City College of San Francisco’s controversial accreditor got the green light from a federal commission Thursday to continue accrediting community colleges in California for another year and a half, according to the CCSF faculty union.
The National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity, a federal commission that advises U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, voted in favor of recognizing the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges for 18 months.
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The ACCJC is now awaiting a final decision from DeVos, a proponent of private and charter schools. All accreditors in the U.S. are private organizations.
The recommendation is in line with a staff report from the U.S. Department of Education. The report drew scorn from faculty unions in California and at City College, where a half-decade accreditation battle with the ACCJC ended last month.
Since the ACCJC reaffirmed City College’s accreditation last month for seven years, DeVos’ decision on whether to recognize the ACCJC will not impact the college. But it will impact two dozen colleges that are having accreditation reviews by fall 2017.
Tim Killikelly, president of the American Federation of Teachers Local 2121, criticized the report for leaving out a complaint from City College about the ACCJC.
“It’s the DOE’s job to come to this meeting to give information to decision makers, and to give them complete information,” Killikelly said. “That does not seem to be very responsible on the part of DOE.”
The ACCJC did not respond to a request for comment.
Killikelly, who attended the NACIQI meeting in Alexandria, Va., said the discussion centered around the harmful effects of removing the accreditor of community colleges in California without a replacement in line.
The union called on the Department of Education to stop recognizing the ACCJC and instead create a process to transition to another accreditor.
The California Community College system is currently working to improve the ACCJC or transition to a new accreditor.
“The next steps are going to be in California, we want to make sure that this isn’t just a process that drags on for years and years and years,” Killikelly said.education