CCSF’s accreditors pledge to increase transparency

CCSF nearly lost its accreditation in 2013, but has been granted an extension to meet all accrediting requirements. (Mike Koozmin/2013 S.F.. Examiner)

The accrediting commission for City College of San Francisco and 112 other California community colleges has pledged to increase public involvement at its meetings amid recent pressure for the accreditor to be more transparent.

At a special meeting Friday in Sacramento, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges heard from 13 attendees and received written comments from several more who urged the commission to increase its transparency, collaboration and communication, said Eliza Chan, a spokeswoman for the ACCJC.

The meeting followed a state chancellor’s office task force report released in August that recommended replacing the accrediting commission, which has faced backlash from politicians and college leaders after it voted in 2013 to revoke CCSF’s accreditation.

That move that was blocked first by the City Attorney’s Office and later when the commission introduced a new policy that gives CCSF until January 2017 to meet all accrediting requirements. The school remains open and fully accredited today.

In addition to delving into purported flaws with the ACCJC — namely that the commission should provide a more streamlined, consistent and transparent path for schools to retain their accreditation — the report examined why it’s time for California community colleges to seek a new accreditor.

After receiving public comment at Friday’s ACCJC meeting, the commission took action to schedule listening sessions at community colleges in the coming weeks.

The commission will also conduct a survey to receive more comments from institutions, and has begun considering aspects of its closed session meetings that can be moved to public session “to provide for greater public involvement,” Chan said.

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