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Accreditation Commission Takes SBCC Off Warning Status

An accreditation commission that had previously placed Santa Barbara City College on warning saying it was out of compliance lifted the school from that warning status last week, according to a statement from the college sent out Tuesday.

The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, or ACCJC, notified Santa Barbara City College last Wednesday that the college has been removed from warning status for being deficient in meeting the governance-related accreditation standards, according to SBCC spokeswoman Joan Galvan.

The college was placed on warning because of a complaint filed in 2011 alleging that the college’s Board of Trustees was out of compliance with a number of accreditation standards, including that the board was not complying with its own rules of governance.

The college was allowed to respond to the findings, and the commission announced that the changes made were acceptable.

“I think we are all relieved,” said Peter Haslund, a member of the board of trustees who was serving as board president when the college was placed on warning. 

“It’s simply time to move on,” he said.

The college has remained fully accredited since it was placed on warning, the lowest level of accreditation sanction, and it did not apply to the college’s academic and student programs, Galvan said.

SBCC will be required to file a followup report by March 14, 2014, on full and sustained resolution of three ACCJC recommendations as outlined in its July 3 letter to the college. The report will be followed by a visit of ACCJC representatives, and SBCC will receive its next comprehensive evaluation by ACCJC in fall 2015. 

Every six years, community colleges receive a site visit from the ACCJC for reaffirmation of accreditation. 

SBCC’s last comprehensive visit took place in November 2009, at which time the college received nine commendations, Galvan said.

SBCC President Lori Gaskin told Noozhawk on Tuesday that she was pleased to hear about the commission’s decision.

“It has been both a challenging experience as well as an opportunity for the college,” she said. “Examining our governance structures and processes at the board level and across the institution allowed us to affirm that which works to effectively support our core mission of teaching and learning and to address areas that are ineffectual in this regard.

“We remain committed to fully meeting the standards of accreditation and sustaining this focus.”

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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