City College of San Francisco Sends Action Plan to Accreditor
October 16th, 2012
By Jacqueline Foster, Editor
City College of San Francisco, a California community college facing serious accreditation troubles that could lead to its closure, sent in a formal action plan yesterday detailing what it will do to come into compliance with the standards put in place by its accreditor, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
The accreditor sent City College a "show-cause" warning earlier this year asking the college to show why it should not lose its accreditation, and requiring the college to prepare a "teach-out" plan for its students in the event that the college had to cease operations after losing its accreditation. An accreditation review revealed that City College was deficient in 14 areas, most of which concerned the way the college handled its finances, and leadership at the college.
City College has until March 15 to implement its action plan and bring itself into full compliance, or else the ACCJC could vote to yank the college’s accreditation in June, the article explained. The impact of such a loss of accreditation and resulting closure would be huge, as the public community college serves about 100,000 students each year through credit and non-credit courses at nine campuses and multiple sites throughout the city. The college offers associate degree programs, career and technical education, continuing education, degree programs for working adults, and even an honors program. While City College is best known for its traditional, campus-based programs, the college also offers distance education through fully online courses, hybrid courses, and telecourses.
City College’s action plan includes several proposals to reduce costs and generate revenue to mitigate the college’s financial struggles. Those include closing the college’s Castro campus, which is better described as several middle school classrooms the college has rented to the tune of $85,000 a year to offer night classes; ending employee sabbaticals, which is projected to save $800,000 a year; and requiring students to pay registration fees before their classes, which is projected to bring in $400,000 a year, the article explained. Other major financial moves could include closing two sites where classes are held and renting out a site. In addition, the plan calls for changes in leadership that give more power to deans so that department chairs can devote more of their time to academics, the article noted.
"The College has accomplished a great deal," wrote exiting Interim Chancellor Pamila Fisher in a letter accompanying the action plan. "It is difficult to imagine any large institution rallying such attention, focus, and hard work as City College has done in these past weeks — especially given how quickly we needed to change course in the interest of creating a more effectively run institution. This commitment has been evident at all levels of the College."