According to Serrano (9), the City College of San Francisco is a comprehensive California based college which serves both the city and the entire county of San Francisco. She notes that the college was founded and established in 1935 as an academic and vocational branch of the San Francisco Unified School District. However, in 1970, the college developed as an independent entity under the name of San Francisco Community College District (Serrano). She further notes that under the new development, the college incorporated both then existing district schools and colleges, such as the Adult and Occupational Education Division, thereby providing San Francisco region with both credit and non credit educational services.
As pointed out by Serrano (9), in 1990, the San Francisco Community College District was subjected to main organizational changes that would present the institution as a single comprehensive institution model as opposed to the multi-college district model. She notes that the new model rebranded the college as a multi-campus college with the name of City College of San Francisco which offered both credit and non-credit services based on single administrative and governance structure. Since then, the college has not only enrolled the large number of students, it has also engaged in educational expansion so as to offer better educational services to the community of people. However, the report presented by Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior College of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges presented the college as on the verge of closure due to accreditation loss. This paper, therefore, evaluates arguments presented in the report.
Potentiality of City College of San Francisco Losing its Accreditation
Yes, it is true to note that the City College of San Francisco (CCSF), as was reported by Accrediting Commission for the Community and Junior College, may lose its accreditation. As argued by Wukman (1), the CCSF’s accreditation was found to be on jeopardy due to the inability of the institution to fully act on the recommendation made by the accrediting agency in 2006. According to him, the 2006 accrediting team identified eight main issues facing the institution that threatened its credibility. As noted by Serrano (11), the CCSF was founded not to have fully complied with the Accreditation Standards and Eligibility Requirements that were set out by the accrediting team in 2006. In that case, the institution had failed to address deficiencies that were highlighted by the previous accredited team, hence, showed inefficiency in organizational and management planning which is essential for such a crucial institution.
For instance, the report noted the inability of the City College of San Francisco to fully implement the model that could help measure and improve its effectiveness in promoting student learning outcomes. Therefore, can one expect the City College of San Francisco to improve the student’s learning and assessment procedure as stipulated by the accrediting standards based on its outlined deficiencies? Serrano (4) points out that CCSF has only incorporated both student learning outcomes and achievement programs on writing while in actual sense; the institution does not demonstrate its proficiency in assessing student’s learning outcomes. She rightfully notes that this would be due to poor executive leadership, professional investment, and inability to allocate other educational materials that are essential in improving learning and achievement processes among students.
As pointed out by Wukman (1), in the accredited assessment that was done by the commission in March 2012, the City College of San Francisco was found to be facing other 14 main problems. He points out that these problems highlight the presence of inadequate administration staff size with low experience, lack of adequate funding base, and failure for the institution to conduct and provide timely audit reports as required. It is truly not worth it for such an institution, with the largest enrollment of more than 90, 000, to lack basic managerial and leadership qualities, especially in times of crisis. Wilkey (1) points out that the effect of economic decline had resulted into reduced educational funding by the State. Therefore, educational institutions required candid and splendid financial programs that would not only preside over allocated funds, but also offer other educational investments.
However, Wilkey (1) notes that the report claimed lack of suitable funding plans within the institution as 92 percent of its budget is normally spent on staff salaries and benefits, leaving only 8 percent of the allocated amount for educational operations and investments. He points out that the report noted CCSF to rely solely on grants and contracts as sources for their educational basic operational expenses. This demonstrates that CCSF was lacking integrated financial assessment and budgetary process that would directly link their annual budget to their estimated operational expenses. Wilkey (1) further points out that the school was found to have been operating under budgetary deficit for three consecutive years with no records of financial base, and financial development strategies which can address institution’s needs. While inefficiency of CCSF’s budgetary process is in question, it is vital to consider whether it is real in order for the institution to keep paying for its operations from its limited resources. Therefore, it is essential to note that the lack of adequate funding, based on inefficient budget planning and poor leadership, could be the main cause of lack of adequate educational resources being experienced by the institution. This fact puts the institution on the verge of losing its accreditation.
As pointed out by Wukman (1), the report presented by the accredited commission found CCSF as facing the problem of leadership weakness at all its administrative levels. He notes that both faculty and administration staffs of CCSF were found to indirectly undermine and resist proposed policies by the board and executive administrators that were intended to improve and maintain student’s learning processes. This was based on the lack of effective administrative oversight procedure that saw the institution which has only 39 administrators offering leadership to 2,700 staffs and additional 90,000 students. It is in this conduct that the institution lacks the ability to adapt to the fiscal environment in offering better learning processes to students thereby threatening its credibility of remaining accredited.
Noting that the impact of losing its accreditation from the CCSF would adversely affect the institution and students, the school has engaged in implementation strategies which may not allow it to lose its accreditation. Wukman (1) points out that, by CCSF losing its accreditation, it would not be able to receive the federal student-aid funding or any other state funds. This would certainly result into its complete closure. However, as Serrano (12) notes, this may not be the case since CCSF has started implementing the recommendation made by accredited commission in meeting ACCJC Standards for Accreditation.
For instance, Serrano (12) points out that the City College of San Francisco has reviewed, revised and approved the school’s mission statement in order to meet accreditation standards. This demonstrated that the institution has put in place an integrated and effective administrative and governance structure that, if engaged, would enable the institution to remain accredited. This was demonstrated when both college governance councils and other constitute groups were able to harmoniously discuss the mission statement modification and recommendations being approved by the institution’s Board of Trustees in 2010 (Serrano 12).
Moreover, CCSG has reinvented its administrative and managerial policies. As argued by Serrano (9), CCSF is currently offering physical facilities that depict the institution as a reflection of the current growth in human population and programming. For instance, the institution opened a new Multi-Sector Building in 2010 which incorporated Health and Wellness Center and the Child Care Center. She further notes that the institution is expected to open the CCSF’s Chinatown/North Beach Campus in 2012. Such advancements, therefore, contradict the accreditation report which noted the institution as lacking effective financial process. It is crucial to note that only effectively managing financial budgetary allocation can amount to various educational investments as being demonstrated by CCSF of late. Therefore, CCSF is not liable to any accreditation withdrawal.
Additionally, Serrano (10) notes that City College of San Francisco has employed 810 full time faculties with additional 1,000 part time faculties. She points out that this indicates that the institution has well qualified staff and administrators. She further notes that of employees, 95 percent hold Master’s degree with approximately, 200 having Doctorate degrees. This means that the institution has also demonstrated its ability of meeting needs of students, thereby attaining accreditation standards.
Moreover, Serrano points out that the appointment of interim chancellor; Dr. Griffin in 2008 has resulted into decisive and stable leadership in CCSF. For instance, the recent practice in which college trustees could skip a number of board meetings while still remaining liable to paid, ended with the appointment of Dr. Griffin as chancellor. Serrano notes that the Chancellor assigned accreditation SWAT team that would make board trustees, administration, and staff workers responsible for their actions. This way, he restored the efficiency and effectiveness of CCSF’s administration process in promoting the students’ learning process. It is through such contributions that the CCSF’s accreditation will still remain.
In conclusion, the accreditation report by ACCJC presented various administration and managerial deficiencies that denoted CCSF’s accreditation as on jeopardy. However, the paper has highlighted facts and evidence that either concur or incur with the report on CCSF’s accreditation. Though the institution has made commendable steps, there is still a need for it to effectively address administration and managerial issues that can potentially undermine their utilization and receivership of funds. Moreover, the institution should implement the recommended policy framework as suggested by the audit commission so as to enhance its operations and existence.