Big Wheels (of Accreditation) Keep on Turning: An Update to the Field on ACCJC Activities

September
2015
Randy Beach, ASCCC Accreditation and Assessment Committee Chair

Since June, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges has met several times and made significant announcements in regards to accreditation.

ACCJC Article on New Standards; New Practices

ACCJC’s most recent newsletter, Spring/Summer 2015 Newsletter contains an article of interest to the field entitled “ACCREDITATION: NEW STANDARDS, NEW PRACTICES” and is available on the ACCJC website. This article highlights the major changes in the standards and the rationale for the changes.

Revisions to ACCJC Handbooks

Over the summer, ACCJC released newly revised versions of the Guide to Evaluating and Improving Institutions, and the Accreditation Reference Handbook. These guides are available on the ACCJC website.

Changes to ACCJC Policy, June 2015

At its June 2015 meeting, the Commission considered and approved policy changes and a policy for first reading. A brief synopsis is provided below. The period for comment on the proposed change is open now until August 31, 2015. The full text of the proposed revisions can be read at the ACCJC website along with instructions for submitting comment.

Policy on Eligibility to Apply for Accredited Status

New policy: Provides information that has been contained in the Eligibility, Candidacy, and Initial Accreditation Manual, for reference by institutions seeking to begin the process for gaining accredited status.

Policy on Commission Actions on Institutions

Revised policy: Definitions related to sanction would align with those of other regional accreditors. New sections include a definitions section and a section on other commission actions.

Policy on Commission Good Practice in Relations with Member Institutions

Revised policy: Updates references to current accreditation practice and to eliminate sections that were better covered in other policies. Remaining language was edited and reorganized to facilitate readability and clarity

Policy and Procedures for Evaluation of Institutions in Multi-College/Multi-Unit Districts or Systems

Revised policy:  Eliminates procedural material and simplifies the policy statement concerning multi-college district or system reviews.

Policy on Closing an Institution

Revised policy: Clarifies that when voluntary or involuntary withdrawal of accreditation occurs at an institution, or is anticipated to occur, the need for a closure report and substantive change review may be triggered as related to the change in the nature of the constituency served.

Policy on Substantive Change

Revised policy: Clarifies that when voluntary or involuntary withdrawal of accreditation occurs at an institution, or is anticipated to occur, the need for a closure report and substantive change review may be triggered as related to the change in the nature of the constituency served.


Upcoming Senate Paper on Effective Accreditation Practices

The Accreditation and Assessment Committee will present for approval at the Fall 2015 Plenary Session a paper on effective practices for maintaining accreditation and preparing for a visit by an accrediting team. The paper will be available for review beginning in September.

City College San Francisco

On July 8, 2015, The ACCJC held a special meeting to take a vote of the commissioners whether to uphold its decision in April 2013 to terminate City College of San Francisco’s accreditation. This step was taken to comply with the San Francisco Superior Court’s injunction which called for the Commission to reconsider the decision to terminate the college’s accreditation. This step was put in place when CCSF opted to enforce the court ordered injunction while it remained in restoration status. The Commission vote to affirm the termination of CCSF’s accreditation, which has no impact on CCSF’s restoration status or the outcome of CCSF’s next evaluation in spring 2016, when the college must be in compliance with the 2014 Standards.

Change in Faculty Commissioners

At the June meeting, the Commission congratulated Professor Virginia May of Sacramento City College as she completed her term. The Commission announced the seating of Kevin Bontenbal of Cuesta College as a faculty Commissioner. Bontenbal will serve a three-year term beginning on July 1, 2015.

The articles published in the Rostrum do not necessarily represent the adopted positions of the academic senate. For adopted positions and recommendations, please browse this website.