East Hawaii News

UH Hilo Accreditation Renewed

March 11, 2015, 2:53 PM HST
* Updated March 11, 2:56 PM
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The University of Hawaii at Hilo’s accreditation has been renewed for seven years following an evaluation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

In a letter to Chancellor Don Straney dated Mar. 6, WASC noted the large number of new initiatives strengthening the University where it had been weak in the past.

Some of the noted strengths included the University’s sense of place related to the maintenance of Hawaiian culture, and a mission rooted in Hawaiian traditions exemplified in applied learning, community-based projects, internships, and capstone projects.  The review team also recognized strong leadership in the faculty and staff, concluding that “UH Hilo is a campus of resiliency in action.”

The team suggested the University could improve in the areas of applied learning programs, retention and graduation rates, distance education, and reviews for academic programs.

“The visiting WASC team was impressed by the level of commitment and passion exhibited by our students, faculty, staff, and alumni, and they commended us on knowing our mission and vision well and in using both to inform what we do,” said Straney.

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The team visited the campus last fall, and recommended that UH Hilo receive accreditation through 2022, with a provisional report due in the spring of 2017, a mid-cycle review in 2019, and full review in 2021.

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UH Hilo was one of a group of pilot institutions to get a new review process during the evaluation in advance of the 2013 approval of the new Handbook of Accreditation.

The review team noted that UH Hilo was forging new ground, and that it possessed a level of “candor, transparency, self-awareness, and commitment to continuous learning” that “demonstrated a high level of quality and rigor invested in the accreditation process.”
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