Earlier this month, Woodland Community College received notice from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) of the Commission’s decision regarding the college’s recent accreditation visit. The Commission met in early January to review evaluation visits from several dozen two-year colleges throughout California, Hawaii and the Pacific Islands. Accreditation is a voluntary, peer-review accountability process that periodically evaluates institutions based on standards of educational practice and effectiveness. The end goal of the process is quality improvement for student success.
The Commission reaffirmed Woodland Community College’s accreditation but imposed a sanction of “Warning” to resolve a number of shortcomings related to planning, resource allocation and the assessment of student learning, these shortcomings occur at both the college and the district levels. In October of 2012 Woodland Community College was visited by an accrediting team of administrators and faculty from other ACCJC accredited institutions to evaluate the institution. That team’s recommendations had actually already been identified by the college’s administration, faculty and staff through a comprehensive self-evaluation process. “I’m really proud of how candid we were in our self-evaluation study and with the team during the site visit. The team and Commissions’ recommendations are simply a reflection of our own self-identified work
to improve our services to students and our communities,” said WCC President Dr. Angie Fairchilds.
The Commission commended the Woodland Community College faculty, staff, and administrators for their “deep and abiding commitment to WCC and its students;” for “maintaining this commitment to the mission despite the pressures created by the economic downturn and the extensive leadership turnover across the District;” for “providing a rich array of student support services, especially those targeted toward underrepresented populations, and for working to maintain those services despite the budget reduction pressures;” for “maintaining a beautiful, clean and energy efficient campus despite economic challenges;” and for “creating a student-centered environment that encourages involvement in governance through an effective student government and new student trustee to represent the College.”
Each year, increasing numbers of colleges across the country and particularly in ACCJC’s region are being placed on sanctions, some even with the severe sanction of “Show Cause,” because of long-standing shortcomings with accreditation standards. Accountability expectations continue to increase both from the federal government and from the California government as voters and taxpayers demand improvements in student outcomes and greater efficiency from institutions of higher education. “I know the administrators, faculty, and staff of our colleges and district services, and I am confident we will remedy these recommendations within the prescribed timelines. They had already begun the work before the visits last fall and have continued to make good progress. We have outstanding faculty, staff and administrators as evidenced by the Commission’s commendations and we take very seriously the work we need to do to improve our planning and decision-making systems to ensure student success,” said YCCD Chancellor Dr. Doug Houston.
YCCD Trustee and Board Chair Brent Hastey said “I’m really proud of how the administration, faculty and staff at our colleges have committed to working together to improve student success. Woodland Community College and the Yuba Community
College District is a very different institution than it was just a few years ago because of that new commitment to collaboration, and yet, is unchanged in its commitment to students and our communities.”