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Community colleges accreditation reaffirmed: San Mateo County Community College District ‘delighted’ about decision
February 11, 2014, 05:00 AM By Angela Swartz Daily Journal

Amid fears of harsh accreditation since City College of San Francisco learned last summer it would lose its accreditation in less than a year, the accreditation of all three colleges in the San Mateo County Community College District have been fully reaffirmed.

The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges notified the district Friday, Feb. 7 of the accreditation decisions for College of San Mateo, Skyline College and Cañada College. Each college has recommendations that require responses in its midterm report due during the 2015-16 school year. In most cases, this is work that the colleges already have underway, according to the district.

“The main thing is we were accredited and we are delighted about that,” said board President Karen Schwarz.

Meanwhile, the accreditation team recommended that the College of San Mateo complete and assess Student Learning Outcomes for all courses, programs, certificates and degrees, linking them to the Institutional Learning Outcomes. The team also recommended implementing multiple modes of assessment for certificates and degrees.

“The college should use utilize multiple modes of assessment for the learning centers in order to integrate academic support services with the instructional program,” the accreditation report stated.

At Cañada, the college was told to review its system for identifying course outlines of record that are out of date to improve and implement a curriculum process that insures that all course outlines of record are reviewed and curriculum currency is maintained.

Because of the circumstances surrounding City College, the documents being presented by the San Mateo County Community College District this time around were about double or triple the size they were during the district’s last accreditation review. The accreditation visits happen every six years and the one prior to this took place for the district in 2007.

“We’re dotting every i and crossing every t,” Barbara Christensen, director of community and government relations for the district, previously said. “We’re providing lots of evidence, minutes from meetings and gone over the top.”

Some of the accreditation commission’s recent additional requirements were over the top, Trustee Patricia Miljanich previously said. One example is that you don’t just have to show connections between planning groups, but provide flow charts.

“It’s excessive,” she said. “The community would be shocked to find out how much money has been spent on things that are not necessarily related to making sure we’re providing good education for the community. What used to be an educational process has become more of a punitive, legally documenting process.”

Cabrillo College, Grossmont College, MTI College, Salvation Army College for Officer Training at Crestmont and Cuyamaca College also had their accreditations reaffirmed. The agency issued Sierra College a warning on the basis of its evaluation. Columbia, Cuesta, Honolulu Community and Solano Community were all removed from the warning list and had their accreditations reaffirmed on the basis of follow up reports and visits.

Information on the recommendations to Skyline were not readily available.

(650) 344-5200 ext. 105



Tags: college, accreditation, community, district, mateo, learning,

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