Accreditation reaffirmed for ARC


American River College Dean of planning, research and technology Adam Karp speaks with an accreditation committee member during last fall's committee visit. The school was commended in seven areas. (File Photo)

Jordan Schauberger

American River College had its accreditation reaffirmed by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) earlier this month after a committee visited the school in October of last year.

The accreditation commission provided one recommendation for ARC to address within the next 18 months.

ARC was encouraged to revisit its institution-set standards within its participatory governance structure. A college-wide discussion on the topic was also suggested.

Dean of planning, research and technology Adam Karp clarified that the ACCJC recently created new qualifications for institution-set standards.

“In the past, we’ve set standards as aspirations, but now we want to have a floor,” Karp said.

ARC was also commended in seven areas that the committee found to be the school’s strength.

These commendations included the partnership with the Natomas Educational Center, the approach to instructional programs such as automotive and the strong focus on student leadership and development.

There was also an outline for three changes to be made by the district as a whole.

The changes were implementation of a comprehensive technology plan for the district, development of a policy for evaluating and selecting school presidents and clarification that the chancellor delegates all responsibility to the presidents for their specific colleges.

According to district spokesperson Mitchel Benson, the district had already begun addressing all of these recommendations before receiving letters from the accrediting commission.

Los Rios Chancellor Brian King expressed pleasure over the successful accreditation process for all four schools.

“We are pleased and proud that all four Los Rios colleges have had their accreditation reaffirmed after lengthy, careful and comprehensive reviews – both internal and external,” King said. “We are all focused on the same goals: performance standards and practices that promote academic quality, institutional effectiveness and student success.”

ARC public information officer Scott said that the ARC administration echoed King’s pleasure with the accreditation results.

“We are very pleased that our accreditation was reaffirmed,” Crow said. “We are already hard at work on the recommendation indicated in the letter from the accreditation commission.”

The commission directed each of the colleges to submit a follow-up report by March 15, 2017 and address the recommendations that were identified by the commission.

ARC was provided only an 18-month reaffirmation, as opposed six years during the previous process.

Karp said that the reason for the shorter accreditation turn-around was a new policy created by the ACCJC.

“In the past, if a college was deficient in some significant area then the accreditation commision would put them on a warning status that they’d then have to write a follow-up report on,” Karp said. “They’ve selected this 18-month time frame to allow the colleges to fix a problem without getting the warning status.”

All colleges that received reaffirmation last fall were given the 18-month time frame to address the recommendations from the ACCJC.