Cinco de Mayo to mark major accredition stepping stone

This year Cinco de Mayo will commemorate more than Mexico’s victory over the French, it will also mark the first tangible stepping stone for the writing teams of Skyline’s accreditation process.

To celebrate the completion of the first draft for the Self Study report there will be a Cinco de Mayo theme fiesta in the plaza area, at the top of the stairs between buildings seven and eight.

All are welcome to join the writing teams and everyone else involved with the Accreditation process to jubilate the completion of draft one and enjoy complimentary fajitas.

“It’s really for our own,” said Loretta Adrian, vice president of student services, and co-chair of standard one. “We are the primary audience of this accreditation not the people who are going to visit.”

Every six years Skyline College, in addition to a number of community colleges that are a part of The Accrediting Commission for Community Colleges and Junior Colleges Western Association of Schools and Colleges (ACCJC-WASC), undergo a two year process where each school conducts a self-evaluation to see how well they are meeting the four standards established by the ACCJC-WASC. To finalize the Self Study process an accreditation team from the ACCJC-WASC will visit Skyline in the fall of 2006.

The four standards: Institutional Mission and Effectiveness, Student Learning Programs and Services, Resources, and Leadership and Governance are guidelines for the school to follow to ensure its efficiency as a higher education institution.

“This process allows the institution to critically review itself and its practices, and make changes in the best interest of the institution instead of waiting for a committee to step in and say you need to change this and improve this. It really allows us to take an honest look at our programs and services in terms of the best practices that the standards address,” said Adrian.

Writing teams made up of faculty, administration, classified staff, and students have been assigned to each standard. These teams are to answer a series of questions regarding the school’s integrity, quality, and effectiveness, provide evidence along with their answers, and make plans to improve in any area needed, said Andreas Wolf, physical education dean/athletic director, and co-chair for standard three.

“It’s a wonderful time, I think we all need to have that in our personal lives [as well], and I think that it’s really self-renewing for institutions,” said Adrian. “To say let me take this dedicated time to have a real, critical, honest, reflective look at what’s going on at my institution, my program, my division, and see what we’re doing well, what can be done better, and what we’re not doing and what needs to happen is important.”