By Austin Herbaugh
Cuestaâ€™s accreditation status is looking solid, according to a report by the visiting ACCJC accreditation team.
The 14 representatives from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges spent the week of Sept. 29 meeting with Cuesta employees and holding open forums at all three campuses. The purpose of the visit was to check that Cuesta meets accreditation standards and to verify Cuestaâ€™s self-evaluation report.
The visiting team presented its findings to the college community at an open meeting on Oct. 2. The exit report was mostly positive.
Joe Wyse, Superintendent of Shasta College, spoke on behalf of the accreditation team. â€œTo go from three to four years ago to that is a very strong commendation to you,â€ Weiss said, â€œso good job.â€
Wyse shared the teamâ€™s seven commendations and a few minor recommendations.
- Implementing and expanding the Cuesta Promise scholarship.
- Commitment to addressing accreditation issues.
- Attention to diversity issues with events such as the book of the year program and guest speakers like Piper Kermann, author of â€œOrange is the New Black.â€
- Focusing on student success.
- Development of a written board plan that outlines training to keep the board current on issues.
- A clear commitment to maintaining a welcoming educational environment which provides a culture of increasing student success.
- Ensure that the quality of distance education courses are the same as an on-campus classes.
- Assess teaching materials and teaching methods for online classes.
- Finalize a student authentication process for online classes to make sure that the student logging in to do the work is the actual student enrolled.
- Develop student learning outcomes with results more available to students.
- Have consistent monitoring of records, employment, equity and diversity and how it changes over time.
â€œWeâ€™ve worked hard over the last six years to come out of the rubble and to become again the premiere institution that we all have known to love and to expect,â€ said Cuesta President Gil Stork, â€œand Iâ€™m convinced that weâ€™ve done it.â€
The accreditation team will finalize its report and send it to the state commission, which will give a final accreditation announcement sometime around February.
Stork expects to receive a copy of the final report in November. He will then check for any factual errors. Stork will also appear before the commission in Sacramento, where he will comment on Cuestaâ€™s accreditation efforts.
The ACCJCÂ accreditation team issued commendations and a few minor recommendations in the conclusion of their visit this week.
“Weâ€™ve worked hard over the last six years to come out of the rubble and to become again the premiere institution that we all have known to love and to expect,” said Cuesta President Gil Stork, “and Iâ€™m convinced that weâ€™ve done it.”
See the full story in the next issue of the Cuestonian.
– Austin Herbaugh