College Rankings & Accreditation

Are you attending one of the best community colleges? Do rankings matter? From the best schools in the US to those losing accreditation, we’ll provide you with the latest resources on community college rankings.

View the most popular articles in College Rankings & Accreditation:

California: More Accreditation Woes for Community Colleges

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California: More Accreditation Woes for Community Colleges
The chancellor of the California Community College System, Bryce Harris, recently stated more than 20 community colleges in the state were at risk of losing accreditation. In the midst of problems with City College of San Francisco, some are beginning to question the credibility of the accreditors.
City College of San Francisco is one of several campuses at risk of losing accreditation.

As City College of San Francisco fights to remain open after the current school year, others are beginning to question the validity of an accrediting agency threatening the very existence of vital California community colleges. Scrutiny and even lawsuits leave the accrediting agency vulnerable while other California schools struggle to realize their accreditation may be the next on the line. How will this growing problem eventually be resolved?

More California Schools Heading to the Chopping Block?

The chancellor of the California Community College System, Bryce Harris, recently stated in the San Francisco Business Times that the possible de-accreditation of City College of San Francisco might be just the tip of the iceberg. Harris told the Business Times that as many as 20 California schools could face accreditation challenges in the future. While Harris did not name specific school names in his warning, he admitted that City College's problems could plague many other schools in the state.

In July, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) announced it would pull City College’s accreditation at the end of the current academic year 2014. The commission cited several reasons for the decision, including a confusing governance structure and lack of financial accountability. Other factors that led to the action by the commission included support services, facilities, and teaching standards that were not compliant with the commission’s requirements in these areas.

As one solution to the problem, Harris has asked the state government for more

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Washington Monthly Rates Community Colleges in 2013 Ranking

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Washington Monthly Rates Community Colleges in 2013 Ranking
We take a look at the latest annual college rankings from Washington Monthly, which provide a list of the top community colleges in the country as well as four-year schools.
St. Paul College in Minnesota wins the top spot for community colleges

The rankings are out from Washington Monthly, giving prospective students and their parents a snapshot of some of the top-performing community colleges in the country for 2013. This publication is one of the few that includes community colleges in their overall rankings of postsecondary institutions. In addition, the publication uses slightly different criteria for ranking schools, which may make this list noteworthy to those trying to gain a complete picture of a community college before shelling out that first tuition payment.

Unique Metrics Set New Rankings Apart

According to the Christian Science Monitor, one of the factors that sets the Washington Monthly rankings apart from the rest is the somewhat unique metrics used to rate colleges. Instead of focusing merely on admission difficulty and reputation, this ranking system uses criteria like commitment to research and service, and social mobility. The publication also includes a “best bang for your buck” category for four-year schools that ranks them according to the price paid for a degree vs. what graduates can expect to get back in return.

The fact that Washington Monthly provides a ranking of community colleges also sets this annual list apart from the rest. Although two out of every five college students opt for community college after high school, few ranking systems provide this type of information for these schools. However, as community colleges continue to increase in popularity among high school graduates and working adults alike, the need for this type of information

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City College Of San Francisco Faces Accreditation Loss, Shut-Down

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City College Of San Francisco 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.

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 school's accreditation status. Those 14 recommendations included:

  • A revised mission statement for the school
  • Use of the mission statement to allocate resources, with an increase in 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 a timely, accurate process
  • Inclusion of building operating costs in long-term financial planning
  • Development of a plan for maintaining and updating information systems
  • Improvement of a governance structure for more efficient decision-making
  • Adherence to bylaws and policies by college trustees

In this video,

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Pima Community College Placed on Probation

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Pima Community College Placed on Probation
We explore the reasons behind the recent probation of Pima Community College, and what the Arizona school plans to do to bring their credentials back up to par once again.

In the midst of major turnover from the top down, Pima Community College is now on probation. The Arizona school has been notified by its accreditor, the Higher Learning Commission, that it has two years to turn things around or lose its accreditation status. With an executive team in limbo and reports of poor – and even unethical – management in recent years, it looks like Pima has its work cut out for the next two probationary years.

Problems from the Top Down

Tucson News Now reports that top administration officials may have initiated the problems at Pima that resulted in probation. The publication specifically cites allegations of sexual harassment against Ray Flores, the former chancellor of the school, which were left unaddressed by school administrators for several years. The commission investigating the school also found a “hostile working environment,” reported by many community college staff members.

Other issues reported by the Arizona Daily Star include corrupt contracting practices. Executives of the school have been accused of approving expensive contracts without going through the appropriate bidding process. Throughout the accusations of mismanagement, there is a common thread of a culture cultivated of “fear and retribution” and an ineffective governing body that failed to address concerns or manage situations that made it challenging to work at the college.

This video reports on Pima Community College facing probation.

Report Specifics

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Accreditation Woes Hit California Community Colleges

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Accreditation Woes Hit California Community Colleges
City College isn’t the only school in the state in serious trouble – we’ll take a look at some other California community colleges facing an accreditation crisis.

Community colleges in California are struggling, and at this point, it’s anybody’s guess how the problems with higher education in the state will eventually shake out. While much of the focus on California community colleges of late has centered on San Francisco City College's accreditation threats, this isn’t the only school getting low marks by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. Many of the two-year schools around the state appear to be in trouble, although some are currently in hotter water than others. Can these schools, which are so vital to the student population and the employment outlook of the state, pull themselves out of the holes they are slowly sinking into?

Accreditation Sanctions Running Rampant

According to a report at the Sacramento Bee, numerous California community colleges across the state are in trouble with the accreditation commission. Three of these schools, including San Francisco City College, are facing the most severe “show cause” sanctions. In addition, 10 campuses have been placed on “probation” status and another 14 have received “warning” status. All of the schools have been given specific guidelines they must follow if they want to improve their status by the next accreditation evaluation; however, the three schools in the direst circumstances also have the most work to do.

“The problems colleges have run into with accreditation are abnormally acute at this point in time in California,” David Baime, senior vice president with the American Association of Community Colleges,

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