17 Dec 2004

Marshall Islands College close to losing US accreditation

4:15 pm on 17 December 2004

A report issued today suggests that the College of the Marshall Islands will lose its United States' accreditation next year.

This could force the shut down of the nation's only community college.

A draft report from a US Western Association of Schools and College team that visited the college last month found that the institution has still not met two of five core eligibility requirements.

The officials have told college administrators that if the college didn't resolve all five deficiencies, it would lose its accreditation.

The accrediting commission meets next month and will use this report, along with a college response, to make its decision about the college's future.

Without accreditation, the college will lose eligibility for more than four million dollars in US federal aid that now accounts for about two thirds of the college's total budget.

The team has reservations about the national government's commitment to financial support for the college.

The officials say the government¹s inability to give the college money that has been approved by the Nitijela or parliament on a timely basis "severely hinders the college's ability to maintain its daily operations.