The Times West Virginian

November 20, 2013

Pierpont BOG OKs progress report

Approval puts college one step closer to accreditation

By Colleen S. Good
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — Pierpont Community & Technical College has moved one step closer to accreditation.

At the Pierpont Board of Governors meeting Tuesday, provost Leslie Lovett presented the board with an academic affairs report outlining how the different schools within Pierpont are moving toward qualifying for Higher Learning Commission accreditation. The report outlines progress made by the School of Academic Studies; the School of Business, Aviation & Technology; the School of Health Careers; the School of Human Services; and the School of Workforce Development, as well as progress made on regional academic strategic priorities, and progress by the Office of Academic Affairs.

The report was approved by the board Tuesday. Board chairman Earl McConnell said approval of the report was an important step.

“These are the plans that guide us toward accreditation,” McConnell said.

A site visit by the HLC will take place March 3-5 this spring.

Pierpont president Dr. Doreen Larson, provost Leslie Lovett, Faculty Senate president David Beighley and director of testing and assessment coordinator Nancy Parks left Tuesday afternoon to attend the “Fall HLC Pathways” meeting in St. Charles, Ill.

Larson stated that the meeting will help “to put together the final details for the HLC accreditation visit to Pierpont in March 2014, and to prepare for the location of Pierpont programs at the new Advanced Technology Center, currently under construction, in the fall of 2015.”

“Our accreditation is very important to us,” Larson said.

At the meeting, the board also approved a statement in support of changing West Virginia code to allow community colleges more flexibility in choosing how they charge students.

Currently, community colleges are limited to charging per credit hour up to 11 credits. Any credits 12 and above are instead charged at a per-semester tuition rate, with no additional charges for additional credits taken. In order for a change in the code to take place, it would have to be passed by the state Legislature.

In other business:

• The board formally approved a statement outlining the delegation of powers to the president of Pierpont.

• Pierpont has stopped providing cellphone stipends to employees. Because a cellphone stipend was part of Larson’s current contract, the contract needed to be amended to remove the stipend.

• Barbara Pavel-Alvarez officially became a member of the board of governors.

Email Colleen S. Good at cgood@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @CSGoodTWV.