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:
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.
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 that is threatening the very existence of vital California community colleges. Scrutiny and even lawsuits are leaving the accrediting agency vulnerable, while other California schools struggle with the realization 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 at 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 be facing accreditation challenges in the not-so-distant future. While Harris did not name specific school names in his warning, he admitted the problems facing City College could plague many other schools in the state.
In July, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) announced it would be pulling City College’s accreditation at the end of the current academic year in 2014. The commission cited a number of reasons for the decision, including a confusing structure of governance 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,
After City College of San Francisco loses its accreditation, other community colleges in the state are facing warnings, sanctions and possible loss of accreditation as well.
Before the dust even settles on problems faced by City College of San Francisco, other California community colleges may be facing similar challenges. The largest community college in the state was recently notified it would lose its accreditation by next summer. Now, other schools in the state are dealing with warnings, sanctions and possible loss of accreditation as well. What does the future hold for community colleges in the Golden State?
Accreditation Reviews Hit the State
The Accrediting Commission for Junior and Community Colleges (ACJCC) has been busy in recent months, reviewing California schools and making recommendations for follow-up action as needed. The comprehensive process resulted in the termination of accreditation for City College of San Francisco, the largest community college in the state with a student population of 85,000. In addition, other schools have been issued warnings and one was placed on probation after the review was completed.
The news is not all bad in California, however. Some community colleges in the state also had warnings upgraded to lighter sanctions, or had the warnings removed altogether. While the list of schools recently reviewed is a long one, we’ll take a look at a few of the highlights of the report that shed light on the state of the California Community College System overall.
Community Colleges Working Through Sanctions
Two community colleges in the state will begin the process of working through their list of recommendations to get their sanctions removed by next summer. The Los Angeles Daily News reports that
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 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
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 the problems at Pima that resulted in probation may have initiated from top administration officials. 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 a number of years. The commission investigating the school also found a “hostile working environment” was reported by many staff members of the community college.
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.
Report Specifics that Led to Probation
Inside Higher Ed reports that the four-member accreditation team from the Higher Learning Commission found complex issues with the
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 most dire 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, told the Sacramento Bee.
April 28, 2017
We’ll examine research that supports the success of transfer programs between community colleges and four-year schools, as well as the attraction of such an arrangement for students.
April 28, 2017
A new study by the Institute for College Access and Success points at the glaring problem facing many community college students: they can't access federal student loans. Learn about the study, the problem, and what resources you do have available.
April 28, 2017
If you are looking for a highly demanded, stable career with excellent growth potential, consider starting with "middle skills" training at your local community college.