CFT applauds Commission decision to grant full accreditation
Today the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) announced that City College of San Francisco has been granted full accreditation for seven years.
The California Federation of Teachers, representing twenty-five thousand community college faculty in thirty colleges across the state, welcomes this news. It is the right decision, and it is long overdue.
CFT president Joshua Pechthalt, an outspoken critic of the ACCJC’s decision to place CCSF on “show cause” in the first place in 2012, said, “This is great news for the students, faculty, staff, and city of San Francisco, all of whom depend on that outstanding college for access to an affordable higher education. This successful outcome could not have happened, however, without the continued pressure of AFT Local 2121, the CFT, national AFT, and other allies who have advocated for the college since the disastrous and illegal ACCJC decision of 2012. It is also clear that new leadership at the commission has made a difference.”
City College faculty union president Tim Killikelly said, “All of us at the college are so excited and relieved that the accreditation crisis is over. But we mustn’t forget that the accreditation crisis at CCSF should never have occurred. The quality of its education was never in doubt.”
Now that City College’s accreditation crisis has been resolved, the CFT looks forward to a productive conversation with the Community College Board of Governors to discuss the next steps for accreditation in California. The reform of a broken accreditation system has been uppermost in stakeholders’ minds ever since 2013, when the CFT, together with AFT 2121, filed a third party complaint with the US Department of Education over ACCJC’s actions.
This was but the first of many actions taken by CFT and its allies that brought close scrutiny to this particular ACCJC decision, but more broadly, to the culture of secrecy and arrogance that had sent the Commission down the wrong path. It took lawsuits, legislation, a state audit, a Chancellor’s Task Force, and Board of Governors actions to arrive at today’s announcement.
AFT national President Randi Weingarten said: “After five years weathering needless sanctions and punitive attacks from their rogue accreditor ACCJC, the brave students and faculty at City College of San Francisco can finally focus on creating opportunity rather than on fighting for survival. Faculty can get back to teaching and students to learning, without the specter of institutional decimation and devastation hanging over their heads. We fought hard for this and won, and we are thrilled to have been proven right about how great this college is.”
“We need to stay on track to a new accreditor,” said Pechthalt,” “as well as make sure no student faces the obstacles to a quality education that the ACCJC created in this situation. Toward that end, we will need key policy safeguards so that the CCSF situation is never replicated in other colleges. We hope this turns a page for higher education in California.”
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The California Federation of Teachers represents more than 25,000 faculty in California’s community college system, and 120,000 employees at all levels of education in the state.