Restoration policy may be last chance to maintain accreditation

City College Chancellor Arthur Tyler gestures during a media briefing on the school's accreditation at the Chinatown center, Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014 Photo by Santiago Mejia/ The Guardsman

City College Chancellor Arthur Tyler gestures during a media briefing on the school’s accreditation at the Chinatown center, Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014 Photo by Santiago Mejia/ The Guardsman

 

By Samantha Dennis

The Guardsman

 

City College has applied for restoration status and if granted, would allow them two years to comply with accreditation standards and keep the school open and accredited.

Chancellor Arthur Tyler spoke to approximately 30 people Aug.14 at the Chinatown/North Beach center about the plans he has to get City College back on track.

“We didn’t have all the systems in place,” Tyler said. “We didn’t have all the administrative practices that really great colleges should have and we’re in the process of changing that.”

Restoration status was recently created by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges to give City College the time they had requested to meet the standards to maintain accreditation.

The restoration status differs from the previous option of candidacy status because it allows the school to remain accredited during the process.

“The restoration process is going to be lengthy, probably two to two and a half years, but throughout that period we’re going to remain an accredited institution and were going to remain loyal to the legacy that was started almost 80 years ago,” Tyler said.

Tyler agreed to apply for restoration status despite initial doubts. The ACCJC will analyze City Colleges self-evaluation report on Nov. 16 and determine in mid January whether or not to grant City College restoration status. If denied, City College has no right to appeal.

Along with the submission for restoration status, there is an ongoing lawsuit filed by City Attorney Dennis Herrera against the ACCJC with a trial set for October.

“Over the last few months, there has been a heroic effort by our faculty and our staff and our administrators to continue to move the institution forward and help students achieve not only what they want to become but perhaps beyond what they ever thought they could become,” Tyler said.

Tyler mentioned new changes to the enrollment process as well as being more student centered for the graduation process. This will allow students to know they are on a path towards something and are aware they are close to graduating.

Accompanying Tyler at the press conference was Rafael Mandelman, a member of the Boards of Trustees and Jonathan Lightman, executive director of the Faculty Association of California Community Colleges.

Mandelman spoke on behalf of the 90,000 people who elected him onto the Board of Trustees and discussed the obstacles City College faces ahead.

“There are definitely struggles ahead for City College and I don’t believe our battles with the accreditors is over,” Mandelman said. “Whether because of all the fine work that the folks at the college have done or because of the city attorneys lawsuits or because of the simple fact that of political community have shown they will not allow City College to close, City College is open and here to stay.”

Along with the San Francisco city lawsuit that has kept City College open, there have been a number of protests including one in Sacramento. The overwhelming support from the community has made an impact on the college and is a major factor in the success of City College.

Lightman spoke highly of City College and expressed the support for the school is not only within the community, but statewide.

“I hear it across the state, everyone is rooting for this institution,” Lightman said. “Even though it’s still a bumpy road, you have to know that you are not alone and we at the faculty association are fighting for you.”

Tyler finished by showing his thanks and expressing his positive thoughts towards City College.

“City College is not too big to fail, it’s too important to fail,” Tyler said. “It’s your college and I’m here to tell you we’re gonna continue to be here for a very long time.”

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