET Commission just concluded its August deliberations and it was a most productive week.  Recent circumstances forced two Commissioners, Patricia Stein and Nadine Baladi, to step down from their posts requiring the Commission to make appointments to complete their terms.  Accordingly, we welcomed Sophia Perkovich, Director of Cortiva Institute in Arizona and Shenaz Shafee, Academic Director of LADO in Washington DC to fill these slots.  They made significant contributions right away and have nicely blended into the Commission ranks.    In addition to accreditation decisions, the Commission made a number refinements to our completion and placement, complaints and conflict of interest/recusal policies.  The dedication of our Commissioners and the time that they devote to their tasks are exemplary. 

These next two visit cycles will be extremely eventful.  All current members scheduled for visits will receive them as planned while we also endeavor to visit for initial accreditation, the former ACICS institutions whose applications we have accepted.  This amounts to 36 main campuses and an additional 68 affiliated branch/auxiliary campuses.  We have laid out a game plan to accomplish this task and look forward to this undertaking. Simultaneously, we are preparing for ACCET’s re-recognition consideration this June by the U.S. Department of Education.  As you might imagine, we are re-defining the word “busy”!

Finally, look for the first edition of the ACCET Newsletter to be shortly attached to our website!  It is part of our ongoing attempt to more comprehensively communicate with you on key issues, events, and happenings.  Sincere thanks to all the staff who worked on this edition with special recognition to Carol Crehan, Christina D’Antoni and Jim Doran.

So, I look forward to greeting many of you in San Antonio and wish you all well as we continue our collaboration and partnership.  Thank you for all the support you have shown to ACCET, its members, staff and Commissioners.