City College of San Francisco officials along with state Assemblyman Phil Ting were reminding students today to register for classes this fall.
Ting, D-San Francisco, held a news conference at the State Building in San Francisco this afternoon urging prospective students to enroll in classes as the school deals with accreditation issues.
He said that the school is still open and running this fall and into next year, even after the school found out it would lose its accreditation after a decision from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges earlier this month.
The college’s accreditation is set to end next year on July 31, 2014.
That decision came after the school was put on “show cause” status last year. The commission listed 14 recommendations for the school to improve its governing, organization, finances, student support, services, campus facilities and other issues.
The school filed a report in March 2013 that attempted to show how it had addressed the problems pinpointed by the commission.
However, the commission found that only two of the 14 recommendations had been implemented.
Robert Agrella has since been appointed as a special trustee with full control to manage the board and make decisions on behalf of the school.
Ting said students should know that credits until July 31, 2014, and potentially beyond will still be deemed accredited and transferable to four-year universities.
The same courses and instructors are still offered, he said.
“It’s business as usual this year,” he said.
CCSF Board of Trustees president John Rizzo said enrollment is down by 13.9 percent, which translates to $20 million in possible funding cuts.
There are about 80,000 students at the college’s various campuses, which include the Ocean Avenue main campus, Chinatown, downtown and Mission District locations.
CCSF Academic Senate President Karen Saginor emphasized that teaching quality is the school’s top priority and reassured students about the quality of their credits.
“No matter what happens…credits are good forever,” she said.
She said misinformation that degrees from the school will become worthless is false and that all units will count.
Alissa Messer, president of the teachers’ union AFT 2121, said the quality of education has never been in question during the accreditation process.
She advised Bay Area residents interested in supporting and helping the school to take a course.
Class schedules have been distributed to community centers, local businesses, libraries and other high-profile areas to encourage enrollment, Messer said.
There is also a marketing campaign to promote enrollment, which includes radio and online ads and signage.
Fall instruction begins on Aug. 14. Enrollment for new students begins Aug. 5, while the sign-up period for returning students has already opened. Students can enroll online at ccsf.edu.
While encouraging more students to enroll, school officials have asked for the commission to review the decision to revoke accreditation. Saginor said the commission is expected file their findings next week.
If the decision remains, then the school will file an appeal.
During the appeal process, the school will remain accredited.
Trustees Rafael Mandelman and Chris Jackson also attended the news conference.
Sasha Lekach, Bay City News