As Accreditation Revocation Looms, State Lawmakers Demand Extension For CCSF Fixes

State lawmakers are asking a regional accrediting commission for more time before it revokes City College of San Francisco’s accreditation.

The state Senate today unanimously passed a resolution drafted by State Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, urging the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, or ACCJC, to recognize the college’s progress in fixing its alleged shortcomings in order to retain its accreditation and give the school more time to continue to make improvements. A companion bill introduced in the state assembly also received a unanimous vote.

“Since sanctioning the college two years ago, CCSF has met nearly 95 percent of its goals to maintain accreditation, and failing to allow more time for complete recovery will risk closure of our state’s largest community college district, which serves 80,000 Bay Area residents,” Leno said in a statement.

Without an extension, the ACCJC is on track to terminate the college’s accreditation by July 31 due to a number of alleged deficiencies including fiscal problems, deficient student services, outdated instruction guidelines and antiquated computer systems, according to a statement from the commission.

A spokesperson for ACCJC could not immediately be reached for comment this afternoon.

In a letter sent to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday, the ACCJC said granting an extension to City College would violate federal rules and that it plans to withdraw the school’s accreditation as planned.

“Our commitment to meaningful accountability for students and taxpayers reflects federal law and aligns with recent calls by the (Obama) administration and leading members of Congress for accreditation agencies to better protect students from failing higher education institutions,” the letter signed by commission president Barbara Beno, Chairwoman Sherrill Amador and Vice Chairman Steve Kinsella.

The statement came even after a U.S. Department of Education official recently said that the accrediting panel has the authority to give the college more time to remedy its outstanding issues and after a May 20 letter from the Board of Governors for California’s Community Colleges urging the ACCJC to halt the termination of City College’s accreditation, according to Leno’s office.

The ACCJC voted in June 2013 to terminate City College’s accreditation effective July 31, 2014.

Without another review by the commission, the school’s work toward fixing the deficiencies listed by the ACCJC will not be considered or verified, according to Leno’s office.

Laura Dixon, Bay City News

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