PCC President Dr. Rajen Vurdien presented updates to PCC’s accreditation report status at the
Board of Trustees meeting last Wednesday. The revised report has been approved by a series of several governance groups in the college, including ASPCC, the classified senate, and the faculty senate.
The school’s accreditation was placed on probation in June 2015 by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) after nine areas of their original report were identified as needing improvement. These areas covered topics regarding several subjects on the roles and communication of the staff and students of PCC.
Two PCC staff members who have been heavily involved in supervising all accreditation activities are Dr. Kathy Scott, the accreditation liaison officer, and Dr. Lynora Rogacs, the faculty accreditation coordinator. These two have been working on revising the report since last summer.
“The revising process has gone smoothly so far,” Rogacs wrote in an email to staff. “We continue to be impressed with how engaged everyone is. The Associated Students, in particular, asked very thoughtful questions about the report.”
One key improvement that the college made in their report is making the changes available to the public, both on and outside of campus. All information and documents regarding PCC’s accreditation can be found on the school’s website.
Changes that Scott and Rogacs have added to the report were addressed by Vurdien at the meeting. These changes include indicating policies that will take place to evaluate the faculty and staff of the college, listing all professional development events that have happened since last spring, conducting retreats for the leadership, managers, and deans, and recording all filled entry positions. The campus climate survey statistics and budget retreat results have been updated as well.
“We have an editing group right now, making sure that the document reads as it should read,” Vurdien said. “That is, in one voice.”
The next step in accreditation’s timeline of events is finalizing the changes, which will be presented to the Board of Trustees on Sept. 21. By then, the changes should have all required signatures confirming them before being sent to ACCJC. However, there are still several governance groups who have yet to review the changes before then, including the Policies and Procedures Committee and the College Council.
Vurdien stated that he has gone through all nine recommendations made by the ACCJC and has “evidence” of solutions to every concern addressed.
“It looks like we are on path, but we don’t have control over the action of the commission,” Vurdien said. “But, everything seems to point to that we’re doing the right thing.”
The accreditation report, including all final changes, is due Oct. 15, but Scott has stated that it will be submitted by the end of September. A visit from team members of ACCJC is expected in November, and the final decision of PCC’s accreditation standing will be made by Feb. 2, 2017.
“The entire campus community has put tremendous work into ensuring that PCC completes the work on the recommendations given to us by ACCJC,” Scott concludes. “We are proud of what has been accomplished and feel confident that when the team members revisit the campus, they will see the significant improvements that have been made. It is our collective goal for PCC to be fully reaffirmed by ACCJC.”