GCC accreditation deadline nears

Eight months after being warned they weren’t doing enough to address certain key planning and employee issues, officials say Glendale Community College is on track to regain its positive standing with a state accrediting commission.

College officials must submit a report to the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges on March 15 that addresses four of nine recommendations set forth last year during an accreditation review. A draft of the report has already been reviewed by the Glendale Community College Board of Trustees.

The commission placed Glendale Community College on warning status last year for failing to meet certain standards. The college was given until March 15 to comply with four recommendations stemming from a 2004 evaluation.

At the top of the to-do list was better reviewing of spending priorities against educational programs, completing all overdue employee evaluations, diversifying the staff and addressing long-term technology needs.

“We are anticipating a very successful return visit of the accreditors on March the 15th,” said college President/Supt. Dawn Lindsey said. “And we do anticipate their decision in June when they reconvene will be positive for the college.”

The college had been working to implement the policy and operational changes even before being formally placed on warning status in June, Lindsey said.

“Our board has taken it very seriously,” Lindsey said. “I do want to assure the community that we have indeed been working on [the recommendations] very hard.”

Every six years, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges assesses and evaluates performance to ensure the quality of education at local campuses.

The college must demonstrate clearly defined objectives appropriate for an institution of higher education, and show they are sufficiently organized and staffed to meet those objectives.

In 2004, Glendale Community College’s accreditation was reaffirmed, but it was directed to submit a midterm report in 2007 detailing progress on several recommendations, including outlining and funding a long-range plan for technology upgrades, diversifying staff and developing a comprehensive educational master plan, among others.

An additional five recommendations, which must be addressed by March 15, 2012, include developing student learning assessment tools, increasing custodial staffing and making policies that affect students more accessible.

Board of Trustees member Vahe Peroomian said that calling for changes to the college’s program review procedures was a “fair recommendation.”

“We weren’t really paying too much attention to how the educational master plan was being implemented as far as the budget was concerned,” Peroomian said.

Program review procedures have since been brought in line to coincide with the college’s budget planning, so that the necessary resources can be appropriated for the following year, he added.

The college has also caught up with employee evaluations, and strides are being made on the 2012 deadline, Peroomian said.

“We are way ahead of the game,” Peroomian said.

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