As we prepare to open our campus and classroom this weekend to prospective students and their families, I wanted to take a moment and address the unique situation Neumont University is in with changes and opportunities both inside and outside our campus.
I want to note a few of the many accomplishments we should be celebrating. Our student outcomes continue to impress. With offers coming in from across the country, many of our upcoming graduates have already signed offers with companies from Google to Hewlett-Packard to Axxess and more. Six of our Enterprise Partners have also extended offers to students, illustrating the value of Neumont’s formula for career-ready graduates.
Our faculty is key to preparing our students for success after graduation. I wish to congratulate Aaron Reed, chief operating and academic officer, on receiving his doctorate this past fall. I'm also delighted to welcome Kellie Thompson to Neumont. She is the first female chair of the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree and joins the faculty with more than two decades of experience and teaching in the computer science field. I would also like to welcome Dr. Kevin Erickson who is currently teaching Decision Support Systems and Server Administration I & II. He has worked in the IT industry for the past 17 years and holds a Ph.D. in cyber security. Additionally, please welcome Jason Hammon who graduated and worked at Harvard University before completing a computer science teaching fellowship at Google. He now joins the Neumont team where he will develop online courses to help increase our offerings.
Even with all this to celebrate, there is uncertainty. Changes in our country’s leadership have also meant changes to the administration at the Department of Education.
As I mentioned last fall, our current accreditor (ACICS) can no longer accredit institutions of higher education. However, because of Neumont's good standing, the Department of Education has granted the university temporary accreditation while the institution transitions to a new accreditor. ACICS’ status is currently working its way through the court system and what seemed to be a “final decision” may not be so final. Their future is uncertain.
The good news in all this is that Neumont is officially considered “in process” with a new accreditor (as defined by the Department of Education). Staff and faculty are now at the critical stage of submitting a self-evaluation report.
The accreditation process notwithstanding, we remain laser-focused on student performance and outcomes; employer needs; and industry-proven curriculum.
I hope you will join me this weekend in welcoming new faces and families to see the best of Neumont.