City College of San Francisco Continues to Battle Accrediting Commission to Keep Eligibility; Both Sides Playing Waiting Game


City College of San Francisco's (CCSF) accreditation is currently hanging in the balance as it faces the possibility of being shut down, but it is not that simple.

According to Inside Higher Ed, CCSF has been fighting a decision passed down from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) for nearly a year. The ACCJC conducted its own review of the school, found several problems and moved to have the schools stripped of its accreditation.

CCSF promptly appealed and the ACCJC will make its decision July 31 on whether or not to uphold its ruling. Dennis Herrera, San Francisco's city attorney, also filed a lawsuit since the ACCJC's ruling and that case is set to be heard in Oct. However, CCSF's appeal could be heard before that.

The ACCJC cited financial instability, poor academic quality and several other problems in a document detailing their findings last June. Since their appeal, CCSF has hurried to fix these problems in an effort to remain open. With 77,000 students, it is the largest community college in the state and all those students could have worthless credits if the school loses accreditation.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi has also joined the legal battle and will try to aid efforts to grant CCSF with an extension on the ACCJC's decision.

"ACCJC's faulty reliance on outdated analysis of the health of City College, and its pursuit of an unworkable policy that ends state and federal funding to CCSF and puts the students and faculty in academic limbo is professionally crippling and destructive," she wrote in a statement last week. "Should this failure of leadership persist, new leadership is needed at ACCJC. The U.S. Department of Education should also consider whether to recertify ACCJC as an accrediting body."

As Arthur Q. Tyler, CCSF's chancellor, wrote in a statement last month, the school is going to stand and fight the ACCJC's decision and will not try any other tactic to keep its accreditation. Also at stake is the school's federal aid eligibility, which the ACCJC said CCSF stands to lose in the impending decision.

The ACCJC offered a solution for CCSF in an op-ed for the San Francisco Chronicle last month. CCSF would have to voluntarily give up its accreditation and then reapply, but the school could save its federal aid eligibility this way.

"Let me be clear: we are not considering withdrawing our accreditation," Tyler, wrote in his statement. "To do so would severely harm our current and future students as well as undermine our current enrollment efforts."

CLICK HERE for Inside Higher Ed's full report.

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