Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2009 Editorial • Keep up the good work at Lassen Community College

Everyone at Lassen Community College — the board of trustees, the administration, the faculty, the staff and the students — should share the credit from the good news that came this week from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Our local community college may have finally turned the corner. Bogged down by a revolving door of presidents and administrators, accusations of micromanagement, a culture of conflict that fostered ill will among nearly all the parties involved and a host of other issues, the college has solved many of those thorny problems as evidenced by the ACCJC’s decision to elevate the college from probation status to warning status — a huge step toward removing all the sanctions placed on the college by ACCJC.

Make no mistake, finding resolution for all but three of 21 recommendations identified by the accrediting commission in July 2006 is no small hurdle, and the process of removing all the sanctions remains incomplete.

Being placed on probation status means that the accrediting commission questions the college’s capacity to meet standards. Being on warning status means the accrediting commission has confidence in the college’s capacity to meet standards while it works to reconcile all remaining recommendations.

We agree with the ACCJC’s decision. Anyone who’s watched the events at the college over the past two or three years can plainly see the positive changes that have been made. The entire college community accepted the challenges, engaged themselves to work out their differences and then pulled together to keep the college functioning. Without accreditation, the college would have been forced to close or surrender its local control and let another college run the institution, the fate of Compton Community College, a California community college that lost its accreditation a few years ago.

Thankfully, all the constituent groups at Lassen Community College actively sought to avoid the consequences that befell Compton Community College because they apparently recognized the value in having a local college under local control serving the local people.

We commend all those who worked so hard to ensure the success of Lassen Community College and those who had the wisdom and courage to set aside their personal issues and attitudes and pull together for the common good. We recognize how difficult it is to erase battle lines drawn in the sand for so many years and struggle to openly and fairly resolve the conflicts.

It’s not over until it’s over, they say about baseball, and that old adage is just as true about the progress being made at Lassen Community College.

The three remaining recommendations for the college include planning and decision making, student learning outcomes and institutional research — all which LCC President Dr. Douglas Houston considers to be long-term commitments.

Given the hard-fought progress that has been made and the meaningful achievements that have already been made, we have no doubt one day Lassen Community College will be free of sanctions from ACCJC.

We hope the good work will continue from one and all. Well done.