Report 2013-123 Recommendations

When an audit is completed and a report is issued, auditees must provide the State Auditor with information regarding their progress in implementing recommendations from our reports at three intervals from the release of the report: 60 days, six months, and one year. Additionally, Senate Bill 1452 (Chapter 452, Statutes of 2006), requires auditees who have not implemented recommendations after one year, to report to us and to the Legislature why they have not implemented them or to state when they intend to implement them. Below, is a listing of each recommendation the State Auditor made in the report referenced and a link to the most recent response from the auditee addressing their progress in implementing the recommendation and the State Auditor's assessment of auditee's response based on our review of the supporting documentation.

Recommendations in Report 2013-123: California Community College Accreditation: Colleges Are Treated Inconsistently and Opportunities Exist for Improvement in the Accreditation Process (Release Date: June 2014)

Recommendations to Community Colleges Chancellor's Office
Number Recommendation Status

To ensure that colleges receive consistent and fair treatment and are able to address deficiencies, the chancellor's office should work with the community colleges and request clearer guidance from the commission regarding what actions would allow for the full two-year period in which to remediate concerns and what actions would constitute good cause for extending the time an institution has to address deficiencies beyond two years. In doing so, the chancellor's office should also encourage the commission to specify in its policies those scenarios under which it would exercise the good cause exception so that institutions would have a better understanding of when they might reasonably expect additional time to address deficiencies.

Fully Implemented

To ensure that community colleges and the public are fully informed regarding the accreditation process, the chancellor's office should assist community colleges in communicating their concerns to the commission regarding its transparency and in developing proposals for improving the commission's transparency policies and practices. The chancellor's office should also encourage the commission to publish policies describing the role of its staff in the commission's decision-making processes.

Fully Implemented

To make certain that institutions receive fair treatment in appealing decisions that terminate their accreditation, the chancellor's office should work with the community colleges to advocate that the commission change certain aspects of its appeal process. Specifically, in keeping with the spirit of accreditation, when institutions have taken steps to correct deficiencies that led to the decision to terminate accreditation, the institutions should be allowed to have information on those corrections heard as evidence in their appeal. Further, the commission president's involvement in selecting the appeal panel's counsel should be revisited.

Fully Implemented

To strengthen institutions' understanding of what they must do to comply with standards, and to provide them with the opportunity to address certain issues that could jeopardize their compliance, the chancellor's office, in collaboration with the community colleges, should encourage the commission to develop formal opportunities for institutions to communicate with and receive feedback from the commission on institutional self-studies and other reports before a formal evaluation takes place. In doing so, the chancellor's office should consider the practices of other regional accreditors and identify those that would best meet the needs of California's community colleges.

Fully Implemented

Community colleges, as members of the commission, should communicate their concerns about and ideas for improvement of training on the accreditation process to the commission. To provide assurance to colleges that they may suggest this information freely, the chancellor's office should coordinate communication between the commission and the colleges. Further, in order to build collegial relationships, engage new people in the accreditation process, and extend additional training to those already involved in accreditation, the chancellor's office should encourage the commission to develop an annual conference focused on accreditation and oversight.

Fully Implemented

To allow colleges flexibility in choosing an accreditor, the chancellor's office should remove language from its regulations naming the commission as the sole accreditor of California community colleges while maintaining the requirement that community colleges be accredited.

Fully Implemented

To allow colleges flexibility in choosing an accreditor, the chancellor's office should identify other accreditors who are able to accredit California community colleges or who would be willing to change their scopes to do so.

Fully Implemented

To allow colleges flexibility in choosing an accreditor, the chancellor's office should assess the potential costs, risks, and feasibility of creating a new independent accreditor.

Fully Implemented

The chancellor's office should monitor community colleges for issues that may jeopardize accreditation. To the extent that the chancellor's office believes it needs additional staff to accomplish this task, it should develop a proposal for the fiscal year 2015-16 budget cycle that identifies the specific activities it would undertake to find and correct issues that could lead to sanctions of the community colleges and identify the staffing level needed to conduct those activities.

Fully Implemented

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