Weimar Institute earned accreditation “candidacy” from the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), according to President Neil Nedley, M.D. A day after Dr. Nedley appeared before a number of higher education university presidents and administrators representing the commission on February 16, he learned of the candidacy achievement.
After the higher education accrediting body received over 1000 pages of original Weimar documentation in August, 2016, a full team of university administrators conducted a site visit in mid-October, 2016, interviewing the board, leadership, faculty, staff, and students, and seeing Weimar Institute first hand. The site visit team then reported their findings to the accrediting commission. Dr. Nedley shared the team said that they had never seen such harmony and resonance with an institute’s vision and mission at all levels, like they had seen at Weimar Institute.
“This essentially means we have met the basic criteria for accreditation and are on the pathway to full accreditation after a different survey team visits the campus again in 2018,” said Nedley. The next site visit will not be as broad, but will be more specific in demonstrating continued sustainability of what already has been accomplished.
The accreditation journey began over a year ago with a vigorous review of academics, mission standards, student learning outcomes and instituting various measurements and assessment practices along with documentation of policies and procedures. In addition, the Institute had to present evidence of long-term financial viability. The site visiting team commended Weimar in several areas, and one of which was its finances and long-term financial viability plan.
“This is truly amazing considering that no church or church affiliated institution has ever achieved this status without church subsidies and without any government funding,” said Nedley.
The WASC Senior College and University Commission, frequently referred to as the “commission”, is a regional accrediting agency serving a diverse membership of public and private higher education institutions throughout California, Hawaii, and the Pacific as well as a limited number of institutions outside the U.S. Through its work of peer review, based on standards agreed to by the membership, the commission encourages continuous institutional improvement and assures the membership and its constituencies, including the public, that accredited institutions are fulfilling their missions in service to their students and the public good.
“The accreditation doesn’t compromise our beliefs as a distinctively Seventh-day Adventist experience. It only holds us to the standard that we are meeting our mission,” continued Nedley.
“Pre-med, pre-dentistry, religion, nursing, education, and pre-physical therapy students from Weimar Institute have been accepted to excellent schools around the world in the last five years. This accreditation status, accompanied by more seamless credit transfers, will ensure that our students get even better opportunities for continued education.” In addition, this status can open up opportunities for qualified students to potentially receive government aid or loans to assist them with their education at Weimar Institute.
Dr. Nedley shared that a recent survey of Seventh-day Adventist Christian universities and colleges from the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) indicated Weimar Institute was the top higher education college for students to learn about solving real world complex problems. Weimar also had the best mix of academics and practical hands-on learning, and higher rates of student satisfaction. In addition, before graduation, Weimar Institute science students are all published in national and international peer-reviewed scientific publications including medical journals, an aspiration that most medical students desire but never attain.
“This has been a journey of prayer and following God’s leading,” stated Nedley. “We look forward to God’s leading in the future.”
Nedley also stated that enrollment applications continue to increase at the college and academy and are getting closer to maximizing the current infrastructure. Weimar Institute has initiated an aggressive capital campaign to provide additional dormitories, faculty housing, and space for classrooms and lecture facilities to accommodate the growing need.
“God has provided us a unique opportunity to provide tools through higher education to accomplish our vision ‘To Heal a Hurting World,’ and our mission of modeling and producing leaders in medical missionary work.”