Officials Praise College, Find ‘High Faculty Morale’

BONNIE SCHINDLER
El Vaquero Editor in Chief

Between March 16 and 18, GCC was put under the microscope as top officials from 12 colleges in California visited the campus in order to complete the Accreditation Study 2004.

The study, which was 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 Community College Web site, was completed on March 18 when the team of 12 members conducted an accreditation exit interview.

In the interview, the accreditation team Chair Dr. Ed Valeau, spoke briefly about their findings and recommendations.

To start, they found the college to have an “outstanding student center, a friendly campus climate and a strong student environment,” as stated in a press release from GCC President Dr. John Davitt. The team also found the college to have a “strong collaboration between student services and instruction,” a well maintained campus, especially due to the limited staff, and the team found the “morale of faculty and staff at GCC to be high.”

Following the meeting, Davitt had an additional meeting with Valeau in which Valeau emphasized the team’s “admiration for the quality of programs and services, which ranked the college as one of the top institutions in the state.”

Despite the many praises expressed from the visiting team, they also made numerous recommendations in accordance with accreditation standards.

The standards are in place so that all colleges adhere to certain guidelines for transfer purposes. GCC is a member of the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), which accredits regional institutions in the Western Association of Schools (WASC), public colleges, private non-profit colleges, private preparatory colleges and religion based colleges, according to the GCC Web site. Because of this membership, the school has an obligation to be up to par on all the guidelines in which the accreditation organization puts forth.

The team felt that GCC should “use the governance system to establish an annual plan, drawn from the six-year master plan recently presented to the Board of Trustees,” establish a facilities and technology plan, “assess its long-term needs for information technology” and “begin to budget financial resources to meet those needs.”

In addition, the team recommended that the college should be sure to plan its budget as close to the college’s master plan goals as possible, draft a presidential succession plan to provide for a smooth transition when the current superintendent/president retires and make all of the governance segments on campus equal so that all sections of the college are included in the responsibilities.

Within the next week, the team will send a draft of its findings to the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. Upon receipt of these reports, the commission will draw up a final draft of the findings and recommendations, in June, and then send the final results to the college.