Last week a self-evaluation form was sent via email to students, staff and faculty to gather feedback on the college’s performance in anticipation of the college’s reaccreditation visit from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) next year.
Since accreditation status is vital to the college’s functionality, some are unhappy with the early October deadline for feedback submission before the draft is finalized.
“From the senate’s perspective, more time should have been given,” said Academic Senate President Eduardo Cairo. “This document is way too important to be able to thoroughly review, analyze [and] determine what should or should not be in there.”
The draft includes the standards of the college’s mission, student learning programs and services, resources, and leadership governance.
“While more time is always preferable, all campus members are working diligently so we meet the submission deadlines set by the ACCJC,” wrote Interim Dean of Instructional Support Matthew Jordan by email. Jordan also noted the past year of the self-evaluation was “productive and collaborative.”
Students are encouraged to leave feedback as well since “the input from all constituent [groups are] absolutely important to the self-study,” Senior Vice President Robert Bell wrote in an email.
Due to the form’s voluntary response, there’s concern about exactly who will respond since “there is still a sense of a fear on this campus,” said Cairo.
If the college manages to lose its accreditation, enrollment numbers will likely drop due to its impact on students. Mainly, the degrees earned from an unaccredited college would not be accepted by any university. Students who depend on financial aid would be out of luck as only students are accredited colleges can receive financial aid.
In the event that PCC fails to live up to the ACCJC’s standards, upcoming graduates will be spared since “any such decision would not be immediately effective,” and “any 2015 graduates would be unaffected,” Bell said.
The deadline for feedback is October 13 and the final draft will be submitted to the ACCJC on December 15. A visitation team from the ACCJC will visit the main campus next March and decide the college’s accreditation status in June.