September 22, 2022 - Volume 5 Issue 1

Student- and Equity-Centered Curricula aka Inclusive Curricula


Sonny Ramaswamy, NWCCU President


There’s no magic formula to creating inclusive curricula and the concomitant impacts on promoting student success and closing equity gaps. It will require a concerted, collaborative, all-hands-on-deck campus effort to remove structural barriers to the success of ALL students, but particularly those from disadvantaged and underrepresented groups.

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Catching Up with the 2021 Beacon Award Winners

Linfield University, Clover Park Technical College, and the College of Southern Nevada share their experiences and provide updates on their award-winning achievements. Nevada share their experiences and provide updates on their award-winning achievements.

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Strategies for Implementing and Maintaining a High Quality HyFlex Course Delivery Program

Faced with the administrative challenges of balancing faculty workload with student demand and the need to allow students and faculty the opportunity to teach and learn in a modality that best suited their style, MSUB was exceptionally well positioned to adopt HyFlex courses.

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RISE Learning Institute – Harnessing Synergies for Student Success

Would you like to engage 1,214 students in community engagement or civic education? What if you could send your students to present their research to the US Congress or to a NASA internship?  What does it mean to be an autism-supportive college? How about empowering faculty and staff to be change agents?

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Welcome New Commissioners 

Meet the newest Commissioners: Marta Yera Cronin, Oregon Representative; Stefani Hicswa, Montana Representative; Kevin Melcher, Public Member; Brad Mortensen, Utah Representative; and Joseph Schaffer, Out-of-Region Member

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Tackling College Hunger with Swipe Out Hunger

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In the past five years the landscape of tackling college hunger has changed significantly— rather than mostly student-led pantries scattered across the country, faculty, administrators, campuses and university systems as a whole are seeing that college hunger is a real issue and coming together to tackle it at all levels.

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Pell Reinstatement Presents Opportunities for Colleges and for Students Behind Bars 

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This fall, millions of students across the country will return to classrooms for the start of the school year. After shifts to hybrid learning platforms due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the return to face-to-face instruction still feels novel. For students in prison, however, this year holds additional significance.   

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University of Montana Leads $10M Project to Advance Native American STEM Education Across the West 

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The National Science Foundation recently awarded $10 million to a six-state collaborative working to boost the underrepresentation of Alaska Native and American Indian (AI/AN) students in STEM disciplines and the workforce.

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Next Generation Assessment Web Bites feat. President Ramaswamy  

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Next Generation Assessment (NGA) Web Bites co-hosts Dr. Tammie Cumming and Dr. M. David Miller interview Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy, President of the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) as part of a special Web Bites series on accreditors and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI).

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Updated Ethics and DEI Statement

NWCCU’s Ethics and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement was adopted at the June 2022 Commission Meeting as part of NWCCU’s ongoing DEI efforts.

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Commission Process and Fees Updates

On July 29, 2022, the Executive Committee, acting on behalf of the NWCCU Board of Commissioners, approved the process for approval of Substantive Change requests and a change to billing for onsite peer evaluation visit fees.

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Updates to Policies and Bylaws

Changes, mostly minor, were made to the following policies, Bylaws, and Eligibility Requirements at the June 2022 Commission Meeting.

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New Vice President Joins NWCCU 

NWCCU welcomes Aaron Christopher, PhD, as Vice President for Finance and Administration, effective September 1, 2022. Dr. Christopher has served in several academic administrative roles from Assistant Dean of Graduate Business Programs (California Baptist University) to Vice Chancellor of Administration (Palmer College) and as the permanent or interim chief financial officer at five different institutions.

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New Senior Vice President Joins NWCCU 

NWCCU welcomes Ed Harri, EdD, as Senior Vice President, effective September 1, 2022. Dr. Harri has served in faculty and administrative leadership roles for the last 23 years. At Whatcom Community College, Ed served as math faculty, department chair, division chair, dean for instruction, and vice president for instruction, as well as serving as the accreditation liaison officer. Most recently, Ed has served as the interim director of institutional effectiveness at Green River College.

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Staffing Updates

Congratulations to the following NWCCU employees on their new roles, effective September 1:


  • Dr. Selena Grace, former Senior Vice President, will serve as NWCCU’s Executive Vice President
  • Jordan Kamai, former Educational Programming Coordinator, will serve as NWCCU’s Director of Educational and Institutional Initiatives
  • Deb Tarbutton, former Office Assistant, will serve as Institutional Evaluations Assistant
Welcome New Presidents
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Join us in welcoming the new presidents in the Northwest! Learn who is new to Southern Utah University, Lane Community College, Blackfeet Community College, Seattle Central College, Snow College, Oregon State University, Western Oregon University, University of Oregon, North Idaho College, Alaska Pacific University, Skagit Valley College, Dawson Community College, and Rogue Community College!

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Reminders & Events
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NWCCU Annual Conference - November 2-4


Creating Capacity for Digital Learning - FREE Professional Development Opportunity!


Upcoming Events: January Commission Board Meeting

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Thank you!

The Beacon is NWCCU's quarterly newsletter intended to inform its member institutions and other stakeholders of updates, news, resources, and information pertaining to accreditation and higher education issues. Please send any feedback or ideas to thebeacon@nwccu.org.


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