The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) oversees accreditation at LPC. Since distance education courses alter many aspects of traditional course delivery and design, it is necessary to be aware of, and understand, the aspects of accreditation policies and requirements as they pertain to teaching at LPC.
Definition of Distance Education
According to the ACCJC: "Distance education is defined, for the purpose of accreditation
review as a formal interaction which uses one or more technologies to deliver instruction
to students who are separated from the instructor and which supports regular and substantive
interaction between the students and instructor, either synchronously or asynchronously.
Distance education often
incorporates technologies such as the internet; one-way and two-way transmissions through open broadcast, closed circuit, cable, microwave, broadband lines, fiber optics, satellite, or wireless communications devices; audio conferencing; or video cassettes, DVDs, and CD-ROMs, in conjunction with any of the other technologies."
LPC does not offer Correspondence Education, which, essentially, provides students
with an education at a distance, but does not include regular and
substantive interaction between the students and the instructor.
Accreditation Policy Elements
The following is a summary of accreditation policy as it relates to distance education:
- All aspects of course design, delivery and assessment for distance education courses should support the institution’s overall mission.
- Student learning outcomes for distance education courses and programs should be clearly defined.
- Library and learning support services should be provided to help students meet student learning outcomes.
- Distance education should be compared with corresponding traditional courses and programs in order to meet institutional outcomes and quality standards.
- Institutions should have procedures to verify student authentication and participation status. These procedures should also protect the privacy of students.
Additional WASC Accreditation Concerns
The following are concerns relating to faculty and students:
- Faculty should have appropriate training.
- Faculty should have ongoing professional development.
- Faculty should have ufficient resources for technical and pedagogical support.
- Faculty should use diverse methods of instruction that address student needs and learning styles.
- Faculty should conduct regular, systematic evaluation and review of distance education courses and programs, and use those results for improvement.
- Students should have appropriate training in being a successful online learner.
- Students should have expectations that distance education courses will provide the same level of instruction as face-to-face courses.
- Students should the same level of interaction with, and access to, the instructor as in face-to-face courses.
- Substantive Change approval 2016. On May 20, 2016, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges approved LPC's request to offer additional degrees and certificates online.
- Substantive Change Proposal 2016
- Substantive Change approval 2013. On May 9, 2013, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges approved LPC's request to offer additional degrees and certificates online.
- Substantive Change Proposal 2013
- Substantive Change approval 2010. On April 16, 2010, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges approved LPC's request to offer additional degrees and certificates online.
- Substantive Change Proposal 2010
- Substantive Change approval 2007. On March 16, 2007, the ACCJC approved LPC's request to offer various degrees and certificates online.
- Substantive Change Proposal 2007. Note that this document does not include the appendix, which was not done in digital format.