Congratulations to Regina Showers-Gordon, founder and president of Petra College as the first African American woman to be awarded national accreditation in rural Hammond, Louisiana.

“Petra College earning national accreditation is a significant achievement demonstrating that it holds quality standards and is engaged in continuous improvement,” says Mrs. Showers-Gordon. “It also means that our college has competent instructors and a course load that can prepare students for the next steps in their careers and education.”

Petra College promotes innovative and effective higher education programs that are worthy of replication at other institutions. The accreditation bestowed on the prestigious college comes from Atlanta-The Commission of the Council on Occupational Education (COE).

Announcement of the Action was made by Gary Puckett, Executive Director, following the September Commission Meeting of the Council on Occupational Education on September 17, 2022.

The award of accreditation status is based on an evaluation to demonstrate that the institution meets not only the standards of quality of the Commission, but also the needs of students, the community, and employers.

The Commission’s evaluation process includes an extensive self-study by the institution and an intensive review by a visiting team of professional educators representing the Commission’s member institutions from other states.

Petra College began its self-study in March 2019 and underwent a team visit in November 2021. The visiting team chairperson was Olga Gusak. 

The council on Occupational Education, based in Atlanta, Georgia, offers quality assurance services to postsecondary technical education providers across the nation. Organized as a non-profit corporation, the mission of the Council is to assure quality and integrity in career and technical education. Services offered include institutional accreditation (recognized by the U.S. Department of Education), program quality reviews for states and technical education providers, and informational services. Most of the Council’s work is carried out by qualified professional volunteers who are experts in technical education.

Institutional membership in the Council is voluntary but can be achieved only by becoming accredited. The Council’s current membership makes it unique. Members include postsecondary public technical institutes, specialized military and national defense schools, Job Corp Centers, private career schools, non-profit technical education providers, corporate and industry education units, federal agency institutions, registered apprenticeships schools and national ERISA training institutes. No other agency accredits and serves the diversity of organizations served by the Council. There are 575 institutional members at the present time. 

Showers-Gordon is known as an effective leader in her position and community. She leads the way with an unprecedented track record of improving educational outcomes in rural areas.

Petra College was selected for the 2019 Best of Hammond Award in the College category by the Hammond Award Program.

Each year, the Hammond Award Program identifies companies who have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Hammond area a great place to live, work and play.

Petra College is located at: 1814 N. Morrison Blvd, Ste. A & B, Hammond, Louisiana 70401. For more information, visit