Superintendent/President Geraldine M. Perri, Ph.D. and Yuba Community College District Chancellor and ACCJC visiting team chair Douglas B. Houston, Ph.D. at the site-visit forum Sept. 28,2015 at Citrus College. (Megan Bender/Clarion)
The Accrediting Committee for Community and Junior Colleges has reaffirmed Citrus College’s accreditation status for 18 months.
Superintendent/President Geraldine M. Perri, Ph.D., said Citrus received the highest reaffirmation that was given to any college in this review cycle.
“Citrus College is pleased to receive a reaffirmation of our accreditation along with six commendations for the outstanding work of our faculty, staff and students,” Perri said. “This validation of the college aligns with other positive national and state recognition recently received.”
Citrus received six commendations on organic and authentic data literacy with some exceptions, the Student Services staff and administrators and their review process, the Hayden Memorial Library staff, the maintenance and operations staff, a safe environment for students, and Citrus’ ability to address future liabilities such as Other Post-Employment Benefits.
A site-visit team of 14 administrators and faculty members from other California community colleges represented by ACCJC visited Citrus from Sept. 28 to Oct. 1, 2015, to evaluate the quality of education at Citrus.
The visiting team left Citrus with a tense exit interview, stating that Citrus’ self-evaluation report was lacking in depth and reflection and not in compliance with self-evaluation manual and guidelines.
Vice president of academic affairs and accreditation liaison officer, Arvid Spor, Ed.D., still did not doubt the reaffirmation of accreditation for Citrus despite this.
Spor and English professor and accreditation co-chair Roberta Eisel, were responsible for compiling the self-evaluation report according to ACCJC guidelines.
“I assumed all along that we would be reaffirmed despite the way the exit interview played out last fall,” he said.
The first recommendation for Citrus to improve upon was to “include precise, accurate and current information concerning grievance and complaint procedures and sexual harassment in its print or electronic catalog for its constituents.”
The second recommendation was to “comply with Commission requests, directives, decisions and policies and make complete accurate and honest disclosure.”
ACCJC also suggested that [Citrus] “develop a different approach to its next report to the Commission- one that provides for broader college input, more careful attention to presenting the factual evidence of the College’s performance with respect to the stands more careful review of the port before finalizing it.”
The final suggestion from ACCJC was for Citrus to “review and consider resetting its institution-set standards to a more rigorous level.”
Student Trustee Juniper Cordova-Goff is glad that Citrus was able to pull through another successful accreditation.
“Our staff worked so hard to prepare, as did the entire district,” she said. “We had a bit of a scare at the final meeting, but as we all knew our campus pulled through.”
A full accreditation cycle typically lasts for six years and has recently been increased to seven, according to the ACCJC website.
A revised “Policy on Commission Actions on Institutions” ACCJC revision effective this Jan. requires reaffirmation after a follow-up period.
According to the revision, “upon successful completion of the reaffirmation with a Follow-Up Report period, the institution will qualify for the reaffirmation for the remainder of the seven-year accreditation cycle.”
“The difference now is that the response must occur within 18 months instead of three years,” Perri said. “Since the college received two recommendations as opposed to six in the last review cycle, the college is well poised to address the recommendations in a timely manner.”
Spor said that having about a year to follow-up on these recommendations is a good thing and that faculty, staff and administrators have been working to resolve both since the day after the visiting team left.
“We will show the accrediting commission that we have resolved the two recommendations and are in full compliance with the commissions, standards, policies and eligibility requirements,” he said.
Spor believes changes will be implemented this spring.
“We have a little bit of work to do this spring to remove the two recommendations and I look forward to receiving full affirmation from the commission next year”,” Spor said.