Palmdale Center on track with accrediting agency

In a move that reflects the growth of Antelope Valley College’s Palmdale Center, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges has approved 20 educational degree and certificate programs -- over 50 percent of which are offered through the center.

College President Dr. Jackie L. Fisher Sr. was notified that the Committee on Substantive Change of the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges approved the expanded Palmdale Center, as well as 20 online-based programs offered through the center.

“This is another major step in growing the center and developing it into an independent campus with its own degree and certificate programs,” said Fisher. “The accrediting commission has processes to follow for new centers and new programs to make sure they meet quality standards. We have accomplished that.”

AVC’s goal is to establish educational programs that are offered entirely at the Palmdale Center. Most of the college’s degree and certificate programs require completion of much or all course work to be taken at the Lancaster campus.

The committee’s approval indicates that at least half of the coursework required for 12 degree and eight certificate programs can be completed online through the Palmdale Center. The accrediting commission is expected to affirm the committee’s decision at its January 2012 meeting.

“It’s all part of the growth process,” said Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs and Student Services Sharon Lowry. “As more and more students enroll in Palmdale classes, we have been able to expand our facility and offer more classes.”

“It will be a great convenience factor for residents of Palmdale and the southern Antelope Valley to someday be able to complete entire degree programs without ever having to come to Lancaster,” said Lowry.