CRC goes through critical accreditation process

From Oct. 5-8 a team composed of as many as 13 peer evaluators from other colleges paid a mandatory visit to Cosumnes River College to confirm that the campus meets the eligibility requirements, standards and commission policies.  

“It’s super important,” said College Self-Evaluation Tri-chair Professor Georgine Hodgkinson. “It really matters that we receive our accreditation.”

The Tri-chair is a committee comprised of three chosen representatives from different departments of the CRC faculty, staff and administration.  

It is the responsibility of the Tri-chair to appoint team leaders and staff to those teams for them to compose the standardized sections of the Institutional Self-Evaluation Report.  

The purpose of the report is to demonstrate to the review team that will be visiting the campus that CRC is meeting all of its qualifications and requirements for accreditation.  

Accreditation requirements must be met at all times.

The report states a college must have academic and support services administrative staff members with appropriate preparation and experience to provide the administrative services necessary to support the college’s mission and purpose.

Awarding academic credits based on accepted practices of California community colleges under California Code of Regulations is also a requirement.  

Community college districts must regularly undergo and make available an annual external financial audit for the district and its colleges by a certified public accountant as well to ensure financial responsibility.   

“There are college districts where the sister colleges are not coordinated,” said CRC Vice President and Accreditation Liaison Officer Whitney Yamamura. “Not all colleges in the district have our same Tri-chair model; there’s a systematic way of cooperation between sister colleges and fortunately we are able to take that for granted here.”

The Los Rios Function Map was used as an example for instructional purposes at one of the accreditation training courses. Function maps are one of the vital aspects of the accreditation process, Hodgkinson said.

It’s the duty of the Tri-chair to type up all of the required information and organize that into the report for the self-evaluation team. As the chosen self-evaluation team, it is their responsibility to ensure all that was in the report is being properly enforced and regulated on campus.

Preparation for a visit such as this begins two years prior to the scheduled visit date, but any changes or improvements made by college administrators go into immediate consideration following the conclusion of the accreditation.  

These improvements and consistent regulation of campus policies allow a college to issue degrees and continue its programs for higher education. Accreditation directly affects all students, Yamamura said.