December 8, 2022 - Volume 5 Issue 2

Transformative Education: The Connected Student

Sonny Ramaswamy, NWCCU President

There is no one-size-fits-all model to create the student-centric, transformative educational ecosystem to promote community and a sense of belonging: It is context and mission dependent. However, effective programs share many elements.

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First Lady Jill Biden Visits Bates Technical College

First Lady Dr. Jill Biden visited Bates Technical College’s South Campus to tour youth apprenticeship and the Technical High School programs that connect youth to hands-on workforce education while they earn their high school diploma.

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Portland Community College’s Reorganization

The reorganization of PCC is more than a change in reporting lines – it is about the systemic examination and improvement of systems and processes to ensure that the College is moving toward equitable student outcomes. Through the reorganization, the College has begun to take down the bulkheads to allow for a more streamlined and supportive approach to getting students to their destination. In and of itself, changing reporting lines won’t impact equitable student outcomes without a change in

culture. Policies, procedures, practices, and ways in which communities are re-engaged also need to change in order to improve results.

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Award-Winning Virtual Chemistry Lab Provides Hands-On Lessons Online at Oregon State

OSU Ecampus teams with chemistry faculty to create an innovative lab platform that meets students’ needs.

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Fort Peck Community College’s Transformative Programming

Fort Peck Community College’s Wawogiya Retention Program and The Buffalo Chasers Podcast highlight the institution’s efforts to champion student wellness and success.

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Reflecting on the 2022 NWCCU Annual Conference

The 2022 NWCCU Annual Conference highlighted transformative education and welcomed over 430 attendees from across 150 institutions. We had outstanding and informative sessions on higher education policy, advancing DEI efforts, the value of prison education, and much, much more! Thank you to our incredible plenary

speakers and to our institutional presenters who shared the ways in which they have transformed education on their campuses. 

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Transforming Lives, Transforming Native Communities


In Fall 2021, Salish Kootenai College (SKC) admitted the first cohort of students into a unique Master of Science in Natural Resources Management (MS NRM). The MS NRM program was designed to transform students’ lives and increase the number of Native Americans with educational preparation needed to provide resource management integrated with perspectives and worldviews of Native American communities.

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The Creative Learning Studio at Utah Valley University


The School of Education (SOE) at Utah Valley University is home to The Creative Learning Studio (CLS), a technology-driven innovation hub for future and current educators. The main purpose of the CLS is to support UVU students enrolled in the elementary and secondary teacher preparation programs on how to integrate technology across content areas through the use of robotics and computer science.

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Creating Capacity for Digital Learning – Free Professional Learning Opportunity Extended

In August 2022, NWCCU, in partnership with OLC and ELE and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, offered a free, self-paced professional development workshop series on developing quality digital learning. We are now pleased to announce that this opportunity is extended through the end of 2023!

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Welcome New Presidents

Join us in welcoming the new presidents in the Northwest! Learn who is new to Chief Dull Knife College, Renton Technical College, Wenatchee Valley College, and Shoreline Community College!

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Reminders & Events

ALO Winter Townhall

Join your liaisons and Commission staff on Friday, February 10 from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PST to learn about changes to processes, policies, and updates from the January Commission meeting. More information will be sent to ALOs via email in the coming weeks.

AGB Webinar

Save the date for Friday, February 17, as we learn from the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges. More information (including registration links) will be sent via email in the coming weeks.

Spring 2023 Trainings

The following trainings will be offered to help evaluation teams prepare for the Spring 2023 visit season. More information will be sent to evaluation team members via email in the coming weeks.

  • Tuesday, February 21 (9:00-10:00 a.m. PST) – New PRFR Training
  • Tuesday, February 21 (10:00-11:30 a.m. PST) – PRFR Refresher
  • Tuesday, February 28 (9:00-10:30 a.m. PST) – Chair Refresher (Mid-Cycle)
  • Wednesday, March 1 (9:00-10:30 a.m. PST) – Evaluator Refresher (Mid-Cycle)
  • Tuesday, March 7 (9:00-10:30 a.m. PST) – Evaluator Refresher (EIE/Candidacy/Ad Hoc)
  • Wednesday, March 8 (9:00-10:30 a.m. PST) – Chair Refresher (EIE/Candidacy/Ad Hoc)

Upcoming Events

Commission Board Meeting - January 24-27, 2023

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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

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