Honolulu September 2003

Honolulu September 2003 Events Access Table
ACCJC Training Dates Key Topics
Monday 08 Sep
Tuesday 09 Sep
Wednesday 10 Sep
Thursday 11 Sep
HCC Oceanography
HCC Exercise Sport Science
Themes cx Standards
Terminate assessment committee
Kapiolani bookstore
IEP Replacement
Eligibility Requirements review
Required personnel comm action
Transfer policy

Monday 08 Sep


Visit to Hawaii-Pacific downtown campus with Spensin. No buses due to bus strike. Driving problematic due to heavy traffic. Parking impossible. Spensin met with Hawaii-Pacific while I parked the car a kilometer away. With traffic and parking, this effort would not be completed until mid-afternoon.

Late Afternoon

Utilized an Internet cafe on the West side of the Ohana Waikiki West to contact Pohnpei and attempt to determination the location of the President. Utilized the remainder of the afternoon to scout the terrain for Micronesians. On a trip by foot, due to the bus strike, I swung Ewa through Waikiki and went up to UH Manoa (20 minutes) via Kapiolani and University. I went across to Chaminade (50 minutes) and then headed south on Kapahulu back towards Diamond Head and Waikiki. On Kapahulu I relocated the Runner's World store I had seen in 1999. Total trip time was 1:21:23.

On this trip I met Lorraine Welley, Roxina (Edwin?) Seymour, and a young woman named Mina. All work minimum wage jobs in Waikiki and live in Waikiki on Ala Wai one block Ewa of the Ohana. There is a building there that is virtually all Micronesian. Sepe Tolenna Talley lives in the first floor apartment that would normally be used by the apartment manager. Lorraine Welley's older sister had a one week and one day old baby.

The Micronesians appeared to live in small, cramped, crowded, slightly substandard conditions in an older, less maintained building.


Dined with Howard at the Waikiki International Trade Fair. Discussed a variety of topics. Reached the President late evening and learned that he had visited Chaminade, UH Manoa, and BYU Hawaii.



Honolulu Community College

Visited with Chancellor Ramsey Pederson, formerly Provost HCC. He noted their own budget issues, including an initial request that HCC cut 20% in the first quarter. Negotiated to a 5% per quarter cut.

HCC is also looking to take one program to four year status. During the course of our trip I learned that every community college is looking to take a single program to fourth year – Northern Marianas College (NMC) opened up the flood gates. We would later learn this has generated a huge amount of additional work for Barbara Beno and her staff at ACCJC. There appears to be a desire on the part of ACCJC to bring control to a pot that has suddenly come to a violent boil.

Toured campus. Visited auto body repair shop, sheet metal fabrication, cosmetology program, sewing and fashion design, and computer networking program.

These programs are all AAS, and hence could be attended by Micronesian students on Pell grant. I realized that COMFSM could and should be playing a role in providing information to high school graduates on options beyond just our own options. The cosmetology program leads to licensing, the sheet metal program guarantees an apprentice position in a field with a starting pay of $13.10.

Given that most Micronesians are working the worst minimum wage jobs, including two Chuukese girls reported to be working as strippers in a strip club, we have an obligation to counsel high school students on options beyond our own islands.

We probably need to work on articulation options for any developmental English programs we do put together.

HCC also has an aviation mechanics and power plant program. This program includes a 71 bed dorm and articulates to a third and fourth year program in North Dakota.

The sewing and fashion design program holds fashion shows and, in 2000, flew students to New York to tour the industry. The instructor noted a strong local market preference for "made in Hawaii" fashion wear. The program had photos of a fashion show put on by the students using their own designs. The photos were a nice portfolio assessment of what the students were capable of accomplishing.

Although the students in fashion design and in cosmetology are primarily female, there were also male students who are designated "non-traditional" students. As I recall mention was made that non-traditional students are provided some form of assistance to encourage non-traditional student participation in these programs.

Visited Dr. Gopal in his marine laboratory. HCC has a superb marine facility but no marine science program. The courses are attended by students completing their general education core requirements. All courses are designed to meet a general education core requirement. We witnessed an Environmental Science course being offered in a state of the art windowless room with computer projector, Elmo unit, and full audio-video capabilities. The room was a not a dedicated AV room, it was simply Dr. Gopal's classroom in the marine science lab building.

Dr. Gopal noted that their Oceanography course, OCN 201 Science of the Sea, has no prerequisite and is open to all students.

HCC courses articulate to UH Manoa for those students who want a degree in Marine Science.


Brigham Young University – Hawaii Bookstore

Math 100. Intermediate Algebra for College Students. 6th Edition. Angel. Pearson Publishing. This suggests that there is no need to renumber MS 100 at this time, at least vis-a-vis BYU-H.
Math 112 Calculus. Thomas. Addison Wesley.
MS 110 PreCalculus. Aufmann, Barker, Nation. $114.75. Houghton Mifflin. Suggests MS 112 is proper appellation for PreCalculus.
Statistics 221. Elementary Statistics by Triola. Pearson Publishing. Text includes ANOVA in latermost chapters. This suggests that a 100 level course, such as MS 150, is appropriate in not handling ANOVA.
Conceptual Physical Science. Physical Science. Hewiit, Suchoki. Pearson Publishing.
Exercise Sport Science 174. Walk Jog Run for Wellness Everyone. Patricia Floyd. 4th Edition. $29.75. All physical education courses are called Exercise Sport Science. Sounds better than physical education. Another alternative would be Physical Activity.


Visited BYU-H "work-study" program: Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC). Students work one year in each village (Fiji, Tonga, Tahiti, Rapa Nui, Marquesas, Hawaii, Aotearoa). Artisans and specialists on permanent staff teach the student workers the language, arts, crafts, and culture of that island. Students learn mat weaving, basket making, tapa cloth production, carving, useful plants, and handicraft production for that island group. The students also learn the songs and dances for their assigned village.

If one has not seen the layout of the villages, further information is available at http://www.polynesia.com

Students are also the guides and general workforce for the PCC.

Evening shows include a luau dinner with dancing and a night time stage show with volcanoes and dances from across the Pacific.

Our hostess at the luau buffet was Summer, a young woman of Hawaiian-Chinese ancestry. After working as a hostess from 5:00 to 7:00 in the Ali'i Luau at Hale Aloha, Summer danced in the Horizons show at the Pacific Theatre from 7:30 to 9:30. In the night show she will dance in the numbers for a couple different islands including Hawaii. Then she returns to her dorm by 10:00 to study for the next day's classes. She is both paid and gets tuition waivers for her work.

Contrast this to Dalihlu Waltu who works at am ice cream shop in Waikiki. Dalihlu works until 1:00 A.M. and then heads home to study and catch some sleep before she has to leave at 4:00 A.M. for her early morning maintenance job at Chaminade. Classes are woven in between the three day a week maintenance job and her evening work in Waikiki. While Summer enjoys the relative safety of tranquil little North Shore Laie, Dalihlu walks home through Honolulu.

Although BYU-H is operating under an enrollment cap, the shows at PCC utilize only Pacific Islanders so that they appear authentic. In order to fill out each islands portion of the show, students join in other islands dance numbers. The upshot is that BYU-H appears to make special efforts to bring in Pacific island students in order to keep the PCC operational. PCC is a money maker for the College. Thus there is a tremendous opportunity for our students. Plus a need for a Micronesian village and some Yapese stick dancing, Kosraen singing, Pohnpeian paddle dances, and Chuukese dances.

BYU-H might be an ideal environment for some of our students. The school code prohibits drinking, smoking, and provides for strict control of opposite sex access to the dorms. The discipline structure this provides could be of benefit to our students. The lack of local jobs in Laie also reduces the Hilo-like risk of a student leaving school to keep a job that does not have work hours conducive to continuing in school. Anecdotally BYU-H appears to have a good record of keeping our students in school and graduating them. BYU- noted that they enjoy a very high retention rate.

The town of Laie is small, North Shore, and in some ways not unlike home.

PCC's plant collection is amazingly thorough. I spent much of the afternoon wandering from plant to plant. I saw two types of Nephrolepis fern, one possibly hirsutula as it looked different than our biserrata (rehdil). I do not recall seeing Asplenium nidus, tehnlik, but Laie is very very dry. PCC is clearly watered heavily.

I was amazed to see Psilotum down at the Marquesan village. The presence of psilotum told me that a botanist put the garden together.

The list of plants available would make teaching Ethnobotany a dream. Cananga odorata (sehr en wai), Lantana camara, Lantana montevidensis, Hibiscus tiliaceus (kolo), Araucaria columnaris, Morinda citrifolia (weipwul), Cyperus alternifolius.

I could not find Clerodendrum inerme, but it is probably classified invasive.

I was all ready to go to the administration building and offer to develop and deploy a student learning outcome (SLO) based Ethnobotany courses, when I realized that the garden appeared to be missing arguably the most important Pacific island cultural plant.

I asked a Pacific islander who was a guide in the village of Aotearoa and she noted that while ceremonies used the roots, the plant was no longer in the garden. Some plants had been in the Samoan village, but they had been removed.

Minus Piper methysticum there is no way to do an honest Pacific Island ethnobotany course. I could not confirm the presence of Areca catechu either. Inevitably a religion based effort to conserve culture is going to have its impact on those cultures. The choices being made raise questions as to whether one can conserve only those portions of a culture with which one agrees.

I spoke to the young guide about Piper methysticum and she spoke with some thoughtfulness and intelligence. She supported its cultural use in tradition, but strongly opposed its general consumption. This heartened me – the temple appeared to be taking a careful, reasoned, and tolerant approach to the matter.

My guess is that Piper methysticum is present in some corner of the garden out of general view. For all I know PCC may have a theft problem associated with P. methysticum.

Later we would all discuss whether COMFSM could have a tourism oriented fund raising Micronesian Cultural Center run along the same lines but at a less intense level. I can envision four cultural villages out in the property that is euphemistically referred to as our agriculture area. The villages would be huts with seating option. A Kosraen style hut, a Chuukese hut, a nahs, a men's and women's hut for the Yapese.

Some form of schedule would have to be assembled, or we would use Saturdays. Or starting smaller, only a few Saturdays a year.

The smallest starting point might be a biannual dinner with cultural dancing in the back gym with the HRM students providing support for the buffet dinner.

Obviously we would have to take many steps that PCC does not have to take. We would have to work closely and carefully with traditional leaders, an issue PCC probably does not face.

Home after 10:00, did not run. Discussion with Spensin across a wide range of matters.

Wednesday 10 September


Accreditation Liaison Officers

Accreditation Liaison Officer (ALO) training at Kapiolani. Learned that our four year effort could be decoupled from our two year reaffirmation effort. The cost would be that when we did opt to pursue the fourth year again, we would have to do another self study on the scale of a six year self study.

Note that a self study is not the same thing as a self study report. The self study report is the hexennial report on the self study that occurred during the prior two years. This is an issue for us: some standards did a study of self, others arguably did not.

Every July ACCJC releases a new manual with changes marked "draft." Hence "draft" is the real thing.

Seth reported that his college in American Samoa added a one credit PE requirement to their general education core three years ago.

Darlene Pacheco asked the ALOs present to prepare a grid with the standards on one axis and the six themes on the other axis. She asked that we map out which themes apply to which standards. Although we did not have time to do this is the conference, she said we should do this at home and email it to them. In return they would send a key. Darlene noted that this exercise is effectively a prerequisite to doing a self study and self study report. I sat there thinking, "Oh, now they tell me."

The six themes, student learning outcomes (SLOs), dialogue, institutional commitments, evaluation-planning-improvement cycles, resources-organization, and integrity, must be woven into the final self study report.

There is a new eligibility requirement (ER) – brand new. The new ER is not yet in Appendix C of the self study manual. Numbered twelve on the new list of twenty-one, the new ER is academic freedom. We were referred to the AAHE web site for a good definition of academic freedom. We are also referred to the book "The Straight Man" in reference honesty and integrity.

I also learned that ACCJC appears to look increasingly to CHEA (Council of Higher Education Accreditors?) and C-RAC (Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions?) for guidance.

Sanctions by ACCJC are reported to the Chronicle of Higher Education and USDOE.

US Congress is asking for increased disclosure by higher education including both quantitative and qualitative data. US Congress now wants SLO information on student learning. They are also demanding articulation between schools. This has become a consumer protection issue for them. If a student takes EN 110 Advanced Reading at Bimbleport College and then moves to Humblehick College, Humblehick should not make the student retake Advanced Reading.

The leverage? Congress funds financial aid. If they "bought" EN 110 at Bumbleport, then they should not have to buy it again at Humblehick.

More on this later, it is a huge issue with fantastical ramifications.

On the 12th of January at NMC (Northern Marianas College) the ACCJC will give a training for members of Boards of Regents.

The self study must be based wholly and solely on analysis of EVIDENCE. No assertions will be accepted. None. Program review must be done. The axe will fall on schools that are not now reviewing programs. Program review was mandated in 1996, now its absence constitutes sanctionable non-compliance.

Program review appears, to this author, to review to what we called program health indicators.

The ALO needs access to program processes, budget decisions, decisions procedures. The ALO needs to "see into" all aspects of college operations.

The ALO should receive the minutes of all sitting committees at the college. The ALO is an archivist for the College of evidence.

The self study is not the same thing as the self study report. Or, the study of self is not the same thing as the self study report. "Anybody can do a report and make it right, but you have to have everyone working in a participative conversation."

Leeward has a curriculum committee and a program review committee. Problematic if the two diverge. Since the key phrase is CYCLE of planning, development, deployment, assessment, and planning anew, the assessment committee would have to reduplicate the curriculum committee (the planner, developer, and deployer of our curricula) in membership.

At present our separation of assessment (or its predecessor Institutional Effectiveness) from curriculum committee means that our cycle (or loop) is never really closed. John Gann noted this some years ago. We deploy in curriculum, but unless we sit on assessment we rarely know what happens.

Assessment must be part and parcel of deployment. The simple solution is to put the two together. Disband the assessment committee altogether. Add assessment and program review reporting to curriculum committee. Curriculum committee agendas might look like:

Maybe each month a different division can give their annual report on program assessment in their division. The date of the report need not coincide with the study. Math might study in April but report in November. Micronesian studies might also study in April but report in December.

Curriculum committee would handle all areas under the VPIA, including the learning resources center.

Students services and support would also have student learning outcomes and assessment. These assessments would be reported in the student services committee.

The result would be closed loops of planning, development, deployment, and assessment.

Instead of this structure:
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This will have some other unintended beneficial effects. The IE/Assessment committee was led by the Director of Research and Planning (DRP). This led to continuity and institutional memory problems as the DRP turned over repeatedly.

I firmly believe that the DRP position will remain permanently unstable. Either the DRP will be incompetent and we will fire them, or the DRP will be competent and will leave to make the $80,000+ a DRP can make elsewhere on this planet.

Since the VPIA and VPSS head curriculum and student services respectively, this committees hold the promise of more stability.

I am also proposing that the ALO function be brought back over to faculty and staff that are not in the Institutional Research and Planning Office (IRPO).

The need for closed loops of assessment was stressed in all three sessions in Honolulu.

The ACCJC is ahead of the Association of Senior Colleges and Universities (ACSCU). UH Manoa, for example, does not have general education student learning outcomes. UHM utilizes "hallmarks of general education." This has caused some articulation problems for some two-year schools using SLO based general education definitions.

Dialogues about perceptions are no longer valid nor accepted. Institutional dialog has to be based on program review data.

Dialogues are structured, planned, topic-oriented, purposeful discussions. These dialogs are central to the new standards.

NMC setup a biweekly Friday afternoon faculty dialogging session. Every two weeks a new topic is tackled. Sounds good, eh? Unfortunately the administration considers the sessions to be little more than faculty bitch and moan sessions. The administration has come to see the meetings as valuable only in that they get faculty off of their administrative backs. The sessions are little more than steam venting sessions. This is not dialog.

This author would assert that ANY such faculty meeting is likely to degenerate into such a session: a bitch session that administration eventually avoids attending.

While ACCJC sees value in such, I think human dynamics inveigh against this approach.

Meetings are always meetings, and faculty tend to abhor meetings.

COMFSM tends to benefit from being a very small system. We appear to utilize continuous, ongoing, running conversations that permeate our environment. We use email lists heavily. We meet face-to-face on sidewalks, in stores, in the evenings. The emails provide context and background, a common understanding of issues and information.

The lack of face-to-face capabilities with our state campuses is problematic, but not insurmountable. Here email and on line discussion lists provides the greatest opportunities.

These conversations, these dialogs, whether about SLOs, mathematics, IEP, or personnel policies, are harder to document, but represent the real evolution of the thinking of a faculty and staff.

Here a faculty based ALO is truly useful – out on the sidewalks of the College talking constructively with all units. A faculty ALO is less likely to get physically trapped in the DRP office.

Administrators of Colleges on new standards

Wednesday afternoon

Largely a recap of the morning session but for administrators. ALOS sat in. The presence of our President at not just this but at all three sessions sent a strong message of support from the highest levels for the standards and for accreditation efforts. We were the only College with our CEO attending all three sessions across the two days.

Kapiolani Bookstore

Math 024 Beginning Algebra. 9th. Lial, Hornsby. Pearson Publishing.
Math 097 Mathematics in Action. Consortium for Foundation Math.
Math 115 Understanding Statistics. Brase and Brase. $115.00
Math 135 PreCalculus with GD. PreCalculus: Functions and Graphs. Munem, Yizze. 5th. Worth Publishing.
Math 140 PreCalculus. PreCalculus 3rd. Mark Dugopolski. Addison Wesley.
Botany 105 People, Plants, and Culture. Balick and Cox. Scientific American. Same text as our SC/S 115 Ethnobotany!
Botany 105 Traditional Hawaiian Uses of Plants. Abbott. UH Press.


Ran to Ala Moana (19 minutes) and on to Ward Center, returning oceanfront for a total time of 1:13:59.

Went to find a burger. Walked into a burger joint and then thought the better of it and walked out. As I walked away a young woman ran out of the burger joint yelling my name. It was Eleanor Samuel. She is working there. Her boss let her off for the evening as the rush was over and we walked down to see Dalihlu at the ice cream shop. Eleanor is at UH Manoa and hopes to graduate in May 2004.

Due to the bus strike, Eleanor's manager drives her home when she works late. Eleanor and Dalihlu are rooming together. Dalihlu was going to be on duty until 1:00 A.M., so Eleanor and I talked until 10:00 when her manager drove her home from the burger joint.

I spoke to the manager and she noted that Eleanor was a good worker and quick learner. Clearly the manager cared about Eleanor and looked out for her. Up the road Mina, a Kosraen without a College education, works in the trenches of the cash registers at Foodland. Mina has a tough job of nonstop ringing up of food. While Eleanor and Dalihlu get to interact with customers, Mina can barely catch her breath as there is always a long line of people.

I am beginning to think that even wherein a student takes on a minimum wage job, our graduates have the leg up on obtaining the less distasteful or difficult of positions. Jansen, in school at UH Manoa, has a plum of a job was a doctor's assistant at a Straub clinic. His brother Jenson, meanwhile, graduated with his electrical engineering degree and drives a Humvee. Meanwhile Dalihlu is planning on pursuing a Master's in education at Loyola Marymount. In other words, we give our students a good start, a leg up, and open up unlimited possibilities. Even wherein they fail to obtain a BA, they are more likely to land better paying jobs or jobs in more pleasant locations or with less distasteful work loads and hours.

Back at the hotel that night I rough out a plan for an IEP replacement with Spensin – a Pellable replacement.

30 Credit Developmental Program
Subject Credits Structure
Reading 4 (5 days a week, TuTh labs)
Writing 4 (5 days a week, TuTh labs)
Listening and Speaking 3 (3 days a week)
Mathematics 4 (5 days a week, TuTh labs)
Total: 15
Reading 4 (5 days a week, TuTh labs)
Writing 4 (5 days a week, TuTh labs)
Listening and Speaking 3 (3 days a week)
Mathematics 4 (5 days a week, TuTh labs)
Total: 15

This would be sink or swim stuff. One year to College level or bust. Many would bust. And then they would go on their own dime. This system might not be acceptable to the ACCJC. I would note that HCC uses more than one year to bring students up through developmental. HCC has six sequential non-credit ICE (Introduction to College English for non-native speakers) courses that feed into two terms of for-credit ESL courses that then lead into a developmental English course that is one level below College level. So six ICE courses, a year of ESL, and a term of developmental prior to College level. Obviously our students and hence our school cannot afford this.

We do have one advantage: the above HCC program was designed for Asian students flooding into Hawaii. Our students have had English exposure in high school. This does, however, indicate that any such one year program we develop cannot serve Asian students as it would be wholly inadequate: we cannot think in terms of our developmental courses as being potential cash cows.

I know the developmental mathematics is problematic: we are now using three terms to do what has to be done in two. This is will need to be discussed in detail by the division, but the current structure cannot function within the financial constraints of 30 remedial credits. We might wish that the students would pay for their remedial education, but if wishes were horses beggars would ride. The reality in a nation with a $1.50 minimum wage and no jobs is that financial aid is the dog and the program is the tail wagged by the dog.

Thursday 11 September

Thursday Morning

Self Study and Self Study Report

Barbara provides us with a document that has 21 Eligibility Requirements (ER), not the 20 that we are working with. Even the brand new July 2003 Self Study Manual Appendix C is still using the old 20.

Changes in the ERs were highlighted.

  1. Authority. Authority to operate. Changes were made to remove references to California.
  2. Mission. New: The mission statement defines institutional commitment to achieving student learning. This reinforces an overall emphasis on student learning and student learning outcomes that permeates the new standards. Ultimately there will come a time in a decade or so when a College could lose accreditation on the grounds that student learning is not occurring. Our mission statement lacks this language, hence we are not in compliance with an eligibility requirement. This will likely lead to a warning. Note the presence of the words "commitment to." Actual achievement of student learning is not yet required.

    Historically diverse, uniquely Micronesian, and globally connected, the College of Micronesia-FSM is the national institution of higher education of the Federated States of Micronesia. Originally established to develop teacher education, its current mission is to provide educational opportunity – academic, vocational and technical – for all people. Aimed at nourishing individual growth and national unity, scholarship and service, COM-FSM is dedicated to developing integrity, critical thinking skills, a breadth of vision, and the habit of reflection in an educational environment enriched by cultural traditions.”

    Although only the Planning Council can fundamentally alter the mission statement at this time, it might be possible to achieve compliance by altering the final clause"COM-FSM is dedicated committed to developing integrity, critical thinking skills, a breadth of vision, student learning, and the habit of reflection in an educational environment enriched by cultural traditions.

    In a related vein, I took the IIIA1c issue Yaro stumbled across to a commissioner. "Faculty and others directly responsible for student progress toward achieving stated student learning outcomes have, as a component of the their evaluation, effectiveness in producing those learning outcomes." [Emphasis mine]

    I noted that our faculty had, via curriculum committee, rejected this language. We had noted that this was tantamount to being evaluated based on student performance. Given the weak preparation for College of our students, the lack of job protections such as tenure, and the stated policy of the College that faculty can be non-renewed without cause given, the faculty were not willing to accept such a clause. The variation that was approved by the curriculum committee was,

    shows responsibility for student progress toward achieving stated learning outcomes, communicates desired learning outcomes to the students, shows a commitment to effectiveness in producing those learning outcomes
    [Emphasis mine]

    This new evaluation form, designed to replace both of the forms in present use by the VPIA and Personnel Office, was referred to Personnel Committee last year, but as far as I know no action was taken. The present personnel office evaluation is worse that unacceptable. That one to ten scale form is sanctionable. We get rid of it or face ACCJC sanctions.

    I explained our problem to the commissioner, that we had rejected the very language used in the standard. We were not only not in compliance, but we refused to comply. Hey, these are new standards, I have to believe some California schools might find their faculty balking at this one too.

    The commissioner paused for a moment, I think even he had not thought about schools with severely under prepared students and a system where there is no tenure and instructors can be non-renewed without cause being given. Our language is close, but critically different.

    He suggested that we explain everything – the lack of tenure, the non-renewal without cause, and our under prepared student body. Then it will be up to the team and the commission to decide how to respond to our decisions.

    I continue to wonder to what extent other institutions might see such language as being micromanagement of contractual clauses. As a pilot institution I know we will need to highlight this particular issue.

    In the meantime we need the personnel committee to act and to act NOW on passing the version that is at least closer to the ACCJC requirements. I have asked that personnel meet by 22 September and vote up or down on this new form so that Yaro can include the results in his section of the self study.
  3. Governing Board. New statements on responsibility for financial stability and oversight on spending.
  4. Chief Executive Officer. New statements on separation of power: CEO may not chair board. Conflicts of interest must be disclosed.
  5. Administrative capacity. No change.
  6. Operational status. No change.
  7. Degrees. No change.
  8. Educational programs. New: Programs culminate in identified student learning outcomes.
  9. Academic credit: Grammar changes only.
  10. Educational objectives. RENAMED Student Learning and Achievement. Rewritten to emphasize student learning and achievement outcomes.
  11. General Education. New: General education has comprehensive learning outcomes for the students who complete it.
  12. New ER. The institution's faculty are free to examine and test all knowledge appropriate to their discipline or area of major study as judged by the academic/educational community in general. Regardless of institutional affiliation or sponsorship, the institution maintains an atmosphere in which intellectual freedom and independence exist.
  13. Faculty. New: Faculty responsibilities must include development and review of curriculum as well as assessment of learning.
  14. Student Services. Reworded to included support for student learning phrase.
  15. Admissions. No change.
  16. Information and Learning Resources. Reworded to broaden the statements to include programs offered under contract and via distance education.
  17. Financial Resources. New references to support for student learning programs and services, improvement of institutional effectiveness.
  18. Financial Accountability. Reworded. Budget and audits must be submitted to the commission for the two years prior to the eligibility application. No operating debt should be on the books.
  19. Institutional Planning and Evaluation. New: The institution provides evidence of planning for improvement of institutional structures and processes, student achievement of educational goals, and student learning. The institution assesses progress towards achieving its stated goals and makes decisions regarding improvement though an ongoing and systematic cycle of evaluation, integrated planning, resource allocation, implementation, and re-evaluation.
  20. Public information. Extensive rewrite and restructure into bulleted list. What must be in the catalog. Our catalog NEEDS an index. I cannot find a policy that specifically and directly addresses sexual harassment. If I cannot find it, neither can the visiting team. This is an ER, and violating ERs leads to automatic sanctions.
  21. Relations with the Accrediting Commission. New language that permits ACCJC to revoke accreditation for failure to honestly disclose information, or for lack of accuracy or completeness in disclosure.

At one point in the morning Barbara Beno notes that the fourth year experiments are just that: experiments. NMC was an experiment, a one-off if you will. Not a path to be beaten down by the masses. ACSCU may yet demand that institutions simply meet the senior standards in full, even wherein one degree is four year.

The other clear understanding everyone should have is that if you want to take two degrees to four year you have to go ACSCU all the way. This means Charles cannot have a BA in business without the whole college going ACSCU with all that senior accreditation requires. That is a mountain we likely cannot climb during the next decade.


After covering the ERs, we looked at a variety of ACCJC policy statements for which COMFSM must have corresponding policies. There are a raft of these puppies. One that was discussed at length was the transfer policy.

Transfer policies must include treatment of both inbound and outbound transfers. The outbound policy cannot include language that blanket promises that all courses will be accepted by all institutions. And the inbound policy cannot read, "We only accept courses from colleges accredited by regional accreditation agencies such as WASC." That's right: CANNOT. We can no longer use regional accreditation to sort the chaff from the wheat. I have to believe that WASC or one of the other regionals got slammed with a lawsuit and lost.

The new rule is that if the outline matches your outline, then you have to accept the course. We have to accept equivalent courses from schools with national accreditation or even without accreditation. The discussion even mentioned Bob Jones University by name and ACCJC said we have to look at their outlines and take equivalent courses.

I wonder how we will know whether the courses are being delivered honest to their outlines, but other schools could ask the same of us. Hence my nexus and its "external" evaluation leg.

I asked in the meeting whether this effectively devalues accreditation, but I only seemed to make Barbara uncomfortable. She noted that the US Congress is under tremendous pressure from groups such as Cisco and Microsoft who want to set up their own accredited courses (can you say "Pellable?") without having to meet the broad requirements found in the regional accreditors (libraries, general education).

My own personal opinion is that if schools have to accept courses from non-accredited institutions, then accreditation is a dinosaur that is extinct but does not know it yet. If groups such as WASC are going to lose the political battle in the US Congress to corporate America and non-regional accreditors, if Pell is going to travel beyond the walls of accreditation, well then accreditation is history.

Barbara noted that the interest of the US government is also based in consumer protection laws. How? The US government underwrites financial aid. They do not want to have to pay twice for EN 110 Advanced English when a student transfers schools. Like the new Health Care Privacy and Protection Act that includes protection of the right of a patient to transfer their health insurance to a new insurer, the US Government wants to ensure that students can transfer their courses to new institutions.

I guess the government sees the regional accreditors as an "old boys" network that controls the transportability of courses. And so they are keen to step in and regulate this area. I gather the regional accreditors are trying to preempt this area of regulation by issuing directives to member institutions to act flexibly and fairly and to not look solely at accreditation.

I asked how a small institution like ours is supposed to evaluate courses from the multitude of potential source institutions. I did not mention the possibility we would be asked to transfer in courses from small unaccredited religious schools on Tol in Chuuk. Barbara had no answer other than that our traditional approach of outright rejecting courses from non accredited schools was no longer allowed.


Discussion of other policies ensued. Later groups were formed to discuss what would constitute evidence . Out of these discussions it became clear that the use of the word dialog was meant to imply a structured, multi-person, documented, topic based discussion involving five or more people. The type of continuous, ongoing, rolling discussion that characterizes COMFSM discussions is not considered dialog.

Yet this is our strength: we do not meet to talk, we talk all day every day and on into the evenings. One-on-one, many-to-many, on sidewalks, in lunchrooms, at the cafeteria. Almost all meat space conversations are accompanied by cyberspace (email) components with a broader distribution.

The email conversation carries the contents far and wide, including onto the state campuses wherein we have email addresses for the state campuses.

How to document this though? This topic was also discussed the prior day and those notes can be seen above.

Thursday lunch

The culinary and hospitality students at Kapiolani served a four course gourmet meal. I remembered again why there are such things as $50 and $100 plates. The subtle combinations of flavors in each dish, and the symphony that the dishes formed together, was a delectable delight to my palate. I know Howard had an opportunity to tour the facilities and establish some communication lines.

Thursday Afternoon

President Tatum, VPIA James, Chair Womack, Chair Rice, and ALO Lee Ling meet with Barbara in private side meetings at the Hyatt.

Barbara stressed again the experimental nature of the single BA program and joint accreditation. I realized that ALL future self studies would have to meet BOTH standards and that visiting teams would be joint in perpetuity. This means a LOT of extra work in the future for the institution all for the benefit of a single division. I realized this was an issue that needed to be sorted out and probably means that the ALO should be in that division.

Barbara clarified that the senior (ACSCU) standards do not have to "slipped into" the two year standards. The ACSCU standards should be treated as a "Standard five" and placed in their own chapter. This would also include the senior eligibility requirements and how they will be met.

I felt some sense of relief as it means the two year writers do not need to concern themselves with what is in the senior standards. This does elevate Rich to being a standard chair, chair of standard five. This also frees Rich to work independently on five, although I wish his hands were free to work on the two year portions.

Rich and I would later look at the eligibility study and the substantive change study and realize that Glen has laid out the basic text for meeting the ACSCU standards. Rich also noted that the lead writers must read the substantive change. Wherein we contradict what Glen has written, the team – which will have read both – will have questions. This is not to say lead writers cannot contradict the substantive change study, but that where there is conflict we will have to explain.

Given that that there is not enough time to read the substantive, it may fall to others to later produce patching reports that respond to the differentials.

Our key contact on the fourth year is Lily Owyang. She is part-time with ACSCU and ACCJC, so she is aware of what each commission is doing. She took over from Gary Browning, or so I gather. When in doubt, contact Tom Lane at accjc1@accjc.org.

Barbara noted that Martha, who had been handling our materials, had resigned and returned to her faculty position in Oregon. Elizabeth Griego has apparently taken over for Martha, although my own notes are not entirely clear as to whether this is the case.

Barbara clarified the process: the ACSCU senior commission will not even look at the eligibility study until ACCJC approves the substantive change. Hence forward motion now hinges on acceptance of our response to the substantive and the substantive itself.

There exists a process chart that maps out, side-by-side, events in the ACCJC and ACSCU processes. Barbara noted we should look for our copy of that chart. I can only hope Dayle knows where that chart might be.

Barbara also noted that the ACSCU senior does not fully understand some aspects of the junior world, for example, developmental English programs. The concept is that ACCJC does all of the work and then ACSCU signs off on it. This works in part because Barbara worked for the ACSCU and can preemptively predict where the ACSCU is likely to have questions. Hence non-acceptance of the substantive. Barbara knew ACSCU would pop red flags when they read the substantive, so she threw down the penalty flag first.

This is also why ACCJC is so fearful of the flood that NMC unleashed: they do all the work for no extra money which means no extra staff.

We asked whether we should read between the lines of the rejection and read the rejection as a calling into question of our two year programs. Yes, said Barbara, the ACCJC meant for us to take that inference.

Barbara recommended we read the 1995 article "From Teaching to Learning" in Change Magazine by two professors at Palomar College. This article was what sent WASC on the student learning outcomes journey. I found that interesting as student learning outcomes were old hat at the University of Illinois in 1987.

Barbara noted that three slots on the visiting team would be reserved for ACSCU. Marie Smith would head the team as team leader.

Although Barbara did not say nor imply so, the fact that the team is being formed and has three ACSCU slots effectively locks in the BA program. Although a delay of the program would theoretically not impact the two year reaffirmation process, the truth is we committed to a joint visit and a joint team is being constructed. If we pulled the B.Ed now we would have three team members with serious questions as to why they were needed.

We may have bitten off more than we can chew and in reaching for the stars we might fall off of our stool and hurt ourselves. We could wind up getting slammed hard for over-reaching our present capabilities. Especially in light of the one million loss in funding.

CMI closed the Ebeye campus and the system may yet lose its accreditation. The President of CMI has said they are extinct unless the Njitela comes though with funding. I think we are being too smug in thinking we are better off than CMI.

All of the above in mind, Barbara did note that we are only truly dingable wherein we do not meet the 1997 standards. Wherein we do not meet the new standards, where they go above and beyond the 1997 standards, we are somewhat protected by our pilot status.

We now know, for example, that Chuuk's facilities will not cut the mustard and may have to be closed. There is a policy on closure of programs (or campuses) in which provision must be made for allowing students to complete their schoolwork in some way. So we need plans in place for what to do with the Chuuk students should we have to close that facility. We also need to work with the politicians there and let them know their precious Pell cash cow is capable of causing the College as a system to be sanctioned. The politicians need to become part of the solution to a new campus for Chuuk, not part of the problem.

I also know that we violated the policy on program closure with the UOG students. We will have to disclose this and be prepared for the warning or sanction this will bring. It does not matter that it was due to events beyond our control: we did not negotiate an exit path for these students.

If we do not cover this in the self study, then we can lose accreditation for failure to disclose. This is a deadly serious process in which we are involved. We must not paper over or sugar coat where we have failed.

Thursday Evening

Picked up juggling equipment for PE 101j Joggling. Ran to Ala Moana mall and back in 32 minutes.

Dinner with Dalihlu Waltu at an Indian restaurant. Dalihlu did all the ordering, specifying naan baked in a clay oven, chicken masala, and a chicken curry. Dalihlu spent two months last summer in India working in the slums as part of a Marianist Catholic mission. She visited some 30 Hindu temples as well. Now she knows her way around a Indian restaurant menu like a connoisseur of Indian food. I felt an immense sense of wonder and awe to have a young woman from the mountains of Kitti tutor me in the finer points of Indian cooking. I enjoyed a lovely dinner and intellectual conversation with a sophisticated and worldly young woman. Her parents can be proud of her achievements, I know her instructors all ready are. For those who seek student learning outcomes, I still claim that what we offer is an opportunity, a place of transition that helps students succeed in the best of schools abroad.