Campus to submit accredidation report

Cosumnes River College will be submitting a report to the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges by March 15. The report will show how the college made improvements recommended by the ACCJC last February.

CRC was asked to improve in the expediency of the assessment cycle of student learning outcomes and achievement rates, as well as the thoroughness of documenting dialogue regarding the college’s effectiveness as a learning institution.

What this means is that the administration needs to analyze how effective the CRC curriculum is and how well students are testing in order to make relevant improvements to the curriculum, as well as take more detailed notes during faculty meetings concerning how well CRC is performing as a community college.

“The efforts of faculty, staff and administrators to accelerate learning outcomes assessment in a short period of time has been remarkable,” said Public Information Officer Kristie West.

The efforts of faculty, staff and administrators to accelerate learning outcomes assessment in a short period of time has been remarkable.”

— Kristie West, Cosumnes River Public Information Officer

Full accreditation is essential to the continual operation of all community colleges. Without full accreditation, community colleges may not issue diplomas or transfer credits to four-year institutions as accredited campuses do.

According to the Accreditation Response Team website, 91 percent of course, 94 percent of program and 100 percent of activity assessments were completed by the end of the fall 2016 semester.

According to an open ACCJC letter addressed to the president of the college, Edward Bush, the ACCJC recommended that CRC “consistently and systematically document the dialog about institutional effectiveness, including learning outcomes, as discussions occur throughout the shared governance process.”

What this means is that the college has to improve on documenting faculty meeting discussions about how well CRC is doing as a learning institution and how effective the curriculum is.

“It’s like a math problem and the commission is the teacher asking us to show the work,” said Bush last February.

Since receiving the recommendations by the ACCJC, CRC has taken great strides to incorporate detailed, high-quality notes as a part of the normal process during faculty meetings.

“The college’s commitment to documenting dialog regarding institutional effectiveness is evident through the thorough documentation that was captured from fall 2015 through fall 2016 in an effort to meet this recommendation from the accreditation team,” West said.

Community colleges that lose accreditation likely face huge drops in student enrollment. Student enrollment is what determines state funding for each community college, and when faced with plummeting enrollment, a discredited community college would likely be forced to close its doors.

It’s like a math problem and the commission is the teacher asking us to show the work.”

— Dr. Edward Bush, Cosumnes River College President

The City College of San Francisco, which was the then-largest community college in the state, nearly lost its accreditation status in 2012, when the ACCJC placed CCSF in “show cause” status, forcing the college to show evidence of why it should remain open. The quality of education for students at CCSF was never in question, but the ACCJC highlighted management of finances and administration issues as cause to discredit the school.

Five years of turmoil at CCSF ensued, and the community college lost nearly a third of its students in the legal battle before finally being reaffirmed for a full term of seven years by the ACCJC.

However, a California community college has not lost accreditation status since 2006, when Compton Community College had its accreditation revoked by the ACCJC.

Students, staff, and faculty are allowed to track the progress of the Accreditation Response Team on CRC’s website using a log-in with their Los Rios email account.

Campus administration has displayed continual confidence in CRC having its accreditation status reaffirmed by the ACCJC. Considering how rare it is that California community colleges are at risk of losing accreditation, the chances CRC would encounter problems as a result of their report to the ACCJC is unlikely.
“Because the recommendations have been met, I don’t anticipate the college will have any risk of losing its accreditation,” said West.