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Clark College News and Events

March 2, 2009

For Immediate Release

For additional information: 

Barbara Kerr, Executive Director of
Communications and Marketing Telephone:  360-992-2921




Clark College’s accreditation has been reaffirmed
by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)


VANCOUVER, Wash. –  As it celebrates its 75th anniversary, Clark College has marked another milestone. The college’s accreditation has been reaffirmed by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).  According to NWCCU, accreditation “recognizes higher education institutions for performance, integrity, and quality to merit the confidence of the educational community and the public.”

The news came in a letter to Clark College President Robert K. Knight during the college’s 75th anniversary year.  In October 2008, the college welcomed an accreditation team of educators from throughout the western United States. The visit followed a two-year self-study by the college.

In its letter reaffirming the college’s accreditation, the commission offered five commendations, all of which focused on learning.  They praised the college’s Teaching and Learning Center for its support of learner-centered teaching and linking learning and assessment, the college’s support of professional development activities, the Cannell Library and the college’s information technology resources for actively supporting teaching and learning, the planning and maintenance of college facilities to support a learning atmosphere, and the commitment of the Clark College Foundation in support of educational programs at the college.

In addition, the commission made five recommendations to the college.  They focused on institutional planning and evaluation, program review and outcomes assessment, protection of student records, advising and counseling, and college governance.  Clark College President Robert K. Knight says work is already underway to address the commission’s recommendations. 

Knight said, “Clark College was first accredited in 1937.  Coming during our 75th anniversary as we ‘preserve the past, honor the present, and embrace the future,’ the reaffirmation of our accreditation status demonstrates that we have continued that proud legacy for our students, our college and our community.”

The history of Clark College accreditation

Clark College was founded as a private, two-year junior college in 1933 and was granted initial accreditation in 1937 based upon a visit by a committee of five professors from the University of Washington.  At the invitation of the college, a committee or five professors from the university visited Clark on March 12, 1937. 

According to the book "A History of the Vancouver Public Schools," the professors "inspected the accounts, the libraries and the laboratories, visited classes, conferred with instructors, chatted with students, had lunch with the board and talked with other members of the community." The book reported:  "Acknowledging the meagerness of facilities, the committee concluded that the quality of the work and the competence and earnestness of the faculty warranted the encouragement that accreditation would give."

On April 23, 1937, Dean Lewis D. Cannell announced that Clark Junior College had been accredited for one year.   In an editorial one day later, The Columbian newspaper congratulated the "splendid little junior college" for not losing “sight of the value of high scholarship requirements and a high standard for scholastic requirements.”

In 1948, the college first received accreditation from the organization known as the Northwest Association of Secondary and Higher Schools.  Today, that organization is known as the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). 

Since its first accreditation in 1937, Clark College has remained accredited throughout its history.


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