ACCREDITING COMMISSION APPROVES COLLEGE STATUS FOR RIVERSIDE COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT'S
NORCO AND Moreno Valley College
MVC CONFIRMATION LETTERUpdated
ON THE NEWS
- Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC)
- California Community College Chancellor's Office (CCCCO)
- LA Times
- The Press Enterprise
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 1, 2010
RCCD Public Affairs & Advancement
ACCREDITING COMMISSION APPROVES COLLEGE STATUS FOR RIVERSIDE COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT'S NORCO AND Moreno Valley College
Riverside Community College District's youngest campuses passed the major test in their quest to become colleges with today's announcement that the Accrediting Commission of Community and Junior Colleges voted to approve college status for the 18-year-old institutions.
The Commission's action in granting each campus initial accreditation follows successful site visits by accrediting teams this past October and culminates a complex eight-year process. Students, faculty, and staff celebrated the Commission's decision as a life-changing moment for the campuses. Opened in 1991, both campuses have seen their enrollments grow from 3,000 to more than 9,000 students, mirroring the population boom in surrounding communities.
"I am especially proud that the accrediting commission, in approving our application, commended Norco College for 'nurturing a culture of collegial open dialogue throughout the institution' and for our 'strong sense of community, positive focus on student success, and healthy trust in the participatory governance process'," said Norco College President Brenda Davis. "Achieving accreditation is the result of years of hard work by our faculty, staff, students, and administrators. Without the support and commitment of our entire community and Norco team this accomplishment would not have been possible."
Norco's sister campus in Moreno Valley has kept pace, fielding its own strong planning and preparation effort on the road to accreditation.
"Gaining initial accreditation for Moreno Valley College is a magnificent achievement by the faculty, staff, students, administrators, and community," Moreno Valley College President Monte Perez said. "My heartfelt thanks go to the faculty, staff, and students for never forgetting the dream of becoming an independent college within Riverside Community College District."
College status brings many benefits to the two institutions. A significant one in these tough economic days is the promise of additional funding from the state, once the Board of Governors of California Community Colleges votes to accept the ACCJC approval and grants college status to the Moreno Valley and Norco College. Based upon past practice, this new funding is expected to approach $2.8 million.
As accredited colleges, the campuses also will be able to independently apply for and receive additional state and federal grants, including money to fund Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS) to serve disadvantaged populations. Campus administrators cite other benefits to the community, as well, in terms of program development that best meets the needs of the local population and responds more quickly to changing industry demands. One of the oft-mentioned benefits is that future students will receive diplomas granted by the college they attended. In the future, diplomas would carry one of three imprints: Moreno Valley College, Norco College or Riverside City College.
"This is an amazing day for Riverside Community College District, our more than 55,000 students, and our communities," said Chancellor Gregory W. Gray. "I have stated publicly that RCCD is on its way to becoming one of the top community college districts in the nation. The Commission's simultaneous approval of initial accreditation for Moreno Valley and Norco as independent colleges is visible proof of our potential for greatness."
Board of Trustees President Virginia Blumenthal echoed Gray's enthusiasm. "As an RCC alumna, this is a proud day. As president of the Board, it is a noteworthy day. But as a member of the community, today is momentous. Because now we are truly a community of colleges."
District administrators anticipate that the Board of Governors will consider the matter of officially granting college status to the RCCD Moreno Valley and Norco College as early as March. Once such action is approved, Moreno Valley College and Norco College will become the 111th and 112th community colleges in California.