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Accreditation Short Course

Description and Purpose of course

DACC has been given a green light to apply for independent accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.  All DACC faculty, staff, administrators and students are encouraged to learn what it means to be independently accredited, what the process entails in applying for independent accreditation, and what part each individual has in participating in the process. 

Please take some time to read through the following five pages of information regarding accreditation.  At the end of the each page of information readers will find a link to a survey.  Complete each survey after having read through the information on that section.  After completing the survey, click into the next page of information.

Introduction to the Institution

Doña Ana Community College (DACC) is a branch of New Mexico State University (NMSU) located on 15 acres adjacent to the NMSU campus.  It is a public degree-granting institution offering quality undergraduate education.  As a branch of NMSU, DACC is governed by the Board of Regents of the university through an operating agreement between the university and the three school districts in Doña Ana County.  The operating agreement is founded on the belief that quality educational services shall be provided in accordance with the needs of the service area through a cooperative and coordinated effort of New Mexico State University and DACC. 

DACC Advisory Board, comprised of representatives of the three local school boards, approves the budget, initiates mill levy and bond issue elections, and advises the college on program needs.  NMSU sets tuition and personnel policies, determines curricula and degrees, and handles all records, funds, receipts, and disbursements for DACC.

Doña Ana Community College has five campuses in Doña Ana County.  They are:

  1. The Central DACC Campus located at 3400 S. Espina Street, Las Cruces, NM
  2. The East Mesa Campus located at 2800 N. Sonoma Blvd., Las Cruces, NM
  3. Gadsden Education Center, 1700 E. O’Hara Road, Anthony, NM
  4. Sunland Park Education Center, 3365 McNutt Road, Sunland Park, NM
  5. White Sands Education Center, White Sands Missile Range, NM

In addition to satellite campuses, DACC operates a Workforce Development Center located at 2345 E. Nevada in Las Cruces and the Mesquite Neighborhood Learning Center located at 890 N. Tornillo St., also in Las Cruces.

Doña Ana Community College provides lower division credit courses necessary for the completion of selected certificates and associate degrees in academic, technical and occupational fields with courses applicable to baccalaureate degree completion programs at other colleges and universities.  To support student success efforts, DACC students can take developmental and adult basic education courses at DACC. 

DACC also provides non-credit, continuing education courses and opportunities for social, recreational, cultural, vocational and personal enrichment.  Customized contract training for employee development is also available through the Workforce Development Center.

Associates degrees or certificates are awarded upon successful completion of credit programs in

  • Business and Information Systems
  • Technical and Industrial Studies
  •  Health and Public Services
  • General Studies

Many DACC courses apply toward bachelor’s degree programs at New Mexico State University or other universities.  The following programs offered through DACC articulate with bachelor’s degree programs at either New Mexico State University or the University of New Mexico:

  • Associate of Arts Degree
  • Creative Media Technology
  • Criminal Justice
  • Early Childhood Education and Education Programs
  • Pre-Architecture Option of the Drafting and Design Technologies Program
  • Pre-Business
  • Public Health
  • Computer- and technology-related associate degree programs

Any associate of applied science degree earned at DACC may be applied in its entirety toward the Bachelor of Applied Studies Degree offered by NMSU’s College of Extended Learning.

A majority of credits from other associate degrees offered at DACC transfer to NMSU, such as

  • Business Occupations to the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agricultural Business
  • Business Occupations to the Department of  Business
  •  Business Office Technology to the Department of Curriculum and Instruction
  • Electronics Technology to the Department of Engineering Technology
  • Emergency Medical Services, Radiologic Technology and Respiratory Care to the Department of Health Science
  • Hospitality Services to the Hospitality, Restaurant, and Tourism Management Department
  • Landscape Technology to the Department of Horticulture and the Department of Agricultural and Extension Education
  • Nursing to the Department of Nursing

Local school districts, in accordance with state law, may enter into agreements with DACC for the provision of career-technical and academic programs for high school students.  These courses may carry dual credit toward high school graduation and toward meeting the requirements for earning a certificate or associate degree at DACC.

In addition to holding classes at the Central DACC campus, ABE and Community Education classes are held at various sites around the county.  Customized contract training for employee development is available in a variety of business-related topics at the Workforce Development Center.  Customized classes focus on employee development and peak team performance. The Workforce Development Center also houses a Small Business Development Center that offers free, quality counseling and guidance for business owners, prospective owners and managers.

Doña Ana Community College delivers distance education courses.  Students can fulfill all technical course requirements for the Associates of Library and Information Technology online.


In the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) document titled Institutional Accreditation:  An Overview, the purpose of a school’s being accredited is explained.  Schools and colleges benefit from being accredited by nongovernmental bodies.  DACC, a part of the North Central Association, is seeking institutional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, an organization whose mission it is to “[serve] the common good by assuring and advancing the quality of higher learning.”  In the introduction to this document accreditation is explained:

An institutional accrediting agency evaluates an entire educational organization in terms of its mission and the agency’s standards or criteria.  It accredits the organization as a whole.  Besides assessing formal educational activities, it evaluations such things as governance and administration, financial stability, admissions and student services, institutional resources, student learning, institutional effectiveness, and relationships with internal and external constituencies.

Specialized Accreditation

In addition to institutional accreditation, there are also specialized accreditations.  Specialized career-technical programs at DACC have been accredited by the following accrediting agencies:

  • Commission of Accreditation of Allied Health
  • National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission
  • Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology
  • Committee on Accreditation for Respiratory Care
  • Joint Review Committee on Education Programs for the EMT-Paramedic
  • Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs
  • American Welding Society
  • International Fire Service Accreditation Congress
  • National Automobile Technician Excellence Foundation (ASC certification)
  • American Dental Association

Self Study

Currently DACC is accredited as a part of NMSU and has been since 1973.

On May 9, 2006, the HLC accepted DACC’s Preliminary Information Form, which means that DACC will engage in a two-year self-study process and prepare a report of its findings.  The Commission has articulated five major organizing criteria to which institutions seeking accreditation must speak. They are:

  • Criterion One:  Mission and Integrity
  • Criterion Two:  Preparing for the future
  • Criterion Three:  Student Learning and Effective Teaching
  • Criterion Four:  Acquisition, Discovery, and Application of Knowledge
  • Criterion Five:  Engagement and Service

Upon receipt of DACC’s self-study report, the Commission will send a team of Consultant-Evaluators to DACC to carry out a comprehensive evaluation.