Restoration granted: now what?

By Alex Lamp

The Guardsman

Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) granted City College Restoration Status that allows the college two years to correct any remaining problem areas  identified by the commission.

The commission met for three days to discuss the future of City College. The Institutional Self Evaluation for Restoration Status and the November 2015 External Evaluation Team report were among the few documents reviewed during their brief assessment of the college at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Sacramento.

Restoration status was announced in a letter dated Jan. 14, 2015. ACCJC President Dr. Barbara Beno informed Chancellor Dr. Arthur Tyler that the college would continue to be accredited through the restoration period that ends Oct. 15, 2016, which is also the deadline for the college’s Institutional Self-Evaluation Report.

The letter said the college may keep its Restoration Status if it “fully meets all Eligibility Requirements and has demonstrated either its compliance with all of the Accreditation Standards and Commission policies or the ability to fully meet all Accreditation Standards and Commission policies within the two-year restoration period.”

However, Tyler said he was not clear what it means for the college to “fully meet” the requirements.

“CCSF is very concerned about the language in the policy requiring the institution to ‘fully meet all accreditation Standards and Commission policies.’ The phrase ‘fully meets’ is used repeatedly in this policy, but does not appear anywhere else in the Standards or policies,” Tyler said in a prior letter dated July 28, 2014.

If the college “fully meets” the standards of the commission during the two-year period, the status of the college will move from Restoration Status back to full-accreditation, Tyler said. However, accepting Restoration Status means City College is forfeiting its right to appeal and will be forced to close immediately if it fails to comply to the commission, he added.

“This situation is more worrisome because at various points in this process the Commission would be authorized to ‘reactivate’ the termination and the effective date of the termination will be immediate and CCSF would have no right to request a review or appeal, regardless of how minor the deviation may be,” Tyler said.

Although City College was not believed to be in compliance with the standards set by the commission, it manages to outperform almost every community college in California.

“In terms of improvement it’s a joke,” teacher Timothy Killikelly, president of the American Federation of Teachers Local 2121, said. “If you look at the chancellors statewide score card, City College performs better at almost every criteria on average than the rest of the state.”

The City College 2014 Student Success Scorecard measures its total performance compared to other California community colleges. The scorecard data shows that City College performs higher than the statewide average in most categories.

“We are way above in terms of transfer rates, graduation rates, degree rates, persistence rates, and the ESL is off the chart in terms of student success compared to the rest of the state,” Killikelly said.

According to a City College Student Success Press Announcement, “City College is better than the statewide average in 10 out of 13 top metrics.”

The press announcement also said, “The Student Success Scorecard for City College puts City College’s completion rate at 56 percent, compared to the 48.1 percent statewide.”

Most faculty contend that if the main concern of the commission is to uphold quality education in California, then City College sets the standard and does not violate it.

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