Employ the Term “Action Required” Rather Than “Recommendation” for Evaluation Findings That Must Be Addressed by the Two-Year Rule

Resolution Number
Assigned to
Status Report

Letter to ACCJC

Whereas, Section 602.20(a) of the Secretary’s Criteria for Recognition mandates that recognized accrediting agencies for institutions such as the California community colleges must either take immediate adverse action against the institution, or give the institution two years to bring itself into compliance (the so-called Two-Year Rule);

Whereas, The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) currently uses the term “recommendation” in two senses when communicating the Commission’s actions, namely, “to meet the standard” or “to improve institutional effectiveness,” and thus it is unclear which of the “recommendations” issued to member institutions by the ACCJC fall under the Two-Year Rule;

Whereas, ACCJC’s use of the term “recommendation” in two different ways concerned the Accreditation Group of the United States Department of Education enough for it to note in its memo to the ACCJC dated August 13, 20131 that “what is not clear is how the recommendations are differentiated between the two types and how an institution, an evaluation team, the Commission, or the public is to know the difference”; and

Whereas, Given the high stakes involved with receiving one type of recommendation over the other, the California community colleges and their academic senates would benefit from clear distinctions between the types of findings issued them;

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges formally request that the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) adopt and employ two consistent terms: One, such as “action required,” used for those ACCJC findings of non-compliance that must be addressed under the Two-Year Rule, and a second term such as “recommendation,” used exclusively for Commission suggestions that the institution may implement at its discretion.


1.Letter to the Dr. Barbara Beno, dated August 13, 2013: http://www.accjc.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/08_13_2013_Letter_from_…