ARC prepares for accreditation

American River College is at the tail end of a six-year accreditation process, a topic that has been largely discussed after Californias largest community college, City College of San Francisco lost its accreditation.

All of the Los Rios Community College District schools will  be up for review in January 2015.

The colleges must each complete a self study, which the accreditation visiting team will review. The team will also come by and talk to students and faculty.

Accreditations are done by The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, “an outside objective agency,” said ARC’s communications and public information officer Scott Crow.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, accreditation is “the recognition that an institution maintains standards requisite for its graduates to gain admission to other reputable institutions of higher learning or to achieve credentials for professional practice.”

At this point, ARC is getting the committees together, who will each tackle a specific sections for the self study. Both faculty and students make up these committees and Crow says it’s necessary for student to be involved, because the school “can’t improve the process if we don’t get feedback.”

Student Senate President Kenneth Hinton, said there are vacancies in several committees and encourages students interested to contact him and not be intimidated if they have never been in a shared governance committee before.

“There are mentors there that can help, like myself, our adviser, there’s even people who sit on those committees that can help them and explain the process,” said Hinton.

Without accreditation, CCSF cannot receive taxpayer funds and will be closing its doors this July if their appeal efforts are not successful.

Even with all the talk and controversy at CCSF, Jane De Leon, the accreditation liaison officer and dean of planning, research and technology reassures that the “the situation at CCSF has no bearing on the reaffirmation of accreditation effort,” at ARC.

“The colleges of the Los Rios Community College District have consistently received reaffirmation of accreditation because they have demonstrated that they are in compliance with the standards 365 days a year, every year,” De Leon added.

The fate of CCSF is not yet known, but in a memo from both Robert Agrella, Special Trustee and Art Tyler the Chancellor, they said the school is going through the appeals process and “doing everything possible to ensure a strong future for City College and its students.”