The amazing story of a little known college in Chicago, started by Muslims, the first of its kind in America, continues to make news. Northwest Suburban College (NSC) made headlines once again as it crossed another significant milestone in its brief yet eventful lifespan.
Tiny NSC located in Rolling Meadows, a suburb of Chicago, announced recently that it has received accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS), one of the most respected and longest established national accreditor of academic institutions in the United States, which is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
Accreditation is a status granted to an institution that meets or exceeds the stated criteria of educational quality. The purposes of accreditation are to assess and enhance the educational quality of an institution, to assure consistency in institutional operations, to promote institutional improvement, and to provide for public accountability. In the words of ACICS, â€œreceiving accreditation is a complex and daunting task which requires commitment to educational quality.â€
With this designation NSC now becomes a 4 year degree college.Few people thought much of the possibilities of NSC surviving this far, much less getting accredited in such short a period of time. This truly is a testament to the daring passion and commitment of the people behind it. It speaks to the power of faith which so often is needed to overcome the restraining influence of reason.
Founded in 2008 by Dr. AliNiazee and his family, with the ambitious goal of establishing a Muslim educational institution of higher learning in America, dedicated to science and medicine, the college has come a long way from its humble beginnings when it started instructions with only 2 students in 2009. With astounding speed it has traversed a difficult and challenging journey, graduating to date, 350 students in various branches of Allied Health and 14 students in Basic Sciences.
At its 3rd annual Commencement on August 17, 2014 the college graduated 80 students in its school of Allied Health Sciences and granted 6 students with a B.S. degree in Basic Sciences. The college boasts a record of 90 percent admission rate of its graduating class into offshore medical schools. Many of these are expected to return to main land US in a few short years to compete successfully and complete their residency trainings in US hospitals.
â€œNSC is unique in two special ways,â€ says Dr. AliNiazee. â€œIt provides an accelerated curriculum #1 with affordable tuition #2. Here you could complete a bachelor of science degree in a little over 2 years and finish a premed program in 2 years, with assured admission to a medical school.â€ The cost savings come from shaving off 2 years of college courses.
We continue to follow this Cinderella story of NSC with great admiration, as it moves gingerly from one success to another, in its pursuit of becoming an institution of higher learning, where one day its graduates will be admitted to mainland medical schools and complete their education without incurring in that process the terrible burden of a college debt that so often leaves them today hurting for many years to follow.