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PCC, Klamath CC Laud Accreditation Partnership

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The leaders guiding a landmark accreditation partnership between Portland Community College and Klamath Community College praised the progress of the venture this week as it nears its first anniversary.

Wes Channell, president of Klamath Community College, expressed excitement about how the relationship between the two institutions has evolved over the last year.

"It has been a great relationship," Channell said. "In Portland, we have the most comprehensive curricula in the state to work with as source material. We’ve been able to custom-tune that curriculum for our rural students."

Channell’s comments come on the heels of a report on the partnership filed with the Commission on Colleges’ Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges by Elsie Doser, the dean of Institutional Effectiveness and Research for the association. She also touted the partnership as one that is benefiting both colleges, and especially the students at the southern Oregon college.

The main focus of the report prepared by Doser was on the curriculum continuity of courses, degrees and certificates offered at Klamath Community College, which first opened its doors in June of 1996. The agreement between the two colleges, approved by the commission in September of 1997, states that the courses, degrees and certificates for Klamath Community College need to be approved by PCC prior to launching a course.

Based on the report, the Commission on Colleges reaffirmed the accreditation of PCC at a board meeting in late June.

"Portland is supportive of the goals of Klamath Community College and does everything possible to help them succeed," said Doser. "Klamath Community College administration, faculty and staff have great respect for the experience and expertise of the Portland educators.

"The future is a bright one for the Klamath students," Doser added. "The number of course offerings increased, as did enrollment.

"Future-oriented leaders in the Klamath Falls area are eager to provide the kind of courses and training needed to provide a trained work force."

PCC President Daniel Moriarty said the goal of the partnership is to craft vital, economical and exciting courses for Klamath Falls students, and ultimately lead the college toward accreditation.

"Our relationship with Klamath helps bring affordable education and training to the Klamath Falls area," said Moriarty. "We are pleased to be able to help this new community college, and wholeheartedly support their efforts."

Channell said this partnership is working well because of meetings between both parties and the commission early on to iron out what Klamath needed to eventually gain accreditation.

"At the meetings everybody understood that Klamath Community College wasn’t going to be a satellite campus of PCC," he said. "We are going toward accreditation for ourselves and we want that as soon as possible."

According to Channell, a best-case scenario would have accreditation for Klamath by 2001.

Moriarty said the roles of the two institutions are very distinct, which helps in achieving the objectives of the partnership.

"We have been able to offer our expertise with respect to curricula and the logistics of making a program function. Klamath then takes our recommendations and molds it into an applicable course for their students."

Both presidents said the hard work of the front-line curriculum shapers, such as former PCC Dean of Academic Services Marilyn Davis (now the Dean of Instruction at the Rock Creek Campus), current PCC Dean of Academic Services Guy Sievert and Klamath Dean of Instructional Services Fred Smith, is what keeps Klamath Community College moving toward accreditation.

"They are, and have been, instrumental in making the delicate give-and-take of curriculum development work smoothly for both institutions," Moriarty said.

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