City College Times

Fighting probation on campus

Emily Land

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[media-credit id=1 align=”alignleft” width=”207″]Barbara Kavalier[/media-credit]With the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior College’s six shared recommendations acknowledged by the San Jose City College Task Force, the campus is getting ready for its second visit on Nov. 8 and 9.

“Our Accreditation Task Force members are hard at work writing up their reports,” said Barbara Kavalier, president of SJCC.

The reports were edited this past week and Kavalier said the final report is due Oct. 15.

Kavalier said three individuals from the original site visit last semester will come on Nov. 8, do their evaluation, write their reports and send them to the ACCJC.

“I have certainly seen evidence of progress, not only in response to the (past) deficiency,” Kavalier said, “but I’ve seen a change in the culture and climate, the way we do things around here, and that is very positive and encouraging.”

Kavalier said she thinks the staff and faculty have done everything they can do but it is ultimately up to the accreditation committee.

“Every recommendation has been addressed,” she said. “Most reports are 30 to 35 pages, ours is almost 120.”

A few key points Kavalier addressed were the new much simpler strategic planning model that “everyone could understand.”

Also one of the recommendations noted by the ACCJC was on expanding the research capacity.

“They wanted us to make research and data a part of the culture of this college,” Kavalier said.

“It is a group of faculty, staff and administrators, called the Power Users Group, who come together and have conversations about what kind of information we need to inform us in our decisions,” Kavalier said. “We aren’t just responding by going out and hiring a bunch of researchers.”

Kavalier said the worst case scenario would be if the ACCJC moved the school from ‘Probation’ to ‘Show Cause,’ which means they thought they have not seen any progress.

“We are hoping to get positive feedback, but we anticipate that we will stay on probation because it has only been six months,” Kavalier said. “I’m not aware of any college in California who has been placed on probation and then immediately take off.”

She said the entire staff is optimistic and moving in the right direction.

“I feel a lot better now than I did back in January when we first received the letter from the commission (ACCJC),” Kavalier said. “I’ve just been so impressed how hard everyone has worked.”

Kavalier said she thinks the Board of Trustees has accomplished amazing work in regard to addressing the four recommendations involving governance.

“Not only did the college make great progress,” Kavalier said, “but I think the (San Jose/Evergreen) district and Board of Trustees have done extraordinary work to move the college in the right direction.”

Counselor Pamela Turner said if SJCC loses its accreditation, the students will know by next semester.

“It (losing accreditation) does not happen so that all of the sudden it turns off,” Turner said. “Probation can last for years.”

Turner said everything students are doing this semester will be accredited, no matter what.

“We don’t want the students to feel any anxiety,” Turner said.

“The probation might scare some students,” said Amelia Gomez, 20, administration of justice.

“It would suck for the people to be afraid to go to this school because I really like it,” Gomez said. “But it would mean more parking.”

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Fighting probation on campus