San Jose City College remains on accreditation probation

Linh Nguyen

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The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges said in a January letter that San Jose City College will remain on probation.

The letter also contained recommendations that SJCC must comply with. The administration of SJCC is confident the college can comply with the commissions’ recommendations.

“We are an ‘A,’” is what SJCC President Barbara Kavalier said about efforts to remove the college from probation. “Technically, we could have been placed on ‘show cause’ because we exceeded ACCJC’s two-year limit to cure prior deficiencies.”

Kavalier said ‘show cause’ is the last warning level of accreditation before the ACCJC closes the college. Still, she said, “We did such a good job in addressing these deficiencies, and the commission saw that we made such good progress that they are giving us another chance.”

The president also said that, after the 122-page follow-up report submitted to the ACCJC in 2011, the committee dropped three of SJCC’s shared recommendations: Finance, Governance and Administration Turnover.

There are three major concerns from the ACCJC findings: Integrated Planning, Program Review and Student Learning Outcomes.

“All corrections must be submitted by Oct. 15, 2012. There are no additional allowances,” Kavalier said. “This is our last opportunity to satisfy the ACCJC recommendations, or we will lose our accreditation.”

Doriann Tran, international counselor, said losing accreditation would be “huge.”

Kavalier said that 80 percent of SJCC’s students are eligible for federal financial aid. Losing accreditation means the college will lose funds to support students and funds that support many curriculum programs.

“I know students may be concerned about whether their units count in this probation status,” Tran said. “I want to emphasize that your units count.”

Tran said while the school is on the probation, units are still counted. “That’s usually a normal thing to be continued on probation for another year,” Tran said. “Every school has a set of issues. Probation is a standard thing that we need to go through to achieve accreditation. Lots of well-known schools were on probation at one point before they accomplished full accreditation.”

Tran said the college has made a lot of progress. The accreditation team and faculty are engaged in resolving the ACCJC’s list of recommendations.

“It really does take everybody to be on board with this,” she said.
Kavalier said, “The students play an important role. Our students have been great and that is the kind of help I need.”

“It’s such a great college and it is on probation,” said Gerardo Barbossa, 21, liberal arts major on the status of SJCC’s proba-tion.

“It’s going to be a challenge to meet the Oct. 15 deadline, but if we perform at the high level, as we did last year … we will be OK,” Kavalier said. “We are making great progress, we have great people and we will make it happen.”