Accreditation committee handles recommendations
Special to the Times
According to the ACCJC, accreditation is designed to “ensure institutional improvement” and “ensure the quality of the institution.”
LCC’s accreditation steering committee is responsible for maintaining the college’s accreditation and getting it off warning.
The Lassen Community College Accreditation Committee chaired by Carie Camacho and is comprised of LCC’s president, the dean of instruction, the human resources officer, two board members, two classified employees, three managers, five faculty members and a student representative.
As the accreditation chair, Camacho organizes the committee as it sorts out the ACCJC’s requests and addresses the problems the ACCJC cited.
“We research and write the reports that they're requesting,” she said. “So basically, it's researching what's going on on-campus, writing the reports and sending it off to the commission."
Last summer, the ACCJC put the college on warning, a status LCC now shares with about a half-dozen other colleges under the ACCJC’s authority.
"They're coming down on quite a few campuses because they changed their standards in 2002 and some people are slow to grasp them,” Camacho said. “Throughout the United States, that's happening."
The commission can put a college on warning for many different reasons, including problems with instruction, leadership and financial aid. LCC, however, was put on warning for less serious reasons.
"Our warning status has absolutely nothing to do with our instruction in the classroom,” Camacho said, “or whether or not we're going to hand out financial aid or whether our classes are going to transfer. All our classes transfer and our instruction is fantastic.”
In early June, a group of ACCJC representatives came to the college to identify problems and recommend solutions. After its visit to LCC, the ACCJC sent the college a list of problems it saw at the college and 21 recommendations for fixing them.
"They're all pretty boring items that have to do with running the college," Camacho said. "For instance, one of the recommendations is that we need to develop a governance structure to assist in our planning. Just an overall, governance structure. We have bits and pieces of it, but they just want to see it on paper and functioning."
The college’s planning system is another concern of the commission.
“We plan in certain areas but there are some components missing and we're going to revitalize those,” Camacho said.
The ACCJC wants to see the college fill the vacancies it has on its staff. The commission was also concerned with the relationship problems and feuding between LCC employees.
"We have relationship issues on this campus,” Camacho said, “people not getting along for quite a while so (ACCJC) wants to see some training. Some outside trainers will come in and they're going to work with a lot of us on campus.”
As soon as the college received the list of recommendations from the ACCJC, the accreditation committee met to start implementing the commission’s recommendations.
"So every item is being addressed and is moving forward,” she said. “Every single one. Some of them are items which will be ongoing, so every semester we will be doing activities to address them. Some of them are quick-fix. And some have already been fixed. But once again, I want to reiterate that it has nothing to do with instruction on campus. It has nothing to do with classes not transferring — our classes transfer. Our students get financial aid. Everything is rock solid there."
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