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A New Summit: Summit College moves toward full accreditation
February 27, 2014 Jerry Purvis   

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By Jerry Purvis news@geringcitizen.com Administrators at Summit Christian College in Gering joined the student body Tuesday morning to celebrate the school’s progress in the years-long process of becoming an accredited institution. Founded 61 years ago as Platte Valley Bible College, Summit Christian College offers coursework in Biblical studies and has graduates serving in missions work around the world. “This is the next step forward we’re taking,” said college President David Parrish. “Our accrediting group is the Association of Biblical Higher Education. The group specifically accredits Christian college and universities across the country.” The college was recently given candidate status for accreditation. Before a college can even apply for accreditation, it must show ability to meet a wide variety of standards, from facilities to curriculum to finance and administration. Parrish said that most colleges will take from one to four years just getting ready to apply. After the accrediting association grants applicant status, another four-cycle begins to reach candidate status. During that period, the college must continue meeting and implementing those standards and also generate voluminous reports to document their work. Then if the accreditation group believes sufficient progress has been made, they sent a team of inspectors to the site to conduct a review. After a site visit, the board reviews the team’s findings and recommends any changes that might be needed to improve the school’s overall mission. Last week, the accrediting board invited Parrish and Academic Dean Scott Gribble to come to Florida to present their case. “I was given three minutes to present the college and its mission,” Parrish said. “Then they ask questions. Some colleges have taken hours to address everything, but they only had five questions for us.” One of the major areas of discussion centered on a rarity among colleges – Summit’s policy of having its students graduate debt-free. “After graduation, our students go into ministry,” Parrish said. “They don’t need a burden of debt on their backs. It also burdens the churches where they work.” After deliberation, the board awarded Summit candidate status for becoming fully accredited. “The board said we were a breath of fresh air, so I thought that was encouraging,” Parrish said. The next step for the college is to apply for Title IV status with the federal government, which will allow students to apply for Pell Grants and other financial aid programs. “Approval for Title IV would be a historic step for us,” Parrish said. “We’ve never reached this level.” During the next four years as the college works toward full accreditation, administration will continue to improve the institution and also work toward increasing school enrollment. “We currently have 36 students,” Parrish said. “Our goal is to double our enrollment. If we have around 80 students, it will maximize this facility. We can see ourselves potentially going up to 100 students without going into a great deal of expense for expansion.” Parrish added he wants Summit Christian College to be knows as a high quality school. The important issues he outlined include dedication to missionary work and seeing students transformed by the course of study. He also stressed he wants the school to be genuinely affordable. As part of the overall accreditation process, Summit is gearing up its marketing effort with a new website, more media and more publications from its new publications specialist.

Administrators at Summit Christian College in Gering joined the student body Tuesday morning to celebrate the school’s progress in the years-long process of becoming an accredited institution.

Founded 61 years ago as Platte Valley Bible College, Summit Christian College offers coursework in Biblical studies and has graduates serving in missions work around the world.

“This is the next step forward we’re taking,” said college President David Parrish. “Our accrediting group is the Association of Biblical Higher Education. The group specifically accredits Christian college and universities across the country.”

The college was recently given candidate status for accreditation. Before a college can even apply for accreditation, it must show ability to meet a wide variety of standards, from facilities to curriculum to finance and administration. Parrish said that most colleges will take from one to four years just getting ready to apply.

After the accrediting association grants applicant status, another four-cycle begins to reach candidate status. During that period, the college must continue meeting and implementing those standards and also generate voluminous reports to document their work. Then if the accreditation group believes sufficient progress has been made, they sent a team of inspectors to the site to conduct a review.

After a site visit, the board reviews the team’s findings and recommends any changes that might be needed to improve the school’s overall mission.

Last week, the accrediting board invited Parrish and Academic Dean Scott Gribble to come to Florida to present their case.

“I was given three minutes to present the college and its mission,” Parrish said. “Then they ask questions. Some colleges have taken hours to address everything, but they only had five questions for us.”

One of the major areas of discussion centered on a rarity among colleges – Summit’s policy of having its students graduate debt-free. “After graduation, our students go into ministry,” Parrish said. “They don’t need a burden of debt on their backs. It also burdens the churches where they work.”

After deliberation, the board awarded Summit candidate status for becoming fully accredited. “The board said we were a breath of fresh air, so I thought that was encouraging,” Parrish said.

The next step for the college is to apply for Title IV status with the federal government, which will allow students to apply for Pell Grants and other financial aid programs.

“Approval for Title IV would be a historic step for us,” Parrish said. “We’ve never reached this level.”

During the next four years as the college works toward full accreditation, administration will continue to improve the institution and also work toward increasing school enrollment.

“We currently have 36 students,” Parrish said. “Our goal is to double our enrollment. If we have around 80 students, it will maximize this facility. We can see ourselves potentially going up to 100 students without going into a great deal of expense for expansion.”

Parrish added he wants Summit Christian College to be knows as a high quality school. The important issues he outlined include dedication to missionary work and seeing students transformed by the course of study. He also stressed he wants the school to be genuinely affordable.

As part of the overall accreditation process, Summit is gearing up its marketing effort with a new website, more media and more publications from its new publications specialist.





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