Accreditation Process to Assure Quality Education

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el-vaquero-editor-in-chief/" class="creditline">BONNIE SCHINDLER
El Vaquero Editor in Chief

Do not be surprised to see a herd of people, 27 from GCC and 12 from other colleges, wandering into classes, speaking with administrators and attending board meetings on campus between March 16 and March 18, as the college undergoes Accreditation Self-Study 2004.

The accreditation process occurs at GCC once every six years. The process is meant to “assure the quality of the institution and to assist in the improvement of the institution,” as stated on the accreditation section of the Glendale College Web site. It is also meant to “certify to the public that an institution meets or exceeds specific standards of quality,” allows the college to be eligible for Title IV student financial aid programs and tells other colleges (for example most colleges that GCC students transfer to) that our classes are up to par and therefore worthy of their class credits.

As a member of the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior College (ACCJC), who accredits regional institutions in the Western Association of Schools (WASC), public colleges, private non-profit colleges, private proprietary colleges and religion based colleges, we are committed to “the continual improvement of education and cooperation among educational institutions and agencies,” according to the GCC Web site page dedicated to accreditation.

Therefore, this process assures the college’s membership in ACCJC, and it benefits almost all sectors of the campus.

Last year, Accreditation Chair Kathleen Flynn and Co-Chair Jill Lewis formed a team composed of GCC administrators and faculty. The team was broken down into eight groups that represented different standards that GCC needed to uphold. The standards relate to institutional mission, institutional integrity, institutional effectiveness, educational programs, student services, information and learning resources, faculty and staff, physical resources, financial resources and governance and administration.

Upon arrival on the campus, the 12 visiting team members will connect with GCC team members and begin the accreditation process by checking to see if GCC has met the 10 above stated standards.

Once the research has been conducted, a series of post-visit reports will begin. Between March 22 and April 2, the preliminary final report must be pulled together. On April 5, the visiting team will receive copies of the draft and then begin editing it, making comments, suggesting changes and finally approving it. Three weeks later, on April 26, GCC will receive the report and find out if the college has maintained its promised standards of excellence and quality education.