ACCJC fights for new accreditor


Andrew Avilla/The Skyline View Photo credit: Andrew Avilla

Attending an accredited college is vital to the education of many students. The degree earned from a reputable college whose standards meet those of the Department of Education is important, and now the search for a new accreditor is being put on hold due to unreconciled differences between the present accreditor and the California Community College’s Chancellor.

The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), has lost the confidence of the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, according to a report from the 2015 Task Force from the Chancellor’s Office.

“The central focus of accreditation processes should be on providing excellent teaching and learning opportunities and on academic integrity. The current accreditor for the California Community Colleges has failed to maintain such a focus,” reads the first line from the conclusion of the task force report.

The 10 member team, comprised of faculty from colleges within the region, has cited a number of issues they have with the accrediting commission. Among them are the commission is not meeting the needs of the colleges in the area it represents, the commission has a focus of compliance rather than improvement, and that their actions and decisions are not transparent. And they have the backing of the Board of Governors.

Steven Baum a trustee of the Ventura Community District told reporters “We felt the current process of accreditation was simply not working and we thought long and hard about the conclusions we came to. It was our judgment that a new accrediting process would be better than more attempts at reforming the current one.”

During the period between 2005 and 2015, the ACCJC has sanctioned 113 schools, most notably revoking the accreditation of City College of San Francisco. The sanctions were given little time for correction. The ACCJC later reversed their decision, but the damage to the school and the commission’s reputation was already done.

The ACCJC sent out a response report after the Task Force published its report. In it, the ACCJC responded to each one of the Task Force’s complaints individually, most notably saying that some of the task force complaints were out of date and they have added a new option to their review policy that allows them to visit an issue with a college within a year.

The Task Force has stated that they will continue to work with the ACCJC to ensure that there is continuity in accreditation, but that the current commission is “too far gone” for reparations.