Letter to ACCJC
Whereas, The “faculty roles and involvement in accreditation processes, including self study and annual reports” is one of the “10+1” academic and professional matters designated to academic senates in Title 5 §53200;
Whereas, The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (ASCCC) has been intricately involved in accreditation processes since its founding and continues to actively support faculty and colleges in their accreditation work through breakouts presented at plenary sessions, Rostrum articles, Senate position papers, its standing Accreditation and Assessment Committee, and its annual Accreditation Institute;
Whereas, The ASCCC further provides colleges, upon request, with Accreditation Response Teams consisting primarily of faculty experienced in various areas of accreditation, in order to assist colleges that are facing sanctions or are otherwise concerned with the involvement and roles of faculty in regards to accreditation processes within their own college governance structures; and
Whereas, Despite the ASCCC’s strong advocacy for and assistance with “faculty roles and involvement in accreditation processes” and extensive set of adopted positions to that effect, the ASCCC currently has no statement regarding the ASCCC’s responsibility with respect to accreditation;
Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges adopt the following statement on accreditation to be published widely and used to guide the ASCCC in its ongoing work to support college accreditation efforts:
The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (ASCCC) values the peer review process of self-reflection and improvement known as accreditation. Since local academic senates have Title 5-mandated roles within the accreditation process, the ASCCC sees its primary responsibility as helping colleges to meet the adopted standards for which they will be held accountable and to generate comprehensive and forthright assessments of progress toward the standards. The ASCCC’s main tool for supporting colleges is the annual Accreditation Institute, through which faculty and other colleagues are encouraged to learn about and address the standards and recommendations from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. Additionally, the Academic Senate shares accreditation information and provides support through local college visits and regional presentations. As a professional matter, in support of the ideal of a fair and meaningful accreditation process, the ASCCC’s secondary responsibility is to recommend and advocate for improvements to the accreditation standards and processes by providing thoughtful feedback and input to all accreditation participants.