Saturday, August 10, 2013
Columbia Gorge Community College has achieved independent accreditation.
The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities today approved the college’s request for independent accreditation, following a journey that began in 2006 upon direction of the college’s board.
“By achieving independent accreditation, our college is recognized as offering higher education programs on a level of excellence equal to all accredited colleges and universities in the Northwest,” said Dr. Frank Toda, CGCC president, in making the formal announcement today. “We now join the other 163 accredited colleges and universities in the states of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington. We are proud to be number 164.”
Columbia Gorge Community College has been accredited since its establishment in 1977 through a contract with Portland Community College. The college’s quest for independent accreditation enjoyed the full support and encouragement of PCC, which had been responsible for program review and other key functions. Graduates also received diplomas from PCC instead of CGCC.
CGCC achieved formal candidacy for independent accreditation in 2008, which in itself allowed the institution to compete for federal grants and award financial aid. Independent accreditation now confers additional benefits, Toda noted, including greater flexibility in developing new instructional programs and, most importantly, improved service to students.
“Being in charge of our own destiny gives us the agility to be more responsive and responsible,” Toda added. “This is a very good thing, since we allocate about $6 million a year in financial aid to our students.”
Independent accreditation is a milestone, not a destination. The distinction brings with it the requirement for continual evaluation and improvement, using specific measures to determine how the institution is meeting its mission of “Building dreams and transforming lives by providing life-long educational opportunities that strengthen our community.” That process will never end.
“The completion of this chapter in our book of history is a demonstration of our commitment to the communities we serve,” Toda said. “As we look forward to the future, this is the end of one journey and the beginning of a new one, full of hope and opportunities.”
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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"
Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge