SACRAMENTO – Senator Mark Leno, Assemblymember Phil Ting and Assemblymember Tom Ammiano have introduced companion resolutions in the Legislature urging the Accreditation Commission on Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) to acknowledge City College of San Francisco’s progress in making improvements toward retaining its accreditation and give the school more time to continue making progress.
The lawmakers aim to pass Senate Resolution 47 (Leno) and House Resolution 41 (Ting and Ammiano) before the next ACCJC meeting on June 4-6 in order to show that the California Legislature is squarely behind the best interests of the school and its 80,000 students.
“Since the Commission sanctioned City College two years ago, CCSF has met 95 percent of its goals set out to maintain accreditation,” said Senator Leno. “It is critical that the Commission allow the school an extension of time to complete the remaining 5 percent, which would help ensure that the state’s largest community college district remains open and continues to provide a pathway to careers for tens of thousands of Bay Area residents. Since the ACCJC has the clear authority to allow more time, it is extremely important that it does just that,” he said.
“Over two years ago, the ACCJC laid out major recommendations to City College in order to maintain accreditation,” said Assemblymember Ting. “The College has worked with the State Chancellor’s office and the City and County of San Francisco to complete nearly 95% of the recommendations. If the ACCJC revokes accreditation and puts over 80,000 students on the street without any viable alternative, we can only assume they have another agenda other than best interests of the students. With a little more time, I have complete confidence City College will be 100% compliant with the recommendations.”
“The very least that the ACCJC can do is give City College some breathing space after everyone there has worked double-time to make improvements,” said Assemblymember Ammiano. “However, the thing we should be seeing is reform of the accreditation process and restoration of the college’s elected board. We need to get back to making students and the City of San Francisco the priority at City College.”
Two years ago, ACCJC sanctioned City College and a list of 350 objectives was subsequently created for campus improvement. According to the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, City College has met nearly 95 percent of them. The commissioners voted in June of 2013 to terminate the school’s accreditation, effective July 31, 2014. Absent another review by the commissioners, the school’s significant progress toward maintaining accreditation would not be considered or verified.
The U.S. Department of Education recently stated that the ACCJC has the flexibility to give City College additional time to remedy all outstanding issues without jeopardizing the Commission’s standing with the Department. In addition, a May 20 letter from the Board of Governors for California’s Community Colleges to the ACCJC urges the Commission to verify the progress the college has made, based on the Commission’s recommendations, and rescind CCSF’s termination of accreditation.
The identical resolutions will be heard in each house next week.