Large California Community College Faces Accreditation Loss, Shut-Down

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Large California Community College Faces Accreditation Loss, Shut-Down
We report on the latest developments at City College of San Francisco that have resulted in the school’s loss of accreditation and impending shut-down.
Photo Credit: Qrc2006 via Wikipedia Commons
The largest community college in California is destined to meet a dire fate one year from now, if heroic efforts to save the school are not successful. City College of San Francisco was recently notified by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges that it will lose accreditation by July 31, 2014. Although the school has few options left, extreme moves are in the works that could be the last hope for saving the failing school.
 
11 of 14 Changes Go Unaddressed
 
Problems for City College date far beyond the recent announcement of accreditation loss. San Francisco Gate reported that the commission evaluated the school in 2012, and made 14 recommendations for improvements that would save the schools accreditation status. Those 14 recommendations included:
  • A revised mission statement for the school
  • Use of the mission statement to allocate resources, with an increase of reserves
  • An assessment of the college’s effectiveness
  • Evaluations of all staff members responsible for student success
  • Determination of whether there is sufficient staff to ensure student success
  • Identification of priorities in class curriculum and effectiveness of current courses and programs
  • Assessment of whether student support services are hitting the mark
  • Development of an effective planning process
  • Leadership training for all staff and faculty members
  • Reporting of financial information through timely, accurate process
  • Inclusion of building operating costs in long-term financial planning
  • Development of plan for maintaining and updating information systems
  • Improvement of governance structure for more efficient decision-making
  • Adherence to bylaws and policies by college trustees
The college was placed on severe sanctions and given eight months to . . . read more

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California Community Colleges Show Students Earning Potential
The California Community College System is providing a new tool known as “Salary Tracker,” which shows students how much they could salary they can expect to earn based on the degree they earn.
Students entering into the California Community College system will now have another tool to help them choose a degree program and motivate them to complete that program. Through a new online tool, California students will be able to see how much they can earn with the various degrees offered through their school. The tool was recently unveiled by the California Community College Chancellor’s Office.
 
Introducing Salary Surfer
 
The new website, dubbed Salary Surfer, will allow students to track a person’s potential salary in California for five years after earning a two-year degree. The site uses data from graduates across the state, to compile significant information that can help students choose the best degree program for them. The Huffington Post reports that Salary Surfer shows the median annual incomes for 179 of the most popular community college programs in the state.
 
The website does not include data on students that transfer to four-year institutions. It does not have information on federal employees or self-employed graduates. Graduates that move out of state are also not included in the salary averages listed at Salary Surfer.
 
EdSource reports that Salary Surfer is the first online database of its kind in the state. The website tracks average annual salaries for the various programs two years after graduation, and again five years after graduation. Students can see how much they might expect to make in their discipline and compare that to what they were making prior to graduation. They can also see the type . . . read more

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Who Will Lead Community Colleges into the Future?
We take a look at a new report from the Aspen Institute that finds more than 40 percent of current community college presidents are likely to retire over the next five years. Who will take over the leadership of these institutions?
At a time when more focus is on community colleges as a viable and cost-effective option in higher education, leadership at these schools appears to be in crisis. According to a recent report from the Aspen Institute and Achieving the Dream, a large percentage of community college presidents are slated for retirement over the next five years. Even more concerning is the fact that few appear poised to take over the helms of these institutions, leaving some to wonder where the direction of the community college system is headed.
 
The new report, titled, “Crisis and Opportunity: Aligning the Community College Presidency with Student Success,” was released at a National Forum in Washington D.C. in June. The report details the challenges facing community colleges in upcoming years as they work to keep their key leadership positions filled with qualified candidates. The report identifies some of the specific problems that could contribute to a presidential shortage of community college presidents nationwide. It also provides recommendations that community colleges can follow to ensure their leadership does not suffer with the loss of a large number of current presidents in the next few years.
 
Primary Concerns Over the Coming Leadership Shortage
 
According to a recent report at Inside Higher Ed, more than 40 percent of the current community college presidents may retire within the next five years. That equates to the loss of more than 500 college presidents by 2017, leaving gaps in community college leadership that need to be filled by qualified individuals . . . read more

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Report Highlights Primary Barrier Facing Women at Community Colleges
A new report from the American Association of University Women found that the primary barrier facing women in community colleges today is decreasing access to affordable childcare. What can community colleges do to remove the barrier?
Community college is often the choice for women seeking higher education. These institutions typically provide many features adult female students need, including proximity to their homes and affordable tuition rates. However, one primary barrier consistently interferes with a woman’s ability to complete her community college education, according to a recent report.
 
Primary Barrier for Student Parents: Affordable Child Care
 
The majority of student parents at community colleges today are women who are trying to juggle family, work and school responsibilities as they pursue a higher education. A new report released by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) shows that the largest obstacle facing this student demographic is access to affordable child care. Unfortunately, Raw Story reports that these findings have been released at a time when federal funding for child care is dwindling across the country.

The report, titled, “Women in Community Colleges: Access to Success,” was officially released just before Mother’s Day. The authors of the report, Andresse St. Rose and Catherine Hill, used a variety of sources as they put together their analysis. These sources included a review of community college literature, interviews with college students and leaders, and program materials from select schools. Federal data was also used to compile the report, including facts and figures from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and the Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study.
 
Significant Number of Students Impacted by Barrier
 
According to the report, the child care obstacle impacts female student parents most often. The report states, “A majority of . . . read more

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In light of a string of school shootings in recent months, a number of community colleges are considering arming security officers on campus. What do students and faculty think of the idea?
A string of tragedies at schools across the country in recent years has many community colleges taking a serious look at their security policies. At the forefront is the question of whether guards and officers on community college campuses should be allowed to carry firearms. While some college administrators make good argument for the allowance of weapons, others have equally compelling arguments against the practice. These community colleges offer a small sample of the schools that are grappling with the issue of guns on their campuses.
 
Holyoke Community College Heeding Massachusetts Report
 
Holyoke Community College in Massachusetts is taking an in-depth look at the possibility of arming campus guards after a report on campus violence prevention was released for Massachusetts schools. The report, which was published by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, recommends that “sworn campus police officers should be armed and trained in the use of personal or specialized firearms.” The report was compiled in the aftermath of the Virginia Tech mass shooting in 2007 and another incident at Northern Illinois University in 2008.
 
According to mLive, the Holyoke Community College Campus Safety Committee is now considering arming the school’s nine full-time police officers. Currently, the employees, who are all graduates of either the Massachusetts Criminal Justice Training Academy or the Massachusetts State Police Training Academy, are not allowed to carry guns on campus. However, after a lockdown situation on the college campus in February, the question of arming guards to handle active shooter situations . . . read more
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