CCSF approves report to salvage accred­itation


A CCSF board of trustees meeting at the Ocean Avenue campus on Thursday saw even more heated protest and debate over the school’s fate, as the board signed off on a report detailing the changes that have been made in order to meet accreditation standards and keep doors open.

The 250-page report is due by March 15, a deadline set by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges in July when CCSF was placed on “show cause” status. The Commission identified 14 aspects of the school’s operations as failing to meet standards and recommendations were made for how to improve.

The newly approved report serves a progress report on these 14 recommendations: what has been completed so far, as well as how and when the remaining changes will be made.

So far, CCSF has closed some of its campuses, imposed a controversial new administrative structure, laid off dozens of employees, made bigger efforts to track student outcomes and identified how and when technology and equipment should be updated.

Trustees also approved layoff notices for 18 administrators on Thursday, who are losing their jobs because of restructuring that slashes the number of deans down to seven.

Despite the changes that have been made, the board of trustees have prepared for the worst.

Thursday’s meeting saw the approval of a doomsday plan in case accreditation is not granted. The plan aims to help the CCSF students who have been fervently protesting their school’s potential loss of accreditation by ensuring them access to records and transfer to other schools.

But students, among many others, are not happy with the efforts the administration has made. The California Federation of Teachers reported  500 student, faculty and CCSF supporters showed up at the meeting on Thursday to make this clear to the board, holding signs imploring the board of trustees to “do your job, Stand up to the corporate mob,” and others, “Everybody stand up and fight! Education is a Human Right.

CCSF student Nancy Kato told the San Francisco Examiner:

“The accreditation process is a sham. We’re asking the board to stand against this. We need to rehire laid off workers and bring back badly needed student services.”

Luckily, CCSF might get a little more breathing room to do that, with a new bill introduced last Thursday by Assemblyman Paul Fong, D-Cupertino. Assembly Bill 1199 would provide financial assistance to colleges going through accreditation sanctions by creating a “stabilization formula” for any enrollment losses incurred during the sanctions.

Fong’s office told the Examiner that CCSF was a central focus of the bill.

CCSF officials rightly fear that students are much less likely to enroll because of the school’s “show cause” status and looming loss of accreditation. This would mean failing to meet an enrollment goal of 34,000 full-time students and thus, saying goodbye to funding.

The Save CCSF coalition‘s next plan of action is to hit up the San Francisco Board of Supervisors for support on March 14, the day before the show cause report is due.

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