Faced with losing accreditation on July 31, City College of San Francisco supporters are hoping for more time — and calling in political allies to pressure the accrediting commission. Ninety-five percent of the mismanagement and governance deficiencies have been corrected, college officials claim.
“The U.S. Department of Education is threatening to “limit, suspend or terminate” federal recognition of the accrediting commission that has threatened to shut down City College of San Francisco. The California Federation of Teachers, which represents faculty and staff at the college, had filed a complaint about the commission’s action.
Two-year college accreditation is toughest in the West, according to an Education Sector analysis.
City College of San Francisco will lose accreditation in one year — unless a special trustee appointed this week can resolve financial and governance problems. Closure is unlikely, but it’s not clear what entity could take over the multi-campus system, which has 85,000 students.
Twenty-seven California community colleges face accreditation sanctions. State funding is down while the feds have raised performance standards. Three are in serious trouble, 10 are on probation and 14 have received warnings.
Only one quarter of California’s degree-seeking community college students reach their goal in three years, compared to nearly two-thirds of for-profit students seeking an associate degree or certificate. For-profit schools are much more expensive, of course, but they’re also much better at getting students into the classes they need and getting them to the finish line.
Plagued with weak leadership and budget deficits, City College of San Francisco could lose accreditation and close within a year, stranding 90,000 students.