Glendale College has moved to address the problems that the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) had found on their visit in March of this year.
Glendale was given a warning with recommendations that had to be fixed. If these recommendations go unaddressed, Glendale College could have its accreditation put in jeopardy.
A governance committee called the Institutional Planning Coordination Committee or IPCC was created to address all the deficiencies found in the action letter from the ACCJC. While most of these problems arose from budget deficiencies, the college cannot pass blame and must fix the problems that were presented.
In total there were nine recommendations given to Glendale College by the ACCJC. At a faculty meeting on Oct. 14, John Queen, chair of the political science division and member of the accreditation committee, said, “We are doing all nine simultaneously, but we have to give priority to the first 4.” The first four must be implemented or completed by March 15, 2011 while five are required to be completed by March 15, 2012.
The first recommendation is for the college to strengthen the linkages among the program review, planning and resource allocation processes. This is the largest and most complicated to fix. The solution to this problem includes a multi-faceted approach. A visual representation of the solution is a flow chart with many levels. “It will take a change in behavior and a change in our decision making,” Queen said.
The second recommendation that must be completed has to do with finishing overdue employee evaluations and fully implementing professional development plans to ensure that all staff must obtain the necessary skills to satisfactorily perform their jobs. “This is difficult to accomplish because many of the overdue evaluations are for adjunct faculty who are hard to reach,” said Jill Lewis, Manager of the Accreditation & Program Review.
The third recommendation given by the commission recommended that the college use all traditional, federally recognized Equal Employment Opportunity ethnic categories in order to develop a comprehensive approach in describing and planning for the diversity of faculty and staff at the college. This was remedied with splitting up categories that were joined on a form used for hiring perspective employees. The simple fix meets the requirements set by the commission.
The final recommendation that needs completion requires the college to move quickly to implement long-range planning in Information and Technology Services that is linked to budget allocation. At the moment Information and Technology Services have not been accounted for in our budget and have not been receiving funding. This has caused some of our technology to become outdated. The commission added the recommendation so that the technology can be updated.
The five other recommendations that must be completed by March 15, 2012 are being addressed as well. The first is to accelerate the development of Service Learning Outcomes (SLO). All new classes have SLO’s created, but some older classes do not.
Another recommendation for the college is that all major policies affecting students are published in an accessible manner in such publications as the catalog, including the Academic Freedom Policy, transfer of credit and the process for sexual harassment complaints. While each of these policies was published individually in different places, such as class schedule and catalog, they were not provided altogether. The college will now publish major policies in future publications such as the class schedule and catalog.
Another recommendation regards staffing of maintenance. The commission received a complaint about the staffing levels of maintenance workers such as janitors and has recommended an increase in the staff levels. This is difficult to change with no funding. “We have grown with more buildings but our (maintenance) staff has stayed the same,” said Jill Lewis.
The commission mentioned the safety of servers as well. Some servers have overheated due to a lack of heat dissipation. The commission recommended that the college find a way to keep servers in a safe, cool and controlled environment to prevent and future overheating.
The final recommendation required for 2012 revolves around a law called GASB 45. It requires government employers to report the liabilities associated with post-employment benefits such as post-retirement medical, pharmacy, dental, vision, life, long-term disability and long-term care benefits that are not associated with a pension plan.
The accreditation team at Glendale College has spent many hours trying to change what the commission has asked for and the results are starting to be seen.
For more information on the accreditation process visit the accreditation page on the Glendale college website at www.glendale.edu.