MONTEREY, Calif. – An evaluation team from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges visited the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center during the second-to-last week of March, as part of the process to reaffirm DLIFLC’s status as an accredited institution.
The process to become accredited takes time, and the status must be reaffirmed every six years as part of a comprehensive site visit, alternating every three years with an institutional midterm report.
DLIFLC’s initial accreditation by the ACCJC of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges came in 1979, and the last reaffirmation took place in 2006. The accreditation process validates DLIFLC’s competence as a degree-granting institution and encourages institutional development.
The team, consisting of senior college faculty and administrators, observed classes, watched students and teachers interact, held open forums, conducted drop-in interviews, and even ate in the military dining facility. Their main purpose was to look at how DLIFLC defines effectiveness in foreign language teaching, and how it ensures continual monitoring of its effectiveness indicators.
“What’s learned from that informs any decisions about changes or adjustments to improve effectiveness,” said team member Dr. Gary Williams, Ed.D., an instructional assessment specialist at Crafton Hills College in southern California.
Williams further explained the process by stating, “the expectation is that the institution has a good sense of its mission, of how that mission gets accomplished, of who’s involved in critical activities, and ensuring that the institution is effective at whatever it defines its mission to be.”
In essence, the accreditation process determines if DLIFLC is meeting the goals and standards it has set for itself, and that students clearly understand the requirements to meet those standards.
Since DLIFLC began granting associate degrees back in May 2002, more than 7,000 Assosciate of Arts degrees have been awarded to students graduating from basic language courses. This fact makes DLIFLC unique amongst military schools that train initial entry Soldiers, and remains a special opportunity for students chosen to attend the Institute.
Story and photo by:
Story by: Sgt. 1st Class Rebecca Doucette, Strategic Communications
Photo by: Natela Cutter, Strategic Communications
Caption: Ms. Clare Bugary, DLIFLC Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations meets with (l to r) Richard Chastain, DLIFLC Deputy Chief of Staff for Resource Management, and ACCJC evaluation team members Dr. Gary Williams and Dr. Sharon Hart, Wednesday, 21 March. (U.S. Army photo by Natela Cutter)(Released)