27 California colleges face accreditation woes

Community colleges across California are facing accreditation sanctions “largely a result of the state cutting funding for several years as the federal government has stepped up performance standards,” reports AP. City College of San Francisco, College of the Redwoods in Eureka and Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo are one step from losing accreditation. Others are in earlier stages of the process. Here’s the full list.

The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, a division of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, has put 10 campuses on the midlevel “probation” status and another 14 on the low-level “warning” status. There are 112 community colleges in the state.

“The problems colleges have run into with accreditation are abnormally acute at this point in time in California,” said David Baime, a senior vice president with the American Association of Community Colleges.”The colleges in California have been subject to such savage budget reductions that it has placed institutions under a great deal of financial and administrative strain. I think that’s a big part of the issue for the colleges.”

.Colleges need accreditation to accept federal financial aid, offer courses with transferable credit, participate in league sports and award diplomas. Without accreditation, many schools would shut down for lack of students.

The federal government now requires colleges to show “learning outcomes” to earn accreditation, notes AP.  As expectations have gone up, state funding has declined by 12 percent in the last three years. It will fall another 7 percent if voters reject a tax increase on the November ballot.

California community colleges charge low fees compared to the rest of the nation, even with recent increases, and grant many fee waivers to low-income students. Completion rates are low.

Facing the threat of closure, City College of San Francisco has cut 700 classes to balance the budget, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.  The new mission statement will drop “lifelong learning, life skills and cultural enrichment” from the college’s list of primary goals.

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[…] Twenty-seven California community colleges face accreditation sanctions. State funding is down while the feds have raised performance standards. Three are in serious trouble, 10 are on probation and 14 have received warnings. […]

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margaret hanzimanolis

That is interesting, that you say the new mission statement will drop lifelong learning . The faculty were invited on August 22 (two days AFTER this article was written) to submit comments on the new mission statement, by September 3. So, ah, how could the “press” announce a new mission statement when it is still in process?

August 22, 2013
Dear CCSF Community,
The College reviews its vision and mission statements annually. All employees and current students are invited to provide input via this questionnaire: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/RH3C8Z5.
Please complete the questionnaire by Tuesday, September 3, 2013. Results will be compiled and used during the review process. For convenient reference, here is a link to CCSF’s vision and mission statements. The text is also embedded in the questionnaire. http://www.ccsf.edu/NEW/en/about-city-college/mission-and-vision.html
In addition to input from the questionnaire, the annual process includes review of a wide variety of key performance indicators available this link:

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