October 16, 2007: Capilano seeks formal accreditation from the United States

      Tuesday, October 16, 2007
      Contact: Shelley Kean at 604.983.7596

      (NORTH VANCOUVER, B.C.)—A lack of a national post-secondary accreditation system in Canada is forcing Capilano to seek formal accreditation from the United States. This move reinforces the institution's ongoing commitment to excellence and works to ensure that the economy of the communities it serves remains strong.

      “The lack of such a Canadian process is indeed forcing institutions, such as Capilano, to seek accreditation south of the border,” said Capilano president, Dr. Greg Lee. “The fact that this should be necessary is a national disgrace.”

      The economy of Capilano’s vast region is closely intertwined with programs and activities at its three campuses. The North Shore, Howe Sound and Sunshine Coast communities also benefit from the $20 million injected annually by Capilano’s international students and from the financial spin-offs generated by student spending as a whole.

      However, because neither Canada nor British Columbia have a formal system of post-secondary accreditation, students, and in particular, international students, have no internationally accepted measure of quality assurance when attending Canadian institutions.

      “Canada has not brought in any process of quality review at the national level, nor has it put in place a regionally-based institutional accreditation system such as that in the United States,” stated a 2006 report from the Canadian Council on Learning. “As a consequence, there is a strong risk that Canadian institutions, anxious to attract and retain students – especially from abroad – will turn to American accrediting agencies.”

      The longterm and intensive accreditation process began in 2004 when the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities approved Capilano’s Application for Consideration for Candidacy. This was followed by a comprehensive self-study. From October 24 to 26, Capilano will host a team from the NWCCU that will determine its educational effectiveness with a view toward eventual full accreditation.

      As this process continues, Capilano maintains its pursuit of regional university designation.

      “We believe that changing our designation to that of a university college or regional university will provide additional assurances to our students and potential students that they will continue to receive university-level programs and degrees with college-quality teaching and support services,” Lee said.

      More information on the evaluation process can be found by following the Standards and Policies/Operational Policies links at www.nwccu.org.

      Capilano College serves the communities of the Lower Mainland, Howe Sound, and the Sunshine Coast through campuses in North Vancouver, Squamish and Sechelt. Enrolment totals 6,500 students in credit programs each term with an additional 7,000 people taking non-credit courses annually. The College offers a complete range of preparatory courses, university transfer courses, business and management studies, creative and applied arts programs, health and human services programs, plus a range of services in support of student learning and success. Credentials awarded include bachelor degrees, associate degrees, post-baccalaureate diplomas, advanced diplomas, diplomas, certificates and statements of completion.