The clock is ticking on a July 31 deadline for City College of San Francisco to apply for restoration status, a recently formed policy that would give the embattled school two more years to reach full compliance with accrediting standards.
That is the only remaining option in the administrative process for CCSF to save its accreditation, according to the commission that on Monday confirmed its decision last year to terminate CCSF’s accreditation.
However, despite Monday’s decision, the school remains open and accredited going into the fall semester.
CCSF “did not demonstrate that it met or exceeded standards as of May 21, 2014, and reconsideration of the commission’s termination action is not warranted,” wrote Barbara Beno, president of the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, in a letter dated Monday to CCSF Chancellor Art Tyler and Special Trustee Robert Agrella.
An appeals panel last month ordered the commission to reassess the school before its accreditation can be revoked. The review included “testimony and documentary evidence” from CCSF illustrating its progress toward meeting standards, but ultimately CCSF did not establish substantial compliance, according to ACCJC.
“CCSF’s evidence indicated it would take more than a year to achieve compliance in a number of these areas including adequate student and learning support services at each center, data analysis capability, internal control systems, and finance,” Beno wrote.
School officials called the commission’s decision “disappointing,” but pointed out a number of prospects that could continue to stave off the school’s accreditation loss.
“We continue to believe City College has made tremendous progress in the past year and is focused on completing its recovery,” Paul Feist, a spokesman for the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, said a statement. “The college will carefully weigh its options, including the ‘restoration’ process developed by the commission.”
Larry Kamer, a spokesman for CCSF, said Monday that Tyler and Agrella are “giving [restoration status] very serious consideration.” Additionally, the commission could elect to give CCSF more time to meet accrediting standards, according to Kamer.
“The Department of Education and senior elected officials and others [pointed] out to the commission that if it wanted to grant the college more time, it could,” Kamer said. “It just appears that they don’t want to.”
However, even if the school does not apply for restoration status, an injunction prevents CCSF from losing its accreditation prior to a trial over a lawsuit filed by The City against ACCJC that’s scheduled to begin Oct. 27.
Losing accreditation would effectively force CCSF to close.